“Olev, stop eating dirt, last time you got rocks stuck in your teeth and your mom was mad at me for like, a week,” Hyoga called to the corner of the yard, before relaxing more comfortably on the picnic table. “So, like I was saying, we had just dropped off this huge hull of cargo…”
“Mateus,” Ikki quickly walked over to the four year old, picking him up and moving him away from the snail he was inspecting closely, “Don’t touch that, it has germs.”
“Dude, he’s fine,” Hyoga assured him, “Kids are supposed to put things in their mouth and get germs. Builds up their immune systems.”
Ikki gave Hyoga a look, crossing his arms as he surveyed the yard. “How does Freya trust you with your kids.”
“What? They’re fine,” Hyoga waved him off.
“One of your kids just put a bug up their nose.”
“Was it Hjamlar?” Hyoga glanced at the children running around, “He’s fine, it’ll come out eventually.”
“Hey!” Seiya greeted as he opened up the back gate, walking into the backyard, Kouga settled in a carrier on his chest. Hyoga and Ikki glanced over their shoulders at him, and Hyoga waved.
“‘Sup?” he asked as Seiya took a seat at the table as well. Kouga gurgled loudly and Seiya pulled him out of the carrier, placing him on the grass.
“Not much,” he commented, relaxing, “How’s Esmeralda?”
“She seems fine,” Ikki mumbled, watching as Kouga yanked up handfuls of grass, “She seems excited.”
“Women and babies man,” Seiya shrugged, “It’s going to be a girl this time, yeah?”
Ikki nodded, and Hyoga whistled. “Oh man, girls are so much easier,” he scratched at his chin, “You don’t have to worry about accidents when changing them, or finding them with their heads in the toilet. Twice,” he held up two fingers, before gesturing to the twins who were making castles in the sandbox.
“Hyoga,” Shiryu’s voice came from the gate and the three men looked up again, “One of your kids is drawing on your car with a rock.”
“Aw shit!” Hyoga jumped up, running past Shiryu and towards the driveway, “Arik, what did I say about creative outlets?!”
“Hi!” Ryuho greeted as he and Shiryu came into the backyard, “Thank you for inviting me over!”
“Yeah, sure,” Ikki nodded, and Ryuho went off to join the other children in the yard.
“Hello,” Shiryu said as well, before glancing around. His eyebrows came together, and he gave Seiya a curious look. “You realize that Kouga’s onesie is on backwards, right?”
“Huh?” Seiya glanced at the infant, “How can you tell?”
“Well, the bib is on his back, for one…” Shiryu said carefully.
“Oh, crap,” Seiya reached down, picking Kouga up and quickly correcting the mistake. Kouga made a face, and Seiya made one back, making him laugh. “I think he liked it more the other way.”
“Look, Ryuho’s here, go play with him,” Hyoga said as he returned, his son under his arm. He put the child down and he joined the others as they organized a game of tag, “Any of you guys know a good body shop?” They shook their heads and Hyoga sighed, reclaiming his seat at the table. “Like I said, girls are easier.”
“I told you!” Bryjna’s voice carried across the yard, and the men turned their attention to where she was arguing with her sister, “Esme promised that if she and Ikki break up, I get to marry him!”
Ikki stared, face set in a grimace. Shiryu coughed, and Seiya bit back a snicker.