Always

By: Shin Sankai


Authors Notes: I haven't felt like writing, someone dear to me passed away not long ago. I've not been sleeping properly, as I'm worrying about others that are in mourning as well. But, life goes on and so I've finally got off my butt and started doing stuff again. One of the three stories I've got in the making for Trifecta is finally complete! Only change in this is that Hiyori was 8 years old when the two men got together. Just a little bit of fun, please do not take this seriously. And as this is Christmas themed, this can be my early present to anyone who reads my works and enjoys them.


The doorbell rang for a second time and it was beginning to erk one of the occupants within the house. "Oi, Zen, I told you to get the door!" A grumpy Yokozawa Takafumi shouted as he made his way into the large lounge room, a plain black apron over his casual attire. He noticed his older partner was by the glass sliding door, leaning against it as he gazed up at the darkening sky, even if it was only 6pm. Winter was already here. Takafumi had left him there about an hour ago and it looked like the only thing he'd done was turn on the Fibre-optic Christmas tree, the lights changing colours as the effects splashed upon the white walls near it as it was situated in the corner of the living room. It was also Christmas Eve. "Zen!" Again he called for the man and this time his booming voice penetrated whatever it was that his lover of eight years was thinking about as the man jolted on the spot and almond eyes finally caught sight of a steely blue gaze.

"What?"

"The door, go get it, I'm still preparing the food."

"Oh, right..." Takafumi watched the man head for the hallway leading to the front door and felt his brows furrow in confusion and instantly frowned. He was certain that whatever was wrong with the Editor-in-Chief was not his doing. These days he was pretty good at figuring out whether he'd done something wrong. Of course that usually came in the form of Hiyori, his lover's 16 year old daughter, who would come and moan and groan to him if her father was being a pain and advise him that it was probably something he said or didn't say to the man.

Even though the relationship the businessman had with the girls father was awkward at first, mainly more from his side than the young girl at the time, somewhere along the line the two of them had become inseparable, much to the delight of Zen. Even though she had stopped calling her father 'Papa' many years ago, he was still 'Oniichan' to her, though he was pretty much a second father for her now. And definitely the more mature one at that.

He heard noise from the front door, knowing it would be his lover's parents. They'd organised to come over for such a special occasion, not only because it was Christmas Eve but also because this was the first time Hiyori would be spending Christmas Eve with her friends and not with them. She was attending a school dance party.

Takafumi had already placed several dishes on the coffee table for everyone to snack on and was coming back out with a couple more when he watched his lover stroll back on over to the sliding door, leaving his parents in the hallway as they were no doubt removing their shoes. He was puzzled for a minute, but went to grab the tray of drinks from the preparation bench in the spacious kitchen and once again eyed his partner when he returned to the living room. It was then he finally took notice of the elder Kirishima's standing around looking at the decorated living room. Hiyori had coaxed him into purchasing some gaudy looking tinsel that was draped over bookcases and the likes. There was also fairy lights and an assortment of Christmas greeting cards and bowls of candy canes. The place looked lived in, very family orientated.

"Honestly, could you be any ruder!" Takafumi grumbled his displease to his lover. "You could at least offer your parents a seat." The Sales Manager, having been promoted a couple of years ago, placed the tray of drinks on the side of the coffee table, of what little space was left considering the amount of food he'd been cooking during the day.

"Our home is their home, we inherited it from them after all." Zen remarked a little too casually for Takafumi's liking as he continued to gaze out the window.

"All the more we ensure we take good care of it and you really should pick up some tips about manners from your daughter." Takafumi really didn't like to complain in front of his partner's parents, but the man could be so lazy and rude sometimes. "Sorry about his behaviour, I'm not sure what is wrong with him today." The man offered up as an explanation as he made his way over to Zen's parents and directed them to the leather couch.

"When we come to visit, we are not here to inspect the way you live." Kirishima's mother voiced softly, smiling sweetly at the young man who'd been integrated into their family several years prior.

Of course they had been incredibly shocked when their son casually explained the relationship the two of them had while the younger man was sitting at his side, literally sweating bullets. It took them several months to get used to the idea of their son not remarrying again, but when they had watched their granddaughter run over to the two men, they coming to pick her up one cool autmun afternoon, she took a hold of their hands, walking between them, the smile on her face, it made them take a long hard look at how hard life had been for their youngest son and his child – at loosing someone precious to them. For a long time their youngest had been alone, but finally here was someone, regardless of gender, who brought massive smiles to their faces. For this adorably sweet, yet slightly awkward, man who brought so much to their family, how could they not accept the relationship he shared with their youngest son and his daughter?

"But..."

"We gave you this home as a gift. It is far too big for the two of us now and anyone who can put up with our youngest son is more then deserving."

"Hey!" Almond eyes darted over to where his parents were comfortably seated and paused in his whining when he noticed the small flush grace the cheeks of his companion. Even though his parents knew about them, for over 6 years now and were very accommodating to them, the Sales Manager still felt awkward about it. It was truly adorable. The Editor-in-Chief watched his younger companion offer his folks a glass of iced tea.

"You've organised quite a feast here Takafumi-kun." Zen's father remarked as he gazed at the assortment of food on display. The man in question knelt by the coffee table as he placed some sasamochi on two plates and handed them to the elderly couple.

"We are expecting more guests shortly, so I made quite a lot of food. I'm not sure how everything will taste though, but please try the sasamochi. Hiyo and I made these together, they have turned out quite well I think." The businessman patiently, if not perhaps a little anxiously, observed the older Kirishima's take a bite of the sasamochi.

"They are delicious." The two of them voiced simultaneously.

"You do realise you'll make us fat eating such treats whenever we visit." Kirishima's mother chuckled lightly at her own words knowing whenever her and her husband came to visit they were waited on hand and foot by their son's partner, he making sure they were comfortable no matter what time of day they came around.

Yokozawa let off a light chuckle of his own. "Hiyori has gotten into the habit of baking, I'm sure we are all her taste testers. I wouldn't be surprised if she decides to go to a speciality school for cooking one day."

"Speaking of Hiyo-chan, what is taking so long?" Three pairs of eyes turned to glance at the pacing father near the glass door which lead to a side porch and towards the decent size backyard. Takafumi felt a warm hand rest over his and gazed his eyes over at deep brown ones belonging to Kirishima's mother. She pat his hand sweetly, motherly, as she jutted her chin out in the direction of her son, as though silently asking him to go look after him.

Takafumi raised to his full height and strolled over to his lover, placing his hand against his shoulder. "You are being a terrible host. Why not come sit down, have something to eat." It seemed to work as the usually doting father flopped ungracefully into a leather chair and picked up one of the sweet rice treats and took a bite. "Hiyo can take as long as she wants tonight, it is after all, her first dance party."

"Its just a dance party." The father bemoaned once more.

As steely orbs observed his older lover quietly, it was then it finally clicked for Takafumi. This was why his lover had been "off" for most of the day. His little girl, wasn't so little anymore. She wasn't interested in spending the evening with the two of them, she was ready to venture out into the big wide world and experience many different things.

Since they'd been together, every year, right on Christmas Eve, the three of them would set up futons in the living room, order take away for dinner and ensure there was plenty of snacks, ice cream and drinks to keep them occupied throughout the evening as they would settle in and watch old Christmas themed films. They'd been doing it since she was 8 years old after all, but while Takafumi knew such a tradition wouldn't last forever, it appeared her father had not come to this realisation or acceptance of the fact.

"How about I go see how she is doing?" Takafumi received a round of nods at the offer and headed off towards the 16 year olds room.


Hiyori was currently sitting at her dressing table, having just finished off placing light pink glittery lip-gloss over her plump lips when her big brown eyes glanced at herself in the mirror. Even she knew she'd changed over the years, developing quickly when she hit her teens, but now she was comfortable in her own skin, having developed confidence thanks to the two most important people in her life. She knew that if she ever had a problem, if she ever needed advice, a shoulder to cry on, a hug, anything...those two would be by her side within seconds. Hiyori's big brown eyes, surrounded by smoky eye shadow, dropped to a framed photo of her little family of three in traditional attire as they'd all attended a festival last year.

A sudden knock at the door startled her as she heard a muffled voice from behind it. "Its okay Oniichan, come on in." Hiyori brushed a curled strand of hair behind her ear as she stood up, turning to face the man who opened her door, he strolling inside with the two cats, Sorata and Shiro not far behind him.

"Your father is getting cranky." When steely blue eyes finally took her in, the man froze on the spot, eyes growing wide.

"Wh-What do you think?" The 16 year old was dressed in a satin deep blue spaghetti strap dress, the bodice tight against her chest, accentuating her breasts a little bit. Takafumi was certain her father would not like that one bit though. The dress reached just above her knees and swished against her tall slender form. Her hair was placed into a high ponytail and was a mass of curls while several curled strands framed her sweet face. She had a matching shawl to her dress, it resting on her bed next to a silver purse and a pair of silver strap shoes with a medium sized heel. A pair of hoop earrings were resting against her lobes and a small diamond necklace was around her neck, it having been a present from the two of them to her as congratulations for graduating middle school.

"Your date is going to be really surprised when he sees you." Takafumi voiced and watched a cute blush grace her cheeks.

"I'm not going with a date Oniichan, the girls and I decided we'd all go together."

The businessman sat on her perfectly made bed, moving his finger as he silently asked Hiyori to twirl once for him, she letting off a light giggle as she did so. He was pleased she would still indulge him in such a way as though reminding him she could still be the adorable youngster he'd met all those years ago. "I'm sure any boys from your class, and even other classes, will be very surprised at how Hiyo looks." He watched her blush once more, perhaps she was thinking about a boy she had a crush on. "Just don't tell your father I said that."

"Is Oniichan surprised?"

"You surprise me, everyday, ever since we first met." Takafumi was rewarded with Hiyori leaning over and giving him one of her sweet hugs. She'd started her own tradition of giving the two men a hug in the morning and a hug in the evening, but he'd been so busy with cooking and decorating that he'd missed his morning hug. The Sales Manager had finally realised that such a simple act spoke volumes to him and if he didn't receive one, the morning just didn't feel right. Takafumi instantly knew he'd grown soft over the years, but being surrounded by love and laughter and such clingy Kirishima's, how could he not?

"You think Father will be surprised?" Hiyori questioned as she took hold of Takafumi's hands and made the man rise to his full height. Though she had gone through a growth spurt, she still felt tiny against her 6 foot tall parents. Not that she minded since she could still easily cuddle into their sides, a warm arm draping over her shoulder to hold her lovingly close.

"He'll try very hard not to cry, after all, his little girl has grown into a very beautiful young lady."

"But I'll always be Father and Oniichan's little girl, no matter how old I am." That comment melted Takafumi's heart, after all, he was incorporated into the Kirishima family like he'd always been there. He cupped her face, planting a light kiss on her forehead.

"Could you do me a favour then?"

"Of course!" She beamed the man a smile, agreeing without even knowing what he was going to ask her.

"I'm very excited that Hiyo is attending her first dance party and I truly hope you have a wonderful time. Also..." The Sales Manager paused as he picked up the teenagers shoes, shawl and purse. "this is probably going to sound extremely selfish of me to ask, but could you spend New Years with your father and I?" He watched her blink silently at his request, head tilting to one side as she waited for further explanation as to why. "I know its probably not that fantastic to spend time with your old man and me on such an occasion, but it would mean a lot to him...and I...if we could all go to the temple together."

"Is Father upset I'm going out tonight?" Worry was evident in her big brown eyes.

"You know how he can get when things don't fully go his way. He truly does hope you have a wonderful time tonight, I think he is just finding it a little difficult that there will be days when Hiyo will not always want to be with him."

"Father can be so silly. He should know that the date for the dance was changed due to electrical problems at the school hall last weekend. If it wasn't for that I would be watching Christmas shows with the both of you tonight like always."

"He's just sulking like a child." He watched her roll her eyes.

"Sometimes I wonder how we put up with him."

Takafumi quirked his lips at the comment. "Mm, me too... So, do you think you could come with us?"

Hiyori let off a little chuckle. "For you Oniichan, you know I'll do anything you ask of me." She wrapped her arm around his waist and beamed a smile up at him.

"Come on, I'm sure the muffled noises in the main room mean the girls have probably arrived. It means the car will not be far away to take the four of you to the dance party and you've yet to have something to snack on."

"I'm not really that hungry..." She found a slight frown on the man's lips. "But I promise to eat something before I go." She watched him nod his head. "But only if Oniichan's promises to have a photo with me."

"I'm not dressed in good clothes though." The man tried hopelessly to get out of having his picture taken.

"All Oniichan needs to do is remove the apron and he'll be perfect the way he is." The man was just in a pair of black jeans and a long sleeved black turtle neck top.

"We'll see..." He had slightly caved to her.

The two exited her bedroom, the cats deciding to remain curled on her bed, not in the least bit interested in what was going on around them.

"Wow Hiyo-chan, you look amazing!" Yuki commented with her mouth half full of food, the two other girls nodding their head in affirmation, each of them equally dressed in a pretty evening gown for the dance. All eyes turned to the teenager and Takafumi's observant orbs caught sight of almond eyes widening.

"Hiyo-chan, you look lovely." Her grandparents came over to give her a hug. Her grandmother was ready with camera in hand, wishing to take a lot of photos of her granddaughter so she could boast to her friends and family about her.

"What does Father think?" Hiyori calmly voiced as she moved to stand in front of the silent man. It took Zen literally several moments to get his voice to work.

"Where has my little girl gone?" He cupped her cheek tenderly. "You look so grown up."

"Really?"

"But if any boy tries to..."

"I think its time for photos don't you?" Takafumi interrupted the rant his lover was about to go on and ushered the girls over to the Christmas tree. There was a certain pout on his lover's lips, but he'd take the punishment for what he did later.

A lot of photos were taken and at Hiyori's pleading look, Takafumi finally caved and had a Christmas photo with her and her father, she standing between them, a big grin on her face while her arms were wrapped lovingly around their waists. She then pretty much ordered both men to have one on their own, her friends giggling away when her father draped his arms around his partner, sending a blush and a displeased look across Takafumi's face just as the flash went off.

"Alright, no more." Takafumi complained as he escaped to the coffee table to eat some mini croquette he'd made. He was just plating up a dish for Hiyori when there was a car horn coming from outside. His eyes dropped to his watch, not realising time had flown by so quickly and began to usher the girls out of the house and into the street. He wasn't pleased that Hiyori had only eaten a couple of sasamochi but he was sure there would be food at the party and so anything that was left over tonight could be eaten tomorrow when she came home.

There was a couple more photos taken, since the girls were very spoilt in being taken to the dance party in a limousine, a present from Zen which Hiyori gave him a big hug for and a beaming thousand watt smile. The four adults waved farewell, wishing the girls a fun and safe evening.

"We too, should be heading off." Kirishima's father remarked.

"You can't stay longer?" Takafumi questioned as usually he and Kirishima's father would drink sake together and play a round of Shogi...or two.

"We've an early flight out tomorrow, heading to our friends place in Okinawa for a week."

"Please have a safe trip." Takafumi remarked and then remembered he'd left something inside for them. "Wait just a moment." The man rushed off, making the parents stare a little puzzled at their son.

"Ah, our Christmas gift to the both of you." Zen confirmed for his folks.

"He really shouldn't worry so much."

"Please don't say that to him. He put a lot of thought and effort into it this year." The three adults watched Takafumi come back out with an envelope. As soon as Kirishima's mother opened it up, she recognised the brochure inside immediately.

"We've been meaning to go to this hot-springs resort for awhile now."

"I know and since I had Hiyo query what the two of you were doing, when she said you hadn't mentioned the resort I figured..." The man stopped suddenly when he was given a hug from the elderly woman.

"We've a good man in the family."

"Well I..." Takafumi felt his blush return in an instant.

"I'm a good man too!" Zen complained, listening to his father bark off laughter as he was slightly offended by his mother's remark and yet also overjoyed at the affection between his parents and his lover.

"We must have been on the same wave length Takafumi-kun." The two men watched as an envelope was given to them, Zen opening it up as they pulled out airplane tickets, car hire and an apartment booking for a week long break in Sapporo.

"We...I...I couldn't! This must have been..." The Kirishima's all found it endearing that Takafumi was still flustered even after all this time at receiving gifts.

"Hiyo-chan has been complaining that the two of you have been really busy."

"Well..."

"Of course she won't complain aloud to the two of you, knowing just how hard the both of you work, but she said you've both not taken a holiday in over a year and that upsets her. She wants to go on another holiday with you, like the time you went to the beach, but of course for longer. It doesn't have to be right now, the booking can be adjusted quite easily for when you can both get some time off."

"Thank you." Both men voiced simultaneously.

"Now both of you back inside, you are not dressed for such cold weather." The mother admonished her boys as she hopped into their car, her husband turning the engine over as they headed on back to their apartment. Both men stayed outside until the the car turned the corner and then headed back into the warmth of the Kirishima/Yokozawa household.


"Are you going to eat anything else?" Takafumi questioned his lover who was once again flopped in his usual leather chair. When he didn't receive an answer, the man once more lost in thought, Takafumi shrugged his shoulders and cleaned up the coffee table. He placed the remaining food into containers and the dirty dishes into the sink. He'd do them later, because right now, someone needed comforting.

Stepping back into the living room, the businessman made a beeline towards his partner and crouched in front of him, arms crossing over the man's thighs as he looked up at him.

"You do realise that it was just an unfortunate accident that the date of the party was changed to this evening right?"

"Mm..."

"Perhaps this is just a good start for you, to practice that she's not always going to be around. With her good grades she'll get into whatever University she wants, it may even be in another city, doesn't that make you happy for her?"

"I guess..."

"She can take on the world and know that no matter what happens, we'll be here, whenever she needs us."

"Yeah..."

"Hiyo told me that no matter what, she'll always be our little girl." He observed a slight curve of the lips at that comment. "There was no way you could stop her from growing up." Steely blue found almond gazing down at him and instantly that curve of the lips was gone and was replaced with a pout. "You know, I half expected you to relish in the fact she isn't here this evening." Quizzical almond eyes gazed at him. "I'd half expected you to have your way with me."

Blue orbs widened suddenly when his lover suddenly leaned forward, knocking him back onto his ass and then he thudded onto his back, the side of his head connecting with a leg of the coffee table as his older lover lay above him. "Ow, you bastard, that hurt!" Takafumi growled beneath the strong grip of his lover who didn't seem to care that he was currently crushing the younger man in his possessive embrace. Granted he was just trying to get his lover out of his current depressive state, it seemed to have sort of worked even if he was sure to have a lump on the side of his head because of it. "Oi..."

"Let me stay like this, just for a little bit."

"Are you sure that is all you want?" He couldn't believe he asked that!

"For now..."

Of course the comment got Takafumi's heart racing. "You do realise that Hiyo will not always be with us for Christmas Eve right? And it won't just be around the festive season either, there will be other holidays she'll want to spent with her friends." He decided to leave out the mention of any boyfriends that may come along the way. Takafumi felt his lover nod against the side of his neck. "You know, there is one thing you can count on." He watched the man shift, pulling away from him as he rested on his hands and knees to gaze down at him. That very look always made his heart race and his stomach squirm. He was certain his cheeks were getting warmer too. "Me..."

All the Editor-in-Chief could do was blink silently down at his red faced lover. "Say something dammit! Don't make me spout such mushy shit on my own!"

"I love you." Takafumi felt his eyes widen. Even though he'd heard it a million times now, the effect was still the same. "Though I'll admit I'm not ready for Hiyo to leave my side, but I won't stop her from living her life, from experiencing many, many things."

"That is rather mature of you."

"I can endure it because no matter what, you'll always be with me, won't you Takafumi?"

"Always..." The businessman mumbled before sealing his lips over his responsive lovers.


End.