((A.N.: Haaai~ The previous chapter was actually the end of this story, here's just a little extra fluff to tie up all the ends cause I'm occasionally sappy like that. Also because I know SOMEONE likes fluff. More on that later.))
Takao stepped off the small boat, looking around himself as he shrugged his backpack a little higher up on his shoulder. The ocean breeze smelled fresh of sea salt, and whipped slightly overgrown black hair in his face as he raised a hand to block out the sun's glare.
"Damn, Shin chan." The shorter man mumbled as he turned to look around, waving hi to several fishermen who were sitting on the dock mending their nets. "I'm getting deja vu."
Takao gave a click of his tongue as he turned back towards his partner, immediately running over to help a struggling Midorima with his baggage. The taller male pushed his glasses back up on the bridge of his nose, giving a dignified huff. "How would I know, I never left that one place till you showed up."
Nita too soon hopped off the small boat, taking care of her own things just fine. She shook her head before calmly walking by the two squabbling men. "I'm tired of pretending I can understand you two." She muttered, seeming not the least bit phased by her first journey outside of Spain.
Takao hauled Midorima's baggage off the boat with a solid tug and chased after his* daughter, leaving his rather displeased looking partner behind. "Nita, you can't understand anything? Even after spending a whole month in Japan?"
"It's because you keep spoiling her by speaking Spanish." Midorima scolded, catching up to the two of them in half a large stride. "Our parents can't speak Spanish, if you want them to communicate she'll need to learn Japanese."
"You said 'nanodayo' again papa."
Takao barely held back a laugh as he shuffled the little girl over to walk between them.
The journey back to Midorima's clinic was a long one, Nita falling asleep in Takao's lap within the hour they hitched a ride. Watching the tall doctor as he sat rather uncomfortably in the back of a truck, emerald hair teased by the wind, Takao couldn't quite help recalling events of the past few months since he'd finally found Midorima.
His only nurse complaining of being overworked (her employer's eccentricities aside), the doctor had immediately hired Takao to assist with clinic paperwork. He'd subsequently moved in, bringing Nita along with him after settling her adoption. Due to delays in getting her passport, they'd only gone back to Japan the previous month, for the first time since it all began.
Midorima's parents seemed to be a lot more appreciative; that was what Takao had thought. Then again they couldn't quite reasonably pick faults at someone who spent four years searching for their only son, whatever his motives may have been. The odd little family of three met up with Takao's younger sister in private, the girl's older brother feeling silently guilty at how quiet she'd grown to become.
"Mom misses you, niichan." She whispered, leaving her cinnamon red tea untouched. "Dad doesn't let us talk about you though."
"He has his ego." Takao sighed, leaning back into his seat as Midorima decided this was a good moment to take Nita out for a walk. "Do you pay your own phone bill now?" A quick nod was all the response he got, but from his sister looking up for once, hopeful glint in her eyes, he knew she understood his intentions. "I'll give you a call once in awhile, just let mom know I'm alright."
Her lips were graced with the tiniest of smiles as she reached for her tea. "Ok."
They'd spent the rest of the month staying at Midorima's parents' place, Takao meeting up with his sister ever so often. During outings to parks, their old schools, the movies, shopping streets, she slowly started to show a little of the livelier person Takao remembered her being; something that was comforting in the same way it had hurt initially.
At first a tad unsure, Nita opened up slowly to her new grandparents. With her in their care, Midorima and Takao had time to meet up with their old Shuutoku basketball team members. Their seniors couldn't have cared less about the drama, and focused on making sure they got their fill of pulling past ranks. They'd returned to the Midorima residence that evening exhausted, smelling of air freshener, incense smoke and dish soap. Enquiries of whatever had happened were politely dismissed.
It didn't take Takao long to discover the slightly sinful fun of helping Spanish-speaking tourists with directions around Tokyo, just to see their reactions.
It didn't take Midorima long to slip back into his Oha-Asa habits either.
At the airport, Midorima's family and Takao's sister were the only ones to see them off. No one had said anything, probably fearful of shattering the delicate atmosphere.
However, just as Midorima looked up to confirm their check-in time, Takao's sister rushed into her brother's arms, hugging him tightly, shocking everyone present. When she finally peeled herself away, Takao found a small box in his hands, his sister already running towards the airport exit with her hands on her face.
"So, that's how it went." Takao leaned back in his seat after filing away more documents, his colleague sitting back down after ushering another patient into Midorima's office. Office hours were reaching their end, and within a few minutes they would be closed for the day.
"What was in the box though?" She immediately piqued, leaning on a hand while Takao suddenly turned towards the ceiling, a blank look on his face. Eyes narrowed, she gave a smirk and poked him knowingly with her pen. "Don't tell me you haven't opened it yet."
"Hey hey, he was the one who said to put it in our luggage first." Takao shrugged towards Midorima's office, tapping a pile of papers on the table to straighten them. "Not my fault he got it mixed up with the loads of lucky items he brought back."
It was a lie of course. He'd already opened the box, the moment Midorima's parents had left and they were alone again. In it lay the phone his father had confiscated from him 4 years ago. At that moment, sitting in Midorima's clinic sorting out appointment cards and patient histories, Takao could only marvel that he'd never realized how subtle Japanese people were.
"Yep… That was it." He sighed, settling the last mound of documents while the nurse received their last patient, then turned to flip the sign on their door.
With the nurse already retired for the day, Takao walked the last patient out while Midorima leaned on the doorframe of his office, watching his partner in silence. "Take care maam." He whispered while gently helping her off the doorstep, and waving goodbye. When the shorter man returned, Midorima was still where he was, merely watching.
"What?" Midorima's gaze didn't shift in the slightest.
"… Heheh. Nope, nothing. I'll go get Nita down to prepare dinner."
The little girl's room was an ex-storeroom quite some distance down the hall upstairs; soundproofing not being one of Midorima's concerns when he'd bought the place. Takao padded his way up, flipping on the hall light while approaching the girl's room. "Nita? Nita, we're done for today, time to make dinne…" The door slowly swung open inwards before he could even knock. It was then that he realized the light inside had been off all this while. "Nita?" Curious, he stepped into the room. She was nowhere to be found. The room was neat and in order, aside from assorted crayons and crafts lying around on the floor.
Head tilting in curiosity, Takao turned to head back downstairs.
"Oi Shin chan, Nita's missing, you think she's downstairs or…"
From the top of the staircase, he noticed the lights had been turned off. The clinic was in darkness.
Quickly thumping downstairs, he searched around, throwing open doors, checking outside, searching Midorima's office. It was almost as if his partner had disappeared again.
"Shin chan? Where are you, ne, Shin chan?!"
Nita stood up from behind the clinic's front desk. "Papa don't panic." She sighed, prodding the person next to her. "We're here."
Takao turned around to his little girl, cold sweat already beginning to form on his neck. "Nita? W-where…"
"I'm here you fool." Midorima sighed, standing up from his hiding spot next to Nita, holding a small cake in hand while the little girl went to hit the lights. "For the record this was Nita's idea."
"What did he say about me?"
Still caught in mild shock, Takao stiffly hobbled over to where his little family stood. His expression changed from numb, to the verge of tears, and then breaking into one of his characteristic toothy smiles.
Picking Nita up in one quick swoop, he turned to his partner. "Let's go out and eat tonight. It's on me~!"
"Actually." Midorima began, checking his watch before eyeing Nita who nodded knowingly. "Why don't we stay at home for now."
"Huh? But I…"
The three of them almost jumped when the phone suddenly rang. Takao turned to stare at his partner, the phone still summoning him in the background.
After a nod from the doctor, Takao headed over to the phone, shakily picking it up and composing himself.
"Happy birthday, Kazunari."
Midorima stood behind him with Nita in his arms.
"… … Dad."
THE END. Happy TakaMido day everyone! This is dedicated to my very own Shin chan, you know who you are darling. I guess the Spain thing helps too lol.
*I used "his" instead of "their" because from what little I understand, while adoption of children is not permitted for same-sex couples in Spain, the loophole is that one of the two people can individually adopt the child. So, legally Nita is Takao's kid, but she serves as a daughter to both. I am not an expert, please don't attack me on this ahahaha... OTL