Adopted is the Key Word

Disclaimer: I do NOT own Grim Tales

Junior whistled to himself innocently as he read a comic, pretending not to notice Mimi glaring at him. It was a battle of wills…a game of determination: Who gave first? Would she stop glaring or would he acknowledge the glare. He could outlast her, he really could.

If only he didn't enjoy teasing her when she was like this.

"Look, I'll go three muffins, but that's the extent of the apology train," Junior informed with a chuckle, glancing over as she crossed her arms and grumbled. "Oh, don't be like that. You like Chi."

Mimi growled as she started to throw out sign language. Something she only did when obligated to, when time was of the essence, or when she was really, REALLY upset. 'Chi has become a Grabby Perv!'

"Yeah, I know. Your desire to wear daisy dukes outside of school is going to drive her crazy. And, eventually, I'll have an excuse to have a "talk" with her about boundaries. Should be a win-win for everyone but Chi," Junior pointed out, getting a raised eyebrow from her. "What, I had a plan the whole time," he informed, gaining a skeptical look. He was about to return to his graphic novel when something crossed his mind. "Wait. She hasn't actually touched you beyond the butt, right?" he asked in concern.

Mimi rolled her eyes at that, holding up a finger and making a so-so gesture with the other hand.

"Oh, accident. Well, at least she has some decency and self-control," Junior thought in sympathy, shooting an accusing look at Mimi who tilted her head in confusion. "Did she apologize for it or just never realize?"

Mimi's mouth quirked upwards, twice, thrice. The dark haired beauty proceeded to stand up, take a breath, and gained a look of complete and utter fear and apology. She held her hands together as if in prayer, bowing at the waist repeatedly at nothing. Mimi proceeded to stand in front of where she had been, pretending to look surprised while leaning back before giving an awkward and tentative pat where Junior imagined a teary eyed red head should be.

"BLAHAHA! Really, she freaked out that bad!?" Junior asked, laughing on the couch as Mimi smirked in agreement. "You have tried telling her to stop, right? Like, type or write it down?"

Mimi just gave him a helpless look, shrugging uncertainly.

"Let me guess. She's your friend, and since you can't just blurt something out like the rest of us, you actually have time to think about what you're about to tell her in writing, and you hate the idea of crushing her heart. Stop me if I'm missing the mark?" Junior asked knowingly.

Mimi's eyebrow twitched at being read so well.

"I'm your guardian, it's my job to figure you out," Junior said, obviously proud of being able to interpret her so well. "So, got any homework for the weekend?"

Mimi shook her head, but pulled a folded up piece of paper from her pockets and handed it to him.

"Eh? Field trip to the Bike Museum? Oh, dammit, there goes that birthday idea," Junior muttered with a glare, missing the silent smile Mimi gave him at that noti- "oh, hell, no," Junior murmured in annoyance.

Mimi blinked in surprise, leaning down to find what about the slip Junior didn't agree with. Glaring at the offending document, she followed where Junior's finger tapped and her mood soured. The person in charge of the trip was Rachel Roth.

"So...you think you can handle being around her for most of a day?" Junior asked, looking away and ignoring that her cheek was against his own. In response, she turned around and slid down against the couch with her arms crossed. "Yeah, I didn't think so," Junior murmured, patting her on the head. They sat in silence for a moment, Junior staring at the permission paper before groaning and pinching the bridge of his nose. "Look, do you want to give her a second chance?"

Mimi gave him a weak, questioning glare over her shoulder.

"I'm not going to tell you what to do on this one. God knows I should be annoyed with her for implying I might be a rapist in waiting. Buuuut, given that she didn't know the full story, I'm obliged to say that maybe, just maybe, we should give her the benefit of the doubt," he provided as she stared at the floor uncertainly. "And, you know, your therapist is concerned about that grudge you're holding against Roth."

Mimi's shoulders sagged in a clear show of doubt.

"Just give it some thought. You got a while before you need to make up your mind," Junior said, ruffling her hair. She didn't protest or shake off the offending limb, she merely sat in silence.

And then the knock on the door came.

"That should be Chi. You getting it?" Junior asked with amused encouragement.

Mimi half turned, giving him an exasperated look as she resorted to sign language again. 'Do I have to?'

"Do you want that third muffin or not?" Junior challenged in jest. Mimi just sighed before standing up to answer the door. Taking a deep breath, she opened it and found...

And very over-packed Chi at the door.

"Hi, Mimi!" the red head greeted, carrying what looked like a hiking backpack of all things and a thoroughly stuffed one at that. "Sorry, Mom may have...over packed...me," Chi apologized, her voice growing quiet as her eyes drifted down to Mimi's bare, toned legs. The black shirt that her bellybutton peeked out of didn't help much. "Oh, sweet sweater puppies of Amaterasu!" she squeaked with a growing blush.

Mimi snapped her fingers in front of Chi's eyes, pointing to her own, which were obviously unamused.

"S-sorry, sorry! Just never seen you in your, um, street clothes? Home clothes?" Chi rambled sheepishly, scratching her cheek. Mimi rolled her eyes, waving her to come in as she retreated into the house. "Right, right, I'm coming!" Chi quickly entered the house, closing the door behind her as she studied it. The kitchen was to the left, living room to the right, and a hallway straight ahead. "How rustic," she mused under her breath.

"Ahem."

Chi stiffened, her eyes darting to the living room, Junior now sitting upright on the couch. "Oh, Hello, Mr. Reaper!" she greeted with a bright smile, hoping he didn't catch her slip.

"Chi, as corny and overused as it is, I mean this sincerely: Mr. Reaper was my father, call me Junior," he requested with a polite smile as Mimi brought him a soda from the kitchen. "Thanks, Mimi," he said before looking again at Chi, eyes scanning her up and down.

"W-what?" Chi asked with a gulp, worrying she was being judged already.

"Chi, I'm not responsible if you lose or break anything in that survival pack of yours you brought for one night," Junior warned dryly.

"Oh! That! Yeah. Don't worry, there's just a few things in there I'll bother bringing out. I have a sleeping bag ready though!" Chi explained.

"And I have a foldable couch," Junior answered with faux-pride, patting it in appreciation before mock glaring at Mimi. "Which I have to compete against this one for."

Mimi just gave a head-turned scoff, almost smirking…almost.

"Anyway, house rules. My house, so I rule," Junior joked, getting an amused look from Mimi. "But in all seriousness: Sodas are in the fridge, help yourself to anything that isn't the muffins or the shrimp, and you can watch anything that isn't porn. Other than that, I won't complain about any mess as long as you clean it up tomorrow. Also, it's Friday night and I have no work tomorrow, so set your own alarm if you want to be up before noon," Junior explained before rising from his seat, glancing to Mimi. "Any I forget?"

Chi looked alarmed as Mimi hissed.

"Oh, right. There's a stray cat around here. Don't feed it and don't let it in the house," Junior explained, rolling his shoulders to get the stiffness out. "Any questions?"

Chi blinked, absorbing the rules. "You're...not one of those people that think Anime is porn, right?" she asked warily.

Junior's eye twitched at that as he snatched the remote, pulling up the last thing that had been on.

And Chi's eyes widened.

"Is that Kill La Kill?!" Chi asked in gleeful disbelief. "I've wanted to watch this! Not that I'm not allowed to watch this specific one at home or anything," Chi said quickly.

Mimi gave her a blank look at that while Junior ignored the unconvincing comment. "Yeah, bought up the first season," he answered with a grin.

"Mimi, Chicken, Fries, Anime. I'm sorry, is this heaven?" Chi asked in excitement.

"Well, by my name, I think Elysium is more appropriate," Junior murmured to himself while sipping his drink. "But, speaking of chicken, I better call in the order. Chi, if you want more than a one meal, speak now or forever hold your peace," Junior instructed as he headed for the kitchen phone, Mimi giving him another look for the marriage joke.

"No, no. I already get enough scolding at home for being a glutton," Chi answered as she took off her backpack, looking up to see both members of the Reaper household having stopped to stare at her oddly. "What? What I say?"

"You? Eat too much? Chi, if you were any skinnier, I'd say you have an eating disorder," Junior commented bluntly, Mimi nodding in curious affirmative.

"Oh, that. Yeah, apparently I have a freakish metabolism," Chi explained as if it was no big deal. To her, it wasn't.

"Then if you become a successful Pop Star, you will likely be the envy of your peers who have to work to maintain such a figure," Junior stated in amusement as he dialed the number. "Yeah, I'd like to order a delivery?"

"So, should I call him your Dad or something if people ask?" Chi asked curiously, getting an annoyed headshake. "Fine, fine, I'll stick with guardian. Just trying to make things less awkward," she said as her hand sneaked towards her target.

"Chi."

Her hand shot back behind her back before she stared owlishly at Junior. "I'm feeling generous, so do you want a soda with this? Don't know if you like what we drink?" he offered casually.

"N-no, that's fine. M-me and Mimi drink the same brand," Chi assured, sweating bullets at almost being caught.

Mimi smirked with her arms crossed. This could be very amusing to her after all.

Timeskip

"Thirty, Thirty-one, Thirty-Two. Keep the change, and a five dollar tip," Junior gave to the delivery boy, who handed him two plastic bags in return.

"Thank you, have a good night, Sir!" Junior heard as he closed the door, hustling in the food to the living room.

"And I have returned bearing gifts of deep fried goodness!" Junior declared with a grin as he pulled one of the double-plate sealed dinners out. "This is mine, and the other two for the lovely ladies," he added in, placing the sack right between the two girls, sitting on pillows to get a front row seat to the ecchi goodness that was Kill la Kill.

"Oh, that smells delicious!" Chi cried as she opened the container and almost immediately began stuffing her face…with a rapturous look upon her face. Chi stopped and suddenly remembered she was among company. But she was relieved to see neither one had noticed, or simply didn't care. Glancing up as the credits rolled for the third episode, Chi decided this was a good time to talk. "So, what other anime you guys like?" she asked curiously.

"DxD, Heaven's Lost Property, No Game No Life, High School of the Dead, Cat Planet Cuties, Daily Life with Monster Girls," Junior answered from the couch.

Chi stared at him in disbelief. "Ar-are you serious or are you just trying to name off every Ecchi anime?!" Chi asked with a touch of envy.

"No, just every one we've watched," Junior answered with a chuckle.

Chi gave a glare to a very smug Mimi. "Never have I ever been so jealous over a guy," she stated with mock-venom, looking to Junior over her shoulder. "Can I just move in with you both?"

"Yeah, not happening," Junior stated with an eye roll. "We also like some of the classics. Bleach, Naruto, Tenchi Muyo, and Inuyasha."

"Ohh, I loved Inuyasha! Barely remember parts of it at times though since it's been so long," Chi admitted curiously, smirking playfully at them both. "So, who was your favorite ship?"

"I honestly enjoy the entirety of the Kikyo-Inu-Kagome dynamics," Junior answered with a grin. "I am probably the only person that is reminded of Lelouch and Shirley by those three."

"Who?" Chi asked blankly, flinching when they glared at her as if she insulted their heritage. "W-what? What did I say?!"

"Your blasphemous ignorance aside, I mean that Kikyo fell in love with Inuyasha twice. The first time when she was alive, and when she got reborn as Kagome, pulled back in time just to be with him again. Three times if you count her being resurrected and coming to terms with the betrayal being a setup."

"Well, that's one way to look at it," Chi accepted with an uncertain face, before smiling towards the dark haired beauty. "What about you, Mimi?"

"She's a diehard SessRin shipper. Kind of like him more with Kagura, but, meh," Junior answered, Mimi nodding in confirmation.

"SessRin?" Chi repeated, sneaking a look between the two.

"Well, we told ours, how about you?" Junior asked, pointing at her with a French fry.

"Umm, well, it's kind of, well, odd," Chi said with an awkward laugh. "I was kind of a...InuSan shipper," she admitted, getting interesting looks from them, but no comment. "My first episode was the drunken mountain one."

"Oh...OH!" Junior said in understanding as Mimi snorted with a small, amused smile. "Yeah, you see Sango hanging all over Inuyasha as your first introductions, you're going to have the wrong expectations," Junior agreed in something approaching pity. "Though, I pegged you as a Miruko-Sango girl, to be honest.

Chi stiffened, looking once more like a deer in the headlights. Was that a call out? Was he calling her out? He was definitely calling her out.

"Mimi, stop tapping your foot and just go to the bathroom already. We're not going to start the next one without you," Junior instructed in fond annoyance.

Chi watched as her crush left, giving Junior an impressed look. "You are really good at reading her."

"I have to be," Junior admitted before dropping his smile. "So, do I need to watch you all night or are you going to stop trying to grab Mimi's ass? Cause five times is pushing it now."

Chi paled drastically at that. "So, that wasn't a coincidence, you talking to me right when I was about to, well, you know?" she asked sheepishly.

"Grab her cheeks, yes, I know. I honestly think a boy would have gotten that message faster, but boys are raised to expect being accused of perversion," Junior mused in a calm tone.

"Th-this isn't because I'm a girl, right?" Chi asked, trying to put on a brave face.

"No, this is about you grabbing her ass," Junior stated flatly.

"W-well, I just assumed, with the invitation and all-" Chi tried to defend.

"Invitation?" Junior repeated without amusement.

"The...shorts?" Chi answered sheepishly.

"Okay, let's be blunt here, any other father or big brother would have kicked your ass if you were a boy right now," Junior stated with a warning look, making her flinch again. "But I'm not going to."

"You're not?" Chi asked in relief.

"For two reasons. Partially being that your parents are liable to press charges, and I'd rather not put Mimi through the worry of being taken away from me," Junior reminded. To her credit, Chi paled even harder. "And then there's the other reason."

"Huh?" Chi responded, clearly confused.

"Chi, Mimi tells me everything, including what a little ass grabber her friend has become. I let you come over because I wanted to see if you actually gave a damn about Mimi beyond the physical," Junior explained with a shrug, taking a bite out of his chicken.

Chi blinked at him as she processed that. "You're twenty! Why would you even think like that?!" she asked in disbelief.

"A smart man learns from his mistakes. A wise man learns from the mistakes of others," Junior recited sagely. "And I have seen a LOT of people make a LOT of mistakes."

Chi felt the conversation had grown a bit too heavy for her liking. "So? D-did I pass?" Chi asked hopefully.

"With flying colors. Get better at reading her and I might even give you my blessing to date her," Junior offered with a smile.

"I'd...normally make some crack about how she doesn't need your permission to date whoever she wants, but..." Chi trailed off cautiously.

Junior gave her an odd look before his eyes widen. "Oooookay, she trusts and likes you enough to tell you. Most people have to get the story from me or a file. How much do you know?" he asked curiously.

"Not the, um, messy details, but enough to get the picture. Why she's with you, why she blew up at the counselor, and why I know I don't have a chance with her if you hate my guts," Chi answered solemnly. "I-I know I shouldn't grope her. I know she doesn't always enjoy it, I'm just...worried about her."

Junior raised an eyebrow. "Okay, you're either serious or a good bullshitter. How is groping a part of worrying?"

"I just want her to know I think she's beautiful," Chi answered, rubbing the back of her head. "I just assumed that the Daisy Dukes were just her way of saying it was working."

"Hmm? Chi, I both love and hate to burst your bubble, but she wears those all the time at home," Junior answered absently.

"ALL THE TIME?!" Chi asked in disbelief as she gaped at Mimi's guardian, who made a great effort to ignore her.

"Oh, and for the record, the groping stops now or I call your home to have a talk," Junior warned offhandedly.

They sat like that, Junior eating while Chi sat with an opened mouthed, shocked expression.

Even Mimi's return from the bathroom hadn't disturbed that. She gave a small smile to Junior, taking this situation to mean they had a long and fruitful discussion.

Chi's eyes darted between the pair as Mimi started the next episode, her mind coming to a rather stunning conclusion.

Mimi had a thing for Junior.

How in the world did she compete with that?!

End of Chapter

And that's my last chapter saved up. Hope you all enjoyed it, I'm going to try and build up that backlog again now that I'm getting settled in. Not much to say here, just more cozy slice of life.

PS Stay safe from the coronavirus!

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