Title: A Good Beginning

Summary: Hush, little birdie...

Prompt: Ryuuji / Ryouta / with a good beginning.

Disclaimer: Ryuuji and Ryouta and affiliated characters belong to Moa. This story is written without permission and for personal/fan/nonprofit entertainment purposes only.

"Ryuuji, Ryouta," she said, peeking into the nursery. "Are you going to be okay?"

"I'll be fine, Mommy," Ryouta said, straightening up in his brand new big-boy bed. His mother couldn't resist coming over to stroke the freshly bathed head and straighten the crooked collar of his superhero pyjamas.

"Yeah, we'll be great," Ryuuji replied, closing his book over his forefinger. "Two men on their own, tearing up the night with the riveting story of "Trains Trains Trains" followed by a rousing chorus of 'The Wheels on the Bus.' What could be better?"

"'Wheels on the Bus?'" She couldn't hide her amusement. "I don't know if my night out could beat that."

"Nuh-uh," declared Ryouta.

In a softer voice, Ryuuji said, "I know I haven't been around much. The office has been really demanding. But after this last trip to the island, I'll be home more."

"Every night, Papa?" piped up Ryouta.

"Every single night," answered Ryuuji.

"You promise?"

"Ryouta - " chided his mother. "You can't -"

"I promise," swore Ryuuji, hand over his heart. Then he grabbed his boy up and gave him a fierce hug, looking at his wife meaningfully over his son's head. "You okay with that?"

She smiled, as if she couldn't help it. Ryouta's answer was a shriek of joy.

Later, Ryouta lay in his brand new big-boy bed, sleeping. He suddenly coughed and turned, restless.

Ryuuji began to sing, softly. "Hush little birdie, don't say a word, Daddy's going to buy you a mockingbird..."

At the sound of his father's familiar, off-key voice, Ryouta settled down, snuggling up to the pillow.

"..., don't you cry, Mommy loves you and so do I." Ryuuji stopped as the song ended. He looked down at his son. He leaned forward to kiss the soft cheek, whispering, "Good night."

Ryuuji sat by the side of the bed for a long time, watching his son in the dim glow of the nightlight, his face glowing with love. He had missed this; the night time routine of bath, brushing teeth, dressing for bed, songs, storytime. But he wouldn't much longer. He'd be home every single night. He had made a promise.