The Taming Of the Kitsune

" You've finally gone insane." Rukawa Kaede declared as he backed away from the happily gurgling little bundle that his long time boyfriend was holding out towards him.  His soon to be ex long time boyfriend if this nonsense didn't stop soon.

" Kaede-kun, just hold him.  Just for a little while..." Kogure Kiminobu wheedled, advancing slowly towards the younger boy.  Dammit!  He had been so sure that not even the coldest of hearts would fail to melt at the sight of this chubby little baby.  Obviously he had underestimated his boyfriend.  " I'm sure you'll like him once you see how nice-"

" Get.  That.  Tub.  Of.  Lard.  Away. Now."  He pronounced each word carefully, clearly, trying to get across with his tone just how serious he was about this.  His Kimi-kun was usually good at gauging and respecting his feelings, one of the things that he liked about him.  This was one of those rare occasions when he chose to ignore them.

" Why you stupid Kitsune!  How dare you call the Tensai's child that?!"

Suddenly made aware of the fact that he and Kogure were not the only ones in the apartment that they shared, Rukawa's eyes zoned in on the owner of the voice.  " Do'aho."

Hanamichi Sakuragi was by the doorway which led out to the hall, just barely being restrained by the strong arms of a spiky haired boy who grinned and shrugged as if to say, ' That's Hanamichi for you!'  Said boy spoke.  " Very, very sorry that my Hana-kun is so short tempered today!  It's just that-"

" You stupid, grinning loon!  How dare you make excuses for the Tensai?!"

Sendo just grinned.  " I'm sure you don't mean that, my sweet little Sakura blossom..."Rukawa snorted.  Somehow, the comparison of the loud mouthed oaf to something as delicate as Sakura blossoms struck him as being immensely funny.  He gave his boyfriend a little hug to show him that he was forgiven for the 'grinning loon' comment, though Hanamichi didn't seem the least bit repentant, what with him still muttering insults under his breath ( Something about brooms and the shape of Sendo's head).  " Hana-kun was up all night tending to our little angel there, so he's understandably a little tired and snappish..."

" I wouldn't be so beat if somebody here hadn't conked out the moment he'd gotten into bed!"

Sendo hung his head, shamefaced.  " So sorry, Hana-kun!  It wont happen again!  I promise to help out more.  Really!"

" Yeah.  Well, that's good."  Hanamichi told him grudgingly.  He hated it when Sendo looked like this!  It reminded him of an eager to please little puppy that had been kicked by its master.  " Sides, I'm not really that angry or anything.  You'd be stupid to think that!  Gel fumes must be getting to your head or something!"

" So Hana-kun forgives Kira-kun?"

" Yeah."

" And Kira-kun's Hana-kun still loves him?"

" Ko-chan."  Rukawa spoke up before the softening redhead could give his answer to this.  " Promise me that you'll kill me the moment our relationship starts getting like this."  He couldn't understand how cute Sendo was acting.  That babyish tone of voice that he used while speaking made him want to kick him in the guts just to make him stop.  It freaked him out to see a twenty five year old basketball star acting in such a way.  Plus it was weird to see the way that Hanamichi reacted to it too.  As though he thought it was the cutest thing in the world.  It just made him realize how lucky he was to have his sweet, unpretentious and natural Kiminobu.  The moment his Kogure gave him the glistening, shoujo manga eyes that Sendo had turned towards the do'aho was the moment that Rukawa would turn tail and run.  Run like mad.

" He must be awfully good in bed for you to have stayed on with him for so long, Kogure-kun.  I really cant think of any other reason that you would..."

The bespectacled boy stopped playing with the baby's tiny foot once he realized that Rukawa's eyes were on him and that he obviously expected an answer to Sendo's question.  " Well...erm...Yes.  But that's only one of the many, many reasons..."

" Yeah.  Sure."  Hanamichi snorted, unable to see how anybody could bear to live with the stupid Kitsune.  " And I'm sure that he keeps the air conditioning bills down at summer, right?  What with the way the temperature falls every time he walks into a room!"

" Do'aho."

Fully anticipating his rather hotheaded boyfriend's reaction to this, Sendo glomped onto his arm and proceeded to tug him towards the doorway of the elegantly furnished apartment.  " Well, the two of us have got to go now.  See you two in a couple of days."  He stopped by Kogure and stooped down low to give the baby a kiss on the top of the head.  " Be good for daddy, Kei-chan.  And don't give uncle Kimi or Uncle Kaede a hard time..."  Hanamichi followed his example, glaring daggers at Rukawa all the while.

" You forgot to take it with you."  Rukawa pointed out, still keeping his distance from the tiny baby as though it was the carrier of some deadly plague.

" It has a name."  Hanamichi growled as Sendo helped him into his coat.  "  And It's name is Keitaro.  Keitaro Sakuragi."

" But Hana-kun!  I thought we agreed on Keitaro Sendo!"

" I changed my mind..."

The door closed behind the two young men, leaving Rukawa glaring across the room at Kogure and Keitaro Sakuragi.  Or was that Keitaro Sendo?

" This is stupid, Kaede.  You have to start talking to me at some point."  Kogure pointed out, following Rukawa around the kitchen, little Keitaro propped up by his hip.  He had been trying, for the past couple of hours, to get his boyfriend talking again and had so far been unsuccessful.  Seeing that the feeding bottle was now empty, Kogure began to gently pat Keitaro's back, the way that Sendo had shown him before he had left with Hanamichi.  " I don't see why you're so angry!"

" Why the hell is that kid here?"

Kogure shrugged, wincing slightly as a burst of white goo spurted out of the baby's mouth and onto his otherwise spotless shirt.  God!  It smelled foul.  This hadn't happened when Sendo had been the one burping Keitaro!  " I just wanted to help Hanamichi and Sendo out, them being our friends and all.  They haven't had any time by themselves ever since they adopted Kei-chan-"

" That's their problem."  Kaede pointed out, spreading mayonnaise onto a piece of bread.  " They're the ones that adopted him, they're the ones that should suffer the consequences."

" Kaede...I..."  As was his habit when nervous, Kogure took off his glasses and proceeded to polish the lenses vigorously.  " I want one too..." He finally managed in a whisper.

Rukawa said nothing.  He lowered a slice of ham onto the bread, acting as though he had heard nothing.  Maybe if he pretended that Kogure hadn't said anything, then the guy would forget about the stupid idea.

" I've...I've always planned on having a family, Kae-chan.  Always dreamed of it.  Even after...Even after I found out that I was gay.  I just can't picture life without kids and now that they're letting gay couples adopt...I just thought that maybe...You know.  The two of us..."  Kogure managed a shaky smile but this still had no effect.  " You'd make a great dad..."

" No."

" What...What do you mean...No?"  Kogure asked hesitantly.  He had told himself that there was very little chance of Rukawa agreeing to it, had tried to prepare himself for this refusal.  But still he was disappointed.  Immensely disappointed.

" No, I won't make a good dad."  Rukawa muttered, slapping the bread over the ham, " And no, I don't want a kid.  He'll make my life miserable and vice versa.  I'm just not the fatherhood type, Kimi-chan.  I would have thought that you'd figured that out by yourself by now..."

" How do you know that?"

Rukawa shrugged, taking a bite into the sandwich.  " I just do."

" You'll never know until you try, Kaede-kun!  And...And I'm sure you'll change your mind, once you get the hang of everything!"  Kogure told him eagerly, once more attempting to thrust Keitaro into his arms.

Rukawa pulled away abruptly, dropping his sandwich in the process.  " I said no already, Kogure."  He told him coldly.  The last time that he had called his lover by his last name instead of his given one had been when they had fought over Kogure spending so much time at work.  Of course, by now, he had come to accept the fact that that was an occupational hazard when you were dating one of the most successful young doctors in Kanagawa.  " I guess that's why that kid is here then, huh?  To convince me to agree to your little dreams about a family?  I knew that Hanamichi wouldn't agree to leave his precious little baby with the Kitsune.  No matter how much he wants to be alone with Sendo."

" I just want you to think about it, Kaede..."  Kogure went on quietly.  At the best of times, Rukawa wasn't very east to talk with.  It was even worse when he got all worked up about something.  That was when Kogure knew that he was skating on thin ice.

" I already have.  And I say no.  Not now.  Not ever."  He ignored the crestfallen expression on Kogure's face as he grabbed the coat that he had thrown onto the kitchen counter.  " Of course, if you insist on this then, then I guess that there's really nothing that I can do about it.  You're a big boy now.  You can make your own decisions and you make plenty of money on your own.  You can support a baby by yourself if you want."

" What do you mean by that?"

" That you can't expect me to stick around if you go ahead with this insanity." Rukawa declared, before sweeping past him and out of the apartment.

" Time for you to go home now, Rukawa."

Startled by the sudden voice that had appeared out of nowhere, Rukawa's shot bounced off the rim of the hoop.  He dashed after the ball, whirling around when he caught it to face the intruder.  " It's you." He declared tonelessly, wiping the back of his hand across his mouth as he stared at his ex teammate standing nearby.

Mitsui Hisashi ignored the coldness of his tone and gave him a lopsided smile.  " Min-kun's pretty worried about you, Rukawa.  He's been looking all over Kanagawa for you!"

" And of course, he calls you first."  Rukawa muttered, unable to keep the bitterness from his tone of voice.  Kogure's past relationship and current friendship with the guy was a sore spot for him.

The older boy shrugged.  " He's my best friend, Rukawa.  Nothing more, nothing less.  But you.  He loves you.  More than anything else in this world."

" Get to your point."

" My point being that all these years, he's done everything he possibly could to make you happy, with a whole lot of success."  Mitsui grabbed the ball from Rukawa and shot a perfect three pointer.  "He dropped everything to go to the U.S with you when you needed to go for that basketball training.  Hell, he worked you through that whole damn time in some crummy clerk job while going through med school.  He deserves something in return, don't you think?"

" He's been talking to you about our problems, has he?"

" I got the gist of it."  Mitsui admitted, shrugging.  " Though I must admit that it was sort of hard to understand a word he said when he was crying so much."

For a brief instant a look of regret flashed across Rukawa's face.  " He wants this so much?"

"Yes.  He does."  Mitsui told him softly.  " So, you gonna go home to him now?  He really is very worried, you know."

" In a while."  A small smile on his lips, Rukawa threw the ball that he had retrieved at Mitsui.  " First, what do you say to a game of one on one?"

He had always liked to watch Kogure while he was sleeping, even though this annoyed the older boy.  It woke him up whenever Rukawa did it, but this time, his Kimi-kun was so exhausted that he didn't even stir after a whole five minutes of Rukawa just sitting there, watching him.

Reaching out, he wiped away the traces of tears that ran across Kogure's cheeks and bent over to give him a soft kiss on the forehead.  " I'm sorry."  He whispered, as he arranged the blankets around his sleeping boyfriend.

Not feeling the least bit sleepy as of yet, he slipped out of their bedroom, and was about to make his way to the kitchen to get himself a drink when a low wail coming from the nearby guest bedroom attracted his attention.  With a soft sigh, he padded over to the sound of the noise, not wanting Kogure woken up.

He came to a stand beside the crib that had been shoved into the room, ruining the decor that Rukawa had paid thousands for for somebody to come up with, and stared down at little Keitaro, frowning.  " What do you want?"  He demanded, as though the baby could understand him.

He just looked up at him blankly with his big, dark brown eyes, let out a little whimper and proceeded to try and shove his foot into his mouth.

" Don't do that."  Rukawa reprimanded him but the child paid no heed.  He frowned, unable to figure out whether toe sucking was bad for babies.  " What's the matter with you?  That's disgusting!  Do'aho."

Out of sheer frustration, just wanting Keitaro to stop, fearing that he would choke to death on his own foot or something, Rukawa hurriedly scooped him into his arms and held him out directly in front of him at an arms length.  " There.  Now you can't reach your foot!"  He declared victoriously.  He couldn't keep his lips from quirking up into a small smile when Keitaro began to giggle happily, revealing toothless pink gums.  " So, you like to be held then, huh?  Guess you miss the do'aho and the grinning loon, huh?"

Slowly, very carefully since he didn't exactly know what the right way to hold babies were, he cradled Keitaro to his chest and proceeded to pad out to the lounge room with him.  He grabbed the remote control from the coffee table, stretched himself out on the couch and set Keitaro down on his stomach.
" You can keep me company while I watch T.V then, since you don't seem to want to sleep yet."  He muttered, as he clicked the wide screen on and settled down.

" What the hell?  Dammit!  Get my kid away from that Kitsu-"

Sendo hurriedly clamped a hand over Hanamichi's mouth before he could wake up the sleeping child and Kitsune.  " Be quiet, Hana-kun!  Aww...Isn't he so cute?"

" Cute? How can he be cute when he's got that pool of drool by the side of his mouth?"  Hanamichi grunted, slightly miffed at his boyfriend's comment.

" Jealous, Hana-kun?"

" Wha?"  Hanamichi blustered.  " The Tensai?  Jealous?  No way!"

" It's really weird."  Kogure told them, staring down affectionately at the sleeping Rukawa who had Keitaro cradled within the crook of his arms.  " He started out hating the kid, then the morning after this little fight that we had, he just came up to me and told me that he thought it was a good idea to adopt a kid ourselves...After that, he's barely let Keitaro out of his sight.  He's been feeding him, bathing him, sleeping with him.  It's amazing."

" Well, nobody can resist a Sakuragi."  Hanamichi pointed out, preening.

" But we've really got to get home now.  Think we could maybe have Kei-chan back already?"  Sendo asked, longing to have his sweet little angel in his arms once more.  He had missed the kid a lot while he was gone, but anything to help his old friends out.

" Just wait a while longer."  Kogure told them, leading them out to the kitchen for a cup of tea.  " You guys should both remember that it's not a very good idea to wake the guy up when he's sleeping!"

~**~ Owari ~**~