"Wah~! It's big!"
"Rei, don't stray too far!"
Azumaya Junta and Saijou Takato watched as their daughter looked out at the vast ocean in front of them before running into the sand. Thanks to some strings being pulled, the two actors were finally able to get a long enough break to spend some much needed vacation time with Rei. Looking at the scenery around them and then to their hotel behind them, Takato had to admit it was impressive that they were able to get such a luxurious private hotel even with their grand salaries. Though he had a sneaking suspicion...
"Just how many strings did you pull to get this hotel?" He asked his husband, Junta tilting his head in confusion.
"All I said was I wanted to take some time off with you and Rei."
"Liar! There's no way we could've gotten all this just by saying that!"
"Daddy!" Takato immediately cut away from his bickering as Rei called out for him, smiling as she rushed over to them with excitement-filled eyes. "Come on~!" Pulling on both of her fathers' hands, they allowed themselves to be dragged over into the sand. Both men watched as Rei immediately went out to catch the waves, only to pull back the moment they came crashing towards her.
Junta gave a laugh as he watched Rei go after the waves, setting their stuff down. "Takato-san, I'm going to go get the umbrella from the rental station, do we need anything else?"
"No, if we're staying here until our dinner reservation, I think we'll be okay." Takato began to take off his hoodie in preparation to join Rei. "Don't you dare, you insatiable baka angel." He muttered, seeing Junta reaching to touch him; the look in those yellow-green eyes undeniably filled with the desire to monopolize a 'beach Takato.'
Junta blinked in surprise and laughed, giving his lover's hand a squeeze and kissing him before leaving to get the umbrella.
Takato gave a chuckle as he came over to Rei, his daughter giving a small shriek when the wave splashed her. "Does it feel nice?" He asked, Rei looking up and smiling in response.
"Un!" Picking her up, Takato slowly walked into the ocean, stopping when they were at a point where the water lightly splashed against their necks. "Ready?" He asked, Rei nodding and taking a big breath. "One...two...three!" At the countdown, Takato dunked both of their bodies underneath the water, bouncing back up to the surface after a few seconds.
Rei released her breath and laughed, shaking the excess water off her hair. "Again!" She pleaded, Takato unable to refuse the same begging eyes her father often used.
"One...two..." Before Takato had the chance to finish the countdown, he himself was dunked under the water by someone else. Rei pushing out of his hold and feeling strong arms wrap around his body, unwilling to let go as the actor bursted back up to the surface. Looking behind him, he saw Junta smiling at him as he held Takato in his arms.
"B-baka! You don't scare people like that in the ocean!" He remarked, pushing out of the hold and splashing his husband.
"Sorry, I'll pay a thousand yen later." Junta replied, keeping his radiant smile as a crimson-faced Takato continued to douse him in seawater. "But it was Rei's idea in the first place." He added with a chuckle, Rei giggling at her fathers' antics as she swam over and locked her arms around Junta's neck.
" 'Operation Surprise Daddy' worked!" She cheered, Takato sighing at her glee. He was going to kill Junta if she ended up picking up his habit of surprise attacks.
After an well deserved dinner, the three had taken to walking along the beach. While Rei had taken to running along the shoreline, Junta and Takato took a more leisurely pace with Junta sneaking kisses every minute much to Takato's annoyance and pleasure.
Rei continued to run across the sand before slowing her pace, looking over at the plants growing on the beach. "Wah~" Moving over to the flora, her eyes widened in awe at the flowers. Such a pretty shade of white! But... "Papa! Daddy!"
Both Junta and Takato cut out from their current kiss and walked over as she called them. "What's wrong, Rei?" Takato asked, Rei looking up at them with a look of curiosity.
"The flowers didn't bloom all the way." She spoke, Junta noticing the one she held in her hand. While the flower did have petals on the bottom, none were on the top of the flower, as if it was incomplete.
Takato also noticed such, giving a smile. "No, the flower is supposed to be like this." He explained, crouching down to her height and picking his own. "This is a Naupaka."
"Nau...paka?" Rei tilted her head in confusion, looking at the flower's petals.
"This flower blooms here on the beach like this, while the same flower blooms up in the mountain in the same way" Takato told her. "The reason for that comes from a story about the flower."
"What kind of story?" Rei asked, looking over at Junta, who gave a softer smile. The story was interesting and of course both men had heard it before, but knowing Rei...
"A long time ago, there was a fire goddess who had fallen in love with a man who already had a lover." Junta spoke, looking at the flowers. "Despite the two being madly in love, the fire goddess' father was enraged that she would fall for someone who was not of the same nobility as herself." Rei's expression shifted to one of worry at his words. "Fearing his wrath, the man escaped to the sea while the fire goddess escaped to the mountains, but they were separated for eternity. The flowers represent where they ran off to."
Rei looked back down at the flower in her grasp, the curiosity in her gaze being replaced by sadness. "Why...if they both loved each other...then why couldn't they stay together?" She asked, both men giving her empathetic smiles. It wasn't like they didn't understand why she wouldn't like such an ending; they knew why more than anyone.
"Come on, don't look so sad." Takato encouraged, picking her up. "I know it's not happy, but it's only a story." He always hated seeing when such sadness marked her face, regardless of what the cause of it was.
"...Un. It's just a story." Rei agreed and gave a small smile, holding on tightly to her father as the three made their way back to the hotel. Watching the scenery grow farther and farther away, Rei bit her lip and gripped the flower in her hand- an action that did not go unnoticed by Junta.
"Thank you for today, Papa, Daddy..." A small yawn broke Rei's thanks as she rubbed her eyes. "We can go back, right?"
"We still have the whole week, silly." Takato gave a chuckle as Rei nestled in the bed, Junta on the other side.
"We promise; this whole week is just for the three of us. No work whatsoever."
Rei lit up at Junta's statement, but her excitement was soon replaced by a longing glance at the Naupaka flower that rested on the bedside table. Despite her best attempt to get the story out of her mind, it still lingered in her thoughts. "U-um..." She hesitantly looked over at Takato, biting her lip. "The flower..."
Takato gave a soft smile in understanding. "Yeah...Daddy and Papa think they should've stayed together as well." He assured. Despite knowing it was still just a legend, the scandal mishap from years before easily made Takato see the tragedy between the lovers- he nearly lost Junta in a similar manner had he not tricked the Tobun.
"But there's actually more to the story, Rei." Junta told her, Rei looking up at him with curiosity. Takato also looked at his husband with intrigue; improv on the spot was one thing, but just what was the baka angel about to tell her?
"Years passed, yet the two still yearned for each other; not a minute passed where one wasn't thinking of the other." Junta continued, running a hand through her hair. "As the man grew older, he knew that he would never be able to see her again, but refused to let his love for her die. So on his final day, he made a wish. 'Please, God...even if it will take many moons, even if it means that I will not recognize her in my next life, please allow me to be with my beloved once more.' That night, one of the flowers on the beach broke off into the wind and flew up to the mountains, where the fire goddess found it. Knowing that he had passed, she herself made a wish as she grieved over him."
Takato gave a small smirk as his husband continued- there was no way he was going to let Junta take all the good parts.
" 'Please, Father...' " Takato interjected, Junta smiling as he began to ad-lib. " 'Even if it means that the sun will no longer require my fire, even if it means that this body of mine will fade, please allow me to reunite with my beloved.' And as the words escaped her mouth, the flowers on the mountain mysteriously gained their other half that night, as if her beloved's spirit had heard her."
"...what...next?" Rei asked, trying to stay awake long enough to hear the rest of the story.
"Many years passed, and the fire goddess' body eventually did vanish." Junta spoke. "But as it did, her father decided to grant her wish."
" 'For you, my child, who has spent centuries of heartbreak, I shall grant you what you desire.' " Takato added, taking the flower he had picked and handing it to Junta, who placed it next to the flower Rei had picked, creating a complete flower. " 'You have devoted your life so that the sun may shine, yet your warmth is pledged to another. For he who has stolen your heart, though it may take moons for you to find him, I will allow for your love to be fulfilled.' Through his words, both the flowers on the beach and on the mountain bloomed, and it is said that the two found each other again in the next life."
"And are very much still in love." Junta finished, Rei showing a drowsy smile.
"...I...like that..." Rei mumbled, unable to stay awake any longer. "...they're..."
Takato smiled as he pulled the blanket up over Rei, the young girl now asleep. "Goodnight, mi princesa." Junta whispered, placing a soft kiss on her cheek.
The two quietly stood and made their way over to the balcony, Junta shutting the sliding door behind them. "It's been a while since we've seen a scenery like this." He told Takato, looking up at the star-filled sky.
"At least this time you're not kidnapping me somewhere to see it."
"I just wanted to spend time with you."
"We're here doing that now, aren't we?" Takato remarked, a light blush dusting his face and practically seeing Junta's wings burst out.
Junta gave a radiant smile, pulling his lover into his arms. "Then, I'll take the invitation." He spoke, nibbling Takato's ear, causing the other to flinch slightly in surprise.
"Don't worry, I shut the door and she's fast asleep."
"That's not the problem!" Takato gave a small yelp as Junta's hand snaked underneath his shirt, crashing his mouth against his own. Breaking apart for air, Takato looked at him with a glare that easily contrasted against his blushing face. "Chunta..."
Running a hand through Takato's black locks, Junta's gaze held an endless amount of affection. "Takato-san, can I kiss you?"
"Baka...y-you ask that after doing it?"
"That's true. But I still want to say it." Junta laughed before kissing him once more, taking in every last bit of his lover as he did. Letting the kiss linger for a while longer, Junta held him close as he looked to the stars. "It's beautiful, but Takato-san's more beautiful."
"You...you're awfully tame tonight."
"Well, we still have the rest of the week, right? No need to rush."
Takato blushed and sighed at the joy-filled statement, but nuzzled further into Junta's arms. "D-don't try anything funny."
"If Takato-san wants it, I'll gladly do anything." Junta smiled, tightening his hold on Takato as they continued the rest of their night together.