Chapter 11: I'll Stand By You
Daichi continued to look try and follow Yuuki as best he could but every lead during the weeks always ended in leading him into a dead end to his dismay.
Just as he was about to give up for a while the sound of something caught his ears, it had just gone past sunset causing the whole world around him to go dark.
Daichi slumped against a tree and whined with his ears now flat against his skull, he was tired and almost hungry due to the never ending search that started to take a toll on his health. He didn’t sleep, he hardly eat or drank anything which was shocking to say the least.
“Heeey! Fox!” came a loud yell that got the red head to look up sharply knowing who’s voice that was- Neko. “Still finding trouble with locating your mate?” Neko asked with a grin as he approached the red head. Daichi’s eyes narrowed at how obvious that question was.
“What was your first clue?” Daichi yelled back while Neko shook his head.
“I can use the red string that ties you to Yuuki, I didn’t use it before since I’m still new with this role!” Neko replied with glee, Daichi’s eyes narrowed from feeling a migraine enter his mind.
“You waited five weeks to tell me?!” Daichi yelled causing the ginger haired boy to wince.
“Sorry, I was just speaking to mama about this and I tried to test this ability but I need real subjects to test this on” Neko apologised meekly as he stuttered, his glasses almost fell thanks to how much he stuttered from feeling really nervous when it came to how angry Daichi was with him.
“You think that I’m going to put my faith on someone who can’t even use their powers properly?” Daichi asked coldly.
“But what other option do you have? Your foxfires are not able to find her, the scent is not around because she’s making them invisible and your mate mark won’t allow you to track her location” Neko replied loudly since it was a little windy due to the season-winter. Daichi frowned as he weighted his options.
“How much do you want to be with her fox? What do you have to lose?” Neko asked loudly.
“My sanity!” Daichi muttered before looking up at the young God.
“Look I want to help you, you did a lot for us given your reputation. You could have said no but you didn’t! That must mean something right?” Neko called while frowning back at the fox. Daichi said nothing except release a loud sigh.
“Say if I do agree to this, how soon will you be able to locate her?” This made Neko’s eyes go wide with glee before a wide smile bloomed in his face.
Yuuki sighed as she watched Hana play in front of the house, the young mother as she watched had sat on the steps of their new home. Hopefully it’ll be the last time that they ever have to move. To the mother’s relief she had sold every item Daichi had left in the house that they had lived in before and ended up getting a lot of gold for it. Just knowing that he’ll be mad about this made Yuuki smirk since he hated having his stuff taken from him.
Now with this money that they had, it’ll last them for years once done responsibly. However lately Yuuki had almost decided to go and see a doctor since she was getting very ill from time to time, but did not know why. She didn’t eat anything funny right? Plus her appetite wasn’t bad since she tried to have a balanced diet.
So what was it?
She paused as a thought came to her... no way. Not again! Oh she hoped that it wasn’t true, because if she was then she and Hana were going to be in trouble given that she was a single parent with a young daughter and was soon going to have to deal with another baby- another mouth to feed which was going to make their what money they had vanish quickly. However there was one thing for sure- she was never going to track HIM down, no he made his choice to push her away and treat her the way he did before. Nothing would ever make her change her mind into asking him for help.
Yuuki looked at Hana and bit her lip weakly knowing that her daughter had sensitive ears like her father.
“Hana” Yuuki called out meekly but Hana had caught the hesitant tone of her mother, without wasting time the little girl had ran towards her mother and stood in front of her.
“Yes mummy?” Hana asked with curious eyes, her hair moved a bit from running.
“Can...” Yuuki paused as she placed her hand to her belly. “Can you check to see if something is making a noise in mummy’s tummy?” Yuuki asked softly, Hana blinked in surprise.
“But why mummy?” Hana asked as she tilted her head in curiosity as Yuuki patted her head softly.
“Mummy wants to know something okay” Yuuki asked with a nervous smile, Hana being obedient did as she was asked to given how her mother’s face showed that she was worried about something. Was there something inside her mummy? Was it bad? Just thinking about it had left the little one unsettled.
Placing one ear to her mummy’s tummy, Hana listened quietly while she pouted showing that she was concentrating hard to pick up anything odd with her mummy.
A small set of thumping noises hit Hana’s ears causing the little kit to yelp in shock before looking at Yuuki.
“Mummy why do I hear strange noises that remind me of mummy’s heart?” Hana asked with wide eyes, however just hearing that question had made Yuuki go still. So it’s true, she was going to be a mother once again only this time to a child that will not be wanted by its father just like Hana.
“Mummy what’s wrong?!” Hana cried as she saw Yuuki’s shoulders shake violently while tears ran down her cheeks, the little girl hugged her mummy in hopes of comforting her but it was proving to be almost impossible.
“Mummy?” Hana asked sounding very worried, seeing this made Yuuki sad knowing that things were not going to be the same anymore.
Suddenly the wind started to become violent around their home causing them to look up, only Yuuki as she did now started to wish that she hadn’t for there in front of them was a large carriage but it wasn’t the carriage that was upsetting her. No... it was who was inside it- Daichi.
“Yuuki!” Daichi called before Hana started to panic knowing that this male did not like or want her, Yuuki at the same time went up and tried to rush indoors.
“Wait Yuuki please hear me out-!” Daichi grunted as the door hit his face causing him to move back and placed a hand to his noise. Well, that went well... not!
“No just leave us alone! I’m not having you get involved in our lives again!” Yuuki yelled thankful that she placed a seal on the door so he couldn’t get in no matter what.
Daichi gritted his teeth and placed on hand on the door, hearing it thump but the door did not give way signalling that the seal had been put on the door.
“Please hear me out” he pleaded.
“Oh hear you out? Why should I?” She snapped loudly “You didn’t give me the same courtesy nor did you believe me so get out of our lives and stay away! There is no home left for you to return to! We don’t want someone like you who would just toss us aside when you are unhappy with something that doesn’t agree with you!” Yuuki screamed while Hana hid in her room so she could try to drown out the noise. Daichi however felt his shoulders slump from her words knowing that she was deeply hurt.
“And I am truly sorry, I wasn’t thinking and I was angry that this had been hidden from me” Daichi replied sounding guilty but Yuuki was not going to have it.
Neko however pushed his glasses up as he felt Yuuki’s pain, there was so much heartbreak and ruined trust that it was surprise that the young mother was even standing. As the ginger haired male watched them he suddenly blinked as he sensed not three but four life auras, it was then that Neko realised why the young mother was determined to push the fox away.
“I don’t believe you Daichi so go away, we don’t want you here!” Yuuki yelled as she then walked away from the door, Daichi’s eyes went wide as he heard her footsteps travel away from them.
“Yuuki? Yuuki no please come back!” Daichi cried and pleaded as he continued to bang on the door. The red head slumped onto the wooden floor and sighed before he hit the door lightly with his fist.
Neko sighed as he walked towards the red head and patted his shoulder.
“No one said that this was going to be easy, so what are you going to do now?” Neko asked as he looked at Daichi who looked back at the teenage boy.
“I’m staying” Daichi said in a determined tone. This took Neko by surprise before a grin forms on his face.
“Great but erm is it possible for me to talk to her alone?” Neko asked hesitantly, Daichi blinked.
“Why?” Daichi asked sounding suspicious.
“Just want to talk after all you two are my very first clients and I want to see this through you know... but it does mean that you have to go until I enter the house” Neko admitted weakly, Daichi gave him a dark look but took the hint. Once he was out of sight did Neko take a deep breath, this was it. His first case that will make or break him.
Knocking on the door Neko pushed his glasses up and released a shaky sigh, he did catch the sound of foot steps and smiled knowing who it was.
“Hana?” Neko called softly, the person behind the door squeaked in shock at how this new person sounded.
“Mummy! Mummy some strange man is at the door!” This left Neko smiling weakly from the title, well that went well. Suddenly the door opened showing Yuuki who was glaring.
“Who are you and how do you know my daughter’s name?” Yuuki demanded causing the poor boy to stutter violently.
“A-Ah, s-so sorry f-for i-int-teru-upting you but I-I am here to talk t-to you” Neko stuttered violently causing Yuuki to tilt her head in surprise and confusion.
“Um... what do you want to talk about?” Yuuki asked as she looked at him with suspicion given that this could be an act to fool her.
“You see I am a God who brings news about the one who hurt your neck” Yuuki blinked and instinctively placed her hand onto her neck, she could almost remember the hold that almost choked the life out of her.
“Okay... what about this person?” Yuuki asked with suspicious eyes.
“Yōkai” Neko corrected which made her raise a brow at how picky he was with titles.
“Yōkai, so what about him?” Yuuki asked in a calm tone.
“W-Well” Neko pushes his glasses up “h-he was taken in by the Gods of Izumo and just today was e-executed f-for his c-crimes” Neko said with a stutter in his voice, Yuuki stared at him blankly.
“And I should be thrilled?” Yuuki asked in a blunt tone that left him slightly unnerved.
“Well we were trying very hard to capture him for his crimes and we had help from your mate Daichi” Yuuki’s features darkened from his words.
“He is not my mate!” she snapped darkly taking him by surprise. “He marked me nothing more nothing less”
“But what about your unborn baby?” Yuuki went cold.
“Get out” she said before closing the door only his hand blocked it.
“Please Yuuki I want to talk, I know about your predicament”
“Oh really? Did he tell you all about me even though he called me a lying cheating whore?” She asked in a sarcastic tone that left him wincing.
“Yeah... but I know that there are some relics that the Goddess of Time leaves to draw people into different time periods” Neko explained, this took Yuuki by surprise.
“Wait so you believe me-no wait I’m not the only one who suffered this?” Yuuki asked with disbelief on her face, Neko nodded sharply.
“Yes Miss Yuuki, can we talk inside though? No tricks I promise I am an honest newbie God so I wouldn’t know what to do to trick people” Neko placed his hands up signalling that he meant no harm. Yuuki wasn’t convinced for a moment. Daichi as he listened felt his stomach plummet as he heard her talk about the secret that she had hid from him.
“I trusted him and he abandoned me just for keeping this from him” Yuuki said bitterly.
“I know and to be honest he is an idiot to throw such a good woman who has carried not one but two of his children” both Yuuki and Daichi’s eyes went wide in shock from his words, Yuuki immediately spotted the red head appear from his hiding spot, his eyes showing that he was shocked and was about to move towards her.
“You’re telling the truth I believe you!” Yuuki yelled hastily before pulling Neko who yelped from the sudden move and watched her slam the door shut before placing the seal on the door. Daichi as expected slammed right into the door and fell back to the point that he hit the front porch.
“Ooow...” Daichi whined before looking up at the door. His ears and tail went limp as he felt himself grow sick now knowing that his mate was now pregnant again, only this time she was purposely kicking him out of their lives for good to his dismay. Daichi then placed his hand over his face and whined weakly knowing that he messed up big time.
“Who are you really?” Yuuki asked as she handed Neko some water while Hana stared at him coldly. Not once did she take her eyes off of him which left Neko stuttering slightly.
“I’m Neko the-the God of Marriage, Daichi earlier on asked me to tied your fates together” Neko stuttered slightly, Yuuki blinked in shock.
“What kind of mother would give you that name if you don’t mind me asking?” Yuuki asked while tilting her head, even Hana was blinking from the name.
“Well” he said as blushed slightly while grinning weakly “mother couldn’t find any good names when she had me and this was the only name that came to mind” he admitted weakly. Yuuki gave him a look before sighing.
“So you’re a Marriage God?” Yuuki asked with an unsure look. He nodded with an enthusiastic smile.
“Oh yes! Yes I am and I just started not too long ago. In fact you and Daichi are my very first clients and it wasn’t easy to have him agree I have you know” Neko commented with a sheepish smile.
“And I’m sorry but you’re wasting your time” Yuuki said softly as she looked away.
“Huh?!” Neko cried out in alarm while he saw both mother and daughter look at one another before looking down.
“He doesn’t want us and even if he does now, it’s too late and I refuse to bring him back into our lives just to ruin us again” Yuuki said with a sad look while Hana whined weakly before moving over to hug her mother.
“But he sold Hakai out for you knowing that his brother was going to hurt you again!” he cried in alarm “Doesn’t that mean anything?”
“Not anymore” Yuuki sighed as she looked down causing the young boy to feel his heart sink.
“Then why does your heart still wish for him to come back?” Neko asked weakly.
“It’s a feeling that will pass” Yuuki said blankly as she stroked the back of her daughter’s head in an absentminded manner, Neko watched them with sad eyes.
“But what about your baby? Surely it’ll want to ask about the father just like Hana had done” Neko asked as he watched Hana look up at Yuuki, the young mother sighed before looking at her daughter’s confused look.
“The sound you heard in mummy’s tummy is your little brother or sister” Yuuki explained softly, hearing this took Hana by surprise.
“I’m going to be a big sister?” Hana exclaimed in alarm while her eyes lit up from the fact that she and her mummy were not going to be alone anymore, seeing this made Yuuki smile.
“Yes darling” Yuuki smiled as she patted Hana who now moved closer to hug the black haired woman, Yuuki chuckled in reply as Hana’s tail wagged with glee. Seeing this made Neko smile knowing that Hana’s mood was now up.
“Tell HIM that I want nothing to do with him though, I can’t take anymore hurt in my life. It’s bad enough I can’t see my mother or father for advice, I can’t even see my siblings let alone talk to them” Yuuki said feeling her mood go back down again, Neko winced.
“I know about not being able to see your family” Yuuki looks up “My mother dumped me in the shrine last year and hasn’t visited me until paid her a few weeks ago” Neko admitted as his glasses slid down his nose when he looked down, Yuuki stared at him knowing how sad he was even though some light glints at his glasses.
“Do you miss your parents?” Yuuki asked hesitantly, Neko looked up and nodded shyly.
“It was always a busy time since they both work plus my siblings are already working in their own provinces” Neko added as he tried to sound cheerful even if it was forced, Yuuki and Hana looked at the other before they looked at Neko.
“Mummy wants me to see my grandparents and siblings when I’m older” Hana piped up causing the young boy to look at her.
“Really?” Hana nods eagerly which brought a smile to bloom on his face.
Daichi laid where he originally hid when Neko had been talking to Yuuki, a frown still formed itself on his face.
"I’m going to be a father... again?!" Daichi muttered weakly as he laid on his back, ignoring the fire he had made beside him so he could keep warm. What a mess indeed and all that effort to sell his brother out... talk about annoying. Daichi bit his lip and looked at the stars above his head, sadly his mind was not into sleeping mode due to the overwhelming thoughts that had left him with a massive headache.
His head then turned back to the flames in hopes of getting some sleep, to his relief his body started to slowly relax only just as he was about to fall asleep. The sound of a twig being snapped made his ears twitch causing him to open his eyes slightly. He looked lazily at the area of where the twig had been snapped before his eyes went wide as he saw who was approaching him.
“Hana?” Daichi immediately shot up as he looked at her. “What are you doing out of your home?” Hana didn’t respond, instead she walked towards him and lifted a piece of paper which took him by surprise. He took the picture carefully and looked at it with curious eyes only he bit his lip from realizing that she was showing him the picture that left him conflicted.
“Why are you showing me this Hana? Do you know who they are?” Daichi asked with a small smile as to not upset Hana anymore. Hana looked at him with weary eyes.
“That’s mummy’s parents, two sisters and brother” Hana replied meekly as she looked at the person who she once called father, the one who had said very mean things to them. Daichi as he listened felt himself grow sick as he now realised the similarities between each family member, how could he not see this sooner?
“Why are you calling mummy mean names? Don’t you like us anymore?” Hana asked in a meek voice that broke Daichi’s heart.
“Of course I do!” he cried weakly but Hana wasn’t convinced causing him to sigh “daddy was just upset about something that happened to be a misunderstanding. Daddy didn’t mean to say all those mean stuff and he is really sorry for what he said” Daichi said while looking down as guilt started to hit him more than ever. Soon a hand patted his shoulder causing the red head to look and see Hana looking at him with sad eyes, without saying anything he had her sit on his lap and hugged her gently.
“So you don’t hate us?” Hana asked as she looked at him not daring to hope thanks to what happened before, Daichi shook his head.
“I was just upset about how you mother hid this from me” he spoke softly.
“But no one was suppose to know” she cried out taking him by surprise. “It was suppose to be a secret or bad things would happen” she added sharply causing him to sigh.
“I know now, I know” Daichi muttered as he stroked her head.
“Are you going to leave us though?” Daichi smiled and shook his head.
“Nah, I’m staying here with my family even if I have to annoy your mummy by sitting in front of the house. I’m staying no matter what” Daichi gave her a grin that made the little girl giggle from how cheeky he was acting.
“You’re funny” she smiles widely, Daichi chuckles and pats her head.
“You should head home now” Daichi said softly as he looks at her.
“But won’t you be lonely?” Hana asked as she tilted her head to the side, Daichi smiled.
“But knowing that you are safe at home with your mummy will make me more happy” Daichi tapped her nose before letting her stand on the earthy ground “Now run along now Hana, otherwise your mummy might tell you off” Daichi winks causing her to smile widely.
“Nighty night daddy” Hana turned to run back to the house, the door was still open to her relief so once she entered she closed the door and put the seal back in his place. Daichi watched before sighing knowing that she was now indoors.
“Nighty night Hana” Daichi spoke softly before laying down on the ground so he could go to sleep.
During the six weeks that went by were filled with Yuuki getting annoyed by how Daichi would just sit by the porch watching the house. However at times Hana would visit him when it was night time and would often listen to his tales of areas that he had visited. Just hearing them left Hana eager to visit the areas herself, while seeing her enthusiasm made Daichi smile and kiss her head.
At times Yuuki would just storm out the house and yell at him in hopes of sending him away from them, however he would always refuse leaving her frustrated.
"You know stress is not good for the baby right?" Daichi would say with a sly smirk that left her screaming in anger before walking away from him. To her dismay after another week had past and Hana during dinner time had brought him inside leaving Yuuki gritting her teeth in anger. So as a way of showing that he wasn’t welcome she had made portions for herself, Hana and Neko leaving Daichi wincing mentally, even though he was smiling and shrugged at her before saying ‘oh well’. Hana as she eat looked at her father weakly before handing half her portion to her father, Daichi looked at Hana and patted her head.
“You eat it, you need it more than me after all you’re a growing girl aren’t you not?” Daichi spoke with a warm smile, Hana’s ears however pinned themselves to their skull feeling more guilty for bringing him in since he was not welcome in the house.
“I guess...” Hana murmured weakly, Yuuki bit her lip as she watched them but she was not going to open her heart anytime soon. Even if her daughter was warming up to him again, the young mother was not taking the risk after what happened before.
“Why don’t you just give up?” Yuuki asked Daichi darkly as she saw him washing the dishes even though she didn’t want him touching her stuff.
“Why should I give up?” he asked while washing up. “My family needs me and I already disappointed them once because I acted out of line without getting all the facts. I’m not going to do it again” Daichi said sternly as he dried the bowl that had been used by Hana, Yuuki barked out a laugh.
“Oh really? You think I’m going to fall for that again?” Yuuki asked coldly before Daichi turned to look at her.
“I messed up and my pride over took my ability to think straight, I know that’s not an excuse Yuuki but I am willing to fix this” Daichi said showing determined eyes, Yuuki still wasn’t buying it.
“No matter what, my feelings will still remain the same no matter how bad things get” Daichi watched her turn to leave.
“I’m not listening to this” Yuuki shook her head as she walked away.
“No matter what Yuuki I will always love you” Daichi said loudly, she stopped to turn and glare at him.
“You have no idea of what love is, love does not involve breaking the hearts of those who you care about and call them such horrid things, nor does it involve turning a blind eye when someone is trying to tell you the truth” she spat. Before Yuuki could process what happened she was enveloped into a tight hug.
“If I could, I would take back everything that I have said to you. It was not right and I didn’t take your feelings into consideration” Daichi murmured.
“No you took your own because you have a huge ego!” she snapped “Now let go” she growled while trying to break free.
“Not until we patch things up, Yuuki I’m asking for one last chance please” Daichi pleaded softly.
“Why should I? Why should I allow myself to fall knowing that once again you’ll just let me get hurt?” Yuuki asked angrily.
“Because this time I’m willing to try and work things out, I lost you so many times Yuuki” he said softly. “Just losing you again would leave me more hurt than ever, you may not know this but a Yōkai can only love once and once that person dies it leaves us with the sorrow of knowing that we will never love anyone else” Daichi added, this didn’t sit well with her.
“So why bother with me? I’m going to die once I am back into my time period”
“That’s five hundred years away Yuuki, we have a long time to spend with one another compared to other yōkai and humans. Why can’t we allow ourselves to be the exceptions?” Daichi asked.
“Because as you said, yōkai only love once! Once I go then what happens to our children? Answer me that!” she snapped “Are you going to leave them alone to wallow in self pity of something?” Yuuki barked in anger, to her surprise he was calm.
“No, I’m going to look after them. Hana told me that she wanted to see her grandparents, aunts and uncles. I want them to see her even if she is different and it’ll be hard to believe. But this Yuuki- this family means so much to me and I’ll be an idiot to throw it all away over a misunderstanding” Daichi muttered sharply, Yuuki looked up at him feeling herself wanting to cry.
“You say that now but then you’ll either get tired of us or just throw us away when the going gets tough again” Yuuki said as she started to sob, Daichi sighed as he pulled her into a tight hug.
“I’m sorry Yuuki, I am so so sorry. I really do wish that I could take it back, I was angry and my pride felt bruised from the fact that you hid this from me. But then thanks to Neko, he reminded me that I hadn’t told you anything about my family either” Daichi spoke in a tender voice as his mate wiped her eyes weakly. He smiled softly and kissed her nose gently.
“I am sorry and I love you too much to lose you again” Daichi said in a firm voice while smiling at her.
“D-Do you really mean that?” Yuuki asked meekly not daring to hope in case he was tricking her into a false sense of security, he smiled widely and kissed her lips this time before pulling back.
“Really” the red head replies.
“UWAAAAAH! IT’S COMING!” Yuuki screamed as she gripped the sheets as sweat ran down her brow. Forget what the women said who had their second baby, they were lying beggars the lot of them! This was not any easier compared to when she had Hana and using the fact that she and her sibling were yōkai while she was human was no excuse at all. Daichi bit his lip as he held her hand while Neko’s mother a tall woman with brown hair and grey eyes like Neko had helped assist in the delivery.
The months leading up to this had been a busy time, to start with Yuuki and Daichi had not only their fates tied but were married under human customs, they had moved to Neko’s shrine so Daichi could work as a familiar in order to help the nervous stuttering boy while he tried to do his work. No matter what Neko was always shocked by how kind Daichi was being towards him especially for agreeing to be his familiar. Sure it was a little odd since it involved kissing Daichi’s mouth but as promised Hana and Yuuki could move in since there was a lot of space for one person to live in. At times Neko’s family did visit to see how he was doing which left the boy either grinning or sighing from how his family acted. Now they were dealing with the new arrival to the shrine while Hana stayed with Miwa since the screams were scaring the kit.
“Take deep breaths” Neko’s mother said softly.
“Are you a human who is giving birth to a half yōkai half human?! I didn’t think so! So stop-AAHCK telling me to take deep breaths!” Yuuki whined as she sent her head onto the pillows “I can’t do this Daichi this baby is taking too long” Yuuki cried as Daichi felt himself almost cry from seeing her in such distress.
“It won’t be for much longer okay?” he asked softly. Yuuki gripped his hand tightly which made the male yōkai almost bit his lip from the pain.
“I’ll take your word on it” she muttered before screaming once again from the pain.
Yuuki even though she was tired was holding a small bundle that had red hair and ocean blue eyes.
“It’s a healthy little boy Yuuki” Daichi marveled at the little boy who was sleeping in her arms, very soon Hana tip toed into the room and gazed at her little brother.
“What’s his name mama?” Hana asked, the parents look at one another. Yuuki smiled knowing what might suit their son.
“Hakai” Yuuki spoke warmly to Hana, Daichi however went still as he held her arm.
“Y-Yuuki are you sure?” Daichi asked feeling himself remember his brother, she nods.
“I believe in second chances and this is to honour your brother even in death” she spoke warmly, tears slowly bloomed in his eyes as he pulled her and Hana into a tight hug.
“I love you all so much” Daichi smiled as they enjoyed the other’s embrace.