Summary: AU They both wanted to adopt him—she, out of pity and he, for his own benefit, yet they refused to give the little kid up to each other. "Well, since you guys are totally attached to him anyway, why don't the three of you live together as a happy family?" Thus a complete trouble inside the house starts— an always-ecstatic mama Mikan, a killjoy papa Natsume, and a three-year-old Youichi completely amused at his new parents' 'relationship'. Oh boy.

Disclaimer: Do I have to repeat this over and over? I certainly do not and never will own Gakuen Alice. I own the story plot, but I give Higuchi Tachibana-sama the credits for making this anime though.

My Strange Family

House Rule 1: Take it or Leave it

"As a child, my family's menu consisted of two choices: take it or leave it."

-Buddy Hackett

His tiny head looked from left then right, careful not to attract a few more ladies—well, elderly ladies' attention who seemed to be looking for him for more than 2 hours now. But the drill is continuous, and he had already executed a plan on how to fool those crazy people gawking at him. For goodness' sake, they are too old for him! And though it might sound a little bit crazy, he had built himself his own pride of being a ladies' man—or kid. But it wasn't his fault at all, was it? It was his parents' own genes to blame for they created such a cute, wonderful and handsome little guy like him. Boasting isn't his forte, actually. In fact, he hated it when the elders in the orphanage talk sweetly about him in front of others. For him, it's just so… so gross—too gross.

But anyway, the every-day-getting-bigger commotion from those old hags wasn't the problem in the first place. It's about those two amusing pair—who cannot even be called a couple, being at each other's throats everytime they are inside the Alice Orphanage, and as bad as it might seem, they always attract attentions—earning either a good or not-so-bad criticisms from other people, married couple and elderly who are ready enough to share their happiness with other orphans. And the reason why they're too amusing to watch?

It's about him—Hijiri Youichi: aged three, three feet and five inches in height, gray hair and bland blue eyes.

At first he was annoyed at the constant bickering of the two, but recently, when he found out that they are fighting over him, he knew he couldn't help but think who between them will be the victorious one and the sore loser.

And since today isn't any different from the previous ones, he had already guessed that the annoying-high-pitched voice of the woman and the scary-yet-alluring tone of the man will by no means take any longer before both echo in the hallway.

"I'll have all the rights to have him, Youichi's mine!"

And he was right all along.

Taking a little peek behind the large plant he and his long-forgotten black and red ball are currently hiding at, Youichi glanced at the three people inside their orphanage's meeting room, gaining the information that the two are undoubtedly there. It's totally strange for him, though. Why would they fight over him, a one troublesome kid, among all other kids inside the aforementioned government institution? They must be kidding, right? The time someone actually brings him in his home would be the day the world ends…and maybe his intuition is right, since he heard a lot of news recently that the world is coming to an end. But wouldn't it be pitiful for him to experience the joy of having someone whom he can call mom or dad in a short time?

As he mused on his thoughts, he didn't notice that the two had started a very hot conversation—once again, and their loud voices snapped him from his reverie.

"I clearly see where this one's going, woman. For once, I'll pay so much to have him." The man with black hair and red eyes, as he saw, faced the woman in a way with a very dull face, but still kept his intimidating aura around him. He never loses his cool unlike the other person, he concluded, but his voice is already enough for him to express clearly that he's already in a very foul mood, and the woman's persistence isn't helping at all. On the other hand, giving up doesn't seem to be a familiar word for her, so he ensured both would come again into the conclusion of going back tomorrow.

"Not at all! This one would be different! Youichi will be in my hands, and I'll be his new mommy!" She shouted, and the kid sensed a full determination etched in her voice. Why were they fighting over him, again?

To deny the fact that those two actually makes a great couple would be a big, fat lie. Had he not heard a few times from the elders that they suit each other, he wouldn't think that they aren't a couple at all. But really, that's what the saying 'opposites attract' goes, right? To his surprise, the sudden appearance of his desire to live with the both of them just makes him all giddy… yeah, what can you expect from a loud-mouthed woman with a silent guy chained inside a house together, anyway? The thought alone makes him laugh hard inside.

Noticing that his black ball with red stripes had already crawled inside the room, he sighed and sneaked inside, silently praying that the three figures inside the room wouldn't see an additional presence. Jin-Jin wouldn't like it if he finds out that he's been eavesdropping on someone's conversation—in which he was involved, on top of that. Thankfully, he wasn't the one talking to the two, but the image of Narumi surprised his sight. Successfully finding that the ball had crawled under the desk beside the second door, he grinned when he grasped the round thing in his hands. But because he was too preoccupied to notice that he's still sitting under the table, he had bumped his head which caused a loud sound—and boy was he scared to look at the three whom he's sure are now looking at him in bewildered expressions.

"Youichi? Have you been there for a while?" The three-year old kid bowed and gripped his ball in his tiny arms when he heard the calm and soothing voice of the yellow-haired man, and although this guy falls under his list of 'a no-no to approach', he admits that he's more tolerable than that evil, frog-obsessed old man. He nodded when he realized there's no use in lying, and perhaps, this might be a good chance to look at those two who are trying to… 'win' him over. Youichi looked up and he almost gasped. Right there in front of him is an angel.

The woman smiling at him is definitely a beauty, more beautiful than the girls and old hags here. And if she was the one whom he should call mommy for the rest of his life, he would be more than willing to live with her. Heck, he could even actually take her as his wife in the near future. Age doesn't matter after all, does it?

Looking to the left, he swallowed.

The guy is handsome. That explains why they are mistaken as a married couple rather than two individuals who are ready to cut each other's guts because of hard-headedness. Even though he seems to have a very calm and collected façade, Youichi knows that he's one not to be messed up with. Ironically speaking, as the woman looked like she was sent from heaven above, the guy is undoubtedly something like hell would reject for fear that their boss—the real devil one would run out of business for being defeated by him, as he's more suited to be dealing with ruining people's lives.

"Well, Youichi, you know that's not nice..." He nodded. But he's too busy to think of devising schemes on how he could make the rest of his life more entertaining through those two. "…but anyway, I take it that you heard everything?" Again, he nodded while looking at them. Smile evident on the girl's face and the man… well, he's like normal, or maybe, far beyond normal.

Narumi held his hand and he stood up, being placed between the unnamed man and woman. Smiling, the oldest of the occupiers of the room spoke in a non-annoying voice like he used to before.

"Why don't we let little Youichi here decide then?"

"No." An authoritative voice from the red-eyed guy stopped the old man, and before one of them could even object to his sudden decision, he spoke in a low voice, "I'll take him under my care." And Youichi knows. He knows that the woman would as well reject the idea of the handsome guy monopolizing, well, him. "Didn't you hear Mr. Narumi?! Youichi is the one to decide!" For the second time, he was proven right.

If possible, he could have covered his ears without being rude, coz this woman, although he liked her, her voice is just too loud!

A cough stopped the two.

"Well, Youichi…" Narumi looked at the child with a small smile and the latter looked up, having an expectant face to finally form a solution just so he could stop the crazy guy and girl beside him. "…who do you want to live with?"

It was a simple question. A simple question that had the three of them gawking at the fair simple answer of the child. The handsome man was about to retort, but the woman was too engrossed in the sudden declaration of the three-year-old kid's decision. They both did not know the reason behind his comical but cute figure, and the thought of him being annoyed by them didn't even enter their minds.

"You're… joking, right, Youichi?"

In the end, it was the woman who spoke, in which she received a furious act of shaking head from the young boy. And once again, that served as her signal to think of possible reasons why he would point his fingers at both of her and the man. Her trance of thoughts was stopped when Anju Narumi snapped his fingers in an exhilarating way.

"Well, since you guys are totally attached to him anyway, why don't the three of you live together as a happy family?"

That was enough for the man to frown, the woman's jaw to drop and little Youichi to mentally smirk in victory.

My Strange Family

"What?! You're gonna adopt him in that condition?!" As much as he hated to admit, he too was over-stressed to even argue at the guy in front of him, also known around their company building as his best buddy and the fiancé of his—eurgh, dear cousin. Twenty-eight-year-old Hyuuga Natsume had enough thoughts to bring his fingers to his temples and had those completely become finally useful, except of course when he signs big contracts and business deals—like this one which specifically gave him a massive headache. It was already annoying enough whenever he sees that woman and hears her loud voice, like it was a fork grinding slowly and painfully in the surface of a plate. It gives him the chills.

But he admits. She's actually beautiful, minus that wide, idiotic smile and guts attached to her personality, that is.

Natsume shook his head when he saw Nogi Ruka frowning at his primary statement right after entering the door of his own office and sitting on his swivel chair.

"If I wouldn't agree, neither I nor that girl would have him." He paused and reached for the magazine in front of him, totally uncaring when Ruka makes faces at his weird behavior—like placing his feet on top of the table, which he did five seconds ago. "And it is business I'm dealing with." Natsume flipped the pages continuously without looking up. Even with his casual get-up, in which he was forced to wear since he's more used on wearing formal suits, Ruka had concluded that people inside the building would still gawk at him, man or woman, old or young.

"But are you sure? I mean, live with the both of them? Seriously Natsume, you are type to sterilize yourself when the other kind of specie stands around a foot radius near you." That was partially true. Nogi Ruka, who has devoted himself to serve the guy at all cost, has been a witness ever since they hit their puberty and girls started to attack the both of them with their fan club's members'… love. Those times were really perilous, considering that the battle had always been stuck in the ratio of hundred to two… or three, because he counted Imai Hotaru, his beloved fiancée, as one of the anti-fan girls. Truth is, Natsume was never the type to use his popularity just so he could have the beautiful girls wrapped around his powerful hands. In fact, Ruka even once thought that his best friend was gay, since he doesn't give women a second look when he passes by them, except for his mother and sister though, and never did he have a girlfriend at all! But when his crimson-eyed friend declared that he wasn't interested in dating or giving up to the powers of stupid cupid yet, he was more than thankful that he was just hallucinating at the thought of him being, well, slightly inclined.

"It's just for a couple of months." He said blandly. "If I refuse, I would be giving up millions of dollars." As expected, money has always been the top-ranking word in his vocabulary. No wonder he and the love of his life are relatives. "Besides…" This time, he turned to look at him and threw the centimeter-length reading material back on his table, his feet remained glued on its top. "…if we wouldn't comply with the terms and conditions of that child, others would have him." He thought for a moment. Conditions? "What exactly are those conditions, anyway? And did the woman even agree to that?" Ruka inquired, settling himself on the leather sofa just in front of Natsume's table.

To be honest, Natsume was far beyond angered at the condition the brat had presented a while ago, but thinking back, it was actually good because he had settled on one condition alone. Besides, he had already decided that he'll go with it, and after a few months, he'll make a deal with the woman to let her have the child then he'll go away with the money that kid will produce for him. It isn't Hijiri Youichi himself to directly give him the credits, but from a client, and even though he sounded like a money whore, he had to stick with his own principle that business is pure business and neither strings nor emotions are attached. But he was glad that he saw the horrified expression of the woman which he thought and considered amusing—he even found her angry stare a bit cute and—wait.

He wasn't supposed to say that in the first place.

Who knows… that woman might know anything about adopting the child, too.

But, a while ago, it seemed like the condition of the child was too much for her to bear. And he was pretty intrigued at that.

Natsume stood up from his chair with a mild sneer on his face and before he completely walked out of his office, he looked back at Ruka whose face had mustered a look of surprise at his parting words.

"Marry her and live together, of course. And you know what? She was more than glad to be the mommy of our little brat."

My Strange Family

Typed on: December 6, 2012

2:36 am

Posted on: December 6, 2012

Author's Notes: Sigh, I know I have a lot of explaining to do about my other story, "Once". But believe me, I know I needed to take a rest to think of some new ideas for that one. Well, no worries since I've already written a good 10 pages for chapter 9. Anyway, this plot just came to my head when I was… yeah, that's a secret but still, I can't get this out of my head. I still don't know how many chapters this one will have, but I'll try my very best to keep this one as entertaining as possible.

Well, since this chapter is on an experimental mode, I stopped for a while. And just like what I said from my other story "Once", reviewed or not would still be alright. And I would like to thank everyone and Spica14-san for giving me such wonderful words of encouragement. You guys are the best! *huge grin*

Any similarities with a real event, person, places, other stories and everything are totally coincident.

See you on the next chapter!

-Erieh Yamazaki