A/N: Ok, so I’m a bit more interested in writing the next chapter. But, hey, first thing’s first, so no erotic scenes for you folks quite yet.
Ok, so I may’ve pictured Takuto from Star Driver saying “It’s a pinch~!” when I had Toshio saying, “It’s a deal.” Ugh.
Happy Endings Are All the Same:
She looked lovely when she arrived, the sun in her hair and her usual confidence clear in her manner as she walked up the path toward him. Toshio smiled at his wife, genuinely happy to see her. Yes, he was happy to give her the signed divorce papers, but the fact remained that he was fond of her regardless – just not really fond in the way a husband should be.
“So you aren’t even going to invite me in for tea?” She teased, stopping front of him.
“I just figured you wouldn’t want to run the risk of having to see my mother.”
“Oh, she must be in a wonderful mood!” She made a face, rolled her eyes.
“Ah, well, she doesn’t quite know yet. She started suggesting new wives about three days after you left; she doesn’t need any encouragement.”
“Well! I can understand that! She was after me about heirs within minutes of us becoming engaged!”
“Speaking of…” He cleared his throat, then took her arm, “Come in for some tea. There’s a pot in my office, we don’t have to deal with her.”
“A prince as always.” She smiled, allowing herself to be lead along.
The clinic itself was rather quiet, most of the staff at lunch in the break-room. The receptionist greeted them, inquired about Kyouko’s little shop, and promised that next time he was in Mizobe he and his wife would stop by. It was all very pleasant, and Toshio was reminded of how much of a relief it was to have a staff that wasn’t into running their mouths elsewhere. Discretion was key in a medical setting, but that didn’t mean it was a given. He’d loved working at the university hospital, but all the gossip had made him uncomfortable at points. His father had been a tyrant, but he’d certainly set the standard.
In his office, he set the water to boil, and let Kyouko sit in his office chair, opting for the patient’s chair himself.
“They’re all here?” She was flipping through the pages, glancing over them to check for dates and signatures.
She pursed her lips, “It wasn’t all bad…”
“No, it wasn’t.” He leaned down to pull open one of the desk drawers, took two tea bags from a pile that were crammed in next to some cups and some instant coffee packets. He dropped them on the desk, then grabbed two of the cups, set them down, too. The water was almost boiled.
“I’ll still come visit sometimes.”
“And I’ll go to your store.”
“You say that as if you have before!”
Toshio laughed, pouring the water, “Well, one of these days…”
“Maybe you can bring someone special along, too.” She took the cup, and a tea bag, unwinding the thread from the bag, “That way I can tell you if I approve or not.”
“It’s a deal.”
They sipped their tea in silence for a few minutes, Toshio trying to work himself up to asking something, something important. She was mellow, a good thing. Although they’d never exactly fought, not like his own parents had from time to time. They argued, but it was all done in regular tones and biting words, not screaming and tossing things at each other. They were disagreements, really, not arguments. And it all traced back to the simple fact that they’d gotten married too young, that they hadn’t really settled down like they’d always been told would happen when they got older. They loved each other… but were they in love with each other? They had been once. They were both sure of that. But as the months passed, it’s currency they had become less and less convinced of.
He leaned forward, his elbows on his knees, cradling the cup in his hands, “I need to ask a favor.”
“Oh?” She raised an eyebrow.
“It’s a big one.”
“Well, go ahead.”
“If… you do get married again, if you have a child…” He sat straight up again, looking her in the eye, “I want that child to be my heir. For this place.”
She considered him carefully, then spoke, “You don’t seem to have much confidence in yourself. It shouldn’t be too hard for you to find a wife, even with that spiteful hag around all the time. You’ve got some cute nurses. The village thinks you’re wonderful. I’m sure you’ll be fine.”
His eyes slid past her, out toward the window, “I don’t know if I want to get married again.”
Kyouko was still looking at him carefully, quiet. Finally, she spoke again, “Only if the child wants to. I won’t force them. And what if it’s a girl?”
“That doesn’t matter.”
She snorted, “I doubt your mother will see it that way!” She regained her composure, “Alright. But only if this supposed daughter or son wants to be a doctor. Otherwise, no.”
He smiled at her, his own tone now gone mildly mocking, “You aren’t even going to wait to see if the kid’s father is okay with that?”
“Oh, please, like I’m going to bother with someone who doesn’t realize that my word is the law.”
“Sounds more like you want to marry a boy from the host club to me.”
“Well, he’d probably be a better sight than you, at least!”
“You always have had lousy taste…”
She put her cup down, the contents at the bottom cooling quickly and muddied by escaped tea leaves, and took his hand. Her grip was tight, and he closed his hand around hers.
“Toshio, I really do mean it. I’m not convinced you’re going to grow old alone, but if you do, I’ll do it. I mean it.”
He felt the firmness of her hand, the strength hidden in the delicate bones. His mother was an idiot to think this woman was such a bad catch.