[FFML] [fanfic][Yotsuba&!] Fuuka & Playing House (part 2/?)
mythrilmoth at sbcglobal.net
Tue Sep 27 16:59:37 PDT 2011
And here's some more of the fic absolutely nobody wants.
Couple of things:
1. I changed the timeframe here; Fuuka and Koiwai will be married two weeks
after the events of Tuesday evening, as opposed to two *days*. The changes
have already been made to the online version.
2. If you missed the first part of this, find it here:
3. Project Miso has been implemented, even though I have not officially
launched it. The Project Miso versions of this and my other Yotsuba&!
fanfics (EXCEPT Pretty Neighbor 2nd Visit; that's gonna be a while) can be
found by adding _miso to the end of the filename. Fair warning: For most of
you, it's better if you stick to the "vanilla" versions; the "miso" versions
differ in that 15% or more of the dialogue has been rewritten in Japanese.
Standard disclaimers apply. C&C welcome, unless you're going to tell me what
a horrible story this is and that I should not write fanfic of this series
ever, in which case don't waste anyone's time with that.
Asagi was mildly surprised when Koiwai-san returned...*with* Fuuka, who had
done a complete mood reversal from absolute wreck to Happiest Girl On Earth.
"Okay, what did I miss that someone's gonna be sorry I was left out of?" she
"We're getting married," Koiwai said.
Asagi raised an eyebrow. "No, seriously, what happened?"
"He just told you, Oneechan," Fuuka said, giggling. "We're getting married."
Ena gaped. "EH?! Koiwai-san, you proposed to Oneechan?"
"Actually, it was kind of the other way around," Koiwai said. "Came outta
nowhere, too. I was totally surprised."
The two Ayase sisters who had not been present for the dramatic moment
exchanged a questioning glance, then stared at Fuuka. "Okay, even *I* missed
*that*," Asagi admitted.
"Yeah, I mean, how'd this..." Ena gestured at the two of them. "How'd this
happen without anybody noticing?"
Koiwai shifted uncomfortably. "Ah, if by 'this' you mean what I think you
mean...there never was a 'this'."
Fuuka smiled. "It's...not quite what you're thinking," she said.
"Oh? Then what *IS* it, exactly?" Asagi asked, arms folded.
"Complicated," Koiwai replied.
"Not THAT complicated," Fuuka corrected. "Taking care of Kotashi and
Yotsuba-chan makes me happy. So that's what I'm gonna do from now on."
Asagi blinked. "*THAT'S* what all the random cleaning and being over here
hours on end was? You get off on being a housewife?"
"Pretty much," Fuuka said, blushing. "You didn't have to put it like *that*,
though..." she added in a pained mutter.
The eldest Ayase sister shook her head. "Whatever. I'm too tired to try to
make sense of that right now. C'mon, Ena, let's go home." She paused. "I'm
guessing Fuuka's spending the night here?"
"Yeah...we have a lot to talk about, and after what just went down at your
place, it'd take a crowbar to get her off me," Koiwai said, shaking his
head. "Anyway, you girls head home...g'nite."
"Goodnight Oneechan, Ena-chan," Fuuka said. "We'll talk tomorrow, I
"Damn right we will," Asagi said, shaking her head. "I gotta know all the
details of this."
"Yotsuba-chan's asleep in the TV room," Ena told them as the two sisters
made their way to the genkan.
"Thanks, Ena-chan," Fuuka said.
Once they left, Koiwai and Fuuka stood awkwardly in the living room.
"Want some hot chocolate?" Koiwai said after a minute.
"Yeah, that'd be nice. Oh, I'll make it--"
"No no, I'll make it this time," Koiwai said. "You don't have to do *every*
single thing, you know. You've gotta let me do my equal share. That's just
the way it works."
Fuuka nodded. "Alright."
A short while later, they sat at the kitchen table with mugs of hot cocoa.
Koiwai took a sip of his, then said, "There's one question I have to ask,
before anything else. The one thing about all this that's kind of front and
center in my mind."
Koiwai stirred his cocoa idly for a moment before asking: "Are you actually
in love with me?"
Fuuka sighed, closing her eyes. "I'm not honestly sure," she admitted. "I
wondered that myself, and I've been trying to figure out if I am or not. The
truth is, I just don't know." She smiled weakly. "I'm sorry."
"No, no, that's fine," Koiwai replied, sipping his cocoa. "Actually, I'm
relieved to hear you admit that. It means you *are* thinking about this
seriously and not in some kind of weird schoolgirl heat."
Fuuka blushed. "Kotashi! That's mean."
He chuckled. "Sorry."
Fuuka blew upward at her bangs. "I might be in love with you, I don't know."
Fuuka said. "I mean, why else would taking care of you make me so happy?
But...more than that, the feeling I have is...you ever lose a piece of a
Koiwai nodded. "Yeah."
"That's kind of how I feel. When I'm forcing myself to study, to try to do
what everyone expects of me, I feel like a jigsaw puzzle with a couple
missing pieces. Then I come over here, and you and Yotsuba-chan are the
missing pieces and the picture's complete." She paused. "Does that make
sense?" she asked gamely.
Koiwai smiled. "Yeah. Yeah, I think it does."
"But why didn't you just tell me that?" Koiwai asked. "I mean, why let
things get this crazy?"
"I was...I guess I was afraid. I thought if I told everyone how I feel,
I'd..." She shook her head. "I didn't want to risk screwing things up and
getting shut out. As long as I could feel happy and whole, nothing else
mattered." She sighed. "I'm kinda stupid, huh?"
"No, just young," Koiwai said. "And trying to sort out some really
complicated feelings." He shook his head. "To be honest, I don't think
*I'VE* had any feelings as complicated as what you're going through, and I'm
a lot older--"
"You're 27, that's not a 'lot' older," Fuuka said.
Koiwai blinked. "You know how old I am?"
"And your birthday, blood type, exact height and weight, clothing size, food
allergies, likes and dislikes, how much you make on average a year, and what
brand of beer you prefer." She took a drink of her cocoa. "For starters."
Koiwai stared at her. "What...the..."
Fuuka rolled her eyes. "That's the kind of stuff a housewife needs to know,
after all," she said. "How can I take care of you if I don't know everything
about you?" She smiled. "I know everything about Yotsuba-chan, too. Well,
everything you know about her. Possibly a thing or two you don't."
Koiwai gaped at her. "That's...that's amazing. And a little scary, somehow."
Fuuka shrugged. "Okay, yeah, I admit it's a little stalkery, but..."
"And how did you even find out all that stuff?" Koiwai asked.
Fuuka rolled her eyes. "I've cleaned every inch of this house top to bottom,
done your laundry, cooked and shopped for you. Anything I needed to know
about you, I found out." She grinned. "I *can* study. If I'm studying
something worth studying."
Koiwai blushed. "Um...thanks." He shook his head. "I'm sorry, it's gonna
take a while to get used to all this."
"We pretty much have all the time in the world," Fuuka said, finishing her
"One other thing," Koiwai asked. "When...I mean, exactly when did you--"
"It wasn't all at once," Fuuka said. "I didn't really realize how much I
absolutely need you and Yotsuba-chan until a couple months ago. But I think
the first time I felt some kind of connection..." She idly turned her empty
cup around in her hands. "It wasn't long after you moved here. That day it
rained really hard, and I helped Yotsuba-chan bring in the laundry, and you
did the Pants Man thing."
Koiwai laughed. "I remember that day."
Fuuka smiled. "Yeah. I mean, it's not like it was a big holy crap
revelation. It's just that..." She frowned thoughtfully. "It was just like,
'this is nice, I like this'. That's what it was at first. And then over
time, whenever I'd do something for the two of you, I started feeling more
connected...and then, a couple months ago, I realized I needed to be part of
this family. That I'm only really, truly happy when I'm here doing stuff for
you." She looked down at the table, blushing prettily.
Koiwai drained his cocoa, now long since stone cold, and sat contemplating
everything Fuuka had said. "Well, if this has been going on inside you for
that long..." He paused. "I mean, knowing this isn't some sudden kneejerk
reaction to exam stress makes this whole thing a lot easier to accept."
"This isn't some silly little schoolgirl crush," Fuuka said, voice firm with
conviction. "This is something I've thought long and hard about." She
blushed. "I was actually going to wait until after I graduated, then kind of
try to ease you into the idea of being with me. I just didn't realize how
fast things were going to spin out of control."
Koiwai raised an eyebrow. "You...were planning to play chess with my heart?"
"I'm a woman," Fuuka replied with a smirk. "It's what we do."
Suddenly, Fuuka turned very red. "Um, and...Kotashi..."
Fuuka pushed the tips of her index fingers together. "Um...like I said, I'll
do anything you need me to...anything you want me to." She bowed her head;
her bangs obscured her eyes. "Everything a wife is supposed to do."
It took Koiwai a minute to realize what she was saying; he turned scarlet.
"Um...yeah...I think that's something we can hold off on until we're all at
the same...comfort level...with this whole situation."
Fuuka let out a relieved sigh. "Okay. I'm honestly not really ready for that
yet. I just...wanted you to know, I'm...I'll do that, if you want."
"I'm just not even gonna think about that right now," Koiwai said with a
shaky laugh. "In fact, I think, um...we should probably sleep in separate
futons for a while."
Fuuka blushed. "Probably a good idea." She toyed with the spoon in her empty
cup. "I'm sorry if I embarassed you or anything. I just...as long as we're
airing everything out, I just wanted to bring that up too."
Koiwai sighed. "Well, I can't fault you for being thorough..."
"Um...am I, um, I mean..." Fuuka stammered. "Are you...um...okay with me,
you know, that way?"
"Huh?" Koiwai asked. "I don't quite get what you're asking."
Fuuka ducked her head. "I mean, I know I'm not as pretty as Oneechan,
"Oh." Koiwai smiled. "You're just right, Fuuka-chan. Don't...don't worry
Fuuka's face flamed. "Thank you," she said quietly. "That...thank you."
"It's really late," Koiwai said. "We really should get some sleep."
"Um..." Fuuka said, "I'm...not really sleepy. I don't think I can sleep
tonight." She bowed her head. "Sorry."
"That's okay. Honestly, I don't think I can get to sleep right now either.
Too much to think about."
"Is it...is it okay if we just sit up and talk?"
Koiwai nodded. "Probably the best idea right now, yeah..."
Fuuka returned shortly after her sisters woke up. It was obvious she hadn't
slept all night, but she didn't seem particularly fatigued.
"Have fun with Koiwai-san last night?" Asagi asked as Fuuka headed for the
stairs. "Or do I want to know?"
"We just talked," Fuuka said, shaking her head. "We...kinda had a lot to
"I gotta get ready for school," Fuuka said as she went upstairs.
Asagi sighed. "I guess I won't get to find out what's going on until later,
A short while later, a refreshed and dressed Fuuka came back downstairs. She
ducked into the kitchen and grabbed a slice of toast and some juice. "Hi,
Mom," she greeted.
"Good morning, Fuuka-chan," Mom replied, cheek resting against one palm as
she watched her daughter. "You seem to be in good spirits this morning."
"Me and Kotashi talked a lot last night, and by the time the sun came up and
Yotsuba-chan woke up, we pretty much agreed this is gonna work," Fuuka
replied, smiling. "It'll be a little weird at first, but we're gonna make it
Mom smiled. "I'm glad. I'm still a little overwhelmed by all this, and your
father probably has some things he's going to want to clear up with you
two..." She sighed. "But I could see how you really feel last night, and I'm
behind you on this. Now that I really understand what's going on with you."
"Thanks, Mom," Fuuka replied, hugging her mother. "Um, can I ask a really
"Of course, dear."
"Can you kinda help Kotashi pack up my stuff today?" Fuuka asked. "Um...I
kinda asked him to come over and start moving me out while I'm at school."
Mom raised an eyebrow. "You're not wasting any time."
"Why should I? I mean, I made it pretty clear last night," Fuuka replied. "I
belong with Kotashi now. We're not married yet, but as far as I'm concerned
that's a formality. I'm a housewife, and a housewife lives in the house she
takes care of." She gave her mother a pleading look. "I really need to be
there to stay as soon as possible."
Mom chuckled. "I never said anything about stopping you," she said. "Don't
worry, by the time you come home from school..." She sighed. "Well, your
home will be next door." Her eyes shimmered with sudden tears.
Fuuka bent down and hugged her mother. "Don't cry," she said. "Don't be
Mom sniffled and smiled. "I can't help it...one of my babies is all grown up
and leaving the nest." Wiping at her eyes with a napkin, she added, "and it
isn't the one I hoped I'd be rid of first."
"Love you too Mom," Asagi called from the kitchen door.
Fuuka shook her head. "You know? I'm kinda glad I'm getting out of here now.
You and Oneechan are enough to drive anyone crazy."
Mom laughed. "Have a good day at school, dear."
"Yotsuba, I need you to listen carefully, because I'm going to tell you
"Okay Daddy," the green-haired girl said intently, sitting cross-legged in
front of her father.
"The next few weeks are gonna be a little weird," Koiwai said. "I may be
coming and going a lot more than usual, and right around the start of summer
break you may have to stay next door during the day, because I've gotta go
all the way to the city. But Ena'll be off school, so she'll be able to play
Yotsuba brightened. "If Ena's out of school, then Fuuka is too, and we can
Koiwai smiled. "Actually, Fuuka's gonna be going to the city with me," he
Yotsuba blinked. "You're takin' Fuuka to the city but not me?" Her lip
started to quiver.
"I'm sorry, Yotsuba, but..." Koiwai sighed. "See, me and Fuuka have
something really important to do. Something grown-up. We're gonna be pretty
busy and you'd be totally bored. That's why you're gonna have to stay here
and play with Ena."
"Awww," Yotsuba pouted. "Okay." She tilted her head. "So what are you an'
Fuuka gonna do?" she asked.
Koiwai sighed, running a hand through his hair. "That's the big thing I
wanted to talk to you about," he began. "Yotsuba, there's gonna be some
changes around here. It might confuse you a little for a while."
"Changes?" Yotsuba asked.
"You see, Fuuka's gonna come live with us from now on."
The little girl's eyes widened. "Really? She gets to stay an' don't gotta go
"From now on, this IS Fuuka's home," Koiwai explained.
"AWESOME!" Yotsuba cheered. "But how come?"
Koiwai smiled. "Fuuka's gonna be your new mommy."
"EH?!" Yotsuba gasped, eyes huge. "Fuuka's gonna be Mommy?"
"That's right," Koiwai said. "And she's gonna take care of us from now on."
Yotsuba thought about that for a minute. "Daddy, are you marryin' Fuuka?"
"That's right, Yotsuba. I'm marrying Fuuka."
"Whoa," the little girl breathed, impressed.
"Anyway, today me and Fuuka's mom are gonna move her stuff over here,
because Fuuka's really anxious to start living with us as soon as possible,
and then in a couple of weeks we're gonna go to the city and do all the
stuff we need to do so we can get married. And then you'll have a mommy."
"I get my own mommy...my very own mommy..." Yotsuba said, voice thick with
Koiwai smiled and ruffled her hair. "Yep." He stood and stretched. "Well,
better get to it then..."
"How can one teenage girl possibly have so much CRAP?!" Koiwai wondered,
staring at the pile of boxes, bags, and miscellaneous stuff that had been
cleaned out of Fuuka's bedroom.
"This? This isn't even that bad," Mrs. Ayase said. "Fuuka-chan's actually
pretty good about not being a packrat."
"Then explain THAT," Koiwai replied, pointing to two alarmingly huge boxes
which had been labelled "Weird T-Shirts". "Come to think of it, has she ever
even worn one of those more than once? Because I don't remember ever seeing
her wear the same one twice."
Mrs. Ayase shrugged. "What can I tell you? Fuuka-chan collects T-shirts."
Koiwai shook his head in disbelief, and bent to pick up a box. "I'd better
get one hell of a backrub when she gets home today, that's all I'm sayin'."
Mrs. Ayase laughed.
"You seem to be in good spirits today, Fuuka," Shimau commented as she sat
on Fuuka's desk, swinging her legs idly as she nibbled at her lunch.
"Mm," Fuuka nodded.
"Did something good happen?" Shimau asked.
"Mm-hmm," Fuuka replied with a silly smile as she picked around in her own
"Perhaps...a boyfriend?" Shimau pressed.
"Something like that," Fuuka said, smothering a giggle.
"Then it is as Hiro-kun and the President suspected," Shimau said, nodding.
"Not that I approve of their gossip or anything! It's just--"
Fuuka blinked. "Hiro-kun and the President were gossiping about me?"
Shimau bowed her head. "Yesterday afternoon, when they were teasing you,"
Fuuka blushed. "Oh."
"It's just...those notes of yours that Hiro-kun got hold of," Shimau
explained, "he said that the name 'Kotashi' was repeatedly and prominently
written, along with a great deal of information about such a person..."
Fuuka looked down at her lunch. "Oh," she said in a small voice.
"I must admit to being curious myself," Shimau said. "I don't recall knowing
of a person by that name."
"You know him, you've just never heard his given name before," Fuuka
replied. Looking around, she motioned Shimau to lean closer. "It's
Yotsuba-chan's dad," she whispered.
"EH?!" Shimau cried, staring at Fuuka in shock. "You and Koiwai-san--"
"SHHHH!" Fuuka hissed. "I don't want people to know yet!"
"Sorry, sorry!" The two girls looked around to see if anyone was
eavesdropping; fortunately, they were fairly isolated, and the chatter of
other conversations in clusters of students around the room muffled Shimau's
"Whew," Fuuka sighed.
Shimau blinked down at her. "But...you're seriously...together with that
"Yeah," Fuuka nodded. "Well, it's a little more complicated than that, but
that we're together is the gist of it."
"How on Earth did that happen?" Shimau asked. "I mean, I have nothing
against Koiwai-san, far from it, I just..."
Fuuka smiled. "It's okay, Shimau, settle down." She shook her head. "Like I
said, it's complicated, and I don't want to explain it right here and now."
"Alright," Shimau replied. "If you ever do want to talk about it, feel free
to call me." She tilted her head. "Or we can meet to discuss it after
school. Unless you have plans..."
"Yeah, I kinda do," Fuuka said. "We're gonna be super busy over the next
"Busy?" Shimau blinked.
Fuuka glanced around the room again, then pulled Shimau close and whispered,
"Don't yell, don't freak out, don't react at all, but we're getting
The round-faced girl stared at her, eyes wide, mute with shock. "I...see.
"Thanks. Anyway, for the next couple days I'm gonna be busy with moving out
of my parents' house and moving in with Kotashi."
Shimau blinked. "Already? Just when are you two getting married?"
"First week of summer break, but we won't have the ceremony until after
"I see..." Shimau frowned. "This certainly is a lot to take in. I wish you'd
let me in on all this sooner..."
Fuuka sighed. "I'll tell you everything as soon as I have a chance, Shimau."
She smiled. "And I haven't been keeping anything from you. This just kinda
happened really, really fast..."
Mrs. Ayase peered out the door and saw Jumbo standing at the gate, carrying
a huge bouquet of assorted flowers, at least half of which were roses. "Oh?"
she asked. "And who are those lovely flowers for?"
Asagi suddenly leaned outside from behind her and waved at Jumbo. "You'll
want to take those next door!" she called. "They're for Fuuka-chan!"
Jumbo blinked. "Eh?"
"Koiwai-san didn't tell you yet?" Asagi asked, a mischevious tone in her
Mrs. Ayase facepalmed. "You didn't."
"Who? Me?" Asagi asked innocently, covering a giggle with her fingertips.
Mrs. Ayase rolled her eyes. "Yeah, those go next door. I'm pretty sure this
demon child ordered them, but they'll be from Koiwai-san to Fuuka-chan."
"They're for Fuuka...from Koiwai?" Jumbo asked, blinking.
"He'll explain everything," Asagi said.
"Oh good grief," Koiwai groaned. Shaking his head, he dug his wallet out of
his pocket. "How much do I owe you, Jumbo?"
Jumbo frowned from where he was arranging the bouquet on the living room
table. "An explanation," he said. "And I'll decide what else you owe me
"Daddy's marryin' Fuuka an' she's gonna be my new mommy!" Yotsuba said from
where she lay on her stomach on the floor, drawing.
Jumbo turned to slowly stare at Koiwai.
Koiwai sighed. "Yyyeah...turns out all that housework and Fuuka-chan being
so eager to do stuff? Is because she wanted to be part of this family. My
wife, Yotsuba-chan's mother."
Jumbo blinked. "She...this was her idea?"
"Yeah," Koiwai said. "It was a total surprise, and at first I was kinda
freaked out by it, but...we talked a long time last night." He smiled. "I
think it's gonna work out just fine."
Jumbo shook his head in bewilderment. "And her parents are okay with this?"
"Her dad's taking us up to the city first week of break to do the
paperwork," Koiwai said.
"That soon?!" Jumbo bellowed.
Koiwai shrugged. "What can I say? Fuuka really went all out convincing us to
let her do this."
Koiwai stood and slapped the large man playfully on the shoulder. "Hey, look
at it this way," he said. "You're gonna make a killing off us when we do the
ceremony after graduation."
"No I'm not," Jumbo said, stone-faced.
Koiwai's face fell. "Eh? You're not?"
Jumbo shook his head. "You really think I'd charge full price for my best
friend's wedding?" He grinned. "Wholesale plus ten yen."
Koiwai sighed with relief and returned the big man's grin. "You had me goin'
there for a minute," he said.
"But it'll be 7800 yen for these," Jumbo said. He snickered at Koiwai's
exaggerated moan of pain.
Fuuka came home to find all her belongings boxed and bagged up and stacked
all over the house, mostly in the bedroom. She also found a large, beautiful
bouquet of flowers on the living room table.
"Welcome home, Mommy!" Yotsuba called, running up to her and hugging her.
"Hello, Yotsuba-chan," she said, smiling. "So your Daddy told you?"
"Uh-huh!" Yotsuba beamed up at her. "You're gonna be the bestest Mommy
Fuuka knelt down and embraced the little girl. "I'll do my best," she said.
"Yo," Koiwai called from the stairs.
"Hey," Fuuka greeted. "For me?" she asked, indicating the flowers.
"Of course," Koiwai replied.
Fuuka smiled. "Thanks." She knelt by the table to have a better look at the
flowers and to smell them, then stood and walked over to Koiwai, kissing him
on the cheek. "So, I guess...it's time to unpack all my stuff and get
settled in, then?"
"Yeah," Koiwai replied. "I'd have already unpacked it, but..." He turned
pink. "I had a mental image of Yotsuba running around the house waving a bra
around, and I decided it could wait until you got home."
Yotsuba had gone out to jump rope with Ena and Miura while Koiwai and Fuuka
Koiwai stared in disgust at the purple T-shirt Fuuka had just pulled out of
the box. "Uh," he said in a flat tone.
"What?" Fuuka asked. "Is the color bad?" She held it up against her body.
"Or the size?"
"It's...not that..." Koiwai said. "It's...the printing..."
Across the chest of the royal purple shirt, printed in big block yellow
letters, were the words "FUCK BABY" in English.
Fuuka blinked. "Eh? What? Is there something wrong with it?" She examined
it, brow furrowed. "I bought it because that first word is so close to my
name in romaji..."
Koiwai coughed, and explained to her exactly what that word meant.
Fuuka dropped the shirt in horror, face blue and eye twitching. "Burn that,"
she said disgustedly.
Koiwai sighed. "I'd better check all the shirts you have with English on
them, just to be sure there's nothing else like that."
"Um...yeah, good idea," Fuuka agreed in a small voice.
In all, Koiwai found fourteen shirts with slogans on them that were wildly
and hilariously inappropriate. By far the most baffling was one with the
legend, "I Trusted The Government, Now My Dick Glows In The Dark".
Fuuka had made a very strange noise when he translated that one. "Who comes
UP with this crap?" she asked.
Koiwai shrugged. "I have no idea."
"I'm never buying a shirt with English on it ever again," Fuuka said,
"Eh, some of these are okay. A couple of them are even cute. Just...check
with me first from now on, okay?"
Getting Fuuka's stuff unpacked had wiped them both out; Koiwai suggested
ordering pizza for dinner since they both needed to be in bed early, and
Fuuka had heartily agreed.
"Ne, Mommy, can you cook this too?" Yotsuba asked as they ate.
Fuuka laughed. "I don't know, I've never tried. I doubt I can make it this
"Besides, if Mommy's cooking, you'd rather have her make okonomiyaki,
right?" Koiwai said.
"Yeah! Or pancakes and lots of syrup!" Yotsuba said as she got tomato sauce
all over her face.
Fuuka giggled. "I think I can manage that."
"Now, Yotsuba," Koiwai said, "there's something important you have to
understand about Fuuka becoming your mommy."
"Hmm? Something important?"
Koiwai nodded. "Yeah. From now on, you have to do what she tells you just
like you have to do what I tell you. Because if you don't, she might get
mad, and she can punish you."
Yotsuba's eyes widened. "Mommy, you'd punish me?"
"If you're a bad girl, I might have to," Fuuka said sadly. "But you're a
good girl, right?"
"Uh-huh!" Yotsuba replied.
Fuuka smiled. "Then you shouldn't have to worry about it."
"Also, Fuuka's still going to school until she graduates," Koiwai explained.
"So for a little while, she'll be gone most of the day."
"But as soon as I come home I'll make lots of time for you, Yotsuba-chan,"
Fuuka promised. "As soon as I tidy up and make dinner every day."
"Okay!" Yotsuba replied. "How long are you still gonna go to school, Mommy?"
"Well," Fuuka replied after a bite of pizza, "Summer break starts week after
next, so I'll be off for a month and I'll be home all the time then...well,
except for however long it takes to get the formalities out of the way..."
"Fomaddities?" Yotsuba asked.
"Formalities," Koiwai corrected. "She means when we go up to the city to get
"Yeah, and after that, like I said, I'll have a whole month to just be your
mommy," Fuuka said with a smile. "But then I'll have to go back to school at
the end of August, and I'll graduate in March. So it'll be a while yet...I'm
"But after she graduates, she's your mommy all day every day from now on,"
Koiwai said, smiling.
"So you can put up with me having to go to school for a little while longer,
"If I gotta," Yotsuba pouted. Then she tilted her head. "But you're gonna
sleep with me an' Daddy from now on, right?"
"That's right," Fuuka said. "I'll always be here when you wake up in the
morning and when you go to bed at night. I'll be the one to make your
breakfast, and I'll be the one to make your dinner, too."
"Most of the time, anyway," Koiwai said. "After all, I still need to do my
fair share of the work."
"So Daddy's still gonna make dinner sometimes?" Yotsuba asked.
"Yeah, I'll still make dinner sometimes."
"Good, because Daddy's curry is the best!" Yotsuba said. "And the sausage
"Sausage bowls?" Fuuka asked.
"I'll make it tomorrow," Koiwai replied.
"Finish up your dinner, Yotsuba-chan," Fuuka said. "I still gotta give you a
bath before bed."
The futons were spread out adjacent to each other; Fuuka yawned hugely as
she shuffled into the bedroom, dressed in her pajamas, carrying a
"We're all gonna sleep together?" Yotsuba asked.
"We are," Fuuka replied around a yawn. "But for right now, Mommy and Daddy
are sleeping in separate futons, so you'll have to decide which one of us
you want to sleep with."
"Mommy!" Yotsuba declared. "I'm gonna sleep with Mommy tonight!"
Fuuka smiled. "Okay, sweetie, you can sleep with me tonight." She hugged the
little girl tightly, then set about bedding down for the night.
When Koiwai came to bed, Fuuka and Yotsuba were already sound asleep. He
smiled at them, then laid down on his own futon.
*This may really work out just fine after all...*
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