Our Little Secret

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Chapter 6 - Tantrums are not fun!

“Food now” demanded a stern two year old as she looked up at her mother with narrowed earthy green eyes.

“H-Hana dinner isn’t done yet” Yuuki said in a shocked voice, she was taken by surprise at how her daughter would just boss her around like she owned the place. Then again Yuuki could almost slap herself for the fact that her daughter might have definitely inherited her father’s demanding personality... then again he was high maintenance when he was around her.

“Food now!” Hanna snapped now having the hairs of her ears and tail bristling in anger from not getting her own way. Seeing this made Yuuki and chuckle at her pouting daughter.

“I’m sorry Hana but it won’t be for much longer” Yuuki replied softly making Hana glare, but in the end she nodded from Yuuki’s words knowing that her mother wouldn’t give in no matter what. The toddler pouted before going back to her room leaving Yuuki alone to cook. This left Yuuki shaking her head at her daughter’s behaviour, not that she could blame Hana but it was worrying that the toddler would still remain impatient.

It was hard to imagine that this little tyke- the same one that was trying to crawl, walk and talk was now throwing fits when she didn’t get her own way. Then again this was a normal stage for two year olds, it just meant that she would also have to prepare for three, four and five year old tantrums which she was sure was going to be ‘fun’.

Although she did have it lucky this time since the last time Hana had threw a tantrum, her eyes had turned to slits and before she began to growl and yell at Yuuki shocking the mother deeply before she frowned at her daughter. It was then that Hana had realised that she had crossed the line given the fact that Yuuki had a disapproving look on her face. The little kit had mumbled her apology before going to her room in order to sulk in silence, within a few minutes Yuuki had gone to visit Hana in order to find out what had gotten the little kit.

Yuuki in a way could not blame the little kit; after all she did somehow inherit her father’s impatient temper. Something told her that Daichi was always determined to get whatever he wanted which in truth did not sit well with Yuuki, so as a result had always said no in order to stop her daughter from being spoiled in any shape or form. While at the same time alert Hana that she could not always have whatever she wanted and should be happy with whatever she had. Even if it wasn’t what she wanted completely, with luck it will help her daughter develop patients, compassion and would be able learn to be kind to others as well. But there was one secret wish that Yuuki did hope you come true and that was for Hana to be happy and positive, even when things did seem bleak.

Yuuki folded the last of her clothing before tending to the cooking which had just been about done. She turned to the side to see Hana staring up at her as she waited to hear if food was now done or not, Hana’s mouth parted and her tail wagged as Yuuki smiled at her signalling that food was done.

“Go and wash your hands” Yuuki instructed before getting the bowls, they didn’t live on much but it was okay since in a way it had taught them to be thankful with what they had but it didn’t stop Hana from looking forward to the delicious food her mother made. Every item Yuuki had was always used sparingly and never wasted leaving Hana happy but at the same time annoyed that she couldn’t have a snack from time to time, not that she was complaining after all if she did start a habit of eating snacks from time to time it would leave them with less money and food.

There had been one time when Hana had convinced Yuuki to get her a snack and she did which resulted them in almost being penniless, not that Yuuki complained but it just meant that she would have to give almost half of her share which had left Hana completely guilty for taking her mother’s share. This caused the young kit to hardly ask again even if it did leave her pouting and grumbling. After all Yuuki could have easily said no that time but she didn’t, just seeing and knowing that had left Hana looking sad, which had hurt Yuuki deeply after all she would never want to hurt or upset Hana in any shape or form. That is unless she was throwing a tantrum over something she shouldn’t have, although Hana wasn’t so happy over hiding her ears and tail whenever they were out. Even though Yuuki had said that no one in the village would be so happy and accepting over Hana’s appearance this did leave the kit saddened by the news. However there was a bright side to their home, she could be free to be herself and never have to hide who she was given how no one would come here. It was dangerous to some and the villagers were scared of yōkai, the funny thing was that Hana was aware that she wasn’t normal compared to her mother but that was okay. After all as long as her mother was with her. Hana would never feel truly sad or alone although, she did wonder who her father was which in turn had left Yuuki frozen. This at times did pipe the little one’s interest and left her wondering if her father had wanted them or not, however her answers were answered after a week when she was getting ready for sleep.

“You’re father doesn’t know where we are” Yuuki admitted weakly taking Hana by surprise.

“Why not?” Hana asked loudly, hearing this made Yuuki sigh.

“Yōkai and humans are not allowed to be together, humans and yōkai are not accepting to one another. To humans yōkai are evil and hurt since to yōkai, they think that humans are weak creatures that are breakable, that are insects” Yuuki explained, hearing this made Hana pout.

“Mummy not an insect!” Hana said sharply making Yuuki smile softly.

“I know, but it wouldn’t be safe for us to be near the other. Things will pull us apart and it wouldn’t be fair on you, mummy is trying to keep you safe no matter what and if they found out that you are half human half yōkai they will hurt you” Yuuki explained, part of her was wondering why she was talking such a scary subject to her two year old but she knew somehow that Hana would understand what she was talking about. She was smart in her own way, then again she was a quick learner.

“Thas not fair” Hana whined before hugging her mother who hugged her back in reply.

“I know but that’s how some people are. Where I am from though” Hana looked up in confusion “people are not so scared because yōkai are often hidden. There are almost the same amount on each side but humans do not know that” Yuuki winked making Hana smile before a frown appeared on her face.

“I don’t wanna hide, Hana wanna to be Hana” the kit said meekly making Yuuki smile.

“I know you don’t” Yuuki patted Hana’s head softly “I know you hate having your ears and tail covered but that’s the only way you can blend in. Otherwise you will be hurt, even if they know the real you. Others from the nearby villages will not be so welcoming, that’s how things are” Yuuki explained softly as she hugged her daughter.

“Just hold on a bit longer and we’ll travel somewhere that has a mixed amount okay” Yuuki asked softly, however Hana shook her head.

“I wike it here, why can’t they wike me?” Hana said before tears ran down her face. Yuuki sighed and held her daughter before rocking her little body back and forth.

“I know, I know” Yuuki said softly. After what seemed like forever, Hana had stopped crying and instead was sniffling. She looked up and blinked at her mother who was looking down at her.

“Whas your home wike?” Hana asked meekly, hearing this made Yuuki smile.

“I’ll tell you about your uncle, aunt and grandparents as well how does that sound?” Yuuki chuckled as she saw how this perked up Hana’s interests, tears and sadness now forgotten as she looked up and waited for her mother to start.

The next morning Hana had jumped out of the porch, after landing wobbly she immediately began to try chase a small wood creature who immediately began to run away knowing that she was dangerous to it. Hana continued to giggle as she ran shakily after the creature with a grin. Not knowing or caring about the world around her.

“Oof!” Hana dropped to the floor after colliding with something. The person turned to look at her before their eyes went wide in shock. Hana was rubbing her sore nose before looking up at the stranger. There before her was a man with fiery red hair who had earthy green eyes. What shocked her was not the beautiful yukata that had black fires on the sleeves; it was what was on his head- fox ears like hers. Hana’s eyes also caught the sight of a red furry tail which could only mean one thing, he was a yōkai.

Hana immediately stood up only to stumble from rushing up too quickly and then backed away before running back home, this took the male yōkai by surprise.

“W-Wait!” he cried out now realising what was happening “I’m not going to hurt you!” he said but didn’t move knowing that the mother will know.

Daichi mentally cursed from his bad luck, all he was doing was watching Yuuki and Hana’s home from a distance in order to make sure that they were safe. He had gone down from the tree now feeling satisfied that they were okay and was about to summon Miwa to keep an eye on them from a distance so he could leave to rest for a while. Only to have something collide at his leg, assuming that it was a wild creature he was about to turn and give it a piece of his mind until he froze. It was Hana to his shock and it was then at that moment he had lost the will to speak- it was her. The one little thing that he and Yuuki had brought into this world, the one thing that tied him to Yuuki besides the fact that he had marked her as his mate. In truth it was like looking at a mirror since she had his eyes but his heart swelled from the fact that she had Yuuki’s hair. However the difference between Hana and him was that her eyes were filled with life, joy, innocence and hope. His eyes were filled with stained innocence, guilt, anger and loss. It had often left him wondering if he was even good enough to raise a child let alone be near one, after all what could he provide for her if he couldn’t do much for Yuuki? After all the moment someone were to find out about them it would all be over, no one would accept their love since it was taboo for a reason. To some yōkai humans were insects, some knew that they were not like humans. For humans, they would break easily while other yōkai would say that a human’s life span was shorter and that their ability to love shifts easily while a yōkai loved for life.

Just thinking about that left him wondering if Yuuki ever did love him after all she allowed Hana to be born and kept her from danger, instead of sending their daughter to her death. Yuuki never did say that she loved him nor did she try to find him the moment she found out that she was pregnant. This in turn left Daichi curious about what she did think about him, he couldn’t just up and ask her given that he was suppose to be unaware of her location. It would also scare her enough to run away which was something he did not want.

However just seeing Hana had left him feeling a sense of longing, not just seeing her and her mother from afar but to have them this close had left him breathless and almost relieved that they were safe for now. This little girl was his child, the one who he wanted to protect from danger as well. It terrified him and yet it gave him a sense of purpose, the one thing he didn’t have before. Killing those who got in his way, drinking all he wanted, having fun with the tanuki girls at the red district or taking the unwilling girls before killing them once they got boring, getting territories just for fun with his brother Hakai. But now this had caught his attention, this was something important and it had given him a reason to treasure things more in life knowing that things don’t last forever much to his dismay. However Daichi still wanted to be there and give both Yuuki and Hana all the love and happiness that they needed. Was this what humans no what a parent would think in regards to their child and mate?

Just seeing people die in front of him had now started to leave him sick to his stomach, given that just seeing the dead women and children reminded him of Yuuki and Hana. The red haired kitsune could almost see himself in those dead men that he and his brother would slaughter, be it for fun or in order to see who was stronger even though it would always end the same in him and his brother winning. Which had now left him scared and worried about their wellbeing if he were to die suddenly without warning. He would not be able to watch his own daughter; he would not be able to see his mate nor his own flesh and blood as she grew which had utterly terrified him. He wasn’t much on emotions but just seeing her and Yuuki had lit a fire that he was sure had been extinguished all those years ago, but now it’s like everything was coming back to him- this ability to feel, this need to want something so much that he would do whatever he could in order to keep the things precious to him safe from harm.

At that moment the only thing he wanted to do now was hide them from his brother more than ever, after all Hakai would always steal what was his and damage it. At this point it was getting to the point that he wouldn’t be able to stand his brother for much longer if this kept progressing. After all he was always short tempered and dangerous when provoked or angry from anything that would displease him, and Daichi didn’t want to lose his family after everything he went though. Maybe that’s why he hadn’t made himself known to the pair. Knowing that if he did he would not be able to leave when the time came, so the best thing that he could do was watch over them from a distance and keep anything dangerous away.

“Hana!” Daichi’s ears twitched and he immediately turned to the location of the voice, his heart swelled with happiness and longing the moment he heard her voice. Without warning a smile had appeared to the point that it made his cheeks hurt, it was then that he realised that he was actually smiling which to him was new and odd since he had never truly smiled in this manner before.

Daichi moved quietly to the tree he had perched on before and looked past the branches that concealed him to see Yuuki standing on the porch of the house. Waiting for their daughter to greet Yuuki, however instead of a happy greeting it was-

“Mummy! Strange yōkai near home!” Hana cried to Yuuki’s shock, Daichi however had almost fell off the tree he was resting on from her words.

"Not good" he winced as he saw Yuuki looking round after picking Hana up before immediately going back indoors. It was then that he spotted a small barrier that went from blue to see through the moment the door had been locked. Daichi’s ears pinned themselves to his skull from witnessing what happened and why he couldn’t enter, that went well... but on the bright side at least Yuuki was smart in regards to avoiding danger.

Yuuki signed as she finished closing the door and immediately placed the talisman back onto the door, allowing them to be protected within a barrier. Even though it was risky since a lot of dangerous things could happen inside the house and only she could remove the talisman, however at least they would be safe for now given that no one could enter when the talisman was on. And if anything bad did try to invade the house it would not be able to get back out. Trapping it within the power of the barrier.

Yumi muttered thanks to her friend Ami before tending to her scared child, she knelt down allowing Hana latch onto her front. Yuuki stroked her troubled child who was shaking like a leaf.

“What happened Hana?” Yuuki asked with a look of concern, Hana after a she started to regain the ability to think had looked up weakly.

“Yōkai wike me” Hana cried out taking the shocked mother by surprise. Another fox yōkai? How was that possible? Then again the yōkai probably didn’t think Hana was that interesting and so had allowed her daughter to leave. Yuuki shuddered from the thoughts as she held her daughter close while trying to soothe the troubled child; Hana however gripped Yuuki tightly as she shook. After what seemed like hours did Hana finally settle in her arms, Yuuki seeing this soon sighed in relief before looking at the forgotten breakfast, at that moment food was no longer on the agenda for she didn’t have the stomach to eat. No her mind was on who Hana had seen, it must have been a scary kitsune. That or she had been taken completely by surprise from the fact that she saw a yōkai with fox ears and a tail. After all she never did meet any before so it did make sense to some degree, Yuuki rubbed her temples using her free hand... talk about a stressful morning.

Daichi mentally cursed in anger, well that went well...not!

He had scared Hana and he was now sure that there was a slim chance of her ever wanting to go out the house again thanks to that experience. He didn’t really mean to scare her, he really didn’t. The red haired kitsune had only wanted to talk to her once he regain the ability to speak. For in truth he was completely stupefied, shocked and even surprised by the sudden turn of events. She was just right there- in the flesh as well and that had left him feeling like his chest had been punched or something. That one little girl had taken his breath away and it amazed him at how much such a small confrontation could cause.

He didn’t want to lose them and something told him that he might, after all Yuuki would do anything to keep Hana safe even if meant moving somewhere else but he didn’t want that. He had just found them and he didn’t want to lose them-oh no!

Daichi moved away in order to put as much space between him and the pair as possible; it was rotten timing to say the least.

Once he had reached a secluded spot did he stop, only a part of him now wished that he hadn’t for what greeted him were mangled bloody corpses, were they bandits he didn’t know but he did recognize the brutality.

“Brother there you are!” Came a happy voice that was located to the left of him.

“You missed all the fun” Hakai commented almost sounding like he was disappointed as he looked at him. Daichi turned to his brother who even though he didn’t look like he was pouting, his voice was another story.

“I wasn’t feeling like it I’m afraid brother” Daichi said calmly before looking at the corpses, Hakai now seeing what he was looking at grinned.

“Some humans travellers, I thought that they would have something interesting only to find that their items were lame” Hakai commented with a frown “The females were too ugly and noisy as well, they wouldn’t have been interesting to play with either I’m afraid” Hakai added feeling annoyed by what had transpired, Daichi almost looked at him sharply from hearing his brother’s cruel words.

“So instead of waiting for nightfall you killed them just to steal their items?” Daichi asked trying not to show any emotions like disbelief, Hakai blinked from his brother’s words before pouting.

“Well yeah, what they carried seemed interesting enough and they had a few guards with them” Hakai replied bluntly, Daichi at that moment was trying very hard to remain calm so he breathed through his nose. How stupid could his brother get? What was he even going to do with the ‘useless’ items now that he had killed the travellers?!

“You know how I feel about meaningless killings” Daichi spoke almost scolding his brother by the way he looked at his brother. Hakai however instead of showing that he was bothered by his brother’s words had tossed the red head a floral yukata, Daichi however allowed it to hit the floor instead of catching it in mid air. He was not taking it.

“What’s wrong? Not to your taste? You like these types of clothes right?” Hakai asked as he looked at his brother, now looking surprised to see that his brother would not take something like this and would allow it to hit the floor. Not caring if it got damaged or not.

“I am not stealing from the dead, if I wanted something I would earn it. This is your spoils, you keep it” Daichi said coldly before walking away from his shocked brother. Deep down Daichi was shocked that he would refuse something exquisite but seeing that the humans were just killed for nothing had made him sick to his stomach. He was not going to tolerate this.

Hakai watched his brother while frowning. Something wasn’t adding up and he knew his brother well.

“Hey, go and see what’s going on with my brother will you” Hakai ordered something or someone nearby. A shadow moved away from him silently leaving him alone with the fresh corpses, he eyed the yukata and picked it up while trying not to damage it.

“Happy birthday to you to Daichi” he muttered to himself.

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