"Like Family" by Lucky107

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Oh man.

For the first little while, I had been hit a writer's block. And I know this isn't a great interpretation of the prompt, and it's not exactly very 'romantic' or with much of a 'pairing'. But all the same, I hope Ryusei enjoys it as this was written for you for the second round of the summer fic trades!

OTL I felt really pressured after Kay's response for your last request... ^^; However, I hope that you like the outcome of this round just as much!

I had a lot of fun with this one ~

DISCLAIMER: Ao no Exorcist respectively belongs to Kazue Kato ~
Lined up before your older 'brother' Mephisto Pheles, you were unsure how you had been dragged into this wretched situation or why. It wasn't that you minded the task at hand; rather... you seriously minded the company and assistance you were to rely on for the task at hand. After all, there was a reason that you didn't associate with this side of your extremely extended family and the fact that Mephisto was careless and idiotic wasn't even amongst the top one hundred reasons. You were Satan's daughter from somewhere along the line, your mother was a worthless succubus and you had fled from Gehenna and the greater portion of your psychotic family.

However, on this side the grass didn't look much greener. The family that awaited you was Mephisto, and that sadistic little twerp who he insisted on inviting to Assiah. You saw the severity of the situation. Somehow, he just didn't. And now, lined up beside said sadistic little twerp and the latest addition to your ever-growing family, Mephisto issued the challenge: babysitting.

Oh, but when it came to Mephisto, it wasn't just any babysitting! And that was the part that you were more prepared for than anything. Not only did you have experience with children who were incredibly demonic, but you also had experience as a tamer. You knew how to treat little demons and big demons alike. But it was this new boy, Okamura Rin, and that idiot Amaimon who you didn't trust with this task. And now you were partnered up with the two of them to take care of not only one, but two little devils.

"Just look after them for the day," the older man said with a playful smile because this was probably a task that he was given, but was now dumping off on you. "It's a simple task, and it will do well towards your training. Remember, you've been given no supplies, so it's up to you to figure out what you need and how to acquire it. Ta-ta ~"

And just like that, the three of you were left alone. In your arms you held a small, but warm and weighty life form to your chest. He was asleep, thank the Heavens for that small favor, but you knew soon enough he'd be all noise and mess. His hair was a sandy color and his skin was pale. His ears were pointed, and he had a very small, but well-formed tail hanging just above his diaper. And his little, demonic hands were clawed securely on your blouse.

Okamura Rin was holding this boy's twin brother, a little demon who looked just about the same. Though Rin's way of carrying the baby was a little more awkward, he seemed more worried about hurting the baby or... maybe it was of having the baby hurt him. Either way, you were glad that he was the one who had been handed the child. Otherwise, you would have been fighting Amaimon just to hold the two of them and keep them safe. "He said... we weren't left with anything," Rin said as if to remind you that, while you stood around admiring the moment of peace that you were granted, all good things would shortly come to an end. "We have to get supplies... But what kind of supplies will we need?"

Stage Number One: Getting Supplies.

As you stood just inside the department store with a baby at your chest and a serious expression set on your determined face, you ran over the plan one last time. "Remember, we're only buying the absolute necessities for looking after a child! After all, we're only babysitting for today, and today alone. No need to go overboard..." and then, you sent a hard stare towards the clueless Amaimon. "And you stay the hell away from the candy section." Not that anything you said to anyone in that moment would be regarded by the time this trip was over, you assumed, but it was better to try and fail than to regret never trying at all.

And so, the morning of your babysitting experience began.

“Crap,” you hissed as you lightly, and gently, bounced the baby in your arms up and down to calm his crying. You figured that he wasn’t used to such strange surroundings as a department store since he had just woken up, but in reality you had no idea why he was crying and you just wanted him to stop. People were starting to look at you funny, so you anxiously cooed the young demon and rocked him while trying to settle him down. “There, there,” you whispered as you went about browsing your product of the day: diapers. But you could find nothing less than a package of twenty-seven, which was not doing it for you.

“How many times a day can you poop?” The question was to yourself, so you went about browsing different brands. Your plan was to buy the smallest available pack of diapers at the cheapest price because you were only looking after these little monsters for one day. And that day was ticking away as you stood there, browsing the store, so you really didn’t think you’d need many. “Between you and your brother, how many diapers will you–”

“Hey!” a voice rang out through the store that was mostly quiet save for the bit of light chatter amongst other customers. And you recognized that voice. “Give him back! I thought you were told to stay away from the candy!”

And without thinking, you dropped the pack of diapers you had been inspecting and broke off running for the candy section.

What you saw upon your arrival there was less than pleasing. Amaimon was holding the baby up in the air to keep him out of Rin’s reach. Rin, on the other hand, seemed to have a bag of candy in his hands that he had likely taken from Amaimon as ransom for the child. “W-what is going on here?” you demanded with shock at having witnessed the scene before you. This was exactly what you had intended to avoid. Shopping should have been an easy get in, get out deal so that you could properly look after these babies. Mephisto would not be pleased if you spent the whole time in a store. “And why is Amaimon waving the baby around?!”

“Oh, [Name],” Amaimon glanced over his shoulder with a rather carefree and child-like gaze. He did not seem to realize that you were in the middle of scolding him. “It seems that brother found me here, and I thought that it wasn’t fair that you two were the only ones who get to look after the babies. It’s my turn now.”

According to your well thought-out plans, Amaimon was not supposed to have a turn for obvious reasons. His entire attitude was not meant to for looking after a small child. “But [Name] said that I could look after him until we got back home,” and what you hated even more was that ‘home’ referred to your house, where you lived by yourself and away from these freaks. The last thing you needed was a huge baby mess all over your home. And by baby, you hardly meant the little ones. “[Name], tell him to give the baby back!”

You couldn’t believe your morning was starting out with more trouble from the sitters than from the babies. “Alright, you two, listen here…”

It was almost noon by the time the five of you left the store. You still had one wide-eyed baby boy pressed to your bosom, but he was not making any more noise. The only sounds that he really made were giggling when you were angry and some strange gargling or spitty sounds from time to time. But you were already less than pleased with the two boys who had accompanied you in your journey–Rin was carrying whatever bags you couldn’t carry with your free hand and you knew that hidden somewhere in those bags was a bag of candy. Just like you said you wouldn’t allow.

And dragging behind because he was too caught up in playing with and talking to the baby in his arms, Amaimon seemed to have calmed down after you reluctantly allowed him to have the baby. Of course, strict instruction followed your hesitation and he now carried the baby in a mock of how you carried the baby’s brother. But he kept making faces at it and talking to it. You had clearly warned him about those foolishly long nails, as well. “Amaimon, if you don’t hurry up, we’re leaving you.”

“You can’t do that,” he complained, stopping completely just to make you wait for him. And you knew this. “I’ve got the baby.”

You never wanted to hear those words coming from him again.

Stage Number Two: Feeding Time.

Home, sweet home.

Or… so you wanted to say. But with the way those two fools crashed into your clean, organized, well-kept home, well… it wasn’t really such a welcoming place to be. Had it been just you and the babies, maybe you would have been able to deal with the mess that you could expect by later that evening, but you knew that it would be more of a challenge to keep Rin and Amaimon from making a huge mess. And just as the clock struck noon, just as the bags hit the countertops and Amaimon settled nicely into your sofa, both babies began to cry.

And your head nearly went through the table.

“What does it want?” Amaimon asked as he entered the kitchen, now holding the baby at a distance with a puzzled look plastered all over his previously stubborn face. He then proceeded to pass the crying little mess off to Rin, who hesitantly accepted the little boy. But even then, Rin was at a loss for what to do. “Where did you put that candy?”

You felt a bubbling frustration forming like you’d never thought possible. “You don’t get any such thing until after you’ve helped us look after this!” Slamming your hand down hard on the counter didn’t seem to help your situation, as a new stream of tears came from the baby in your arms after you startled him with the sudden, loud and angry action. And you hadn’t even thought about it before doing it. But quickly you brought your free hand around him and held him securely to your chest, stroking his sandy hair and trying to shush him. It wasn’t working. You knew he needed something.

A loud grumble sounded amidst the baby noises, and Rin smiled sheepishly. “How about we try feeding them?”

You didn’t even think before requesting Amaimon to fetch food from the countless bags, though you had previously restricted it because you knew he would go for the candy. But he was the only one currently not holding a crying baby, so he was the only one with available hands. “There’s nothing,” he responded before he had even reached the bags. He was clearly looking for candy. “We couldn’t decide if they were spoon fed or bottle fed, remember?”

“Aw, man,” you groaned. How could all three brains, even if they were all lacking something, have decided that not buying anything would be a good idea? You were rather disappointed in yourself, but it must have been the rush of trying to get out of that damn store that made you so senseless. And now you would have to pay. “… Well,” you muttered, trying to get the baby to shush down just a little bit so that three people in the same room could at least talk to one another without yelling. “What if we stick something in the blender? If we turn it to mush, maybe they can eat it…”

When you turned to search your kitchen for something that would go well into the blender, you spotted Amaimon had, sure enough, found the candy stash. But you didn’t have time to worry about him for the moment. You’d just be sure to inform Mephisto of his slacking behavior later that evening. What you found in your home were various fruits and vegetables. These could nicely be run through a blender and fed to a baby, you figured, so you laid them out across the counter. “Which ones do they like?”

You wanted to punch Amaimon for asking such an obvious question while he was doing absolutely nothing to help out. But instead, you gave a bitter smile as you stared at the fruits and vegetables. “I guess it’s time to find out.”

You had never seen your kitchen in such a disastrous state before. And as you stepped back to admire the work that had been done to your kitchen, you almost screamed. After producing several forms of mush, and having more than half of them flung all over the walls, you were already sick of this job. All three of you were covered in fruity gunk, as were the babies, and you were just about ready to give up on this whole ordeal. “… We have to clean up this kitchen.”

“We have to clean up ourselves and the babies,” Rin stated smartly, but you supposed that might be more important. Whatever the case, you needed to clean up. “Let’s take care of the litt–”

But just then, the baby you were holding began to cry. And this time, you had no explanation. You thought because they were twins, if diapers had been dirtied, they would both be crying. Instinctively, you hugged the baby closer to you with both arms and gently rocked him. What surprised everyone the most was that this was actually working, and you inwardly patted yourself on the back for being so good at this. Maybe they responded well to the three of you because you were all demonic, as well, but that didn’t really matter in that moment. You mastered the ‘shut it up’ technique beautifully.

That was, until there was a gurgling sound. Warmth. Wetness. You pursed your lips and stared straight ahead, frozen, as you felt that warm, trickling sensation flowing down your shoulder. “… Did that… really… just happen…?” The only sound that filled the kitchen was the baby’s high-pitched giggling, followed by Rin’s oddly similar laughter and Amaimon’s snickering.

“I guess we should take care of [Name] first, then.”

Stage Number Three: Cleanup Number 1.

Cleaning up was another disaster that, yet again, Amaimon did not want to dirty his hands with. However, in order to change your pukey shirt and gather the things that you figured might be useful for cleanup, you had no choice but to hand the recently burped baby to the Earth King. “Rin, don’t let him do anything stupid,” you murmured before vanishing off into your home. And if you had to be honest with yourself, it really felt good to be away from all of that mess. But you sort of missed the warmth of the baby at your chest and the foreign, but not unpleasant, weight that came with it.

But you hurried to switch shirts, tossing the pukey blouse straight into the trash without a second though. You had no intentions of scrubbing that by hand as you were utterly repulsed as it was. However, returning to the kitchen you found yourself even more repulsed at the behavior you were witnessing. Water? Everywhere. Mushy baby food mess? Mixed with water, streaking your beautiful kitchen walls. But it wasn’t until you were splashed in the face with a bunch of water gone astray that you realized just what you were witnessing. “What… are you idiots… doing to my kitchen?”

It wasn’t even until you spoke up that they noticed you were there at all, and Rin was the first to look away out of embarrassment. After all, it had been his stray jug of what which now ran down your face. And Amaimon just looked shocked. Had they not expected you to be angry with the mess which they were only adding to in your lovely kitchen? “S-sorry, [Name]…” the youngest boy’s sincerity was wavering a bit, but it was still there, none the less. “We thought this… might speed up the process a little.”

“He’s lying,” Amaimon stated rather bluntly. But how you could trust the word of his side of the family, you were unsure, so you encouraged him on with hesitation and caution. “I gave him the other baby, so he got angry, called me a slacker, and threw water in my face. Because of that, I had to get him back and then… this happened.” Of course, to the demonic boy who, despite being older than Rin, acted younger than even the babies, this seemed like a plausible excuse.

“And… where are the babies?”

“In the living room.”

Before you could even express your frustration and anger towards both of the younger boys you stormed off into the living room to find the babies lying on their backs on a mat on the floor. This was what they called proper babysitting? “Hey, you irresponsible fools! Come out here and do your damned jobs!” Though you were close to yelling, you remembered to keep a calm tone into your voice because you were so close to the babies. And, in your opinion, just by having you three as sitters, they were experiencing enough trauma for one day. “You two look after them while I clean up the kitchen… I’ll clean them up afterwards, and while I do, you can clean yourselves.”

This was becoming too much for you to handle. Though the babies seemed oddly quiet throughout all of this, you could tell that they were clearly not giggling the way they had when you had gotten flustered before. Even to them, this day was tiring. And as both Amaimon and Rin appeared in the living room to carefully remove the babies from where they had been placed on the floor quite gently and skillfully by Rin, you felt a little bit better. As long as they didn’t do anything else that was stupid, you could keep them under control and things could lighten up for you.

Or so you thought at the time.

As you headed back into the kitchen, you were repulsed all over again. Gunk was running down your beautiful walls, there was crap all over the countertops, the cupboards, the floor, and even a bit was stuck to the ceiling. When you looked at what you were to be dealing with, you realized that this was not just a little mess. And their water fight had not helped you in the slightest. So you quickly got to work on filling a tub from under the sink with water so that you could take it around with you while you scrubbed down your lovely kitchen. But it wasn’t until you reevaluated just how much work you would have to do that you realized this job alone might just take you until evening.

You remained calm… perfectly still… as an idea crawled into your mind. They were out in the living room, out of your face for a while and trying to entertain the twins. They would never know… if you decided to speed up the process… with a little bit of a water fight of your own. Right? After all, it could be a bit of fun, too, and it would certainly help you relax your tension that such a rough day had brought on.

And so, with that, it was decided. Cautiously, you flung some water out of the bucket towards a smudge on the wall. Of course, you would wipe things down afterwards to remove all the streaks and the clean up the water, but when you liquefied things, everything seemed so much simpler. And the faster you could get done, the better, because you really didn’t trust those two fools with a couple of babies. After all, they had proven just how careless and unfit they really were for this kind of training. And so you decided that you really needed to step things up.

It was, after all, just for one day.

Stage Number Four: How To Change A Diaper.

You were just finishing with the whole ‘wiping things down’ part of your plan when you heard the loud cry of a baby. But it wasn’t just one of the babies, it was both of them, and the sound went straight to your brain. It hurt. You figured you were starting to get a headache, and you almost yelled something about shutting them up until you remembered that you were one of the babysitters and this was also your job to attend to. So you hurried to the living room, cheeks flushed from your hardcore water flinging and still a bit damp. “What’s the matter with the babies?”

Of course, Amaimon had been right there waiting for you to appear and he shoved the crying baby off to you. “How should we know, mama? You figure it out.”

But unlike every other time that he attempted to pass off a crying baby, you refused to accept it. And it wasn’t just that you were bitter because he felt it was appropriate to call you ‘mama’, either. You were sick of his refusal to help out at all (though you had to admit his babysitting while you cleaned up was somewhat of a help), and you figured it was time to show him so. “How about you try figuring this one out this time, brother?”

The look you received from Amaimon was the complete opposite of the surprised, but relieved, look you received from Rin. After all, the younger boy had been pushed around, as well. The sound of crying babies, you knew, was just about to get drown out by the sound of a violent Amaimon. But you had a feeling that when he lost his temper with you, he wasn’t going to give any thought to the baby he held so awkwardly. And that was a problem.

“Even if brother scolds me, I can walk out on this job any time I want,” he said simply and you, in a hurry, grabbed the baby from his loosening hold. Geez, this was turning out to be more of a pain than you had expected. Holding the baby close to you, you carefully pat it’s back to see if it wanted to throw up all over you again. Or… for the first time. You no longer knew which one this was. Whatever, you were willing to do anything to shut these crying things up and scold the hell out of your partner. “I don’t like when they cry. It hurts my head.”

“How do you think the rest of us feel?” you scowled at the boy before turning your attention to the baby in your arms. It was true, no matter how much you tried to sooth him, he wasn’t shushing up at all. “Y-you don’t think…” you muttered, feeling slightly ill at the thought of having to change a diaper. When you first thought about the idea that morning, you hardly realized that it would become your reality only a few hours later. And just the idea made you cringe. “I-I can’t change a diaper! I-I won’t! After I cleaned up all your messes, I simply refuse…!”

Rin laughed at your frantic denial for changing diapers, but reasoned, “Well, we did cause [Name] a lot of troubles with all of this. We’ve completely destroyed her kitchen over stupid things…”

“How do you think she cleaned it herself?” Amaimon interrupted, which came as more of a shock to you than to Rin. How did he know about that?

“That doesn’t matter,” Rin said cheerfully. He was the only one who didn’t seem to be completely worn from all of this. And to you, that was a surprise. You and Amaimon were already verbally at one another, and who knew how long it would take for you to become physically aggressive, but Rin seemed happy with the current situation. He seemed okay with taking care of the crying babies, he seemed to know what to do and what to try, even if he was immature and a little bit irresponsible. He was certainly more responsible than both you and Amaimon put together. “I think… for all we’ve put her through, we owe it to [Name].”

You didn’t understand why Rin was siding with you, but in that moment you felt relieved because if there was one thing you didn’t want, it was to change diapers. You almost melted into Rin in that moment as you cheerfully handed the baby back to Amaimon. Yes, he could easily walk out of your home and give up on the whole ordeal, then it would just be you and Rin. But what kind of a person leaves after totally destroying a person’s kitchen? “I would really appreciate that, you two.”

And with that, you took this as your chance to relax.

“Um… Amaimon, you don’t do it like that,” Rin pointed out the obvious, and you suddenly became aware of why Amaimon refused to handle the babies. He didn’t know how. And you almost felt bad for getting so upset with him, but then he had also gotten upset with you, which had been just as uncalled for, if not more so. “Here, watch how I do it, and do it like that, okay?”

You had been lounging around like the master of your domain for quite some time, more time than you had expected over something as simple as a diaper change. However, you couldn’t complain because not only did you refuse the job, it seemed that the youngest of your siblings was proving to be the only one of any use. “Finally, finished!”

“Well now, that only took way too long,” you teased the boys as you pulled yourself off of your sofa to come and check things out for yourself. After all, if things had gone completely wrong, you’d have no choice but to step in and help. But what you saw was two smiling, happy babies with changed diapers and no horrible looming smells. “Wow, it looks like you really did it.” A job that you had stepped back from, a job that you had flatly refused… these two idiots managed to pull it off somehow.

Though it was due to congratulate both of them on a job well done, you instead place a hand on Amaimon’s shoulder. The clueless boy gazed at you with a mixture of surprise and dazed cluelessness, but you lowered your face as to not meet eyes with him. This was worse than admitting defeat to a proud, upstanding demon like you and quietly, you murmured close by his ear so that Rin wouldn’t catch on, “… Thanks.” Naturally, a professional like yourself could easily disguise this gesture as you pushed Amaimon aside with that hand on his shoulder and went on to coo the babies.

“I bet that feels better, doesn’t it? These two really did you boys a favor, you should be glad that they were willing to change those things for you!” You were starting to catch on now that this was not a task for one person, such as yourself, to carry out alone. The three of you were inexperienced, the three of you had different strengths and weaknesses, but that’s why the three of you needed to work together in order to make this task a successful one. And though you refused to admit it out loud, you would carry on with this thought in mind.

“Thanks guys,” you said with a stupid smile before adding, “Is what they would say if they could speak, I’m sure.”

Stage Number Five: More Feeding?!

Your blissful moment couldn’t have been any shorter.

“Shut them up!” Amaimon complained as clasped his hands over his ears. He hated the sound of the crying babies more than you, and more than Rin. That, or he was just being an idiot and overreacting. Either way, you and Rin exchanged glances of confusion. Diapers had just been changed, babies had just been fed, barfing had already commenced. Why could they not be satisfied with just being held? Was your awkward and hesitant love not enough? “Please, make them stop crying!”

“How?” you complained loudly, trying to outdo the sounds of the crying. You were lightly rocking the baby, patting his back and shushing him softly, but to no avail. You couldn’t make him stop. “What do you want?” you asked the crying baby desperately, though you knew that you would never get an answer. After all, they couldn’t speak and they would never just point to what they wanted. Instead, they would cry loudly until you were able to figure out what they wanted. That, or the neighbors would simply call the cops. “Please! Tell me what you want! I don’t understand!”

Rin, as well, was softly speaking to the baby in his arms that continued to cry. “Maybe we should feed them again?”

“Do you always think with your stomach?”

The boy laughed nervously. “I just think that they crapped out everything they had in ‘em from before… you never did take a look at those diapers, did you?” As he said this, your face paled. Maybe you shouldn’t have asked. Well, he had been right about it last time, so maybe he really did know what he was talking about. Maybe. “Maybe we should try feeding them again? After all, the food preferences have been figured out. Now it’s just a matter of making it, and shutting them up with it.”

“Peaches and daikon,” Amaimon muttered amongst the crying as he ran for your nicely cleaned kitchen. You knew better than to follow him–not only was he trying to escape the crying, but he was going to make the food himself to shut these things up. And that meant less work for you, and for Rin who was the only one consistently working out of the three of you. Maybe you needed to give him a little slack, as well. He was working awfully hard, and was still refusing to show signs of fatigue.

And as far as you knew, it was impossible to put up with two screaming monsters for a day and show no signs of wear.

“Rin,” you tried to grab the younger boys attention of the crying and the loud sound of the blender. The blue eyed boy looked over with bright, eager eyes–he still wanted to help. “Hand that baby off to Amaimon. You’ve done your share for now, brother.” Bowing your head a little bit, you smiled a faint, half-smile. “You’ve worked hard today. Relax for a minute, we’ll handle them from here.”

But relaxing was far from what you had doomed yourself to.

Holding the baby to your chest with one hand, you tried to give the baby a spoon of peach mush fresh from the blender. But the little demon continued to cry, refusing to open his mouth for the spoonful of crap. And you were starting to get frustrated. “Why?” you complained with obvious irritation. “Why won’t you just eat this damn crap?” Taking the spoon to your own mouth, you ate it instead. “… Yuck, I don’t blame you for wanting no part of this.”

“It’s not working!” Amaimon was more frustrated than you, and you were aware of this. There was something about the babies crying that really drove his nerves to the ground. “The baby won’t eat it! What do we do?” He was losing it, but he continued to try. He waved the spoon of oddly colored daikon mush to the sandy blond boy, but the baby refused it. And more so than the baby in your arms as a small hand shot up, flinging the spoon right out of Amaimon’s hand.

And the contents landed all over your arm.

“We’re not playing this game again,” you scolded the baby quite harshly. Teamwork… But no matter how many times you told yourself that this was a teamwork exercise, there was a small part of you that refused to believe it. Even if you worked together, nobody knew how to understand the cries of a demonic baby. It was impossible. “Here.” With the idea of teamwork in mind, you scooped up a small spoonful of peach gunk and offered it to the baby in Amaimon’s arms. “Eat. If you do, maybe your brother will get the hint.”

To your surprise, and to Amaimon’s surprise, the baby ate it. The cries began to slow, and instead turned into small, playful giggles. At your discovery, you continued to hurriedly feed the baby which Amaimon was holding onto. But that didn’t solve the problem of your twin. He continued to cry, harder now that he was being ignored. “… Here.”

This time, it was Amaimon’s turn to feed the baby in your arms. And to your surprise, he stopped crying as well. You didn’t understand what the problem was. Were they just trying to be difficult? “Are we just idiots or are they trying to be difficult?” Though you were just glad to have found a way to shut them up, you couldn’t help but be curious. What were you doing wrong? And what were you doing now that was right in comparison?

No matter how you looked at it: teamwork.

“… We had them mixed up. We’re just idiots.”

… It was worth a shot.

Stage Number Six: Cleanup Number 2.

“I told you that would work!” Rin was more than thrilled with his, once again, excellent call on what the babies needed. Maybe he really could understand them? Or maybe he was just really thinking with his stomach. Because once the babies refused to eat anymore, he didn’t hesitate to finish off the rest of the fruity mush. Not that you minded… less cleaning for you. “Maybe now would be a good time to clean up?” Of course, you weren’t opposed to that idea. Even if things had gone a bit nicer this time around, they were nowhere near clean. You, the babies, and the kitchen.

Waving them on, you led them to your shower room. You could fill a small tub of water to wash the babies, you figured. And you guys… well, you could clean up whenever you got around to it. “Let’s clean up,” you said, and though you led them so that they couldn’t see, you had a small smile on your previously irritated, annoyed, aggravated face. It was probably about three or four in the afternoon, so you’d spent the whole day trying to hate your company. But maybe that wasn’t the type of attitude you should have put forth.

Somehow, this seemed a lot easier.

And you wondered if maybe this is how Rin was doing it. He was smiling, he would laugh and joke and try to make the best of things. Maybe that’s why he was still so full of life by this point. And though it was a little bit late, it was never too late to jump on board. “We’ll run a shallow tub for the babies,” you instructed as you enter the spacious, but mostly empty room. And your voice echoed off of the tile walls. “But we cannot take our eyes off of them for a split second! Even with little water, we can’t risk drowning them…”

Wouldn’t that just make your day? Somehow, you figured that if you ended this day with two dead babies, Mephisto might just take it upon himself to kill you all with his bare hands. But you also assumed that he would be in just as much trouble, if not more, for dumping the babies on the three of you to begin with. “As long as they don’t cry,” Amaimon complained as you carefully passed your baby off to Rin in order to fill a small tub. You had never bathed a baby before. It was something that you didn’t ever have to think about in your lifetime.

“I use this tub in the kitchen sink sometimes for washing my hair,” you muttered as you placed the squared shaped tub onto the countertop. “But if we fill this with a bit of warm water, we should be able to use it for bathing the babies…” And so, you quickly set to work on filling the tub.

When the babies had been bathed, which took far longer than anyone had expected, you let out a soft sigh. Finally, it was over. But just as you finished putting a new diaper on the baby that you were to take care of, having carefully helped Amaimon throughout the process, you were suddenly struck by a very warm blast of water dead in the center of your back. And somehow, the freshly bathed baby in your arms found your shocked expression to be hilarious as he began to giggle in that high, shrill way he liked to. Rin’s shrill laughter coming from behind you nearly matched the baby’s, and you turned around bitterly.

“Did you just spray me with the showerhead?”

But just as you asked, you got a good shot of water right against the side of your face. Rin was, indeed, spraying you in the face with the showerhead. And that was only making you more frustrated. But… you had told yourself before that this may be the only way to relieve you of all that built up stress. If you could just have a little bit of fun… Rin tried to reason with you, “After all, we need to clean ourselves, too.”

“That’s it,” you said with a bit of bitterness in your voice as you stormed up to the boy, holding out your hand expectantly. “Give me that showerhead before you do some serious damage.” Obediently, and naively, he gave up the weapon that you took only a second to reposition in his direction, spraying him up and down and forcing him back into the wall. “But since you don’t have a baby in your possession, there’s no harm in washing you down.”

Of course, you didn’t hesitate to, once Rin was thoroughly soaked, swivel the showerhead towards Amaimon and give him a good splash with it, as well. “What was that for?” Amaimon complained, now drenched with warm water. And you just laughed like crazy as the baby in your arms giggled. No wonder he found misfortune so funny! This was a hoot when you had the power! “I have a baby.”

“That was just an excuse,” you laughed as you turned back towards Rin to hose him down some more. And the more you did so, the more you really did feel the stress being relieved. Rin, too, was laughing, though trying to shield his face from the oncoming water attack. But just as you were about to turn back to Amaimon, to loosen him up and get him to see the humor, the younger boy appeared beside you, ripping the showerhead from your hands. “H-hey, n-no, wait!”

Since when was two against one ever considered a fair fight?

Stage Number Seven: The Cover Up.

Everyone soaked to the bone. The shower room was a mess. The kitchen was a mess. There was so much cleaning up that needed to be done that you didn’t even know where to start, and you just knew that if Mephisto arrived to claim the babies and the house was in such a state that you’d all be scolded. You needed to cover this up and fast because it seemed that time was beginning to tick away faster than ever. And, of course, Mephisto said nothing about when he would come for the babies.

“Alright,” you said calmly, having had to rediaper the babies for the third time because your water fight had gotten quite out of hand and everyone had ended up soaked. But the babies seemed to have had a blast, and you felt a lot better afterwards, as well. “I’ll fetch some towels for us to dry off with and I’ll meet you in the kitchen. The mess here will take care of itself with that handy little evaporation trick. We need to have the kitchen cleaned before Mephisto gets here so that we don’t get ourselves into trouble.”

“I’ll take him,” Amaimon said as he gestured towards the baby in your arms. He was all smiles and giggles for now, so it was no wonder that Amaimon would be so eager to take him. But it would also make your running here and there easier. So, without the hesitation of earlier that same day, you carefully handed Amaimon the baby. After a moment of just staring at the baby with those big, clueless eyes, he commented, “…This is the one that liked peaches.”

How he knew that was beyond you, but you assumed that he was just guessing and ran off to find some towels. The towels that you had initially brought to dry off the babies with had gotten soaked in your water war, so you needed to find something dry. But you really didn’t need that many towels. If it came down to it, you could always just change clothes once again and use a kitchen towel to dry your hair. It was the other two who were out of luck.

Gathering the only towels you could come by from your thorough search, you decided to switch clothing yet again. You had almost gone through a week’s worth of clothing in just one day! You’d be slugging around your house in your pajamas for a couple of days until you could get the laundry done after this day was through. Returning to the kitchen, you held out the towels. “I could only come across two towels, so you guys use ‘em.”

As you went to grab a towel from a cupboard, you spotted the dirty dishes… had been put away. What… were they thinking? Putting dishes, covered in baby mush, back into the cupboard. And not even neatly! They were just tossed about, wherever they would fit! “W-what… is this?” You dropped the towel you had been holding to the counter and whirled around to glare harshly at your companions. Why were there dirty dishes in your cupboards? “What are you idiots thinking?”

“He,” Amaimon began, pointing blankly at Rin and pinning the blame, “said that we should hide most of the mess for now, in case brother shows up. He promised he would help you clean up after brother claimed the babies.” Though he was throwing Rin under the bus completely, this time he took time to note that Rin did in fact plan to help you out in the end. Maybe things between you three were starting to look up after all. “The work would be easier without having to keep an eye on them.”

When you thought about this more clearly, allowing your head to cool after their stupidity, you began to realize that this was indeed true. You always preferred to take the easiest way out of a situation, and for the moment, what really mattered was the impression you three left on Mephisto as babysitters. Hurrying to grab up your towel, you threw it over your own head quickly to let it absorb some of the dampness of your hair and made to clean up some of the counter spots. “We’ll clean what we can’t hide,” you said calmly. “But both of you are staying back after Mephisto comes in order to help me out here!”

In the end, you worked a lot harder than you thought you would, but it wasn’t nearly as much as it would have been had you not thrown all the dirty dishes into hiding. And though they had to–and surely would–get cleaned at a later date, you’d much rather split the workload. At least, that was your reasoning until it got to the cleanup point, when you would then proceed to complain about why you’d been so stupid to leave so much work to do.

You now held one baby, while Amaimon refused to let go of the other because he was not crying yet, and you headed out into the living room with your towel still hanging around your neck. It felt good. You felt clean and refreshed, you felt less stressed than you had all day, and you felt like that smile on your face really did belong there. And though it wasn’t done yet, you had a feeling that no matter what happened in the last bit of time you spent with these babies, this day couldn’t possibly be any more hectic than it had already been.

“He’s a sleep,” Amaimon pointed out as the baby at his chest did, indeed, appear to be asleep. And following a monstrous yawn, the baby in your arms also fell into a deep sleep. As the three of you stood in silence, watching the sleeping babies in an aura of peace, you couldn’t help but feel like you’d miss them when they were gone. You’d miss the togetherness of enemies and the frustration that babies brought. You’d miss the peace that came after a long, chaotic day. You’d miss these idiot brothers of yours messing up your home. You’d miss this.

Stage Number Eight: Lights Out.

You settled down onto the couch with a sigh–it felt good to be off your feet for the first time in what felt like forever. On one side of you, Amaimon also took a seat, though it was considerably more gentle and careful than your falling into the couch. He really did seem concerned about that baby… or maybe he just didn’t want it to start crying again. Though for whatever reason he hated that side of the babies so much, he seemed rather comfortable with a quiet or giggling baby.

On the other side of you, Rin took a seat, also careful not to wake the baby in your arms. But as he watched it sleep, he softly hummed a tune that was familiar to you, though you couldn’t place why. Possibly it was a song that someone had hummed to you, back when you were as small as these guys. Though you figured that if that was so, you wouldn’t remember such a thing, you felt a small tug on your demonic heart. If you didn’t remember anything about these days, would it be that these babies wouldn’t remember the hectic day that they put you three through? You didn’t like that idea very much at all.

You had looked after children before, and you knew how to tame even the most ferocious demons, but there was nothing in the world that could have possibly prepared you for the babies you had faced today. It was an experience you could’ve gone your whole life without, yet a small part of you was glad you had been given the chance to live it. When all was said and done, the idea of working together seemed a lot better than the thought of dealing with things alone. Perhaps that was the lesson Mephis-

A sudden weight on your shoulder called you back from your thoughts as Rin’s humming had drifted off and he had ended up putting himself to sleep. Though it was a rather new feeling, having someone sleeping on your shoulder, and you were a little hesitant to even breathe at the thought of waking him, you didn’t find it overly uncomfortable. Instead, you felt like a big sister… “No fair,” Amaimon said in that same monotonous voice he always used. Resting his head on the opposite shoulder, he groaned, “I want to sleep on mom too.”

Though you considered yourself too young to be called ‘mom’ just yet, the idea of these two being your little brothers was not as scary as it had been earlier that morning. In fact, being so close like this with all four of the younger ones sleeping, you really did feel like the big sister you had always refused to be. And something about that alone made you feel more relaxed and content than anything else could have possibly made you feel had that day.

This was teamwork.

He didn’t need the door to be unlocked to invite himself into your home like it was his own, but the sight that greeted him was enough to keep him from yelling out a casual, ‘I’m home!’ greeting simply to make you angry. And though he could easily be a big jerk by doing it anyway, waking the three of you who were all sleeping soundly on the couch and the sleeping babies, he thought the better of it. After all, when he gave them back to their parents, he would be the one claiming the reward for such a fine job.

With a creepy, Grinch-like smile, the demonic man carefully lifted the sleeping babies free without waking the soundly sleeping sitters. After such a long day, they clearly needed and earned the rest. The babies were clean, unharmed and fast asleep–what more could their parents want in a perfect babysitter like himself?

“I’m glad you all worked so well together,” Mephisto said quietly as he watched them sleep for a moment longer. They really did look peaceful together, which was not the end result he was expecting at all. “It wasn’t a mistake telling [Name]’s aunt I’d babysit her cousins again next week.”

When you awoke later that evening, you shook your brothers awake gently. You had overslept, and it was almost early morning hours of the next day. You still had dishes to clean and you didn’t want these bums taking up your couch all night! “Hey, Mephisto took the babies, we’ve got to get to those dishes,” you reminded them gently as they slowly woke from their much needed nap. “You can… crash here later, if you want, but we have to get those dishes done!”

You led the two half-asleep boys to the kitchen, where you hurried to fetch the dirty dishes. But there was a small piece of paper that caught your attention. Had Mephisto left you a note? Carefully, you picked up the note to read it aloud,

You guys did a great job! Be ready to do it again next week!
Love, Mephisto Pheles

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