Chapter Two ~ Changes from the Heart
One month. How fast time can fly. Ever since Yumiko invited Enishi to her home, he had never felt such peace. Yumiko's twins, Ran and Rikku, also changed Enishi's way of lifestyle. He didn't particularly like children, but somehow, like Yumiko, he didn't really mind them. Actually, the twins were quite cute and knew how to take care of themselves to an extent even though they were only three years old.
Ran was the more independent of the two for two reasons. One, he was a boy and most boys liked to take charge. Two, before Enishi arrived, he knew that he was the only male of the household and that meant to him that he had to take care of the family REALLY well. Rikku was like her mother: quiet, soft-spoken, yet can be a chatterbox when with someone trusted.
Enishi stopped his work and turned around. Rikku ran towards him, arms open wide. Enishi swooped her up in his arms; she giggled with glee.
"What is it, Rikku-chan?" he asked.
"Anno...'kaachan wants to know if you want to eat some onigiri, 'touchan," Rikku answered, her pigtails bouncing along as she spoke.
After the first two weeks Enishi was at Yumiko's home, her children assumed that he was staying here for good and stopped calling him "Enishi-niichan" to "'touchan". Yumiko and Enishi also stopped with the formalities at "-san" and started calling each other by their first names. He was still getting used to the fact that the twins were calling him their father when he actually wasn't. He wasn't sure if he'd stay any longer and wondered where their real father was but didn't dare ask Yumiko.
Enishi smiled at the little girl, a rare smile that was starting to come back to him. They walked back to the home.
"Mmm, onigiri sounds good," Enishi replied. He hadn't realized how hungry he was from all the work. "Where's Ran-chan?"
"Aniki's out playing with the other kids 'cuz he's done with his work," Rikku replied happily.
"Oh, sou ka..."
"Rikku-chan, why do you sound so happy when Ran-chan's playing outside and you're not?" Yumiko's voice asked.
She appeared in the doorway with a wooden spoon in her hand. Rikku jumped down from Enishi's arms, shaking her head furiously and running out to the front.
"Ie, ie, ie, I wanna play, too!!" she shouted before disappearing.
The two laughed at Rikku's outburst and began walking back inside.
"Arigatou, Enishi," Yumiko said. "I don't think I would have been able to finish the housework if it wasn't for you. I feel so guilty for giving you all of that suddenly."
"Oh, it's no problem, Yumiko," Enishi assured her as he grabbed a riceball from the cutting board, smiling. "It gives me something to do."
Yumiko smiled softly back as she looked at him. "You've been smiling lately."
Enishi swallowed. "...I have, haven't I..."
Yumiko quickly tried to rephrase her sentence, thinking that she said something wrong. "Anno, I mean, it's a good thing that you're smiling. When we first met, you looked so...gloomy, so I'm glad that you're feeling better..."
Enishi couldn't help but let out a light laugh as he and Yumiko walked onto the porch to watch the children play. Yes, he had told her a bit about his dear sister after she asked about the diary.
"Ie, daijoubu, Yumiko," Enishi replied. "You don't have to apologize."
They sat down together in silence. Feeling a bit uncomfortable that their conversation had gone dry, Enishi decided to ask her the inevitable question.
Do I really want to stay here? he asked himself. "Uh...Yumiko, I want to ask you something..."
Yumiko took her eyes off the children and looked at him. "Hmm? Nani?"
Her eyes were starting to mesmorize him. He had to look away to be able to think straight. Does SHE want me to stay?
"Thank you for letting me stay here," he began. "I'm not sure what I would do if you...if you hadn't helped me."
Yumiko continued to look at him. " 'Help you'?"
Shaking his head and smiling, Enishi looked back at Yumiko and stared into her eyes. "I've been living with you and your children for over a month now, and it's been bothering me. Do you...do you want me to stay?"
He let out a laugh again, looking away. "Sumanu, stupid question, isn't it?"
Oneesan, help me out here! he pleaded.
Tomoe smiled back at him, arms folded. Do you think that I'm going to help you on a relationship crisis of yours?
I just need some advice! You've been through it before...twice.
Tomoe's ghost sighed. Enishi, there are some things in life that you have to solve on your own.
"Ie, Enishi, that's not a stupid question at all," he heard Yumiko reply in a softer tone than usual.
Enishi snapped out of his reverie to look at her in surprise. "It isn't?"
It was Yumiko's turn to smile and look away. "Ran and Rikku like you a lot. It's the first time that I've ever seen them so happy. I don't mind you staying here." Her eyes looked a bit distant and filled with melancholy. "They never got to know their real father. He left after he found out that I was pregnant. My father disowned me, afterwards. That's why I'm here." She recovered from her memories and smiled at him. "Suminasen, I didn't mean to space out like that."
"Huh? Oh, it's not...it's no problem at all, Yumiko," he stammered. "It's just that...anno...you've never told me about your past before and I didn't want to force you to talk about it..."
Yumiko giggled at Enishi's concern, shaking her head. "Ie, you're not forcing me. Actually, you're the first person besides Oibure-jiisan who knows about my past...I guess it's because you're...different. Different from the other men I've met..."
"Yumiko..." How he wanted to just wrap his arms around her.
"Besides, like I said, I don't mind you staying here at all. Especially when Ran and Rikku are happy when they're with you, then I'm happy. It's your choice if you want to stay here."
They stared at each other.
"Oi, minna!" a voice shouted, distrupting their trance.
A spunky young woman was waving at them while carrying a box full of food in her other hand. "Do you want to come over and have dinner with us?"
"Oh, sure, Ruri!" Yumiko replied cheefully. "Just give us a few minutes and we'll be right over."
Ruri was the Rakuninmura's doctor, one of the best in all of Japan. She was also a good friend from Yumikok's. Forgetting about their conversation for now, the two called the children over, grabbed their things, and headed over to Ruri's home.
<later...close around midnight>
They treaded softly into the ome. Yumiko carried Ran while Enishi had Rikku. It had been a long night at Ruri's home. What was a dinner turned out to be an all out party, exhausting everyone to the core. But Yumiko and Enishi had expected it. Although and doctor, Ruri was the type who loved a good party.
Yumiko gently pulled the covers over her children, smiling softly at the sweet looks on their faces. She quietly exited the room where Enishi was waiting.
"They sure had a lot of fun," she remarked as she slid the door behind her.
"Aa," Enishi simply replied.
They walked back to their separate rooms; Enishi's just across from Yumiko's. Usually, they would bid each other good night and go to bed. Tonight, though, was different. Enishi finally learned something about Yumiko's reason for being in such a place like the Rakuninmura. He had told her a bit about his sister and how he ended up being here, but she didn't care about the fact that he was once an undergound organizations boss.
"What's in the past is in the past," she said to him before.
They reached to the hallway where their rooms were.
"Anno..." Yumiko started to say, looking down at her hands. "Oyasumi."
"Oyasumi," Enishi replied.
They looked into each others eyes for a long time before Enishi pulled her into a kiss. It would be the last time that they would sleep in separate rooms like strangers...
AUTHORESS NOTES: O_o, kinda strange, no? Sorry if Enishi is a bit OOC, but I'm kinda making him like that because he's...changing, ya know? Yumiko accepts him the way he is that's making him feel kinda weird because nobody has ever accepted him for the way he is. (Maybe Kenshin does, but well...Enishi doesn't like Kenshin, right?). But don't worry, though. Ensihi will still be Enishi when he meets certain people. And thanks for reviewing! It makes me really happy.