EPILOGUE: 10 YEARS AFTER
A little brunette head popped up at the foot of the bed and then another, the second one's eyes barely taller than the bed frame itself as she sat on her knees. The early morning sunlight was flooding through the closed balcony doors and the older child looked at his little sister as she peered up at him with big red eyes.
"I want mama," She demanded quietly as the boy hushed her and pointed towards their sleeping parents. He lifted her up and she tried to surpress her giggles at her brother's fingers on her sides as he prepared to throw her into the middle of the bed.
"Ready," He whispered.
"Steady!" She giggled and he let go of his six year old sister and watched as she landed between Mikan and Natsume who both stirred at the constant giggles erupting from the small child's mouth. Mikan's eyes fluttered open and she smiled at the sight of her daughter hiding behind her own hands, her son soon joining the three of them on the bed and tackling his still sleeping father.
"G'morning mama," The young girl clung to her mother with an energetic smile.
"Good morning Haru," Mikan brushed Haru's hair back behind her ear as her husband grunted beside her, tickling their mischievous son until he stopped his attacks on Natsume.
"Why do you get the civil child?" He teased. "I get the Kyou devil."
"Muuuum! Tell dad I'm not a devil!" Kyou squirmed in his father's tight grasp as Haru began laughing.
"Get him daddy!" She squealed as Mikan pulled her out of the way of a falling Kyou, his head resting in Mikan's lap, his lips upturned. She peered over at Natsume and grinned.
"Morning." He grinned back. She shook her head with a laugh and pressed a kiss to his jaw as Kyou groaned and complained about public affection in front of young children.
"Morning," She rolled her eyes at Kyou as he began kicking at his father's legs and she kissed Natsume fully on the lips as Kyou yelled.
"My poor eyes!" Releasing her grip on Haru, the two swapped children and Mikan tackled Kyou into her embrace, kissing his cheek.
"You keep complaining about me and your father, mister, and I'll make you marry Rosemary." He stopped his squirming, a look of horror on his face.
"Please spare me! You can kiss all you want just don't marry me off to that horrid child!" Mikan giggled and brought Kyou to lie between her and Haru, her arm wrapping around Natsume's waist as they looked down at their children.
"We've got you now," Natsume pretended to be a monster, growling in Haru's ear and she squealed, pushing her hands against his face to shut him up. A knock sounded at the open door and Juri appeared, standing in her long sun dress, her black hair long and loose at her ankles.
"Gran'ma!" Haru gave a toothy smile in the direction of Juri as she smiled.
"Breakfast is ready." Juri announced, watching with a breezy smile as Natsume and Mikan conversed between themselves.
"I'll take the devil," Natsume declared, hopping out of the bed and dragging Kyou off by his ankles as Kyou kicked in protest.
"I'll walk myself dad! And I'm not a devil! Tell him grandma!" Juri raised her eyebrow at Mikan and she laughed heartily and picked up Haru.
"Guess I've got the angel then. We'll meet you downstairs in ten, Juri." Natsume reappeared at the door.
"Make that fifteen minutes." And with that he disappeared down the hallway to Kyou's room.
"I'll see you then." Juri made her way back downstairs and Mikan hoisted Haru further up on her hip, kissing her forehead as they entered her room, setting her down on the soft carpet.
"What would you like to wear today sweetie?" Haru ran to her closet and pulled out a light yellow dress.
"This!" She smiled and Mikan helped her put it on. She didn't make a fuss; unlike her brother in the other room.
"I don't want to wear this dad, I want my favourite blue top!" Natsume sighed.
"Kyou, that's in the wash and you know it. Stop being difficult and just wear the green one."
"Fine, I want a black top then." Kyou grumbled and Natsume fished around in his drawers for his black tee-shirt which had been folded at the bottom of the pile.
"Here," He handed the tee-shirt to Kyou which he struggled over his head and then Natsume handed him a pair of cream three quarter pants.
"I want the blue ones." Kyou huffed and with a roll of his eyes, Natsume began his search again. Mikan popped her head around the door frame.
"What's wrong with the cream ones Kyou?" She asked. She had already dressed Haru and herself. She wore a white sun dress and her chocolate waves had been brushed out nicely, flowing down her shoulders and back.
"I just don't want those ones." Kyou replied as Natsume finally found the blue three quarter pants and handed them to his son.
"Put these on, I'm going to get dressed."
"We'll meet you down in the dining hall. Come along Haru." Mikan led Haru down the long staircase that led downstairs and then followed the hallway down to the dining hall where Juri was sat at the head of the table, smiling up at them. Mikan settled Haru down into a seat on Juri's right and then sat down herself as she heard Kyou's footfalls on the staircase. He and Natsume joined the three not long after and they started their breakfast.
Natsume took Mikan's hand as they sat on the grass in the back gardens of the palace, basking in the sun and watching their children chase each other around.
"We did well raising them, don't you think?" He murmured, kissing her bare shoulder. Mikan smiled up at him.
"Absolutely," She murmured. "Hey Natsume?"
"What happens when they fall in love?" Natsume pondered this question for a while before smiling against her skin.
"We let them live."
"We let them choose their own crazy adventure, just like we did."
"I wonder what that will be like." She watched as Kyou let Haru tackle him to the ground.
"Only time will tell my love." He brought his hand up to cup her cheek, turning her attention to his eyes. "That's just the way it is in Howling Hollows."
"Our home." He pressed his lips to hers.
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