July 11 2022

Hikigaya Hachiman's Dealings with the Women in His Life

His Little Guests

The school bell rings, signalling the end of today's classes. Soon, lots of kids are going to come out the doors to play with their friends or go home. The shrill sound causes my little friend to stir in his sleep but thankfully his eyes remain closed for now. He's sleeping on the removable seat of his stroller which is shaped like a basket which is quite convenient and that's why I put him on the table in front of me.

I'm in the guardian's waiting area and no one else was occupying this table. It was an open area with a cover over us. However, there were a group of women on the other side talking amongst themselves and I can sometimes feel their gaze on my person. I hear the children's voices before their footsteps on the concrete floor. I soon see them run towards the playground and schoolyard which is right behind us.

A little girl with light brown hair makes a beeline towards me with her arms outstretched and I kneel with one knee to receive her. She leaps into my arms and I hold her up in the air while she giggles with glee.


I laugh and ruffle her hair while carrying her on my left arm. "So how was school today?" Before she could reply, two other kids appear, a boy and a girl. I've met them before and they had wide smiles on their faces.

"Hello Hikki-onii-san!" The boy bows politely and raises his hand to give me a high five. I return his gesture and also ruffle his hair.

"Hello Ren-kun, Inna-chan." The girl bows and starts fidgeting before going behind her brother with a bright blush on her face.

"H-Hello…" She mutters and then hides her face with her hands. Ren-kun ignores his sister's meek behaviour and goes on.

"Onii-san, thank you for helping us with our homework yesterday!" He exclaims and I see his sister nod at his words.

Tania-chan hops back down and I sit on the bench behind me. "You're welcome. Do you three want to play? There's still sometime before Tania-chan and I have to go home." The three of them shake their head and together start explaining their reasons at the same time which gets a bit confusing. It turns out that they have an online activity that they need to submit for homework tonight. Ren-kun says that he wants to go home as soon as possible since he wants to be on time to watch his cartoons while eating dinner. While he was explaining why the cartoon was so amazing, Inna-chan climbs the bench with my help to take a peek at the sleeping baby.

"Riku-chan is sleeping… I wanted to hold him like yesterday…" She says with disappointment in her voice. I pat her head and explain to her why it's bad to disturb him right now. She doesn't look like she fully understands the reason but she nods obediently and pokes at the baby's feet. After a few minutes, Ren-kun realizes that he's wasting time and after poking Riku-chan once on the cheek and saying goodbye, he dashes to the school gates and drags his sister by the hand. I take Riku-chan and place him on his stroller while Tania-chan grips at my work clothes and climbs on my back to sit on my shoulders.

"Haa-chan did you bring the car?"

"No, Riku-chan and I took the train from home and walked here. Do you want me to call a taxi?" I say while walking to the school gates. Thankfully, the public bus stop which would lead us to the train station is only a few minutes away.

I feel her shake her head in response. "I like it this way!"

"Well, do you want anything in particular for tonight? We're going to drop by the grocery near my place after I hand Riku-chan over to Hina."

"Nope! I'm okay!" The little girl says with glee and starts telling me about her day. It's relatively mundane but children always make it sound so exciting.

"That will be ¥29732 Sir." I hand over my credit card without another word while secretly observing her. Another employee was packing my things in neat boxes and Tania-chan was patiently sitting on a chair near the exit. There's something off about her appearance and I decide to ask her about it. She looks around a few years older than me. I come here quite frequently and know more or less the cashiers employed by the establishment. But this person looks new.


The woman smiles sincerely and reveals her pearly white teeth. Other than her tanned skin she looks like your average Japanese. "Yes Sir, my mother is a Filipina from Hawaii but I was born here and left in my mid-teens. I decided to come back to take advantage of the government benefits."

I politely return her smile. "Kids?"

"Only one so far but maybe another by the end of the year." She helps out her colleague with the boxes but continues the conversation. She comments that Tania-chan is very well-behaved and says that she's currently looking for good schools to enrol her son in.

"About that, you can contact the local authorities and they'll help you out as soon as possible."

"Thank you. I'll have to read more about the government INITIATIVE later on. I'm still quite new to all of this." She gives me a grateful smile.

"Was it a hassle? Earning back your citizenship I mean."

She shakes her head. "Oh no! We were on the priority list and the automated systems were relatively quick. Even though we applied for it not long ago, it was still amazingly fast. My brothers have already been given the permit and they'll be moving here next month along with their families."

I nod at her words. They were the same as all the others that I asked when I met people like her. "That's good to hear. At least that part of the government's promise was true."

"Yes. I know quite a few people who are interested in moving here but the policies for it are a bit too…strict and specific..." Her words trail off as she smiles uncomfortably. Her coworker and I nod at the same time. "I lost a few friends because of the commotion that it caused. I think it's a silly reason but I'm sure they'll come around eventually."

"Eh, It's none of their business I say. It's just like that saying about Rome." Her coworker, a blonde-silver teen named Marie says. She's a nice girl despite looking very serious all the time, a gaze cold enough to turn liquid water to ice and also the fact that she rarely smiles. Oh and she's half-Russian. Her family is Yui and Iroha's neighbour and I've had the pleasure of eating with them. Her mother and I sometimes bump into each other here in the supermarket. Her grandmother is also a very nice lady and though I can't understand what she's saying, she is still very polite and sometimes gives Yui and Iroha fruits and vegetables. Yuri-san, her father, looks very intimidating but is surprisingly soft spoken despite his huge stature and muscular build.

"When in Rome, do what the Romans do?" I add with a small smirk.

Marie says something in her other native tongue before switching to her heavily accented Japanese. "You always know your stuff huh."

"In any case, you bought quite a lot, Sir. Around five boxes worth of groceries. Would you like these delivered to your home?"

At this point, she switches with her coworker who knows me and inputs the delivery order to my address. My apartment complex isn't that far, only a block away. After bidding them farewell, Tania-chan and I start our walk home just as streaks of red and orange appear in the sky. She's quite tired so she asks me to carry her while we walk past other people going about their businesses.

It doesn't take long for us to arrive right in front of my door and Hina welcomes me home with a kiss while holding Riku-chan in her arms.

"I'm home." My wife smells nice and her hair is still a bit damp. She must have taken a bath not long ago. It's around this time that she does it every day anyway.

"Welcome back Hachiman."

"Hina-nee! " Tania-chan exclaims and then latches onto her leg. Hina smiles and kisses her forehead right after handing over Riku-chan to me. The little girl starts telling Hina about her day in school as we head to the living room. I look down at the sleeping baby who's sucking on his thumb. He's still three months old and yet he's just as plump and round as Tania-chan all those years ago when she was still at his age.

"I just finished feeding him so he's okay for a while," Hina says and then leads Tania-chan to the bathroom so she can freshen up and have a change of clothes. I put my bag on the coffee table and stretch my sore limbs. Riku-chan is undisturbed even as I made a tired yawn, though his little feet did twitch when I tickled them. I take off my work coat and loosen my tie and a few buttons and start going through my phone's messages with my other hand, then switching over to my tablet later on to better answer work-related emails.

After a few minutes, the doorbell rings and I get up after carefully placing Riku-chan on his carrier basket. I open the door to a robotic dolly cart and the camera which served as its eyes scans my face for a moment. Green light starts flashing on where the handlebar is located and I get the boxes off it. It has two strong mechanical arms which assist me in doing so.

"Thank you for your patronage." An automated voice says and the robot reverses and goes back towards the elevator. I start moving the boxes to the kitchen and place their contents in the fridge and overhead and bottom cabinets. I hear Tania-chan's voice further inside which means that she must be done taking a bath. The little girl goes back to her baby brother's side after turning on the TV and goes looking for cartoons to watch.

"Tania, remember to do your homework okay?" Hina appears a moment later after Tania-chan gives a positive reply and she walks over to me to help.

"You bought a lot of stuff, did you carry all of this here?" She asks while putting a handful of mini potatoes in the fridge.

"No, I had it delivered."

"Did that robot come here?" Hina shivers from an uncomfortable thought at my words. "Ugh, I hate that thing. It's super creepy."

I shrug, I more or less have the same opinion on the matter. "They don't have a choice. It's practical and they don't have enough manpower anyway; the self-driving taxis and train station personnel. A nanny bot is set to arrive next week at Tania-chan's school."

Hina mutters something under her breath and asks what I want for dinner. It's her turn to cook tonight and always leaves the decision to me.

"Hmm. I bought vegetables, some shrimp paste and noodles…do you know how to stir fry them?" I ask as I put away the last remaining items in front of me. All I need to do now is to pour the bag of rice into its container.

Hina grins at me after adjusting her glasses with her fingertips. "No…but I'll do my best!"

It's been a month and a half since I moved here with Hachiman. He's such a wonderful husband and I can understand why Yui and the others were delighted to have me. They helped me move my things here since his apartment is rather large and has several spare rooms. My computer and work desk are in another room but we sleep together in the same bed.

The only thing that was a hassle was the paperwork that we had to submit and register at the government office. It took an entire month for it to be processed but at least we're halfway through with it. I already told my parents about it and they respected my decision. They seem to be happy with my choice and say that Hachiman is a nice young man. It's relatively the same with his parents and his mother is very easy to talk to. The only one who doesn't know about it yet is Komachi-chan.

The sound of Riku-chan crying alerts me and I turn to my husband sitting at the dinner table who was writing something on his tablet. "Hachiman, can you go over to him? I'm in the middle of helping Tania with her homework."

He diligently gets up and gets Riku-chan from his carrier basket. I watch him slowly make rocking motions while humming a song to the baby. It doesn't take long for the crying to stop and is soon replaced with adorable coos and squeaks. Hachiman leans down to pick up a pacifier and then gives it to Riku-chan to suck on in the meantime.

Tania then calls my attention to help her out with a math problem. It's simple addition and subtraction problems with items that don't go beyond one hundred. I teach her how to do it but don't directly spoonfeed her all the answers. She struggled for a bit but finally finishes everything after another hour. Her next task was to draw some animals that she learned at school and I get up to give her the necessary materials. Hachiman had put back Riku-chan in his carrier and rocked it while talking to his Father in a lowered voice, I guess my Father-in-law as well, about something work-related. The baby smiles and wiggles his little limbs when he sees me walk by, cooing and making sounds to get my attention.

The doorbell rings just as I give Tania her drawing materials and I double back and peek through the door to see Yui and Iroha still in their work clothes.

"Hina! Sorry we were late, we had some extra stuff to do at work."

"We ate outside since it's already late but we brought some stuff for hubby!" I receive kisses on both of my cheeks as the two women get inside and take off their shoes.

"There's still some leftovers in the fridge. I made a lot for dinner so you should bring some for tomorrow morning." The three of us start walking to the living room and our husband give us a wave since he was still talking to his father.

Yui was the one to move first, lurching forward with a burst of speed before I knew what was happening. She dashes towards the couch and kneels in front of the baby carrier.

"Yui! No fair!" Iroha says with a pout and follows her. I watch with amusement as the older girl carefully picks up Riku-chan and Iroha buries her face in the baby's belly, earning squeals and giggles. "Ah! He smells so nice and cute…!"

Tania makes an appearance after hearing new voices and greets the two women politely. It's not the first time that she's met them but she doesn't know them very well either. It's only been four days since they started staying with us. Since Yui was already carrying Riku-chan on the single couch, Iroha exchanged glances with me and goes off to help out Tania with her homework.

I decide to lie down on the sofa with my head resting on my husband's lap and he places his hand right beside my cheek. Riku-chan must have realized that it wasn't me nor Hachiman carrying him and his sounds soon turn into uncomfortable grumbles before crying. Yui desperately tries to calm him down but it only makes his cries louder.

With a sigh, Hachiman decides to end the call for now and gestures for Yui to come to him. She gets up with an apologetic and sheepish smile.

"Hehe… I guess I'm still a stranger to him."

"I'd cry too if someone I don't know suddenly picks me up," Hachiman says gently rocking the baby. The cries slowly come to a halt and he starts wiping the baby's tears and wet nose off with a small handkerchief.

I see Yui smile and kiss our husband on the cheek. "You're too good at this. Maybe you should become a guest speaker about parenting?"

Hachiman smirks, "Well, I can't say that the thought never crossed my mind." Yui sits down beside him and the two talk while I close my eyes in the meantime. After a little while, she asks me why I'm unusually quiet since I always actively take part in our everyday conversations.

"Just a little tired, we had an online presentation and meeting that lasted half a day..." I yawn tiredly and through the thin opening of my eyes, Yui nods in understanding.

"I see, well I hoped that you'd join us for a drink. Haruno and Shizuka are on their way downstairs. What about you Hikki?"

"I'll pass for now. You guys should do it at your place. Tania-chan and Riku-chan might be disturbed."

"Okay, we'll do just that. But those two are sure to drop by so make sure to leave the door unlocked."

I must have dozed off since I don't remember anything past that. I think I heard Shizuka and Haruno's voices sometime later and the feeling of Hachiman's lap under my head being replaced with a pillow.

I wake up to see myself already lying down on the bed. The lights were still on and I can hear Tania and Hachiman's voices outside the room. To my right was Riku-chan sleeping peacefully with a long curved pillow surrounding his tiny plump form to keep him from moving around and it also acted as a barrier of sorts. His small chest would rise up and down as he's breathing. I smile and put my finger next to his hand, and he instinctively holds it. He jerks his little legs when I tickle them and I can't help but giggle at the sight.

Tania squeals and hurriedly enters the room while running which was soon followed by Hachiman. She was carrying something bright crimson in her hands and I soon see why Hachiman sounds so distressed and agitated.

"Oi! Get back here! Careful! She's not a toy!" Tania laughs when he picks her up from the ground like a stuffed toy. Thankfully, she doesn't let go of Liz but the bearded dragon squirms from her grasp and jumps at Hachiman before crawling up his chest and staying on his shoulder. "See? She's scared and doesn't like you."

Tania pouts and reaches for the lizard, but she crawls up to Hachiman's head. He winces at the contact between his skin and Liz's sharp claws and starts walking towards the bed. He puts Tania right onto my lap as I gently start patting her head.

"You can't be too forceful with Liz. It also took some time for her to get accustomed to me too. Did you finish your homework?" He says and then puts Liz in another terrarium right beside his work desk. It's a bit smaller than the one in the living room but is still more than adequate.

Tania nods gleefully. "Yep! Auntie Iroha and Shizuka helped me out!" While she and I were talking in hushed voices, Hachiman turns off the lights and slightly opens the curtains to let some of the lights outside enter the room.

The little girl looks out with wonder through the thick glass after slowly getting off the bed. "So high! Look a plane light!" She points to the sky and sees what she is talking about. He picks her up again and lays her right beside him.

"Yeah that's a plane alright. It's time to sleep Tania." She follows him obediently and lies down while hugging her favourite blue pillow that she brought over. Hachiman also places another pillow between her and Riku-chan since she tends to move sometimes while sleeping. I wanted to talk to Hachiman about something but I guess it will have to wait for tomorrow morning. I lean in to give him a goodnight kiss and close my eyes after lying down, eager to finally get a good night's rest after an exhausting day.

I carefully pick up Riku-chan from the bed and dress him in a new set of clothes. He's still asleep, same as Hina and Tania since it's still quite early. After I was done, I go over to Hina and give her a light shake to wake her up.

"Hina, breakfast is done and I'm taking Riku outside with me." She grumbles a reply and turns away from me while complaining. After putting him in his stroller, I go out of my apartment to the ground floor and go on my way. There's still some morning chill in the air since the Sun has just come up and the streets are relatively sparse. It's going to be in another hour or so until the crowds of people start showing up.

We finally arrive at the small park. I can see a few elderly gentlemen jogging and a young lady doing stretches and a group of older ones just having a walk. I nod at them as we pass them by and smile at the sleeping infant in the stroller. I go to my favourite bench and place the stroller beside me while basking in the sun's early morning warmth while sipping lukewarm coffee that I stored inside my thermos.

I hear a small noise from inside the stroller and peek just in time to see Riku-chan yawning tiredly and instinctively rubbing his eyes. I put my thermos down and pick him up and place him on my lap so he can get as much sunlight as possible.

"Good morning little buddy. Sleep well?" Funnily enough, he starts making little huffs and grunts which are a sign that he is hungry. I give him his bottle of milk to suckle on and hold it in place since his arms and neck are still underdeveloped. He pushes against my hand and cringes away after a few minutes and I get up and place him against my shoulder. I rock him from side to side and lightly pat his back so he can burp.

I laugh when I hear him burp which was followed by a fart and sit back down. The sun was driving away the cold morning air and the streets were slowly but surely filling with people. The sun feels nice against my bare skin, my doctor advised me to get some sunlight because of my vitamin deficiency which also affects my mild anaemia. I usually do it on the roof of my apartment building but Riku-chan can't come because it's quite cold up there at this hour. And I'm also wearing a sleeveless sports t-shirt and shorts to get as much sunlight as possible. Even Riku-chan is dressed the same and he's currently playing with a stuffed dinosaur toy.

This park used to have several homeless people but the government gave them adequate housing in exchange for work, mostly labour-intensive like farming, agriculture, road and building construction, sewer maintenance, garbage disposal, maintaining the ships and the port itself and other stuff. This only applies to the big cities, however. I even saw some helping out airport personnel when my father and I arrived at Narita after our three-week vacation in Hamburg, Copenhagen and London. I wanted to go to the Netherlands and visit my friends there but we didn't have much time.

After around two hours, I decided to head back since I still have work at 8 am as well as drop off Tania-chan at her school. Hina mostly works from home and only goes to her workplace twice a week so she'll handle Riku-chan. Shizuka is too busy as always but Haruno will be coming over tomorrow to help out. We're going to eat together at my place tonight but there's something that I want to get for Riku-chan first right after I get out of work!

"What if I put him on the floor so he can crawl towards the one that he wants?"

Hina and Yui arch their brows at my suggestion while Iroha stifles a laugh. "He can't crawl yet dummy. You'll just make him lie on his stomach if you do that."

"Yeah. Isn't his head still soft? We can't let him lie down!"

"Oh yeah…" I say sheepishly while avoiding my wive's eyes and pretending to look at the other toys on the shelves. I feel Riku-chan drooling on my shoulder but I ignore it. Tania was a small distance away and appears to be struggling with a Rubix cube while sitting on the floormat for children. The children's store only has a few people and the worker droids are at the cashier or attending to the customers.

I instruct the three of them to each take a stuffed toy that I point at them. They hold them to their chests right where Riku-chan can easily see and reach out for them. Thankfully the baby is still awake so all I have to do is adjust him. He immediately smiles and makes cute little noises upon seeing the three women in front of him.

"Okay Riku-chan, as your current super cool designated guardian, it's time for you to do the most important decision in your life!" The baby must have sensed the excitement in my voice since he starts wiggling his arms and legs.

Iroha is holding Charmander.

Yui is holding Bulbasaur.

Hina is holding Squirtle.

My wives lightly shake the stuffed toys in their hands to get the baby's attention. He notices them and eyes them with interest while teething and drooling on his left fist. The baby's attention turns toy that Yui is holding but he doesn't reach for it. He starts cooing and mumbling as if talking to himself.

Finally, Riku-chan moves his arms and the four of us hold our breaths in anticipation.

And the one that the baby chose was…

After paying for our purchases, the four of us walk out of the store feeling very satisfied. Tania-chan bought a few toys and some clothes that her Aunties picked for her while I did the same for Riku-chan. I for one, am very much excited to go home.

"Hikki, did you have to buy those toys for yourself? They were really expensive." Yui says while glancing at the bags which I carry in my hands. At the front of our group is Hina who's pushing Riku-chan's stroller and Iroha. She's carrying the baby in the meantime while she uses the stroller to put our purchases inside.

I shake my head. There are still some things that my normie wife doesn't understand! "I've been looking for these for ages. Ordering them online is expensive so I just hoped to get lucky and come across them. Thankfully, the store has them in stock."

Tania-chan, who is walking beside me and holding my pinky finger peeks inside the large paper bag. "Haa-chan, is this the same kind in the glass box?" She must be talking about the glass display cabinet that I have in my room that stores my other figures.

"Yup. This one is a Master Grade Hyakku Shikki gunpla while this one is a Kotobukiya Zoids Geno Breaker." I gesture at my left and right hands, "They're not exactly for kids: they're for big boys like me."

The little girl pouts cutely. "I'm a big boy! I want one too!" She exclaims as Yui and I laugh. "A big red robot like this!" She continues and points at the Hyakku Shikki. I try explaining to her that she's not ready for something as complicated as this but her response is always the same.

"Didn't I buy you that Charizard plush? I'll buy you something nice next time." I say.

Yui also voices her thoughts and pats the little girl's head. "Tania, Haa-chan is right. You're too young for those toys. Didn't you say that you wanted to see the aquarium this morning?"

Her bright eyes widen at being reminded of it. "Oh! Fishies! Fishies!" She exclaims excitedly and goes over to Hina who lightly pushes her butt to walk faster. We laugh at the sight when she gets scolded by Hina and she stops shortly afterwards but remains restless.

And just with a few words, she has completely forgotten about everything. She is as gullible as a child can be and is rather forgetful of things. Because of that, she can behave with just the right words being said.

The mall that we are in is connected to the aquarium that Yui mentioned but we're going to have lunch at a nearby park first. Despite how energetic she looks, I'm sure Tania-chan is hungry after running around in the store.

It's fun having these kids around, it's a shame that I have to return them to Hiro-sensei and Ino-sensei a few days from now. I wonder how their convention in Singapore is going, I would have gone with them if I weren't so busy with work.