Title: Ordinary Lives

Pairing: Souji/Dojima

Genre: Family/Romance/Humor/Drama/Drama/Drama/Drama/Llama/Drama/Drama/Drama…

Rating: T

Summary: Ordinary, not because we are, but because these things occur every day.

Disclaimer: If I did own it, I would have killed Yosuke quickly and painfully. Just because I could. Yukiko would follow.


Ordinary Lives

Dojima Ryotaro leaned against his car, blowing smoke circles toward the reddening sky and laughing to himself as mosquitoes were caught in them. Every now and then he glanced at his watch and stared at the train platform. Seeing nothing, he would return to artfully (ans gleefully) blinding innocent bugs. Nervous habit, really. The man couldn't be blamed. About two weeks prior, his sister called, begging him to take in her teenage son while she tried to sort through a big mess that involved her in-laws. Dojima had planned to say no right away; he could hardly connect with his daughter in elementary school. How was he supposed to deal with a boy in his mid-teens? But then she had started crying, and he hadn't the heart to turn her away. So, by the end of the phone call, he had agreed to house a nephew he hadn't seen since shortly after the death of his late wife, all in the name of preserving the boy's good memories of home, helping his sister, and his lack of a back bone.

Dojima dropped the cigarette to the ground and smothered it beneath his foot. He took the pack out of his shirt pocket, stared at it, and then put it away before shoving his hands into his pant pockets. He wondered vaguely if his nephew had ever out grown his abnormally pale skin and hair color. Before he could wonder much about it, the screech of a train whistle cut through the air and his thoughts. Dojima looked up just in time to see the train thundering down the tracks. Very few people got off at the Inaba stop (it was the last stop and in the middle of nowhere). So, it didn't take very long for the individuals to exit or for the train to depart again. Despite that, Dojima didn't see Souji in the crowd, or by the way side.

"Dojima-san."

The gruff man flinched and turned around to see his fair eyed, fair skinned, (fair haired?), nephew starting at him with a suitcase in hand and duffle bag on his shoulder. Yep, totally the same as he remembered. Minus the baby fat and plus the teenage puberty. That included the deepness of his voice. Dojima found himself doing something that he rarely did: smile. Souji seemed to recognize that it was a scarce thing and stared at him quizzically.

"Souji," he said. "Hop in." Souji nodded, put his things in the back, and then climbed into the passenger seat. And that's where things got awkward really fast; for Dojima anyway. It occurred to him that he hadn't seen this kid in nearly eight years. So, he didn't really know what to talk about with him and instead went with the cliché questions of school/friends/girlfriend/any other mundane thing until they both lapsed into silence for the remainder of the car ride. Dojima let out a breath he hadn't known he'd been holding when they finally reached his home and he ushered the silent boy inside.

"Daaaaad! Welcome home!" he heard his daughter call from upstairs. He watched Souji watch her run into the living room. Her running feet screeched to a halt as she took in Souji. The boy studied her for a moment before breaking into a gentle smile.

"Nanako-chan?"

"Y-yes…?" The poor girl seemed torn between running to her room and the polite thing to do: staying there.

Souji chuckled. "I can call you that, right?"

Any hesitation the girl had evaporated into thin air. "Yes! You can!" she exclaimed excitedly. Dojima felt relived. No problems there.

"It's almost time for you to go to bed, Nanako. School tomorrow." Dojima said sternly. Nanako pouted for a moment, but quickly recovered. She wished both her father and her cousin a goodnight before trotting to her room. Souji stared after her with a fond smile.

"She's really grown up since the last time I was here." Dojima looked at him for a while before Souji turned to him with a smile.

"I'll show you to your room." Dojima said before picking up Souji's suitcase and heading for the steps. It wasn't hard to find Souji's room; it was just down the hall from Dojima's.

"Here it is." He said. "It hasn't been used in forever, so it'll be a little stuffy. Feel free to open the window and let some air in. The rest of your stuff should be coming tomorrow by mail, so bear with the bareness for now."

"Okay." Souji said.

"Do you need help unpacking?"

Souji shook his head.

"Do you remember where everything is?"

A nod.

Dojima sighed and rubbed the back of his neck. He needed to get to bed early. He was working daytime tomorrow. "Well, then I'm off to bed. Goodnight." He said before turning toward the door.

"Ah, wait." Souji said, grabbing his sleeve. Dojima looked back at him. Flustered, the grey haired boy hesitated before continuing. "Thank you for this, Dojima-san."

Dojima gazed at Souji for a moment before extending a hand and patting him on the shoulder. "Welcome back, Souji. Make yourself at home." He said. Without waiting for an answer, he exited the room and headed off to his bedroom. He'd been due for eight hours of perfect rest for a couple months.


(A/N: And that's probably about as serious as this is ever going to get.)