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Joined by heart.

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Today was a good day. Akihito’s day had started out with a light ache in his hips he would never admit to liking, followed by good tip-off on a diet member’s illicit affairs. The tip-off had led to a fruitful stake out of which he would need to share the profits of with his un-official partner in crime Mitarai.

But since that was something that was easily brushed off considering it was front-page news, Akihito didn’t let the split profits bother him. He had finally received the pay for a photograph assignment that had been late due to problems at the bank.

At the store, they’d had his favourite pocky flavour which normally always sold out as soon as it was laid out. Not to mention that there had been no-one in line before him at the cash-register, allowing him to breeze through it without a problem with one of his items forgotten to scan by the sour cashier, meaning free.

Outside in the sun warming his skin under a blue sky, nibbling on a pocky stick as he walked with two full bags in hand, Akihito wondered if he should buy a lottery ticket. He hadn’t been this lucky since his early teenage years. Amusing, how low Akihito’s standards of being lucky were.

Amusing also, how easy this could get washed down the drain. Or in his case, flushed down the toilet. Reality check, his day was nothing like that.

Akihito’s day started indeed with a twinge in his hips, but also with his head in toilet bowl. His stomach was being funny, dizziness just making it worse. He wasn’t even talking about his mood, which swung from this to that at the drop of a hat. Not that he was the only one.

It was hot as balls outside. For some reason, in the beginning of the summer, it was crazy hot outside. It was only June, for Christ’s sake. It was no wonder Akihito was so moody, though normally, he liked the summer, spend every available minute in the sun as if he worked on solar energy.

Now, he didn’t have the energy for it. He was lethargic, tired and really just wanted to sleep. Coming out into the sun still helped with lifting his spirits, but a bed would help more.

Overall, Akihito just felt off. As he looked in the mirror, that feeling was confirmed. It wasn’t that he looked bad, but it clearly showed on his face that he wasn’t like usual. There were tired lines under his eyes, an overall sleep-deprived look on his face, the corners of his mouth hanging down. Also, he could really use a haircut. He just didn’t feel like it.

Pushing his bangs back with a sigh, Akihito left the bathroom where he had run into right as he had been preparing to leave to meet Takato and Kou to go shopping. In the genkan of the penthouse, Akihito slipped into his white sneakers.

He checked his clothing for the last time, pushing the front of his light cotton white shirt behind the waistband of his pale-blue jeans, adjusting the rolled up sleeves of the solid light-blue flannel that hung over it.

He glanced on his watch before moving out the door. The watch had been a birthday present from his mom. One he didn’t know he needed until he had it. The watch that he had had before, broke the day after his birthday, leaving him grateful to exchange it for the slightly more expensive Nixon kensington watch with light-brown leather straps. He was sure it was actually a lady’s watch, but he didn’t really care as long as it was useful.

Takato and Kou were waiting for him at the shopping-district, waving when they caught sight of him. Akihito’s wonder about why he decided to come outside on a day like this, was forgotten as he stepped up next to his friends before they continued to the shops to look for a wedding anniversary gift for Takato’s wife.

In the lingerie store Takato had decided on, the two blondes looked around unfazed while Kou felt a bit uncomfortable. The raven stuck to Akihito, considering the fact that their married friend was picking out the most raunchy and ridiculous things.

“Can I help you?” a store-worker asked and the trio looked up at her.

“Yeah, actually. This guy is looking for a gift for his wife” Akihito said as he jerked his thumb at the taller blonde who smiled.

“Okay, did you have something in mind?” the brunette asked as she directed her attention to Takato.

“Yeah, my wife and I just had a son and she feels insecure about her body. I want to buy her something to help her regain confidence. It’s not for me to look at but for her to feel sexy in” he said and the store-worker looked impressed.

“That’s a very nice thought. What’s her size?” she asked and as soon as Takato’s hands came up, her impressed look disappeared. Akihito and Kou couldn’t help but snort as Takato tried to show the measurements with his hands.

“You don’t know your own wife’s sizes?” Kou asked and Akihito shook his head.

“You’ve been married to her for two years. How can you not know what you play with?” he asked and Kou frowned pitying.

“And then people think you’re the smart one of us, I don’t get it” he said and Takato’s cheeks flushed as he glared at his friends. Even the store worker had to chuckle at their antics as Takato hissed at the idiots he had asked to tag along.

“I’ll just ask her” Kou said and pulled out her phone.

“Don’t tell her it’s for a gift” Takato said and the raven rolled with his eyes. Akihito shook with his head at his fellow blonde, his shoulders shaking with light chuckles. Luckily, after getting the sizes with an excuse of how Kou was shopping for his girl-friend, choosing became easy.

With a look at the time, Takato suggested to stop somewhere for lunch, something Akihito reluctantly agreed to. He wasn’t feeling too good yet, but being around his friends made him feel better. He had managed to eat half a bowl ramen before he had to excuse himself.

“Akihito, are you okay?” Kou asked worried as the blonde sat back down at their table. Akihito looked up and forced a smile onto his face.

“Sure, just tired and a little sick. Maybe it’s just the cold Chinese I ate last night. It tasted funny, but I was hungry” he said and Takato shook his head.

“Aki, you know midnight snacks are unhealthy” he said and Akihito scoffed.

“Yeah, whatever, daddy” he said and Takato grimaced.

“Please don’t call me that. I don’t want to know what kind of kinks and your partner have” he said and at the mention of partner, Akihito’s smile dampened. Of course his friends knew about Asami, they had figured it out a while ago, not that Akihito was all that secretive. Towards the two in front of him, he couldn’t lie to save his life.

“Is something wrong between you two?” Kou asked, noticing Akihito’s look at the table. The blonde looked up and gave a shrug.

“I don’t think that it’s important, but things are just a bit weird” he admitted and Kou and Takato waited in silence, gently coaxing the blonde to talk.

“We don’t really talk anymore” Akihito said and rested his cheek onto his raised hand, drawing circles in the table with his finger.

“I mean, we still sit together and have sex and such, but we don’t talk. I tried to, don’t think I didn’t. He just, shot me down every time I tried” he said and shrugged again, trying to brush off the uneasy feeling in his stomach.

“It’s like he’s getting tired of me, but he’s getting clingier at the same time. I don’t get it. He’s usually not that clingy, but now, every time we sit together, he has to touch me in one way or another” he said and shook his head.

“He’s always been rather difficult to understand, but I thought I was good at it. I used to be, but now I just can’t seem to get any height of him and I don’t know what to think of it” he said and glanced up at his friends.

“It’s like that, you know. The feeling before you hear the sentence ‘we need to talk’” he said and the duo across him grimaced, both having experienced that feeling.

“I know there is something going on, but nobody is telling me anything. And on top of that, I’ve been feeling like shit all week long” he said and shook his head, brushing his bangs back.

“I feel like sleeping all the time, I can’t stand the smell of tuna, I nauseous, I actually snapped at Emi two days ago. I just feel off and on top of it the situation with Asami, I guess it’s just the stress getting to me” he said and Takato shrugged.

“That or you’re pregnant” he said and both Kou and Akihito looked at him.

“Hey, I’m just saying. My wife was like that too when she was pregnant with Hiroto and male pregnancies aren’t impossible” Takato defended himself and Akihito frowned.

“They aren’t impossible, but they are rare. Like, only 9 percent of the total human population has the ability to become pregnant, no matter which gender or which partner. I’m not one of them” he said and Takato shrugged.

“You could be” he said and Akihito shook his head.

“Don’t be ridiculous. My mom would have told me if I was” he said and slouched in his seat, wanting the conversation to end. He didn’t want to think of the possibility of him being a carrier of the Mpreg gene. Asami and him had been going at it bareback ever since the beginning.

Have you heard of the Mpreg gene? It’s a genetic mutation that allows males to carry a child. Like females, they develop a womb during their time in their mother’s womb, despite being male. Just like females, they produce fertile eggs that allows them to be impregnated the same way females do.

Only nine percent of the complete human population has this genetic mutation. It might not seem like much, but it’s enough to make it recognized in the medical field. There is even a special city where people with the Mpreg gene can live together with others like them.

That was the exact text Akihito had read from his very first biology book when he was a child. It had stuck with him even now. There had been a time where being a carrier of the Mpreg gene had been an unwanted mutation, an abomination of nature. But that had changed and people became more used to the idea of men being able to get impregnated.

The cities that harboured the carriers still existed in a somewhat secret and protected area. New generations had gotten used to the idea and saw it as normal. As if it was a mutation like albinism or something.

Akihito had never considered the possibility of him being a carrier. Yet his friend’s words had sprouted a bud of doubt inside his chest. Something that led him to stop in front of the pharmacy on his way home. He bit on his lip before going inside, glancing back once because he knew he had a guard on him.

“Hello, can I help you?” the pharmacist asked and Akihito swallowed.

“Yeah, I’d like some vitamins tablets, a male pregnancy test and stomach relief tablets” Akihito said, mentioning the pregnancy test in between in the hope to make it sound normal. He ignored the look the pharmacist send him before he gathered Akihito’s order.

“They’re pregnancy safe, just in case” the older man said and Akihito wanted to die. He paid for his order before taking the bag and walking out of the pharmacy like it was on fire. In his mind, he was the one who had started the fire, to get rid of the evidence of one of his stupid ideas.

Because that was what it was. A stupid idea that Takato had mentioned. Akihito had just bought a test on a whim because his bottle blonde friend had told him his wife had had the same symptoms as Akihito had. But Takato was not a doctor nor an expect, so Akihito had just bought it as a silly joke.

Or more like, to reassure himself that it was just a silly joke.

Akihito looked on his watch after capping the test and putting it on the edge of the sink. Five minutes and he would be able to laugh. He would probably snort at himself for thinking of wasting money on something so stupid and throw the test in the trashcan.

The he would tell Takato and Kou and they would laugh about him, make fun of him that he had even been so gullible and stupid to believe Takato for one second. If he told Asami, the man might even talk to him again, if only to tell him what a brat he was for believing something like that.

Honestly, who knew five minutes could take that long? Akihito felt that he could run to the store for some pocky, come back, prepare dinner and be ready even before the five minute wait was over.

Akihito loitered in front of the bathroom-door, walking back in forth before it while his timer was blaring at him. He was trying to encourage himself, because really, how hard could it be? He would go in, take a look at the little screen of the test and have a good laugh. He laughed a lot, he could do this.

So Akihito did. He opened the door of the bathroom and walked in as if he was going to take a piss. He picked up the test, like he was checking the time on his phone. And he laughed.

Two lines.

Two fucking lines.

Well that brought a few things to light. Akihito’s mother, the person he had thought to have given birth to him, hadn’t. He was well aware of the fact that only men could pass down the Mpreg gene, so that could only mean that his ever-evasive father was the one who had given birth to him.

Akihito stumbled back until he was seated on the toilet, his thoughts racing. The people he called mom and dad were siblings, he knew this. His mother hadn’t hidden this fact and urged him to call her by her name. When he was alone, however, he called her mom. Because to him, she raised him and loved him, and thus that was what she was.

His dad on the other hand, was out of the picture most of the time. He was a national geographic photographer and he travelled all around the world to capture the most beautiful images. He had given Akihito his very first camera when he was thirteen and Akihito always received the very first prints of the magazine.

But Akihito had always thought that his mom had been the one to give birth to him and that his dad had just taken on the role of father-figure because his biological father was out of the picture. The positive pregnancy test made it clear that it was the other way around.

If it had been a female pregnancy test, he could have pushed it on possible testicular cancer. But with the one that was created especially for carriers, it was impossible. They were specialized to pick up on the hormones only pregnant men had. Akihito had.

“Fuck, fuck, fuck, shit, fuck, god-dammit” Akihito cursed, his vision blurring and his hands trembling. He let the hand with the test in dangle from his knee, the other covering his face as he desperately tried to force the tears back, biting on his lip until he tasted blood.

What the hell was he supposed to do now? He was 24, which wasn’t really a bad age to get children, but that didn’t mean he felt ready for it. That didn’t mean he wanted to give up his job. And then Akihito wasn’t even talking about how targeted he would be if Asami’s enemies knew he was carrying the crime-lord’s child.

Akihito chocked on the air entering his lungs.

Asami. Oh god, Asami. What would the crime-lord think of this? Would he be okay with it? Would he want to keep it? Would he deny it, but still support it? Would he force Akihito to abort it? Did Akihito want to abort it?

It was an option, to abort it before Asami found out and before Akihito would need to quit his job. But would he be able to do it? His mother and father always been against abortion and he had grown up thinking the same way. He agreed that in some conditions, it couldn’t really be helped. But he was in no such condition.

But maybe, he was just freaking out about nothing. Maybe the test made a mistake. Or maybe he had done something wrong. It could just be false alarm. He wouldn’t know for sure unless the doctor confirmed it. All he had to do was make an appointment at the hospital and he would be okay. Then he would know for sure.

Akihito fingers trembled, barely able to type in the number of the hospital front-desk. He could do this, no problem. He would go to the hospital, get himself checked out and then decide what to do. If it was false alarm, no harm done. If it wasn’t, then he would… he had no idea.

The blonde photographer literally had no idea what to do. He wouldn’t be able to keep this from Asami. Stopping at a pharmacy was easy to explain with the vitamins and the stomach tablets, but going to the hospital was something else entirely.

Akihito didn’t have a choice but to go. If he really was pregnant he needed to go to the hospital, no questions asked. After receiving a positive test, he couldn’t just ignore it. He needed to know the truth before he could decide what he would do.

Chapter Text

Why did he think he would be able to do this?

How had he ever thought he would be able to do this? That this would be easy? This was anything but easy and he was freaking the fuck out, big time.

The ultra-sound picture in his back-pocket felt like a neon-sign with the weight of three trucks, complete with blaring horns. His nerves were shot to hell and his mind could barely keep up with his thought-process as he stood in front of the door of the penthouse, stiff as a board with a blank face, no doubt.

He was pregnant. Preggers. Preggo. Knocked up. Bun in the oven. Pea in the pod. Eating for two.

Correction, three. He was developing not one foetus, but two. He was carrying two of Asami’s children, in one go. Akihito knew Asami never did anything half-assed, but the crime-lord could really have slacked off on this part.

What was he supposed to do now? What was he supposed to tell Asami? How would he react? Would he be kicked out? Forced to abort? Maybe Asami might even kill him, he hadn’t even thought about that.

Before Akihito could decide to turn away and make a run for it, he pushed the door open, not even kicking off his shoes as he rushed to the toilet. His stomach was empty, so it couldn’t really get any emptier. Out of habit, he still flushed the toilet as he stood up.

As he stepped out of the toilet, he noticed the high platform heels in the foyer. He frowned at them, something in his mind already clicking. Somewhere inside him, he had seen this coming. Yet it didn’t stop his feelings from slowly trying to choke him as he heard footsteps behind him.

“Ara, the whore is still here? I thought you already dumped him” a voice said behind him and Akihito swallowed bile before looking up over his shoulder. He recognized the face that was retracted into a smug smirk.

Furutani Yumika, daughter of Furutani Mizuno, chief of staff of the Japanese defence force. The woman was about the same age as Akihito was, if not a year younger. With long way black hair, dark eyes and subtly tanned skin, Yumika was one of the country’s most wanted bachelorettes.

Men literally threw themselves in front of her feet, desiring not only her slim curves, but also the power and wealth her name brought. However, Akihito knew that Yumika herself was not the one owning the wealth, but her doting father who couldn’t say no to her.

From what Akihito knew about her from his network, she was very kind and respectful on the surface. But under that façade, she was a spoiled little bitch who couldn’t be bothered with talking with anyone below her standard. Clearly, Asami was up to her standard as he stepped up behind her, his face impassive.

It wasn’t that Akihito was unsure of what to make of the situation, it was more that he didn’t know why the hell Asami wasn’t looking him in the eye. The photographer felt something crack inside his chest as he stared at the duo, the woman walking up to him.

“Oh my, he seems surprised. Didn’t you tell him, Ryuichi?” she asked as she looked back at the crime-lord who didn’t react to her words.

“Tell me what?” Akihito asked, though he already had a pretty solid guess of the answer.

“Our engagement. It’ll be all over the news tomorrow” the woman said as she held up her hand adorning a large oval diamond ring that could not be mistaken as something else. Still, it was a rather hard blow for the blonde. As if hearing that he was pregnant wasn’t bad enough.

“Asami?” he asked as he looked at the crime-lord who still refused to meet his gaze.

“Not going to say anything, huh? That’s rare” Akihito said and Asami turned around to walk back into the penthouse.

“There is nothing to say. You’re not dumb” the crime-lord said coldly and the woman send a satisfied, smug smile at Akihito. The blonde ignored her as he followed after the raven.

“I want to hear it from your mouth, Asami” Akihito demanded and Asami sat down in the sofa as Akihito stopped next to it, his heart begging the crime-lord not to break it. His prayers went unheard as Asami looked at the TV in front of him, already holding a freshly poured tumbler of whiskey in his hand.

“I’m settling down and you’re unnecessary. We’ve had our fun, but I’m tired of you. Our social statuses are too different and you can’t give me an heir. You were just a hole to fuck and I don’t need you anymore” Asami said monotone and Akihito swallowed thickly, well aware of the eyes watching the scene. The blonde’s vision blurred as he looked at the man’s pale face.

“That’s it? You’re just going to end it like that?” Akihito asked and Asami took a sip of his liquor, not giving an answer. Akihito’s fists relaxed as he gave a small sardonic chuckle. He had expected this. He had seen this coming.

There was no way someone like Akihito would ever be good enough for Asami. He had known from the start that he would get hurt, that his heart would get broken by the man in front of him. But, it wasn’t like he had chosen to give his heart away. It wasn’t like he chose to let it get broken. But both happened anyway.

Feeling much calmer than he had expected, he walked up to the raven. Asami clenched his jaw, seemingly preparing for a punch, but was startled when there was only a press of lips against his cheek, a hand on his shoulder.

“Thank you for everything, but I guess the one who falls in love first really does lose” Akihito whispered in Asami’s ear before straightening up with a watery smile, but a smile none the less. Asami’s eyes widened as he stared at the blonde who took a step back, taking his phone out of his pocket and immediately dialling a familiar number.

[Hey, Aki, what’s up?]

“Could you come pick me up?” Akihito asked as he turned away from the crime-lord, his voice cracking.

[Huh? Sure, in Tokyo, right? You sound off, what’s wrong?]

“I’ll tell you later. Just come pick me up” the blonde said as he walked away from the living-area, the leather behind him creaking as Asami stood up again.

[I’ll be there soon, sweetie.]

“Thanks” Akihito said before closing the call.

“Akihito, where are you going?” Asami asked as he followed Akihito into the blonde’s old bedroom.

“I’m packing my bags and moving. Don’t worry, I won’t stand in the way of your future” Akihito said as he crouched next to the bed to drag the large bag from under it. Asami rested his hand on the door-frame as he stared at the blonde packing up his clothes and camera’s.

“Ah, right, I prepared some tonkatsu. You can warm it up or throw it away if you want” Akihito said as he grabbed his backpack before brushing past the crime-lord, wiping his hand over his cheeks.

“I’ll be out of your hair soon, so you can go back to your fiancée” Akihito said, silently pleading the man not to look at him. To leave him alone before he couldn’t stop himself from crying anymore.

There was no way he could blame his tears on pregnancy hormones when it felt as if his heart was made of glass and slowly crumbling in on itself as he packed up. As he attempted to step out of the room, a hand closed around his arm above his elbow.

“Didn’t I tell you to never avert your eyes from me” Asami said and Akihito looked up at him.

“Then why were you the one doing so?” he asked and slipped his arm out of Asami’s slackened grip. Akihito’s phone vibrated in his pocket, notifying him about his mother’s arrival as he picked up his large bag from his old room.

“I’ll send my new address to Ohara. You can send all my stuff there or sell it, I don’t mind what you do with it” Akihito said as he walked to the door, putting down his bag as he pulled on his shoes.

Behind him, both Asami and his fiancée were watching him, both with different feelings. Akihito’s hand paused on the doorknob, holding onto the hope that Asami would stop him as he opened the door.

“Thank you for everything” he said and looked back over his shoulder.

“Try to stay healthy and be happy, okay?” he asked, his voice cracking as he send the crime-lord another painful smile before turning around. As he walked away, he heard the door close behind him with a bang, as if it had been kicked closed.

Akihito’s eyes stung and his breathing came difficult as he descended the apartment building with the elevator all the way to the entrance door. He passed the lobby, where the clerk looked at him in confusion, no doubt having seen Asami go up with a woman.

The photographer couldn’t blame him, but he also couldn’t be bothered. He had enough on his plate for now. Although there was a plus-point that came from this. Now, Akihito didn’t need to tell Asami about the pregnancy. He didn’t need to explain the whole complicated situation when it didn’t matter anyway.

Not being able to give him any heirs, what a joke. He was currently carrying two of them.

But maybe this was for the best. Away from Asami, the foetuses couldn’t be harmed by his business or by the crime-lord’s enemies. If nobody, not even the crime-lord, knew about what Akihito carried within him, nobody would target them.

They wouldn’t become Asami’s weakness, since Asami didn’t even have any knowledge of them. Which would make them useless and not a target. It would put them in less danger.

Akihito put a hand over his lower stomach, still feeling weird about it all. These beings growing inside of him were Asami’s children. They shared his blood. They would always be a target, always been in danger, just because of their biological father.

Did he really want such a life for his children? Could he really provide them with not only shelter, food and love, but also protection and maybe even martial arts, so they could defend themselves if worst came to worst.

They were twins, that also meant double the costs. And while Akihito was not yet showing, he knew that working would be kept to a minimum. The doctor had warned him that male pregnancies were dangerous and that twin pregnancies came with risks.

Therefore, Akihito was considered a high-risk pregnancy. One of the highest risks in the medical books. He wasn’t the first, but it was rather rare. He would need to watch everything he did and everything he ate. He couldn’t run around like he used to and he couldn’t get too upset.

God, Akihito already felt like the worst parent ever, his emotions rampant within him. Not only had he just gotten the news that he was pregnant with twins, fathered by Japan’s biggest crime-lord, he was also dumped by that same man for someone else who Akihito hadn’t even known he had been seeing.

Now Yumika and Asami were engaged, while Akihito was pregnant and alone. The blonde wondered if the shards of his heart would fall from his ribcage and cut up the foetuses. Was that even remotely possible? Because it sure as hell felt like it.

“Watch out!” a voice called as the owner grabbed Akihito’s elbow, pulling him back into a solid chest and away from the car that had almost ran over the blonde.

Akihito blinked out of his daze, looking up at the man glaring at the tuned car as it continued down the street. The man’s face, even in his displeased scowl, was handsome. Tan from mixed heritage with a slightly youthful look. One of his green eyes was covered slightly by slick black hair, part of it gelled behind his ear.

“Ohara” Akihito said, recognizing the man and making him look down. It wasn’t like Ohara was extremely tall, but Akihito’s foot was just stuck behind the sideway-border, his weight leaning fully against the man’s chest.

“Takaba-sama, please watch out” the man said as he steadied the younger male. Ohara Shinichi was the bodyguard Asami had put on the blonde almost a year ago. They had compromised that as long as the guard stayed on a distance and didn’t interfere unless needed, Akihito would put up with him.

But if he had to be honest, Akihito had gotten used to having Ohara around. In fact, he had gotten so used to him that they had exchanged contact information and even lunched together. If Akihito was working on a criminal scoop, Ohara didn’t even need to stay on a distance.

On a regular scoop was a different matter since Akihito had no idea how to explain his body-guard to Mitarai, who would no doubt attempt to get to the bottom of it. Akihito wasn’t sure if Mitarai would think twice about exposing his relationship with the crime-lord if he had found out.

The thought made him scoff bitterly. There was nothing to find out anymore. That also meant that there was no need for Ohara to concern himself with Akihito any longer.

“Didn’t your boss tell you, Ohara?” Akihito asked and Ohara frowned.

“Tell me what?” he asked and Akihito looked away, his hand tightening around the strap of his backpack.

“He dumped me, so there shouldn’t be any need of your services as my body-guard” Akihito said, his voice cracking slightly at the first part of his sentence.

“That may be so but I have not been given such an order, so until then, I will continue to guard you as told” Ohara said and Akihito looked at him.

“Then, I’ll give you that order. Go back to your boss and ask him to confirm your orders or give you new ones” the blonde said and Ohara’s face remained impassive. While Asami’s orders reigned supreme, the crime-lord had said from the start that Ohara was supposed to listen to Akihito. The blonde hadn’t given an unreasonable order, thus Ohara couldn’t refuse.

“Very well” Ohara said reluctantly and frowned in a worried manner.

“Please be careful not to get hit by a car” he warned and Akihito gave a nod.

“Stay well, Ohara” Akihito said and the tan guard turned away. Akihito watched him go, looking at his retreating back until an engine came to a stop behind him, a door slamming closed.

“Aki?” a familiar voice called out and Akihito turned around. A short raven-haired woman stood in front of a white van, clad in a skinny jeans with white shirt and black bomber-jacket. Akihito had no trouble recognizing her.

“Mom” Akihito said, sounding more like a wailed whine as tears rolled down his cheeks. The sound of his mother’s voice just made all his walls crumble down, unable to get another word past his lips.

“Oh sweetie” the woman said as she rushed over to the blonde. Apparently, words weren’t necessary as Akihito muffled his cries in his hand, his eyes squeezed shut as he tried to make not a single sound while she wrapped her arms around his shaking shoulders.

His mother soothing voice shushing him in his ear as he was forced to lean down slightly, had Akihito crumble as he dropped his bag to hug the woman and cry into her shoulder.

“Let’s go home, sweetie” she said as she coaxed him into the car where he cried the whole way home. He was dumped, pregnant and confused, he was allowed to sound like a dying whale while bawling his eyes out.

His mother shot glances at him, a worried furrow between her brows. Takaba Seira was a strong woman, the strongest Akihito knew, yet the sight of the blonde crying her made her feel helpless. Akihito could tell she was suffering with him even though she had no idea what was going on.

Akihito knew he would have to tell his mother what was going on. That he would have to explain everything and do the whole story. Well, leaving out a few details of course. Like Asami and his first meeting and the Tokyo incident. But that would happen later, not when she was driving.

The familiar house came in view as Akihito still sobbed into his hands, having done nothing else the entire way until the house came in view. Standing in the country-side of Kanagawa, was the Takaba residence. Or the company that his mother owned.

It was a company that took in dogs owners could no longer care for and trained them into therapy dogs. Those dogs would then go to retirement homes, elementary schools, orphanages or even the courtyards of hospitals to help revalidating people cheer up.

Akihito always used to help training and going along on trips. It was unsurprising when the older dogs still recognized him as he entered the house. Nostalgia swept over him at the traditional interior, everything still exactly the same way he remembered.

“I’ll make us some dinner, okay? Are you hungry?” Seira asked but Akihito halted in his tracks, looking at her back, his chest clenching painfully.

“I’m pregnant” he said and the raven’s froze. Slowly she turned around, her face full of emotions that mixed together to the point Akihito had trouble distinguishing each individual one. He was pretty sure he wore the same expression.

“Oh Akihito” Seira said and Akihito lowered his head. Just when Akihito had thought the he was no longer able to cry, the waterworks started once more. But this time his mother joined him, unsure of what to do as the stood there, neither of them moving.

Chapter Text

“Looks like she’s taken a liking to you” Seira said as they walked back to the white van that belonged to the animal welfare shelter the Takabas owned, the dogs walking next to them calmly.

Ever since Akihito had moved back home and had needed time to get over his break-up, he had been helping out again. Him helping out had caused him to meet one little pup in particular and connect with it. She wasn’t the only pup there, but she was the odd one out, a loner in her own nest.

The mixed whippet/sheltie pup had been the one to approach Akihito on her own and even now continued to follow the blonde and only the blonde. She didn’t disappear from his side for one second, not even when he was hugging the porcelain bowl.

It was no surprise that Akihito was just as fond of the little pup as she was of him. After acknowledging that he couldn’t get rid of her, he had started to train her himself and named her Ao, for her blue-merle coat.

“Hm, she has” Akihito said as he looked at the small pup happily tagging along close behind him.

“Maybe she felt that your heart needed healing” Seira said and Akihito looked at his mother.

“Don’t all our hearts?” Akihito asked and Seira opened the back of the van.

“You really do love him, don’t you?” she asked and Akihito gave a small smile. Obviously, Seira was not fond of Asami after hearing what he had done to her baby as Akihito had ranted about it the evening they had arrived home. But even she could tell that Akihito loved Asami, whether she agreed with it or not.

“I do, but it’s weird. I expected myself to cry more. But I guess that’s just how much I expected to be temporarily, even if it wasn’t for me” Akihito said as he helped the bulldog into the transport in the back of the van before taking of the leash.

“I mean, our social status really are different. He needs someone next to him that he can show off in public and that can bear his heirs” Akihito said as he moved to the Labrador to remove the leash.

“You’re pregnant with his children” Seira pointed out and Akihito couldn’t help but glance down at his eight weeks slightly bloated stomach hidden under a loose shirt that slipped off one of his shoulders, showing the band of the tank-top he wore underneath.

“Yeah, but it’s different. She is a woman, who are in societies eyes, supposed to be pregnant” Akihito said and looked at the lab while closing the gate.

“That’s not true. It’s recognized that men can get pregnant too” Seira rebuked and Akihito looked downwards at her.

“But it’s more acceptable for a woman to be pregnant, especially in higher circles” Akihito pointed out, his mother’s mouth clapping shut displeased, though they both knew it to be the truth.

“I don’t think I’ll be able to fall out of love with him, though. No matter how much I try” he admitted and scratched the back of his head.

“Maybe it’s because I accepted that, that I’m not crying as much as I expected to? I don’t know, I feel weird and a bit heartless for not being more upset than I am” he said and moved to the front after closing the cage of the pug. He bent over to pick up Ao and step in in the passenger’s side.

“Oh sweetie, that’s not it. You’re anything but heartless” Seira said as she stepped in behind the wheel as Ao settled on Akihito’s lap.

“You’re just like your Raizou. You love whole-heartedly to the point you love too much” she said and pulled on her seatbelt, waiting to start the engine until Akihito had his on a well. Speaking about his father still had been something that troubled them both, something they had avoided.

“It takes a long time for you to admit that you love someone, but once you do, there is no going back. But because you are a selfless person and wish for nothing more than the happiness of others, you push away your own sadness in order not to burden others” Seira said as she drove the van back to the shelter.

“Besides, you cried your eyes out, yelled your lungs out and now it’s time to laugh your sadness away. Get back on your own two feet and live the life you want to live. Don’t let anyone hold you back from making the decisions you feel are right. That includes me and those two little ones you are carrying” Seira said and Akihito looked at her.

“If I had allowed myself to let other people like my parents influence my decisions, I wouldn’t have had you” she said and glanced at her son with a sad smile. She didn’t say anything more until they had reached the house and started on lunch. And even then, Akihito was the one to finally breach the subject.

“Seira, I can somewhat put two and two together” he said while chopping the cabbage, quick and skilled. But even with his attention on what his hands were doing, he saw his mother tense.

“Dad was the one who carried me, wasn’t he?” Akihito asked and Seira lowered her wooden spoon.

“Yes” she admitted, her voice barely above a whisper. But at least she was talking.

“So, theoretically, you are my aunt” he said and she nodded.

“I’m infertile” she admitted, her voice even softer, yet the blonde still caught it. He kept his mouth shut, patiently waiting for her to gather the courage to continue.

“Raizou was eighteen when he found out he was pregnant” Seira said and Akihito kept the mechanical chopping up.

“He was travelling the world with a few others and doctors, to give lectures on the Mpreg gene as life subjects. Of course, they didn’t get experimented on or something. They just got their blood analysed, questions asked, scans made and so forth” she said and stirred in the pot in front of her.

“But Raidou wasn’t the only one there. Your biological father was there too, though he was older by a few years. They fooled around a bit and had fun. Neither of them expected to fall in love and to get pregnant” she said and Akihito glanced up at her back.

“But they had to separate at the end of their travel, even before Raizou figured out he was pregnant. Your biological father had duties in Russia and our parents needed Raizou back here” she said and Akihito frowned slightly, filing the tid-bit about his biological father away.

“Raizou’s situation is similar to yours, sweetie. His lover was the son of the leader of the bratva and he was already tied in a political marriage. He couldn’t stay with Raizou and you because of his circumstances. But Raizou and your biological father still exchange letters and meet up whenever they can. It’s pretty hard for them considering Raizou travels most of the time and your biological father is one of Russia’s top surgeons” Seira said, ignorant to her son’s suspicions.

“Raizou and I wanted to tell you, but Raizou is scared. Your biological father wants to meet you too, but he feels the same way as your dad. Because of the ties your biological father still shares with the bratva, he doesn’t want to get too close to you in case someone would target you” she continued and gave a small smile.

“He visited a few times when you were younger, but I guess you can’t remember that” she said and Akihito looked down.

“Vaguely. Very light blonde hair and blue eyes. And big” he said and Seira looked over her shoulder.

“What was dad scared for?” Akihito asked, looking up at his mother to meet her dark eyes.

“That you would look at him differently and that you would be in danger. But that’s clearly already too late” she said and Akihito looked down.

“This doesn’t change anything, you know” he said and Seira tensed again.

“I don’t care whether or not you’re my aunt or my birth mother, you are the one who raised a monster like me. That makes you qualified enough to be called mother” Akihito said and looked up to see the raven tearing up and turning away to hide it.

“You’ll always be my mom, no matter what” he said and smiled as he allowed Seira to get herself together again.

“Can I ask another question?” Akihito asked and Seira hummed, still wiping her eyes while her other hand stirred the pot on the stove.

“My biological father’s name” he asked and Seira gave a hum.

“Arbatov Dimitri” she said and turned around alarmed at the hiss that left the blonde, the knife clattering onto the board.

“Akihito?!” she said as Akihito brushed past her to the sink, holding his finger under it.

“Damn, it’s deep” he cursed as he saw the water turn pink while Seira took out the first aid kit.

“That’s rare, for you to cut yourself” she said and Akihito gave a troubled laugh.

“Yeah, the name just” he said and Seira hummed inquiring.

“I’ve met an Arbatov before and it wasn’t exactly a good experience” Akihito said and the raven’s eyes narrowed.

“Was it because of that asshole?” she asked and Akihito looked away, knowing exactly who she was talking about.

“Well, he was involved” he admitted and Seira huffed.

“I swear, if I ever see him, I’ll let Krass bite off his balls” she said and Akihito looked troubled, perking up as the doorbell rang.

“Oh, m- Seira, could you go? I’m a bit stuck here” he said and Seira gave him a sharp look before turning away.

“Coming!” she called out, allowing Akihito to take a relieved sigh. His mother really was too sharp for his good. Akihito treated his finger and bandaged it as Seira walked into the kitchen.

“This is for you, from Canada” she said confused, mirrored by the blonde.

“Canada?” he said surprised and reached out for the letter, ripping it open.

“Do I need to read it?” Seira asked, knowing Akihito didn’t know any English. Or at least that was before.

“No, I can read and speak English just fine. Ohara taught me. Besides, it’s in Japanese” he said and Seira looked surprised for only a second.

“Go on then, read it” she urged and Akihito sighed. He was already reading, but she clearly meant out loud.

“Takaba Akihito, we received message of your condition from, Yoneda Takahiro-sensei from T hospital. I am Doctor Peter Wright, a specialist in Mpreg gene carriers. Considering your condition, I would like to invite you over so we can care for you to the best of our abilities” Akihito read aloud and continued to rattle off the words until he had gotten to the end of the letter.

“So you’ve finally gotten the invitation. You’ve thought about this before, haven’t you? What decision did you make?” Seira asked after a short silence and Akihito folded the letter again.

“I thought of aborting them, to take responsibility for my mistakes” he admitted and Seira’s expression remained unsurprised.

“But I can’t. The pups have done nothing wrong. They were conceived because of my and Asami’s carelessness. For them to die because of something like that, that’s me running away from the problem I created. That’s not taking responsibility. Taking responsibility would be raising them to have a good life, but I’m scared” Akihito said and looked down, placing his hands on the edge of the counter as he leaned back against it.

“They are two lives that are literally dependant on me. At this point, I’m not sure if I can love them, or if they can love me. I’m afraid that I won’t be able to give them the life they deserve. I’m afraid that I’m not good enough, like I wasn’t good enough for Asami. They are his children, so maybe-”

“None of that, Takaba Akihito” Seira said sharply as she cut him off.

“I don’t want to hear you saying that you are not good enough. You might not be perfect, but perfect is boring and over-rated. If you weren’t good enough for him, it was only because he was too stupid to comprehend that you were too good for him” she said and scoffed.

“Also, those two little ones not loving you? Are you kidding me? Newborns don’t even have the brains to know what love is” she said and Akihito couldn’t help but snort before laughing softly.

“Besides, you loved me too, even though we aren’t really mother and son, right? Nobody told you to love me and nobody told me to love you. It’s instinct, something that’s already surfacing in you” she said and Akihito looked confused.

“You call them pups, like you’re already attached to them. Not to mention that you’ve always wanted kids” she said and Akihito looked down on his stomach. He hadn’t even noticed when he had started to call them that.

“Seira, I love you. And thank you for putting up with me and for everything you did for me” Akihito said and Seira huffed, looking away.

“Oh, come on now, are you getting mushy on me?” she asked as she turned away to hide the tears that sprung to her eyes.

“Do you mind if I write a letter to biological father? I want to thank him for allowing me to be born so I could meet you and love you” he said and Seira sobbed.

“Stop it, you’re really going to make me cry” she said and Akihito closed his eyes as he smiled at her.

“I want these pups. I’m going to keep them and raise them, no matter what, and I hope that I’ll be half as good as a parent you and dad are” Akihito continued and pushed further even though he saw Seira’s shoulders shake as she turned away from him.

“I’m going to start my life with these pups as my priority, so I’m going to call Wright-sensei” he said and couldn’t stop his own tears as they streamed down his cheeks. It hurt to say realize he was going to move away from his mother for a second time, but he had decided. Besides, it wasn’t farewell, since there was no way Akihito would stay away forever.

“Take Ao with you, so you don’t get lonely and so that there is always someone with you” Seira said through her tears and Akihito gave a nod, unable to get a word past his lips, his throat slipped closed with emotion.

Seira was his mother, that would never change. But he wanted his own life, his own family. He wanted to pass on what has been passed onto him. He wanted to give these pups the love and care that had been bestowed on him. He wanted to love someone as unconditionally as his parents did.

Though it had been a painful one, Akihito had made his decision and he would see it through to the end. Asami might not be by his side and the pups might remind him of the man he loved every second of the day, but he had made up his mind.

Hardships were bound to be on his path, which would already be hard enough to walk without interferences. But luckily, he didn’t mind a good hike. Besides, he wasn’t alone. He had three pups with him. Two inside of him and one tagging along next to his leg on four legs.

God, it still felt so freaking weird to come to terms with the fact that he was pregnant. Yet as soon as he had accepted it and his next step, a weight lifted off his shoulder, his smile regaining some of its usual brightness. It was likely for that reason that Seira was so willing to let him go.

“At least visit grandma and grandpa before you leave” she said as she wiped his tear off his cheek with her thumb. Akihito smiled and nodded. Seira huffed before she wrapped her arms around the blonde.

“And don’t forget to call, because if you don’t, I will come to Canada and drag your ass back here for a scolding of a life-time and a year of working at the shrine” she said and Akihito chuckled.

“I’ll skype every day or every two days, depending on how tired I am” he said and Seira clearly looked displeased.

“Hey, at least I’m honest” Akihito said as he held up his hands in a surrendering gesture.

“I’ll call dad too, explain everything to him” Akihito said and Seira nodded agreeing.

“It’ll be best if he hears it from you” she said and Akihito smiled.

“Well, all that drama made me hungry. We should probably finish this before everything burns” he said and Seira rolled with her eyes.

“As if I would ever let anything burn” she said and Akihito raised an eyebrow.

“If I recall correctly, we used to have a BBQ in the garden, which is now not used anymore, considering someone burned down a tree last time” he said and Seira gave him a half-hearted glare.

“Says the one who just cut in his hand” she pointed and Akihito merely laughed.

Chapter Text

Akihito couldn’t help but look out of the window as the car drove through unfamiliar streets. The country they were in was a ten-hour flight away from Japan, something which had exhausted Akihito more than he would have like to admit. Would have been able to admit, seeing as he had fallen asleep as soon as he sat down in Peter’s car.

The village they had reached was in the middle of the mountains, filled with lots of different colours, making Akihito’s fingers itch for his cameras as soon as he had woken up.

“We’re here” Peter announced as he parked the car in front of a simple two-story house, a good walking distance away from the centrum of the village. The pale two-floor bungalow was surrounded by a decent sized garden that was fenced by wooden planks from the side of the house, closing off the garden.

“It’s a three-bedroom house, complete with furnishing, running water and electricity” Peter said as he turned off the engine before getting out. Akihito followed, putting Ao down as she stuck to his shin with her tail between her leg, scared of her unfamiliar surroundings.

“Come on, I’ll give you a tour” Peter said as he nodded his head towards the front door of the house. Ao followed Akihito closely as the blonde followed the doctor to the burgundy wooden front door. The entrance hall of the house was dyed in the colours sand-beige and white, decorated with a dark-wood and iron table against the wall of the stairs and a plush beige carpet on the floor.

A half-landing staircase was directly on one side of the front door, a toilet under the second upwards part of the stairs. It was a room Akihito immediately made use off, Peter smiling at him in understanding before continuing to lead him through the white-wood framed door-opening, into the living-room.

The same sand-beige colour of the hallway was pulled through into the living space the living-room was filled with a light brown suede sofa with light orange pillows against the wall. In front of the sofa stood a coffee table with dark brown leather flat pillows to form the surface.

On the opposite wall of the couch, hung a flat-screen TV accompanied by two large speakers. The living-room flowed straight into the sitting-room, separated by glass and white wood sliding doors. The siting-room held four light beige, arm-less one seaters and a small dark brown iron table.

The doors leading to the outside, gave out in a porch that was slightly heightened from the garden. The same white sliding-doors separated the sitting-room from the kitchen, which flowed into the dining-room through a wide doorway. The space in between the living-room and the dining-room, closed off by walls on each side and a door, was the stairs to the basement that doubled as laundry and storage room.

The second floor held the bedrooms and the bathroom. The hallway of split up in two directions. The right side held two bedrooms, one on the street-side of the house and one at the garden-side. The left side of the hallway held the master bedroom on the street-side and the bathroom on the opposite side.

All three the bedrooms were decorated very simple and sober in the colour pallet of the first floor. It was something Akihito could greatly appreciate, since he didn’t like overly bright colours in his house, opposite to what his appearance and his personality said.

“So, how do you like the house?” Peter asked as Akihito allowed Ao outside in the garden.

“I like it, especially the kitchen” Akihito said as he watched the young pup discover her new backyard.

“That’s good to hear. I’ll keep in touch and I already made your first appointment with your new OB. It’s in three days and I’ll be there for your first appointment” Peter said and Akihito gave him a grateful smile. After a little more exchange of information, Akihito led the doctor out of his new residence.

“Don’t forget to get plenty of rest. Wanting to work is fine, but it can’t go at the cost of the little ones” Peter reminded the blonde and Akihito gave a nod.

“I’ll try my best not to overwork myself” he promised and looked up as a car drove onto the driveway on the house next to him.

“I’ll see you in three days, Akihito” Peter said and Akihito gave a nod. Peter waved at the man stepping out of the car as he walked up to his own. The man waved back before turning his attention to Akihito.

He walked over to the hedge separating their tow front-yards, his thick black hair styled back casually while he was dressed nicely in a suit. A relaxed smile was on his face, a trimmed beard his jawline, which looked rather handsome.

“You must be the new neighbour, I’m Dante Carilo” the man said and Akihito returned the greeting, shaking the man’s hand.

“Takaba Akihito, nice to meet you” he answered as he released the man’s hand.

“Did you just move in?” Dante asked and Akihito nodded.

“Yeah, I just arrive an hour or so ago. I still got to unpack” he said and glanced as Ao barked a high pitched back before literally running into his leg.

“You have a dog?” Dante asked and the blonde smiled softly as he nodded again.

“Yeah. My mom gave her to me so I wouldn’t be alone. This breed isn’t extremely vocal but they can be, so don’t hesitate to tell me when she gets too much” Akihito said and as if to prove a point, Ao chose to speak up, obviously challenging a straw of grass to a duel. Akihito gave a snort as he saw her dart around it.

“I’ll be sure to do so” Dante said and turned back to Akihito.

“Would you like to come over for dinner tonight? My daughter complains I always cook for an army and I can guess it’ll be a pain to unpack and make dinner at the same time” he said and the blonde looked at him.

“Really?” he asked and Dante gave an encouraging nod.

“Then, I’d like to take you up on the offer, if it’s not too much” he said and Dante laughed.

“Not at all. I was the one to suggest it after-all” he said and Akihito smiled. That was how he stood at his neighbour’s house that evening, his boxes already unpacked.

“Come in, come in!” the older man said as he opened the door far enough for Akihito to enter.

“Sorry to disturb” Akihito said as he moved to take his shoes off.

“Make yourself at home. This is my daughter, Leonia” Dante said as he mentioned to the long-haired raven sitting in front of the TV with a gaming console in her hand. Dark eyes rose to meet Akihito before giving a silent nod of acknowledgement.

“She’s in that phase where gaming is all that he does” Dante said and Akihito chuckled.

“Yeah, I’m still not fully out of that phase either” the blonde said as he took a seat in the two-seater leather sofa, next to the three-seater the young raven occupied.

“I’ll go check on dinner” Dante said and left the two younger people on their own.

“Blood legend, huh” Akihito said as he recognized the game, earning a curious yet lazy gaze.

“You know it?” the younger raven asked and Akihito scoffed.

“Know it? I’ve played it so often I know it by heart. You’re at those mutants now, right? The ones who look like purple ogres?” Akihito asked and Leonia gave a nod as she turned her attention back to the screen.

“I can’t get past them” she admitted and Akihito gave a hum.

“That’s no wonder. Those are controlled by the gourmet who’s hiding in the alley between the pub and the shoe-maker” he said and looked at the screen.

“Ah, you’re right” Leonia said and Akihito smiled.

“I was stuck there too, until I tried jumping over their heads and was flung into that alley” he said and dark eyes slowly turned back to him.

“You tried jumping over their heads?” she asked and Akihito gave a shrug.

“I even tried to slide through their legs, only to get the timing wrong and get trampled” he said and Leonia blinked.

“You can slide?” she asked and Akihito nodded as he leaned forward again.

“Yeah, sure. Just hold down the square while double-tapping the down button at the same time” he explained and Dante peeked into the living-room as his daughter tried to execute the move Akihito explained her.

“You want a glass of wine?” the older man asked and Akihito’s hand flew up immediately.

“No, thank you. I can’t drink alcohol” he refused firmly but gently.

“Ah, right. In Japan, you can’t drink until you’re 21” he said and Akihito frowned.

“Most teenagers have already drank at least a beer before they turn twenty, but how old do you think I am?” he asked and Dante looked confused.

“18 or 19, right?” he asked and Akihito’s face fell, slightly embarrassed.

“I’m 24” he corrected, earning two shocked looks.

“Huh?!” the father and daughter combi said surprised and Akihito scratched the back of his head.

“Did you find the fountain of youth or something?” Dante asked and Akihito shook his head.

“Nah, just good genes, I guess. Or bad, depending on how you look at it. I’m always having trouble entering clubs in Japan” he said and Leonia scoffed.

“I bet” she said before seemingly catching herself for speaking freely and averting her eyes back to the screen.

“Ah well, would you like something else to drink then?” Dante asked and Akihito gave a smile.

“Whatever is fine” he said and the older man gave a nod.

“The lasagne is almost done, so I’ll call you when it’s ready” he said and Akihito looked back up at him.

“Can I help with something?” he asked and Dante paused in his return to the kitchen.

“Well, I still have to put the table, if you want to help that much” he said and Akihito stood up. He always felt a little uneasy to let others do everything, even when he was their guest. Akihito felt even worse when he had to rush to the toilet a little after dinner.

“I’m so sorry” Akihito said embarrassed and guilty as he stepped back into the living-room.

“No, it’s nothing. Did I put something in my food that you couldn’t handle?” Dante asked and Akihito shook his head fervently.

“No, not at all! It was very good, I’m even surprised I could eat my plate empty! It’s just” he said, not really knowing how to finish his explanation. Apparently, he didn’t have to.

“You’re pregnant” Dante guessed and Akihito’ froze, his eyes widening.

“Y-yes” he said in a soft voice and Dante gave a light-hearted laugh.

“You don’t need to feel bad about that at all, Akihito” he said and the blonde blinked as he stared at the man. He was still not used to accepting the fact that he was pregnant. How did someone accept that so easily like that?

“I was the one to give birth to this kid, so I know how it feels” Dante answered the question Akihito didn’t even need to ask.

“I was the same as you. I had no idea men could get pregnant until I heard the news. Back then, I still lived in Italy” he explained and Akihito sat down, listening interested at the story of someone who had gone through the same thing.

“When I heard the news, I was in denial for a long time. Practically until I had to deliver” Dante said with a little laugh.

“But then a doctor told me about this place and this hospital that is specialized in male deliveries. On my way here, I met my current lover who became my husband” Dante said and boasted the golden band around his finger.

“Yeah, the invisible husband” Leonia scoffed sarcastic as she slouched in the sofa.

“He’s a flight attendant, so he’s gone very often. Leonia gets lonely, but she doesn’t want to admit it” Dante said and Akihito leaned back in the sofa, resisting the urge to cross his legs under him like he always did.

“You’re pretty normal about this” he said and Dante gave a nod.

“Yeah, it’s because of this place. Here, it’s pretty usual for men to get pregnant. People don’t look surprised when they see one of us walking down the street. It’s even taught about in schools” Dante said and looked at Akihito.

“In this place, because it’s rather hidden, there are people with a lot of circumstances. People in things like protection programs are also send here sometimes. Mpreg and Fpreg gene carriers were the first ones here, flocking together to protect themselves from society, but because of the support we get from the government and such, those within a protection program are welcomed here too” Dante explained and Akihito blinked.

“Fpreg?” he repeated and Dante gave a nod.

“It’s women who are able to impregnate other women” Leonia said and Dante scoffed.

“Don’t ask me how it works, because I have no idea how they do it” he said and Akihito finally crossed his legs, unconsciously as his full focus was with the conversation.

“So, people with these specific genes are welcomed here and supported by the government when we are expecting. Why would the government go so far?” he asked and Leonia gave a shrug.

“Because the son of one of the previous leaders was a carrier of the Mpreg gene and he was shunned. In order to remain leader, he had to exile him or burn him for witchcraft. He obviously chose the lesser of two evils and exiled his son to this place. He continued to send money and basically everything the son needed to support himself and to build a new life.

But because the first case of the preg-gene was exiled, it became some kind of secret until more and more people inherited the gene and they were able to recognize it as a mutation on the level of albinism and the likes” Dante explained and Akihito hummed.

“But because the sensitivity of the subject, this village was built for the preg-gene carriers to feel safe and normal. If it succeeds here, these kinds of villages could spread out to other countries so the carriers could get more accepted and so it can become a normality. I think it’s already going in that direction, with people knowing about the preg-gene and even celebrities coming out with being carriers” he reasoned and Dante looked at him, pleasantly surprised.

“I hadn’t thought that far before, but that’s an interesting theory” he said and Akihito shrugged. They continued to talk about their theories until the blonde noticed the confused teen.

“I think we broke Leonia” he said and Dante looked over at his daughter’s utterly confused expression. With a laugh, he ruffled up the girl’s hair before turning back to Akihito.

“So, how far along are you?” he asked and Akihito looked at him.

“Starting my tenth week” he said and Dante gave a pitying smile.

“You know, my mother gave me a very good remedy against morning sickness. It tastes weird, but it really worked for me and for him. I’ll write the recipe down and you can try it” Dante said and Akihito looked at him.

“Really? Thank you! That would be so helpful. At this moment, I can barely keep anything down and I get practically no sleep because of it” he said and ante waved it off.

“Don’t mind it. If you have any questions, just come ask me. I’ll even give you my number for when you need me” he said and Akihito smiled gratefully.

“Can I as you something?” he asked and Dante gave a nod.

“Sure, what is it?” he asked and Akihito looked slightly uncomfortable.

“When did you start… showing, I guess” Akihito asked and Dante looked up at the white ceiling that stood out against the dark mahogany coloured walls.

“Hmm, I think it was around 18 weeks or so. Because of our different physics, men show earlier than women, but it still depends from person to person” he said and Akihito unconsciously laid a hand on his abdomen.

“Maybe it’s because I’m carrying twins, but my pants are getting pretty snug around the waist” Akihito said and Dante’s eyebrows rose in surprise.

“You’re carrying twins?” he asked and Akihito nodded.

“I mentally shut down when I heard the news” he said and Dante looked surprised.

“What about the baby-daddy?” he asked and Leonia made a gagging noise.

“Don’t try to act cool, Papa. It creeps me out” she said and Dante send his daughter a sour look.

“Well, I was planning to tell the father the news when he came home with his fiancée, so there’s that” Akihito said as he looked down, causing a silence to fall that was broken by fluently Italian words.

“Papa, don’t curse” Leonia said and Akihito blinked, not sure he wanted to know what Dante had said. It was a little time later that Akihito said goodbye to the Italian duo and retreated to his own home, tired but comforted.

“Ao, I’m back” he called out as he entered the dining-room where he had put up the puppy pen. As he had expected, as soon as his voice was heard, Ao jumped up, wailing and howling until he moved aside the pen. Akihito crouched down, only to be pushed over and trampled onto, his face thoroughly being covered under the slobber of her tongue.

“I know, girl. You’ve been so good. Such a good girl. Careful for the pups, girl” Akihito said as he placed Ao back on the ground but allowed her to run around him form, shoving her nose in his hair before relocating to his hand, having more success to be patted there. Akihito chuckled at her behaviour as he indulged her before getting up off the ground.

“Let’s go for a walk” he said and Ao jumped up to follow him.

“Go get your leash, girl” he said and the thirteen-week-old pup was quick to dash to the door, already remembered that that was where her leash was. Akihito couldn’t help but chuckle at this, crouching down to put the turquoise collar lightly around her neck.

The bright orange leash was mostly for show, since Ao didn’t really need it. She stuck to Akihito like glue and was used to coming when called, especially if it was the blonde calling her. Outside, Akihito rubbed his hands together, looking up at the starry sky he would never have gotten to see in Tokyo.

As he raised his phone at the sky to take a picture to forward to his parents, he paused at his screen-saver. It was one of the rare pictures he had been able to make off the crime-lord when explaining to him what a selfie was.

Akihito hadn’t been able to delete the picture, even after changing his phone number. His heart just wouldn’t allow it, as if it felt that something was wrong. Maybe it was just his heart refusing to accept the fact the man had put him out on the street.

Or maybe it was because his instincts were telling him something. That something wasn’t right with this whole situation. But because it also felt like he was just clinging obsessively to the older man, Akihito didn’t allow himself to look deeper into it.

Asami had reasons for everything he did and he hardly ever informed Akihito of them. The blonde knew it was for his own safety that he was left in the dark most of the time, but that didn’t change the fact that he would have liked to know what the man was thinking, even now.

But at this moment, all he could do was wait. It wasn’t like he was going to stop loving the man any time soon, so he might as well wait and see how it all played out. He knew he had signed himself up for a shit-load of pain when he fell in love with Asami.

Now it was just a matter of seeing how much he could handle. Whether he had his heart broken or not, Akihito just hoped that Asami was okay, no matter what the situation was.

Chapter Text

Ryuichi was not okay. He was anything but okay. He buried himself in his work and made his business, both legal and illegal, take steps towards growing even bigger. He smoked like a steam-train and downed alcohol like it was water. He even spent all his free hours in the gym to work off his frustration. And still, he was still unable to get Akihito out of his mind.

The way the blonde had looked at him, his heart and soul shattering on the inside behind that smile. The way he had whispered a confession of love into his ear as if it was already useless when it should have been the start of everything.

How he had packed up his bags and paused at the door, as if silently begging to be stopped. How he had looked back and smiled brokenly before leaving and taking along his heart.

It had taken everything Asami had had in him not to go after the blonde. Not to stop him and kiss away those tears. To tell him that there was no way he would ever let go of him and that he loved the blonde like he had never loved anyone before. Tell him that he wished nothing more than to be together for the rest of their lives and that everything was going to be okay. But it wasn’t.

It was anything but okay. It wasn’t even remotely close to resembling okay. Ryuichi had let him go and now he was dealing with the consequences. Very severe consequences.

“And do you, Asami Ryuichi, take Furutani Yumaki to be your lawfully wedded wife?” the ceremony master asked and Ryuichi had to literally gnaw on his tongue to bite back the automatic answer of a solid, heartfelt ‘no’. Instead, the opposite passed his lips, feeling as if it was magma burning away his lips.

“You know, you could at least sound a bit happier. This is our wedding, after all” Yumika said as the duo walked to the ceremony room of the hotel Ryuichi had been forced to rent out for the night.

The attention-seeking woman she was, Yumika had gone completely overboard. Not only had she forced him to buy a giant diamond and a wedding band that was fully bedazzled by diamonds, she also had to go out of her way to invite half of Tokyo to the ceremony and the venue, including different press-photographers.

Ryuichi was aware of the fact that she had attempted to make Akihito their main wedding-photographer. But that had failed with the news of Akihito disappearing from Japan. That news had been a hard bullet for Ryuichi to swallow. It was a shock he still hadn’t recovered from, only making his nightmares worse.

He hated to admit that he was having those, repeats of their last moments until he woke up, bathing in cold sweat. He truly was an addict stuck in the worst period of the withdrawal phase, where he would forever be.

“But that would make it seem as if I am happy to be marrying you” the raven said coldly, not sugar-coating his words.

“I didn’t force you, you know” Yumika sneered at him and Ryuichi didn’t even bother looking back at her.

“No, you just blackmailed me” he said and felt a hand close around his arm, stopping him in his tracks.

“You are marrying me out of your own decision, Asami Ryuichi. You only need to think of me. Who else could you possibly be thinking about when you’ve just said yes to me” she hissed at him and Asami gave her a sardonic smirk.

“We both know who. Besides, what are you getting jealous for? I told you from the beginning that there is only one person in my heart and he currently holds it with him, wherever he is. You have no chance with me and you knew this from the start. Don’t come complaining to me just because you were too stupid to listen to my warning” he said and Yumika glared at him.

“I will have you, Asami Ryuichi. One way or another, you will be completely mine” she said and Asami looked away.

“I can never be completely yours when I wasn’t complete to begin with” he volleyed back before opening the doors to the venue.

“Smile. People will think you are unhappy to be marrying me” Asami bounced her earlier words back to her. To his annoyance, she put on the most perfect fake-smile before hooking her arm into his arm.

“Please welcome, Asami Ryuichi and Yumika!” the announcer said an Ryuichi stepped forward when all he wanted to do was run in the opposite direction.

The first dance was, in Ryuichi’s eyes, a disaster, having to accommodate to the large, extravagant ballgown of a wedding-dress. But still, the dance felt like a walk in the park, compared to what came afterwards. Chief of staff and Yumika’s father, Furutani Mizuno, did not come to talk with Ryuichi, but others definitely did.

Having enough of keeping up pretences, Ryuichi walked outside to be alone. After his fourth cigarette, someone finally found him. Someone Ryuichi had never expected to be there and wanted to be there least of all.

“What a sight you make in white, Asami. I never expected to see you in that unless you came back from the grave. Don’t ghosts in Japanese folk-tales wear white kimonos?” Fei Long asked as Ryuichi lit up another cigarette before crushing the butt of his previous one under his foot.

“What are you doing here, Fei Long?” Asami sneered, not even trying to appear composed.

“It appears as if you’re anything but excited for the rest of your married life” the Chinese mafia-boss taunted as Ryuichi closed his eyes.

“Piss off” he said but Fei Long didn’t listen. Baiting Ryuichi at this moment was closer to walking into a panther’s cage wearing a meat costume than it was to poking at a worm like Fei Long made it seem. Still, the Baishe leader found sadistic amusement in tormenting the Japanese crime-lord with his weakness.

To him, there was something so funny about seeing the ever so composed Asami Ryuichi lose his cool. And if in the progress, he rubbed a good amount of salt in the Japanese king-pin’s wounds with Akihito in mind, that was just a bonus.

“Anyway, now that you’ve grown tired of him, you won’t mind it if I go after Akihito-kun, right” Fei Long said and flinched as his back slammed into the wall. A muscled forearm was pressed into his throat while the hand attached to it was gripping onto a hand-full of silk red fabric. The barrel of a shining black Beretta grinded against Fei Long’s forehead, a pale finger caressing the trigger ominously.

“Lay one finger on him and I’ll chase you to the ends of the earth to hack it off, make you eat it, make you shit it out, only to eat it again, repeating the progress until you’re left with no fingers and no toes” Asami threatened, his voice colder than the North-pole.

“Am I making myself clear, Fei Long” the older raven hissed as he glared at the younger crime-lord, his golden eyes seemingly glowing in the reflection of the lights on the balcony.

“Should you really be saying that as a married man? Or does Akihito know that this is a farce?” Fei Long asked fearlessly, not doubting that Asami wouldn’t pull the trigger. He was proven right when Asami clicked with his tongue and holstered his gun again before turning away.

“Don’t let me see your face again, Fei Long. Next time, I’ll really put a bullet in it” Asami growled out and Fei Long smirked at his back.

“I’ll wait at the docks tomorrow for the transfer of the shipment” he answered back, wondering in his head if Tokyo knew what was going to come for them after pushing Asami this far.

Because he owned the hotel, Asami felt right at home to enter the basement bar, picking up a bottle of whiskey, not caring how old. Leaning against the work-counter, he poured himself a drink. To him, there was something comforting about standing behind a bar.

It had been his first legal job, even if his age hadn’t been all that legal back then. But it was his job as bar-man that had given him the idea of the empire he had today. It had started out behind a bar, watching how the combination of the mood, the crowd and the alcohol influenced the people.

In high-class bars, the slow soft music, the high brand alcohol and the mature atmosphere made people calm, if not slightly arrogant at times. On the other hand, in dance-clubs, the heavy loud music, the crazy mixed alcohols and the excited atmosphere made blood flow faster, whether it was your scene or not.

Ryuichi had seen every scene there was to be even before he was legal to enter them, all from behind the bar. It had caught his interest, something that was very hard to do, even back then. He had seen too much to act like a regular teenager. Even before the age of fifteen, he had already been a drug pusher.

Not exactly out of free will, but it had been his decision. He had started out with merely dividing the powders into the bags, but eventually, he had gone out on the streets himself. At that age, it had been the only thing he could to help his older brother. As 9 and 13 year olds, there hadn’t been much work they had been able to do.

Their parents had died in a car-accident when Ryuichi had been five, which had led to them living with their only relative, their aunt. On the surface, she had been a normal woman, kind to her neighbours, open-hearted to the orphaned children of his sister and always friendly and polite, helping where was necessary.

However, inside the house, she had been a disaster. Because she barely did any work, Ryuichi and his brother were left to do everything to support not only themselves, but also their aunt. Ryuichi couldn’t remember how often his brother, covered in bruises, had to soak dry bread in order for Ryuichi to eat it, he himself skipping yet another meal while their aunt had been out shopping for the day with their money.

This and that happened, and Ryuichi had been separated from his brother. But separated didn’t mean that he didn’t own his brother his life. The debt was something Ryuichi didn’t think he would ever be able to repay, not even if he lived for eons and had all the money in the world. But he would not allow someone to hurt his brother again, even if it was only his name.

For that, he would do anything, even if that meant throwing away his own life. He hadn’t expected to give away his heart and to have it taken away to who-knew-where in the progress. Hell, he hadn’t even been aware he still had something like a heart to give away. The act of giving it away hadn’t been painful at all.

A little bit scary, but unavoidable when it concerned Akihito. But Ryuichi had not expected the blonde to first make him the happiest man in the world, only to then take not only his happiness, but also his heart, with him as he went. Worst was, this was all his own decision. He had been forced to choose between his own life and protecting his brother.

His mind had been saying his brother while his heart had rejected him and given him the silent treatment. It was only when Akihito had opened that door that he realized that his heart had been in the blonde’s hands all along. And as he went, the blonde had taken everything with him.

Like a vacuum, he had sucked up the light he had given the raven, the warmth his touch had provided, the stability his presence had proven to be, leaving Ryuichi nothing more than cold darkness that threatened to drown him. He had been like this before he had met Akihito. Cold, heartless, calculated and composed.

But now, after knowing what it was like to have someone like the younger blonde in his life, the darkness was too suffocating, the cold making his body beg for what he knew the warmth could be. He wasn’t even touching the subject of his sanity that felt as it was slowly slipping from his grasp each time he remembered the words the blonde had said with a smile and tears streaming from his cheeks.

Thank you for everything, but I guess the one who falls in love first really does lose.

Ryuichi had never felt how those words had made him feel. For a second, his heart had skipped, his chest feeling too hot for the rest of his body as he dared to hope for a future with the one he loved. Only to have it completely shattered the next second, at the sight of that face.

That face that told him exactly how the blonde felt. Unworthy, heartbroken, understanding, confused and loving. And it was he himself who had placed those feelings there because he had never bothered to really talk to the blonde. He had never really dared to look at Akihito’s feelings, afraid that he might find rejection there.

Instead of putting aside his fear, the crime-lord had remained stubborn, which had led to both of them getting hurt. Ryuichi hadn’t know what kind of treasure he had been handed until he had crushed it in his hands because he hadn’t taken notice of it. It had been so small and fragile, too fragile for Ryuichi’s hands to hold.

But he had held it, Akihito’s heart. The worst was, he had never even known since when. He had always thought that Akihito had remained at his side because the sex was good and because Ryuichi was too obsessive with keeping him around. Don’t get him wrong, the sex was amazing and Ryuichi was addicted to it. But he had realized he was falling for the blonde while remaining insecure about the blonde’s feelings towards him.

He had never thought Akihito would have been able to love someone drenched in blood and crime like him. Ryuichi didn’t remember what it was like to be loved, so he hadn’t been able to recognize it, let alone believe it when his subconscious had hinted at it.

And now here he was, unaware that he had had everything, only to push it away and be left with nothing. His brother would probably beat him if he knew what Ryuichi had done. But nothing his brother would do could make Ryuichi feel worse than remembering Akihito’s face as he left.

The raven had even gone after him, would have stopped his love from walking away, if that bitch hadn’t kicked the door closed in her desperation to keep them apart. If it wasn’t for his money and his fame, she wouldn’t even have thought of marrying him. If he gave up everything, he could easily get rid of her.

But he couldn’t. He couldn’t give up his empire. Not when he still held a little ray of hope that his empire, the place where he was strongest, was the safest place where Akihito could return to. Ryuichi looked around himself, taking in the damage his temper had caused the bar.

Chairs and tables were destroyed, countless bottles of expensive alcohol smashed against the walls, shards covered the floor where the chandeliers and the glasses in front of the broken mirror had shattered. The bar-chairs had been flung through the room, a couple of them used to rebuild the bar-counter.

His white pants and blazer was spotted with red dots, blood that had splattered of his hands that had gotten cut up. His anger outburst had taken the edge of the darkness gnawing at his mind, but there was no way in hell he was calm enough to back to that farce of a party.

If that bitch expected a proper wedding-night, she could get it on her own. He’d given her enough money to buy herself a whole sex-shop. He plucked his phone out of his pocket, dialling one of the numbers on his speed-dial.

[Sir?]

“Come to the basement and clean up this mess” Ryuichi ordered before abruptly closing the call, letting his hand hang down next to his side, his phone still in hand. He was tempted to call Akihito, but he knew that the call wouldn’t get through. The number didn’t exist anymore, he had tried often enough to know the phone-operator’s message by heart.

Asami looked away from the ceiling as he heard Kirishima and Suoh’s footsteps approach before they stepped into view. Their eyes widened in shock at the ravage done to the bar, but didn’t voice anything. Kirishima pulled out his phone to make some calls for the repairs, while Suoh took out the first-aid kit from behind the bar to disinfect and bandage Ryuichi’s hands.

“Suoh, to the office” Ryuichi said as soon as the second bandage was in place.

“We’ve got the exchange with Fei Long tomorrow and that guy in France has been pestering me to make a deal. Half of Fei Long’s shipment would be a good test to see how he does” he said and his two guards looked at him as if he had grown a second head.

The way Ryuichi had made it sound, it had seemed so easy. While in reality, it was a job for which preparations already took at least two months. To do it on this short notice, would take a lot of the crime-lord’s time. Exactly what he wanted.

“Suoh” Ryuichi snapped when the blonde made no move to obey his order.

“Yes, sir” the bulky guard said as he jumped into action, falling in step behind his boss. The two guards shared an uneasy look, feeling that this was only the start. As Ryuichi entered his office, his phone rang in his pocket.

“Asami” he greeted as he picked up the call.

[Ryuichi, where the hell are you?!]

“My office” he answered easily as he pulled off his blazer to throw it in the trashcan next to his desk before sitting down behind it.

[That’s not funny, Ryuichi. Get back here now! Do you have any idea how humiliating it is for me to have my husband run out on me after the first dance?!]

“Not my problem. As my ‘wife’, you should learn to deal with it. I’m not going to be by your side any longer than I have to and then I want to. You better get used to that. It’ll make your life a whole lot easier” he said and turned on his computer.

[Get back here right now, Asami Ryuichi! I’m your wife and you are my husband! You are supposed to be at my side and not in your office!]

“We are married on paper only, sweetheart. Don’t expect too much. My work takes long hours and is irregular. Akihito never complained” Ryuichi said, feeling a stab in his chest at the mention of the blonde’s name.

[You’re such an asshole!]

“You wanted to marry me” he reminded her and flipped open a file.

“Don’t expect me at the penthouse tonight” he said dryly before cutting off the conversation and directing his attention on his work. Because of the blackmail, Ryuichi couldn’t refuse the marriage. But at the very least, he could make her life hell to the point she would beg for a divorce.

Chapter Text

“Here you go. That’s one coffee, one cinnamon tea and two lemon waters. Enjoy” Akihito said with a friendly smile as he placed down the order on the table of four young women before moving on to the next table.

It had only been a few weeks since Akihito had been able to start working as a waiter in a rather popular café, but he had already gotten used to it. His open and bright personality attracted costumers while he was even starting to get regulars who came there just for him, like the four women from before. But for Akihito, everyone was equal, as he stopped to make a little chat at every table he waited on.

The boss was also really happy with him since Akihito wanted to work. It might not be photography like he had hoped, but Akihito liked the contact with the different people he had as waiter.

“Let me guess, a latte macchiato, vanilla latte and two blueberry muffins?” Akihito asked as he stopped at the table outside in the sun where two elderly ladies were seated. The couple were some of Akihito’s regulars, always managing to drag him into a chat.

They had immediately noticed that Akihito was expecting and had heaped different recipes onto him. The blonde didn’t know why, but he always seemed to connect to the motherly types who would fuss over him. He didn’t even know how they had noticed him pregnancy when nobody else had.

“You know us so well, Aki” Miranda said Akihito gave a smile.

“For a change, may I suggest the apple cherry pie? We just had some come in this morning from a new recipe and I can’t keep my fingers off it” he said and Rose chuckled warmly.

“So the nausea is passing” she noticed and Akihito glanced away.

“It’s starting to wane, yeah. But I still can’t stand the smell of fish” he said and Rose smiled knowing.

“Fourteenth week, huh. You might start to show soon” she said and Akihito looked down on his stomach where his bloat was starting grow a little larger, but enough to say pregnant.

In the beginning, Akihito had been extremely weary and afraid of people’s reactions, but like Dante had said, as soon as he got to the centrum of their city, he had caught a few men walking around, looking like they were going to explode, without anyone looking up weird.

He still wasn’t confident talking openly about his pregnancy, but he was getting used to people reacting positively to it. The good reactions he got were giving him confidence to make him more relaxed with talking about it. Especially with Rose, who had carried Miranda’s twins herself.

“Hmm, but doc said that I’m still underweight. I don’t get it, I eat like a horse” Akihito said and Miranda scoffed.

“But it doesn’t count if it doesn’t stay down” she said and Rose smiled assuring at the blonde.

“It’ll get better as soon as the morning sickness leaves. And I’ll take a piece of that apple cherry pie if you’re the one suggesting it” she said and Akihito gave a nod before going inside to retrieve the order. As he returned to their table, he couldn’t help but snort. It was amusing how they always seemed to bicker yet couldn’t live without each other.

“Akihito” Leonia called out to the blonde who placed the order on the round iron table the old couple sat at.

“Leonia, you done with school for the day?” Akihito guessed as he held the round tray under his arm to looked at the brunette approaching him. It was only when Akihito had seen the teen in the sunlight, that he had noticed that her hair wasn’t black, but more of a dark mahogany.

It was something Leonia hated because it made her different. Akihito could understand, since the brunette had asked him how he handled having light silvery ash blonde hair. Still Akihito rather liked his own hair-colour and really thought that Leonia’s hair was beautiful, which made her blush every time he said it.

“Yeah, they let me go earlier” Leonia said and Akihito raised an eyebrow at the over-used excuse.

“Okay, I’m almost done. Why don’t you come inside and get something to drink?” Akihito suggested and Leonia gave a hum. The teen took a seat at the window table while Akihito went back to the bar.

“Ao, go see who’s there, girl” Akihito said to the growing pup who had taken up residence in the corner next to the bar, as to not get in anyone’s way. As soon as she had gotten permission to move, Ao carefully, but excitedly, made her way over to where Leonia sat, where she stayed until Akihito’s shift was over and the two walked back to their houses.

Well, Akihito’s house since Leonia was too bored to sit home alone when Akihito’s door was always open for her. Besides, it was impossible for Leonia not to feel at ease around Akihito.

The blonde always had that disarming effect on people, no matter how high their walls were. It was proving in the way that even Dante was starting to see his daughter relax around the blonde, comfortable enough to let down her guard.

As soon as Akihito sat down, he breathed a sigh of relief. He liked working and being busy, but taking breaks were needed and extremely welcome.

Here” Leonia said as she returned to the living-room with a tall glass of water and held out a Tupperware box.

“Thanks” Akihito said as he put down his mail in favour of the hydration and whatever was in the box. Really, ever since Dante had heard that Akihito was under his needed weight, he had been trying to fatten the blonde up.

His daughter was no better, though a lot more reserved to the point it reminded Akihito of a tsundere. But it didn’t matter since Akihito was never one to say no to food, especially not since his hunger was returning.

“What is it?” the blonde asked as he lifted the lid off the box.

“Almond cupcakes. We had to make deserts at home economics today” Leonia said as she sat down next to the blonde and turned on the TV. Akihito was fine with it since he had assured the sullen brunette to feel right at home as long as she cleaned up what he made dirty.

“Fuck, these are good” Akihito commented as he worked down one of the cupcakes in a few bites. He didn’t even need to look to know Leonia was smiling.

“That’s good. Don’t hold back on eating them then” she said and Akihito scoffed as he reached up to undo his hair, taking the bobby pins out of his pushed back bangs and the elastic out of the small mid-high ponytail. It was crazy how much his hair had grown in the past months. Before he was pregnant, his hair already grew fast, much to his annoyance.

Akihito just decided to let it grow out for as long as he could. He didn’t feel like cutting it and honestly, he just wanted to grow it out for as long as possible because he was bored. His hair was currently a little longer than his chin, where he had cut it in a straight bob to let it grow out evenly. He had wanted a change, so why not grow his hair out instead of cutting it?

Leonia thought it was a stupid reason but had given him a recipe of a hair-treatment her grandfather used, who also had grown his hair out.

“Can I play World Wars?” Leonia asked as she looked at the blonde who swallowed down the last bite of his third cupcake.

“Hmm? Sure, if you grab my controller” Akihito said and Leonia glanced at him from the corner of his eye.

“You won’t beat me” she said and Akihito scoffed.

“Sure I will” he volleyed back as he picked up his mail. The first two envelopes were bills while the third was advertisement. Deciding to continue with checking his mail, he pulled out his phone. As he had expected, he had six new mails.

One from Kou, one from Takato and one from Ohara, who Akihito had given his new mail-address. Obviously, one from his mother and one from his father. But the sixth mail confused him, as it didn’t come from someone he knew.

“Here” Leonia said and Akihito accepted the controlled to rest it on his knee.

“You do the settings. A handicap or two won’t make a difference” Akihito said as he opened the email while Leonia rolled with her eyes. Akihito’s eyes scanned over the contents of the email.

Hello Akihito,

I apologize if you feel uncomfortable with me contacting you this way without being addressed.

My father has received your letter, passed through by your parents. He was touched by the gesture and would like to contact you too to get to know you. I merely reacted before he could.

Maybe I should introduce myself before you start being creeped out. I’m your brother from another mother. No, serious, I’m your half-brother. You probably don’t know about me, but I have always known about the fact that my father has a child outside his marriage.

It might be forward and weird of me, but I am a very curious and stubborn person. Ever since I was made aware of the fact that I had a half-sibling walking around, I wanted to know who you were and what kind of person you are. When you send the letter and my father told me about it, I figured I’d try my chance and contact you.

I’d like to get to know you, even if it is just to settle my curiosity. If you want the same, don’t hesitate to contact me on my social media, since I will be able to answer that immediately.

Hope to hear of you soon,

Alexei Arbatov.

At the name, Akihito’s heart skipped a beat. There was no way he didn’t recognize that name. Alexei Arbatov was a top model from Russia, known all over the world for his work. As photographer, there was no way Akihito had never heard of the young man. To think he was his half-brother, almost seemed like a joke.

Akihito didn’t know how to feel. He had accepted the fact that he was pregnant and that he was half-Russian. But he hadn’t expected his half-brother to contact him, considering that Akihito was the child of their father’s mistress.

“Akihito?” Leonia called out carefully, shaking the blonde out of his thoughts.

“Hmm? What? Oh so, you choose Skirz” Akihito said as he diverted his attention to the game they were one click away from starting.

“Yeah, I like the map” Leonia said and Akihito picked up his console after fondly ruffling Ao behind her ear where she laid next to him with her head on his lap.

“You want me to play Skirz with that set-up and those weapons” he said disbelieving and Leonia smirked.

“I thought one or two handicaps wouldn’t stop you from beating me” she said, and the blonde scoffed as he slouched in his sofa with his legs on top of the ottoman table, keeping his console between his hands as he rested his wrists on his hips.

“Bring it. I’m not mature enough to take it easy on kids, just so you know” Akihito said and Leonia snorted.

“Saying cool things when you were beaten last time” she said and Akihito smirked.

“That’s exactly why I’m saying it. Rejoice, I’m not underestimating you anymore and I’m taking you seriously” he said and managed to keep his focus on the game. He could think of how to answer he mail later.

Because of Dante’s message, Leonia stayed over for dinner with Akihito, eating the spicy curry Akihito had whipped up. It was already dark outside when there was a knock on the back-door at Akihito’s porch where the blonde and Leonia sat in the sitting-room, the two standing lamps the only things that lit up the space.

“Come on in, it’s open” Akihito said as he glanced up from the card-game he was playing with Leonia.

“Thanks for letting Leonia stay here. My work ran out because of the exams that are coming up” Dante said as he let himself in. Akihito told them both that when he was home, it was okay for then to come through the back.

“No problem. I’ve had fun gaming with your daughter” Akihito said with a smile as Dante took a seat.

“If only she’d put as much effort in her school as she did in her gaming” he said and Leonia rolled with her eyes.

“That’s something every parent says” she said and Dante scoffed as he sent her a sharp look.

But not every parent is a teacher who puts effort in typing out exams for weeks, only to have to pull an all-nighter to grade them” he said and Akihito looked at him, not even the slightest bit surprised about the Italian suddenly falling from his mouth.

He had already noticed that it was something that happened a lot and with them as translators when he didn’t understand something, he had gotten rather good at understanding them. Even going as far as to speak a few words himself, though he still needed corrections.

“You’re a teacher?” he asked and Dante nodded.

“I teach at the college in the next city. History” he said and Akihito automatically grimaced, earning a snort from Leonia who had seen the reaction.

“Ugh, nothing personal, but my history teachers and I did not have a good relationship. In fact, they hated me and the feeling was mutual” Akihito said and Dante frowned.

“I don’t think a teacher will hate a student for no reason” he said and Akihito gave a guilty smile.

“I sadly suffer from a very rare condition. It’s called selective narcolepsia. I never managed to make it past the first five minutes of history class” he said and Leonia turned away to muffle her laughter.

“I’m serious. I was lucky if I managed to keep my eyes open for five minutes. Usually, it was three minutes and I was out. It started in middle school, where I did it just to catch up on sleep.

Before I knew it, I couldn’t stop it from happening all throughout my high school career. It was a disaster, you know? I couldn’t stop it, even if I wanted to. I even taped my eyes open, only to sleep through class with my eyes stuck like that” the blonde complained and even Dante chuckled as Leonia laughed full out.

“Maah, school was never something for me” Akihito said and Dante looked at him.

“They say school is the best period of your life” he said and Akihito grimaced.

“Not for me. The fact that I saw my friends on the daily was the only good thing about it. My teachers were old school and tried to make me stop writing with my left hand, they complain continuously about my hair that was dyed, according to them.

Day in day out, I was called in to the teacher’s office to get scolded for fights I didn’t get into. Some of them, I’ll own up to. But I never started a fight. They just accused me because I had a careless attitude towards school. It was just too much sitting still and listening for me to handle” Akihito said and Dante looked curious.

“You’re a lefty?” he asked and Akihito looked up at him.

“Both. I learned how to write with my right hand during pre-school but at home, I always wrote with my left, since it’s my dominant hand” he said and Dante hummed interested.

“It’s not often you find someone who can write with both hands” he said and Leonia cursed as Akihito laid down his finals card upside down on the stack.

Leonia, language” Dante scolded but Akihito just smirked. He said goodbye to the father-daughter duo not too late after, stretching and deciding to take a bath. Stopping in front of the mirror while drying his hair, Akihito took a second to look at himself in a sideway position.

Unable to stop himself, he ran a hand over his stomach where it was lightly swollen. If he had to be honest, he was looking forward to the moment the bump would say baby instead of bloat. He had started out very unsure about his pregnancy, even thinking about abortion.

But while he was still unsure and scared, he knew he wouldn’t be able to bear it if he would have a miscarriage. Just the idea made his stomach tighten with nerves.

Settling back in the pillows of his double sized bed, Akihito pulled out his phone. He knew that sleep would come very hard, so he would try to come up with a decent reply to the mail he had received.

He started with answering to Kou and Takato’s mail, following it with Ohara’s and his parents. He assured everyone that he was completely fine and healthy. That the most dangerous thing in town was likely to be he himself. He also sent them a picture to proof it, before turning back to Alexei’s mail.

He had been the one to reach out to them, knowing that they were Arbatovs and knowing full well that they could very well be connected to the Arbatov who had given him quite a lot of nightmares. But he was always of the believe that one couldn’t be judged just because their name,

Akihito opened the model’s social media page, pausing at the private message page. He was still a bit weary but he could understand the Russian’s need to satisfy his curiosity since he had that same drive. Akihito typed in the message of being okay with getting to know each other before sending it.

His reply came rather quick, quicker than Akihito would have expected. It was also much more open than he had expected, compared to the letter. But then again, his own letter had been rather formal too.

As they continued to talk, Akihito found out that there was also an older brother, that the Arbatov family were also carriers of the Mpreg gene, and lived in the country-side of Russia where barely anyone came.

Akihito was not yet ready to admit that he was pregnant, but did end up sending a selfie of himself, Ao and a bucket of pudding a couple of days later, when they were having a discussion that it was impossible to make pudding in such a big container.

Akihito had proved him wrong, and at the same time, started an exchange of pictures. And while Akihito couldn’t help but get a bad feeling about Kou’s email, saying that something was happening in Tokyo, it had been pushed back when he couldn’t stop seeing pictures of the widely spoken about married couple.

Whether it was out for dinner or at parties, the news about Tokyo was full of pictures and articles about Asami Ryuichi and his wife. And while it hurt to see Asami married to someone else, even on pictures, Akihito could tell something wasn’t right.

Even through the screen of his smartphone, Akihito could see how the raven leaned away from his wife, how stiff his shoulders and expression were and how he didn’t touch her. Whenever they were in contact, it was always Yumika touching Asami, never the other way around.

But because there was a possibility of his broken heart projecting what it wanted to see, Akihito pushed it away. He couldn’t focus on Asami right now. If he let those feelings of heart-break get to him, he was afraid it would affect the pups or his pregnancy.

He already had barely eaten in his starting weeks because he hadn’t been able to stomach anything because of his rampant emotions and then afterwards, it was the morning sickness that prevented him from putting on weight. His OB had warned him at their previous appointment at 13 weeks, that if he didn’t start gaining weight, it would affect the pups.

So, for now, all Akihito would do was focus on his pups, even if buying maternity clothing was awkward. He would have never expected the shops to have special clothing for men. But then again, it should have been obvious. Besides, they were so freaking comfortable.

Chapter Text

Who was he kidding? There was no way Akihito would be able to leave alone something that piqued his curiosity. Especially not when it concerned Asami. So what if he came over as obsessed? Asami had been much worse, so Akihito was merely taking a leaf from his book.

Besides, Akihito had to give himself a pat on the back. He had managed to hold of his curiosity for a full week. It was almost a miracle. Almost, because right now, Akihito was staring at his computer screen, had been for the past three hours.

It was his free day today and he had hauled himself up in home, in front of his TV, with his laptop on his lap and a large bowl of Greek yogurt mixed with honey, walnuts and pieces of apple next to him. All the while he typed with his right hand, he shovelled spoonfuls of the yogurt into his mouth with the other.

Ao was laying at his feet while the TV was on a music channel, filling the living-room with white-noise that Akihito wasn’t interested in for the moment. Nothing drew his interest more than accessing the underground gossip mill in Japan from the comfort of his own home.

Well, besides his doorbell ringing, that was.

Akihito looked up, slightly displeased that he was drawn from his investigation. Still, he placed his laptop next to him and waited for Ao to allow him to stand up before making his way over to the front-door to open it.

Hazel eyes widened at the familiar figure in front of him, who was also staring back wide-eyed. It was Akihito’s first time seeing Ohara in casual clothes and he would have taking in the good style the man had, if only his mind wasn’t struggling to wrap his head around the fact that the guard was standing right in front of him.

“Well, this is getting awkward” Akihito said, self-consciously pulling the bottom of his grey loose shirt lower, one side slipping off his shoulder to band of his black tank-top. That combination of tops really had become his go-to style since he had found out he was pregnant, especially paired with the maternity lounging pants he had bought early on since they were just so comfortable.

“For now, want to come in?” the blonde suggested, stepping aside to let the guard in. It had been quite some time since he had spoken his mother-language, but his tongue still folded easily around the words. He half expected Ohara to run away as fast as he could, but still was unsurprised when the tanned man stepped inside.

“Did, uhm, did he send you?” Akihito asked and Ohara looked at him while taking off his shoes at the shoe-closet, putting his travel bag next to it. The guard looked at him as he straightened up.

“No. I came here out of my own” he said and Akihito was torn between being glad for that and disappointed. He didn’t want Asami to know where he was, yet he had hoped that Asami would have cared about him at least a little.

“Would you have rather wanted that I was ordered to?” Ohara asked and Akihito grimaced as he turned away.

“Don’t ask complicated questions, Ohara” he said and led the guard into his living-room.

“It’s not a complicated question at all” the raven said and Akihito scoffed.

“But the answer is” he said and turned to the guard.

“Make yourself comfortable, I guess. You want anything to drink?” he asked and Ohara shook his head.

“Please sit down, Takaba-sama. I’ll find it myself” he said and Akihito huffed.

“If you’re here on your own movement, at least call me by my name” Akihito said as he sat down again. He directed the guard towards the kitchen while he put his computer on stand-by. Picking up his bowl of food, he waited for Ohara to join him again.

“How did you find me?” Akihito asked as the raven sat down in the sofa next to him, a soda bottle in hand.

“I heard from Kou and Takato, who heard it from your mother” he admitted and Akihito grimaced.

“Traitors” he muttered and Ohara shook his head.

“Not really. They wouldn’t tell me where you were until I proved that I would come here on my own and not on Asami-sama’s orders. So they didn’t betray you” he said and Akihito leaned back.

“You had to ask days off for this, didn’t you?” he guessed and Ohara gave a confirming nod, sipping from his bottle.

“Why not use it for something smarter instead of coming here? I’m not your job anymore” he said and Ohara looked at him.

“Maybe not, but you are my friend. You said so yourself. And do friends really need a reason to see each other to check if they are doing okay or not?” he asked and glanced pointedly down on Akihito’s stomach, silently revealing that Kou and Takato had spilled even about that.

“You’re not surprised” Akihito said, self-consciously putting a hand on his stomach. Ohara looked back up at his eyes before shaking his head.

“Not really. The ex-girlfriend of my brother was a carrier of the Fpreg gene” he said and looked the blonde dead in the eye.

“How far are you?” he asked and Akihito looked down as he rubbed his stomach.

“Fifteen weeks, almost sixteen” he said and saw Ohara do the math in his head without saying anything. It wasn’t hard for the guard to figure out who the father was, but Akihito was grateful that he didn’t say anything.

“Now I see why Takato and Kou were so angry with Asami-sama” he said and Akihito pouted slightly. So much for not mentioning anything.

“If they heard the story from my mom, that doesn’t surprise me. She’s pretty pissed with Asami for what he did. She might even let Krass rip him a new one if she ever sees him” he said and shoved another spoonful past his lips.

“And you aren’t? Pissed, I mean. I expected you to be angriest of all, even sad” Ohara said and Akihito looked at him.

“I thought so too, but I’m not. Not really anyway” he said and looked down.

“It’s just… something doesn’t seem right” he said and Ohara tensed, the reaction gaining Akihito’s attention.

“It really shouldn’t surprise me that you noticed” the guard said and the blonde stared at him, slightly leaning forward.

“So there really is something wrong? What is it?” he asked eagerly and Ohara shook his head.

“We don’t know. Asami isn’t speaking to anyone besides giving orders, not even to Kirishima-san or Suoh-san” he said and Akihito looked down, placing his fingers on his chin in thought.

“Not even talking to those two? Outside of work, they usually have a good relationship. They even go drinking together” he said and Ohara gave a nod.

“That’s true. But ever since the wedding, Asami-sama has started to change. His temper has gotten shorter and he practically moved into his office. He’s been doing nothing besides working or going to the gym to work of his temper” he said and Akihito frowned.

“He married her, right? Then shouldn’t he be with his wife?” he asked, ignoring how his own sentence felt like a stab through his chest.

“That’s what we thought too. But whenever someone mentions her, his face turns dark and just yesterday, he pinned someone against the wall for speaking his opinion on Yumika. It was an opinion that put her in a good light, and you in a bad one” Ohara informed and Akihito looked down. That had hurt even more.

“Wait, so he defended me and not the one he’s married to?” Akihito asked and the tan guard gave a confirming nod.

“That’s weird. From the pictures in magazines I saw, I can tell that Asami isn’t emotionally open to her. But I thought that it was just because he hates publicity” he said and looked down stirring his yogurt mindlessly.

“But if that’s not the case, then what is it? Asami never does anything without a reason, so what made him marry someone he doesn’t like?” Akihito reasoned out loud and Ohara shook his head troubled.

“We don’t know. Kirishima-san and Suoh-san are suspicious too, but they don’t have any room to investigate since they are so close to Asami-sama. They became suspicious of it during the exchange with the baishe leader after the wedding” he said and Akihito frowned as he raised his head.

“Fei-long? He knows something?” he asked and Ohara shrugged.

“So it seems, but we aren’t sure” he said and Akihito grimaced.

“And even if we ask Fei-long, he wouldn’t tell anything” he said and Ohara looked at him.

“Don’t you exchange messages with him?” he asked and Akihito nodded.

“Yeah, we do. But I wouldn’t exactly saw we’re on friendly terms. Besides, even if I asked him, he won’t talk. Despite that face, he finds amusement in picking on Asami in any way he can” he said and shoved another spoonful of yogurt past his lips.

“I can try Tao, but I doubt he will know anything since Fei-long has no desire to involve the kid in anything that has connections to the mafia world. But the fact that Fei-long is taunting Asami with his marriage, is something that proves that there is something not right with it” he said and tilted his head.

“Maybe he’s getting threatened or black-mailed? It would be something Fei-long wouldn’t be able to pass up on rubbing into Asami’s face. Hell, even I wouldn’t be able to pass up on something like that. The biggest bad-ass of Tokyo getting a taste of his own medicine. God, that would make such a good head-line” Akihito said and Ohara gave him a strange look.

“Ta- Akihito-sama, surely you’re not considering investigating this, are you?” he asked, correcting himself on referring to the blonde at the sharp look he received for the slip up. He watched as Akihito looked him dead in the eye. He didn’t even need an answer to be said out loud.

“You shouldn’t, Akihito-sama” Ohara scolded immediately, yet the look in Akihito’s eyes didn’t change.

“This is too dangerous. If Asami-sama really is being black-mailed, this person has a hold of the strongest man in Tokyo. To do something like that, this person has to be stronger and more dangerous than Asami-sama himself. You will make yourself a target” he said and finally, a flash of insecurity and unease entered the blonde’s light hazel eyes.

“You will not only bring yourself in danger, but also the children. Please remember that you are not responsible for only yourself anymore” Ohara gave a last push, watching the blonde hang his head, none of his longer hair falling in front of his eyes, thanks to the wavy headband holding it back.

“I know. Trust me, I’m painfully aware of it. But I can’t just sit here and do nothing, Shinichi. This is the last time I’ll be selfish before devoting myself and my life to my pups. I just want to repay what Asami has done for me. Whenever I was in a pinch or in danger, Asami came to save me. I want to do the same for him” Akihito said and looked at the TV.

“After that, I’ll never bother with him again. He won’t see my face anymore and I won’t interfere with anything he does. But just his time, let me try and repay him. Otherwise, I’ll never be able to move on with my life” he said and this time, uncertainty was reflected in rare green eyes.

“I’ll keep a fake ID and passport on me at all times, so when I see the least bit of threat to me, I can run. I’ll run, take on a new identity and never try again. But I can’t do nothing. I won’t be able to forgive myself. Please, let me do this” Akihito said and Ohara took a slow, deep breath as he regarded the blonde. Akihito saw the moment the man gave up.

“Fine. You win” he said, his face stern. Akihito wasn’t exactly pleased with this victory since he was well aware of how dangerous this would be. Not only physically, but also mentally. He would be investigating Asami’s marriage to someone else. It would hurt a fuck-ton and he was doing it on purpose.

“But I will not let you do this alone” Ohara said and Akihito looked at him, seeing his dark expression that reminded Akihito that though he was currently in civilian clothing, he was still one of the top guards of Sion, right below Kirishima and Suoh.

“You will keep in contact with me at all times. I don’t want to hear any excuse of ‘I was too tired to call yesterday, so I’m doing it now’. None of that. I want to know every new thing you find out and how dangerous you think it to be. Not one single lie and only the truth” he said and then relaxed slightly.

“If you can promise me that you’ll do that, without fail, I will help you” he said and Akihito perked up at that.

“I promise” he said and even went as far as crossing his heart with his finger. Ohara released a heavy sigh as he slouched in the sofa.

“What do you think is better? Pine-wood, barn-wood or oak?” he asked and Akihito tilted his head in confusion.

“Because if Asami-sama ever finds out about this, I’m dead. I just hope that he’ll allow me to choose my own coffin instead of just burying me without one under six foot of cement” the raven said with his eyes closed and Akihito laughed, though he wasn’t entirely sure it was a joke.

“I’d go for pine-wood. I heard it’s pretty cheap, so Asami might even agree and allow you to make it yourself” he said and Ohara gave him a dry look.

“Wow, thank you” he said coolly and Akihito chuckled, laying a hand over his stomach. Somehow, while it still felt weird to do, especially considering the fact that he was barely showing anything but bloat, it also felt comforting.

While Akihito didn’t want to drag anyone into this, he was rather glad that he would have Ohara’s help. At least that meant he wasn’t alone and had someone who he could count on and trust. Someone who could handle a gun if there was no other choice and worst came to worst.

“Okay, so for now this is what I have” Akihito started, waking up his laptop and taking it on his lap to show Ohara what he had already gathered up until then. With the two of them, they tried to analyse the information they had.

Ohara insisted on cooking for Akihito, but the blonde was too stubborn for him to win. Instead, he moved his travel bag to settle into one of the bedrooms where he would stay for the next week, while Akihito cooked them dinner.

They continued into the late evening, until Akihito could barely keep his eyes open. Ohara urged Akihito to go to bed and the blonde didn’t resist. He had an early shift the next morning, and would continue to have it for the rest of the week.

In a way, that was good considering that then, he was home for most of the afternoon. The meeting between Dante, Leonia and Ohara had been rather amusing. Leonia’s question of Ohara being the baby-daddy had gotten a solid no with the explanation of ‘if I was, I would be castrated’.

“Akihito-sama, I’m begging here, don’t do anything too dangerous and be careful” Ohara said as they stood in the airport, Dante waiting a bit further since he had driven them.

“I will, promise” Akihito said and Ohara didn’t look convinced.

“I’m not just talking about this investigation. Don’t do anything to strenuous, don’t go picking fights, don’t go parkour running. If you doubt whether or not something could possibly be a little bit dangerous, it is and you’re not supposed to do it” he said and Akihito huffed.

“Damn, you’re even worse than my mother, Ohara” he said and Ohara gave him a dry look.

“You never listen to your mother” he said and Akihito raised an eyebrow.

“Then what makes you think I will listen to you?” he asked and Ohara hummed amused.

“Because I am trained to keep hostages and I know you enough to be able to keep even you locked up and be prepared for your shenanigans. I might be the only one who is able to keep you subdued and you know it” he said and Akihito grimaced.

It was the truth, really. Ohara was likely the only one who had been around Akihito long enough and studied him closely enough to be unsurprised by Akihito’s unpredictability. Not to mention that his reflexes were superb. Even if it had only been trying to shake him off, it had been almost impossible.

Akihito didn’t want to test the raven’s words, clearly showing on his face. Ohara smiled and took a step back, hoisting his bag onto one shoulder.

“I’ll be going back. I’ll inform you when I have landed. Remember the code?” he asked and Akihito nodded.

“Yes, I remember the code. Now go before you miss your flight” he said and Ohara gave a nod back.

“I’ll try to pass by again before you deliver” he said and Akihito waved him off.

“Only if you get days off” he said and watched the tanned guard’s retreating back. Akihito turned away and called out for Ao, who was quick to catch up with him as Dante smiled.

Chapter Text

“Are you sure you have time to do this?” Leonia asked unsure as she looked at Akihito walking next to her. The blonde hummed and smiled at her.

“Of course. Since it’s Monday, the shop’s closed, so I have the whole day” he said and the brunette looked at the ground.

“But papa made you come with me when you have other things to do” she said and Akihito waved it off.

“It’s okay. I’ve been constantly getting headaches from staring at my screen too much anyway. This comes as a welcome distraction” he assured her with a smile. Really, it was indeed a welcome distraction.

For the past two weeks, Akihito had done nothing but stare at his computer screen, reading rumours and magazine stories on Tokyo’s power-house couple. It was not only painful for his eyes, but also for his heart.

Body found at Tokyo bay with eight missing fingers and shot-wound to chest.

Sion merges with Ironex.

Man shot in the head. Execution or suicide?

Asami Ryuichi and wife attend benefit gala for orphanages with a donation of 10 million yen.

5-million-yen worth of cocaine found in ship entering Tokyo.

College student stabs eight students in class, four in critical condition.

High-school students attempt to rob back with guns.

Those were some of the head-lines from Mainichi Shimbun and other, smaller newspapers that were stuck in the blonde’s head. To Akihito, it painted a very good image of what was going on in Tokyo. The photographer didn’t even need to ask anyone what the cause was.

Asami was letting go on the authority he held over the minor crooks and yakuza gangs.

The crime-lord was the top of the food-chain in Japan, the one minor treaded carefully around in order not to piss him off. He held the most power in Japan, to the point he owned Tokyo from the shadows. That was how much authority the crime-lord had.

Yet he was letting go on it. Not like he was slipping, but more like he couldn’t be bothered with stopping drug-pusher from dealing on the surface, or minor weapon smugglers to sell guns to people who really shouldn’t own guns.

He didn’t stop any of it, when he could prevent it from even happening. But Asami wasn’t even trying, so it seemed. According to what Ohara told him and what he read from the under-ground rumour websites, Asami was making more money than ever and in short periods of time.

But he was colder, more ruthless than before. It was something that scared Akihito. The blonde knew perfectly well how dangerous Asami could be. Their first meeting had been anything but desirable or a good start of a relationship. But they had gotten over it and had created a healthy relationship.

They used to have dinner together, eat breakfast together, they used to watch movies together and sometimes even went out for a drink. They talked about their day and silly subjects, and even held discussions about serious topic. The only thing they hadn’t talked about, had been their feelings.

They simply didn’t know how to. They both had their prides, which were equally as sky-high. Asami had troubles with his feelings while Akihito had problems with being honest about them. Akihito had honestly believed that if everything had gone well, they would have opened up to each other even about that.

It hadn’t been like that in the beginning, but even then Asami had never been as cold as people descripted him to be at this current moment. There were certain things that Asami had never allowed before, but ignored now. He had never been so cold and so distant that even Ohara felt uneasy around the crime-lord.

Asami had always kept a certain amount of fear ingrained in his, but had never treated them without respect. He listened to them and he trusted them for as long as they didn’t do anything to betray him. This translated into respect from his men and hard-work that came with ease. Akihito was scared that if Asami changed too much and became too ruthless, that his men would betray him.

“Akihito?” Leonia called out for the blonde shook out of his dark thoughts to look at the brunette.

“You sure you’re okay?” she asked and Akihito gave a small smile.

“I’m sure. Just a bit of complications back in Japan. But for now, let’s forget about that and pick you a dress for homecoming” he said and Leonia frowned worried at him. At his slightly pleading expression, she gave up and went along with his change of subject.

“Let’s start with this store” Akihito said and practically pushing the brunette into the store he mentioned. The pregnancy chime around his neck swayed with his steps where it rested on his bump that was finally starting to show, but still effortlessly to hide.

Since the weather was cooling down slightly, he had exchanged his usual loose top for a loose burgundy off the shoulder sweater, with a dark blue top underneath and paired with a blue maternity jeans and black slip on shoes because anything else was too much of a hassle.

Akihito couldn’t be bothered with bending over to tie the laces of his sneakers, and his OB never forgot to mention that it only got worse. Akihito knew that it would, but that didn’t mean he liked to be reminded of it. He was already having back-aches even without his tummy sticking out. But at least all of the nausea had stopped.

“Stop!” Akihito said as they exited their second store.

“You saw something?” Leonia asked and Akihito smiled with a finger pointed at a store.

“Let’s take a break. Right there. Now” he said and Leonia looked over at the place Akihito pointed at before snorting. It was completely obvious that Akihito was a sweet-tooth, which had gotten even worse during his pregnancy.

Entering the waffle joint, Akihito’s stomach rumbled in appreciation of the smell, earning a chuckle from Leonia. Akihito wasn’t even embarrassed, pre-occupied with reading the menu above the counter.

After getting their order, the duo took place at one of the tables, not even earning one glance. Akihito dug into his waffle, topped with banana, strawberry, chocolate, ice-cream and whipped cream. Up until now, his weight had always been slightly below where he should have been, so Akihito had no trouble eating the danger in front of him.

For the love of god, is it always this hard to buy a dress?” Leonia asked and Akihito looked up at her, licking a tuff of whipped cream form his little fork.

“No, you’re just insecure and picky” the blonde said and Leonia flinched, her a smile freezing on her face.

“Okay, wow, that’s… ouch. Did you have to say it like that?” she asked and Akihito tilted his head.

“I never said there was anything wrong with that though. It’s okay to be picky and it’s okay to be insecure. Even I’m like that. You just need to find something you’re comfortable in. Maybe listen to me a bit” he said and she looked up at him, thinking it over.

Okay” she agreed and Akihito gave a hum.

“But! No complaining until you tried it on and looked in the mirror, okay?” he warned and she nodded. As Akihito took over, shopping went a little easier. Because of the comfortable atmosphere, the blonde was able to forget about the situation back in Japan for a bit.

Wanting to continue this for just a little longer, he invited Leonia over to his house for the preparations of her homecoming dance the next evening. It was rather obvious that she had put off shopping until the last moment, and Akihito understood why.

She hadn’t been able to tell her dad that she had a date for the evening, which caused Dante to be stuck between fussing over her or planning a murder.

“Papa, would you calm down already” Leonia complained as she walked down the stairs in the dress Akihito had picked out. The dress wasn’t anything too fancy. A simple navy blue high to low dress was already enough to make her like a magnet. It had happened in the store, which had ultimately led to her agreeing to it.

“Oh, my baby!” Dante said as he placed a hand in front of his mouth.

I’m going to need an axe, a shovel, a car with a large trunk, gloves and hand sanitizer” he said, instead of giving a compliment, earning a dry look from his daughter and a chuckle from Akihito. The blonde really was grateful that he was picking up on the Italian quick. Those two were a riot once you understood them.

“Come here. I’ll do your hair and make-up” Akihito said as he patted the chair he had taken from the dining-room. both Dante and Leonia looked surprised as him as he took out the plastic bag of make-up they had bought the other day.

“You can to make-up too?” Leonia asked and Akihito looked at her as she sat down.

“What I haven’t told you yet? I’m a freelance photographer. Photojournalism alone wasn’t exactly enough to pay the bills, so I took every job I could get, including ungrateful models and fashion shoots” Akihito said and spread out the make-up on the side-table that was usually next to the sofa.

“Sometimes, models weren’t all that quick, so I pitched in and helped out, including clothing corrections, hair and make-up. other times, like those ungrateful models I mentioned before, they refused to do their own make-up or hair and I was forced to do it. But that’s okay, since I was better than she was” he said and smiled.

“So, relax. You’re in good hands” he said and Leonia nodded. Akihito pushed his bangs back with the wavy headband before starting with applying Leonie’s make-up.

“You know, your skin is better than some of the models I worked with” Akihito revealed and Leonia blinked at him.

“Really?” she asked and Akihito gave a nod.

“Yup. Most of them really take care of their skin, but some put on layer on top of layer of foundation and it fucks up their skin. Since you barely use anything but cream, it’s in pretty good condition” he admitted and continued working easily while Dante watched over his shoulder.

When Akihito was done with painting Leonia’s lips in an orange-red colour, he straightened up. Checking if her wing-tips were exactly the same, he gave an approving nod, looking over at her father for his approval. Something which was obvious in the way he was in her face with his cellphone.

“Imagine what it will be like with prom” Akihito said at Leonia’s annoyed expression, which morphed into dread at his words. Akihito chuckled as he looked at Dante.

“You want me to take a few pictures?” he asked and both Italians looked up at him.

“Yes! If you would like to” Dante said eager awhile his daughter looked a little shyer.

“Can you get my camera from the second bedroom upstairs?” Akihito asked and Dante gave a nod. Akihito explained what the camera looked like as he stepped up behind Leonia to do her hair. Her shoulders relaxed as Dante left the room, earning a squeeze from Akihito’s hand on her shoulder.

“Thanks. He was making me nervous” she said and Akihito chuckled.

“I wonder who is more nervous. You or him” he said and she snorted.

“Probably him. Besides, it’s not like someone will try to touch me or anything” she said and Akihito looked at her.

“Always keep in mind that it might happened, but that if it does, I’m on speed-dial and I’ll be there with a base-bat as fast as my legs can carry me” Akihito said and shrugged.

“Also, I know how to hide a body better than Dante does, so you don’t need to worry about me going to prison for murder” he said and Leonia snorted before chuckling. Amusing, how when he said it, it sounded like a joke, when it really wasn’t.

From his experience in criminal photojournalism and his connections with the underground, which were more than he would like to admit, Akihito had a pretty good idea on how to get away with murder. At least, in theory he had. It was pretty scary to even think about how much his moral compass had slipped for him to think about.

“But it’s fine, as long as you watch out for the punch. There is always an idiot that thinks it’s a good idea to spike it” Akihito said and Leonia frowned.

“I thought they didn’t have home-comings or prom in Japan” she said and Akihito shrugged.

“There is a graduation party organized by the students. We had a bit of drinks but we weren’t supposed to drink any alcohol. I was the idiot that bought alcohol” he admitted but wasn’t going to talk about the fact that he couldn’t really handle his alcohol. Well, in a way he could, he just got drunk quick but could keep drinking.

“I brought it” Dante said as he entered the living-room again.

Thanks. Just put it on the table for now” Akihito said and Dante gave a nod. Akihito finished up the two braids that came together on the back of Leonia’s head and was tied with a bright orange ribbon. The ribbon matched the hoop earrings and the combination of the orange carved roses bracelet and the white braided bracelet.

In turn, the white bracelet and the white rosary she was hiding under her dress, matched her shoes, which she pulled on in the entrance. The white lace ankle boots with chunky heel and open toe finished the attire.

Akihito felt like coming home as soon as he picked up his camera, directing it at a nervous Leonia as she stood shyly in front of the clear wall. The last time the blonde had held one of his cameras for real had been since the first two weeks of his arrival.

The other times was with his polaroid of his growing belly to add to the journal he was writing because his mother had urged him to. Don’t get him wrong, he loved writing the journal every day before he went to sleep and he added pictures every week.

But taking pictures with a polaroid was just not the same as taking them with his babies. Not that he didn’t like polaroids, since he loved it. But they were two different things and hit had just been really long since he had held one of his babies.

He was glad to see his skills hadn’t started rusting as he took a couple pictures of Leonia before taking another few of the father-and-daughter combi before there was a knock on the door.

“That’ll be Kirk. I told him I would be here” Leonia said and Dante was to open the door. In front of him stood a teen, looking rather nervous as the tall Italian man glared at him. Akihito poked the man in the side before pulling the door wider open.

“Step inside for a second. Leonia is getting her purse” Akihito said and the teen brushed his hands off at his pants before stepping inside. He took one look at Akihito’s stomach, badly hidden behind a tight tank-top while the blonde closed the door, and grimaced.

At his look, Dante’s glare darkened while Akihito’s eyebrows rose. It was the first bad reaction he had gotten openly like that. it wasn’t the first, but all the others were behind his back. Not that he couldn’t count them on one hand.

“You have a problem, kid?” Dante asked as he crossed his arms in front of his chest, a stark contrast from the doting father from before.

“Obviously. This guy takes it up the ass and got knocked up. Who doesn’t have a problem with that” he sneered and Akihito shrugged.

“I don’t” he said and Dante looked at him.

“Me neither” he agree, making the young punk annoyed that his harsh words hadn’t gotten the wanted reaction.

“Also, if we really aren’t supposed to take it up the ass, why did god put the male’s G-spot up there?” Dante asked and Akihito nodded agreeing.

“I’m sorry, I’m ready” Leonia said as she walked down the stairs again, a white lace purse slung over her shoulders.

Have fun, love” Dante said while kissing the top of her head and giving her a half-hug which she returned with one arm around his waist.

“Don’t do what I would do” Akihito said and both Italians frowned at him.

“Isn’t it supposed to be ‘Don’t do what I wouldn’t do?’” Dante asked as the punk opened the door again.

“Hmm, yeah, but in my case, there’s a fuck-ton of things I would do” Akihito said and urged the two teens out of the door with a sadistic little laugh as Dante started to rant in quick and loud Italian.

Come on, big guy. Let’s play a card-game we can’t play with children in the house” Akihito said as he led Dante into the dining-room for a game of poker. His phone vibrated in his pocket, signalling a received message.

Heya, Akihito! Dad, Misha and I can get a free day next week. Would you be okay if we came over then?

Akihito perked up at the text. He and Alexei had been texting a lot and exchanging pictures on their social media pages ever since the first contact had been made. They had been talking about meeting up face to face, but Alexei had been busy and Akihito hadn’t exactly been free either with his work at the café.

Sure! No problem! I’ve got three rooms you can use, so it’s okay to stay overnight if you have to! Just let me know the date and I’ll make sure to stock up on food.

Nice. I’ll tell dad and Misha and let you know.

Chapter Text

Akihito was nervous and who could blame him. He had gotten a message from Alexei that they had landed at the airport and had called a cab a while ago. All Akihito could currently do was wait for them to arrive. And maybe snatch a freshly baked banana muffin from the tray.

The blonde flinched as the doorbell rang right as he stuffed his mouth full. Cursing inwardly, the blonde chewed as quick as he could, brushing the crumbs off his thin sweater clad baby-bum as he walked to the front door. The last swallow was painful and he coughed before clearing his throat and opening the door.

The first thing he noticed was tall. Like why couldn’t he have inherited the height? The second thing was white. All three of the males in front of him were dressed in a good amount of white with light coloured hair.

One of them, the oldest looking thought Akihito wasn’t exactly sure because he looked barely a day past his late-twenties, wore a light denim jeans with a white turtleneck sweater and white Chester coat. His almost white-blonde hair was on the short side and brushed sideways in an effortless, modern quiff leaving his electric blue eyes free from any distractions.

The youngest looking male looked about Akihito’s age, his hair almost as silvery as the photographer’s, though Akihito’s was slightly darker and a little blonder. And longer, considering the other had the sides and back shaved. His eyes were light grey, matching the jumper he wore on top of the white jeans, paired with white trench-coat and ankle-boots with a small heel and buckles.

The third one, Akihito recognized. The white muscle-shirt show-casted the fit body underneath, paired with a black jeans and black leather jacket. The dress-shoes he wore was the complete opposite of the casual affair going on above. Honey-blonde hair was slicked back with gel, just the right amount to not be greasy. The look in bright blue eyes told Akihito that he was recognized too.

Oh, boy.

“Hi” Akito said, by lack of brain-function and nerve overdrive.

“Heya!” the youngest of the trio greeted back and his enthusiastic response was enough to make Akihito remember that there was something like manners.

“Come on in” he said further opening the door even though alarm-bells tingled in his head, telling him not to. But then again, he had never really listened to those bells.

The Russian trio stepped inside and Akihito pointed out the slippers he had put out for them to wear inside the house, ignoring the eyes on his back.

“Do you mind dogs?” Akihito asked and the youngest looked up from where he placed his bag against the shoe-closet.

“You mean Ao?” he asked and Akihito gave a nod as he led them into the living-room.

“Yeah, I put her outside in case one of you was allergic or couldn’t handle dogs or something” he said and the oldest shook with his head as the third one sat down in the sofa as if he was at home, earning a dry look from the youngest.

“No, that’s fine. You can let her inside, we don’t mind” the oldest said and Akihito nodded.

“Okay, cool. Make yourself comfortable. Anything to drink, or maybe eat?” Akihito asked and the oldest was about to refuse when the second oldest cut in.

“Coffee, black” he said and Akihito gave a nod before looking at the other two, who both told him that coffee was fine. On his way to the kitchen, Akihito let Ao in, who instead of greeting the guests, followed the blonde into the other room.

Akihito returned to the living-room with freshly brewed coffee on a tray with sugar and milk in separate cups. It was only then that Ao decided to be sociable and trot up to the youngest, who welcomed her with open hands ready to scratch behind her ears.

Akihito didn’t think an introduction was needed, since they obviously knew who he was and he in turn had no trouble with putting the name with the person. What was harder to do, as find a conversation topic to talk about that didn’t touch the fact that Mikhail had once kidnapped him. But it seemed that he didn’t need to be the first one to speak up.

“Are you really pregnant?” Alexei asked as he looked up from scratching behind Ao’s ears.

“Yeah, eighteen weeks” Akihito admitted and Dimitri, the oldest sitting in between his two sons, looked surprised.

“Eighteen weeks? You don’t look it” he said and Akihito gave a hum with a nod.

“Yeah, I’m a bit worried about it too, but the OB says they’re healthy so” he said and Misha, also known as Mikhail Arbatov, the bratva leader who kidnapped Akihito before, raised an eyebrow.

“Eighteen weeks? So the kid’s Asami’s?” he asked and Akihito tensed, placing his hand protectively over his stomach as the two next to the Russian mob looked at him in surprise.

“You two know each other?” Alexei asked and Mikhail glanced at them before looking back at Akihito.

“Yeah, but not exactly in the best circumstances” he said. An understatement.

“What did you do?” Dimitri asked sternly, having no doubt that it was Mikhail who had been at fault, which he had been.

“He kidnapped me” Akihito said before he could stop himself. Immediately, Dimitri and Alexei glared at the oldest son who scratched the back of his neck.

“I was actually looking at it like we were keeping you safe during the exchange” Mikhail said and Akihito raised an eyebrow.

“Considering your subordinate was trying to choke me to death, the last thing I would call it is safe” he said, because once he started, he had a really hard time shutting up. It was exactly that, that got him into trouble so often. But by the looks of it, Mikhail seemed to be the one in trouble.

“Yes, but I did stop him” the mob-boss said and Akihito hummed.

“You could have also stopped him from shooting at me when the exchange was already made” he said dryly and Mikhail looked busted.

“True, but Yuri did get shot too. And you shot at him too” he said and Akihito flinched. He still felt sort of bad for that, but the situation had really pushed him past limits he hadn’t known he possessed.

“Misha! How many times did grandpa tell you not to involve civilians in your deals?” Dimitri scolded as he tapped the back of the Russian mob-boss’s head.

“Uhm, I’m not exactly uninvolved, actually” Akihito said and they looked at him.

“True. You’re just as deep in this wold as any of my men” Mikhail said and at Alexei and Dimitri’s inquiring look, Akihito explained.

“My ex-lover was a crime-lord, I’m text-buddies with the baishe leader and apparently, my half-brother is the leader of the bratva. I’m pretty wrapped up in that world, I’d say” he admitted and Mikhail tilted his head slightly as he looked at him.

“That’s still no reason for him to involve you when you don’t work in that world” Dimitri said but Mikhail ignored him.

“You’re text-buddies with that guy?” he asked and Akihito grimaced.

“Yeah, that’s one way to call it. The texts and mails he sends me are either sexually tinted to the point it’s plain harassment, while other times he’ll ask me whether he should pick black and gold or black and blue silk brocade. And if I don’t answer straight away, he’ll spam me until I do. Frankly, it’s annoying as fuck” he said and Mikhail snorted.

“Really?” he asked and Akihito nodded. He startled when Alexei clapped in his hands.

“Let’s stop talking about this criminal crap and get to what’s really important!” he said and looked at Akihito.

“Do you know the gender yet?” he asked and Akihito raised an eyebrow at the sudden change of subject, but rolled with it.

“I just found out two days ago. It’s a boy and a girl” he said and Dimitri’s eyes widened.

“Twins? Where are you keeping those?” he asked as he looked pointedly at Akihito’s stomach as if he was hiding them in some kind of worm-hole.

“I wonder about that too sometimes. Until I lay down on my back and it feels like they’re pressing against my spine” the photographer said and Alexei grimaced. They continued talking for a little longer before Akihito led them up the stairs to allow them to settle into the rooms for the night.

“That’s a really old crib” Mikhail said as he looked at the dark-wooden cribs placed next to each other in the corner of the master bedroom.

“Yeah, I got it from Miranda and Rose, who had twins themselves” Akihito said and Dimitri looked at him.

“What about the nursery?” he asked and Akihito shrugged.

“Don’t really have one yet. I just have the most important things for now, like cribs, a changing pillow and diapers” he said, causing Alexei and Dimitri to stare at him in shock.

“We’re going shopping” Dimitri said and Alexei nodded agreeing, leaving no place for discussion.

“Give up and go along” Mikhail advised as Alexei practically pulled Akihito through the door. Ao followed after him easily, even without her leash, as Akihito followed Mikhail’s advice. Not because it was the mob-boss saying it, but because Alexei’s enthusiasm was contagious.

The enthusiasm was what caused him to be pulled into all the baby-shops in town. Akihito had a sort of troubled look on his face when Alexei and Dimitri started discussing clothing and other necessities while Mikhail remained outside with Ao. The difference in their monthly wages was laughable and Akihito didn’t really want to accept their generosity, not that either Alexei or Dimitri listened to him.

It didn’t actually take long before Akihito felt comfortable around them, including Mikhail. It was likely because Alexei was so spontaneous and social that it made it almost impossible for awkward silences or tense moods to exist. But that didn’t mean that Akihito wasn’t still careful around Mikhail.

“I’ll help” Dimitri said as he stepped up next to Akihito while grabbing a dish-towel. Akihito looked up at the man who smiled at him, the corners of his eyes crinkling. It was the only real sign of age the Russian had.

“Thank you for letting us stay over like this. I can only imagine how awkward this must be for you to suddenly have three people you knew nothing about in your house” Dimitri said and Akihito turned back to the dish in his hands, buried in hot soapy water.

“Not really. I mean, yeah, this morning, it was kind of uneasy and awkward. But that went two ways, I guess. You knew just as much about me as I knew about you” the photographer admitted and handed over the cleaned plate.

“But that’s why we decided to meet. To get to know each other better” Akihito said and then blinked as he looked up at the Russian next to him.

“At least, I hope. I mean, I don’t want to get ahead of myself” he said and Dimitri chuckled soft.

“That’s the goal” he assured the smaller blonde and smiled at the dish he was drying.

“I know I can’t be your father, but I would like to be involved in your life” he said and Akihito glanced up at him.

“Well, the way I’ve been thinking about it since I found out, is that I have two fathers and one mother. Seira might not be my mother by blood, but she raised me, so she’s my mother” he said and Dimitri looked at him as he nodded understanding.

“Dad, you could technically say he’s my ‘mother’, because he gave birth to me. To me whether or not he gave birth to me, he’ll stay my dad in my eyes” Akihito said and looked up at the surgeon.

“But nobody ever said that I can’t have more parents than just a mom and a dad. People remarry and shit all the time too and those people can be a father and mother too. It might not happen overnight, but I really believe that over time, I will come to think of you as family and hopefully the other way around too” he said and Dimitri smiled.

“It believe the same” he said and suddenly, a voice spoke up behind them.

“Alexei, stop trying to eavesdrop! Grandpa will have your ears if tell him!” Mikhail said loud and Alexei cursed.

“Misha!” he hissed and Akihito and Dimitri looked into the direction they saw Alexei duck away from the corner into the living-room to engage in a play-full sibling fight.

Dimitri shook with his head, caught between disapproval and fond amusement, while Akihito merely raised an eyebrow. He understood absolutely nothing of the hard, Russian words coming from both Alexei and Mikhail. The sounds of their grappling match were joined with Ao’s excited barks before Akihito chastised her for almost knocking over one of his vases.

As the evening progressed, Akihito found himself laughing at Alexei’s drunk antics. He hadn’t timed exactly when the youngest Arbatov had taken out the vodka, but he knew that Alexei was something a light-weight. And instead of stopping him, Dimitri and Mikhail just had fun watching him try to play hints.

The model tried to get Akihito to join him, but the blonde had his hands full with is cell-phone recording the while scene and a hot cocoa, which he was absolutely addicted to and literally couldn’t sleep without drinking it.

“Okay, okay, that’s enough, Alexei” Dimitri said as Alexei swayed and stumbled, almost diving head-first into the sofa.

“We should all go to sleep. We’ve still got a long flight back to Russia” he said as he held his youngest son up by his arm and urged Mikhail to stand up. Akihito threw back the last of his mug before standing up.

“Actually, Akihito, where are you sleeping?” Dimitri asked and Akihito looked at him.

“Ah, the sofa” he said and Dimitri looked disapproving.

“Misha, you’re taking the sofa” he said and the mob-boss held up his thumb.

“No, you don’t have to” Akihito said and Dimitri waved it off.

“It’s okay. Misha is older and not pregnant, so he can take the couch” he said and Akihito shook his head slightly.

“No, it really isn’t a problem. The sofa isn’t even that hard to sleep in” he said and Mikhail was the one to speak up this time.

“Just get me a pillow and a blanket and I’ll be fine. There’s no point trying to convince that stubborn mule” he said and Dimitri gave an approving nod.

“Good. I’ll take Alexei upstairs. Good-night” he said and Akihito didn’t need a translator to know what that last word meant. Akihito pulled up one of the pillow of the sofa, revealing a storage space filled with pillows and blankets.

“Are you sure it’s okay?” Akihito asked as he handed the largest blanket to the Russian mob-boss.

“Sure, I can sleep anywhere. Just go to sleep in your own room” Mikhail said and Akihito felt slightly uncomfortable with letting a guest sleep on the sofa. Even if that guest was someone who had indirectly caused many nightmares.

“You know, you don’t need to be so nervous around me. Last time, I was in the wrong, and I’m aware that apologizing for it is useless” Mikhail said and Akihito looked at him as he closed the storage box.

“But I grew with the idea that family is most important and it is. We started out on the completely wrong foot, but neither of us knew anything back then. It’s no excuse but it’s the truth” the mob-boss said and looked at the blonde.

“I know it’s a tall order, but I hope we can at least wipe our slate clean. This is really important to the old man and I don’t want to do anything that will cause him pain. I already worry him enough” he said and Akihito was slightly surprised by the genuine side he saw of the Russian crime-lord.

It was something he had noticed glimpses off throughout the day, but it was still hard to imagine someone in his position rough around with his younger brother and put so much effort in pleasing his father. It was something Akihito could appreciate and understand. But that didn’t mean that he would fully trust the man, at least not yet.

“You don’t need to worry about getting in trouble with my Bratva anymore. I don’t touch a single hair on my family’s head. Unless you really fuck up, of course. But you know how this world works, so I don’t need to warn you” he said and Akihito gave a nod.

“Okay. Let’s start with a clean slate” he agreed and Mikhail gave a nod.

“Good night, Mikhail” the smaller blonde said and Mikhail looked at him.

“Misha. Clean slate, remember. My family and friends call me that, so you get the privilege too” he said and Akihito regarded him before nodding.

“Akihito” the mob-boss stopped the blonde in the door-opening leading to the entrance hall. The mentioned blonde hummed as he looked over his shoulder.

“Does Asami know?” Mikhail asked and Akihito tensed slightly.

“No, he doesn’t. And I would like to keep it that way unless there is no other choice” he said and Mikhail hissed.

“Ouch, so he dumped you to marry someone else, without knowing he knocked you up double? Well, if he would have known about it and still dumped you, that would have made him a bigger asshole than he already is” he said and smirked as he picked up the almost empty vodka bottle.

“I guess I can keep this to myself. It’ll be more fun that way” he said, earning a deadpan look from his younger half-brother. Honestly, Mikhail was just like Fei-long. People who smiled on the surface, but you had honestly no idea what they were thinking. Compared to the youngest Arbatov, who woke up with a hangover the next morning that was obvious by the look on his face as it turned green with the smell of pancakes, which earned a laugh from the three other blondes.

Chapter Text

Kirishima and Suoh heaved a sigh as they stepped out Asami’s office, having just received new plans for a weapon-deal from Korea. They had just finished a drug deal with Taiwan that had taken quite some time, but for big bucks.

But there was a limit to how much Asami could work without collapsing. For a second time, that was.

The first time had been a shock, but not all that surprising. Working almost non-stop, sleeping in his office, barely eating and working out until he was bathing in sweat whenever his temper was close to exploding. No matter how strong Asami was, even his body had to give in some time.

It had happened three weeks ago, luckily in his own office where no-one but Kirishima and Suoh had witnessed the moment of weakness. The duo had hoped that it would make Asami see that he was being very unhealthy, but it had the opposite effect.

Asami just worked more, worked his men more and had become even colder. Suoh and Kirishima had to come up with a code, using colours to describe Asami’s mood so they could inform the men on how to act around the crime-lord.

Sometimes he had good days. Days where he was okay, almost calm. It was the easiest mood to be around, yet it was like the sea. Never really tranquil and traitorous with the ability to switch depending on the direction of the wind. That mood was called Blue.

The next one was Indigo, where Asami was irritated, but not enough to be dangerous to your health. He was prickly and quick to raise his voice or glare. It was startling, when he would suddenly threaten to fire you when you brought him his coffee even a minute later than he had expected it.

Orange was the code-name used for when things started to get dangerous. In a physical kind of way. The code meant that Asami’s temper was on the shorter side, quick to lit. People were forced to watch their language and their movements, lest they ended up in the gym for hours, being slammed into the mats in a not so kind way.

The second to worst mood, was Grey. When Asami was in this mood, it required the people around him to use gloves. They threaded on eggshells, knowing that his fuse was very short and already lit. One misstep could end up with you getting beaten up, especially if you were someone who did not fall under the crime-lord’s pay-check. But even they weren’t unharmed if they triggered him, which was visible with only very few warning signals.

Black was the last mood, the one mood nobody wanted him in. Not even his enemies liked to see Asami when he was in a black mood. When it was a code Black, you did whatever he said immediately, without complaining. In fact, it was best if you had it finished yesterday. In this mood, there were no warning signs when he snapped. And when he did, you had better found a suitable doctor. If you hadn’t, a burial-ground was good too.

The whole of Tokyo underground did their best to avoid Asami going into another Black mood again. It had only happened twice, but it was twice too much. The first time it happened, a politician had found himself drowned with cement-shoes in Tokyo bay. His body was still not found. The second time had caused a complete yakuza group to be arrested, though the leader and the young head were both found death with their fingers chopped off and a bullet right between their eyes.

The mood Asami was in most of the time was Orange. The reason for this was because of the mentions of his marital status. The news-papers, gossip magazines, people he worked with. All of them talked about his marriage to Furutani Yumika, now carrying the name Asami. Any mention of her or anything to do with her, could easily bring him into an orange mood.

But what was the ultimate taboo, was the name Takaba Akihito. The blonde, reckless photographer, who had by now gotten the moniker ‘Dragon tamer’, was the ultimate trigger for Japan’s king-pin. Everything to do with the blonde, was a direct link to a code black. Nobody really wanted to touch it, therefor came up with the alias, in order not to trigger the crime-lord.

The underworld of Japan was starting to blend in with the regular folk, which not only troubled the police and the government, but also civilians. There were still some people who didn’t yet know enough not to mention the code black trigger.

“Takaba-sama! For Christ’s sake! You promised me not to do anything dangerous!” a familiar voice hissed in the back-alley of the Sion company building. Both Suoh and Kirishima froze at the mention of the name, looking at each other with held breaths.

“Not every Russian can hold his vodka, that’s racist. And unimportant. What’s important is the fact that that man has kidnapped you before and is definitely dangerous” Ohara said where he leaned stood in the dark alley with his back towards his two colleagues and his phone pressed against his ear. Kirishima wished he could hear the other side of the conversation too.

“I am not over-reacting! You are under-reacting! That man would sell his own mother to the devil for entertainment” Ohara said as he threw his free hand in the air.

“I don’t fucking care how much of a bitch their mother is, Akihito. It doesn’t change the fact that you can’t trust him! You promised me not to do anything dangerous! Think about your condition for a second, please!” Ohara said in a rare display of irritation, his voice rising with his temper. But Kirishima was stuck on one thing only.

“Condition?” Kirishima repeated, watching Ohara’s spine snap straight.

“Fuck. Akihito-sama, I got to go” the tanned guard said before he closed the call.

“You kept in contact with the brat, Ohara?” Suoh asked surprised as the raven-haired guard turned around. For a second, it looked like he was going to lie, before he exhaled his breath sharply.

“Yes, I have” he admitted and both Suoh and Kirishima felt a bit of tension slip from their shoulders. It was not really a secret that they had grown fond of Asami’s brat. It was rather impossible not to grow fond of someone who was able to make Asami laugh.

“How was he? What was this about a condition? Is he sick?” Kirishima asked and Ohara averted his eyes, once again doubting to answer.

“Last time I visited him, he was okay, if not tired and a little underweight. He is hurt, but hiding it well” he said and Kirishima frowned at the reply that had answered the question but not what Kirishima had really asked.

Kirishima wanted to know about the condition Ohara had mentioned, not Akihito’s general condition. Well, that matter too, but not as much as the mentioned condition. Geez, Ohara was too good at answering questions that made one feel confused.

“Ohara, we’re not going to tell Asami-sama. Where is the brat and what is the condition you were talking about?” Suoh asked and Ohara looked at him before sighing softly, clearly deciding that his worries for the blonde took priority over his promise to keep silent, which he no doubt made.

“He’s in Canada” he admitted and both Suoh and Kirishima blinked. What the hell was the brat doing in Canada?!

“He found out he was a carrier of the Mpreg gene, the same time Asami-sama put him out on the street” Ohara revealed and Kirishima frowned. The Mpreg gene was not a secret for him, but from the back-ground search he had done on the blonde, it was mentioned no-where that he was carrier.

“How did he find out?” Kirishima asked and Suoh frowned.

“He’s pregnant?” he guessed, his words making both ravens looked at him. Kirishima’s head shot at Ohara as he gave a nod. The gears in Kirishima’s head started spinning.

“How far?” he asked and Ohara looked at him.

“Five months” he said, like pulling a rug from under their feet. Really, that was exactly what it felt like as the dots connected in their heads. It was a no-brainer, since they all knew Asami and Akihito had been in an exclusive relationship before the crime-lord had engaged himself to Yumika.

Honestly, the last time Kirishima remembered Asami being in an exclusive relationship with someone, was in middle school and that had only lasted for three weeks. His relationship with Akihito had already lasted for more than a year.

Asami obviously loved the blonde, it was visible for all his men. Asami never really bothered to hide it, though he wasn’t very good with feelings. Still, just because he didn’t voice it, didn’t mean that the raven wasn’t completely smitten with the blonde. Which was why it had been such a shock when Asami suddenly announced his relationship with Yumika.

To say that the idea of resigning hadn’t passed Kirishima’s mind when he heard the news, would be a lie. The bespectacled guard had an inkling of how far Asami would go for Akihito. It was something he feared even Asami himself didn’t know the limit of. Nothing was too much when it came to Akihito, Kirishima knew this very well.

In the beginning, he hadn’t really liked the knee-kicker. But it was obvious that Asami was smitten with him. First because of the entertainment he provided, but afterwards because of the warmth he brought to Asami’s life, which reflected on his men and their work-conditions.

When Asami had broken up with Akihito, Kirishima knew that that warmth would disappear. And in the absence of the light, one realizes how big darkness is and how suffocating it can really be. Kirishima hadn’t been jumping to find out just how big Asami’s darkness could be in Akihito’s absence.

But then again, Kirishima had made a promise a very long time ago. They practically started this together and they would finish this together. If one keeled over and died, the other would still continue. Kirishima had no intention of betraying that promise, so the thought of resigning had been fleeting.

“Kei, where are you going?” Suoh asked as he watched the bespectacled guard make his way out of the alley.

“Canada” he said and his two fellow guards were quick to stop him.

“You can’t! With the deal coming up, Asami-sama needs you” Suoh said and Ohara nodded.

“Kirishima-san, if you go, Asami-sama will become suspicious” he said and Kirishima huffed.

“So you just tell me that the kid is carrying Asami-sama’s child in a foreign country without protection, and I have to sit here and do nothing?” he asked and Ohara looked the man dead in the eye.

“Takaba-sama could have stayed with his mother, but he didn’t, knowing it could bring his children in danger. So he went to a secluded location all the way in Canada in order to be further away from Asami’s enemies” he said and Kirishima mulled his words over.

“Just… tell me he’s not still doing any criminal chasing, or parkour running. You were speaking about dangerous things” he pointed out and Ohara averted his eyes.

“Ohara” Kirishia urged and the tanned guard looked back at the older man.

“Takaba-sama noticed that something was wrong with Asami-sama and Yumika’s wedding. He started investigating” he admitted and Suoh and Kirishima shared a look. Another one who suspects something was amiss. And it had to be Akihito, the criminal photojournalist with an eye for those things.

“He suspects blackmail” Ohara said and Kirishima and Suoh looked at him.

“But blackmail, then this person has to hold more power than Asami-sama” Suoh said and Kirishima frowned.

“If it’s like that, I’ll really have to go” he said and turned away. He couldn’t even take a single step with two other guards hanging at his arms.

“I’ll go” Suoh spoke up and Kirishima and Ohara looked at him.

“I’ll go to Canada and do whatever you want me to, Kei. So you stay here and continue to assist Asami-sama. If you aren’t here to take some of the work-load he takes on off his shoulders, then he’ll collapse in no-time again. I’ll ask a week or so off and go to Canada to check up on the brat” Suoh said and Kirishima regarded him.

“Fine” he finally said and the two other guards relaxed.

“But Ohara, I’m hiring you” Kirishima said and Ohara blinked surprised.

“Telling Asami-sama about Akihito’s condition, will put more pressure on him and his black-mailer will hear about it. There is no telling what will happen and it will put Akihito and the children in more danger. But Asami-sama will never leave his unborn children unprotected, so I won’t either” he said and Ohara caught up with his though-process.

“I’ll hire you as Akihito’s body-guard. If I’m the one paying you, Asami-sama has no say about the moves you make. I will take full responsibility” he said and Ohara gave a firm nod.

“Very well. I will follow your orders, Kirishima-san” he said and Kirishima breathed in deeply before exhaling.

“The Hisachi supermarket-chain is making more profits lately. We’ll send you a few of those percent’s to help support Akihito and buy him whatever he needs for the children. If we don’t take too much, Asami-sama won’t notice, or won’t be bothered” Kirishima said and Suoh gave a nod.

“If we really have to, we’ll put in some money ourselves. Just never money from the illegal deals. Akihito would never accept that kind of money and Asami-sama wouldn’t want to sully the children with that kind of money either” he said and Kirishima nodded, until a coin dropped.

“Wait, we’ve been referring to them as children this whole time. Children, as in multiples” he said, noticing that Ohara had always used plural, so he and Suoh had used it too. But only now did it connect in his mind.

“Yes, twins. A boy and a girl” Ohara said and Kirishima nodded.

“Okay, so an heir and a little princess. Okay, I can work with that” he said and looked at Suoh.

“We’ll have to choose guards to become their protection detail. Add extra self-defence trainings and have them go to child-psychology classes, so they can pick up when something is wrong” Kirishima said and Suoh placed his hands on the bespectacled guard’s shoulders.

“Kei, breath” he said and Kirishima did as told, only noticing how dizzy he was when he took a deep breath. He was already this bad and he still had the feeling Ohara was still hiding something. But at this moment, he didn’t think he could handle it without having a meltdown.

He had never thought he’d live to see the day of Asami becoming father. He was aware of the fact that Akihito had always liked kids. Asami, for all he said that kids were a pain in the ass, he couldn’t ignore them. It was ironic, that a man in his position as Japan’s king-pin, would have a knack with children. To think he had a chance of having his own, not one but two.

Of course, these thoughts were shadowed by the fact that Asami had married someone he didn’t love. That much was obvious. Kirishima and Suoh had both felt that something was wrong, but Asami wasn’t talking to them. Not because he didn’t trust them, but because he felt like this was something he needed to carry alone. Both Kirishima and Suoh knew this, which was why they couldn’t investigate.

But Akihito could. He was likely the only one who could, since Asami was desperately holding himself back from even looking at the blonde’s social media site. Even Kirishima and Suoh hadn’t looked on it because they didn’t really want to see how much the break-up had damaged the blonde when it had already damaged Asami as much as it had.

But Akihito was strong, and above all, stubborn. He wouldn’t give up once he had found something was amiss. He had a sense of integrity that didn’t allow him to owe anyone anything. No matter how much Asami had told him that it was nothing, Akihito still felt like he needed to repay the raven for keeping him out of trouble.

Besides, if the blonde was even half as smitten as Asami was with him, there was no way Akihito would let this go. His criminal journalist personality wouldn’t let it go, and neither would his feelings. Kirishima might not know the blonde like he knew Asami, but that much, he was certain of. Akihito had gone through a lot and had remained at Asami’s side none the less. There was no way the blonde would give up just like that.

“Okay, this can work. We’ll make it work” Kirishima said and looked at Ohara.

“Keep me posted on everything Akihito finds. We’ll help from here out as much as possible, but the one with the most room to move freely, is him. We’ll just have to keep him safe as he investigates. Him and the children” he said and a silence fell, which was broken by all three of them sighed.

“Don’t say it as if it’s something so easy” Suoh said and they shared a look. Honestly, these two. If they thought Yumika and Asami were a powerhouse couple because of their stances, they hadn’t met the hurricane that was Asami and Akihito.

Chapter Text

“Nice crib” Suoh couldn’t help but comment as they stepped up the driveway to the pale, two-story bungalow. Ohara glanced at him as he walked up to the burgundy wooden door. Suoh glanced at his surroundings as Ohara rang the doorbell, waiting for the blonde to come open the door.

Ohara repeated the action when the door didn’t open and there was no reaction from the inside. He shared a look with Suoh before looking through the front-window.

“I’ll go see around the back” Ohara said before leaving Suoh alone in front of the door to jump the hip-high fence leading to the back-yard.

“Suoh?” a familiar voice spoke up in shock, making the giant look over his shoulder. The shock in the voice was mirrored in his own eyes that widened at the sight in front of him.

The man standing at the front of the driveway, was definitely Akihito, though he looked different. Under his hazel eyes were lines, proof that the photographer was sleeping rather bad. His silvery blonde hair that had previously only covered his ears and the middle of his nape, now brushed the top of his shoulders, his bangs held back by a wavy headband.

But what Suoh mostly looked at was the chocolate-brown knitted dolman-sleeve sweater that fell loosely around his stomach area, barely hiding his baby bump that was definitely starting to form. Suoh noticed it because he knew what he was looking for, though he almost overlooked the dog standing at the blonde’s side.

“W-what are you doing here? How did you- Ohara” Akihito said and as if summoned, Ohara jumped the fence.

“Ah, Akihito-sama, did you go for a walk?” he asked dryly and Akihito glared at him.

“Don’t you ‘did you go for a walk’ me, asshole! This was supposed to be a secret! You weren’t supposed to tell anyone” Akihito hissed at him and Ohara’s face remained impassive.

“And you weren’t supposed to do anything dangerous” he shot back and Akihito gritted his teeth as he walked up to the front door.

“Going for a walk with Ao and working is hardly anything dangerous” he said and Ohara looked at him.

“You invited over the Russian mafia-boss” he said, dropping that bomb before Suoh had even recovered from the first.

“Mikhail Arbatov?” he asked and Akihito looked at him.

“Yes, that one. My half-brother, Misha” he said and Souh was absolutely gobsmacked.

“When did that happen?” he asked and Akihito looked at him as he unlocked the door to open it.

“Uhm, at birth? Anyway, come in for now and then tell me exactly what you are doing here after I served some tea and stuffed my face because I’m hungry” the photographer said and stepped inside, placing the useless leash on the side-table before taking off his shoes.

“Take the slippers there and I’ll make some tea. make yourself comfortable” Akihito said before walking further inside the house. Suoh looked at Ohara, who easily stepped inside and followed the blonde’s advice of making himself comfortable.

Looking around at the interior, Suoh followed Ohara into the livingroom, wondering where the blonde’s personality was in the decorations. Even the penthouse had had more of the blonde’s personal touches, but then again, he hadn’t seen the kitchen yet.

“Here” Akihito said as he placed a tray with three cups on the ottoman/coffee-table, pouring the three cups with what smelled like freshly brewed rosehip tea. Suoh and Ohara picked up a cup each before Akihito looked at the large blonde as he sat down into one of the armless one-seaters from the sitting-room he had placed next to the TV.

“So, what did the traitor tell you?” he asked and Ohara rolled with his eyes at being called a traitor.

“He told us you were expecting Asami-sama’s children. He also told us you were investigating the matter of Asami-sama’s wedding” Suoh said and Akihito narrowed his eyes.

“You’re here to tell me to stop and give up” he guessed and Suoh remained stone-faced.

“The opposite. I’m here on behalf of myself and Kirishima to tell you you have our assistance if you require it” he said and Akihito’s eyebrows shot up, his eyes widening.

“I also came her to see if you were in good health, since Ohara told us you were underweight” Suoh said and Akihito laid a hand on his stomach self-consciously.

“Ah, right now, I’m pretty much where I need to be with my weight-gain and my energy is returning in big leaps, so I’m in a good place. But you didn’t really need to come her personally for that, right” he said, obviously more relaxed now that he knew Asami had nothing to do with it.

“Yes, but Kirishima wanted to come straight here after hearing the news. If he had come immediately, Asami-sama would have gotten suspicious, so I volunteered to come. Kirishima wasn’t calming down until he was assured that I would come see you for myself and report straight back to him” Suoh said and Akihito raised an eyebrow.

“Oh, I bet he almost had a melt-down and was already mentally organizing a protection squad for the pups” he said and Suoh sighed.

“I don’t want to imagine what he will do when he hears that your half-brother is Mikhail Arbatov. How does that even work?” he asked and Akihito felt comfortable enough to talk.

“The one who gave birth to me was my dad, and my biological father is Dimitri Arbatov, Misha’s father. I also have a younger brother Alexei. We met face-to-face for the first time a little while ago and Misha and I decided to start with a clean slate. Also, as long as I don’t fuck up their business, I’m safe from Misha’s bratva” Akihito said and Suoh looked down.

“It sort of unnerves me to hear you call someone as dangerous as him by a nickname. Especially when he kidnapped you before” he said and Ohara nodded agreeing. Akihito was about to say something but was cut off by his cell-phone ringing before he could.

“I need to take this” he said as he took his phone and stood up, reaching over the coffee-table.

“You got anything new?” he asked without even greeting, taking out a small notebook and a pen. As soon as the notebook as open and laying on the table, he started scribbling words down and humming as the person on the other side of the connection talked.

“Yup, awesome, I got it. Thanks” Akihito said before closing his phone.

“Who was it?” Ohara asked and Akihito looked at the things he had written down.

“Just a little bird that started to sing as soon as I reminded him that I had a couple pictures of him in an S&M cave with someone who could be his daughter while he told his wife that he was at a congress overseas” Akihito said careless and Suoh stared at him.

It really wasn’t often that the blonde did this kind of underhanded things, and the last time he had done it had also been for Asami’s sake. It showed how far Akihito would go for the crime-lord and exactly why he and Asami were more than just a powerhouse couple.

If only the blonde himself saw this too. He didn’t need to be equal to Asami, since he automatically became just as fierce when it came to protecting his lover. Asami didn’t need someone equal to him, he needed someone whole-heartedly, who would go just as far for him as he would for them. Akihito certainly fit the bill.

“Tokyo is different without you” Suoh said out of the blue and Akihito scoffed.

“I know it is” he said, though there was a sombre tone to his voice.

“Have either of you heard of the drug Hotaru?” he asked, clearly changing the subject away from what Tokyo had become.

“No, never heard of it” Ohara said and Suoh frowned sipping from his tea.

“I have, but it was just a rumour” he said and Akihito looked at him eagerly.

“It was just a trial drug, one based on the tripping effects of mushrooms. The police stopped the creation before it could be widely distributed. I don’t remember in which area it was created” Suoh said and Akihito took out his laptop.

“When was this?” he asked as he opened the device and turned it on.

“A long time ago. I heard about it in middle school or something, just from hearsay that it had happened before I entered school. I just remembered it because it sounded like a nice name and an interesting drug” he said and Akihito gave a thoughtful hum.

“Is it relevant to the investigation or are you planning on taking it?” Ohara asked, which earned a glare.

“Do I look like I’d take drugs? It happened only once, and it were spiked chocolates” he said and shook his head.

“No, a little bird just whispered about Hotaru in a way that made it seem like drugs” he said and Ohara looked at him.

“If we can help, put us to work” he said and Suoh gave a sharp nod.

“Okay, my laundry needs to be done, the house needs to be vacuumed, the toilet needs to be cleaned” Akihito summed up and looked at the guards’ dry expressions with a smirk.

“I can keep you busy until tomorrow evening” he said and Ohara rolled with his eyes.

“Just look up the origins of Hotaru or any rumours concerning it. Anything connected, no matter how little or silly, can help us” Akihito said and Suoh stood up to retrieve his tablet while Ohara took out his cellphone.

“Also, Akihito-sama, from now on I’m intruding here. Kirishima-san hired me as your body-guard, so his orders reign above Asami-sama’s” Ohara informed and Akihito looked at him.

“I guessed as much with the luggage instead of the travel-bag. But well, you know where the guest-room is” he said and glanced up again.

“Does Kirishima… is he going to tell Asami?” he asked and Ohara and Suoh shook their heads.

“No, he’ll keep it a secret, because Asami-sama doesn’t need this kind of extra stress lest he collapses again” the large blonde said and Akihito looked up at him with an innocent, worried look in his eyes.

“He collapsed?” he asked and Suoh wanted to curse himself. Obviously, this news would upset the blonde and Kirishima would rip him a new one if this affect either Akihito or the babies badly.

“He’s fine now, no problem” Suoh tried to reassure, but saw in the blonde’s eyes that not one words was believed. Asami wasn’t fine, no matter how much he pretended to be.

“Is he at least eating?” Akihito asked as he looked at Suoh, pleading silently for the truth. Suoh considered lying to the blonde, but couldn’t. The fact that the blonde still clearly loved Asami was something he wanted to encourage. Asami needed Akihito, as much as Akihito needed Asami.

“He’s not even sleeping at the penthouse” he admitted and Akihito looked down.

“W-what about his w-wife?” he asked and Suoh didn’t need a drawing to understand what the blonde was getting at.

“Yumika has palmed in the penthouse, while Asami-sama is never inside for longer than ten minutes. I can’t say for sure, but I don’t think Asami-sama has any intention of taking her to bed. Anyone for that matter” he admitted and Akihito looked up at him, the hope in his eyes paired with heartbreak to the point even Suoh was hurting.

“The only places Asami-sama goes are the office, the clubs, the gym and your old apartment” he said and Akihito’s eyes widened.

“Apparently, the plank behind the kitchen cup-board is still broken” Suoh said slightly amused and Akihito looked down.

“I broke it on accident by putting too much cup-ramen in it” he said, his voice sounding slightly distant. Suoh startled when a tear slipped from the photographer’s cheek, which he quickly caught with his palm.

“Sorry, don’t… don’t mind me. It’s the hormones. Excuse me” Akihito said, putting his laptop on the chair before excusing himself to the kitchen. The whippet cross resting in a thick pillow in the corner of the room looked up at the blonde’s retreat, standing up calmly to join him.

“I didn’t mean to make him cry” Suoh said and Ohara shook his head.

“It’s okay, I think. Just something inside of him that found relief in your words, I guess” he said and Suoh didn’t feel comforted at all. The only one allowed to make Akihito cry was the crime-lord, after all.

“He acts big, but he’s suffering just as much as Asami-sama” Ohara said and Suoh sighed.

“They don’t have to suffer like this” he said and Ohara couldn’t agree more. But there was nothing they could do. Asami wasn’t telling them anything, thus they had no freedom to do anything. If they did, Asami would find out immediately and so would his black-mailer, which would only put more pressure on Asami.

On the other hand, Akihito had more freedom because he was not close to Asami. Still, that didn’t mean that the blonde had to be left unprotected. But that was why Ohara was there.

Akihito returned from the kitchen with a tray of cookies, pretending as if he hadn’t just been crying. Suoh and Ohara went along with him and just continued to work. Suoh had three days off, two of which he would spend at Akihito’s place.

It was early in the morning that he noticed that he was the one to wake up last. As he entered the kitchen, fully expecting to be the first one, he found Akihito behind the stove and Ohara at the breakfast-island.

“Morning” Akihito greeted him first and the giant, who was definitely not a morning person, just gave a grunt in return. A steaming mug was placed in front of him, the smell immediately wafting up into his nose. That had to be the best coffee had had ever smelled.

“Thank you” Suoh said grateful and the blonde merely gave a hum, turning back to the stove. It didn’t take long before two plates of scrambled eggs were presented to the two guards, who both dug in quietly. Suoh was mid-way his plate when his phone rang.

“That’ll be Kei” he said as he fished the device from the pocket of his sweatpants. Why did Kirishima want to skype first thing in the morning?

[You didn’t call me yesterday! Weren’t you going to report?]

The bespectacled guard didn’t even allow Suoh to greet him, let alone empty his mouth from the toast.

“Morning to you too, beautiful” Suoh said dryly, earning a snort from Akihito who was drying the frying pan he had used.

[Don’t call me that and report, Sunshine. How is he doing?]

“I’m fine, Kirishima!” Akihito called and stepped up behind the bulky blonde.

“I’m twenty weeks along and I’m at a point where I should be. I’m not exactly showing much, but my OB said that that was okay. See” Akihito said as he lifted his sweater with one hand, the tight shirt underneath it, hiding nothing of his baby-bump.

“The pups are healthy and active. I can even feel them move, so no need to have a melt-down” he said and chuckled at Kirishima’s expression that was between relief and shock.

“Now, I’ve got work to get to” he said and Kirishima blinked.

[You’re going to work? In your condition?]

“Calm down, glasses. I’m just a waiter, totally harmless. Bye Kirishima” Akihito said before turning away and leaving Suoh and Ohara to deal with Kirishima who was trying to calm himself down by saying that so many women worked through their pregnancy. That even his wife had done it and hadn’t had any complications.

“I get the feeling that that was on purpose” Suoh told Ohara who looked at him.

“Probably not. He was likely trying to calm Kirishima-san down by showing that he was fit and energetic enough to work, but it had the opposite effect” he said and Suoh grimaced. It did sound logical, since to Akihito, being fit and energetic was equal to being healthy.

Chapter Text

Ryuichi sat in the comfortable arm-rest, looking at the stage in front of him with disinterest. While the women dancing on stage were certainly beautiful, they were too well-developed, too meek, too soft and too female for the crime-lord to get interested.

The man next to him, however, seemed to think differently as he stared at the women with amusement in his eyes. Ryuichi lit up a cigarette before raising the whiskey glass to his lips.

“You’re not enjoying yourself, Asami?” Mikhail asked as he glanced side-ways at the Japanese drug-lord.

“What gave you that idea?” Ryuichi answered in a dry tone that only served to amuse the Russian crime-lord even more.

“Ah, but I guess with a woman like Yumika waiting for you at home, everything else fades, doesn’t it” he said and Ryuichi exhaled his smoke.

“If you want her, go ahead” he said and Mikhail burst out in laughter.

“Are you sure you’re married to her? You would have never said this about Akihito” he said and flinched back at the glare he received for speaking that name.

“Don’t be so uptight, Asami” Mikhail said as he raised his hands with an innocent smile. “I’m not touching Akihito anymore. Things changed and I got chewed out” he said and Ryuichi frowned as the blonde’s secretive smile.

“Don’t worry, Akihito is safe from me. We’ve got a connection, you see” Mikhail said as he pressed his lips together to stop himself from laughing at the clear as glass reactions he received from the normally stoic and composed raven. Mikhail dug into his pocket for his phone.

“You don’t believe me? Here, I’ll show you” he said and tapped open a recorded video before handing over the Japanese mob-boss. Ryuichi looked down on the screen to see a blonde man who, though very handsome with wavy side-swept platinum blonde hair, was very drunk.

“That’s my youngest brother, Alexei Arbatov” Mikhail informed even though Ryuichi recognized the young man from billboards and advertisements.

[Mik, you asshole! How dare you?! You -hic- kidnapped our brother! He’s such a -sniff- sad, sad person. All alone -hic- and you hurt him. I’m going to tell grandpa and h-hic-e’s going to rip you a new -hic- one!]

[Hey, since when am I a sad, sad person and alone?]

Like he was one to talk. Ryuichi froze as the thought had entered his mind even before he had consciously placed a face with the voice. Golden eyes stared wide at the screen as the camera as directed at a familiar blonde, who did a double take at the camera before figuring out he as being recorded.

[He said he was an adult, right? Is it our fault for allowing him to drink? Don- Hey! Stop drinking, idiot! Or at least take a freaking glass! Geez, and here I thought all Russians could handle their vodka]

[Alexei can’t]

[Apparently]

[That’s not nice, my brother!]

[Ack! Cu-Cut it out, Alexei, you idiot!]

The recording stopped on the image of Alexei latching onto the one blonde Ryuichi could not get out of his mind. Akihito had changed, a lot. His face had looked paler, his light ash-blonde hair much longer.

There had been bags under his eyes but a relaxed smile on his face while his hazel eyes were lit up with amusement. His voice had been tired yet excited as fluent English fell from his lips. Ryuchi’s heart ached, so hard the raven could almost feel the pain physically, resisting the urge to rub his chest.

“What is the meaning of this?” he asked, his voice sounding off even to his own ears.

“Hmm, well, Alexei is my youngest brother and Akihito is my half-brother. The three of us share the same father. And as you can see, we’ve got a few things in common, appearance wise” Mikhail said and tilted his head.

“You didn’t know? Alexei has been continuously tagging Akihito in his posts. I really believed that you would have at least tried to look your little blonde up. Poor kid, all alone in a foreign country in his condition” the Russian mob-boss said, obviously baiting the raven. Ryuichi took the bait almost immediately.

“Condition? What condition?” he asked and Mikhail smiled.

“Oh, you didn’t know? The little blonde didn’t tell you? Ah, then I won’t either. It’s something between you two, so I’m not getting involved. I did buy him a cool mug, though” he said and Ryuichi clenched his jaw.

He was already plenty involved, the asshole. At this point he was just trying to rile Ryuichi up, and the raven was reluctant to admit that it was working extremely well.

“Are we still doing business or are you just here to get your sadistic kicks?” Ryuichi sneered as he tossed the phone back at the blonde who merely chuckled.

“Of course, we are still doing business. So, what do you have for me? Besides a bullet between my eyes, I mean” Mikhail said and Ryuichi leaned back in his chair, lighting another cigarette.

“500 glock 17, 350 Beretta M9, 150 sig Sauer p229, 150 boxes of 1000 9mm ammo, 150 M14’s and 250 AK-12” Asami summed up and Mikhail looked at him.

“Go big or go home, huh” he said and looked away again, his face serious.

“That’s some deal you’re talking about, but I guess you’ve been listening to the rumours. That’s a 180-million-euro deal, you know” Mikhail said as he slouched in his chair, looking up at the ceiling.

“We both know you’ll sell it to the army for 200 million at the very least” Ryuichi said and Mikhail forced the corners of his lips down.

“How much do you want for it?” he asked and Ryuichi tapped off his ashes in the ashtray on the table between them.

“175 million and half of your next shipment of cocaine” he said and Mikhail looked at him.

“My next shipment is scheduled for Cambodia in three months. It’s a total of 20 million euro, so it’ll be you losing money” the Russian warned and Ryuichi leaned back.

“I just don’t like Hao” he said and Mikhail snorted.

“So, you’ll take away half of his original shipment? Good, I agree to your deal. Hao is getting too cocky anyway, so half a shipment will serve as a little reminder” he said and held out his hand for Ryuichi to shake. Not wanting to stay in the strip-club any longer than needed, Ryuichi emptied his glass.

“Going already, Asami? Need to get home before the wife gets angry?” Mikhail joked and Ryuichi adjusted his blazer.

“Gone before she arrives, is more like it” the Japanese crime-lord corrected, much to the Russian’s amusement.

“I don’t get you, Asami. Why push the one you love away to marry someone you can’t even stand without thinking of murdering them? I’m starting to feel bad for Akihito. I would have done him a favour if I had let Yuri take him along to Russia and keep him there as a pet” Mikhail said and failed to see how Ryuichi’s mood had switched.

“I mean, yeah, he would have been beaten within an inch of his life every day and raped until he would never be able to walk anymore, but it would be better than to-” the Russian said and was cut off by the collar of his white shirt being grabbed and used to slam his head into the table. The fist balled in his collar held him against the table-top, as if the gun pressed against his temple wasn’t enough of a warning.

“Better than what, Arbatov?” Ryuichi asked as he ignored the deadly silence around despite the fact that the tasteless music was still playing. The sight of the gun had many people scramble to get away while Mikhail merely smiled, even if it didn’t reach his eyes, looking up at Ryuichi.

“I was kidding. There is no way I’d do that to my brother, half-brother or not” the Russian said and Ryuichi narrowed his eyes, waiting a few tense seconds before releasing the blonde and putting away his gun.

“Ne, Asami, are you pent up or something?” Mikhail asked, looking at Ryuichi’s retreating back before taking out his phone. Pent up was an understatement in Ryuichi’s case. It had been a while since Akihito had disappeared out of his life and he had not once had any interaction with someone else.

Not for lack of trying, really. It was just impossible. Every time Ryuichi got close to someone, even if it was only for a one-night stand, he would compare them to Akihito. Not tall enough, not stubborn enough, not slender enough, not toned enough, not soft enough, not pretty enough.

Just… not good enough.

So up until now, Ryuichi had to satisfy himself with his hand and his imagination, because there was not one cell in his whole body thinking about ever sleeping with Yumika, no matter how desperate he was.

“Where to, sir?” Kirishima asked as Ryuichi stepped distracted into the backseat of his car.

“The penthouse” the crime-lord said and Kirishima gave a nod before steering the car in the direction of the penthouse.

“I’ll wait here” the guard said as Ryuichi stepped out of the car at location. Stepping into the penthouse, Ryuichi was relieved to find it empty. It had been since the wedding that he last stepped inside. He was not surprised to find the place to be cleaned, since Yumika had brought over her cleaning lady to keep the place clean.

It was exactly up to Akihito’s standards, but it wasn’t like Ryuichi lived there. Besides, the place he needed was always locked so no-one but he himself could enter the place. Unlocking the door, Ryuichi stepped into his home-office.

Because it had been a while since he had entered the room, there was dust all over the surfaces, everything left untouched the same way it had been since he last had been inside two months ago.

Opening the drawer of his desk, he took out his laptop before moving to the living-room, locking the door behind him. He still had some time before Yumika as supposed to arrive. Waiting for the device to start up, Ryuichi couldn’t help but remember last time he had been seated in the sofa, when he had broken up with Akihito.

It was pathetic from him, but he just couldn’t handle being in the penthouse. The house he had shared with the one person he had ever romantically loved. The one person he was unable to forget, no matter what he did. The same person he was currently stalking on the internet, typing in his name.

Stupidly, he had thought Akihito would have changed his name. After all, the boy knew how to disappear and it as quite obvious that he had fled the country. Changing his name had been something Ryuichi had though the blonde have done first thing, even before crossing the border.

Yet he was proven wrong as he found a social network page of the blonde. Like Mikhail had said, there was not a shortage of photo-communication between Alexei Arbatov and Akihito. Some pictures were silly, useless things like food or things they thought to be funny. But it were the other pictures Ryuichi stared at.

Pictures of Akihito’s face next to a young dog, grinning into the camera. Or playing with the same dog in a bunch of fallen brown-coloured leaves. Gaming with an unknown teenager or just himself with, once again, food.

But it was so much Akihito, that Ryuichi couldn’t help but remembering how the blonde always buzzed around breakfast when he woke up or returned home. How happy he could become with the smallest things, unlike Yumika, who had fallen in love with his money and fame.

No, Akihito was nothing like that. Akihito had always been happy with the smallest things, even if it was just a plate of sushi with a good bottle of beer.

It had been such a refreshing change from the leeches that normally hung around him. Takaba Akihito had been the best thing to ever happen to Ryuichi and he had fucked it up, big time.

“He certainly didn’t let much time pas before taking another lover?” a voice spoke up next to the raven and Ryuichi tensed, wondering when Yumika had gotten inside. He had let his guard down too far if she had been able to get behind his back.

“What do you mean?” he asked as he turned his head slightly, looking away from the picture that displayed Akihito in his new kitchen, holding up a cup of what Ryuichi assumed to be either coffee or tea. Either way, the blonde hadn’t been awake for too long, judging by the sleepy look in his eyes that could be mistaken as sultry.

“That look is clearly one that is asking for it” Yumika said as she leaned on the back of the sofa with her arms crossed, her eyes on the laptop-screen. Obviously, she didn’t know the difference between Akihito’s sultry look and his tired look.

It was clear as day that she was just trying to make him jealous and feel betrayed so he would give up on the blonde. But for that, she would need to come with something better. Something way better.

“Who knows how many people he’s sleeping with now that you’ve dumped him. It must have been his costumer for the night, since there is no way a little whore like that is able to afford such a nice house” she said and scoffed.

“I feel bad for the person who shared his bed with the tramp. He might have gotten infected with something, or maybe even knocked him up. Who knows with that kind of trash, he might be one of those disgusting carriers” she continued and to Ryuichi, it sounded like a desperate chihuahua barking up at the moon.

“Oh well, even if he gets knocked up, it won’t change anything since you’ll be the father of my baby” Yumika spoke up again, regaining Ryuichi’s attention.

“I’m not a father” he said and Yumika smiled as she brought her hand to her stomach.

“Not yet” she corrected and Ryuichi looked from her stomach up to her face.

“I’m not the father, so don’t push it onto me. I never had sex with you, so don’t even try” he said dryly and she rolled with her eyes.

“I know that, but what would the media think when they find out that the biggest supporter of orphanages is making an orphan of the child of his wife” Yumika said and Ryuichi closed his laptop.

“The kid his wife made with another man” he said and Yumika stood straight up.

“But the media doesn’t know that. You try so hard to keep up your reputation, which would plummet if this news ever came out” she said and leaned against the back-leaning of the sofa.

“Besides, you have no choice but to take responsibility. First off, we are married. And secondly, when was the last time you heard from him? I’m sure he would hate it if you were to abandon or mistreat a child the same way you were” she said and Ryuichi froze in his steps, glad his back was towards her so she couldn’t see how her words affected him.

It was obvious who she was getting at and he would have liked to say that he felt nothing towards it. But he didn’t, and she knew it. Used it. God, it made him feel so dirty. If Akihito had been there, he would have laughed at him getting a taste of his own medicine.

“That’s the real reason you invest so much in orphanages, right? So that what happened to you, doesn’t happen to other kids. So that no child has to become a criminal for the sake of their younger sibling” Yumika said and smirked at the raven’s back.

“Oh, and I heard rumours about the fact that you supposedly work in drug-dealings. You’re going to stop that, today. I would hate for our child to be in danger because of it” she said and without saying a word, Ryuichi stepped out of the penthouse and straight into the car.

“The apartment, sir?” Kirishima asked and Ryuichi clenched his fists.

“The gym” he corrected and though the bespectacled guard did glance back, he said nothing. After all, the gym was much better than back to work where there was much more of a danger of the crime-lord shooting someone. It was better that the man worked out his issues in the gym instead of on humans. For that, Kirishima was willing to take a severe beating.

“You need a partner, sir?” he asked and Ryuichi closed his eyes.

“I might need more than one” he warned and Kirishima gave a nod.

“I’ll notify some of the men to come to the gym. Would a dozen do, sir?” he asked and Ryuichi replayed the conversation he had in the penthouse.

“Make it double” he answered, gaining another uneasy glance from his body-guard.

“Understood, sir” Kirishima complied without questions, though he was already trying to figure out how much broken bones Shizuka-sensei was going to have to cast in.

Chapter Text

A loud slap resounded loud in the dark alley, a deadly silence falling right after it. Several men, including Suoh and Kirishima, were shocked to the point of being unable to move as their boss’s head was clipped to the side, his golden eyes wide in surprise.

“Wha-” Ryuichi started as he turned to the small woman in front of him, only to be cut off by a second slap, this time a backhand that turned his head to the opposite side. The skin on his cheek stung from the clap, burning hot as it throbbed slightly.

Finally snapping out of their stupor, Kirishima and Suoh moved forward to grab a hold of the woman, only to be stopped after the first step by two dogs, one a Rottweiler and the other an American Staffordshire terrier, both growling ominously as they sensed the mobs’ intentions from their threatening posture.

“My name is Takaba Seira. Sound familiar, asshole?” the small but fierce woman said, causing the group of mobs to go into another shock, their boss most of all. With a huff, the woman turned around to walk away.

“Krass, Rai” she called and immediately the dogs pulled away, seemingly adapting a different personality as they hurried to catch up to their master. Kirishima moved first, stepping forward to go after her, but was halted by an arm in front of him.

“Leave it” Ryuichi said as he looked at the begin of the alley where the woman had left, most likely stumbled on them by accident.

“She is the only woman I will allow to slap me and get away with it” he said, earning surprised looks from his subordinates. Ryuichi didn’t know what hurt more, her slaps that stood firmly printed into his cheeks, or the fact that he could clearly see tears in her eyes despite her anger.

The temper she had displayed was so much like Akihito, it made him feel sick to his stomach, remembering those last moments in the penthouse. Now Ryuichi knew where Akihito got his ‘do-now, think-later’ personality from.

His thoughts about the blonde caused the chill that had seemed to settle in his body, to cool down a few grades more. While not a minute had passed that he didn’t think of Akihito, it had been a while a while since his name had been mentioned out loud.

It seemed as if ‘Akihito’, ‘Takaba’, ‘Kid’, ‘Brat’ and ‘Troublemaker’ had become taboo words around the crime-lord. Ryuichi was fully aware of the fact that his subordinates had a code to keep up with his moods, which could swing from one thing to the other at the drop of a hat.

It was Suoh and Kirishima who came up with the code, to inform the subordinates over the radio of how they should behave around their boss. It was crucial that they kept contact so nobody would trigger the crime-lord unnecessary.

Ryuichi didn’t care that they created his mood code. He had killed two of his subordinates already before he had gotten in a somewhat okay mood and realized that he was getting careless at controlling his temper. He did feel slightly guilty for outright killing the men, but it couldn’t be helped when they betrayed him.

Ryuichi did not have any mercy, not after Akihito had walked out of his life. More like, when he had pushed the blonde out of his life. It was his own fault and his own inability to communicate with the blonde that had driven them apart and now he had to deal with the consequences.

Akihito had been the person to keep Ryuichi on somewhat humane ground. It had been because Akihito couldn’t handle all the blood and gore of the underworld that Ryuichi had calmed down.

It was because Akihito was always there to scold him and get pissed at him when he had gone overboard even the slightest bit, that Ryuichi had been able to draw lines and rule his empire with a lighter hand without losing effectiveness. But now, with Akihito gone out of his life, the lines were blurring and Ryuichi didn’t know when exactly that had started.

He also didn’t care very much when he expected to be scolded when he crossed them, only to be met by nothing. It pissed him off to the point he started crossing them more often, unconsciously hoping for some kind of reaction as the lines were wiped out under his feet. It was childish and Ryuichi realized this, but he couldn’t care less.

Without Akihito at his side, or even in the country, there was no-one in Japan who could keep him in check. Honestly, Akihito had already been labelled by Ryuichi’s subordinates as dragon tamer and Tokyo as the dragon’s layer.

Akihito was the only one able to meet Ryuichi head-on to put him in his place. The underworld was already starting to figure this out, which was seeping up to the surface. Some people who were perceptive to the happenings in the underworld, were starting to notice that something was brewing in Japan, Tokyo at the heart of it all.

They didn’t know exactly what, but the head-lines were obvious. Crime-rate in Japan was rising rather quickly as no-one bothered to keep the small-time crooks under control. Ryuichi didn’t have the patience or the energy for it.

The only reason he even bothered to keep the underground under his thumb had been because it kept Akihito safe. With Akihito gone, Ryuichi couldn’t be bothered with small fry. As long as they didn’t target his dealings, he couldn’t care less.

If they got cocky and they messed with his business, punishment would be met. Either in a dumpster or in harsher cases, at the bottom of Tokyo bay. Sometimes, Ryuichi felt like getting creative.

“Dump him at the police office. Tokyo bay will get too full at this rate” the crime-lord said as he polished his gun with a handkerchief before putting it away in his holster strapped against his ribs.

The poor bastard in front of him had been using the rising criminal rate to get his kicks raping children before killing them. Ryuichi knew that Akihito would never tolerate men like him to get away, so he wouldn’t either.

Only, he did it in his own way. It was actually rather amusing how many people were using the rising crime rates as excuse to get their kicks in things that were morally wrong. Most killings in Tokyo weren’t even by Ryuichi’s gun or hands.

“Kirishima, drive me to the penthouse. I need to pick up a new shirt” Ryuichi said and Kirishima gave a nod.

“I ‘ll get the car around, sir” he said and the crime-lord lit up a cigarette. He stepped out of the ware-house and waited outside for Kirishima to bring the car around to drive him to the penthouse. He was slightly surprised to see that Yumika was inside, but couldn’t really care less as he walked through the hallways to his bedroom where his closet was.

“Ryuichi!” Yumika’s voice came annoyed and Ryuichi’s finger twitched, bending as if it was on a trigger. There was not one person in his life that Ryuichi had ever wanted to shoot so much. How easy it would be to just put a bullet in between her eyes.

But then it would be too much trouble to deal with her father. Ryuichi doubted he would ever get away with murder if Furutani Mizuno found out who had shot his beloved daughter.

“You’ve finally decided to come home” Yumika said as sidled up to him, running her hand up his back to his shoulder.

“Have you finally realized that there is no other place for you except here with me?” she asked, obviously thinking Ryuichi had changed his mind of living in the penthouse. Obviously, he hadn’t. Without Akihito there, it was too big, too empty and too cold.

The longer Ryuichi stayed there, the worse his mood got. Yumika being there and changing everything Akihito had ever put into the home he had mindlessly created with Ryuichi, didn’t help in the slightest.

In fact, the way Yumika forced her feelings onto him and tried everything in her power to keep him with her, made Ryuichi feel as if he was being suffocated. Though in a different way from himself, she was forceful, something that felt to Ryuichi as if she was planning to literally deadbolt him to the bed if it was needed to keep him with her.

“I’m only here to get a shirt” Ryuichi said as he brushed off her hand that had been wandering to his lower regions.

“A shirt?” Yumika parroted affronted as she tilted her in an arrogant way.

“Ryuichi, we have been married for almost half a year. How is it that we haven’t had sex yet?” she asked and Ryuichi looked at her as he finally picked out a fresh shirt.

“Because I’m not attracted to blackmailing snakes” he said coldly before turning away.

“You’re married to me, Ryuichi! Why can’t you just give up on that whore you used to have! No matter how you look at it, I’m so much better than him!” she said as she chased after him. Ryuichi came to a brusque stop, slamming his fist through the wall next to her head as he glared at her.

“I’m not above hitting you if you dare to put yourself above him again. You will never, ever, even for one second, reach Akihito’s ankles in terms of anything. You are not as pretty, not as kind and certainly not as honest as him, and you will never be” Ryuichi said as he stared at her wide eyes, feeling somewhat better as he saw the fear in those dark orbs.

“If I hear you call him a whore one more time, I will let you experience what a whore is for yourself so you can learn the difference between a whore and a lover. I’m sure I can fetch a hefty sum for you if I sold you to Sakazaki. If you really want sex that much, I’m sure that monkey will be willing to break you in, because I will never have sex with you. Besides, it's not like you have a lack of bed-partners considering you got yourself knocked up” Ryuichi said and with that parting shot, he left the penthouse.

He stepped back into the car and Kirishima immediately set course to Ryuichi’s new apartment, which had been Akihito’s previous one. Maybe he was too obsessed with the blonde.

“Kirishima” Ryuichi spoke up, causing the driver to glance back through the rear-view mirror.

“Yes, sir?” he asked as the raven combed a hand through his slick-backed hair.

“Was I too suffocating when I was trying to keep Akihito at my side?” he asked, unintentionally making Kirishima tense up.

“My honest opinion, sir?” he asked and looked uneasy at the crime-lord’s nod.

“Yes. You were rather controlling over Takaba Akihito’s actions. But from my point of view, it didn’t seem like he minded it that much. Some-times, it did become too much for him, but he never failed to get away if it came to that” Kirishima admitted and Ryuichi looked out of the window.

“Maybe it would have been better if you had communicated with him a bit more. If you had reached out to him and talked, Takaba Akihito would have been understanding and more responsive towards your actions and feelings. But he would have needed to do the same” the bespectacled man said and Ryuichi rested his elbow on the window-sill, propping his chin up on his fist as he stared out of the window.

“Thank you, Kirishima” he said and the mob gave an awkward bow-nod behind the steering-wheel as Ryuichi sank away in his own mind. The cliché line of people only realizing what they had when they lost it, couldn’t be more true. Ryuichi hated to admit he related to something so sappy.

But it was the truth. With Akihito gone from his life, things had changed. He started to realize how little he had communicated, how little he had listened. Akihito was a person who voiced his opinions loudly, but the really important things, he kept hidden within.

Ryuichi had always though he had been good at reading the blonde, picking out what was most important. But he hadn’t. He hadn’t even been able to see that the blonde loved him. Not until he had said it out loud. Words Ryuichi wished he could say back. He wanted Akihito by his side, not anyone else.

Akihito, the one person who allowed him to be himself, even if the underworld scared him. Akihito, who made Ryuichi able to breath in the darkness that had threatened to drown him, keeping his head above water.

Akihito, who never requested Ryuichi to stop his work because he knew there was a reason for, but instead only demanded the crime-lord to be as safe as he could possibly be. And Ryuichi wanted to be safe, to be able to return to his lover. He didn’t want to make the blonde sad, so he had put up with both Kirishima and Suoh as protection-detail.

Ryuichi looked down on his phone as he walked up to the crappy apartment that had seen better days. He refreshed the blonde’s social media page as he closed the door behind him, locking it before taking off his shoes. His attention was drawn by one of the pictures popping up on the screen.

As he walked further into the small apartment, he studied the picture of the blonde bend forward behind two elderly ladies in front of a café, his white uniform shirt falling big and loose around his frame in tailor-work that almost made the raven cringe. All three of them wore a big smile and a cake with lit candles stood on the table between the two elderly ladies.

Ryuichi couldn’t recognize the name of the café and was tempted to research where it was to at least have an idea of where the photographer lived. He didn’t need to speak with the blonde, he just wanted to see him, even from afar was okay. But he couldn’t, and the reason for that laid in the vault that stood in Akihito’s previous dark-room.

They were pictures too, but of lesser quality. Much lesser quality. But it was about the person in the picture. Someone Ryuichi thought to be dead for years. After all, that was what he had been told before he had been brought face to face with the grave of his brother.

He was supposed to have died in an act of revenge, a drug-deal from the past coming back to bite him in the ass. Ryuichi had been told that he had been stabbed three times and had died on his way to the hospital.

Ryuichi had been barely 15 at the time he heard the news. While life had already hardened him, he death of his brother had hit him way harder than he could have ever predicted. He questioned nothing, because in the childhood that they had lived, they had been painfully aware of the fact that death was always around the corner.

His older brother being stabbed to death was not a far-fetched story and Ryuichi had accepted it as it was. His brother was gone and he was alone. That was reality. But that didn’t stop him from harbouring a small hope.

The older brother who he looked up to, was smart. He was smart and quick. He had good reflexes and instincts. He had connections and people who he could trust. Ryuichi couldn’t help but feel that his brother might have survived.

So he started working, making more and more money, something he had been deprived off as a kid. Part of him, though suppressed, always hoped that if he had enough money and enough fame, his brother would find him and approach him, if he was alive.

Years and years passed. And while Ryuichi had risen to the top, above ground as well as underground, he had lost hope. He had started to realize how childish he had been to hold onto something that wasn’t going to happen. His brother wasn’t going to walk the door, holding a bag of rare instant curry they would be able to eat with their rice.

That was until Yumika had shown up with a picture of a ghost. When she had said to him that his brother was still alive, he had actually laughed in her face. Until she showed him the picture.

Ryuichi still couldn’t believe it, because of the blurry quality and the fact that it was in a third-world country. Yet the threat behind the picture had been real.

Ryuichi’s brother had been a wanted man, and if he was still alive, he was still in danger of being chased down by the police like a criminal. Whether it was really his brother or not, Asami didn’t want to take the risk. So, in return from Yumika’s secrecy, he had married her.

He didn’t want anyone knowing, including Kirishima and Suoh. This was his problem to deal with. His debt to repay. Nobody but him needed to be burdened with this. Though he had underestimated how his break-up with Akihito would affect him.

But then again, he didn’t really care. If someone was going to blackmail him, they had better deal with the consequences that influenced not only Tokyo, but the whole of Japan. It was like an infection, and crime did tend to spread fast. He wondered how much longer it would take for the government to come to him for help.

Chapter Text

As fast as he could, Akihito walked home, Ohara following next to him with the grocery bags. The blonde’s mind was working a mile an hour, muttering to himself. They had been wrong. They had been all wrong. Looking at this in the wrong direction, searching for the wrong things. Just, all wrong.

“Akihito-sama, slow down before you trip” Ohara said and Akihito looked at him.

“I can’t slow down. If I do, I’ll lose my train of thought. Besides, if I trip, you’ll be there to catch me anyway” he said and looked back in front of him. Finally, they approached his house and his adrenaline spiked a bit.

Ohara went first, so he could open the door for the blonde, allowing him to walk inside immediately. Akihito kicked off his shoes without bothering to put them cleanly before entering the living-room.

Taking out his laptop and turning it on, he grabbed his note-book and leafed through it until he stopped at the page he had been searching for. As he waited for his laptop to be up to speed, he tapped his foot on the ground impatiently.

“Akihito-sama, calm down” Ohara reminded the blonde from the kitchen, where he was unpacking the groceries.

“Yeah, later. Bring me the ice-cream first” Akihito said as he finally started typing. Ohara raised an eyebrow a him as he held out a bowl of pistachio ice-cream.

“So, what has you so worked up?” he asked and Akihito shoved a spoonful of ice-cream in his mouth, swallowing quickly to answer. A little too quickly, but he was too excited to care.

“You know we’ve been searching for someone with more power and more influence than Asami, right? Because we know that it’s somehow connected to this drug, Hotaru, we expected it to be the creator of the drug, so we’ve been searching for that one” Akihito said and Ohara gave a nod.

“Correct. Suoh tracked down the creator, but it was a dead-end since he knew nothing and was still in prison” he said and Akihito nodded.

“But what if the black-mailer isn’t more powerful? What if he’s weaker and that’s the reason he’s black-mailing Asami?” he asked and Ohara frowned.

“That would be suicidal” he said and Akihito nodded again, pointing his spoon at the tan guard while emptying his mouth.

“Exactly. That’s exactly what we think because we know Asami. That’s also why we didn’t think about this before. But what if this guy isn’t aware of the power Asami holds. That he knows something about Asami, but not the full extent of his influence. A civilian maybe” Akihito said and Ohara looked down in thought.

“No, not a civilian. Asami-sama has always been very careful to keep civilians out of his business and unaware. There could be very few who know something, but they would never think of black-mailing him” he said and Akihito looked at his bowl as the ice-cream melted in his mouth.

“What about a drug-dealer? It would explain the Hotaru” he said and Ohara looked at him.

“I really wouldn’t be surprised if Asami used to be a drug-dealer when he was younger. Maybe it could be a drug-dealer who used to work together with Asami and now that he’s more successful, has gotten jealous and tries to mooch off him?” Akihito said, throwing the idea on the table.

“I mean, it’s so cliché, that we would never think it to happen to someone like Asami” he said and Ohara looked down at the ground.

“It could make sense. It would also explain why every other route has been a dead-end” he said and looked back up again.

“I’ll call Kirishima-san” he said and Akihito gave a nod.

“I’ll check the internet” he said and tried to cold own his enthusiasm with his ice-cream. For four weeks, they had been investigating, every lead they thought they had, had ended up being nothing.

They had started getting a little discouraged and irritated. It was no wonder they were getting a little hasty and careless, looking things over the head. Akihito had taken a step back and the idea had popped up in his head after watching ants gang up on a spider during his lunch-break. How even weaker insects could take out a bigger and stronger one if they had the right tools.

In the ant’s case, numbers. In Asami’s case, black-mail. But the real question was, what kind of black-mail? What kind of black-mail forced him to marry Yumika, who he didn’t even love? Or did he take Yumika as wife in order to attempt to switch the target from him, onto her.

A rude way of thinking, but he was heartbroken because of that woman, so he felt allowed to think a bit crueller. Besides, it wasn’t as if Asami would do nothing if the black-mailer would do something to Yumika, since it was a chance to drag him out if he did.

In fact, if the black-mailer targeted either of them directly, Asami would have an opening of dragging them out. Akihito didn’t think Asami would ever pass up a chance like that. He could only imagine how irritated and stressed Asami was for being black-mailed. There was no way Asami would let the black-mailer get away this easily.

Asami was waiting for the black-mailer to slip up, to show a moment of weakness. He was waiting for something that would allow him to deal with the black-mailer. And if Akihito’s investigation could help with drawing him out or giving Asami that opening, it would be enough for the photographer.

After that, he would devote his life to his pups and he wouldn’t look back at Asami. He would allow Asami to live his life and hope his heart would heal. Or at least enough for it to understand that while he would continue to love the crime-lord, he could move on with his life.

Akihito rested his hand on his swollen stomach, rubbing his thumb up and down. It was comforting to do, to remind himself that he was not alone and would never be. Not as long as his pups were with him.

Ohara returned to the living-room, his eyes glancing down at the hand on Akihito’s stomach, that was really sticking out now, before his attention rose bac to the blonde’s face. Really, there was no hiding it any longer. Akihito now looked pregnant in whatever he wore.

He had really grown in the past weeks, to the point he swore in the evening that he was bigger than he was that morning. He didn’t actually know for sure, but it did seem like it. He didn’t look like he was about to explode, but the bump had gotten impossible to hide even if it wasn’t overly big.

“Kirishima was currently in a meeting with Asami-sama for his chain stores, so he wasn’t able to give an answer. But he will send you a mail with everything he knows about Asami-sama’s history with drug-dealers” Ohara informed and Akihito gave a nod.

“Then I’ll keep checking the internet and see if there are any new rumours” he said and Ohara looked on his watch.

“Are Dante and Leonia coming over for dinner?” he asked and Akihito nodded.

“As long as nothing changed, yeah” he said and checked the hour on his laptop.

“I’ll start cooking in an hour or so” he said and Ohara looked at him.

“I could cook, if you want” he suggested and Akihito shook his head.

“No, it’s fine. It’ll take my mind off things” he said and the tanned guard gave an understanding nod. How much Akihito hated pausing during his work, there was only so much of the Asami-couple he could see before he felt his throat slip closed as reality slammed into his face like a train at full-speed, reminding him that the one he loved was married to another.

Sometimes, he wondered why he was doing this. He was only torturing himself by constantly looking at the headlines including miss Asami or her husbands. The name still brought a sour taste to Akihito’s mouth.

The knowledge that there was something not entirely correct between the married duo, didn’t change the fact that Asami was someone else’s husband. It also didn’t change the fact that Asami could be doing it with other people right now.

While Kirishima, Suoh and Ohara all said that Asami wasn’t doing anything with anyone, it was a bit hard to believe. Akihito was painfully aware of Asami’s libido and knew that it took a while for it to be satisfied. Countless nights, he had been kept awake to do just that.

To imagine Asami not doing anything, was hard. It was even harder to imagine him doing it with other people, but that was because Akihito didn’t want to imagine it. Not that he could stop his brain from doing it.

Asami had Yumika, a drop-dead woman who was his wife. Not to mention that he had access to countless other women who would throw themselves at his feet, married or not. Asami had too many options to scratch his itches for him not to take them. Meanwhile, he had ruined Akihito for everyone else.

Leaving out the obvious fact that he was a pregnant man, he just couldn’t imagine himself doing anything with anyone other than Asami. Not for lack of trying.

Because he had initially thought of himself as straight, which he wasn’t, he had tried imagining himself with a woman. But he knew that his neither his body not his mind would be satisfied with that. He was painfully aware of how much his body craved a man’s touch.

But even when he imagined himself with another man, Akihito felt weird. It was uncomfortable and made him draw his shoulders up. The only man he’d been with besides Asami, had been Fei-long and that situation had been anything but ideal. It hadn’t even really been consensual in his eyes, considering that he had been kidnapped.

Even after everything that had happened and all the time that had passed, Akihito was still very much in love with Asami. He had thought it had gotten better, that he had gotten past it, only to have the hole in his chest torn open all over again when he thought of moving on.

Don’t get him wrong, not one day had passed when Akihito didn’t think of Asami. How could he not think of the man when he was the father of his pups? Akihito had merely mistaken getting used to the constant pain and loneliness as him moving past it all. But he hadn’t. Not even in the slightest.

He still hadn’t changed the screensaver of his phone and when he woke up, he still turned around with the believe that Asami would be there, only to find the bed empty. He still wished that Asami would walk through those doors with his infuriating smirk in place, asking if Akihito really thought he would be able to run from him.

His body longed for the man to take him up the wall, or just against any surface really. But that wasn’t going to happen. Every memory of their passionate times together was just that, memories.

There would be no breakfast or dinner together. No watching movies in the evening, no more bickering that led to mind-blowing sex. There would be no more getting kidnapped on the street for a quick rump, no more little gestures that could make Akihito’s whole month.

And while there would be no kidnapping of Asami’s opponents anymore, Akihito would be kidnapped seven times over, for just five minutes of drinking together, even if it was mostly Asami making fun of him for being a light-weight.

But none of that would ever happen again. Akihito had been left with a broken heart, all because he hadn’t been able to stop himself from falling deeper and deeper in the worm-hole that was Asami Ryuichi. He was no hair better than all those idiots playing chicken race.

No, he was even lower than them, since he wasn’t half as dangerous and not even a quarter as influential or capable. And above all, he didn’t know when to give up. He still loved Asami, even when he knew he shouldn’t.

Yet he couldn’t stop. There was no on and off switch inside of him that could turn of his feelings. Even if there was, he wouldn’t use it, preferring to let his heat fall to pieces if the other option was losing Asami.

“Akihito? Are you okay?” Leonia asked as she looked worried at the blonde as he scrubbed one of the empty plates after dinner.

“Hmm? Oh, I’m fine. Just thinking about the pup’s father a little. It’s the hormones, don’t mind me” Akihito said and Leonia’s brows furrowed.

“I know it’s not the same, but when I feel frustrated or lonely and sad, I take a bath with aroma therapies in and submerge myself. That way, even I won’t know what my tears are and what the bathwater” Leonia said soft and Akihito looked at her. A small smile spread over his lips, reaching his soapy hand out to ruffle her head. She made a displeased noise as she ducked from under his hand.

“You don’t need to worry yourself about my problems, kiddo. But thanks” he said and honestly meant it. He didn’t want to worry anyone with his problems or his feelings, but he was glad that people noticed. He was also grateful that they didn’t pry, but did try to support him.

He drained the sink before moving to clean it, noticing Leonia perk up as her phone vibrated in her pocket. From the corner of his eyes, he could see how she pulled her phone out to read her message, her eyes lighting up as a small smile spread over her lips.

“The punk from last time?” Akihito guessed and Leonia startled as she looked up at him.

“What? No” she said but was clearly lying. Akihito raised an eyebrow at her, waiting for her to avert her eyes.

“Yeah, it’s him. I mean, I know he was rude last time you met him, but he’s really not that bad of a guy” she said as she looked back at him.

“Hmm, I know” he said and she looked surprised and confused.

“You do?” she asked and Akihito chuckled, glad to be able to divert his thoughts away from his own heartbroken and insecure state.

“In my line of work, you develop a skill that allows you to read people. If you do it long enough, you become able to pick out the ones you need to look out for” Akihito said and wasn’t going to mention that having a crime-lord as ex-lover was also something that brought him in a lot of contact with the bad or sly types of people.

“Papa dislikes him for his reaction last time” Leonia said and she herself looked like she felt guilty about the reaction the punk had shown Akihito last time.

“Well, I actually thought it was a pretty normal reaction. Mpreg might be known to the world, but it’s not really discussed, so people have different opinions about it. Also, outside these carrier cities, you never really see pregnant males. That’s why I find his reaction understandable, though I don’t really approve of it” Akihito said and shrugged.

“Besides, if he really wanted to make me feel bad about myself or if he wanted to insult me, he’s going to need to get very original” he said amused and leaned against the counter with a smirk.

“So, what made you so excited when not even a new unlocked level of blood legend could get your eyes to sparkle that much” Akihito said and a light blush landed on Leonia’s cheeks.

“My eyes didn’t sparkle” she said but Akihito didn’t buy a single syllable of her denial.

“He asked to go for a walk” she admitted as she looked away.

“And you want to go but Dante won’t let you” Akihito guessed and the grimace on her face said enough. The blonde smile as he ruffled her hair. Without saying anything, he walked back to the living-room where Dante and Ohara were watching the news, Leonia following him.

“Ah fuck, my back hurts” Akihito complained as he placed a hand on his lower back, rubbing it as Dante and Ohara looked up, the latter one more worried.

“Leonia, you want to take Ao for a walk? I still have to go, but my back really hurts” Akihito asked as he looked over his shoulder at the burgundy haired teenager, who perked up at his suggestion.

“Ah, sure. No problem” she said and Akihito smiled.

“Thanks, that would be a help” he said and Dante nodded approving as Leonia followed Akihito to the entrance hall, patting his thigh to make the whippet cross follow.

“How do I look?” Leonia asked insecure while pulling on her black ankle boots as Akihito crouched down to put on Ao’s collar, connecting the leash. The blonde glanced over her figure before tilting his head.

“How hard was it to pull that pants on?” he asked and Leonia looked down on the dark-green skinny jeans she wore, paired with the black loose sweater that barely reached her hips.

“Really hard, actually” she admitted and Akihito gave a hum as he opened the door.

“Good. That means it’s even harder to take off” he said and Leonia blushed again.

“Remember that I’m on speed-dial, right? I’ll take Ohara with me, he knows judo and karate” Akihito said and though Leonia was grateful, she couldn’t help but embarrassedly duck her head as she led Ao outside by her fluorescent orange leash.

Akihito gave a last wink before he closed the door and joined the two other men in the living-room, slouching comfortably in the sofa. He would feel better tomorrow, and if he didn’t, he would try Leonia’s advice.

Chapter Text

“Ah! I felt a kick” Miranda said excited as she pressed her hand softly against Akihito’s protruding stomach that looked as if he had taped half a watermelon against it. Maybe even a little more, Akihito wasn’t really measuring watermelons.

“It’s exciting, until they hit you in the ribs” Akihito said amused and Rose scoffed.

“You said it. Everything is nice and cute when it’s still just flutters. The longer they stay in there, the more painful it becomes” she said and looked up at the blonde.

“You’re in the last week of the second trimester, right?” she asked and Akihito gave a confirming nod.

“How’s the nursery looking?” Rose asked and Akihito smiled.

“With Ohara helping me, it’s starting to come together nicely. I used one of the guest rooms, and moved the bed against the wall to have more space. The essentials are already put together and standing in place and the closet is filling up slowly, so I’m glad” he said and both ladies smiled at him.

“So, this Ohara-kid. Is he the one who?” Rose asked, always up for gossip. And thought Miranda gave a her a scolding look, she was just as curious. Akihito couldn’t help but chuckle. He had had this question quite often and always the same answer.

“No, he’s not. Just someone who watches out for me” he said and the duo looked disappointed.

“You must be really picky about your partners. Whenever we see you with someone, they’re always too handsome for us old bats to lay eyes on. Last time it was that trio of hot blondes and now that we’ve returned from our trip to France, it’s that delicious exotic specimen” Miranda said and Akihito couldn’t help but laugh, turning away to muffle it with his hand.

“Those three blondes from last time were my family. One of them was my biological father while the other two were my half-brothers. One younger and one older” the blonde explained and Rose huffed.

“Half-brothers or not, they sure were easy on the eyes” she said and Miranda agreed.

“So, what can I get you two? We’ve got a few new stuff to try out in preparations for Halloween” Akihito said, changing the subject before they could question him about the father of his children.

“I will put my decision in your hands, Aki” Rose said and Miranda gave her a grumpy look.

“I’ll stay with my vanilla late and blueberry muffin” she said and Akihito smiled.

“I’ll be right back” he said and walked back inside to fetch the order. When he returned, he handed them two blankets to each put over their laps because they were too stubborn to sit inside as long as it didn’t snow. And then people said Akihito was stubborn.

The day was a rather busy day with the café completely full, so Akihito was walking from here to there, getting orders to the wanted costumer with a smile and a little chat. Through it all, he paused at Ohara’s table a few times, refilling his tea-cup.

Though Ohara looked a bit worried about the tempo Akihito was working on, the blonde had been waiting when it had been busier, and thus felt energetic enough to sway to the back-ground music as he moved from table to table. It was something that came back to bite him in the ass when he returned home.

With a relieved sigh, he slouched in the sofa, putting his swollen feet on top of the coffee-table/ottoman. Ao laid down under his legs while Ohara retrieved a tall glass of water for the blonde, which was gratefully accepted.

“Kirishima told us to contact him as soon as we got back. It appears that he has news” Ohara informed and Akihito looked up at him.

“Then skype him. Take my laptop, it’s in the drawer” he said as he made a hand-movement to the drawing in the table. Ohara easily obeyed, taking the laptop out of the drawer and turning it on. It didn’t take long before the device was turned on and they were waiting for the skype call to connect.

[About time]

Kirishima was very welcoming, looking very irritated at the screen from what seemed like a men’s restroom. Akihito already felt bad for him and the man hadn’t barely even said anything yet.

“Sorry, we were at work. Ohara said you had information” Akihito said, hoping that the sooner they were done, the sooner the bespectacled guard could go to sleep.

[Yes, we have. We followed your advice and checked out the location of where ‘Hotaru’ was dealt again. I hung around the area for a few days and followed your advice by looking for elderly people living in the neighbourhood who were spying.]

“Hmm, those always know more than the others because they have nothing else to do besides spy” Akihito said and Kirishima gave a nod.

[She had indeed more information. It took a while and a shit-load of bad tea before she finally started talking. One of the apartment-buildings belonged to the neighbourhood’s youngest drug-dealers. Your guess of Asami-sama being the youngest drug-dealer was correct, because it was where Asami-sama lived.]

“Okay, not surprising, but that can’t be the reason for black-mail, right?” Akihito asked frowning, trying to find a connection somewhere.

[We thought the same, so we investigated further. Asami-sama doesn’t talk about his childhood, so I did some research myself. Asami-sama lost his parents at a very young age and his older brother had to take care of him.]

“Older brother?” Akihito repeated surprised and Kirishima gave a nod.

[I don’t know his name since Asami-sama never talks about him. He only mentioned it a few times in high school when he was drunk, which was why it took so long for me to remember he had a sibling.

But anyway, the older lady who I talked to, lived across the street from Asami-sama. He lived together in the apartment with his brother and his aunt, who was their guardian. But according to the elderly lady, that woman didn’t take good care of them.

There were fights, yelling, strange men coming over, crashing sound. It was a bit of a dangerous apartment. The woman also said that the older brother always walked around with cuts and bruises, while the younger one only sometimes.

While the aunt pretended to be a good guardian, the two siblings were forced to work and pay for her living expenses. The older brother got into a gang while the younger brother became a drug-pusher to help his older brother.

At least that was the story as told by the old lady.]

“Yeah, let’s half the details, because they’ll always add a bit more action to get more attention because they’re lonely. Where is Asami’s brother now?” Akihito asked eager and Kirishima’s expression remained sombre.

[Dead. Apparently, he was killed by a drug-deal gone wrong. That was the rumour going around the neighbourhood]

“Okay, thanks, Kirishima. I think I can get a little further from here” Akihito said and the bespectacled guard nodded.

[You sure?]

“Yeah, I’ve got a few ideas, but I won’t say anything until I’ve got some proof to back it up. I don’t want to send you guys to dead ends again” Akihito said and Kirishima gave another nod.

[Good. Then I will leave you for today. Asami-sama is waiting and getting impatient. Don’t overwork yourself and get plenty of rest, Akihito]

“You too, Kirishima. You look like you’re about to keel over with the lightest breeze” Akihito said and Kirishima gave a troubled smile.

[There’s no rest for the wicked.]

Akihito looked displeased as the connection was cut. Asami really needed to go easier on his men, or at least allow them some sleep. Though Akihito suspected that his condition was part of the reason for Kirishima’s exhaustion.

“Should I cook tonight?” Ohara guessed and Akihito looked at him before nodding.

“Yeah, please. Can you make it something that I can eat with one hand?” he asked and Ohara nodded. He handed over the laptop to the blonde before standing up.

With Ohara in the kitchen, Akihito turned his attention to his computer, his fingers flying over the keyboard. He knew how hard it was to access the crime-lord’s personal file, since he had attempted to do a back-ground check even before they had gotten in a relationship.

But since then, Akihito’s skills on the computer had upgraded. Besides, for some reason, it was easier to access the government system than it was accession Sion’s. Then again, it didn’t exactly surprise him.

It took a few hours before Akihito had entered the system, by-passing the security with a few tricks he had picked up on from watching several videos on the internet and listening to Leonia’s computer shenanigans.

Akihito wasn’t a pro-hacker, but he had somewhat decent skills in entering a system. Not to mention that he was reckless. Though hacking into the Japanese government system was not exactly reckless but more of a cyber-crime. Akihito liked to call it taking a risk. He just hoped his risk would land him in jail.

Instead of accessing the Asami-file, which would be too obvious, Akihito researched the address Kirishima had visited after they had gone over the possibilities of Asami being black-mailed by someone weaker.

A file of the builder popped up and Akihito opened it, loosely going over who the builder was, when it was build. When renovations had taken place and so forth. What was really in his interest, was the list of owners.

After coming across unfamiliar names, Akihito finally found what he needed when there were the Asami’s who owned one of the apartments right after each other. Akihito’s attention was drawn by the last name, or more like the note next to the name.

Asami Chiaki – deceased in apartment.

“Akihito-sama, you shouldn’t stay up too late” Ohara said, dragging Akihito’s attention away from the screen. The blonde glanced at the clock and cursed soft as he saw the time.

“I know. Just a little longer” he said and Ohara reluctantly let it go, knowing that when the blonde’s interest was triggered, he wasn’t going to stop until at least a hint of it was satisfied. So instead, he prepared Akihito a hot cocoa with lots of whipped cream and marshmallows before retreating to his room.

Akihito was exhausted, if he had to be honest. But he had no intention of stopping now, when he might have found something that could possibly help them in finding the reason for Asami’s black-mail. If they found the reason, they would be a step closer to finding the black-mailer.

So instead, he pushed his tiredness away and focussed on the files of the coroner’s office. Looking into the files of the reported deaths in the years close to when Asami Chiaki owned the apartment, Akihito scanned through them all until he found the one he needed.

Asami, Chiaki. 32.

Cause of death, broken neck.

Pushed from second story of apartment building after struggle.

DNA on the body found under nails, belonging to Asami Ryunosuke.

Even the snippets the blonde read of the file was enough to make his chest feel tight, uneasy curling in his stomach. He laid his hand on his stomach and rubbed it in soothing circles, his own mood infecting his pups’. Akihito knew he should stop, but he couldn’t. Instead of continuing with searching the files of the coroner’s office, Akihito went for the Asami-family files, this time not hesitating to click on one of the names.

Asami Ryunosuke.

19, deceased.

Father, Asami Kaito. Deceased.

Mother, Asami Miyako. Deceased.

Siblings, Asami Ryuichi.

Convicted to thirty years of prison, charged for voluntary man-slaughter and drug-dealing.

Murdered, three stab-wounds in abdomen, died from his injuries on ride to hospital.

Body identified at morgue.

Akihito felt sick, placing his laptop aside. He really shouldn’t have researched this on his own. He was already troubled by bouts of insomnia, thanks to the pups. But after reading that kind of revelation, he knew for sure he wasn’t going to get any sleep.

Why had he even been so stupid as to do this right before he went to sleep? He should know better than that! Just because he was doing this for Asami and that he had managed to tap into files that were normally restricted without setting off any alarms, didn’t mean that he could handle this kind of stuff.

He couldn’t before and there was no magical clock-strike or magic spell that would make him able to handle it all of a sudden. It wasn’t like Cinderella’s pumpkin, as if he could handle that gory, sensitive stuff until the clock hit twelve. Besides, it was past twelve, so that was no use either.

God, at this point, he wanted a nice warm hug and some comforting words. But that was weakness he didn’t want to show. Even so, the only people who would be able to comfort him at that moment weren’t there. Two of them were in Japan, one of them married, and the third one was god knew where.

Last time Akihito had heard of his father, had been two weeks ago, when he said that he was in Guatemala for a job. But Akihito was well aware that is location could change at the drop of a hat. It depended all on where the wind would take him.

There had been a time where Akihito had wanted to be just like that. Until he grew interested in criminal journalism. Now, he was sort of regretting that.

He had known from the beginning that he was weak towards that kind of stuff, that he had trouble being a third party in those situations. He knew that he was too reckless to not get involved.

And he had gotten involved. Extremely deep at that. After all, his relationship with Asami had dragged him into that world until he was suffocating in it. Yet because Akihito had grown to love the crime-lord, he had continued to stay by the man’s side.

During their relationship, Asami had changed. Not drastically, but enough to make things easier on Akihito. Shit still happened, but Asami had learned how to deal with it in a way that was more civilized without losing any authority.

In fact, if Akihito had to be honest, the underbelly of Tokyo for some reason, responded better to the crime-lord laying the ground-rules when he did it without all the torture and threats. They still happened, but only when someone crossed the lines laid down by Asami.

They weren’t unreasonable lines, and while no yakuza gang was ever glad to follow restrictions placed on them, most of the larger gangs followed them because they saw reason in them. They understood that they were needed in order not to involve innocent civilians and have more freedom from the authorities.

Yet because of one stupid person black-mailing Asami, the lines were blurring and Tokyo’s underbelly was becoming a lawless zone. Akihito was reluctant to look at the head-lines, not knowing what he would find there, but also not really wanting to know.

He realized that Asami was the cause of less than 5% of the headlines, but that didn’t make it any better. It was just proof of how scary a city could be when the one holding authority over the underworld became uncaring for keeping everything under control.

Akihito doubted the black-mailer would have ever thought that this would be the results of their scheme, because there was no way they would be unaffected by the changes. Nobody was unaffected.

But Akihito’s worries lay with the crime-lord mostly. How was he feeling by all this? Irritated, that was for sure. But that also wasn’t what he was thinking about. Akihito’s thoughts went more to wonder how much Asami had suffered.

He had lost his parents when he was young, had been forced to enter a life of crime at an incredible young age to help support his brother and his abusive aunt. And on top of that, his brother killed their aunt and was then placed in prison, where had been shanked.

Asami was truly alone and Akihito couldn’t imagine what that must feel like. He didn’t want to imagine it. The thought alone send a tear down his cheek as he laid his hands protectively on his swollen stomach.

How had Asami felt when he had heard the news of his brother’s passing? How had he reacted to the announcement that he was well and truly alone? How lonely had he felt and how lonely was he still feeling? Had Akihito been able to fill the gap at least a little bit, even if only for a while?

Before he knew it, his fingers were typing a question to Kirishima, the thought stuck in his head and needing to be answered. He needed to know how much of Asami’s inner feelings he had missed when he had thought he had been good at reading the man.

Where was Asami when his brother died?

Akihito wanted to ask much more, but knew that the bespectacled guard would never be able to answer them. On the question he had currently asked, his answer came rather quick, a sign that the guard was still awake.

In a juvenile correction centre for drug-dealing charges.

The answer made Akihito’s chest clench in sadness. Asami hadn’t even been able to take a last look at his brother, let alone say goodbye to him.

Everything in Akihito’s mind came to an abrupt stop at that thought. Not being able to see his face? If Asami’s brother was killed and brought to the morgue while his only living relative, Asami, was in juvie, who had identified the body?

What was behind that? Was there something about the older Asami’s death or was it just carelessness on the morgue’s part? Maybe Akihito should investigate that too a little, just to satisfy his own curiosity.

Chapter Text

Akihito watched amused as Leonia rushed around her bedroom, throwing clothing piece after clothing piece onto her bed, fold it back up to attempt to put it back on the shelf, only to end up roughly shoving it in her closet wherever. It was the clichéd scene of a teenager getting ready for a date. Though Akihito knew Kou to be the exact same.

“Would you calm down already. Geez, I get nervous from watching you” Akihito said and Leonia looked up at him.

“Then help me” she pleaded and Akihito gave a huff before stepping out of the doorframe and into her room. He plucked out a forest green pleated midi-skirt that had Leonia grimace. The blonde rolled with his eyes as he flung the article towards her before adding a white long-sleeved shirt and a black cardigan.

“Just wear that and you’ll be fine” Akihito said and Leonia looked doubtful at the skirt.

“Papa bough this for me a couple years ago and I haven’t worn it because it’s so long” she said and Akihito looked at her.

“Then wear it for him on his birthday. Besides, Dante has good style. I actually like the skirt” he said and Leonia regarded him before sighing and giving up, ushering him out of her room so she could change.

Akihito shook with his head fondly as he went down the stairs again, having been send upstairs to see what was taking the teen for so long. The reason why he had been send was simply because he was the only one Leonia somewhat tolerated in her room.

So, in order not to trigger his pubescent daughter, Dante had send Akihito upstairs while he finished up dinner. The blonde had suggested that he would cook so the Italian man wouldn’t have to do anything on his own birthday, but Dante had brushed him off. At the very least, Akihito had gotten the man as far as to allow him to make deserts.

“And? What was taking her so long?” Dante asked as Akihito walked back into the living-room.

“She was trying to contain a tornado in her room. She managed, but her closet wasn’t as lucky” the blonde said and Dante frowned before the coin dropped.

For the love of God, that child will clean up her room and od her laundry herself” he said as he shook his head and turned away from the living-room to go check the kitchen, still talking to himself in Italian about his daughter who was growing up and how he would have liked to just skip that awkward teenager stage.

Akihito and Ohara shared a look as the blonde reached out for a thin herbed breadstick in a glass on the table. Both of the guests were unsurprised that Dante was still going on about it when he returned from the kitchen, having switched to only Italian instead of Italian infused English.

I’m telling you, Akihito. Having a baby girl, you have to be extra careful. Many perverts will try to get close and you have to make her aware that all men are beasts” Dante said and Akihito nodded.

There are no exceptions. She has to assume that every man she meets is a wolf in sheep’s clothing. Except for her papa, of course” Dante continued and Akihito forced the corners of his mouth to stay down as he nodded again. His eyes fell on Leonia in the door-opening as she looked at her father with a dead-pan expression.

Could you stop over-reacting? Geez, in what kind of era do you live?” Leonia said and Dante looked over his shoulder.

The kind of era where boys rape girls and find it extremely normal. And that skirt is really nice” he said and Leonia rolled with her eyes.

Papa, not every guy immediately thinks ‘rape’ when they see a girl. And thanks” she answered and Dante gave her a sour look.

No, but they do think sex. Except for your papa, of course” he said and Leonia gave him another dry look.

Then how did you make me?” she asked and Dante stuttered to answer that question as Akihito laughed full out.

“Let’s not assume that men immediately try to have sex a teenage girl. They know better because teens in the current time are much wearier about this sort of thing. And if you’re really that worried, give her a can of mace and rape alarm” Akihito said and Dante looked at him.

“That’s actually a good idea” he said and Leonia gave the blonde a suffering look.

“I thought you were on my side” she said and Akihito gave her a serious look as Dante went back to the kitchen, humming a song to himself, pleased with Akihito’s agreement.

“I am, that’s why I’m saying it” Akihito said and Leonia.

“Sex can be fun, until it’s not consensual. Take it from someone who’s been there” the blonde said and the teen’s eyes widened as she realized what Akihito was getting at.

“You were?” she asked, cutting herself off before she could say the actual word.

“It wasn’t rape, but it wasn’t entirely consensual either. I just didn’t have any other choice but to do it” Akihito said and Ohara looked down, having heard the whole situation from Hong Kong. He had only been appointed to Akihito after the situation with Sudou, but the Hong Kong incident was well-known in not only Sion, but the whole of Japan’s underground.

Akihito smiled at Leonia’s expression that was caught between fear and pity as she looked at him without really seeing him. H got up from the couch and walked over to her, laying his hand on her head.

“I didn’t say it to scare you. I said it so you would understand your father’s worry. It’s not for no reason. Dante will always be protective of you, but it’s for a good reason. He’ll loosen up soon” Akihito said and smiled.

“You don’t need to be afraid of every guy you meet. You just need to be aware that you have a voice and that you’re allowed to say ‘no’, no matter what that punk says. You don’t need to agree to having sex before you’re ready, just because that guy wants to go further” he said and Leonia looked up at him.

“Are you okay? Are the children?” she asked soft and Akihito chuckled.

“It’s in the past, kiddo. The pups’ father is someone I love and was exclusive with. He was great in the sack too” he said and Leonia blushed slightly.

“Too blunt” she said and Akihito laughed soft. The sound of the front-door opening, drew the attention away from the rather depressing topic. Out of habit, Akihito was immediately weary for an enemy, his thoughts mirrored by Ohara, who was trained to think that way.

“Akihito-sama, Leonia” Ohara signalled softly as he stood up, reaching towards his lower back where Akihito knew the guard kept a knife. Being this close to home, Akihito had been able to convince the raven to leave his gun in the vault, yet he hadn’t been able to talk the tan man out of leaving his knife behind too.

Leonia looked confused at their weariness as footsteps closed in on the living-room. Akihito automatically stepped slightly in front of the teenager, shielding her in case it really was an enemy. Though the recognition as soon as a head peeked into the living-room, was enough for Akihito to relax.

“Mark?” Leonia said surprised and the man shushed her with a finger against his lips and an excited sparkle in dark brown eyes. When Akihito glanced back at the mahogany haired teen, he saw the same sparkle in her eyes.

The man who Leonia had identified as Mark gave a nod at them before ducking behind the wall when Dante stepped into the living-room. The coin feel in Akihito and Ohara’s mind as they relaxed.

“Why is it so quiet here? It’s suspicious” Dante said as he raised an eyebrow. Akihito drew up his shoulders while Ohara remained stone-faced. Leonia on the other hand was a little more see-through, snorting behind her hand.

“Leonia. I’m counting to three” Dante said and Leonia pressed her lips together.

“One” Dante started and his daughter struggled to keep her laugh in.

“Two” the Italian man warned and Akihito bit on his lip not to chuckle.

“Three” the man behind the wall said as he stepped into view with a large bouquet of bright flowers in hand.

My God! Mark, you could have told me you had landed! I would have come to pick you up” Dante said, though his scolding had no effect with the elated smile on his face as he walked up to the man to hug him.

“But then this wouldn’t have worked” the man said as he wrapped his free hand around Dante’s waist. The Italian stepped away from him to finally allow his daughter to put aside her reluctance resulting from puberty, and welcome her step-father back with a hug.

“You must be Akihito?” the man guessed as he looked at the blonde, holding out his hand.

“Mark Carilo. I’ve heard quite a lot about you from these two” he said and Akihito easily shook the man’s outheld hand.

“Akihito Takaba. I will return those words to you. Glad to finally have a face to match with their embarrassing stories” the blonde said and Mark send a suffering look at his family that pointedly looked away.

“I hope you didn’t base your first impression on those stories too much. I swear I’m not that clumsy all the time” Mark said, already having a good idea of what exactly the two had told the blonde.

“Well, it’s not as bad as me, so I won’t judge. Though Leonia did miss you a lot” Akihito said and Leonia gasped affronted.

“Did not” she lied and Dante raised an eyebrow at her as she looked away in embarrassment.

“Dinner’s ready” Ohara announced as he stepped out of the kitchen with a large oven-tray of lasagne. Thank god for the raven’s attention or the food would have burned.

“Aii! I forgot the food! Sorry, Shinichi!” Dante said and Ohara waved it off. Leonia was quick to sit down at the table, Akihito half a second behind. Dinner was filled with Mark telling his stories of his last travel and the weird stories of things people did on the flights he attended. They remained seated at the table to let the food settle.

“So, Akihito, how did your first birth-class go?” Dante asked exited and Akihito looked at him.

“It was actually pretty fun, though a little weird. I wasn’t the only guy there, but I didn’t expect there to be that many jokes. I had completely pictured like a boring class in a cold class-room or something. You know a biology class” the blonde said and Dante snorted.

“Isn’t it a little early for birth-classes? I mean, don’t you usually do those at the end of your pregnancy?” Mark asked and Akihito turned his attention to him.

“I’m in my third trimester. I’m 29 weeks” he said and Mark’s eyebrows rose.

“With twins” Leonia added and Dante huffed.

“I was huge by that time, and I was only carrying one” he said and Mark blinked startled.

“Well, lucky you then. At least you don’t look like a ten-tonner” he said and was immediately whacked on the arm by Dante while Akihito laughed soft.

“I feel the same way. I can’t imagine how troublesome it would have been if I had carried bigger” the photographer said, circling his swollen stomach through the striped burnell maternity top, a mustard yellow knit cardigan on top of it. It was warm enough to sit inside, and it wasn’t like Akihito had to walk far to get back home, so he had forgone anything warmer.

“I’m dating someone” Leonia announced even before the previous subject had died down.

“Don’t tell me it’s that punk from last time” Dante said, earning an inquiring eyebrow from his husband.

“That little imp was so rude and he insulted not only Akihito at first sight, but every Mpreg gene carrier and gay out there” the Italian man explained in a tiny nutshell and Leonie huffed.

“He’s not that bad. It’s just that his father left his mother for someone with the Mpreg gene” she said and Akihito hummed.

“Besides, he has apologized to me at the café” he added and Leonia nodded as Dante raised an eyebrow.

“Still, I don’t approve of him” the raven said and Leonie looked at him.

“You don’t have to. It won’t stop me from seeing him” she said and Akihito had seen that one coming, but it appeared Dante hadn’t.

“But I will be careful. I don’t plan on doing anything until I’m ready for it, no matter what he says” Leonia said and Dante blinked.

“And if he doesn’t listen, I’ll come tell you and let you lose on him like a raging bull” she added and gave a hopeful smile.

“You don’t have to like him or accept him. Just tolerate him. And if I’m too trusting, you will distrust where I don’t” she said and Dante stood up.

Excuse me” he said and Leonia looked confused as she watched him retreat into the kitchen. She looked at Akihito, who smiled at her.

“Leave him for a second” he said and Mark nodded agreeing.

“He’ll come around. It’ll take time before he has accepted that you’re no longer a little girl, but a young adult growing up to stand on her own two feet without him” he said and Leonia tilted her head.

“But I’ll always need him, though. He’s my papa” she said and Mark smiled. It didn’t take very long before Dante returned.

“Bring him over for dinner tomorrow. I’ll thoroughly intimidate him into keeping his hands off you until you’re ready” he said and Leonia perked up with a smile as Dante sat down, still sulking a little. Mark smiled at him and gave his hand an encouraging squeeze.

Akihito just hoped he would be able to handle it this good when his daughter would bring home a guy. He was cool with it now, but that didn’t mean that it would still be like that once she was born and growing up. Akihito knew himself to be very protective and understanding. But would those two still combine when it was about his own children?

Somehow, Akihito doubted it. He wanted to be a parent like his mom and dad. Someone who always had good advice and who was understanding. Who could be stern at times, yet joking and lax at others. Someone who could be protective while at the same time allowing his children the freedom to make mistakes and grow.

Those were Akihito’s guidelines for being in ideal parent, in his eyes. But really, the limit of his capabilities in child-raising would probably be managing to keep them out of trouble. Or at least jail. If they were half as bad as him, they would get into trouble anyhow. Akihito just hoped that he would get skilled enough to get them back out of whatever they got themselves into. At least until they learned from their mistakes.

Akihito’s biggest worry was whether or not he would be a good parent. His thoughts even kept him up all night. Once, he had gone knocking on Ohara’s door to ask him for his opinion, which had led to the tan guard having to calm him down with a hot cocoa with more than extra whipped cream and marhsmallows. It had taken hours before Akihito had been able to calm down from that anxiety.

“You’re worrying too much” Dante said as they saw the blonde and his bodyguard off at the door. Akihito hummed as he looked up, shaking out of his thoughts.

“Whatever you’re thinking about, you’re worrying too much. You’ve already been overworking yourself and you’re sleeping bad. Don’t even try to deny it, I can see the bags under your eyes, and sweetheart, they’re not gucchi” Dante said and Akihito looked down again.

Really, the stress was getting to him. Not only was he dealing with the black-mail case, he was also having pregnancy anxiety and researching the presumed death brother of his ex-lover, who also murdered their aunt. He was getting in way too deep.

“It’s not good to keep stressing yourself out like this. Take a break and take that time for yourself. Take a day off work, relax in a bath, demand a massage from Shinichi. Just take time for yourself” Dante suggested and Akihito looked up at him.

“You’re right. I’ve got free the day after tomorrow. I’ll just do nothing but laze around the whole day” he said and Dante gave nod.

“Do that, before it really gets too much” he advised, repeating the words Akihito had been told by the one teaching the birth-classes. One day wouldn’t hurt and then Kirishima would stop nagging and Ohara would stop looking so worried. Maybe the pressure on his shoulder and back would lessen too.

Chapter Text

Armed robbers go free.

Forth serial rape victim in Tokyo.

Teen attempts to smuggle drugs onto plane.

Body found in dumpster.

‘Cement shoes’ victim comes floating back.

College student arrested for kidnapping and imprisoning kids.

Happy-slapping teens make another victim.

What is happening in Tokyo?

Really, the ten-million-dollar question, it seemed. At least for all but Ryuichi, who was looking at the long list of headlines that was displayed in front of him. He could scroll through the list by just a swipe of the touch-screen, but he didn’t have to. He already knew all about it.

Problem was, he didn’t exactly care.

It really was a problem, considering the government had finally lost their patience and had put aside their pride to approach him. Ryuichi knew how much it must grate them to come to him for help, not that he was planning on giving it.

The representative in front of him was hopeful, none the less, watching his expression as she swiped at the screen slowly, showing headline after head-line. She was expecting a reaction, any reaction. Even the smallest twitch of his finger was enough. Yet even when nothing happened, she was not discouraged.

“As you can see, crime-rate in Japan has risen to a worrying degree. This is not only in Tokyo, but also in neighbouring districts and even the country-sides” she said and Ryuichi merely leaned back in his chair with a mask carefully in place.

“As one of the most influential men of Japan, have you not thought about doing something about this?” she asked and Ryuichi regarded her.

“Why should I? This is not connected to me” he said and wasn’t mentioning that the college student preying on children was already taken care of by being send to one of Ryuichi’s acquaintances whose daughter had been one of those victims.

Ryuichi didn’t really care what happened to the man afterwards. Judging by the fact that the man hadn’t been found yet, Ryuichi didn’t really want to know either. He had a good idea of what might be happening to that man, that was enough.

But apparently, his answer wasn’t enough for the representative, Nakazari Aoki. The woman looked put off by his answer before she schooled her expression and sat on the edge of his desk.

“This is connected to all the citizens of Japan, Asami-san. You should be no different. You have a successful life built up for yourself in this country. What would you do if it were to crumble?” she asked and Ryuichi’s expression remained unfazed.

“Build it back up stronger. Now remove yourself from my desk, Nakazari-san, before I have you removed from my office” the crime-lord said and Aoki stood up as she had burned herself.

“Besides” the raven said as he entwined his fingers in front of his chest with his elbows on the arm-rests of his chair.

“Say I do want to stop this rise of crime, what do you expect me to do?” the crime-lord asked and Aoki’s smile fell, showing exactly why she was a government worker.

“Asami-san, we both know there is a lot you can do about this. I even wonder why you haven’t yet. You have been ruling the underground for quite a few years now and the reason we never did anything about it was because you put up rules and stuck to them” Aoki said, crossing her arms in front of her power-suit clad chest.

“You yourself have never crossed the lines you put up and you made sure others didn’t either. People with dark interests kept them suppressed because they were afraid of you and what you could do to them if they crossed those lines. Now, these people are crossing them left and right and you’re doing nothing” she said and narrowed her eyes.

“Cut the ignorant act, Asami Ryuichi” she said and the crime-lord’s expression remained unreadable.

“You were the one who started the act. I knew why you were here from the beginning, but you started this, so I went along with it” he said and Aoki leaned forward to put her hands on the table.

“Then why the hell haven’t you done anything about this whole situation? You’re the only one in a position to stop people from doing such heinous acts” she said and Ryuichi raised an eyebrow.

“What about the police? The ones fighting for civilians? What would they do once they hear that the government has to come ask for help from a criminal?” he asked and Aoki glared at him.

“Because you need to take responsibility for your actions. Who do you think sells all these weapons to civilians?” she hissed and Ryuichi narrowed his eyes.

“Do not accuse me without proof, Nakazari-san. I do not bother myself with national dealings” he said coldly and Aoki flinched back at the sharp look in his eyes.

“Besides, if you have time to put the blame on me, why do you not blame yourself and the government for being too weak to keep the situation under control?” Ryuichi asked and was not relenting as he hacked in on her.

“Why do I have to clean up the messes you were unable to contain? Why do I have to take responsibility for something you claimed you would do?” he asked and Aoki raised herself, her foot shifting back.

“The government is supposed to protect the people, yet up until now, it has done nothing but watch the reported crimes come in and discuss them from your comfortable little seats” the crime-lord continued without moving a muscle.

“I don’t need to take responsibility for your inability to hold yourself to the things you promise the civilians. Don’t come here, to my office, telling me to clean up your dirty work that has gotten out of hand” Ryuichi said and Aoki narrowed her eyes at him.

“You have changed, Asami-san” she said and the raven finally moved, reaching into his pocket for his pack of cigarettes.

“I have not changed, Nakazari-san. I have merely returned to what I was before” he said as he shook out a cancer stick and placed it between his lips.

“Before what?” she asked sharply and Ryuichi’s hand paused with his lighter lit. His eyes rose up to the representative as he moved the end of his cigarette into the flame.

“Before I decided that the lines didn’t really matter anymore” he said. Not without Akihito, they didn’t.

“So you don’t care that so many people are hurting? Suffering because criminals think they have free-game now that you let the lines get blurred?” Aoki asked in a forceful tone.

“Don’t get it wrong, Nakazari-san. I didn’t allow the lines to get blurred. I just didn’t have the freedom to keep them up for everyone else like I had before, so I decided that it didn’t matter to me anymore” Ryuichi said as he exhaled his smoke.

“What does that even mean?” Aoki asked put off and Ryuichi looked at the embers falling into his ashtray as he tapped them off on the edge.

“It means that Yumika no longer wants me to involve myself with these sort of things. I have no other choice but to listen to her” he said and Aoki frowned.

“Now, since you have nothing left to say, Kirishima will see you out. Have a nice day, Nakazari-san. I do hope you will get the situation under control as quick as possible” the crime-lord said dryly as he pressed on Kirishima’s call button.

“Are you saying that you’re drawing your hands off this? Just like that? Because your wife said so? What if something happens to her?” Aoki asked in an almost desperate kind of tone. As if Ryuichi would care if something happened to Yumika.

In fact, it would help him if it did. At least then he would be rid of her and he could start grovelling to Akihito. God knew that it would take a lot of grovelling before he would even be able to try and make up with Akihito. If the blonde even wanted him back.

Ryuichi wanted nothing more than getting back together with the blonde. But he was stuck between a rock and a hard place. He couldn’t move freely with Yumika holding his brother’s pictures over his head. Someone he wasn’t even sure was his actual brother.

The raven couldn’t really do any research because it was Yumika herself who held authority over where the picture originated from. If he did, no matter how careful he was, if he was discovered, Yumika would know straight away and release the information that would lead to a witch-hunt.

Ryuichi couldn’t put his brother in that position. Not after everything he had done and given up for him. It was his turn to sacrifice things to protect his brother. Even if that meant being played, manipulated and black-mailed by Yumika. Even if it went at the cost of his own life and happiness.

“Goodbye, Nakazari-san” Ryuichi said simply as the door of his office opened to show Kirishima. Aoki clenched her fists and snatched up her tablet. With a last glare, she turned around to walk away.

Ryuichi looked up at her retreating back, his eyes landing on Kirishima. The bespectacled guard made a small bow at him before closing the door. Ryuichi’s chest ached slightly as he remembered what Kirishima was doing.

There were amounts of money that were supposed to have come in on his account, but didn’t. With Kirishima doing the finances and the last checks before Ryuichi signed them, it was obvious who was behind the whole thing. Yet because it was Kirishima, Ryuichi turned a blind eye to it. The amount wasn’t too big, so Ryuichi wasn’t exactly bothered by the loss of money.

He was more bothered by Kirishima keeping something from him. Then again, maybe it was deserved, since Ryuichi was demanding Kirishima and Suoh to work the same hours he did. Maybe they decided a raise was needed and took one without asking. If that was the case, he would allow it. But if it wasn’t, he wasn’t sure what to do.

 

{-} {-} {-} {-} {-}

 

“Whoa, come look at this” an excited voice said as he lifted his head from his computer-screen towards the older man sitting behind him. The raven gave a rough hum around his cigarette as he looked up from where he was cleaning his machine gun.

“Japan’s going to hell” the younger man said and the older one sat forward, his feet landing on the dusted floor of the cabin with a dull thud.

“Japan? One of the top ten countries with the lowest crime-rate?” he asked and the younger male nodded.

“You wouldn’t say if you checked the latest headlines” he said and the man stood up from the creaky old chair.

“Why are you researching Japan?” he asked and the younger male shrugged.

“Someone is investigating you and doing a surprisingly good job with it. It looks like he doesn’t believe that you are dead and noticed the mistake in the morgue’s documents. I’m almost impressed” he said as the older male leaned over the chair the brunet was sitting on, supporting himself with one hand on the dusty table.

“You know who it is?” he asked and the brunet shook his head.

“Not really. Not exactly that interested either. It’s the government’s job to keep us a secret. If they fail to do that, it’s not our problem” he said and the older man gave him a dead-pan look, because it would be their problem if their identities were to be exposed.

“I’m more interested in the fact that the government is looking for someone by the name ‘dragon-tamer’. It’s pretty funny, considering they called Tokyo the dragon’s layer in the under-ground forums” the younger male said and the raven frowned at him as if he was trying to explain a mystery of the universe.

“God, you really need to keep up. Asami Ryuichi is dubbed in the underground as Japan’s dragon. Tokyo is his nest, but then who is the tamer and why are they looking for him?” the younger one questioned with a wide grin on his face.

“Doesn’t it make you curious? Like watching a soap series” he said and smirked.

“Who is the dragon-tamer? What does he do? Why are they looking for him? Is he the one who caused Japan so much grief? Or is he the key to returning Japan to its former peaceful place? Watch it next time, on RTL” he said dramatic before bursting out in laughter, earning a dry look.

“You’re enjoying this, aren’t you?” he asked and the brunet sighed as he let himself slouch in the chair, his head hanging back, legs stretched out underneath he dodgy table and his arms hanging limp next to his sides.

“Of course I am. What else for entertainment is there in this place in the middle of nowhere? The only thing remotely entertaining is H trying to hit on S, only to be hit in the face and groin. But even that gets boring after a few times. What else am I supposed to do?” he asked and the older man gave a sympathetic huff.

“You’ll get used to it” he said and the younger man flailed.

“But I don’t want to get used to it! It’s boring!” he complained, acting like a little spoiled brat as the older man moved away to avoid getting hit by the swinging limbs.

“R, just let me watch my reality soap, ‘kay? Pretty please? It’s the only thing I live for, for the next twenty minutes” he said and the older man scoffed.

“That’s pretty long” he said and the younger male turned back to his screen.

“Well, yeah, because I’m waiting to see how long it’ll take before the government figures out that there is someone accessing their servers” he said and the raven gave a huffed laugh.

“By the way, R. This Asami Ryuichi looks like you. Is he your baby bro or something?” the younger male asked and the man identified as R rose up to his full height.

“Who knows. It’s been so long since I’ve had an identity” he said and looked up when someone leaned into the doorframe of the cabin they occupied.

“Yo, R, D. We’re being send out” the newcomer said and the brunet perked up.

“To Japan?” he asked and the newcomer huffed.

“Psh, I wish. What I would give to bang one of those geishas. No, we’re going to Serbia. Protecting some big-shot” he said and D groaned.

“Ugh, fuck. Are you kidding me? It’s going to be one of those fatsos again that’s going to do nothing but complain and nag” he said and R looked down on him.

“You’ll get along with him then” he said and chuckled at the unimpressive glare he received as he walked over to his tactical backpack.

“Hey, R. Do you want me to do something about this kid researching you?” D asked and the older male looked back at him, glancing at the screen.

“Nah, ‘s fine. Not like they’ll find much anyway. I don’t exist anymore” he said and D gave a hum before turning back to his rugged laptop, shutting it down.

R had never expected things to turn out this way, yet they had. He regretted what he had done in the past. He would be inhuman if he didn’t. Though he didn’t regret it for the reason most people would. He didn’t regret dyeing his hands with blood, because it had been for his brother.

But he could have handled things differently, very much so. A few careless, rash actions had tainted the Asami brothers for the rest of their lives. Yet Ryuichi, even though he was practically the crime-king of Japan, was still far too innocent.

He loved too deeply without even realizing it was love until it was too late. He didn’t know how to express himself, too used to being silent and not even saying anything. There were times he thought his little brother would turn mute, but back then, maybe that would have been for the best.

As Ryuichi’s older brother, he had felt responsible for the younger raven. Back then, he had hated it, because it was the one thing keeping him alive. But even now, he wished for nothing more than his brother’s happiness. Something he had found with Takaba Akihito, a young, bright kid that kept Ryuichi on his toes. That made Ryuichi human the way Ryuichi used to make him human.

Such people you only meet once in your lives. And when you did, you had to hold onto them, with everything you had. Ryuichi had tried, clumsily and silently, without being able to express himself, he had tried to convey feelings which he himself had been figuring out.

Takaba Akihito had been more observant than his appearance led on, but at the same time had been so very fragile in his self-confidence. Yet he had silently accepted Ryuichi’s awkward behaviour.

He had been exactly what Ryuichi needed and still needs. He had even understood Ryuichi without words, to a certain degree. They had been going in the good direction as Takaba Akihito was drawing Ryuichi out of his shell, making him want to try and communicate. He wondered what had happened for Ryuichi to marry Yumika.

But he was not in a position to do something about it, no matter how much he wanted to. If he were to investigate more than just the surface, his movements would be blocked down on all sides. Yet there was someone stubborn enough to get to the bottom of it and help Ryuichi now that he couldn't anymore. To be honest, he couldn’t wait to see how it all played out.

Chapter Text

Akihito was glad that today was a calm day at the café. It allowed him to think. To put everything in perspective. This was the longest investigation he had ever done and there was a lot of information he had to consider.

Instead of taking a day off, Ohara had forced him to take a full week to relax. To clear his mind and to get rid of the stress the investigation brought. The fact that it had dragged on for almost his whole pregnancy had been working on his mentality to the point he almost had another anxiety attack.

But the week off from the investigation and work had helped a lot, though it had been later than planned. Ohara had taken over his job, much to Greet’s relief, who had been worried about the fact that Akihito was over-working himself. It also helped that at his previous doctor’s appointment, his pups had gotten green cards on their health.

The lack of doing anything but relaxation and yoga, paired with good news, allowed Akihito to clear his mind. And a clear mind meant that he had more freedom to put everything in a row and find a connection or something he had looked over the head because the stress before.

The situation in Tokyo was shit, that much was obvious. The government had practically no control over the crime-rates and were almost helpless to stop it from rising. More police had been put to work, together with volunteers. Even the national defence was patrolling the streets.

Other districts of the country were not as bad but even there, criminality had risen. The countryside was no exception either. Criminality had always been around, but now it was really merging with the regular life and affecting civilians.

Akihito called his mother more often, continuously asking her if she was okay and if something had happened to her. Kou and Takato regularly received that call too. Mikhail had even called him to ask him whether he was able to stop the crime-rate in Japan from rising, since it was much harder to complete shipments.

The blonde had given a solid middle finger to answer that. He wasn’t working to help shipments pass through Japan. He was working and investigating to get the black-mailer off Asami’s back and repay him for everything he had done. It was the least he could do.

Starting with the dead-end tip offs, Akihito was able to brush off some of the directions his thoughts could take him concerning Asami’s black-mailer.

One, Akihito was pretty sure that the black-mailer was not someone with more power than Asami. If they had, they wouldn’t have to lower themselves to black-mailing.

Two, it also wasn’t someone from Asami’s past. While Asami did have a lot of enemies, even from when he had been a kid, there was no doubt in Akihito’s mind that Asami held more power than them.

Of course, it would make sense for it to be someone from Asami’s past considering the Hotaru drug that Asami had been the one to deal at a very young age. But then they were right back to the fact that Asami had grown in power and no doubt had more authority than them.

Three, it could be a costumer. Someone who bought drugs from Asami who knew about him. But then was the question, what did he know? Akihito had always thought that Asami would easily be able to deal with black-mail. Kirishima confirmed this, knowing Asami had done so in the past.

So then what exactly was he being threatened with? It had to be something that was not about Asami himself, but about someone else. The crime-lord would have no trouble exposing something about himself, knowing he could deal with it easily.

Which could only mean that the black-mail material was something not about Asami himself. Something Asami didn’t want to be made public. Something that was really close to his heart and was really important to him. Important enough to marry someone he didn’t love as a cover.

The only things Akihito could think of that would be close to Asami’s heart would be his business, his men, or Akihito himself. Not to boast himself but he knew he had held a special spot in the older man’s heart. Or at least meter of importance. But Akihito couldn’t think of anything that would make him the cause.

He hadn’t really pissed anyone off, as far as he could remember. In fact, work had been rather sluggish. He hadn’t done anything that could be considered a heinous act. Hell, he had barely even done any investigations. Well besides the one on Asami’s brother, but that was after the break-up.

Akihito came to an abrupt stop, staring unseeingly at the table he was wiping. Ohara from behind the counter frowned at him, yet Akihito had no attention for him.

Of course. How could he have been so stupid? The only thing that was remotely close to Asami’s heart, was his brother. His brother who had killed their aunt because she had been abusing Asami and he had wanted to protect him. It wasn’t widely known news since there were only rumours of it in the old neighbourhood.

But it had happened, and Akihito had to go rather deep in the government system to find the court documents with Ryunosuke’s statement. It wasn’t widely known and Asami could want to keep it that way.

Either because he felt embarrassed about his brother being a murderer, but that didn’t make any sense, considering Asami’s track-record. No, maybe he didn’t want anyone to judge his brother for something he did to protect his baby brother.

Public always had their opinions ready, always a stamp-mark in hand, waiting to judge someone and mark them with a label. From the statement Akihito had read, it wasn’t hard to guess that Ryunosuke adored his little brother and would do everything for him. Maybe Asami wanted to return the favour.

Maybe he wanted to keep his brother’s name unstamped with a label. Pay him back for the crimes and the sins his brother took upon himself to protect Asami.

It sounded like such an Asami thing to do, because the man kept everything bottled up and had sky-high pride that would not allow him to involve others close to him. It didn’t matter how far he had to go or what he had to do. Once his mind was made up, Asami would see it through to the end.

But then what? What did the black-mailer know about Asami Ryunosuke that Asami didn’t want to be made public? Ryunosuke had died, according to the government. Every file connected to the older Asami said the same.

The same vague information that hadn’t been confirmed by anyone but the government. Nobody had actually identified the body. Nobody had taken a statement from fellow prisoners about that stabbing. Nobody had even found a murder weapon.

They could have just buried any body and told Asami it was his brother. What would Asami know? He had been in juvie at the time. He didn’t know any better. His brother could be alive for all he knew.

But if that was the case, that would mean that Ryunosuke was a convicted murder on the run, which would lead to an international search for a murderer on the run. It would turn into a witch-hunt. After what his brother had sacrificed, Akihito could imagine that that was the last thing Asami wanted to happen to his brother.

“That’s it!” Akihito exclaimed as he straightened up. His sudden outburst startled the few costumers in the café and Greet and Ohara behind the counter. The blonde didn’t even have time to feel embarrassed as he speed-walked up to the raven.

“Excuse us” he said quick as he grabbed Ohara’s wrist before dragging the tan bodyguard into the restrooms and into a stall.

“A-akihito-sama? What’s going on? What’s wrong?” Ohara asked, slightly uncomfortable standing in a toilet-stall with a pregnant man, who’s stomach was definitely sticking out to the point Akihito was unable to see his toes.

“I know what they are using to black-mail Asami” Akihito said, immediately bringing Ohara to a stop. Ohara’s head shot up to the blonde as he blinked.

“Hurry up and call Kirishima” Akihito urged and Ohara fumbled to take his phone out of his pocket. Akihito was too excited to stand still, hopping from one foot onto the other as he rubbed his stomach where he could feel one of his pups kick.

“It’s connecting” Ohara said and it really felt like ages before Kirishima picked upon the skype call, looking even grumpier than two days before when Asami had let him work for three days straight with only four hours of sleep. Akihito would have pity for him if he wasn’t so excited.

“Kirishima, are you alone? Somewhere you can talk freely?” Akihito asked and the bespectacled guard gave a grunt.

[If I hadn’t been, I wouldn’t have picked up. I’m in my office and have a meeting in ten minutes. What did you need me for?]

“I know why Asami is being black-mailed!” Akihito whispered/yelled and Kirishima froze.

“Well, at least what is being used” the blonde said and waved it off with his hand.

“His brother, Asami Ryunosuke” Akihito said and Kirishima frowned.

[He’s dead. How could he be used to blackmail Asami-sama?]

“Maybe he’s not dead. I researched the case and no direct relative had identified the body. The only relative they had, was their aunt, who Ryunosuke killed. Asami was in juvie, so he couldn’t identify the body” Akihito said, seeing Kirishima sit straighter as he caught up.

[If nobody identified the body, they could have buried anyone]

“Never believe someone is dead until you’ve seen the body” Akihito agreed and Kirishima looked at his desk as he curled his finger onto his chin.

[But then there is a possibility that Ryunosuke-san is still alive and on the run. That he staged his own death. But that wouldn’t change his charges, so his arrest warrant would be send out and that’s the last thing Asami-sama wants.]

“Exactly!” Akihito said excited, knowing Kirishima would have seen his thought-process.

[But then how did they know? How did you know? All those files are under the protection of the government.]

“Tell me about it. It took me hours to get in and I only got in because they had gotten a little careless” Akihito said and Kirishima grimaced.

“[I don’t feel safe, knowing you could have access to files, including mine, so easily. What was the person in charge do-]

“What?” Akihito asked worried as Kirishima was brought to a halt by his own words.

[Yumika. Yumika is the one in charge for those files. She is the one who had access to them.]

It was scary how quick everything clicked once the ball started rolling. An investigation that had them stressed out for months was solved in just a few hours. As soon as they had one thing figured out, everything was just a chain-reaction. It almost made Akihito laugh hysterically.

[She wanted Asami-sama’s money and fame, but she knew that he had no intention of ending his relationship with you, so she abused her power to gain black-mail material over Asami-sama and use it to make him marry her.]

“What do we do now?” Akihito asked and rubbed his stomach as it cramped together uncomfortably. He was getting used to those Broxton hicks.

[You are going to rest and focus on the children. Suoh and I will gather proof and bring it to the government to show the abuse of power. With Tokyo as it is now, they will never ignore it, despite who her father is and no matter how protective he is.]

Akihito was slightly put off, but with Kirishima promising to keep him posted, the blonde agreed to now put his pups first. After the case was handled and Asami was free from Yumika’s black-mail, Akihito would devote everything to his pups.

As Akihito and Ohara stepped out of the rest-room again, Akihito saw a familiar figure walk into the café, looking around curiously until his eyes landed on the blonde.

“Aki!” he called out and the photographer blinked surprised.

“Dad?” he said and walked over to the older man allowing himself to be wrapped up by his father.

“God, it’s been so long since I last saw you. You haven’t changed” Raizou said as he pulled back to look at his son, who really had barely changed since he was a teenager. Well, except for the belly he carried along with him.

“You grew your hair out” the older Takaba said as he tugged on the blonde’s silvery blonde hair that fell slightly below his collarbone, pushed back with a diadem.

“Yeah, I was bored, so I figured why now” Akihito said and finally, Raizou turned his attention to the bump in between them.

“You’re really full, aren’t you” he pointed out dryly and Akihito rolled with his eyes.

“I’m actually measuring a little small for 33 weeks” he said and Raizou gave a hum.

“As long as the doctor isn’t concerned, I wouldn’t worry about it. I measured small too” he said, causing the easy mood between them to fall a little.

“Yeah, we’ll have to talk about that later. But for now, want anything to drink?” Akihito asked and Ohara popped up behind him.

“Akihito-sama, why don’t you sit down and take a break with him? I’ll bring you two something to drink” he said and Akihito was about to refuse but cut himself back at the tanned guard’s sharp look. Akihito was supposed to take it easy and he had already been quite excited today.

“Okay, fine. By the way, dad, this is Ohara Shinichi, my bodyguard” Akihito said and Ohara didn’t even blink at the revelation Akihito had kept a secret for everyone else. Raizou blinked surprised as he sat down next at the table across his son.

“Bodyguard? Why do you need a bodyguard?” Raizou asked after the two Takaba’s placed their order.

“Hmm? Mom never told you? well, I figured that if it’s you, you’d be able to understand” Akihito said and Raizou frowned.

“Understand what?” he asked and the blonde looked up at him.

“Well, my ex-lover and the father of my children is a crime-lord” Akihito confessed and Raizou was glad he hadn’t been drinking anything. Though he did choke on his spit.

“Dad, that’s gross” Akihito said as the man turned away from him to cough in his hand before dark-hazel eyes turned back to him.

“I know you copied a lot of things from me, kid, but that was the one thing you didn’t need to copy, you know” Raizou said and Akihito scoffed.

“You have no right to judge. At least we were exclusive and he wasn’t married yet” he said and Raizou frowned.

“Yet?” he parroted and Akihito sighed soft.

“Mom really didn’t tell you anything, did she? Wow, she left me to deal with your outbursts. Great” he said and shook his head.

“Anyway, long story short. I had sex with my lover and got knocked up. I was six weeks pregnant when my lover broke up with me and announced his engagement to someone else, who is now revealed to be a black-mailing slut” he said and nodded to himself.

“Yup, that’s pretty much the situation in a nutshell, right?” he asked as he looked up at Ohara who placed down their orders on the table.

“That would be correct” he confirmed and Raizou sighed deep as he leaned back in his chair.

“You know, Dimi might be married, but my situation is still less complicated” he said and Akihito scoffed.

“Tell me about it” he said and a short silence fell before he looked up.

“No, serious, tell me about it. I want to know. You’re staying long enough, right?” Akihito asked eagerly and Raizou smiled.

“Sure, as long as you have a couch or a floor I can sleep on. I want to tell you too” he said and Akihito smiled. As Raizou told him his story, Akihito told his father that he had started forming a rather good relationship with both his half-brothers and Dimitri, all through texting, sharing pictures and skyping.

Chapter Text

Christmas in Dante’s way was definitely not what Akihito was used to. Akihito was used to Christmas being a day of lovers, not family. Yet in Dante’s way, family stood central. Akihito couldn’t say he minded it.

The mood was awesome and the conversations light and funny. There were gifts exchanged all around so nobody had nothing and it was just warm. It was almost impossible to not smile, which was good, in Akihito’s opinion, since it took away his thought from his Braxton hicks that were getting worse.

In fact, they were so bad, Akihito could barely eat anything. They had only had the starters and Akihito already didn’t feel hungry anymore after eating a two or three toasts.

But Akihito didn’t want to be stopped by something like that. He had informed the others that he wasn’t feel up to eat and they understood. So Akihito didn’t feel too bad about it.

What he did feel bad about, was that he felt that he was unconsciously bringing the mood of the party down by thinking of unnecessary things.

Things like how he would have liked to celebrate Christmas with Asami there. What Asami currently was doing. How much proof Kirishima and Suoh had already gathered. When he was supposed to give up and move on from Asami.

Akihito sighed as he looked at the screen of his phone in the kitchen where he had retreated to with the excuse of checking up on the turkey in the oven. He had been stuck on it after replying to his half-family’s Christmas-wishes. He really should change the background-screen from the selfie he had taken with the crime-lord. It actually made him irritated, looking at it.

Why couldn’t he just change it? It would be so much better if he was just able to close that chapter of his life, yet he stubbornly held on. He knew he was only hurting himself by holding on, so why?

He was drawn out of his depressed mood when a sharp pain ripped through his abdomen, the muscles in his lower stomach contracting. It wasn’t bad pain, but more like uncomfortable. It also wasn’t the first cramp he felt like that.

It had started the day before, early in the morning. It woke him up at the ass-crack of dawn and only gotten worse since then. Slowly but surely, the contractions became stronger, with decent amounts of times in between.

Akihito was starting to get suspicious of the contractions, suspecting them to be more than just braxtons as they got closer and closer together, gaining intensity. But the blonde brushed it off since they weren’t painful like the labor contractions Dante described. He wasn’t screaming or anything.

The blonde crouched down to check the turkey in the over, opening the door before closing it again. As he stood back up, pushing himself up on his knees, he felt weird sensation in his lower region. Fluid trickled down his leg as he looked down, watching the sweatpants he wore soak up the fluid.

Was it pee or not? That had happened before, but he hadn’t been having contractions back then. Oh damn.

“Ohara!” Akihito called out as he reached out for the towel laying on the counter, feeling more fluid slip down his leg and past his ankle onto the ground.

“What is it?” Ohara asked as he looked into the kitchen as Akihito dropped the towel on the ground where a small puddle was forming under his bare foot. God, somehow that didn’t feel pleasant.

“Oh, okay’ Ohara said, blinking as he waited for his body to move.

“I’ll go get your bag” he said and Akihito gave a nod, asking him for a different pants. It didn’t take long before Dante stepped into the kitchen.

“You sure it’s not pee?” he asked and Akihito send him a dry look.

“You wanna try smelling it?” he asked and Dante tilted his head shortly.

“It’s not pee. Were you having contractions before?” he asked and Akihito moved the towel with his foot to clean up the fluid.

“I didn’t think they were contractions, contractions, you know. I’ve been having them since yesterday around four or something, when they started. They did get stronger and with less time in between, but it didn’t really hurt as much as you said” he said and Dante gave a pitying look.

“It’ll get worse, trust me” he said and Ohara returned with a bag slung over his shoulder and a loose draw-string pants in his hand.

“What’s going on?” Leonia asked curious as she walked towards the kitchen with Ao on her heels.

“Don’t let Ao inside” Akihito said, not wanting the dog to attempt to lick up the water.

“His water broke, sweetie” Dante informed and Leonia looked caught between worried and excited as her father shooed her out of the kitchen entrance so Akihito could change.

“I’ll go get the car-keys” Dante said and Akihito waved over his shoulder carelessly as he placed his other hand on the counter to hold himself stabile to step out of his sweats.

His vision blurred slightly as he accepted the outheld black lounging pants to change into. Ohara grabbed a hold of his elbow to help hold him up as he pulled on the pants.

“Is it that painful? Are you having another contraction?” Ohara asked worried and Akihito brushed his palm across his cheek.

“That’s not it. I’m not having a contraction right now. It’s just…” Akihito said soft and bit on his lip to cut back on the tears that sprung into his eyes.

“It’s only the 35th week” he said and couldn’t help but feel that he wished Asami had been at his side. It had been a continuous thought in his mind that only got stronger with the realization that he was in labour. Ohara seemed to understand Akihito even without the blonde saying anything, reaching over to rub the blonde’s shoulders.

“I know it’s not the same, but we’ll be here for you. Both me and Dante” he said and Akihito nodded, taking a deep breath as another contraction came right as Dante entered the kitchen again.

“Your carriage awaits you, sir” Dante said and Akihito huffed, putting a hand on his stomach as he walked out of the kitchen, Ohara holding one of his elbows for support, in case he fell or another contraction came.

“Leonia, you stay here” Dante said at the front-door and Leonia looked like she wanted to protest.

“Please. I don’t know how long this is going to take and I don’t want to leave Ao alone” Akihito said and Leonia looked at where Ao stood next to the blonde worriedly.

“Okay, I’ll stay here until you come back” Leonia promised and Akihito smiled as he stepped into his slippers.

“Thank you” he said and leaned down to ruffle Ao behind her ears before making his way to the door, his bag slung over Ohara’s shoulder as Dante went first. Akihito was helped into the back-seat of the car where he took out his phone.

International calls be damned, he dialled his mother’s contact before holding the phone against his ear. Closing his eyes and resting his free hand on his stomach, he waited for the line to go over.

[Aki, what’s wrong?]

The familiar tongue of Japanese was a comfort to Akihito he didn’t know he had needed.

“I’m on my way to the hospital, mom” Akihito said, his voice breaking around his mother-language as he rubbed his stomach.

[It’s okay, sweetie. You’ll do just fine. Just stay calm and remember to breath, okay?]

“I know. Dante and Ohara are here, so I’ll be fine. Mom, how is…” Akihito asked, only stopping himself before mentioning the name. But it was too late to take it back since his mother knew exactly who Akihito was talking about even when they had avoided the subject like plague.

[Forget about him, Aki. He hurt you and he’s still hurting you even all the way over there. He chased you away, so don’t think about him]

“I know, mom” he said but still waited for answer. Things like forgetting about the father of his pups while he was in labour was impossible.

[He was fine last time I saw him, though his cheeks were a nice red. I might have given him a slap or two]

Akihito blinked before laughing, cutting off when there was another contraction, Ohara glancing on his watch to count. Akihito hissed slightly as he continued to rub circles over his stomach in the hope to relieve the contraction. It was getting more painful now that his water had broken.

[Hey, I’m your mother. I have the right to hit the fool chasing away my baby boy. Hmpf, he doesn’t even know what kind of treasure he had in his hands and he took it for granted. But don’t worry. I had Rai and Krass with me. He’s one scary man, you know]

“Says the one hitting him, twice. Probably with a delay in between, when he tried to say something” Akihito guessed and the silence was enough of an answer, earning a chuckle.

“Mom, I love you” he said and heard a sob.

[I wish I could have been there, Aki! Why did you have to choose a man like that? Why not someone who would keep you here with us?]

“Because they are not him, mom. I can’t help it either. But it’s fine as long as he’s okay. That’s all I needed to know. Mom, I’m going to go. We’ve arrived at the hospital” Akihito said as he looked out of the window when Dante parked the car as close as possible in front of the doors of the hospital building.

[Good luck, sweetie]

“I’ll call you when I’m done. Merry Christmas” Akihito said and heard a sad chuckle from the other side of the line. He closed the call as he got out of the car, putting his phone away in his pocket.

“‘I’ll call you when I’m done’, as if you’re going to buy a loaf of bread or something” Dante joked and Akihito rolled with his eyes as he closed the car-door behind him.

“Another one” Akihito said and Dante looked at him as Akihito just continued to walk, though a bit slower. Unlike braxtons, these ones didn’t disappear when he moved around, yet that didn’t stop him from doing so.

“Want me to get a wheelchair?” the Italian asked and Akihito scoffed out a harsh breath.

“Don’t even think about it” he said and Dante smiled. As they admitted themselves at the front -desk, they were led to a separate room to wait for Akihito’s midwife and doctor.

Ohara was clearly nervous, standing exactly like he would if he had been in front of an enraged Asami. Dante on the other hand, sat calmly in the chair of the room, talking with Akihito who moved around in order not to stay still.

It took a short while for Akihito’s midwife and doctor to arrive and check up on him. The first check-up ended with not too much dilation but a promise of coming back soon. Akihito went back to walking around and rubbing his back or stomach, breathing through the contractions that gained intensity.

To Akihito’s surprise, the labour progression was going fast, already at 6 cm dilation by the second check-up. Akihito kind of wished it would go faster, feeling the pain just getting worse as time progressed. And as his pain increased, so did Ohara’s worry.

According to the classes he had gotten, it was normal for a man’s delivery to be quicker than that of a woman. The birth canal of the man was shorter, but there were more dangers involved.

Seeing as how the bowels closed off to make place for the birth-canal, it was rather logical that that shift caused the dilation to speed up, pulling the male cervix open. The switch from bowel to birth-canal usually made the water to break, which was why male deliveries had more complications and dangers than a regular female birth.

The pain was practically the same, as Akihito leaned forward onto the bed, already changed into the hospital gown, swaying from side to side with his head down while grinding his teeth, his hair up in a messy bun.

Sounds of pain slipped past his lips as he curled his fingers into the covers of his bed. Dante got up to rub his back, continuing with taking to him as he reminded the blonde to breath. Akihito moved to lie on the bed as soon as he felt like his legs wouldn’t decently support him anymore.

Akihito was restless, curling his fingers around the heightened side of the bed as he laid on his side, only to switch over to rolling onto his back in the hope it would take away from the pain and discomfort. In between the contractions, Ohara was quick to ask if he was okay, to which Akihito only smiled tiredly.

The surgery room was on standby in case of complications as his midwife along with four other nurses filled the room requesting Ohara to step outside so they could work. When the body-guard looked reluctant to leave, Akihito gave him a nod, silently telling him it was okay for him to step outside. It still took Dante assuring him he would stay with Akihito to get the tanned guard outside.

With lots of encouragement, the blonde was told to push. He wasn’t too sure if it was his body telling him, his midwife, or both. To say he was confused and disoriented, was an understatement.

Holding Dante’s hand in his was comforting, but he had to switch his grip on order to help with pushing. It was hell, to say the least, but Akihito managed not to scream out his lungs. He wasn’t able to suppress a couple small ones, but that was out of his control.

He felt a weight being settled on his bare stomach, his eyes automatically drawing down at the slimy heat of the small form crying a high-pitched sound. He was told it was the boy of the duo, but couldn’t focus on it as another contraction followed, reminding him that there was another one wanting to come out.

Though disoriented and dizzy, Akihito felt the weight being pulled away from him even before he had been able to touch the small miracle, his body demanding him to focus on the second child. He could somewhat tell that the second baby was out quicker and he expected the second slimy heat to be placed on his stomach.

This time, he was able to look down at the crying child on his stomach, reaching out shakily to hold it against his body. The nurse smiled at him as she worked around his hand to clean the blood off the small form.

“Doctor!” the midwife called and Doctor Wright stepped forward. Akihito had no ears for it as he could only focus on the small child against his stomach. That was until it was picked up and he was left lost. Was it normal to feel this dizzy?

The doctor and nurses moved in a flurry around him as Akihito felt his eyes get heavy. Dante was quickly ushered out of the room, followed by Akihito’s bed. Akihito barely caught sight of Ohara’s pale expression before his eyes slipped closed and darkness took over his mind, drowning out the yelling of the doctors around him.

God, Akihito couldn’t wait to see them and to hold them. To study them and see who they looked most like. What colour would their hair have, when it wasn’t soaked with blood? What kind of nose would they have? What colour would their eyes become?

But all of that didn’t matter to Akihito as long as they were healthy. He was not a believing person, but he did say a prayer, hoping that he had at least delivered them safely. That he hadn’t fucked up as a parent even before he got to hold them.

He really wanted to hold them. Decently this time. Not paralysed with shock and pain in the middle of labour. He could still feel the ghost of the heat under his palm where he had been able to touch his pup for the first time.

He really wanted the darkness to hurry up and disappear so he could see his pups.

Chapter Text

“Excuse me” Kirishima said as he looked on his phone that rang in the middle of the check of an incoming shipment. Ryuichi glanced at his secretary as the man moved away to pick up before directing his attention back to the check his men were performing.

“What?!” Kirishima exclaimed loud, drawing he attention to himself. Suoh and Ryuichi, who were standing close enough to clearly see how the colour drained from the bespectacled man’s face, frowned as Kirishima’s eye shifted around restlessly.

“Okay. Okay, calm down. We’re on our way there. Don’t move from his side and make them allow you to be in the same room as them, no matter what you have to pay them. We’ll take the jet” the guard said before he closed the call and immediately made another.

Ryuichi send an inquiring look at Suoh, who frowned at Kirishima’s back, but seemed a little more informed about what had Kirishima so stressed he was practically having a mental breakdown. Ryuichi wondered just how much he had missed.

“Asami-sama, we’re going” Kirishima announced as he pushed his phone into his pocket. The crime-lord was surprised to be ordered around by his subordinate, but Kirishima had no eye for it as he turned to look at Suoh.

“I’ll leave everything here to you. There have been complications” Kirishima said and Suoh swallowed before nodding.

“Keep me posted” he said and Kirishima gave a nod. Meanwhile, Ryuichi felt seriously left behind and it was irritating as fuck.

“What the hell is going on, Kirishima” Ryuich said as the bespectacled guard all but dragged him back to the car. Anyone else would have a bullet in their hand at the thought of turning the crime-lord into a shopping cart.

“Kirishima” Ryuichi repeated impatient as the guard merely shoved him into the back of the car before jumping in behind the wheel and taking off like a mad-man. Ryuichi had never been scared to ride with his old friend, but he was seriously starting to rethink that.

“Kei!” Ryuichi called out to the distracted guard, finally getting his attention.

“What do you think you are doing? Where the hell are you taking me?” the crime-lord demanded in a voice that told Kirishima he was half a thought away from pulling his gun.

“We’re going to Canada, sir” Kirishima finally disclosed and Ryuichi was gobsmacked. Canada? Why the hell would they be going to Canada? Was this the reason Kirishima was wiring money to a separate international bank account?

Giving his oldest friend the benefit of the doubt, Ryuichi decided to go along silently. He boarded the prepared jet while Kirishima was starting to resemble a Duracell bunny, unable to calm down.

Instead of sitting there and doing nothing, Ryuichi pulled out his iPad and was thankful for the different work-files that were on there that he had yet to start on. It was better than sitting there and glaring holes into Kirishima, waiting for an explanation he didn’t think he was going to get.

Kirishima was incredibly stressed, something that influenced Ryuichi’s own mood. It also didn’t help that their flight took more than ten hours. Being cooped up in a plane with a stressed out Kirishima was not a good idea, especially not when Ryuichi’s mood already hadn’t been too great to begin with.

It got even worse when they landed at a small airport, one that Ryuichi didn’t even know existed. Unlike the airports he was used to, there were barely any people inside. Ryuichi wondered where the hell he was.

“To the hospital, and make it fast” Kirishima said to the cab-driver as they stepped into the cab. Ryuichi send his guard a dubious look as he slipped the driver a few extra bills he had changed at the automat in the airport.

Colour Ryuichi confused. Why the hell were they in Canada just to go to a hospital? If Kirishima needed to get his head checked so badly, he could have just gone in Japan. That way, Ryuichi would have been less pissed.

The hospital was old from the outside but modern and high tech on the inside. It wasn’t big, but it certainly wasn’t small either. Unlike the airport, the hospital was vibrating with life as they walked up to the front desk. Well, Kirishima power-walked with Ryuichi trailing behind, itching for a cigarette.

“Takaba Akihito” Kirishima said even before the nurse behind the front desk could ask them if she could help them. The name froze everything inside Ryuichi. His thoughts, his blood, his heart.

“Yes, we have him here. But I am forced to ask who you are and what connection you have with him. I cannot just let you see him” the nurse said sternly. Meanwhile, Ryuichi was busy staring at Kirishima.

Kirishima had known where Akihito was? He knew the blonde was at a hospital? And he hadn’t told Ryuichi anything about it? More importantly, Akihito was at the hospital? What had happened? Did he get hurt?

“Call Shinichi Ohara. We’ll vouch for us” Kirishima said and Asami felt his anger rise another tad bit. Even Ohara was here? Since when? Ryuichi wasn’t sure whether he was angry at Kirishima for remaining silent about Akihito’s whereabouts, or at himself for not noticing anything sooner.

“Shinichi is waiting for you at the third floor” the nurse said and Kirishima gave a nod before power-walking over to the elevator, holding it open while ignoring the people already inside.

“You better have an explanation for this” Ryuichi said as he watched the door close. His stomach was turning and clenching, nauseated. He didn’t like being at the hospital in the first place, and now he was going to visit Akihito, who he hadn’t even known had been in Canada?

“You will see, sir” Kirishima simply said and Ryuichi glared at him. He was still being cryptic? Ryuichi held back his anger, waiting for the elevator to come to a stop. He had to hold himself back from stepping out first and running down the hallway, eager to see what was wrong with the blonde.

Instead, he followed Kirishima, feeling his stomach turn and chest tighten with each step he took. Ohara came in view, looking up as they approached him. Immediately, he pushed off the wall and straightened up. Despite the tiredness and worry that was visibly on his expression, he gave Kirishima an inquiring look.

“Black. Pitch black. How are they?” Kirishima asked and Ohara swallowed thickly.

“Akihito-sama woke up before, but he’s asleep again” he said and Ryuichi did not have the patience for this cryptic talk where he was left out. Instead, he moved to the door Ohara had been standing right next to, guarding it. Before either Ohara or Kirishma could stop him, he opened the door.

At first glance, Ryuichi thought he had the wrong room. There was only one bed in the room and on it laid a pale skinned blonde. The light ash-blonde hair was long and eyes rimmed with lines speaking of sleepless nights. The man’s frame was small, too small on the hospital bed that seemed to swallow him.

There was a tube sticking from his arm, connected to the IV next to the bed. A heart-monitor beeped with regular intervals in what was supposed to be comforting. Yet the nasal cannula in the blonde’s nose brought more worry than the steady sound of the heart-monitor brought comfort.

It was wrong. It was all wrong. Akihito wasn’t supposed to be in a hospital-bed, looking that weak. He was supposed to run around, smiling and waving with his camera in hand. And if he had to be in a hospital-bed, he should have been awake and complaining about the food, demanding Ryuichi to bring sushi. Or at the very least cup-ramen.

Seeing the blonde so silent and so weak, seemed like blasphemy. Ryuichi couldn’t stop himself from walking over to the bed, stopping next to it. He was almost afraid to touch the blonde, yet he couldn’t stop himself from doing so.

Carefully, he dragged the chair next to the bed closer, as quietly as possible in order not to wake the blonde up. As if he would break, the raven picked up the photographer’s hand, his eyes narrowing slightly at the cold temperature.

“Where are they?” Kirishima asked soft at the door and Ryuichi didn’t look away from Akihito’s face, but did keep an ear open.

“At NICU. They were born healthy, but kept there for observation. They weren’t able to allow them in the same room” Ohara said and Ryuichi frowned. NICU? Born healthy?

“Ohara, Kirishima. Explain. Now” Ryuichi said curt without lifting his eyes. He was done with being left out of the loop and wanted answers. Now.

“It is best if you see for yourself, sir” Ohara said and Ryuichi was about to glare at him as the hand in his twitched. Immediately, all his attention was brought back to the blonde as he groaned, his eyes blinking open tiredly. Ryuichi felt his heart skip a beat at the sight of the hazel eyes he had longer to see.

“Hmm? Ah, damn” the blonde said, his voice barely hearable and creaking, obviously parched with a dry throat.

“This is some good shit they gave me” he said after swallowing thickly. The sound of the blonde’s voice, no matter how deformed by morphine, send a chill down Ryuichi’s back.

“I’ll go call Doctor Wright, Akihito-sama. Please, stay in bed until then” Ohara said before he was out the door without even giving an explanation. Ryuichi looked at Akihito’s face as the blonde closed his eyes.

“Akihito” Ryuichi called out soft, squeezing the hand in his. He didn’t want those eyes to close again, afraid they wouldn’t open anymore. Yet at the sound of his voice, Akihito’s eyes shot open, wide and more awake. It took only a second of eye-contact before everything clicked in place behind hazel eyes.

“Asa- oh fuck!” Akihito started as he moved to sit up, only to fall back with a curse and his face pinched up in pain. Both Ryuichi and Kirishima moved, but the bespectacled guard stopped after a step, allowing Ryuichi alone to hold the blonde down at his shoulders.

“Didn’t Ohara tell you to stay in bed?” Ryuichi scolded and Akihito groaned before blinking his eyes opened.

“W-why are you here?” the blonde asked, his voice breaking again. Ryuichi wasn’t too sure if it was because his parched throat, or because it slipped closed from the pain that radiated from his eyes. The look in those eyes hit Ryuichi harder than any words could.

“I’m still waiting for that explanation too. Kirishima dragged me here after getting a call from Ohara and he pushed me onto a plane. Next thing I know, you’re here” Ryuichi said and frowned worried.

“What happened?” he asked and Akihito raised a shaky hand to cover his eyes as he bit on his lower lip. The sob shaking the blonde’s shoulders was the last thing Ryuichi could handle. He pulled away the blonde’s hand as he leaned down, attaching their lips.

He didn’t care that Kirishima was still in the room, the guard had seen and heard more than this. The only thing Ryuichi cared about were the chapped lips against his own. At first, they didn’t move, just frozen against Ryuichi’s. But that didn’t take long to change.

Ryuichi felt like coming home when Akihito kissed him back, his arms wrapping around his neck. The feeling of the blonde responding to him, even after what had happened, felt like it made Ryuichi complete. He wasn’t even feeling aroused despite the extreme lack of anything in the past months. After being deprived of his blonde for such a long time, a mere kiss was already way more than he could ask for.

Asami pulled back, reaching his hand up to cup the blonde’s cheek, wiping away the stray tear that slipped past the corner of his eye. Akihito looked caught between elation and guilt, remorse and happiness. Ryuichi knew what was going to come.

“Don’t you dare say it, Akihito” he said and the blonde looked away.

“We can’t” he said and Ryuichi took the photographer’s face in between his hands.

“I told you not to say it, Akihito” he repeated and as he forced the younger male to look at him.

“Letting you go was the biggest mistake of my life. Not one I plan on making a second time” Ryuichi said and stared the blonde dead in the eye.

“If you still love me, stay with me. If you love me and leave me, I’ll kill you and then kill myself” the crime-lord exaggerated, though that was how he felt.

“Please don’t go killing off one of my patients who we worked hard for to prevent from dying” an unfamiliar voice said as it entered the room. Ryuichi looked up displeased while Akihito rubbed his eyes.

“Doc, how are they?” he asked immediately as the tall man in a white coat waved Ryuichi away as he walked over to the bed.

“Let’s talk about you first, shall we” he said and send a glance at Ryuichi, who clearly had no intention of exiting the room.

“You gave us quite a scare back then” the doctor said as he stopped next to Akihito’s bed to check his stats while the blonde looked at him expectantly.

“It looks like all your vitals are okay again, so this can go now” the doctor said as he reached for the nasal cannula, removing it gently.

“Now, to answer your question, your babies were born safely and were crying as soon as they were out. Good pair of lungs those two have. They are currently on NICU in observation, as always done with premature births” he said and Ryuichi’s thoughts came to a stop at those words. He was barely able to catch the explanation of Akihito’s condition that followed.

“As for you, your condition was worse than theirs. After baby B was delivered, the valve that keeps the bowels plugged, closed up too early, trapping the placentas. Because they were stuck, you continued to bleed.

The hormone that makes you lower half numb during delivery so the passage can stretch out to its fullest, had been too little to hold on longer and caused the valve to clamped up. One of our nurses had to go in and hold the valve open so the placentas could be pulled out. If they had been too late, you might have bled to death” Peter said and Akihito merely looked at him while Ryuichi’s mind was still struggling to catch up.

“How are they?” Akihito repeated without blinking, ignoring the raised eyebrow he received from the doctor and Ryuichi’s inner turmoil.

“Should be here any minute now” the doctor informed and Ryuichi looked up at him. Babies? Baby A? Baby B? What the hell was going on? Had Akihito been pregnant? By who? Since when? Was he allowed to shoot the father?

As Akihito shifted to sit up straighter, Ryuichi’s attention was drawn to the crib that was rolled into the room by a nurse, followed by Ohara. Kirishima looked shocked as the crib was rolled past him until it stood next to the bed.

“Do we have to remove him from the room?” the doctor asked as he looked at Ryuichi, who was stuck staring at the crib, exactly like Akihito.

“No, it’s okay. He’s… the father” Akihito said, like pulling a rug from under Ryuichi’s feet. The crime-lord’s attention shifted to the blonde, who only had eyes for the two small children in the crib.

“Thought so. No wonder you never went in on the advances of the nurses” the doctor said and the nurse send him a sour look.

“That’s too blunt, Peter” she said as she picked up one of the babies. Akihito looked expectant as he held out his arm, easily moulding them to accept the baby into his arms and against his chest, looking at it in wonder and bewilderment, but like it had hung the moon in the sky.

“And the little girl goes to daddy” the nurse said as she stood next to the raven, waiting for him to take over the bundle of blankets from her. Ryuichi, though shocked beyond words, moved his arms to accept the child being placed in them.

It was hard to describe what he felt as he looked down on the little child in his arms. He studied the lightly chubby cheeks, the little mouth that moved to open and close. The tiny hands that moved from under the blanket, squeezing and reaching out without a pattern.

Feeling light-headed, Ryuichi sat down on the bed next to Akihito’s hips, his eyes trailing away from the baby in his arms to the baby in Akihito’s, while the blonde did the same. The two babies were identical, besides for the different coloured hats. The one Ryuichi held was pink, while the other was blue.

“They’re my babies” Akihito said with a smile as a tear slipped down his cheek.

“Well, duh. What did you expect? Velociraptors?” the doctor said amused, though his joke earned him an elbow in the gut, courtesy of the nurse.

“Both are mine?” Ryuichi couldn’t help but ask, his eyes on the blonde, who looked up at him before giving a nod.

“They’re born at 35 weeks and 5 days. The boy weighs 5lb 9oz and is 19" long, while the girl weighs 5lb 6oz and is 18 1/2" long. Both are the picture of clean health” the doctor said and the nurse smiled.

“Do you already know their names?” she asked and Akihito smiled.

“Beni and Taisei” he said and Ryuichi looked down at his daughter, raising his hand to catch one of her tiny one with his fingers. He was really having trouble with finding his footing in this whole situation, but the child in his arms demanded all his attention at the moment.

They were soon ushered out of the room by the nurse so Akihito could feed the twins, not feeling comfortable enough to do so with everyone around. Ryuichi would have protested if he didn’t need the time to ground himself and get himself back together again.

As he leaned against the wall next to the room, feeling the ghost of his daughter still in his arms, Ohara and Kirishima looked at him. Their expressions were dreading, yet awaiting.

“Kirishima. Tell Suoh to put up the divorce papers” Ryuichi said, leaving no discussion about what would happen after this. He couldn’t leave Akihito, not again. He knew he was giving up on his brother, but he had already left the one he loved once, when he had been pregnant and carrying their children. It was not going to happen again.

“Already prepared, sir” Kirishima said and Ryuichi gave a nod. It was obvious that they would be staying in Canada until Akihito was healthy enough to travel back to Japan. Ryuichi had a lot of cleaning up to do on top of the grovelling.

Chapter Text

Awkward. That was how the first three days in the hospital went, where Akihito had been forced to stay to recover from his surgery. He had been in so much pain, but compared to the delivery without epidural, it was pretty much nothing. Constantly being around his pups helped too with forgetting the pain.

But the awkward part of things was the fact that Asami refused to stray from his side, not even for a cigarette break. They hadn’t really talked about things, though they knew they should. It was just all about the pups, which Akihito didn’t mind. He was just anxious for the conversation they were bound to have. At least now they would have it at home, since he had been released.

“Misha, could you please stop baiting Asami? I know you’re having fun, but I don’t want either of my pups to get infected by your sadistic tendencies” Akihito said as he looked at where Mikhail stood, smirking at Asami while holding Taisei, smug about the fact that both babies had blonde, almost white hair, a clear sign that Akihito as well as his children were part Arbatov.

Dimitri send his son a displeased look while Raizou merely chuckled. Alexei was too busy taking pictures of Beni in Akihito’s arms and posting them on the internet to care.

Akihito’s family had arrived just that morning, the second day of his return home on full bedrest. Asami had clearly been irritated by the whole thing, though the revelation of Akihito being Mikhail’s half-brother hadn’t shocked him. No doubt Mikhail had baited him before by revealing it.

Sorry, but it’s just too fun to pass up” Mikhail said in Russian, something both him and Alexei had practically forced the photographer to learn on a spartan pace. When Alexei had heard that Akihito could speak Italian after just a few months, he had taken it upon himself to teach Akihito.

Because part of Akihito’s roots laid in Russia, Alexei had used it as reason to teach him Russian. Not that Akihito minded, since he had been rather bored and interested in learning a new language. Mikhail had picked up on it, though had started with teaching the more vulgar side of things. Not really that much of a surprise.

You’ve got a shitty personality, Misha” Akihito said, causing Asami and Kirishima to look at him in surprise.

Ha! Now you hear it from someone else!” Alexei said while Dimitri and Raizou snickered. Despite Akihito saying that they were welcome to stay the night, the Russians and Raizou, who had travelled along with them, waved it off, not wanting to impose and overwhelm either Akihito or the babies, though they did have to practically push Mikhail outside.

As soon as they left, so did most of the excitement of the day, leaving Akihito alone with the Japanese crime-lord and two of his men. The two guards suggested to take Ao out for a walk, giving Asami and Akihito privacy for a while.

Awkwardness returned to Akihito as Asami sat down on the couch next to him as he fed the twins, self-conscious of the fact that it should be incredibly weird and freakish for a man to breastfeed. When Akihito had first heard the question of what he wanted to do, he had been confused, not thinking that males were capable of producing milk. Then again, he hadn’t though they would be able to carry babies either.

Asami seemed extremely pleased with the sight, watching the two babies rest on the nursing pillow with their lips attached to Akihito’s chest that had remained flat, only producing milk when the twins stimulated the production. The crime-lord’s hand reached out to brush the downy white hair on Taisei’s head as the pup drank with his eyes closed.

“They’re beautiful” Asami said and Akihito could do nothing but agree as he looked down on the twins with a fond smile. From the first time he had seen the, he had been a feeling of ‘Ah, there you are. I’ve been looking for you’.

The second day had been a little harder, with him worrying about the idea that he might be giving one more affection than the other. But every day, his love for the two pups only grew stronger. He had feared that because of his surgery immediately after the birth, that he wouldn’t have that connection with them, but everything had just clicked.

“Will you come back to Tokyo with me?” Asami asked out of the blue and Akihito reply was immediate.

“As it is now? Hell no” he said bluntly and Asami looked up at him.

“I do have some cleaning up-” he started, but was cut off by the blonde.

“Some?” he parroted and Asami’s expression remained neutral.

“A lot of cleaning up to do. Starting with Yumika” he said and Akihito looked down.

“About her. Akihito, I need you to know that I did not marry her out of love” the crime-lord said and Akihito gave a hum.

“I know” he said and Asami looked confused and mildly surprised.

“You do?” he asked and the blonde gave a nod.

“Yeah, I uhm… I kinda noticed that there was something wrong and I investigated a bit” he admitted and Asami frowned.

“Investigated what?” he asked and Akihito glanced up at him.

“The fact that she’s blackmailing you with your older brother Ryunosuke, who might still be alive” he said and Asami tensed.

“You… how did you find out about that?” he asked and Akihito scratched the back of his neck.

“With all the commotion around the rising crime-rate, the government slipped on their protection on their civilian files. I kinda hacked in and found your family files” Akihito said and lowered his hand again.

“Kirishima, Suoh and Ohara helped me to investigate the reason behind the black-mail. That way, we found out about hotaru and where you used to live. I got curious when I saw something suspicious on the morgue file of your brother and everything just clicked together” Akihito said and was almost amused by how easy he made that sound.

“Kirishima and Suoh continued to find proof of Yumika’s abuse of power and black-mailing. I was supposed to wait for them to finish it up, but I was still curious, so I continued to look for your brother” Akihito said guilty and Asami looked down.

“What did you find?” he asked and the blonde shook his head.

“I found out nothing about his whereabouts, but I’m almost certain that he’s still alive. I found some files about a secret black op organization, but I couldn’t get past the security” he admitted and felt guilty at Asami’s silence.

“I’m sorry. Maybe I shouldn’t have investigated, or at least had more information” he said and Asami shook his head.

“No, this is more than enough. If my brother is still alive, that’s enough. He wouldn’t want me to spend my life looking for him” he said and looked at the twins.

“I thought that I would have to do the complete story to make you understand why I married Yumika” he said and Akihito picked up Taisei when he was done drinking.

“You can always tell me the story if you want. You know I’ll listen” he said and Asami picked up Beni to burp her against his shoulder while Akihito did the same with her twin brother. Asami glanced at him, watching Taisei fall asleep against the blonde’s chest.

“I don’t remember anything about my parents, but I do remember my aunt. At first glance, she seemed like a good woman. A hard-working woman taking care of her brother’s children, that was what she made the neighbourhood believe her to be” Asami said and leaned back in the sofa, gently rubbing Beni’s back.

“But she wasn’t. She was hardly good and she didn’t work. The only work she did was drag the shopping bags from the shopping district to our dodgy apartment. That and beating up my brother. Beating a person up is a lot of work” the crime-lord said and Akihito resisted the urge to snort and point out that he would know.

Now as not the time for jokes or good-natured jabs. Asami was finally talking to him about something personal. It had never happened before and Akihito felt that it must be because Asami had come to a realization. The same one Akihito had had, feeling that they needed to communicate more.

“Ryunosuke had warned her that he didn’t care what he had to do or how much she beat him up, as long as she didn’t touch me. So she took everything out on him” Asami said and Akihito listened in silence.

“He was force to go to work to earn money for her and our living expenses. But because we were so young, there was no place that would hire him. Except for gang, which was what he joined. Because I didn’t want my brother to go through those things alone and to have to work so hard on his own while I did nothing, I went and looked for a job.

I started with just cleaning windows and houses, small chores that people didn’t want to do. It didn’t pay much, but if I did enough of them, I was able to buy a bag of rice which we could eat from for a couple of days.

When I was cleaning windows of a house one day, the guy asked me if I wanted to earn some extra, so I said yes. I wasn’t going to pass up any money, so I helped bag up drugs. Whether it were pills or drugs, it didn’t matter. It was something even a kid could do, even if they shouldn’t.

Ryunosuke was angry as first when he found me. He had to run an errand for his brother and found me bagging up some pills. We had a huge fight but he eventually gave up when I kept holding on that I did it to help him and take the burden away a little. I started working on the streets not soon after, dropping off the bags I made, taking the money and returning it to the house.

The more I did, the more money we earned, the more comfortable both me and my brother were. He ranked up in the gang and I became a well-known local drug-dealer. But because we had more money, Chiaki started demanding more. Ryunosuke wouldn’t give her anything, so she turned to me.

From the second she laid one hit on me, Ryunosuke snapped. There was a pretty rough struggle before Chiaki tipped over the balustrade of the stairs. She landed on her neck and died, even though the fall wasn’t high.

The cops came and arrested both of us. I was charged for drug-dealing and send to juvie, while Ryunosuke was charged with murder and drug-dealing. Because he was eighteen, he went to prison. It was the last time I saw him before I got the news about his death a year later” Asami said and Akihito remained silent as he looked at the older man.

“About half a year later, I got out of juvie on good behaviour. I got a job as bar-tender and started thinking of Sion. But I never stopped thinking about the fact that my brother might still be alive. I thought his previous gang had identified his body” Asami said and the blonde looked down.

“But they hadn’t” he said and Asami shook his head to confirm the blonde’s words.

“I went to ask them, but they hadn’t even heard that he had been killed” he said and Akihito gave a hum.

“Compared to the that, my story isn’t half as climatic” Akihito said as he rubbed Taisei’s little hand between his fingers softly.

“My mom is actually my aunt. She’s my father’s sister” the blonde said and Asami looked at him.

“My dad was the one to carry me and bring me into this world. Technically, Raizou is my ‘mother’ and Dimitri is my ‘father’. But to me dad will always be dad, and mom will always be mom” Akihito said and looked up at the TV that was playing some kind soap series neither of them was watching.

“They had kept it from me my entire life because they were too scared of how I would react. I had always though that I was different, maybe even adopted. Unlike mom or dad, I don’t have black hair. The only thing I have that’s somewhat like my dad is my eyes, thought mine are lighter” he said and smiled sadly.

“Before Yumika showed up, I was out of it. I was sick, tired, listless. I just wasn’t myself. When I brought it up with Takato and Kou casually, Takato joked that I had the same symptoms as his wife when she had been pregnant” he continued and Asami looked down on the girl in his arms.

“Just for laughs, I bought a test and went back to the penthouse to do it. I had been freaking out and so scared. It had felt like I was holding a gun instead of a test when the waiting time was over” the blonde said and chuckled softly.

“Obviously, the test was positive, but I still didn’t believe it, so I went to the hospital. There it was confirmed that, not only was I pregnant for the past six weeks, I was carrying twins. On top of freaking out about your reaction, everything just clicked” Akihito said and looked sober.

“For a male to possess the Mpreg gene, one of the parents has to be a carrier too. Both my parents are carriers, but they never told me, so I didn’t know. To be honest, I’m kind of surprised it didn’t happen sooner, considering we never used condoms” he admitted and Asami couldn’t rebuke that.

“Anyway, when I came home, I was planning to tell you, because you had a right to know and make a decision with me. Back then, abortion was still an option” the blonde said soft and the words grated at him now that he was holding his pup.

“But then the whole Yumika thing happened and I kept my mouth shut. I went back to Kanagawa to live with my mom when I received a message from Peter, Dr Wright, to move to Canada in order to receive better treatment and more protection. By then, I had already decided to keep them, even if I had to do it alone. That still hasn’t changed” Akihito said and Asami looked at him.

“But you don’t have to do it alone. That’s why I asked you to come back to Tokyo with me” the crime-lord said and Akihito send him a dry look.

“And I have told you that I don’t want to go when it’s this dangerous. I don’t want my pups to be in danger” he said and Asami’s expression remained the same. Clearly, he was not taking no for an answer.

“And that issue will be solved, but for that I have to be in Japan and I have no intention of leaving you again. I have told you before that I will not make the same mistake twice” he said and Akihito felt his heart stutter while his chest clenched, a mixture of happiness and ache filling him at that declaration. Exactly what had happened the first time those words had left the crime-lord’s lips.

“As for the children, they are mine too. I don’t plan on leaving them unprotected. Of course Ohara will remain at your side, and if it makes you feel better, I will add two more guards. I’m sure Kirishima already has a file made up of guards who make the cut” Asami said and Akihito looked down.

“I want you with me, Akihito. I want both you and our kids to be with me in Tokyo” the crime-lord said and the blonde bit on his lip.

“It’s not that easy, Asami” he said soft though he wanted nothing more than to melt into the raven’s chest and let him just fuck everything away.

“We can’t just go back to having a relationship like before. We have kids now. How can we expect to raise them when we can barely even have a healthy relationship?” he said, though it came out more like a question.

“I’m aware. Which is why I want to start over. No, not start over. I want us to try again, this time with more communicating” Asami said and raised a hand to brush one of Akihito’s wayward locks behind his ear.

“I know that I was too possessive and want to lock down your movements too much. I didn’t talk enough and I wasn’t able to convey my feelings. I want to change that, but it might take time” he said and Akihito looked up at him.

“Will you put up with me again?” Asami asked and the blonde swallowed, averting his eyes down again. His chest was hurting, but Akihito didn’t know if it was in a good way or a bad way. Maybe both.

“If you put up with me. We’ll both have to communicate, and we both are stubborn. So if you’re willing to put up with me, I’ll do the same with you” he said and Asami gave a hum, moving his hand to the back of the blonde’s neck.

“If I have to, I’ll have Kirishima hire a relationship therapist” he said and Akihito snorted, completely out of the blue and inappropriate in this situation.

“I’m sorry. I just thought you were going to say that Kirishima was going to be our relationship therapist” the photographer said and Asami couldn’t help but chuckle.

“So, you’ll come back to Tokyo with me?” he asked and Akihito looked up at him before nodding. Asami smiled, leaning down to brush his nose against the blonde’s, making the blonde’s heartbeat flutter.

“Good” the raven said and Akihito was the one closing the space between them, connecting their lips. With a sigh, Asami melted into the touch, his hand tightening in the back of the blonde’s neck as if he would disappear.

Akihito knew the feeling, having had those dreams often enough. Dreams where everything would have felt so real, up until the point Asami would slip through his fingers like sand and he would wake up to reality.

“I’ll get us a unit in the apartment building of my men. That’s where you and the pups will be safest” Asami said as he pulled back from the kiss reluctantly. Akihito chuckled, the sound bringing a pleased sparkle to the raven’s golden eyes.

“You called them pups. I infected you” he said and Asami didn’t mind being infected if it made Akihito regain his smile. Now all Asami had to do was make clean house back in Japan in order to make sure the blonde kept that smile.

Chapter Text

Staying inside, as if that was even an option for Akihito in the first place. He understood why he should, but understanding and executing are two different things. He was getting claustrophobic, staying cooped up inside the apartment Asami had provided.

The apartment wasn’t even that small, since the building was rather modern and the rooms clean and larger than his previous apartment. But Akihito just felt cooped up after sitting inside for the past four weeks.

He knew why and he understood why, but there was a limit to how much he could stay inside.

After arriving back in Tokyo, Asami had confronted Yumika the same day, only to have her run away. Not that it mattered much, considering Asami had merely send everything to the government, which included her father, who had been royally pissed.

Obviously, Asami had sued her right after signing the divorce papers. Papers, which Yumika didn’t need to sign, considering the lawsuit against her for black-mailing Asami into marrying her, stealing his money in the duration of their time spend married and the fake pregnancy which had been proven by DNA results.

Naturally, Yumika was not pleased with that and knew what was above her head. Even more so than the lawsuit, it was the fact that she had used her position in the government to gain the material with which she black-mailed Asami. That proof had been captured by Akihito.

Akihito had seen the situation coming from a mile away. Yumika had no real influence of herself and had even gotten her job coattail-riding. Someone who’s reputation was most important, to have it stripped from her publicly like this, was the worst possible thing to happen. Of course she would run.

But that didn’t mean that Akihito had to stay inside. He had stood up against criminals, been kidnapped by other crime-lords, one of which was his brother. Akihito had been chasing criminals ever since the start of his career as criminal photojournalist.

He had dealt with the likes of crazy stalkers, guns pointed at him, soporifics slipped to him, knives held to his neck, rape, choking, shoot-outs, being shot, shooting himself. As if a little girl not knowing what she had gotten herself into was going to prevent him from coming outside.

Besides, there was no way Asami would leave him unprotected. Since he lived in the building where part of his men resided, Akihito was never alone. Ohara was constantly with him, now with Kirihara and Tsugu. While Ohara was still hired as Akihito’s personal body-guard, Kirihara and Tsugu were tasked with the protection of the twins.

With a huff, Akihito made sure the twins were warm and cosy without overheating, dressed in winter clothes. Both wore a long-sleeved footed onesie underneath a matching sweater and leggings.

Taisei wore a mint-green two-piece with the sleeves matching the white legging with black crosses on it. Beni wore something similar but with stripes. Just to be sure, Akihito pulled the green caps over their heads and added a cardigan before putting them securely in the sling against his chest.

Ao sat down next to the door, holding her leash in her mouth since she had already learned that dogs weren’t allowed off the leash in Tokyo. Not that the whippet-pup really needed a leash in the first place, since it was just for show.

On his way outside, he pulled on the black drape coat he could wrap around the pups if needed. Just because it was almost the end of the winter, didn’t mean that it wasn’t still chilly outside. He picked up the baby-bag, which was luckily just an oversized black bag instead of anything special Alexei had wanted to buy.

As soon as he opened the door, his face fell. In front of his door stood three men dressed in semi-casual clothes, meaning black slacks, black knitted sweaters and a black coat. Semi-casual but dark. And typical for what Asami had told the body-guard to wear in order not to stand out too much. Obviously, that wasn’t going to work.

“I’m not staying inside” Akihito immediately said and Ohara held out his hand.

“We expected you to come out sooner” he admitted and Akihito frowned as he handed over the baby-bag.

“Really?” he asked and the tanned guard gave him a raised eyebrow, as if asking him if he had met himself.

“Wait, how long exactly have you three been waiting?” Akihito asked, brushing off the fact that Ohara really knew him too well.

“Three days, sir” Tsugu said and Akihito’s lips parted in astonishment.

“Then come inside next time! Geez, what the hell are you doing, waiting outside for three days. You did at least go inside to eat and sleep, right?” he asked and the three gave a nod, but it still didn’t make Akihito feel any less guilty. He should have come outside sooner. Or at least noticed them and dragged them inside for some coffee.

“Where to, Akihito-sama?” Ohara asked as they took the stairs down from where Akihito and Asami’s unit was on the second floor, smack in the middle of the building.

“I want something sweet. I miss the café’s free sweets during my breaks” Akihito said and Ohara gave an amused snort.

“You always ate more than one” he pointed out and Akihito looked at him dryly.

“That’s why I used plural. I’ve been eating nothing but vegetables these past weeks and I’m in great need of something sweet. I’ll work it off once I start exercising again” he said and Ohara looked at him inquiring.

“What? You didn’t think I’d start working out again? Shinichi, you’re naïve. I might have waited an extra three days to come outside, but that doesn’t mean anything. Asami might like the whole post-partum body and I don’t have any real problem with it either” Akihito said remembering the way Asami always wanted to trace the stretch-marks on his lower stomach.

Akihito hadn’t carried large, but that didn’t change anything about the fact that he had been stretched and that he his body had carried two children. After almost two months, most of the belly was gone and his abdomen muscles were returning to normal. Akihito really had no problem with it all, but he had a reason to work out again.

“But how do you expect me to work when I’m not in tip-top shape and abandoned my work-out routines? I need to get back to parkour running and building up strength to- what? What’s with that look?” Akihito asked as he noticed the guard’s confused and surprised expression.

“You didn’t think I’d stop working, right? Oh hell no. What else am I supposed to do?” the blonde asked and Ohara blinked at the question that had on obvious answer.

“Stay at home and take care of the pups?” he said and Akihito waved it off.

“Of course I will, and I won’t take jobs that are too dangerous and I won’t take as many of them. I also won’t return to my job for at least half a year. But after that, I have to earn some money, you know. I can’t just stay at home and do nothing” Akihito said and shook his head.

“Honestly, what were you even expecting?” he asked, genuinely curious. He could understand Tsugu and Kirihara’s surprise, but Ohara should really have known better. Just like Akihito should have known better than to think Asami wouldn’t be right at his favourite sweet-shop, waiting for him.

“You really attract the attention of troublesome people, don’t you?” Asami said as soon as Akihito joined him at the table with a slice of cake and a hot cocoa. The crime-lord held out his hands expectantly and Akihito rolled with his eyes as he reached out to undo the wrap.

“Who did I piss off now?” Akihito asked as he handed over Taisei to Asami’s awaiting hands, watching the crime-lord give a rare smile as his son laughed at seeing him.

“The government” Asami said and chuckled as Beni started crying as she saw her brother with the crime-lord. Akihito wondered if children that young could even get jealous, but handed over his daughter none the less. Besides, having Asami hold both pup gave Akihito the freedom to enjoy his cake.

“They found out about the hacking? That’s pretty late if you ask me” the blonde said, taking a sip from his hot beverage.

“I don’t know if they did. I just knew that they are still looking for the dragon-tamer to recruit him into their ranks” Asami said amused as he allowed Beni to play with his hair while Taisei played with his tie. Akihito grimaced at the name being spoken.

“Ugh, which stupid idiot gave me that freak name as if I’m some kind of dominatrix” he said and Asami looked down on Taisei nibbling on the end of his tie.

“That would be Kirihara” he revealed and Akihito gave the guard at the table a little further an unimpressed look.

“Anyway, about that government-shit, they can keep looking. I have no intention of working for them. Besides, they only want to use me in an attempt to have you on their side and dancing to their tune in case something like this happened again. But it’s all their own fault, really. They can wipe their own asses” he said and Asami gave a hum.

“Then I’ll tell Nakazari-san that you said that next time she comes to my office to demand a meeting with you. I’ll even use your exact words” he said and Akihito grimaced.

“No, you don’t have to be that blunt” he said, knowing Asami would be fully capable of doing exactly that, just to rile the other person up. No matter how innocent Asami pretended to be, looking at his children with a fond gaze, Akihito knew the crime-lord was that kind of person.

Yet Akihito was in love with this kind of person, so what must that say about him? At this point, Akihito didn’t really care what it said about him, as he locked his ankles with the crime-lord’s earning his attention. Yet all Akihito was doing was smiling fondly and slightly dreamy at the twins sitting on the raven’s lap.

They were together, but not like before. They talked a lot more now, and not only about tv shows they were seeing or the pups. It hadn’t exactly come easy, but now, they talked about how their day had been and what had worried them and what had amused them.

It was like they were getting to know each other all over again, without the interference of other mafia-bosses, kidnappings, crazy stalkers and all the shit. There wasn’t even sex, but that was likely because of Akihito, who was afraid that he wouldn’t be as… tight, as he was before and that it would disappoint Asami.

A ridiculous worry, he knew. But it wasn’t exactly ridiculous if he couldn’t laugh about it or tell the raven. Asami knew there was something, but didn’t push Akihito like he would have before. It was obvious that he was slightly impatient to know though, yet he gave Akihito the space to gather the courage to tell him.

Besides, it wasn’t because they didn’t have any intercourse, that they didn’t do anything else. After more than nine months nothing, they had to release their pent-up urges somewhere. Mostly in their hands or mouths. But it wasn’t enough. Akihito just needed to get over himself.

And buy some condoms. He wasn’t risking anything anymore, at least for now.

“I’ll be home by six” Asami said as the car stopped in front of the apartment-building where the raven had insisted he would drop Akihito off, Ohara in the front with Kirishima while Tsugu and Kirihara had volunteered to walk back.

“Hmm, it’s Italian tonight. One of Dante’s grandmother’s recipes that I promised I’d make” Akihito said and Asami gave a hum, turning the blonde’s face towards him for a kiss.

“Don’t burn anything” he warned and Akihito huffed affronted as he stepped out of the car.

“When have I ever?” he demanded to know, though didn’t expect an answer. As the car drove away again, Akihito walked up the stairs to the second floor with Ohara behind him. They were almost on the last stair when Beni lost her grip on her pastel yellow comfort blanket.

Akihito grimaced as he felt the wail even before it started. His pups were laughing most of the time, but when they cried, they really had a good set of lungs. Thank god the walls were thick or their neighbours would have woken up.

“I’ll go get it” Ohara said as he turned around while Akihito tried to sooth Beni before her cry infected Taisei. Having one fire-house alarm was enough, he didn’t need a second to join. However, that was exactly what happened as Akihito fumbled for the key of the apartment-unit. At the sound of footsteps, Akihito breathe a sigh of relief.

“Oh thank god” he said and looked up, freezing when it was not Ohara, but a gun staring him right in the face. Automatically, Akihito’s arm came up around his pups in a feeble attempt to become a bullet-proof shield as his eyes followed the gun up to a familiar face.

Though it looked rather different, Akihito still had no trouble recognizing Yumika. Her black hair was a mess and greasy, as were her clothes, dripping with dirt and mud-water. Her face was full of grime and pulled into a disgusted sneer.

“How dare you take Ryuichi away from me, you filthy slut” the woman fallen from grace hissed and Akihito’s eyebrow twitched. Not only had she forced herself in between Asami and himself by black-mailing the crime-lord, she now had the guts to point a gun at his children? What if she pulled the trigger?

“Yumika, calm down and lower your gun” Akihito said and swallowed thickly when he heard the tell-tale click of the gun loading.

“I am calm” the raven said and Akihito was not going to point out the crazed look in her eyes and the shaking of her hands.

“You should have stayed away from my Ryuichi! He is mine! You only stand in the way of our happiness! You ruined my whole life” she yelled, her strained voice only distressing the twins more.

“You should just die!” Yumika cried and Akihito looked over her shoulder, relief flooding his expression. The woman looked back, following the blonde’s line of gaze into the empty hallway. Before she could turn her attention back to the blonde, a hand wrapped around her wrist and throat.

A gasp left her lips as Akihito all but threw her against the wall as hard as he could without jostling the pups too much. Akihito slammed her wrist against the wall again, until the gun clattered onto the ground and he could kick it away. Glaring at the raven, he tightened his grip on her neck and wrist.

“How dare you point a gun at my children, you deranged bitch” Akihito said calmly, not even making it seem like a question.

“Also, Asami was never yours to begin with. You were the one who ruined your own life by trying to black-mail him into marrying you without knowing who you had in front of you” Akihito said as the woman struggled to make him release the grip on her neck.

“Next time you dare to point your gun at Asami’s children, who really are his children and not some fake pregnancy, you’ll end up at the bottom of Tokyo bay. And it won’t be him sending you there, but me” the blonde warned and finally released the raven and looked up at Ohara standing at the side, waiting for him to finish.

“I’m done now” he said, ignoring Yumaki couching roughly on her knees.

“You sure?” Ohara asked and Akihito gave a hum.

“Yeah. Besides, she smells like the sewers, she’s been through enough” the photographer said, knowing just how bad the sewers smelled from one of his earliest stake-outs. Ohara gave a nod as he grabbed Yumika by the back of her dirty shirt that had supposed to be white, and hauled her up to her feet.

“Here” Akihito said as he bent through his knees to pick up the gun with the handkerchief from his back-pocket.

“I don’t need the hanky back” he said as he held out the gun to the guard who hand stripped Yumika’s wrist behind her back with industrial cable ties he no doubt had taken from his pocket.

Ohara nodded as he took over the wrapped up gun, putting it behind the waistband of his slacks before taking out his phone to call Tsugu and Kirihara, telling them to hurry up. Akihito send a pitying look at the horribly crying Yumika.

Another one of Asami’s many victims of heart-break. A Chinese crime-lord, a former model and now a famous government worker. All of them had been obsessed with the same person. They had fallen from grace for him and two of them had thrown everything away. Yet Asami had chosen the silly little photographer.

It was so morbidly amusing that Akihito couldn’t even laugh. He was exactly like those obsessed with Asami, yet somehow, someway, he had been able to charm his way into Asami’s life. Looking at Yumika as she was dragged away, a disgraceful shell of her former self, Akihito didn’t know if he should be grateful for the fact that Asami had chosen him or not.

But it was too late for that. Hell, he even had kids with the man. There was no running now. Not that Akihito wanted to run. No, he wanted to go inside, wait for the crime-lord to come home and then start bitching about yet another crazy-ass person becoming obsessed with him.

And after that, maybe he could consider allowing Asami to take him to bed. If the pups would sleep long enough for at least one round, that was. Akihito wondered what Asami would think, being cock-blocked by his own off-springs. The thought made Akihito snicker as he was finally able to sooth his pups, a weight lifting from his shoulders now that he had been able to speak his mind against the irritating bitch.

Chapter Text

Two young kids, both barely in their third year of middle school, sat in a dusty warehouse. Their arms were tied behind their back and their uniforms were dirtied with blotches of mud where they had been wrestled to the ground. Neither of the two looked scared or even remotely worried. One looked irritated while the other looked excited.

“Ugh, are you fucking kidding me? I just got this uniform washed” one of them complained in an annoyed voice, earning an eye-roll from the person sitting next to him.

“Would you stop being such a princess. They’re just clothes” the other said and the first one huffed.

“Clothes that cover our bodies and prevent perverts from seeing things we don’t want them to see” he pointed out and the other scoffed.

“I don’t have any trouble with that. Perverts always go after you” she said and her companion grimaced.

“Could you please not remind me of that? I don’t get it. We look exactly alike, so why do they always target me?” he said and she looked at him.

“Because you’re an easy target and I’m not” she pointed out and her companion scoffed.

“Then why are you captured too, huh?” he taunted and the young female raised an eyebrow.

“Because I wanted to be here, duh. If it had been just a regular pervert, I would have left you alone. But since they look like crooks, I figured I’d see what they’re made of” she said and the young boy gave her a deadpan look.

“Wow, geez. Thanks, sis. I can feel the love” he said monotone and his sister scoffed as she looked towards the trio of crooks playing a card-game

“Judging by the fact that those three are completely relaxed, I’d say they have no idea who we are. They just know dad and probably hope to use us against him as his weakness” she said and her brother glanced sideways at her.

“I don’t care. I just don’t want to be involved with all this” he said and she looked back at him.

“Then why are you still here?” she asked and the boy sighed.

“Because I don’t feel like moving. Besides, papa and dad will be here soon and then I can go and wash my uniform. Again” he said and his sister rolled with her eyes.

“Okay, okay, Diva. Your uniform is dirty, the rope is burning into your skin and you might have broken a nail. Boo-freaking-hoo. Do you have to suck the life out of my entertainment like this?” she asked rhetorical and the male looked away.

“The rope isn’t burning my skin and neither did I break a nail. Besides, what you think is fun, is fucked up. You should really go find some meds for that” he said and she glared at him.

“Shut up. Just because I don’t enjoy myself running like you do, doesn’t mean my version of fun is fucked up. If there is anything fucked up, it’s the way you change girlfriends like underwear”

“Could you stop making it sound as if I’m doing it for the heck of it? I have honestly liked every girl I’ve gone out with”

“Oh yeah? Then, what’s the name of the girl you’re currently going out with?”

“Which one?”

“Like I said, the one you’re dating right now”

“Like I said, which one?”

“Ugh, you’re dating two at the same time?”

“Actually, I’m dating three, but one of them is a guy”

“You’re such a slut! How am I even related to you?”

“I wonder the same thing. And don’t call me a slut, you baboon”

“Gigolo”

“Flat-chested gorilla”

“Man-whore”

“Brace-face”

“Wanabe host”

“Muscle-head”

“Dick-head”

“Friendless idiot”

“Jail-bait”

“Fight-freak”

“Princess”

“Die-hard wanabe”

“WOULD YOU TWO SHUT THE FUCK UP?!” a loud voice yelled, belonging to the crook walking in front of the group joining the trio that was already inside the abandoned warehouse. While his outburst did stop the duo from throwing insulting nicknames at one another, he was now on the receiving end of two dry looks. The disinterest in those matching golden orbs unnerved him as he grimaced.

The two children in front of him were well-known in the underground of Tokyo. Beni and Taisei, Asami Ryuichi’s twins. The duo were like two drops of water, if not for a few differences. Beni, the girl, had short blonde hair while her brother had his hair a little longer, yet in the exact same colour.

However, the main difference between them was in their eyes. Beni’s golden eyes were said to hold the same fire as the man who gave birth to her, defiant and unrelenting. Taisei on the other hand, had eyes that were more like the smouldering embers of a fire, disinterested and bored.

“You two, do you have any idea in what kind of situation you are right now?” the crook asked threatening as he stopped in front of the twins, who looked up at him.

“A kidnapping, right?” Taisei said unimpressed as his sister scoffed amused.

“Besides, dude, why the hell are you acting as if you’re the leader when the one in charge is clearly the one smoking a cigarette over there” she taunted and the group of six crooks froze before they looked at the mentioned man, who raised an eyebrow at Beni’s smug smirk.

“Pretty sharp, aren’t you, little lady?” the mentioned crook said as he stepped forward, dropping his cigarette onto the ground to step out under the sole of his shoe.

“Unlike you” Taisei said lazily as the came to a stop in front of them his subordinate moving away to make place for him.

“And why is that, kid?” the man asked and Beni gave a hum.

“Well, because you kidnapped us” she explained in one sentence and the man barked a laugh.

“Are you saying I should be afraid of your daddy? Hah, what can the great Asami Ryuichi do when I have his children captive?!” he laughed and Taisei sighed.

“You’re not from around here, are you, old man?” he asked and the man glared at him, put off by the fact that his attempt at intimidating the twins wasn’t working the way he wanted to.

“Certainly, dad is scary. I won’t deny you on that. But the one who you really should be scared off, is not Dad, but Papa” she said and Taisei gave a shudder with a grimace.

“You mean Takaba Akihito, the one they called dragon tamer? Yeah, I researched that far! That papa of yours is nothing but a weak piece of shit! What can that pathetic little photographer do to us?” the man taunted and Taisei looked away with a sigh as Beni’s head hung down.

“You, what did you just say?” she asked and the man barked a laugh.

“What? Gonna cry now that I’ve insulted your beloved papa, little princess?” he taunted and Taisei sucked in his breath through his teeth at the second taboo. One was insulting their papa in front of her and the second was calling her ‘princess’.

Taisei was unsurprised as Beni turned around, placing her hand on the ground and kicking her leg up, the bottom of her foot catching the crook under his chin. Eyes widened as the man toppled back, blacking out.

“That’s fucking Queen for you, dirty pig” Beni said and Taisei heaved a deep, long sigh.

“Guess the gig’s up. Go forth, sister, and ram their teeth into the back of their throats” the male blonde said dryly as he took his hands away from his back, the ropes he had been holding onto dropping to the ground. If they were really thugs, the least they could do was tie them up decently.

“You don’t have to tell me, asshole!” Beni said as she grabbed the collar of the man closest to her, pulling him down to her height as she brought her head forwards. Taisei dryly looked at the cellphone in his hands, undisturbed by the sound of the man’s nose breaking.

While to others, it might seem like pathetic or even cowardly to let his sister fight, but that wasn’t the case at all. Both of them had studied martial arts, but Taisei just didn’t have an interest in it like Beni had. So unlike Beni, Taisei had kept it at one fighting style. But that didn’t make him weak. Just lazy.

But what could he say? He never wanted to be involved with the whole underground business in the first place. Beni was the one who had an interest in it, who was determined to help people like some kind of anti-hero. And while Taisei thought it was ridiculous, he couldn’t help but feel that if there was someone who could do it, it would be his sister.

The biggest obstacle for her would likely be convincing their papa to allow her to do it. Their dad had no problem with having Beni as successor, but their papa was really the highest hurdle to overcome. Not even their dad, the most powerful king-pin of Japan, could go against the man’s wishes.

Asami Ryuichi might be the head of the family, but the one calling the shots was without a doubt Takaba Akihito. The same pathetic little photographer that had managed to make the government run in circles for the past fifteen years. The same man who could sink Japan into a pandemonium by disappearing from their dad’s side. Beni and Taisei had learned a long time ago not to fuck with their papa.

“Ah fuck” Taisei cursed as he closed the game of angry birds he was playing to read his message. Beni gave a hum as she was slightly distracted from the guy she was holding in an arm-bar while smashing her palm repeatedly into his cheek, glancing away to watch her twin stand up.

“I have a date with Kaede in ten minutes” he said and shoved his phone in his pocket.

“If I run, I might still make it” he said and stepped forward into the direction of the door, trusting his sister not to leave loose ends.

“You think I’ll let you run, you shitty brat?!” one of the crooks said and grabbed Taisei’s arm. The blood dripping from his nose landed on the blazer covering his shoulder, making the blonde’s eyebrow twitch.

He reached for his lower back, his hand closing around the handle of his gun before he drew it from the holster behind his waistband. With his free hand, he took a hold of the thug’s wrist and pulled him forward while forcing the barrel of his gun under the man’s chin.

“Don’t fucking touch me with your dirty-ass hands” he said, his voice threatening as his eyes glared coldly upwards into the man’s face. The gun suddenly had the man whistled another tune.

“P-please don’t shoot me” he whimpered and Beni and Taisei looked up at the ware-house doors opened, their guards up for reinforcements.

“Called it!” a familiar voice came and sigh followed. Both young teenagers relaxed as they saw familiar men file into the ware-house to take over.

“Did that idiot think you had a real gun?” Beni asked as she stepped up next to her brother, he skirt ripped to show the biker-shorts she wore underneath while Taisei put away his airsoft gun.

“As if papa would ever allow us to carry real guns” Beni said and Taisei scoffed.

“As I would ever want to carry a real gun” he said as they walked over to where their parents stood in the door opening of the warehouse, Beni announcing how many kicks in the balls she had given.

“Good job!” papa said as he held up two thumbs, earning a grin from his daughter while Taisei merely sighed and let his head hang.

“Is that really what a parent should be saying?” he questioned and a heavy hand fell on top of his head to ruffle up his hair.

“I’m glad you’re okay” Dad said and Taisei blushed slightly as he looked up at the tall raven looking back at him with a fond smile. The blonde gave a silent hum as he leaned into his father’s touch before it fell away. At the commotion inside, the family looked up to see the leader make a run for it towards the door-opening where they stood.

“Don’t even think about it” papa said as he pulled his hand back before throwing the object inside his grip towards the thug, hitting him square in the face. The guard closest by flailed to catch the cellphone that was the blonde’s favourite projectile.

“Thank god I bought him a rugged one years ago” dad commented as Beni held her hand up for a high-five papa easily answered, the cellphone to the face having slowed the man down enough for Suoh to tackle him to the ground with his nose broken and teeth missing. Their papa’s aim with a phone was terrifying.

“Hmm? Taisei, didn’t you have a date?” Beni asked and the blonde grimaced. The young lady wondered what kind of excuse her brother would come up with now to explain his dirty state, especially concerning the splatters blood on his shoulder.

“Fuck!” he said and turned away quickly.

“I’ll be home late!” he called as he already started running away.

“We’re having sushi!” papa called out after him immediately, no doubt having won some kind of bet their parents always had.

“I’ll be home by seven!” Taisei changed his mind before using the junk standing against one of the containers to scale up the side of it right as Kirihara exited the ware-house.

“Oh shit, how the fuck am I supposed to keep up with him now?!” he complained as he pulled a sprint to attempt to catch up with the ace of the track-club.

“I definitely don’t envy him” Tsugu said as he stepped up next to the young lady he was supposed to bodyguard.

“Honestly. It’s Taisei’s fault in the first place we got kidnapped. If he hadn’t seen ‘the perfect wall he just had to climb’, we wouldn’t have lost you two” Beni agreed and the crime-lord send his smirking lover a look, one that had Beni question just how often that had happened to her papa.

Really, for all Taisei complained that he didn’t want to get involved with all this kidnapping and such, seven out of ten times, it was his fault that they got caught. It was one of the main reasons Beni had gotten so strong. But if Taisei ever knew that Beni did it to protect him, he would be sulking for days.

“Come on, let’s go home. Uncle Alex and uncle Misha are coming tomorrow with uncle Fei-long and uncle Yoh” papa said as he placed a hand on Beni’s back.

“Hmm? Are we celebrating something?” she asked as she looked up at him, seeing the smirk her dad was sending the oldest blonde.

“The anniversary of the return of the dragon tamer and bringer of peace” he said and the blonde pouted.

“I can’t believe that they really did make that a tradition. I swear, one of these days, I will put laxation in their food” he said and the raven chuckled as he ushered them into the back of the limo.

“What about Aunt Leonia?” Beni asked and her papa smiled at her.

“If you want, we can go to Italy next vacation? I’m sure Leonia will like that” he said and Beni smiled before nodding.

“It’ll be a good timing to meet up with Di Caroso” her dad said and the blonde scoffed.

“You’re going to make me translate again?” he teased and the raven merely regarded him. As soon as a smirk spread on the older man’s lips, the blonde blushed, muttering something in Italian as he looked out of the window. Beni tilted her head with a curious hum while her dad dismissed her curiosity with a smile and a shake of his head, silently telling her it was something between adults.

“You should call uncle Kei and uncle Suoh. Kei actually fainted when he got the call that you were kidnapped again” the raven said and Beni grimaced, knowing that the biggest scolding would not come from her parents, but from her two uncles. From all of her uncles, really. But this time, she would pin her brother down before he could run out on her and leave her to deal with it on her own.