It was a nice summer day. The sun was shining from a clear blue sky and it was already pretty warm. You could hear the activity of all the bugs Mother Nature had to offer and the yells from kids playing outside. It was what would be considered a relaxing day at a smaller town. It was at least, to anyone other than the members of the Tachibana family.
It was a Sunday so school was closed and so 34 years old Tachibana Makoto thought he could sleep in piece. However he was wrong as the sound of footsteps was heard in the hallway. Makoto sat up just before the door was torn open and a teen with maroon hair was seen behind it.
“Makoto!” The teen yelled. “Haru has taken up the bathtub and refuses to leave again!”
Makoto got out of bed at that point. When Rin was like that, he had no other option but try his best to make Haru listen to reason and get out of the bathtub before he disintegrated. Needless to say this was far from the first time he had had to do this.
“He’ll be out in a minute, Rin,” Makoto said before walking to the bathroom. He knocked on the door and entered. “Haru?”
A black-haired teen raised his head from the water in the bathtub to look at his foster father. His face had no expression on it that indicated he had heard the man, yet Makoto could tell he had.
“Haru, you can’t soak in the bathtub all day,” Makoto said as he approached the teen and reached out his hand. “Everyone needs a bath,” He smiled at Haru just as kindly as the tone he used in his voice when speaking to the teen. It was common.
Haruka still said nothing as he grabbed Makoto’s hand and let his foster father pull him out of the water, revealing that he was wearing his swimsuit.
Makoto smiled again as Rin who was looking over his shoulder mumbled:
Haruka glared at Rin and stepped out of the water. Then he went to get dressed and Rin soon had the bathroom to himself as he could take a bath.
Makoto only just managed to let a sigh escape glad that all problems were solved when a loud crash was heard from the kitchen downstairs and he rushed down to find out what was going on.
In the kitchen he found his oldest and youngest adoptive sons. 17 years old Rei was lying on the floor with a pot next to him and with 13 years old Nagisa on top of him. The younger was wearing a wide grin while the older had a frown on his face.
“What happened?” Makoto asked worried.
“I was just trying to reach the strawberry jam on the top shelf and then Rei-chan fell,” Nagisa said.
Rei pushed Nagisa off of him before sitting up. “Well, Nagisa tried to reach it by climbing unto my shoulders while I was reaching down for a pot…” He corrected the younger’s story.
“Nagisa, you should be more careful,” Makoto said as he reached up for the strawberry jam. “Are you okay Rei?” he looked at his oldest as he handed the jam to Nagisa.
“I’m fine…” Rei said as he fixed his glasses.
Haruka just then walked into the kitchen and Nagisa’s face lit up.
“Haru-chan!” he called as he ran up to the slightly older teen and hugged him tightly. Haruka didn’t respond to this. He didn’t even return Nagisa’s hug.
“You’re at least old enough to drop the –chan,” Haruka just said. This was completely ignored by the younger though and he just held on tighter to his older foster brother.
“So Haruka’s finally out of the bathtub I see?” Rei smiled as he picked up the pot.
Haruka didn’t comment on those words. He just sat down by the table while Makoto took the pot from Rei.
“I’ll make breakfast,” he said and then started preparing it.
“Haru-chan, will you make my breakfast?” Nagisa asked holding out the strawberry jam towards Haruka.
Haruka couldn’t deny the request due to Nagisa’s puppy-dog-eyes and took the strawberry jam before he started making the usual, unhealthy, sweet breakfast that Nagisa required.
Rin made it downstairs just in time before breakfast was ready and the little family had breakfast together.
Makoto was first to finish and as he did so, he looked around at his little family. He truly admired it. There was Rei as the oldest. He was 17 years old. He was a kind soul and he was smart too. He had an obsession with beauty though that could make some of the things he did, take a lot of time.
Then there were the twins Rin and Haruka. They were 15 years old. Although they were the only ones related to each other by blood, you wouldn’t believe that when you first saw them. Rin was a happy, dramatic boy who was really good with making friends and really loud at times, while Haruka was dark and silent, antisocial and didn’t show much emotion.
Nagisa was 13 years old, a happy and energetic boy who had nothing to cloud his mind. He was childish but also really smart. He knew how to get his way with almost everyone he met. In fact Makoto had never met anyone who Nagisa couldn’t have his way with.
Makoto himself was the 34 years old, way too kind, man who had taken all four of them in for the only reason that nobody else had wanted them. He kept up a full-time job while he also held the title as full-time single parent.
These were the five members of the Tachibana family living in Iwatobi.
Nagisa was the only one still eating when Makoto’s phone went off and he went to pick it up. The four teens were left in silence as Makoto went to the living room to answer his phone. Shortly after he came back with an apologizing smile.
“I’m sorry,” he said. “But I’ve just been called out for work. Try not to destroy too much while I’m gone, okay?” he asked before he grabbed his bag and left the house.
The sun was low on the horizon when Makoto made it back. He opened the door with a bit difficulty due to the pizzas he was holding under his arm.
“You’re such a jerk, Haru!” Rin’s voice was heard loud and clear through the entire house as Makoto stepped inside.
“You’re an asshole,” Haruka’s answer was heard only a bit lower than Rin’s loud yell.
Makoto went to the kitchen where Nagisa and Rei were sitting. Rei had his trouble keeping Nagisa by the table where he was clearly doing homework. Nagisa himself was more interested in running upstairs to find out what exactly was going on between his older brothers.
Makoto placed the pizzas on the kitchen table before looking at Rei. “Do you know what their argument’s about?” he asked.
Rei shook his head. “Nobody knows. I’m not even sure they do,” he answered.
Makoto just nodded before heading upstairs. Rin and Haruka were standing in the hallway. Both held up their fists and were clearly about to fight more physically.
“Rin! Haru!” Makoto yelled. “That’s enough!”
Both boys took their gaze from their opponent and looked at Makoto. They clearly hadn’t heard him coming, let alone coming home.
“Now go to your rooms and think of what went wrong and in half an hour I hope you’ve made up,” Makoto demanded.
The two silently separated and went to their different rooms while Makoto watched them carefully. Both of them had their eyes fixated on the floor as they entered their bedrooms and closed the door behind them. Makoto was satisfied as he went back downstairs. He sat down on the other side of Nagisa and looked at the problem in the math book.
“I’ll take over from here,” he said to Rei. “You got your own homework to do,”
Rei nodded. “Yes,” he said before he went to find his own homework and do them. Makoto stayed behind and helped Nagisa with the problems.
Half an hour later Rin and Haruka came back downstairs. Both looked shamefully (as much as what was in character for them) as they sat down by the table.
“Now, what were you arguing about?” Makoto asked the two.
“None of us remember,” Rin said.
Makoto looked at Haruka who just nodded to confirm that Rin was right.
“Well, that’s good,” Makoto said. “Then I guess it’s time for dinner,” He handed out the pizzas for the four teenagers before he sat down with his own.
Makoto smiled as he looked at the faces of his four sons. He recalled that people had warned him about taking them in. He’d been told they were nothing but trouble. Maybe they were right. Even so, Makoto loved these four boys and had no regrets from adopting them.