“….” Kuro raised an eyebrow at the red-headed girl, shaking her head lightly.
“I understand you wanted to sleep, but I didn’t think it’d be in my own bed..”
“….” Kuro raised an eyebrow at the red-headed girl, shaking her head lightly.
“I understand you wanted to sleep, but I didn’t think it’d be in my own bed..”
Sano gave a happy smile at her answer. He was all too willing to let her slip off the Western coat and vest, and loosened his shirt one more button for the sake of comfort. He had finally gotten used to the clothes, but it didn’t mean he couldn’t make himself a little more comfortable. He turned and saw her lay down on the large bed and make herself at home, waiting for him to join her.
He gave a brief sigh as he laid down next to her, cuddling into her soft form. “It’s been a long three years… Hopefully we can just find peace from now.” He wrapped an arm around her waist at her promise. “Mm… I trust you not to disappear at this point,” he joked. “You stuck around three years already, what’s a few hours?” And with that he sighed one more time and finally relaxed and fell asleep. It felt safe for once, secure, and he slept deeply for the first time since he left.
After both parents had fallen asleep, a few little kids crept into the room, drowsy from a pile of dishes and a bout of playing out in the yard. They curled up wherever they could near their mother and father and fell asleep, clinging to them. The excitement of meeting their father for he first time had brought them to an early nap time as well, and all three slept soundly for a while.
Sano woke up first, used to short nights, and gave a crooked smile when he saw the kids. He woke Kuro up first so she could see, and let them sleep for a while. He went and got a nice bath while everyone else ate lunch, since he wanted to clean up now that he was a bit more relaxed. He decided at home he could stick to just his pants and dress shirt, omitting his vest and coat. At least… until he could go out and buy something more comfortable.
After an afternoon of playing with the kids, they finally sat down to dinner, and once again Sano was terribly grateful for the home-cooked food. After dinner was a bit more playtime, and eventually Sano had three sleepy little kits in his lap.
“Mama, can we have story time before bed?” Takeshiro asked quietly, rubbing his eyes. The other two nodded, their tails giving tired little wags. Sano turned to Kuro and smiled. “How about it, Mama?” he asked gently as he picked Yue up. “I think they’re about to fall asleep standing.”
Kuro laughed softly, the two boys at her sides and leaning on her as they fought to stay awake. “I don’t see why not. Let’s get you three tucked into bed first.”
Kuro lifted the Takeshiro and Kohaku into her arms, the two boys purring softly as they nuzzled her neck. Walking to the triplets bedroom, it was easy to tell who slept were. Takeshiro slept on the left side of the room, his bed covered in darker sheets with crescent moons designed on it. She lowered him gently, moving to then tuck in Kohaku, to the left side of the room, his blanket having stars on it. Yue slept in the middle, a few dolls near her bed and her blanket having a mixture of moon and stars on it. Humming softly, Kuro waited for them to tuck themselves properly. Hearing a faint yawn here and there made her lips quirk into a smile. She inhaled softly before focusing her energy into a ball of fire, the flame flickering in hues of white and blue.
“Once, there was a very ill princess. She had the power of vision.” The flame floated out of her hand, taking on the form of a woman in a kimono, the image floating about so that all three children could see it. “The clan worshipped her visions and kept her hidden high in the mountains, forbidden to step out and to continue servicing them. She wept silently in her prison, her tears turning into the very rain that fell into the village below.”
The flame-like princess looked down, mountains conjuring behind her. “Rumors of the gifted princess spread along with how she was forbidden to be seen by anyone. Why is that, some would wonder.” The fire began to change shape, from the weeping princess to villagers. “A bandit heard of the news, his interest in something forbidden leading him to venture forth to the mountain.”
Yue ‘ooed’, her twin brothers watching the fire shift into a man. “The bandit was a skilled thief, managing to slip past the guards. However he hadn’t predicted what would happen next. Opening the doors, he saw the princess crying hands clutching a knife she’d planned to end her life.” They gasped.
She restrained the urge to snicker at how their ear’s twitched, curiosity no doubt, the fire taking on two forms then. One of the princess holding a knife to her throat and the bandit grabbing it. “‘You who are worshipped and guarded so heavily would end your life so easily?’ the bandit had asked, his hand bleeding from pulling the blade away. The princess shook her head, ‘You do not understand.’ she wept. ‘I am nothing more then a tool for them. I have no freedom. I long to see the world outside these walls, but can only see what my visions grant me. But vision and feeling are so different.’ The bandit was stunned, ‘You are a prisoner..?’ At her nod, he then heard the sound of guards rushing towards the room.” The fire split again, showing a wall and the couple on one side, the guards rushing from the other side.
“The princess begged him to leave, to run or risk being killed. But after hearing her story, and seeing the truth for himself. The bandit picked her up and leapt out the window. ‘I came here to steal the treasure, and thats exactly what I will do.’ With his speed, he ran away, escaping the guards and making it safely to the village.”
Kuro shifted her gaze to Kohaku who’d fallen asleep already, his other two siblings struggling to pay attention to the story. The vixen smile soften though there was a faint flicker in her eyes as she continued. “Safe and sound and finally free. The princess was able to see the world with her own eyes for once. She had asked what the bandit would like in return and he simply stated that he’d show her the world and keep her safe. And that’s how it came to be..”
As the flame-like images began to fade, Yue rubbed her eye, snuggling to her pillow. “Mama.. Did they get a happy ending..?” Takeshiro yawned, curling more into his blanket. “Yeah.. Did.. they?”
Chuckling, she leaned over to kiss Yue’s temple, closing her eyes briefly. “Of course dears..” She did the same for Takeshiro and then moved over to place another kiss on Kohaku who simply nuzzled his pillow more. She linked her hand with Sano’s as he bid them goodnight, walking out the room and murmuring a soft. ”Goodnight kits..”
Turning her gaze to Sano, she couldn’t help but look bemused, heading to their room. “They’re always look much cuter when their sleeping.”
Sano made an honest effort to memorize the rooms, so as to get used to life at home as quickly as possible. Secretly, he hoped he could make it seem like he hadn’t been gone as long, but the place was truly foreign to him. He chuckled softly at the twins. They were having fun, at least. He remained silent as Kuro sent them down the hall, giving them a little wave. “What else could I expect?” he replied softly to her warning. “Foxes will be foxes.”
His expression softened when she took his hand. Following her without a word, it seemed they would finally have a little peace to reconnect. He already adored his children, but… this reunion was something they needed. Her room was tidy, and she still had that foreign-looking bed he remembered. He had gotten slightly used to them in his time away, as more and more Western things were brought over. Once she softly closed the door, she turned to him, and Sano gave a little sigh. She had been tough, holding back her emotions so far.
When she came to him and rested her head against him, he wrapped her up in his arms. Just being able to hold her made it real. He was home. He was where he belonged. He probably owed her a lot for the time he was gone and unable to send word of his own safety. The last thing he wanted was for her to ever have to worry, especially while raising children, but he had certainly failed her in that way.
When she finally mustered some words, he leaned back so he could see her face. “I missed you, too,” he whispered as he wiped her tears away. He leaned down to kiss her gently, holding her face in his hands. Resting their foreheads together, he looked into her eyes. “I won’t be going anywhere anymore, Kuro. I’m really home.” He ran his fingers softly through her hair, missing that sensation so much. He leaned back once more. “Think you have time to nap with me? At least until I fall asleep? I’ve missed you so much…”
Now it felt right again. Real. Genuine. Being held firmly by him, it made her believe even more that this was anything but a dream. Kuro simply closed her eyes as he brushed away her tear’s with his thumb. Her lashes lifted briefly when he moved to kiss her, their lips brushing against one another’s slowly. Tentatively and gently. She placed her hands over his while he held her face, closing her eyes again before looking back up at him.
She smiled slightly then, knowing that he spoke the truth when he said he was really home. She missed his touch, how he played with her hair.
“Think you have time to nap with me? At least until I fall asleep? I’ve missed you so much…”
“Yes..” She nodded, entwining their fingers together. Bringing him toward the bed, she helped ease off his coat and vest, folding them onto the dresser. She laid herself down on the bed, resting her head on a pillow to let him rest on her form. She stroked his hair gently, humming softly then. “Rest.. I’ll be here when you wake up..” She kissed his forehead, brushing back some of his hair gently.
Sano finished off the last of his food just in time to be pulled from his seat as the triplets called for a tour. He laughed as he stood up, wondering if this is what is was like to start feeling old, or if the kids were just that crazy.
The next time he looked down he saw a vaguely familiar sight in the “kit-face” as Kuro described it. Such cute, fluffy ears and tails made him smile again despite his tiredness, and he knelt down to pat their heads, ruffling their ears, too. He smiled up at Kuro, hoping he could do the same later; he had missed her silky fur.
When the three turned to look at Sano, he gave them a falsified hard stare, trying to pretend to be strict. “Well, I suppose, but it’ll have to be quick. Papa needs at least a little shut-eye so we can play later, right?” Hopefully guilt would make them live up to their promise to be quick. He stood up and motioned to the hallway in a gesture that said, “lead the way.”
“We’ll be quick~” The trio assured, leading Sano down the hall of their home. “Over here is our room.” Takeshiro pointed out, “We sleep here by Nana’s room next door.” Kohaku pointed to the bedroom next door. “That’s Nana’s.”
“Further down is the osen for baths.” Quipped Yue softly, motioning to hallway past the living room area. “Mama’s Room is by there.”
“Yes, and I think that’s enough. Now you three go back and help Nana with the dishes.” She waved at the three of them, motioning towards the direction they came from.
“Awww, but-” The two boys began, Yue responding with a look.
“It’s not fair to leave her with so many dishes. And your father need’s to rest.” She lifted her finger, waving it then and the three kit’s floated into the air. The boys groaning and sulking and Yue simply holding her doll appearing indifferent.
“That’s cheating Hahaue.”
“I’m your mother, I can cheat all I want.” She retorted with a smirk as they floated off around the corner. “Now go help Nana with the chores.”
The only response was soft muttering, but she ignored it with a soft sigh. “You’ll get used to them. Though fair warning, they can be terribly mischievous.”
She paused to slip her hand into his, guiding him to her room. It was neat-since she’d fixed the bed this morning before leaving. Instead of having a futon like most-she kept her indian-like bed with it’s assortment of silken pillows. A dresser stood across the bed and a tall mirror stood next to it. Closing the door quietly, she turned to face Sano and suddenly. At that moment. Her chest felt tight. She brought her hands to his chest, resting her temple against his shoulder. Closing her eyes, she found herself unable to speak at all.
It’s been three years. Three long years of missing this man before her. Worrying about his safety, fearing the worst, hoping for the best. Working with only the news she could get from surviving soldiers and other news. Now he was home. Back home to her and the children and.. above all else. Alive.
“…”She opened her mouth, feeling her eyes water then and her throat clogged. She couldn’t talk. Swallowing, she felt her hand quiver then. “I missed you..” She whispered softly, wanting to say more then just that, but hoping her meaning got across. A tear slipping down her cheek then. “So.. So Much…”
Sano listened carefully, paying attention to which ones responded to each name. The dark-haired one… Kohaku. The one who looked a bit more like himself… Takeshiro… And the daughter in his arms was Yue. He looked down at them with a smile. “You haven’t finished eating yet? Well I guess that should come before the grand tour.” He glanced up just in time to see Kuro’s worried glance. “Oh, I’m starved,” he assured her. “I haven’t eaten since yesterday morning. Came straight here from the camp.”
Sano entered the manor carefully, stopping the kids for a moment to let him remove his boots. He saw an elderly-looking woman ahead of them and assumed this was the lady named Nana Kuro had just told him about. He bowed his head in greeting as much as he could without spilling Yue from his arms.
He set her down once they entered a room with a table set for breakfast. He followed Kuro in, waiting for her to gesture to which seat was meant for him. It felt strange to re-enter his own life like this, but he didn’t want to step on anyone’s toes for some reason. It was short pauses like this when he wondered where the children slept and if Kuro had been sleeping alone in a double-sized futon… Once gestured to, he sat down with a slightly awkward smile. “Itadakimasu,” he said as he picked up his chopsticks. The food was much better than what he’d been eating at war, and that alone made him much more at home.
Oh jeez. He really should be resting after such a trip. No way the camp had been anywhere close to here. She simply sighed and put on a more serene facade as they entered their home. She followed Nana, or rather- was lead to the dining room via her boys. Once entering the room, the boys went to their assigned seat and after Sano lowered down Yue, she sat returned to sit by her two brothers.
“Itadakimasu~!” Chorused the kids, Nana and Kuro choosing to murmur it softly. The meal was eaten rather peacefully, and the vixen had to admit that eating with the family as whole felt.. Complete. Nice.
Ignoring how Kohaku would sometimes swipe something from Takeshiro. Though Yue kept them in line with her telekinetic ability in swatting their ears with their chopsticks. Something the girl learned to do in her mother’s absence, but she let it slide while finishing her meal. Her only response to the behavior was a faint snicker.
Once done, Nana rose up from her seat. “Well then, I’ll take care of these. I’m sure the children wish to show their Father around the house, yes?”
“Hai!” The children nodded, urging Sano and Kurohime to their feet. “Easy children, you just finished eating now. Moi, you shouldn’t be so hyper.”
“We’re just energetic~” Takeshiro grinned, his brother blinking innocently then, queing the same response from his siblings as they gazed at their parents. Ear’s down and tails swaying.
“Pleaaaase~~~” They cried, adding a purr to their voices. Immediately, Kuro’s own fox ear’s emerged from her dark hair as her eyes narrowed. “Oh no. No. Your not doing the kit-face on me. No. I invented that well before you three.”
“Buuuuut~” They continued, their eyes somehow sparkling as the vixen’s eyes twitched-her only sign of weakness. Dammit.
“Your father needs to rest. And you do want him to be well don’t you?”
They paused, turning to look at one another before looking murmuring softly to each other almost as if in conspiracy. Then, being selfish kids they were, they turned to look at Sano. “Pleeeasse. We’ll be suuuper quick.”
Kuro stirred, feeling a light brush on her temple that made her eyes flutter open. “Nnn..” She was a bit surprised at the sudden kiss from Sano before she felt him leaning closer against her. His body heat radiating off of him in waves and making her squirm. She shuddered when his slick appendage down her neck, then up, repeating this process for a while as his hand slid up her thigh. She moaned softly at his words, feeling her body getting aroused as a faint blush dusted her cheeks. She turned her head to the side as he bit her neck, making her shudder against him. There was no way for her to resist at this point.
“S-Sano..” She breathed softly, one hand entangling with his loose hair as her lips found his in a heated kiss. Really, she couldn’t resist him if she tried. Now there was no chance of her going to sleep anytime soon either.