TF FanFiction 1.20
Baby Talk 2

Hey'ya! I'm back with yet another adorable fluff. It really gladdens me that you, dear readers enjoyed my project "Baby Talk." And though I had initially intended it to be a one-shot, by request, I'm pleased to present a follow-up for our beloved perfect babies... though this one does include a lot of the adults' (their parents) thoughts as well, but the perfect babies still gets the spotlight. ~_~

Your comments and constructive criticisms are highly welcomed and regarded, so I'd greatly appreciate it if they'd keep coming. I'd be under your care once more, minna! Enjoy~ ^_~

Disclaimer: Mine... never going to happen. -.-"

TF FanFiction 1.20
Baby Talk 2

The Tezuka household was quiet, as the men of the house had already left for the day. Kunikazu had gone to the Sanada's for a good game of Shogi, while Kuniharu had left early for work. This leaves Ayana and Kunimitsu ample time to entertain themselves to their own liking.

"AVUJA! (I DON'T WANT TO!)" cried Kunimitsu, balling his little hands to pounding fists.

"Come on, Kunimitsu," Ayana was trying her best to calm her little boy into wearing the black and white jumper. "You have to wear this properly, or we can't go to the Fuji's."

Hearing his friend's surname, Kunimitsu blinked his big tear-stained hazels and reluctantly dropped his arms. He really didn't want to wear that jumper, and understood that he was being bribed/blackmailed into wearing it. Usually, he would fight back tooth and nail - literally, biting and punching (a/n: well, I think those were the only defense-mechanisms babies are capable of... o.o") - but, then, he really wanted to see his friend, Syuusuke. So, he defiantly submitted into being garbed, an evidently cute pout still accentuating his face. "Boo!"

"There, now we're all done and set to go," beamed Ayana, after she had completely put on Kunimitsu's emperor penguin jumper (a/n: imagine Tenipuri Tezuka wearing a black kamikaze 'angrybird' jumper ^^~* So kawaii, ne?). "Ooh~ look how cute my dearest is," she cuddled her pouting child into her arms, "now, smile for mommy, won't you, Kunimitsu?"

Sulking, Kunimitsu crossed his arms and turned away from her, making the black and yellow feather on top of his head titter around. "Hmf!

"Oh dear, Kunimitsu's mad at mommy," Ayana feigned distress with welling eyes, "now mommy's sad. *sniff* T-T"

Hearing his okaasan's sniffing sounds, Kunimitsu turned to her, his anger quickly changed to worry. Well, what child could actually turn their back from their mother, especially when their the ones who made their mom upset, ne? "Mama, pui ajuki, (Mama, please don't cry,)" he gently rubbed his small hands over her face, then hugged her, "ai dulru chugamo. (I'm not angry at you.)"

"You're not mad with mommy anymore?" asked Ayana, as she patted her baby's back, earning her a tighter hug, a nuzzling shook of head at the side of her neck, and a silent "Hn" from Kunimitsu. "I'm glad, my dearest."

Shortly after, the mother and child release hold, but Kunimitsu's bug-eyed embers remained searching on Ayana's silver-greys. This made his okaasan chuckle, then smiled and patted his little head reassuringly. "But it would make mommy feel a lot better if you'd smile for me, ne, Kunimitsu?"

The tousle-haired child momentarily averted his gaze, soft carnations blushing over his chubby cheekballs. Bashfully, he looked back up his okaasan, and smiled at her.

Satisfied, Ayana cuddled her son affectionately, "so are we ready to meet our friends?"

Kunimitsu's small form lit-up, and bobbed his head as if to say 'Oh, yes please! Pretty please with extra whip cream, caramel glaze, and cherry on top~', as his hand clasped together expectantly.

Ayana chuckled at her son's actions that morning. Usually Kunimitsu is such a quiet behaved kid, but upon meeting Syuusuke and whenever the younger brunette's name is mentioned, her child would act like the baby he - in the very clear fact - really is. This was actually a good thing, since this actually makes her feel like a real doting mother. She, then, carried Kunimitsu, who has excitement written all over his brightly smiling cherry lips and huge twinkling golden orbs. "Now, up we go~!"

After quickly packing and taking with her her babybag, Ayana checked and locked their household before heading a few blocks down to the Fuji's. The walk was short, but the feeling of anticipation was overwhelming, as Kunimitsu's grip alternated from tightening and loosening hold on his okaasan's smooth tress he had been playing with. Soon they were on their destination's doorstep and rang the doorbell.


It was Yumiko who opened the door for them, a charming smile on her youthful strawberry-brown head. As it seemed, she was on her out to club activities when they arrived. "Oh, auntie Ayana, Kunimitsu, what a pleasant surprise! Please come in!"

"Thank you, Yumiko," greeted Ayana, while Kunimitsu offered her a nod. They entered the cozy dwelling and were led to the living room. "Is your okaasan home?"

"Hai," Yumiko answered, skipping in merry hopscotch, making her wavy pigtails bob smoothly. "She's in the kitchen. Would you like me to call her for you?"

"That would be great, dear" replied Ayana, as she sat herself and Kunimitsu on the proffered couch.

The living room was spacious and fully furnished for comfort. The ambiance was simply cozy though meticulously detailed with elegance. Even the huge bead-bags - which look a lot like giant jellybeans - sprawled beside the west-wing seats blended perfectly well, making anyone feel the abode is more than just a house for a family... It was home. :3

The television was turned on, and was flicked on the news, though Yumiko's high-pitched voice can clearly be heard from the other room. "Okaasan, auntie Ayana and Kunimitsu came for a visit. They're waiting in the living room over there, okay? I have to now, else I'd be late for kendo practice."

"Thanks, dear. You're an angel~" The Fuji ladies had already glided into the living room, when Yoshiko answered her daughter. "Be careful on your way to club practice," she reminded Yumiko, as she handed her her lunch, and kissed her cheeks.

Yumiko giggled and hugged her okaasan, before she turned to their visitors. "Well, I have to go now, auntie Ayana. Ja ne~!" she bid and was about to head off, when she stopped on her tracks and gleefully run towards Kunimitsu. "Oh, and before I forget, Kunimitsu, you look so adorable in that penguin jumper~" she squealed, pinching the boy's blushing cheekballs.

Kunimitsu tried to glare at her with as much intensity as his large caramel orbs could muster, but very much like Syuusuke, Yumiko is immune to such, and had taken a liking to hugging him - because he is just too cute for any comfort~ *u*=

"Uhm, I think Syuusuke is..." she trailed after releasing Kunimitsu, and turn to look around, "... Somewhere around that pile over there." The little girl pointed at the corner filled with beadbags and fluffy toys, then turn and winked at the tousle-haired boy, "have fun playing today, ne?"

Kunimitsu, whose face was still very much tinted red, nodded at his senior - assenting to having fun, though not exactly sure how to accomplish just that... =w=

"Okay, that's enough playing Yumiko," lightly reprimanded Yoshiko, "you really better be on your way now."

"Hai~" Yumiko answered, standing up and running to hug her okaasan's legs (a/n: let's just say she still that adorable little girl, and is short of height :D), careful not to spill the tea set tray Yoshiko was holding up. "I'm really going now. See everyone later~" She waved excitedly, as she hurried off to her day.

The ladies chuckled at the energetic and bubbly girl, while Kunimitsu just let out a soft sigh of resignation.

"So what brings you here, Ayana-chan?" Yoshiko, then, inquired, setting the prepared chrysanthemum tea onto the mahogany framed glass table, and sitting herself down beside her friend.

"Well, I just thought that Kunimitsu had been missing Syuusuke very much, and wanted to play with him," Ayana said, trying to stop her little boy from playfully tugging her hair. "Besides, we still have a lot of catching up to do, ne, Yoshiko-chan?"

Yoshiko chuckled, "yes, that'd be delightful, Ayana-chan. Since my hubby would be busy the whole day with paper works for the business expansion to Chiba and coordinating alliances with the Seaki's, I was feeling kind of down with only me and Syuusuke in here," she ended with a little embarrassed smile accenting her graceful feature.

"Oh, I know what you mean!" Ayana played along teasingly, "men, really! It's either work or play! My husband left for work before dawn today, and father just up and decided to go and pay visit to the Sanada's." Then, she had one of her slender arm akimbo, in jest emphasis, "if I didn't know any better, he's just wanted to be there to pass time with rounds and rounds of Shogi."

With that said, both matriarchs let out a hearty laugh, though both knowing well that the men of their respective households were really working hard because of their love and devotion to their family.

"Oh, and it is very nice to see you again Kunimitsu," Yoshiko, then, directed her attention Kunimitsu and offered him a handshake.

The chocolate-haired boy blinked his big hazels a couple of times at Yoshiko and her hand upon hearing his name. Slowly, he let go of his okaasan's hair, and politely accepted the handshake with both of his wee hands. "Nubichu chu, ajiji Yuiko. (Nice to see you, too, auntie Yoshiko.)"

"Such delightful kid you have here, Ayana-chan!" she complimented her friend's son. "I'm sure he and Syuusuke will have a lot of fun today."

Listening to the conversation of the ladies, Kunimitsu bobbed his cute little head, making the black and yellow feather on his jumper's top twirl like an indicator of his happiness level. He wriggle inside his okaasan's arm, as if to ask permission to be allowed to wonder to the colorful fluffy beadbags that had caught his eyes. Ayana instantly understood her son's plea, and oblidgingly lowered her son to the maroon carpeted floor.

The ecstatic glee shown by the usually quiet child made the mothers giggle knowingly, before Ayana inquired, "by the way, Yoshiko-chan, where your little angel, Syuusuke?"

"Hmm~?" Yoshiko tilted her head thoughtfully, as they both watch Kunimitsu crawl towards the pile of fluffs, rolling the big sunshine yellow beadbag out of his way, and eyeing the chrome blue one just a few more feet upfront. "Oh, I think Kunimitsu just found him~"

Kunimitsu was really drawn to that chrome blue beadbag... It was big, and soft, and fluffy... and it reminds him of his friend's sparkling cerulean orbs. He really wanted it! *o* He was about to grab for the cushion, but noted that there's a huge man-sized - well, not really that big, but it was almost as big as Kunimitsu himself - brown Teddy bear with big beady button black eyes hogging over it. He glared at the obstructing plush, as if trying to telephatically make it fall off - it didn't. So, with a little determined frown, he crawled to the other side and began tugging at the bear's fluffy round tail... Man! Is this Teddy bear heavy or what? No matter how hard he pulled, the plush won't budge. But he wasn't one to give-up on something he had set his mind to accomplish! And so, he crawl back up to the Teddy bear's head, and tried tugging on its round fluffy ear...

"Mnrrr~!" growl the plush, though sounding very much like a purring kitty, as it very slightly shifted. (a/n: purr-meow~ ^.^=)

Kunimitsu was very much surprised by what happened, and had instantly retracted his hand. The Teddy bear just growled at him... and it moved! Teddy bears aren't supposed to do that! Inanimate objects aren't supposed to do just that! No! Kunimitsu shook his head, telling himself that it might just have been his wild imagination - though he is very sure he isn't one for wild and out-of-this-world imagination.

What if it wasn't his imagination?

What if it's really a bear?

A shiver run down Kunimitsu's small form. But still he won't back down from any challenge, and with a new found courage, he opted for another strategy. He took his stance on all fours and began pushing the chrome blue beadbag away from the plush... Pushing... pushing... it moved a wee bit! Yes, he was definitely making progress! Just a little more...


*SCHOOOFFFF~!* Flew the coveted chrome blue beadbag off from under the Teddy bear!


Kunimitsu smiled brightly at his great accomplishment, but the his joy was short-lived... For what happened next made his already huge ember orbs dilate into wide dinner plates!

As soon as the beadbag was released, the huge - again, it wasn't really that big, just almost as big as Kunimitsu's small chubby form - fluffy Teddy bear fell onto his back with a soft *thud!* After which the Teddy bear mildly shifted its fluffy head to rest comfortably on his bum! And, oh, how his cute little face flushed like a tomato, as he felt the warm softness snuggle satisfied with him as a pillow~!

"Nrrreow~!" purred the plush once more, and this time Kunimitsu was really sure that it wasn't just his imagination! With very fast-phased turn of event, Kunimitsu froze flat onto the soft carpet, with his tiny hand rolled over and covering his face, not knowing exactly what to to next.

"...chuu~" purred the Teddy bear.

This time, Kunimitsu's ears flapped at the familiar voice. Though still not quite sure, he peeked with one eye, and scanned the immediate vicinity - there was no one there. "Shuki? (Syuuuske?)" he whispered softly, awaiting for any respond to track it's source.

"... Michou~ (...Mitsu~)" cooed the plush.

Finally accepting that the familiar voice was indeed coming from the fluffy bear, Kunimitsu carefully rolled over his body upright, so as not to cause undue alarm to the plush. By doing this, the fluffy head had landed on his legs, making him notice something he had intricately missed earlier on...

The Teddy bear was alive... or a better explanation yet would be that the fluffy plush was actually Syuusuke in a beady-black-button-eyed Higuma jumper~

"Kawaii~ (Cute~)" Kunimitsu could only say under his breathe, as he stared a little longer - ogling - at his serenely sleeping friend. His eyes were wide and twinkling in awe, admiring how angelic Syuusuke is, until the reality that the cherub was sleeping on his lap dawned to him, making him blush and feel warm and fuzzy all over. Then he tried calling his friend awake, nudging his friend a little on his side. "Shuki... (Syuusuke...)"

"Nhyu anja~! (Don't wanna~!)" Syuusuke unconsciously whined, pushing Kunimitsu's little hand away. Then, he went to rubbing a hand over his face, before possessively encircling his hand over his friend's leg, like it's his own rolled-up 'blankie.' "Aiji shifuvu jura, ma... (I want to sleep a little longer, mom...)"

"Shuki, chupa-vuu! (Syuusuke, wake-up!)" Kunimitsu tried to wake his friend again, well aware of how late it already is in the morning to still be sleeping. He reached for the plush bear ears of the cherub's jumper and began pulling them to whichever side. Syuusuke, however, merely shrugged-off and wriggled from this attempt, making Kunimitsu resort to a measure he's not quite familiar with. "Ufuju chupa-vuu nyan, Shu, rui... (You have to wake-up now, Syuu, or...)" he nudged his cherub again, "... ich nyujidhan akufu shan, mui... mui... (... if you don't get up at the count of three, I'll...I'll...)" he was already racking his brain on what threat to use (a/n: seriously, Tezuka's not good at making threats - not that he needs it aside from his death glares anyway D), "... mui chavum zhijuri uvu! (... I'll start tickling you!)"

With an air of confidence, sharp golden orbs full of determination, Kunimitsu raised both his arms high in the air ready for attack. But even after a few moments passed, Syuusuke remain motionless - aside from the widening angelic smile on his cute face and snuggling tighter on Kunimitsu's leg - and stayed very much asleep.

A frown was starting to form on Kunimitsu's pouting face, but decided that it wouldn't help doing that, so he released a heavy sigh of submission instead. He was really anticipating playtime with Syuusuke that day, but who was he to deny his cherub his beauty rest. "Nahibuchu oshiru~ (A hibernating bear~)," he silently mused, allowing a soft smile to replace his adorable pout. Resigning to the situation, he lowered his arms wide towards opposite sides, and allowed his small form to lay flat onto the soft carpet. Silence - and the soothing voices of their okaasan's - relaxed Kunimitsu into ease, almost closing his huge hazels, when he heard a distinct bellan chuckle he couldn't have mistaken for anyone else's.

"Ai vujudhan ofugu shipuñi, Kumichou, (I didn't think you were one for hesitating, Kunimitsu,)" teased that same melodic voice.

Kunimitsu's embers open wide, his small form immediately sprang asit, as if a jolt of electricity had just passed through his back, and found himself absorbed into Syuusuke's cosmic azures. After getting a hold of himself, the tousle-haired boy averted his gaze, crossing his arm disapprovingly, though a chiffon blush tinted his chubby cheeks. "Mi nyucha! (I'm not!)"

The smiling boy chuckled once more, amused at how much emotion his usually expressionless friend is showing him. "Ufujiji ashipuru, Michou, (You're really interesting, Mitsu,)" Syuusuke mused with a soft yawn, as he stetches upright.

"Aruvu ayachi inu moyushi, (It's already late in the morning,)" Kunimitsu responded, wanting to change the topic of conversation.

"Anja, gumoyushi adhafuu, Moshu Gumpi! (Well, good morning to you, too, Mr. Grumpy!)" Syuusuke continued teasing his friend, gently rubbing his closed eyes to adjust to the light.

"Mi nyu gumpi! (I'm not grumpy!)" Kunimitsu faced Syuusuke with a stern hazel glare.

No use, though, because Syuusuke just found his friend's reaction too cute. His Kunimitsu was sulking, for goodness sakes! His eyes are burning feiry embers... cherry lips in pouting reproach... chubby cheekballs fumed with carnations... And despite the annoyed look Kunimitsu was giving him, he giggled his amusement upon realizing the penguin jumper his friend was donned-in, before breaking into resounding cackles. "Kawaii~ Ajuwa kawaii, Michou~ (Cute~ Just too cute, Mitsu~)"

Seeming like his glares weren't having the intended effect on his cherub, Kunimitsu edged closer to Syuusuke, resorting to make true his threat. Without any forewarning, he raised both his wee arms, and lounge them towards the cherub's sides, earning him a very surprised yelp from Syuusuke. Then, he started tickling him in all possible places, making the latter laugh heartily.

Not one to be dominated, Syuusuke grabbed onto the yellow and black feather on top of Kunimitsu's jumper, effectively stunning his friend surprised. Then, with a widening mischievous smile, he retorted with his own tickling spree!

Thusly, began the chibi war! 3

Plush toys bombed unrelentingly here and there...

Huge beadbags playfully whacked and wham-ed onto their little forms...

Fluff pillows and blankets unguardedly flew over their heads...

Unhesitating tickling assaults came from everywhere, sending the two boys rolling all over the soft fluffiness...

Explosive giggles, cackles, chuckles, and laughters burst all around, until both had exhausted themselves tired.

With with evident bright smiles on their cute flushed faces, they slumped together- with Syuusuke laying atop the chrome blue beadbag 'again,' and Kunimitsu resting his back against it - for the needed rest. And that is how their okaasan's caught a glance at then amidst their mild chat.

"Dear, oh dear me," quipped Ayana upon noticing the state of their little boys, "those two haven't even been together that long, but look at the mess they've made!"

"Oh, I know what you mean, Ayana-chan. They could really be a handful at times, ne?" chuckled Yoshiko, as they watch their kids being kids. "But at least, Kunimitsu got Syuusuke up and pleasantly awake," she mused, earning her a inquiring glance from Ayana, to which she obligingly explained her side, "I mean, my baby could really be... uhm - how should I put this? - Syuusuke could really be stubborn in the mornings..."

"Not a morning person, I see," Ayana summed-up. "I don't have such problems with my son, since Kunimitsu's always an early riser," she beamed her friend a compassionate smile, but then tilted her head in a thoughtful manner, "though, I do sometimes wish I could sleep longer than four in the morning..."

"Saa... a negative correlation of problems we have here, ne?" Yoshiko smiled in understanding. "I do hope that by being together, our wonderful children would learn to balance each other's brightness."

"That would be a hard task, Yoshiko-chan," grinned Ayana, "seeing as to how competitive they are now, Kunimitsu and Syuusuke might just shine in rivaled stars~"

Yoshiko blinked at the assuming prediction of her friend, but soon found herself agreeing to the idea, "Possible, but I'm sure the brightness of their stars will overcome all obstacles together, just like ours~"

"Yes, I believe so, too," Ayana assented, though the playful quern of her smile remained visible, "unless they tried eating the brightness out of each other's star," she ended, making both ladies laughed at the far-fetched idea their chat was leading to.

Seeming obliviously to the matriarchs' conversation, the boys idled on their spots... Or at lease, Kunimitsu was trying to calm his worked-up nerves, whilst attempting to dissuade Syuusuke from poking and twiddling his head-feather over and again (a/n: good luck with that!
Still, the cherub was too amused with the yellow and black feather, that twirls with every change in Kunimitsu's reaction, and inwardly wonders what would happen if he bite it. And... *CHOMP!* OwO~*

"SHUKI! (SYUUSUKE!)" Kunimitsu fumbled, as an evident shudder run through his entire body, making his large caramels shot wide open. "Naju gijuwa riu?! (What are you doing?!)"

Syuusuke had by then released the head-feather from his mouth - so as not to damage his growing wisdom teeth - , allowing Kunimitsu to turn around and face him with a unpleased scowl. He held onto a innocent - though both know it's anything but that - goofy smile, "Ara vujugi, Michou~ Nyamu mi~(I'm hungry, Mitsu~ Feed me~)" Then he rolled over, so that he was now laying with his back against the beadbag.

It was often commented that Kunimitsu act more than his age was assumed to be, and be it so, he had the pulsing urge either to roll his bug-eyes or simply face-palm himself - yet he did neither - at Syuusuke's impulsiveness. With a soft sigh, he took out his pacifier from his pocket, and offered it to his cherub.

Sensing what his friend was offering, Syuusuke rolled over once more, so that he was now facing Kunimitsu's mesmerizing golden eyes, and blinked at the pacifier endearingly. Truth be told, he felt elated knowing that he tousle-haired boy trusts him enough to lend him his very own 'binky.' Kunimitsu might not vocally admit it, but the rosy glow on his adorable face and straightforward gaze told as much. The smaller boy, then, revealed his sparkling blues, hinting of both appreciation and mischief, and cooed, "Saa... Uruja shifu, Michou~ Maii udha nyau~ (Saa... You're so sweet, Mitsu~ Makes me want to eat you~)"

And though very much aware of the honey-brown haired boy's unpredictable tendencies, nothing could have prepared Kunimitsu for what followed those words...

Without further delay, Syuusuke latched onto His friend's cuddly arm, and playfully bit down on Kunimitsu's thumb!

Kunimitsu's huge ember doubled twice over, as his lips fell agape, unconsciously loosening his hold on his binky to the pull of gravity. It's an understatement to say that he was lost into the event that had just transpired... No. His brain is reeling so fast in his little head, his beat was drumming loudly in his chest, and he could distinctly feel the fuzzy flutters inside his stomach, as he watched Syuusuke bit and suck his thumb gleefully as though it was the binky! It didn't even help one bit to see the genuine smile playing on those rosen supple lips, that had no sooner send him warming all over into a lovely scarlet blush. ^.~

The look on Kunimitsu's face was definitely priceless, and Syuusuke was glad he was able to elicit such extent of emotional revelation from his friend. And receiving such wonderful gift, he saw it just befitting to relay his unspoken gratitude through the cosmic glows emanating from his sapphires.

Sure enough, the message was received clearly, as it had also awakened Kunimitsu from his entranced state. And the first thing his still very hazy and unsynchronized logic told him to do?

"Ma, Shuki achuu mi afuija! (Mom, Syuusuke bit my finger!) ^o^ " Kunimitsu blurted, before he even realized what he said. Clearly abashed at his outburst, he slapped his free hand over his mouth, hoping their okaasan's hadn't heard him, as he spared a side glance to the ladies.

Tough love, though, their okaasan's heard, and had spared no time to collect them respectively...

"Okay, that's enough, Syuusuke," warned Yoshiko, though clearly amused that her son hadn't release his bite on Kunimitsu's finger.

"Nyamu-nyamu~" Syuusuke sounded, still not letting go of the thumb. All the while, Kunimitsu stared at him in bewildering silence, and run his tiny pink tongue over his cherry lips. Yes, even being hungry is contagious... that is, watching someone hungry eating in bliss does makes one feel hungry as well, ne?

Ayana giggled at the scenario. "Seems like someone's already hungry, huh?" she asked, as she lightly tickled Syuusuke's barely visible neck (a/n: well, he's wearing an higuma jumper, where usually only the face and hands and feet of the wearer are visible, so clearly the outfit is quite loose for his petite form... Still, I'm sure he looks perfectly and adorably cute in the plush jumper ^^=).

The Tezuka matriarch's tickles made Syuusuke crack in merry cackles, effectively letting go of his friend's hand. And unconsciously - or not - Kunimitsu begun sucking onto the very same thumb (a/n: woah! isn't that their first kiss? *o* wait, correct that! this is actually their very first indirect mouth-to-mouth kiss~!), showing that he's now feeling hungry, as well.

"Well, looks like my angel's not only one," Yoshiko responded, slightly tilting her head for her friend notice her 'thumb-sucking' son.

Her Kunimitsu doesn't do thumb-sucking... Usually, he would politely - if not, the occasional crying loudly in the twilight hours of dawn - ask to be feed should he be hungry. But seeing her son doing something out of his comfort zone, delighted Ayana. "I guess you're right, Yoshiko-chan."

The group headed to the dining area, where both young mothers prepare food for the boys and themselves. When they were done, the ladies set the table, settled the children on the twin high-chair, sitting themselves on their respective sides.

Needless to say, the food prepared were simply scrumptious, despite how ordinary the serving might have deceived. The baby foods were also prepared thoughtfully, and placed before their boys. A bowl of mashed macadamian nuts mixed with sweetened soy milk steamed into perfect creaminess for Syuusuke, and a helping of finely grated - pulverized - hazelnuts mixed with full-cream milk and honey stir-boiled to ideal smoothness for Kunimitsu.

With bright faced, the boys reached for their spoons and dug it into their bowls. Especially Kunimitsu - albeit the expressionless visage, his embers were twinkling, as he ate spoon after spoon. (a/n: I'll leave it to you're imagination how neat or messy this cutie eats his cerelac ^^= I'm kind of curious, though, on how much stain his bib sustains after his daily meals...) He was thoroughly enjoying his meal, when he noticed Syuusuke, who apparently haven't started eating yet, frowning at his own bowl. Out of concerned for his friend's questinabke behavior, he asked in hush, "Shuki?(Syuusuke?)"

Syuusuke's frown quickly dissipated, as he faced his golden-eyed friend, but his lips quivered slightly, as he shook his head in attempt of assuring Kunimitsu that everything was fine, and began stirring his cerelac.

Kunimitsu placed his spoon down with a light tap, a concerned crease appearing on his face, as he tugged onto the smaller boy's higuma jumper. There was obviously something wrong if as hungry as Syuusuke is, he won't even taste his food. The light tugging earned him no reaction from his friend, and so he reach for the latter's snowdrop hand in a motion of telling him of his unwavering presence.

At the skin contact of Kunimitsu's firm hand, Syuusuke stopped stirring his food, but still refused to look up, as he softly answered, "hyu... (hot...)"

With a slight tilt of his chocolate-mopped head, Kunimitsu released his hold on Syuusuke's hand in favor of feeling the exterior of the cherub's bowl. He waited for the heat to rise, but the bowl felt lukewarm to his touch, and let it be known, "iju wamu. (it's warm.)"

Syuusuke merely shook his head, "chupishu... (spice...)"

Still Kunimitsu didn't get what Syuusuke is trying to say, but proceed to using his own spoon to taste the cherub's food. Reminded of a certain milk incident, he squinted his hazels shut, preparing for the burst of spiciness. But there was none of it, rather the dish was made perfect... just sweet, and made it known to his friend. "Iju shii, Shuki. (It's sweet, Syuusuke.)"

Syuusuke shook his head again, his small hands balling into gripping his spoon, as he uttered a firm but soft, "Nyu! (No!)"

Utterly confused, Kunimitsu frowned and crossed his arms, then leaned back with a soft defeated sigh. It's not that he had lost appetite in his cerelac, just that he didn't feel like eating now that his friend's won't even touch his food.

Ayana soon noted that his son had stopped eating - credit due to how his son's yellow and black head-feather had slouched down forward. -.-" She gently inquired the cause of Kunimitsu's action, "what's the matter, dear one?"

Kunimitsu looked at his okaasan, then turn to look at his cherub as he answered in a tone that hinted of concern, "Shuki ajudhan miyu. (Syuusuke is not eating his meal.)"

Yoshiko, who was watching them, immediately turned to her own son with concern written in her beautiful features. "Is there something wrong with your food, dearest?"

Syuusuke looked-up at his okaasan with his big glimmering cerulean orbs, silently, as if hesitating... then slowly asked what he wanted, "... wawa? (... wasabi?)"

Yoshiko's jades flashed into view, looking quite stunned that she had totally forgotten 'that.' "Oh, so sorry, Syuusuke. I totally forgot!" she stroked Syuusuke's head apologetically, before quickly taking the wasabi paste from the cupboard and gaving it to her son.

The instant Syuusuke saw the wasabi tube, his cuteness lit-up into a bright smile, clapping his little hands ecstatically, and hugged his okaasan gratefully. "Chiju yo, mama~! (Thank you, mommy~!)"

Yoshiko apologetically looked at her friend, a bashful flora still evident in her ageless face. "Sorry about that. My Syuusuke really loves spicy goods, don't you, dearest?" she asked her son to construe her words, earning her an assenting nod from Syuusuke, as he took another spoonful. "I guess he got that from me," she concluded with a soft giggle.

Kunimitsu, who was watching Syuusuke press a three-peas-size wasabi into his cerelac, looked on as the cherub stirred it in until his food became slightly green in color, and as he ate a spoonful in heavenly bliss. 'Yes, a happy Syuusuke is definitely more beautiful than anything else,' the tousle-haired youth inwardly nodded, before quickly adding, 'well, except okaasan will always be the most beautiful woman.' _

"He sure did," Ayana agreed with a wide knowing smile, "though it still gives me goosebumps when I remember how you drank that large Malaysian smoking red hot chili soup in one go during one of our college outings." Then, she pretended a shiver running down her spine, making her friend eye her in jest disbelief.

'Anyways, all is well again,' Kunimitsu thought inwardly... That is, until he noticed the proffered spoon beside him, causing him to raise an eyebrow at his friend. But then his huge hazels widened a nano bit upon remembering the milk incident withe the playhouse guardians... He really should have known, Syuusuke loves his wasabi - a lot. And should his memory serve him right, a pinch of spiciness to the cherub is equivalent to at least three spoon-full of Tabasco sauce! (a/n: I personally experience eating this once for a contest or a dare - I don't really remember - and all I can say is it burned like hell in my mouth! =_=,) But seeing how elated Syuusuke is right that moment, Kunimitsu simply couldn't bear to make his friend sad by refusing to taste his food, and so he chomped onto the cherub's spoon, prepared for the fiery explosion... His huge hazels shut tightly as the spoon gently slipped out of his cherry lips...

Yoshiko, took an 'I'm-hurt' look, complete with the delicate frown and irresistible pout on her face. "Well, you should be thankful for that, ne?" she threw wistfully, as she popped a cherry-tomato into her mouth, "it was because of my eccentric set of taste-buds that we won and got to lodge in the best and most luxurious room in that hotel for free for the whole duration of our trip back then."

Ponderously though, instead of the sting Kunimitsu was expecting, he found the taste of this greenish cerelac rather interesting. True to the point, the spiciness of wasabi greeted his taste-buds like a sudden gust of wind, hot and cold in one sweep, but what followed drew his mind blank and swayed him into the ambrosial feast. The spiciness soon melded in perfect harmony with the sweet creamy saltiness of macadamian nuts, smoothed by the rich texture of soy milk. It was indeed an exquisite explosion of flavor, and the spicy kick of the only allures one into craving for the delight more and more!

"True, so true," Ayana nodded, but the challenging glint in her silver-grays remained alit, "I salute you hands down for that. But let's not discount the fact that the very young - and very handsome, if I may add - was already droollingly oggling and hopelessly head-over-heels for you even before we actually entered the contest." Her smile soon riser further into teasing, "so to say, we didn't even have to enter that contest to get that room. You could've just asked him for it, and I'm sure he would've given it to you - no questions asked!"

"Dear, oh dear, please stop," Yoshiko convincingly played coy, knowing very well of Ayana's teasing streak, "my honey-bear might hear you!"

After savoring the heavenly flavant remaing in his tongue, Kunimitsu faced Syuusuke with blazing embers of determination, and... The smiling cherub looked back at him with expectant sapphires... With much seriousness in his already stoic cuteness... Syuusuke grinned knowingly... Kunimitsu offered his cherub a pair of thumbs-up! His yellow and black head-feather was at an all-time tall, as if doing an standing ovation! But Syuusuke was still waiting for that one irreplaceable medallion... Kunimitsu smiled at him that coveted precious smile, and Syuusuke's day - even if it's just halfway through - is complete!

"Oh, please," Ayana waved her had gracefully, "your angel is too busy hugging my dear one, to hear me." She was obviously stealing glances at their children - Syuusuke was hugging and rubbing his cheeksballs affectionately against her son's own, while Kunimitsu was blushing beet red but evidently smiling within the warm touch - and knew Yoshiko was also doing the same from the way her beautiful smile curved adoringly. "Besides, you eventually married that gorgeously magnificent man, didn't you? So, what's there to be shy about, Yoshiko-chan?"

"Yes," Yoshiko replied, as her features soften to genuine happiness and contentment, "and now we have these two wonder children in our family. What more could I ask for, ne? Maybe another child would be nice..." she trailed dreamingly.

Ayana could only smile understandingly, knowing her friend has always been a romantic person - affectionate but really wise -, and so chose her words with care. "That would be lovely, Yoshiko-chan. But I think my Kunimitsu is enough for me," she said, as she gently stroke her son's back, "I would like to dote all my attention on him, all the love and affection I can give him."

"Careful there, Ayana-chan," Yoshiko mildly warned, "you might spoil Kunimitsu with that."

"Uhm, that's kind of the idea, Yoshiko-chan," Ayana chuckled softly, making her friend tilt her head in silent askance. "You see, with father's traditional and strict ubringing, as well as my hubby's high dreams and expectations for Kunimitsu, I'd like to be the one to support him and the one he draws strength from when things get hard. I'd like to be the one with whom he can let his entire guard down."

"Yes, I understand what you mean, as I also wanted to be that with my children," Yoshiko nodded her approval. "My husband would most likely be in great distance from us in the future, and in his absence, I want to be strong for our children. I'd want to be able to protect them, and provide for them, that they'd be in need and want for nothing. I'd want to be there for them, as they find their true selves and stand independently on their own feet. I'd want to be their pillar of support."

"Pillar of support, huh?" Ayana mused, "that's a very nice way of putting it... I like it! We will always be their pillar of support, just like they will always be our children..." she smiled thoughfully. Then, they were silent for a moment, watching their boys soon to finish their meals. "Ne, aren't we becoming too sentimental? I mean, they're still our adorable little babies..."

Yoshiko release a bellan chuckle, "it'll be a lot faster than you realize. Them, growing up, school, girls, work, and before you know it, they'll be starting their own families..."

"I know that, but even then, they'll still be our babies!" Ayana stated with firm resolution.

Yoshiko watched the sparkles of a great mother in her friend's silver-gray orb, and knew the sage of her words. She knew in her heart that what Ayana said was and will always be true. "Yes, come what may, they'll always be our precious little babies."

Under their okaasan's loving gazes, the boys, who had long been done with their meals, were 'innocently' playing with their spoons... and a neon jackstone ball Kunimitsu strangely found inside his other pocket.

'Ah, Yumiko-née probably had stealthily put it there earlier this morning,' Kunimitsu though, as he hooked another shot with his silverware, sending the neon jackstone bouncing towards the cherub's side of their shared table. (a/n: most probably how their first tennis - more like 'table tennis' really - match would go, though I don't really know a thing about playing tennis, so forgive my misgivings, ne? :D)

Syuusuke was better than ready on his side, and soon returned the neon bouncing back to his friend. It was very much like the sport he often seen the Chinese athletes triumphantly conquered in Olympic games, Teble Tennis - or as his née-san like to call it, Ping-Pong -, but to him, the thrill of the game was still very much lacking. He kept having this feeling like he needed to move on a vast space, like run and jump, but since they still aren't capable of those, he had to make with the do using his short arms, and sliced another shot towards his friend.

Kunimitsu knew this was only supposed to be a game for fun, as his cherub seemed like he wasn't playing seriously at all, but somewhere inside him he knew he wanted to see more... feel more... achieve more. Sure, he wanted to win, but he wanted more than that. He wanted to see the sharp confidence in Syuusuke's cerulean orbs display in action. With that in mind, he took shot after shot in a rally of perfect precision, until he was cornered to do a smash with the speeding neon jackstone.

It was clearly a chance ball for Syuusuke, the shot he was manipulating their rally to take. He knew he had to risk taking the shot to win... For a gifted genius, like himself, there are millions of ways he could have avoided bending into the clearly imposed challenge, but he knew he couldn't back down from this one shot. He knew as much as he felt Kunimitsu's ember pull him into revealing his concealed potential. He had taken the bait... Felt the soft feather-lite wind surround his lithe cuddly bear form, as he swiftly turned around and swiped to neon ball sky-high and ricocheting in high-speed down to Kunimitsu.

The shot surprised Kunimitsu, but he already anticipated such unique and awe-inspiring ability from Syuusuke, and took the dare of returning the favor. He squinted his bright golden orbs up to see the neon ball still suspended in mid-air, just an iota after it reached it's projectile's peak. With their handicap of inability to stand or jump as of yet, he knew he only had nano of time to execute a counter before the jackstone bombs judgement of the winner... So, without further hesitation, he pushed himself from his seat, using their table's edge to support his unbalanced form, reached as high as his short arms could extend his spoon... And maneuvered the neon ball back in a nonreturnable shot... It dived towards Syuusuke's side of the table without any leeway of a bounce, then skidded back determinedly.

Syuusuke, who witnessed the magnificent exhibition of raw innate talent, was stunned silent... Awaken only by when the neon jackstone hit the floor with liberated bounce. His sapphires were in full twinkling revelation, as his smile returned in gleeful bloom. "Krujuasho mo ouniji, Kumichou,(Congratulations on winning, Kunimitsu,)" he said, as he extended a handshake, "dhan gumishuu. (that was a nice game.)"

"Hn." Kunimitsu accepted the handshake, as he opined, "kujibubu aiyuu cha gimi chiriuri amacha, Shuki. (could've been better had you taken the game seriously from the start, Syuusuke.)"

"Vuu wayu papuru fushan, (But we're only playing for fun,)" Syuusuke shrugged, taking a drink from his sippy-cup.

Kunimitsu's fully defined eyebrow twitched at his friend's care-freeness, and mildly rebuked, "vuchiru ie yo nagachu wa! (you still shouldn't let your guard down!)"

"Saa... adhan vachuru, ne, wachu o shishiu, (Saa... That's just like you, ne, always so serious,)" Syuusuke chuckled, as he slightly tilted his cuddly little head in amusement. Then, his merry azures sliced open, granting his smile a meaningful dare. "Aufushu juno, aiji nyuwush chapufu twaji. Vuu baji wachuju. (Just so you know, I never lose to the same person twice. So you better watch out.)"

Seeing that his words somehow got through to his cherub, Kunimitsu allowed his lips an invisible grin. "Ifudhan chaguru ? (Is that a challenge?)"

"Hmm~" Syuusuke cooed in vague response, "whachu o idhanku? (what do you think?)"

"Ah." was Kunimitsu's immediate answer, understanding very well the grave seriousness of Syuusuke's words, despite the perpetual smile gracing his delicate features. "Aiku wachii. (I'll be waiting.)"

"Vaja guu! (Very good!)" Syuusuke exclaimed, evidently delighted at the unspoken promise of a future match. His azures were concealed once more, as his smile softened into curiosity. He leaned towards his friend in disarming purpose, "vachuwa, wajudhan lash tenyuu ushipai? (by the way, what was that last technique you used?)"

From the corner of his hazels, Kunimitsu could see their okaasan's cleaning the tables and washing the dishes, and deem it fitting to behave as proper. And knowing how unpredictable the cherub is, he decided that he better suffice Syuusuke's adorable curiosity, else anyone suffer whatever that consequences run in the smaller boy's bright mind. "Au duwop shotu... (A drop shot...)"

"Au shupizhu duwop shotu? (A service drop shot?)" Syuusuke ask, breaming with much thoughtful interest, "jiji apufu bonshu erlu shi pichipon... (But it didn't bounce like those I see in television...)"

"Aiji mi nyuu-bonshu duwop shotu, (It's my no-bounce drop shot,)" Kunimitsu tried to clarify the significant diffence of his very own technique from the ordinary drop shot. And he couldn't help the heat of blush pinching his cheekballs for lacking what better name to address his technique as. (a/n: I know Tezuka is fully capable of thinking of big intimidating names for his shots, but they probably lack the creative label like in Fuji's counters... ;p)

Syuusuke had clearly notice the lacking spark, and giggled a rescue. "Daiiki enchuru mimi, Michou, umo ai dulruwa bijan mimi chuu. (That's an interesting name, Mitsu, but I think I've got a better name for it.)" His suggestion unassumingly earned a curious look from his friend, thus, he inquired litely - though his smile solicits no other answer than an affirmation -, "oro wachi uphio ne? (do you want to hear it?)"

Kunimitsu read the message behind the cherub's smile, and was filled with thoughts of what 'unique' labels the child-wonder had come-up with. He was conflicted whether to insist his ground, or partake with the mystery of a genius. Surely, Syuusuke would be gracious enough not to give hash tags, like 'Fluffy Bunny Drop Shot,' or worse 'Pingu Ouji-sama Drop Shot,' right? Well, here goes nothing, he prepped himself, as he swallowed a puff of courage. "Hn."

Syuusuke momentarily took a thinking stance, as if sorting out the best of his ideas, before revealing his sparking cerulean orbs in excitement. "Tsuru-Shiki Duwop Shotu, (Zero-Degrees / Zero-Shiki Drop Shot,)" he relayed in full confidence, "bifu, ijine? Iji orufudhan, poshu aguju shupuiojii uñi, aiko 'puu meoshi buu, oryuji buriu aijin.' (Better, isn't it? It's original, plus it's got the superiority edge in it, like 'don't mess with the boss, or you'll get buried alive.')" The cherub laughed feather-lightly as he expressed his thoughts, all the while still looking expectantly at his tousle-haired friend.

"A-ah." Kunimitsu inwardly sighed in relief, then repeated the tag with a soft smile on his cherry lips, "mi Tsuru-Shiki Duwop Shotu... (my Zero-Degrees Drop Shot...)" Evidently contented and happy, his thoughts reverted back to the unique technique his cuddly friend made earlier. " Avuji fitha shotu uumachi, wa yuuko chi? (About that final shot you made, what do you call it?)"

"Hmm..." Syuusuke was slightly taken aback when he hazel-eyed boy turned the question on him, but he managed to keep his smile in-tact. Still, he couldn't help the soft bashful pinks tinting his face, "Ai julru vie. Aidhan guu mopi aja, shugapru umajiphaa. (I don't know yet. I've just tried that move today, so it's still unidentified.)"

"Ai xhii...(I see...)" Kunimitsu nodded understandingly, whilst he reviewed the replaying the motion in his bright little head, not fully aware that he was actually voicing out - albeit softly - his thoughts, " ija amugoshi grupon higuma... (it almost seem like a glomping bear...)"

Where that thought came from, Syuusuke didn't know, but it made him feel like his penguin-cladded friend was making fun of him. But it seemed as though his friend wasn't, because his yellow and black head-feather wasn't flapping up and down like when he's trying to be funny, and so made Kunimitsu's words all the more confusing to him (a/n: and they call him a tensai~). "Ara fufu, Kumichou, Mira Pingu chimafu mi higuma jupa! (Really funny, Kunimitsu. Mr. Penguin's making fun of my bear jumper!)"

Syuusuke's comment immediately woke Kunimitsu from his personal bubble, shaking his head as he tried appeasing the former, "no, uji khan papuru fabiru, Shu. (no, you look perfectly fine, Syuu.)" He, then, reached to uncrossed his friend's arms, soothing circles apologetically behind those soft hands. "Ai mija rafubu ji shotu agu madachi kuru mimashu... Iji furu avuucha grupon higuma... (I meant to refer about the shot you made to counter my smash... It felt a lot like a glomping bear...)"

"Wu mijashi au furu higuma? (You mean as in a falling bear?)" Syuusuke asked, as he tilted his head in revived curiosity, feeling better after his friend's assurance.

"Hn." Kunimitsu nodded in affirmation. "Ilchui duwopi au higuma burshahh!(Like dropping a bear bomb!)", he expressed, throwing his wee arms way up, as if mimicking an explosion. Then, he captured his friend attention with his huge energized embers, relaying his amazement, "au Hijuma Oshishi! (a Bear Drop / Higuma Otoshi!)"

"Hijuma Oshishi? (Bear Drop?)" Syuusuke repeated the label for self-approval, earning him a determined nod from his friend, which made him genuinely smile in gratitude. "Mi wachii! Miu varuru Hijima Oshishi! Tachou junami miu taichii, Michou. (I like it! My very own Bear Drop! Thanks for naming my technique, Mitsu.)"

"Hn." Kunimitsu assented with arms akimbo, "Iyoji firudhan ai giccunami uja yuu miru, Shu. (it's only fair that I get to name yours as you did mine, Syuu.)"

"Aija, aija, (Right,right,)" Syuusuke cooed playfully. This confident pride Kunimitsu rarely publicly display amused the cherub, making Syuusuke laugh with belles of merriment. "Michou itanju kawaii~ (Mitsu is just too cute~)", he said as he spread his wee arms wide open, and enveloped Kunimitsu in a tight affectionate embrace, "Ai juwachu iskusho mishoa biiiijhu higuma hamo~ (I just want to squish you into a biiiig bear hug~)"

Within the tight affection, a warm feeling filled Kunimitsu, and without further thought he returned the hug with a firm squeeze and an picturesque smile.

A few moments later, their okaasan's returned to the dining area, and witnessed the heart-warming closeness their boys had formed. With wide smiles, they approached the two with hygienic purpose.

"Okay, that's enough hugging you two," Yoshiko cooed, as he patted her son's Teddy head, "or else mommy's gonna be jealous."

Recognizing his okaasan's gentleness, Syuususke giggle gleefully, releasing hold of his friend, and raised his wee arms, beckoning for her embrace. "Mama~!"

Obligingly, Yoshiko scooped her angel into her loving arms, earning her an affectionate - and slightly ticklish - nozzle on her neck. She kissed the top of Syuusuke's head, before informing her friend of their schedule. "It's about time for Syuususke's bath," she said, watching Ayana lift Kunimitsu out of the high-chair, "the bathtub and the kiddie pool are already prepared, complete with warm water and water toys. Would Kunimitsu want to join-in, ne, Ayana-chan?

Kunimitsu blinked at the invitation. A bath (a/n: yes, the wonders of young 'innocent' minds - no green jellies intended ^_~)... a pool... a lot of toys... meaning, more playtime for him and his cherub. He looked ahead and saw, Syuususke look back at him with sparkling azures - anticipating and expectant. Then, he looked at his okaasan with huge caramel orbs, whilst rubbing his small palms together, silently pleading 'yes, I want to. Can I? Please~'

"Is that okay, Yoshiko-chan?" Ayana hesitantly asked after noticing her son's request, "I mean, we don't want to be intruding..."

"It's fine, Ayana-chan," Yoshiko chuckled in assurance, "besides, I'm sure our boys would have lots of fun! Right, Syuusuke?" And the cherub encouraged his okaasan's words, wriggling in her arms in attempt to reach forwards to his friend.

"I guess you're right," Ayana smiled, as she stole a kiss on Kunimitsu's chubby cheeks, earning her the brightest sparkle of golden films in her son's ember orbs.

The matriarchs chuckled at their boy's enthusiasm, separated momentarily to collect the stuff they each needed, then soon headed to the wide pristine bathroom. The ladies each prepped their little ones side-by-side, secretly glancing - albeit fully aware of each other's comparative eyes - at the other's motherly touch (a/n: reminds me of King Midas' Touch, where everything turns to gold... I assume every woman develops this gift when they enter motherhood, though each has a different personal glint to it, ne? ^_^~*).

As Ayana was helping her son out of the penguin jumper, Kunimitsu was on an all out haste to be rid of it, and practically kicked it off when it reach his cute little feet~ Ah! finally he was out of that embarrassing suit... But soon he let out a shiver at the absence of warm clothing, making him blush under his mother's watchful eyes. And he blushed a tad darker when he sensed her silver-grays lustered with a teasing 'I-told-you-so.' Still can't help his shivers, and he placed his wee hands over his beet-red ears for warmth.

"Ne, Ayana-chan, you can go ahead with Kunimitsu in he baby tub," cued Yoshiko upon noticing the tousle-haired child shiver, "Syuusuke'll follow suit, after I get him out of his jumper."

"Ah, thanks, Yoshiko-chan," Ayana smiled gratefully, before taking Kunimitsu into the warm baby tub.

Oooh~ The water felt so good against his skin... Like he was in an onsen~ =_= So warm and soothing it was, that Kunimitsu allowed his large hazels to droop shut and bask into the soothing sensation, letting out a soft but evidently satisfied, "ahh~ " =_=~*


The sudden cry had snapped Kunimitsu from calmness, and was now peering over the edge of the baby tub in assessment of the situation. Apparently, their okaasan's were hovering over the reluctant cherub, who was tightly clutching his higuma jumper. An invisible frown formed on his cute face, as he slightly shook his head over the displayed 'childishness.'

"Syuusuke, please stay still," Yoshiko mildly reprimanded, as she tried to remove the plush higuma jumper her son was determined to hold-on to.

"NO!" Syuuske exclaimed firmly, as he crouched himself into an adorable furball, his small hands tightly gripping his Teddy bear headgear and his knees pulled to his chest.

"Eh~ Seems like you having difficulties with your little angel, Yoshiko-chan," Ayana amusedly peered into her friend and Syuusuke's battle of will.

"Ah, you could say that," Yoshiko answered her with a slight hint of embarrassment, "you see, Yumiko made that bear jumper as a gift to my dearest, and, as you have noticed, Syuusuke likes it very much and has become very much attached to it. And, well, everytime he gets to wear it, it becomes kind of troublesome to take it off of him." She explained the situation to Ayana, whilst allowing her son to some more time with his beloved jumper.

Ayana chuckled at that, and offered her own thoughts. "At least you get to put it on him without any complaint," she smiled compassionately, before she lift her slender arms akimbo, "you should have seen my Kunimitsu when I managed to make him wear that cute penguin jumper. By golly, he could really be stubborn as a mule! Throwing cute tantrums, punching, kicking, and biting away!" XD

"Really now?" Yoshiko amusedly responded, picturing the proper little Kunimitsu throwing his wee arms and legs rebelliously. "That's another polar opposite of the same problem, ne? Hearing that, I'm now very certain that your son and mine will really be great friends."

"Well, as they say, opposite attracts~" Ayana giggled in agreement.

Both ladies laughed light-heartedly, glancing over their own sons lovingly. Then, once again, Yoshiko reached for her son, and tried to gently pry the higuma jumper off of Syuusuke (a/n: just imagine how hard this tug-of-wars turned out to be~ *snickers* :} ). After further struggle, she finally triumphed in removing the higuma plush suit from her angel, but the sight before struck her with a tug of guilt in her gentle heart...

Being but a little child, there is just as strength Syuusuke could muster against his doting mother. And as soon as the plush suit was taken out of his reach, Syuusuke's big ceruean orb shakingly dilated, welling up with seas of crystal tears, as his lips quivered defeatedly, then...


"Oh dear, here we go again," Yoshiko sighed and leaned head upon her hand, watching as her crying angel's small Snowdrop hands balled and rubbed his lidded tearful eyes, his little feet stomp and kick over the the sterile cloth he was sitting on - good thing there weren't stuff lying around the cherub's immediate vicinity, or they'll either be flying off, spilled over, or dropped in chaotic mess by then -, and bawling on the top of his lungs.

Truth be told, this was the first time Kunimitsu saw his friend without his bright disarming smile. Yes, he had already seen a lot of different expression from Syuusuke - a teasing / playful smile, a determined smile, a manipulative smile, a secretive smile, soft glittering azures, furious sapphires, and a whole lot more -, but never one as vulnerable. He felt his heart twinge at the sight, turning his small form towards the edge of the baby tub, and giving all attention to his crying cherub. "... Shuki, pui shupru wawu... (... Syuusuke, please stop crying...)" Kunimitsu uttered so softly, having the feeling that if he volumes up his voice he would start crying as well.

"Tadaima, minna~" a lot bubbly voice echoed from the halls of the Fuji's abode, before the little girl's head peeped visibly on the bathroom doorway. "Oh, right, it's bathtime!"

"Ah, okeiri, Yumiko," greeted her okaasan, as Ayana smiled at her genially.

Upon noting her crying otouto, Yumiko smiled understanding her okaasan's unspoken askance for assistance, approached and gently took Syuususke into her arms. She rubbed soothing circles onto his otouto's back, as she calmed him with her voice. "Hush now, baby brother, hush now."

"O- *hic* mi higuma... (B- *hic* my bear...)" Syuusuke managed to say between calming sobs, tightly holding onto Yumiko, with his big still-puffy cerulean orbs welling with another serge of tears.

It has always been a wonder how Yumiko was able to calm the cherub, especially when the boy is throwing a stubborn tantrum, but Yoshiko is definitely pleased with and grateful for her little girl's innate motherly ability. "Come now, dearest," Yoshiko cooed towards Syuusuke, "Yumiko's almost done with your new jumper, just adding a few more finishing touches here and there. And I've already washed and dried it, so you can wear it later," she offered gently, earning her a quick curious glance from her son, who immediately turned a pleading gaze at his beloved née-san. Yumiko, in turn, smiled wider and nodded reassuringly, making a very small appear under Syuusuke's still pouting carnation lips. Seeing that her angel had generally calmed down, Yoshiko adoringly took her son into her arms, and kissed his chubby cheeks. "See over there?" she said, usher their vision towards the baby tub, "Kunimitsu had long been waiting for you to join him in there. So be a good boy now, dearest, and take a bath with your friend, ne?"

Syuusuke's cerulean orbs was drawn into the comforting allure of Kunimitsu's embers, effectively making him feel a whole lot better. The cherub slowly nodded his response to his okaasan's query, whilst watching his friend's golden orbs twinkle determinedly and invitingly at him with out-reached arms, and he reached forth in silent acceptance.

Yoshiko smiled at Syuusuke's obedience, and soon lowered him into the baby tub, while Yumiko diluted a three cups of mild hypoallergenic liquid soap into the water. Soon after washing her hands, the little girl excused herself to finish her latest jumper project for her otouto. The ladies lingered for a while, warms affections in their soft gazes, before momentarily leaving the room for some task.

Kunimitsu watched his cherub with steadfast gaze, knowing that despite the smile on his face, Syuusuke was still sulking inside. His well-defined brown slowly knitted together after noting that the honey-brunette has no inclination of sharing his thoughts to him, and was somehow ignoring his concern.

Syuusuke, on the other hand, was well aware of his friend's studying gaze but feigned ignorance to it, as he played with the floating rubber toys between them, generating a few bubbles on the splish-splash. He didn't want to trouble his friend with his fetish, besides he was already dying of embarrassment inside after realizing that Kunimitsu had witness his 'little' - okay, not so little... more verging on being a stubborn childish brattling, maybe? - breakdown earlier, and want nothing more than to hide himself... yet he didn't want to leave Kunimitsu's side. He was still very much in his own little bubble of thoughts, when... a roaring wave splashed and drenched his form! Syuusuke, who was very much surprised by the attack, blink his huge cerulean bug-eyes into clear reality, then turned to the only possible perpetrator.

Kunimitsu let out a very satisfied smirk. Finally, the cherub was looking at him... noticing him... was looking at him with darkening azures... was smiling at him with a mischievous grin... Uh-oh! O.O Then, there it flew... *BOINK!*

The rubber ducky Syuusuke was wading the water with moments before no sooner playfully - though with as much tender revenge - hit Kunimitsu squarely on the forehead! His azures clearly stating the unvoiced 'Well, you started it, Mitsu~ Now, we're even!' }

A glinting golden embers accepted the challenge, relaying the unspoken 'Bring it on!' }-)

(a/n: need I say anymore? :P There goes Round 3! O_O~*)

Tidal waves of bubbly water soon splashed amess all over the place, as opposite sides took-on their battle mode... Then without a second to spare...

*SQUIRT! SQUIRT!* sprayed the the rubber ducky!

*PICHIU! PICHIU! PICHIU!* spewed back the squishy fishes!

Soapy bath foams were increasingly building up barricade against their sharp 20/20 visions, but even that couldn't stop the water battle!

*CHOMP! CHOMP! CHOMP!* went the sneaky targeting shark, but was purposely kicked off-course!

*RAHH-TATATATATAHH!* went three torpedo-ing submarines, though quickly swept away by the strong tides and ripples!

The thickening foams of bubbles were spreading like wild-fire, as incandescent bubbles care-freely flew in mid-air, popping melodically with mild scented drops!





The great battle went on, as no side had any intention of giving-in, no hesitation to spare, no account to hinder! It was an all out determining battle of mind and will!


It was seeming like a never-ending battle, when...

*SHUFUAAKK!* forcefully slammed the fully loaded bath-sponge onto marble floor!

"Oh, my goodness gracious!" remarked Yoshiko upon seeing the shocking state their bathroom was currently in, but soon plunged into the humongous chunk of foamy bubbles where they supposedly had left their 'good' little boys, "Syuusuke! Kunimitsu! Oh, please be safe!"

Hearing the worried voice of her friend, Ayana had also entered the wading mess in the bathroom, just in time to see Yoshiko carrying their sons - covered with bubbles here and about - out of the foamy giant. The sight was indeed worrisome, but the frown on her friend's beauty against the gleeful smiles on the kids' faces was enough to send her into a laughing fit. But upon noting the scowl on her friend's youthful feature, she tried with much effort to stifle her giggles down, "ah, gomen, gomen~"

Yoshiko stuck her tongue out at Ayana in slight annoyance, before handing Kunimitsu to her. Yes, she was slightly irritated at being an unwilling subject to her friend's unwarranted amusement, but their closeness clearly foretells she couldn't possibly be mad at her friend for long - so to say, after she apologized to her, the petty crack totally disappeared. Yoshiko gave Ayana a wistful smile meant to assure at the same time also apologize for her unlady-like reaction earlier, earning her at grateful nod from the latter. Afterwards, she let out a defeated sigh, turned around to grab another basin and filled it with warm water.

"My, you two really have created quite a mess in such short notice, ne?" Ayana mildly reprimanded - though still tinged with amusement - Kunimitsu, who had his head down, twiddling his little fingers, and responded her an 'apologetic excuse', "Ai uwajuji hapahn Shuki fui bachuu... (I was only helping Syuusuke feel better...)"

"Well, since you two already had your 'fun' in the tub, you don't get to use the kiddie pool today," said the now smiling Yoshiko, though her voice clearly carrying a 'this-is-your-punishment-for-making-such-a-mess-of -our-bathroom' tone. This doesn't seem to make an impact on Syuususke, though, as the lively cherub affectionately rubbed his little still-soapy-wet head against his okaasan's neck as he hugged her delightfully tight. Seeing that her angel was back to his normal self, Yoshiko's smile softened, and returned the affection with caressing her son's back. But still her resolute mind stands firmly, there will strictly be no using of kiddie pool that afternoon for the boys. -.-" Well, after such extensive game, the boys had completely forgotten about the pool... besides, they much rather enjoyed themselves closely with each other in the limited space of the baby tub. ^.~

With the clean water in the basin, both mothers washed their respective sons off the soapy water, cleaned their entire form, and dried them thoroughly with warm fluffy vanilla scented towels. Then the matriarchs separated to take a change of clothing for their boys and clad them with warm decency.

*vrrrrruummmmm~* went the warm hair-dryer, as Ayana gently dries Kunimitsu's tousled locks with it. Kunimitsu - now clad in a Labrador jumper (he thought that a doggy would suit him better than a penguin :3), minus the head gear, for now - sat still, feeling a lot relaxed as his okaasan gently massage his small form. So relaxing it felt, his mind unconsciously went wandering into day-dream, that soon sent him into *yawn~* nap-nap land. (a/n: well, he's still a baby, he also gets tired after '3 rounds of playing' and need his rest... ^ ^=)

******** (In the vastness of space and time, where deep consciousness, imagination and dreams collide) ********

It was a bright, beautiful day... The wind softly gliding in surrounding comfort... The grassy lea dancing with amorous blossoms... The sight was simply, breath-takingly entrancing, one would feel so much liberty...

So much of so, one could just feel the pulsation to run and run with insurmountable freedom!

Running and running, no beginning, no specific destination... Just freedom in a utopian paradise!

But as he reached a beautiful bed of honey-bright Marigold, he felt a calling to stop and bask at such tranquil beauty. There he sat into serene relaxation, that is until he noticed something amiss...

He frowned his sharp embers and looked at his hands... His feet... To his surprise, they were now non-human's, but rather paws! For all the running and lightness he felt since reveling into this place, he realized he had been running on fours. Mustering as much control to not panic (a/n: though as he is then, he would have been running in circles, like a puppy chasing it's own tail D), he immediately search for any reflector and chanced upon a crystalline stream. Catiously he edge over and saw what he had become...

Tezuka Kunimitsu had become a golden-brown Labrador puppy! O.O

Wait, how could this possibly be? The question stormed into his tiny furry form, as his paws tinkered with his wide droopy ears anxiously. Just then, the most plausible answer came to him... This just had to be a dream... Yes, his dream... Remembering now that he had probably fallen asleep within his Labrador jumper, thus explain his current form. A dream... Fairly well, he presumed, when suddenly all his doggie senses flickered in max, tingling in alert of another presence...

******** (Back to Reality) ********

After Yoshiko adorned Syuusuke with his new rozen jumper and had given him his favorite toy, the loving mother placed her angel amongst the huge bead-bags, before heading to the kitchen to prepare for dinner service. And for a while he was alone, until Ayana decided to lay her sleeping Kunimitsu over a purple cushion - for company, sort of -, then she headed to the kitchen, as well.

Syuusuke squished his rubbery neon, as he amusedly watched his peacefully sleeping friend. Seems like Kunimitsu was having a wonderful dream, the cherub deduced from the serenely relaxed expression on his adorable puppy-clad chubby face. =_=* It was fine and all, but the smiling child was fully energized to play.


An almost undetected shudder came from Kunimitsu's shoulders, but soon returned to calm slumber.


A frown came over the tousle-haired boy's regal cuteness, as his wee hand lightly brushed over his nose. "Mnn~arf!"

*Poke-poke-poke!* *Poke-poke!*

The seemingly annoyed Kunimitsu tried to push away Syuusuke's teasing advances, but the latter wide awake and undeniably faster in detection his reactions, and was able to retract his Snowdrop hands quickly.

*Poke!*... and *Super Poke!*

"Arr~nywoof!" whine the sleeping boy, before decidedly shifted his oh so cuddly form away from the source of his disturbance, then settled back to his dreamscape, "woof..."

Syuusuke pouted at his friend's stubbornness, wondering on the best approach to effectively awaken the boy:
a.) to pounce Kunimitsu awake
b.) suddenly drop a pile of huge bead-bags over him
c.) tickle the caramel-eyed child into consciousness
Or d.) ...

Then, a thought struck him: Kunimitsu had responding to him verbally in his sleep. Albeit the doggy jargons, his friend was indeed sleep-talking! His entire countenance lit brightly, remembering his née-san once told him that a sleep-talker tend to give more honest responses during slumber, especially when they're on the early stages of sleep. "Saa... Ichuwaru~ (Saa... Interesting~)" he commented softly, before his sapphires glinted mischievously and his lips curled schemingly.

******** (In the vastness of space and time, where deep consciousness, imagination and dreams collide) ********

From the middle of the glittering Marigold, the presence shook the floras and faunas... Kunimitsu eyed the spot sharply, raising his guard up a notch higher, preparing for whatever possibility...

Soon a reddish-brown with a white-tipped brush tail emerged! It swang merrily here and there, until a pair of reddish-brown pointed ears popped into view, as short fluffy black paws playfully shoot-up trying to reach a small fluttering yellow butterfly.

His loyal protective trait took over him, and alerted him of 'stranger danger!' - but more on the verge that the intruder was a kitty~ |-} Then, without further ado, he dashed towards the 'kitty,' intending to catch it off-guard.

Tough luck, though, the furry brush-tailed presence noticed his approach - mainly, because of the crunching twigs and showers of golden petals - and raced off at par with his speed! They chased all over the paradise garden, until the being tripped over and got it's tail trapped under Kunimitsu's paws.

"Woof-woof! Arf-arf! Arrr-roof! (Intruder contained! Kitty captured! Place secured!)" Kunimitsu barked mightily despite being slightly high-pitched, inwardly face-palm himself that his dream had even altered his baby language into barks.

The reddish-brown fluff struggled to pull back it's tail, before facing him definitively annoyed sapphires. There was no animalistic sound that came from it's mouth, but the wind echoed his thoughts clearly. "I'm not a kitty! I'm a fox! A FOX! Now, let go of my tail!"

Kunimitsu blinked, studying the beings graceful features, and deduced that he was indeed a fox, and is - in scientific fact - part of the doggy tribe! He bashfully bowed his head in apology, as he raised his paws to free the latter's tail. "Woof... (Sorry...)"

The fox looked at him with a pout, as he dusted the dirt off his bushy tail, but upon noting the puppy's whipped-look, it was soon replaced with a cheeky grin. "Never-mind that," his thoughts swam with the wind, "but... You should probably know who I am by now, ne?"

"Arñuu? (What do you mean?)" Kunimitsu asked, his curiosity peaked at the sudden topic change.

"Saa... Indeed what do I mean, ne?" eluded the fox, a teasing smile gracing it's elegant feature, before chuckling a sage advice, "by the way, you can stop talking now, Mitsu, and just think freely. That way, you won't feel uncomfortable with your silly high-pitched barks."

Kunimitsu's embers widened at hearing his nickname, realizing the real identity behind the fox. That graceful petite form, that superior reflexes, those mesmerizing cerulean gems, that playful smile, that deceitful angelic aura... Oh, how could a cute imp, like him, look so angelic when he smiles? Kunimitsu shook his head clear, before leveling his embers with the fox's azures, and drowned his answer of irrefutable sureness into the whispering wind (no matter how illogical it seemed that they are taking telephatically, but hey it's his dream), "Fuji Syuusuke."

"Oh, goody~!" the fox beamed ecstatically, "you recognized me right!"

"Ah." the Labrador curtly nodded, before bowing its furry head in apology, "sorry for tacking you earlier -"

"Ie," the fox cuts him midway, as it's cute russet head shook, with a meaningful yet teasing smile on its lips, "it's alright, Labby~"

The puppy felt relieved that the fox had been kind-hearted and forgiving, but an evident frown traced his huge golden orbs upon catching the unfamiliar epithet.

As response to the inquiring 'glare' his friend was throwing him, the fox chuckled with feigned innocence. "What? Labrador is too long and too boring for my adorably beloved Mitsu, ne, Lab~by~?" (a/n: try saying 'Labby' attune to 'Lovey' and you can hear all the affection in the name :3)

Sighing, Kunimitsu resigned to the name, knowing well he couldn't win a word-filled battle with Syuusuke. He averted his gaze to the glittering blossoms, and muttered defiantly under his breath, "sly fox..."

"Boo~" Syuusuke threw mockingly, earning him he full attention of his friend once more, "try thinking of something cuter for me, ne?"

"..." The cherub's reaction surprised the puppy, and, for a moment or two, he remained silent, not knowing how exactly to respond. Truthfully, as readable as his friend is to him, he can't help but feel baffled at the fox's unpredictability.

"Saa...if you're having trouble thinking of a cute name for me," the fox giggled thoughtfully, making the golden Labrador pout in response, "how about just calling me Foxy~?"

Kunimitsu instantly blushed in burning mercury, as he vigorously shook his puppy head embarrassedly - making his droopy ears fling about in wild carelessness (a/n: waaahh~ kawaii, ne? ^^=). He felt that it was highly inappropriate to be uttering that phrase - especially when that someone possess those coolest blue of sultry sapphires and the fieriest red of alluring form! Waahh! And worst of it, he doesn't understand why it was him feeling embarrassed rather than his friend! (a/n: well, leave it to Syuusuke to be such a tease even at such tender age! D)

"It's just a thought, Labby," Syuusuke bubbled out a hearty laugher, seeing how Kunimitsu was struggling with himself, and shying away from his playful gaze. "Fine, then," he cocked his fox head encouragingly, "enlighten me with your thoughts, ne?"

For a few seconds, the two remained silent. An expectant smile and a thinking frown. Then, after some more time passed, Kunimitsu turned to level his gaze with Syuusuke's, and uttered his thoughts softly but with much satisfaction, "... Faux-zhi (a/n: yes, it almost sounds like 'foxy' but he said it in a manner that resonates as 'fuzzy' :3)"

The fox grinned wider in evident amusement, "I didn't know you were multiple-lingual, Labby; nonetheless, that was really 'lovely' of you to call me 'cunningly smart'."

"Ah." The golden puppy nodded in affirmation to the fox's translation, before a more serious flare lit his huge ember orbs. "But, you know, that also translate to 'non-genuine aspiration', Faux-zhi."

"Heh, really?" the fox feigned unawareness, as he shrugged indifferently with his cute pointy nose up, "well, whatever. I'd much rather focus on the positive aspect of things than the negatives."

"Hn." Kunimitsu's eyes softened at the childishness of his friend, but smiled his agreement, "and it could also mean 'hidden blessings'."

The unexpected response caused Syuusuke to turn his face towards the adorable Labrador, and offered him the brightest smile that day, "thanks, Labby."

Kunimitsu nodded, and before he realize it he had found himself staring at the graceful fox before him longer than proper, making him feel warm and fuzzy all over. This reaction, in turn cause his friend to eye him curiously, slightly cocking his ellipse head in unspoken inquiry. The puppy shook his head in reassurance, but averted his gaze in attempt to suppress the rising blush in his face. Syuusuke stifled a chuckle to calm Kunimitsu's scattered thoughts, before he started playing with his neglected treasure once more.

******** (Back to Reality) ********

Syuusuke, sprawled over a beige bead-bag, giggled at Kunimitsu's unconscious answers and reaction. Really, his friend is still a baby through and through - curiously honest, adorably innocent, and playfully bright.

Still, it was getting boring and weird conversing with a sleeping - though very responsive - person. I mean, isn't it strange enough to have a conversation, much more a sensible one, between a very awake individual and a literally unconscious one?

The cherub let out an inaudible sigh, before he tried once more to awaken the puppy-boy. Syuusuke gently tossed his neon 'precious' at Kunimitsu's plush-covered arm, and catch it effortlessly as it bounce back to him... once, twice, and again...

******** (In the vastness of space and time, where deep consciousness, imagination and dreams collide) ********

Sensing the comfortable silence and the rationality of his thoughts come into order, the puppy let his gaze wander towards the fox, who was playing catch by himself with a shining indiscernible object. He stared at 'thing' trying to figure - glared at it to answer, though none came - what it was Syuusuke's little black paws were patting at. Finally, giving in to his insatiable curiosity, he asked, "what is that?"

"Hmm?" The fox turned quizzically at the puppy and noticed the golden doggy pointing its furry golden paw at his precious, then he played a tease, "this is your dream, Labby, so I wonder about that, too..."

"Faux-zhi..." Kunimitsu lightly demanded - though it sound more like pleading what with his big puppy-dog-eyes and doggy-whine - for Syuusuke to answer him seriously.

Syuusuke giggled at the puppy's failed reprimand, but gave-in nonetheless. "Fine. It's my most precious possession," he answered honestly, giving the luminous object an affectionate pat, as his cerulean orbs softly reveled with Kunimitsu's ember orbs, "and I'd gladly give it to you if you answer my riddles correctly, ne?"

Kunimitsu eyed the object with a mixture of awe, covet and hesitance, before his large caramel eyes darted back to his fox's tender gaze. "But if it's precious to you, I couldn't -"

"Three riddles, Labby~" the fox stopped the labrador midway, suggestive and not coaxing, "besides, you are definitely worth giving my treasure to, and I'm sure you'll care for it as much as I do."

"..." the puppy silently brood over whether to take the offer or not. Well, the 'precious' thing had really peaked his interest, and now his definitely wanting to have it. On the other hand, he didn't want to take something that held Syuusuke's greatest joy. (a/n: how gallant of him, ne, event if thus was all supposed to be happening inside his dream ^_^ always so serious~) "... but, Faux-zhi --"

"I know you can answer them," Syuusuke gave him a reassuring smile, as he lightly skipped nearer Kunimitsu, giving the soft pat on his cute puppy nose, "I have no doubt about it. Come on, what do you say?"

"A-ah..." The sudden closeness between them surprised Kunimitsu, and before he had time to process everything in his racing mind, he had blurted out his agreement... Upon realizing this, though, he feigned cough to straighten himself - though a hint of pink tinted his puppy face - and offered his signature respond of "Hn."

The fox was clearly pleased with his friend's consent, and permitted no more delay with his condition. "Okay, here goes the first one. What is a pristine trove without any locks or keys nor any opening, and beholds a treasure of golds?"

The golden puppy stared at the russet fox as if he was trying to recall something he came across before. He felt the answer slip itself between his thought, but managed to catch the answer. And with confidence in his large ember orbs, and a wagging tail, he answered the first riddle. "Egg."

"Correct! I knew you'd get that right, Labby," the fox 'chirped' that his friend had answered correctly. And though how exactly a fox is able to chirp like a bird is already an unexplainable mystery - but, well, this is a dream, right? -, the glow of Syuusuke's treasured item paled a notch, revealing bright neon yellow beneath its prismatic rays. The fox's smiled and laid affront the next challenge. "Now, for the second riddle: What can you feel, but never touch? You can hear, but never see? You shiver when it's too much, but whistle when too less?"

The puppy blinked... once, twice... He tried to focus his thoughts on what the answer might be, but his caramel orbs soon landed at the bright prize, making him glare at it want. Kunimitsu's never one to just 'want' things, rather he opt for the 'need', but the glittering shine the fox's precious beheld made his want it - very much. And yet, he couldn't pass yet the second threshold to be deemed of his friend's entrustment.

******** (Back to Reality) ********

Syuusuke clutched onto his 'precious', as he watched a small crease formed between his friend's perfectly defined eyebrows. It was an amusing sight for the cherub, that is that Kunimitsu was indeed still 'thinking logically' even in his dream... Or is it because he hadn't reach the forth stage of sleep yet? Hmm, not really clear on that... But if the Labrador-cladded youth wasn't in deep sleep - and considering how the fox-cladded boy kept conversing and 'disturbing' him -, then he should've been awake by now. Syuusuke's large cerulean orbs stared hard at his friend once more. He should've been awake by now. Or not.

Kunimitsu form shifted a little - a few tress of tousled fringes fell over his chubby cuteness, a leg fell dangling beside his purple bead-bag, and a hand balling over an excess cushion -, as an almost inaudible gibberish flowed out of his cherry lips. "... ajulru, pui, Fuxi... (... a clue, please, Faux-zhi...)"

That respond earned a gleeful giggle from the cherub, that should Kunimitsu have been conscious would have earned him a glare or a pout in return. But he was and is still sleeping, so tough luck, ne? Either way, Syuusuke is feeling generous towards his companion, and offered the requested hint by gently blowing those sandy-brown locks that have fallen away from Kunimitsu's adorable face.

******** (In the vastness of space and time, where deep consciousness, imagination and dreams collide) ********

For a few more seconds, the two furballs remained in silent assessment... Zephyr danced by the fragrant Magnolia's, that further relaxed their senses...

Through those lingering moment, the puppy watched the fox's smile grow wider as the latter savored the gentle breeze silked through his russet fur... like the wind is Syuusuke's friend, ever present and ever loyal... It was simply breath-taking~! Affirming his thoughts that no matter what shape or form Syuusuke takes up, he will always be that most enigmatic beauty, and one who is able to perceive one that is unseen to the naked eye! Kunimitsu was beginning to drown at the serenity of it all, but then he finally understood what exactly the picturesque scene meant to tell him. He knew right there and then that that was the answer he was looking for, and he stated in admiration, "it's the wind, Faux-zhi."

The fox clapped his soft paws delightfully, revealing that his treasured item takes the shape of a sphere or that sort, "correct again, Labby! I just knew you were indeed very smart!"

"Hn." The puppy nodded at the compliment given, momentarily averting his gaze in attempt to dissuade the seeming of rising heat on his face. "And you're very clever to be able to come up with these riddles."

"Saa, how modest, my lovely Labby~" the fox teased, grateful for having a reddish fluff of fur that effectively bid the onset of blushing blossoms.

Kunimitsu tried to glare at that teasing remark, but his countenance only managed to deepen his red shade, resulting into an adorably pouting blushing red fluffy puppy. ^ ^=

Faced with such cuteness, Syuusuke had a hard time suppressing his giggles, but soon yield to his friend's... uhm... reprimand? O_o* "Okay, here goes my final riddle: What gets hit once with ambition, swatted twice with concentration, slapped trice with determination, slammed in fours with conviction, but cheered greatly when it's bruised yellow crash to the ground?"

Deep thinking... Kunimitsu was brooding hard. He definitely no affinity towards violence, and knew very well that neither does that apply to Syuusuke. Sure, he's always serious and determined but never one accounted to be violent - well, discounting those moments of childish tantrums. But, hey, he's a child for crying out load! Besides, that's not really the point here. The fox's riddle involves being 'bullied(?)' and yet being 'cheered(?)' for having been 'hurt(?)'... Now, isn't that just plain being mean? Surely his friend isn't a 'sadistic bully', is he? O.O He looked at Syuusuke once more, and instantly noted how the fox had remained unperturbedly smiling while contently playing with his precious 'neon yellow roundie'. The tranquility of the scene made him sigh in unexplainable relief, but enough to wave his unnerving doubt away (a/n: Ohohoho! Cute little innocent naivety *cheshire grin* |-} If only he knew).

The two remained in that comfortable silence, the fox patiently waiting, and the Labrador in deep concentration, when...

*~Whi~ tsuu~* cradled a nudging gale.

The puppy was surprised, and had immediately turned and reach for the fox, but found himself unable to do just that. He tried to speak/bark his thought, but no sound came. He tried to reach a touch to his friend, but found his golden paw - which mystically reformed into its original wee human hands - passed through the fox's body, like a ghost. But what unnerved Kunimitsu more was the fact that Syuusuke - his cherub - doesn't seem bothered by it at all... rather he looked very much amused, if his beautifully growing smile was any indication for it.

******** (Back to Reality) ********

Kunimitsu shifted uncomfortably, as the troubled crease on his youthful face deepen into a full frown. This changed on him also caused his friend's smile to lessen, and Syuusuke began to nudge the tousle-haired boy awake... But this resulted with Kunimitsu grabbing onto the cherub's arm in unconscious fear that he might disappear. Syuusuke tried to shake his arm off the determined grip, but this only made Kunimitsu roll to his side and, with both arms, embrace the former's trapped limb towards his chest. _

When the ladies peeked from the kitchen window, they caught their boys in that exact position, but with Syuusuke letting out a soft sigh, nudging Kunimitsu in another attempt to wake him up.

"Oh, Syuusuke seemed bored," commented Ayana, "gomen, ne, we dropped by here to keep you company, but it seemed like my dearest slept over the afternoon."

Her friend's statement surprised Yoshiko, but smiled at her reassuringly, "that's alright, Ayana-chan, besides it's nice to have my angel in that calm state once in a while, than always running all over the house after him." She allowed a chuckle to grace her lips, as she glance back at their children, "I dare say, my Syuusuke is one really socially active boy, that sometimes it quite a challenge to keep up. Though, I don't really have any complains about that."

"I toast to that, Yoshiko-chan!" Ayana beamed understandingly, "I mean, he even got my Kunimitsu so attached to him, that I had to use Syuusuke just to persuade my son to wear his penguin jumper." The Tezuka matriarch expressed her thought, just before she realized what she had said. Upon realizing her 'slip-up', a blush rose to her flawless cheeks, as she guiltily bowed her head in apology. "... Ah, hehe... Eto, now I remember, I have to apologize for that one."

"No worries, I'm sure my son is glad to be of help..." Yoshiko shook her head gracefully, though her smile tilted mischievously, "I just wished, I had seen little Kunimitsu throwing those adorable tantrum you keep telling me about, or at least a photograph would do just fine, ne?"

Immediately taking note of the tone and smile of her friend, Ayana complied with the request. "I'll be sure to get you one," she assented, but requested a condition of her own, "as long as you promise to give me a photograph of your adorable Syuusuke in his higuma jumper. Deal?"

"Sure," Yoshiko answered delightfully scooting closer to her friend in a hush-hush manner, "that'll be our little secret~"

"Yes, our boys will never get to know of this~" Ayana quipped, making both ladies giggle like teenage secret admirers. Then, she took another look at the little boys, but soon noticed the brisling pace of time. She knew it was drawing near, and saw it only proper to inform the Fuji matriarch. "Anyhow, we need to be on our way, father and my hubby will be coming home soon."

"So de sune..." Yoshiko nodded understandingly, though her smile invisibly drooped an iota. "Well, it can't be helped, ne? But it's been wonderful having you over, Ayana-chan. Too bad, Yumiko can't bid you farewell, as she's sleeping now quite exhausted from all her extra-curricular activities and handyworks."

"It's fine, Yoshiko-chan," Ayana regarded her friend, giving Yoshiko an encouraging pat on her shoulders. "She's been a delightful host, so reward her with a peaceful rest."

After which, both ladies amiably proceeded to the living room, where their adorable babies are occupied with a bubble world of their own.

******** (In the vastness of space and time, where deep consciousness, imagination and dreams collide) ********

Kunimitsu was at lost at what exactly is happening right then, and scooted closer to his friend. He wasn't afraid, far from it - confused, yes, but he definitely wasn't afraid... just trying to make the irrational situation logical... But it still wasn't making any sense to him, and so opted to 'man-up' for his petit friend and kept a sharp lookout on the development before their very eyes.

Suddenly, the ground trembled! The glitteringly sweetness of golden Magnolias fluttered all around in whimsical frenzy... The dreamscape psychedelically blurred... As if... as if a glitch in that utopian serenity... or the fading wake to consciousness...

A glance at his side, made a small crease appear between his godly drawn brows... Syuusuke kept smiling like nothing undefinable was happening. And, as if it needed be said, his cherub's image softened ever as much as it sharpened with every blink of Kunimitsu's huge ember orbs...

******** (back to Reality) ********

Syuusuke remained with his stomach sprawed over his beige bead-bag, a hand propped support below his angelic face, his other hand - still very much trapped within Kunimitsu's crossed arms - lightly squishing his favorite yellow round toy. He softy hummed, as he watched Ayana soothe his friend to release Kunimitsu's hold on his arm. As much as it was interesting to be conversing with a very unguarded Kunimitsu, the cherub couldn't wait for the other to awaken... He gently nudge his friend in pursuance to receive the answer to his final riddle. "Saa... Aivuu wachiji furu anjyu, Michou. (Saa... I'm waiting for your answer, Mitsu.)"

Kunimitsu merely responded with a slight shift of his small hand, very much like a cute little puppy rubbing it's cute little nose, as he tried to push away the loving arms of his mother, then grabbing out over Syuusuke's arm once more, and let out a soft sleepy moan, "... Shuu, churl vwii mi... (...Syuu, don't leave me...)"

Syuusuke smiled brighter, not because - though done unconsciously (a/n: well, if you think about it, the subconscious is always more honest than conscious words, ne? n_k) though, again, done unconsciously (a/n: kind of weird that Tezuka is actually thinking 'very clearly' and 'logically' inside his dream -_-") to him... even if the latter thought it all only happened inside his dream. And so he whispered his assurance to the sleeping boy's dream. "... Ju lryo aibuju... Aivuu orlish pichuru, Kumichou... (... You know I won't... I'll always be here for you, Kunimitsu...)"

The cherub, then, opened his huge azure orbs and pleaded Ayana for a little more time with his friend. Both mothers giggled knowingly, but oblige to the unspoken request.

As the barely awake - still very groggily blinking - Kunimitsu turn asit, Syuusuke playfully slipped his arm away from the former's arms, but calculated enough to leave his most treasured toy within Kunimitsu's arm, knowing well that the tousle-haired boy's sharpness would render him the reflex of gripping onto the ball. That successfully blew all the puppy-clad boy's sleepiness away, and was now focused at the bright yellow rubbery-softness on his hands. "... techi... buru...? (... tennis... ball...?)"

"Hai, techi buru, (Yes, tennis ball,)" Syuusuke nodded eagerly, while watching his friend fumble and gently pressing over his precious toy. "Baju Yumko-chichi karuu ji 'shishiburu'... shumidhan avuru nyanfupu anja wuujru ashifu adhan... Nyuwachi, ai wachu habuji, Michou! (But Yumiko-née-san calls it a 'stressball'... something that absorbs negativity and weariness or something like that... Anyways, I want you to have it, Mitsu!)"

Kunimitsu's huge embers eyed his friend curiously, totally unaware of what the yellow tennis (stress)ball and the riddles told holds for both their bright futures. When as his gaze fell back to the toy, his eyes softly twinkled with a thousand stars, and his lips curled into one of those rare smiles that could go into the 'universe's secret wonders', as he expressed his appreciation for the gift. "Hn~ Jidhan yuu, Shu. (Hn~ Thank you, Syuu.)"

Syuusuke nodded gleefully in response, knowing well that his friend likes and appreciates his gift, before pulling his friend in another tight tickling hug, which had reversely sent both of them tumbling and rolling onto the soft fluffy carpet. Kunimitsu managed to hang onto the ball, as their cheerful cackles bubbled in the air. Though, soon enough the smaller boy noticed the cue of departure, and had turn 'almost' serious and gave Kunimitsu a warm hug for the go... The puppy-cladded boy understood the gesture, and shyly returned the affection, clutching tightly at the fox jumpers cloth with his free hand, making their loving mothers giggle at their closeness.

Syuusuke patted his friend's back reassuringly before letting go and giving a bright genuine smile - one with his striking sparkling blue orbs open - for his Kunimitsu. "Takururu yujufwa, ni, Michou... (Take care of yourself, ne, Mitsu...)" he bid in a manner of friendly concern but at the same time concealing, giving the tousle-haired youth's wee hands a gentle but firm squeeze, " ajhanshi fulryuu ashimi shuu... (and see you again sometime soon...)"

Kunimitsu heard the minuscule change in his friend's tone, and kept his huge embers searching in those cosmic sapphire. He already thought that he might just be reading to much into the situation, but still he wanted to know, and he tried to prod cautiously, "... Shuu...? (... Syuu...?)"

Syuusuke immediately caught himself off his inner reveries and purposely shook his little laburdum head, "ah, ie, bichuni... (ah, no, it's nothing...)" then, he slowly slipped his snowdrop fingers between his friend's and clasped it close in penetrating warmth, and continued in confessing jest, "ai... Ailrujiji mishu, Labby~ (I.. I'll really miss you, Labby~)"

"Ah." was his thoughtful response, followed by a soft and hesitant consent, "... Faux-zhi." Kunimitsu knew the truth behind those uttered words, though the depth in which they were said confuses him. The look into those big cerulean pool could lire him enternally yet he would never find he answer within them unless allowed by Syuusuke himself. Again he wanted to ask, but knew it better not to pry, and thought it be best to offer a comforting reassurance. "Ailru awachu bijidhan fulruu. (I'll always be here for you.)"

Those few simple word revived the mesmerizing sunshine on the cherub's face, and he beamed graciously at his adorable 'knight'. This reaction merited him a nod from the slightly blushing Kunimitsu, who softly side-coughed in fuzzy happiness. (a/n: =w=*)

After a few more pleasantries, 'gifts (a.k.a. "Take-home's"), well wishes, and fare-thee-well's, Ayana and Kunimitsu left the Fuji residence for their own home, with delightful smiles that could reach their ears (though the boy himself wouldn't admit that he was indeed smiling brighter than the sun XD).

~~~~~~~~ {TIME LAPSE} ~~~~~~~~

Tezuka Residence: Kunimitsu's Room, 10:45 p.m.

Kuniharu and Ayana watched over their precious son, as Kunimitsu peacefully slumbers into the night's serene lullaby still holding onto the tennis (stress)ball. The mother gently stroked her baby's tousled locks, and smiled when she felt her child relaxed into her touch. The father gazed at the boy with pride and confidence that their child will grow into a respectfully admirable man.

"Do you thinks this is alright, dear?" Ayana softly asked her thought, not once letting her gaze away from her son, "will Kunimitsu be fine not knowing Syuusuke, his friend... his very first friend will be departing for Chiba tonight?"

"Hn. Our Kunimitsu is a smart and strong boy, luv, he won't easily be disheartened with this minor setback." Kuniharu understood the underlaying worry in his wife's tone, and placed both his hands on Ayana's shoulder in a affectionate squeeze of reassurance. "Besides, it's not like they aren't going to see each other again, right? They still have a long future ahead of them... They will create a bright future for themselves, and whether they will opt to have each other within that future is totally up to them."

Ayana velveted her hand over her hubby's warm hand, as she held her loving silver-grey's with Kuniharu's wise golden-russet's. "I know, Kuniharu, but I'm sure Kunimitsu will miss Syuusuke dearly... as I'm also starting to miss Yoshiko-chan... And at such tender age, won't the distance and longing be hard for our little angels?"

"It might be so, Ayana, or maybe time will pass him to forget," was Kuniharu's vague reply, as he knelt beside his son's crib, watching his heir clutch - embrace - the treasured yellow ball closely to his chest. "... for now, at least. I'm positive the two of them will meet again, considering your sisterhood and my business alliance with Fuji's."

"Hmm~" Ayana hummed in divided agreement, but at young age it isn't odd to soon forget a fleeting memory as a mere fantasy, dream, or imagination. Maybe forgetting isn't such a bad thing, ne? At least for the time being... The thought that the connection between the Tezuka's and the Fuji's have truthfully stood against all odds and against the harsh test of time, is enough to assure her that the boys will meet again in the future and rekindle and strengthen their fated kinship. "Then, I wish my son have faith, strength and will to face every tomorrow."

"Ah. As I, too, luv," Kuniharu responded, kissing his lovely wife on her damask cheek, before both gaze back at their precious son.

Indeed, Kunimitsu is still but a small child - reliant and fragile (a/n: Now, don't all adults think the same, ne? Babies are so small and soft and cuddly and cute and ... small... and can't do anything by themselves... But maybe - just maybe - these adorable babies are being the way they are so that parents and adult will think themselves 'needed', ne? Think about it... n_n*) -, but the loving parents also knew that their son is different (a good kind of 'different') from other children. That thought didn't only spring from this boy being their own son, but the fact that a serious scrutiny of Kunimitsu's huge golden embers glimmers with knowledge and maturity beyond his age.

Then, the adoring father tenderly rubbed over his child's small fisted hands, in subtle attempt to remove the soft toy, with the purpose of making Kunimitsu lay more comfortably, but...

"NYU~! (NO!)" Kunimitsu moaned sleepily, before determinedly rolling over to his other side and embracing the soft ball tighter to himself. "Mijura! (Mine!)" _

The first-time parents were shocked at their son's possessive response, but recovered almost immediately with a soft giggle and a pleased 'hn.'

Maybe there was nothing to worry about after all. ^_~*


a/n: well, I guess this turned out to be a little more serious than the first one, I do still hope that you enjoyed reading this chapter. You're thoughts and comments are definitely welcome and appreciated. :3