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Posts : 8172
Join date : 2010-09-22
Age : 27
Location : Under Your Bed

PostSubject: Decisions   2011-10-02, 8:59 pm

( a strange story, I promise you. But to give you a bit of backstory, Adell now lives in the Demon Realm, as part of the council along with Leila and Seigan. This was originally forced on him, but he's come to genuinely enjoy his life there. The fact that his friends can visit helps as well. Also, a canon character or two from Bleach will be in this, as they are to be my characters soon on the, yeah. Anyway, for a bit more backstory:

Adell was friends with Orihime and Tatsuki, as well as the other people he's known to associate with on Fusion. Orihime has had feelings for ADELL all this time, not Ichigo. They are all in their late-twenties to early-thirties, and Adell hasn't seen some of his friends, or family, in years. He finally came back to Earth for a bit, only to be attacked by Xavier's allies. The enemy was driven off, but Adell was injured rather badly. He was found, and healed, by Orihime. Here we go...)

Adell was not accustomed to waking up in other people's beds. It just hadn't happened much, especially since that disturbing incident where he'd woken up in Kieth's arms. That was just... ugh.

This time, he was facedown in a pillow that smelled like someone else. A woman, from the scent, who used little or no perfume, but a soap that smelled suspiciously like caramel-covered beets.

"Orihime," he said at once.

"Yes, Adell?" came the immediate reply from somewhere to his left.

"Please tell me you have some clothes on."

"Not really..."

Adell peeked. Not because he wanted to look, but because Orihime's logic didn't always match up with his. And sure enough...

"Orihime, you ARE wearing some clothes."

"But it's less like clothes and more like a nightshirt."

"...which still counts as some clothes."

"Really? I didn't think so..."

His brain was starting to hurt, and they'd barely been talking for a minute. He needed to focus on something else before his head exploded. "Is that a purple dragon on your supposed non-clothing?"

"You like it?" she asked excitedly, spreading out her shirt and flattening it over her chest.

Adell closed his eyes. Tightly. And wished for super glue. Or that Orihime would stop unknowingly molding the flimsy nightshirt to her shapely body within the next few seconds. She wasn't doing it on purpose, of course, but Adell had just gotten out of a battle to the death, so it was completely unreasonable to torment him that way.

"Why are we in the same bed?" Adell finally asked.

There was a pause.

"Well. You're hurt. I couldn't just leave you. It wouldn't be right, and... and..."


"And I really didn't want to put you anywhere else."

Adell didn't know what to say to that. So he carefully sat up and looked at her.

Orihime seemed small and vulnerable in the dark, like a lost little girl... or maybe that was just the overall effect of the childish nightshirt.

"I should go," he said after a few tense minutes of silence.

"Please don't," Orihime whispered, lowering her head. "You're still hurt, and I haven't seen Miki in ages, and Tatsuki will beat you up if she sees you walking around already, and, and, we can order out and you can tell me how you've been, and I promise I won't cook!"

Adell frowned. "Orihime..."

"Don't make me beg, Adell. If you ever felt anything for me, please don't make me beg you to stay..."

There was a tiny voice in Adell's head that sounded suspiciously like Yulina, or perhaps Miki, and it was insisting that he should do something incredibly foolish and romantic, like kiss Orihime to make her stop feeling so pathetic. But another voice, which sounded a great deal like Seigan, countered that Orihime would not welcome such an advance, and that it would in fact destroy the semblance of a friendship they did still have.

Adell was not without some common sense. He understood now that women worked on a large series of complicated, hidden signals, and that as a man, he might be familiar with maybe two of them (according to Leila's last count, anyway). At any rate, he knew for certain that leaving would be a bad move. Logic demanded that he do something to make Orihime feel better, but kissing still seemed a bit much. He could not, in fact, ever recall touching Orihime beyond taking her hand to help her up off of the floor. This suddenly seemed like a huge oversight, and with no further thought, Adell leaned forward and carefully gave Orihime a hug.

As far as hugs went, it was not one of his better ones. It was awkward and downright uncomfortable. It was nearly as bad as trying to hug Ariana while sharp objects were handy. But Orihime stopped making that little sniffling noise that tugged at his heart, so he held on until she gently pushed him away a few minutes later.

"Thank you," she said quietly.

"Don't do that," he grumbled. "If anything, I should be thanking you for saving me. In fact, I will. So if you ever need anything, I-"

"Anything?" Orihime interrupted softly.

Adell stared at her, wondering why he suddenly felt very uneasy. "Well, anything within reason, that's in my power to give, I promise I'll do it." He felt fairly sure that she'd want something silly, like a dog that only barked on Sundays, or a bag of gummy aardvarks.

"There is one thing I've wanted for a while," Orihime admitted, "but I'm afraid you'll say no. And it is a little unreasonable..."

"Come on, Orihime. I mean, it's you. It can't be that unreasonable."

Her face fell. "I hope you still feel that way after I tell you. I can't even say it out loud..."

"So why don't you whisper it in my ear?" Adell suggested.

Orihime nodded and crawled over to him, cupping her hands around his ear. She told him exactly what she wanted, and even repeated it twice so there could be no mistaking what she was asking for.

Even after she was done, Adell didn't move. He couldn't believe that Orihime, of all people, would ask something like that of him. While it wasn't completely unreasonable, it was still intensely intimate, and life altering for both of them.

Aside from that, Tatsuki would murder him in his sleep.

But when he looked into Orihime's eyes, he couldn't say no, no matter how bad an idea it was to give in. In her eyes, he could see years of pain that he had unknowingly caused, simply by being unknowing. And he could do nothing else to hurt a friend so kind and pure.

But for the life of him, he could not even begin to imagine why Orihime would want to bear his child, or what she would do with it afterwards.

Adell was a virgin, largely by choice. He'd just never had much time for girls, aside from the ones who fought by his side. And they were so much like boys that they didn't really count in his mind. Not because they weren't beautiful or anything, but because he saw them as allies and friends only, not potential love interests. Back then, Orihime had just been Tatsuki's odd friend.

If anyone had told Adell then that she would be his first, depending on his mood, he would've either snorted or given a short nod of approval. Orihime wasn't ugly (far from it), and most of the boys he could think of would've been insanely jealous. But he had no real connection with her, and couldn't really see himself just approaching her, or anyone else, for sex.

Of course, now that he was sitting in Orihime's bedroom, waiting for her to return from tucking in Yulina and, for some reason, Miki, he felt very silly.

SHE had approached HIM for sex. Well, really she just wanted the RESULTS from sex. In fact, Orihime had never mentioned sex at all in her strange request. She'd only expressed interest in having his child. A small part of his brain sincerely hoped that she could be talked into doing this by artificial means.

Adell happened to know of a sperm bank only an hour or so away from his house, as Salem had once swung by and taken him there once to teach him "how men were made." Adell had been massively, mentally scarred, and when Tsurara found out, she took Salem's car keys, and for three whole months, demanded to know where he was going on a daily basis before she would give them up.

If only Tsurara, or anyone, were around to protect him now.

Orihime returned far before he was ready, and Adell could only stare at her as she crossed the room and sat beside him on the end of the bed.

"So there's this place on the other side of town," Adell blurted out.

"I'd rather do this here," Orihime murmured.

Adell's eyes widened. "Have you, um... ever done this before?"

"No. But I'm certain I don't want to do it anywhere else."

"But, if you've never done it, how do you-"

"Adell," Orihime said softly, staring at the floor. "I know... I'm probably not the person you imagined being your first. I know you don't like me the same way I like you. But you promised, and you always keep your word. I've always admired that about you."

Adell winced slightly. Clearly, he wasn't going to get out of this. "I'm sorry, Orihime. It's just... this is really unexpected, and I don't know what to do."

"You should probably be undressed first," she suggested... and then, without waiting for a reply, Orihime reached over to help him.

He wanted to stop her, but she was being so gentle, careful to avoid upsetting his wounds, that he just sat there and let her do what she wanted. "You, uh... have to get undressed, too..." he felt the need to point out.

Orihime smiled shyly up at him. "I know... you'll just have to be patient."

"What? NO! I didn't mean...! Uh..."

"It's okay, whatever you meant," she assured him.

Once Adell was naked, he blushed and did his best not to look at Orihime, who immediately began taking off her own clothes. But something seemed to be wrong with his neck, because it kept trying to turn his head back towards her, and when it finally succeeded, he got his first look at a naked Orihime.

At this point, his brain officially declared it would have nothing more to do with him, if he'd done his best to avoid such a gorgeous creature for no good reason at all. Then Lil' Adell pointed out to the brain that abandoning them now would mean it would miss out on whatever Orihime had in store for them, and Adell's brain predictably forgot its permanent vacation plans, not to mention everything else.

Adell must have been gaping, because Orihime blushed and shuffled her feet nervously as she gently took his hand and guided him to lie down on the bed with her, where they stared at each other for several moments.

"Are you sure about this, Orihime?" Adell finally asked. "You're not really doing anything..."

"Sorry. I'm, um, memorizing," Orihime admitted, clearly embarrassed.

"Memorizing what?"


Before Adell had a chance to really give that answer some thought, Orihime leaned forward and kissed him. This didn't completely surprise him: he had never thought that Orihime would just tear off his clothes and mount him. On the other hand, Adell had assumed that this was a one-time deal, and that romance would not have much of a role. But the kiss Orihime gave him was definitely romantic, or at least passionate.

Oddly enough, the kiss did nothing to inspire any additional feelings in Adell towards Orihime specifically. All it did was remind him how nice kissing was, and that he could do a lot more, if he stopped fighting it.

By that time, Orihime had traveled downward, and was nuzzling at Adell's neck when he firmly but gently seized her hair and made her look at him. "This is more than just you liking me, isn't it?" he asked.

The look on Orihime's face told him everything. "Does it matter?" she whispered, unable to meet his eyes for very long.

"So you don't want a child," Adell stated. "You want me."

"You're wrong!" Orihime cried at once. "I do want a child, your child! It's the only way I'll ever be able to let you go..."

He frowned. "So you don't want me?"

She smiled at him sadly. "I realized a long time ago that you would never be mine, Adell. So I won't be foolish enough to expect that from you. But if I can just have this one night with you, and then your child, it'll be enough."

"Wait. You're asking me to knock you up and just walk away?"

"No. But that's what you're going to end up doing. I can tell that you like your life the way it is now, and I won't interfere with your happiness. I just want a little happiness for me, too. Is that so wrong?"

"This isn't right, Orihime," Adell said, shaking his head. "I can't just leave you with a baby. How would you take care of it?"

"Tatsuki would help me," Orihime replied. "And I know Yulina would love to baby-sit for me. It won't be a burden, Adell. I could never think that of a gift from you."

He could only stare at her. "Damn, Orihime. How much do you love me, anyway?"

"Just enough," she whispered, leaning in for a second kiss. "Just enough."

This time, Adell leaned forward to meet her.


Sex with Orihime was a lot like eating ice cream for the first time, Adell decided. There was quite a bit of fumbling; the longer it went on, the messier they got; and when it was over, all Adell could think about was that he wanted to do it again.

But, there were the terms to think about. Orihime wanted sex and a baby, and she arguably had both now. So they were done.


Except when Adell started to get out of the bed, Orihime grabbed his arm.

"Wait," she whispered, trying to put a husky quality into her voice, and then stopping when she realized how weird it sounded, coming from her. "I... I think we should do it again. And maybe a third time."

Adell just looked at her blankly.

"It would be more inconvenient if you had to come back because I wasn't actually pregnant, wouldn't it?" she asked. "This way, we increase my chances. Of getting pregnant tonight, I mean."

"So long as there's a good reason," Adell lied as he returned to the bed.

Two long hours later, Orihime started to get out of bed. She got one foot on the carpet before Adell pulled her into his lap, drawing a squeak of surprise out of her. "What are you doing?" she asked.

"We should do it again," he said. "Just to be sure."

Orihime looked into his eyes, and smiled. "Of course."

In the end, neither of them made it out of bed until late the next morning. And when they finally did, Orihime was very much pregnant, and Adell was debating if he should try to convince her that she wasn't, just so he'd have an excuse to get her back into bed.

Because if he told her outright that he just wanted to have sex with her again, it would either make her very happy, or very sad, and he wasn't sure if he could deal with either reaction.

The silence between them was very strange. Adell felt like he was free to touch Orihime now, but didn't, because she might read too much into it, or be uncomfortable, since they weren't actually in a relationship. Orihime was mentally and physically trying to distance herself from him, because she didn't want to get used to his touch. It would only make her miss him more when he left.

Adell cooked breakfast, more because it gave him something to do. He was so distracted that he burned half of it, anyway, but Miki and Yulina had no trouble gulping it down, or coming back for seconds. Orihime had actually laughed when Adell asked where her garbage disposal was, just before she ate the more blackened portions with a dollop of sour cream and what could only be an unhealthy amount of steak sauce and lemon juice.

Afterwards, Orihime sent the kids (though Miki wasn't a child, she certainly acted like one at times) outside to play, partially so she'd be alone with Adell, and partially because the apple tree in the yard was ready for picking, and nothing got the apples down faster than an excitable Miki and Yulina).

"I can't just leave you with a kid," Adell said at once. "I won't be a deadbeat dad. If for no other reason than Yulina and mom would kill me."

Orihime just smiled. "I would never try to keep you from our child. You're welcome to visit whenever you can, and to stay as long as you can. I want our child to know you, and love you. Besides, deadbeats don't save the world. I'd make sure our child knew just how hard you work to keep us safe. You aren't the bad guy, Adell, and you never will be. Not to me. Not to us."

"Why do you love me?" he asked.

She shrugged. "I'm not into girls, and even if I was, Tatsuki would've turned me down. Who else was I going to love?"

"There's always Tomoya, maybe?"

"Well, he's gay, isn't he?"

Adell stared at her. He'd never wanted to hug her more. "What?" he asked, trying to keep the joy out of his voice.

"Tomoya isn't gay?" Orihime asked in genuine surprise.

He grinned. "No, but I would love to hear why you think he is."

"Doesn't he have a crush on you?"

Adell's grin faded at once. "What?"

"Isn't that why he's always teasing you? Because he doesn't know how to approach you and tell you the truth?"

By that point, Adell was gaping in horror at the prospect of Orihime actually being right. The idea of Tomoya being gay was funny to him. The idea of Tomoya being gay for him... not so much.

"So... you think Tomoya is gay, and that he likes me."

"Yes. And... who are you calling?"

Adell ignored her, frowning as he dialed Tomoya's number. It was a bit early, but he had no doubt that Tomoya would be up. And sure enough...


"It's me, damn you, and why the hell do you answer the phone that way?"

"Because I knew it was you," Tomoya sighed. "Who else would call at this hour and-"

"Are you gay?" Adell demanded.

There was a pause.

"You think I'm gay because I don't like to be disturbed this early in the morning?"

"I don't think you're gay, Orihime does. But the way she explained it makes me wonder, so I'm asking, are you gay?"

Another pause.

"Orihime thinks I'm gay?"

"Yes, damn it, now are you? Because if you are, and you're into me, then-"

"You magnificent bastard," Tomoya hissed. "How dare you. How DARE you."

Adell actually stopped talking. He'd offended Tomoya before, but now his friend sounded truly pissed.

"IF I were gay, I could do much better than YOU. WORLDS better. UNIVERSES better. Entire-"

Adell hung up.

"Is he gay?" Orihime asked.

"No, he's just a huge jerk in the morning, but we already knew that."


Adell had always known he would have to go back to the Demon Realm. He just hadn't realized how hard it would be. Every instinct he had told him to stay on Earth with Orihime. Even now, he didn't love her the way she'd wanted him to, and they both knew he might never. But that was no excuse to abandon the pregnant mother of his child, even if she insisted that wasn't the case. Yes, Orihime would be fine with Tatsuki and Yulina to look after her, but the point, in Adell's mind, was that she shouldn't have to be fine with just them.

But no amount of arguing or pleading would change Orihime's mind: he was welcome to stay with her, but under no condition would she actually ask him to. If she had, Adell might very well have abandoned his life in the Demon Realm on the spot, no matter what anyone said or thought.

Orihime was right about him, though. He was happy there, and even if he never resented Orihime or their child for his staying with them, he would never really be as happy as he was right now.

There wasn't much time to mull it over, though. Seigan and Leila had arrived that afternoon, to bring Adell and Miki back the moment they were both able to travel safely (they'd even brought a huge bag of candy in case Miki resisted). Orihime wasn't going to ask him to stay, and neither would Tatsuki (who was still mad at him for giving into Orihime's request).

Miki wasn't happy, either. She and Yulina were getting along famously, and neither of them wanted to be separated. Aside from that, now that she knew Orihime was pregnant (Adell had assured her of this with a thoroughly red face), Miki seemed to think that Orihime wouldn't be safe outside of the Demon Realm. She had even offered to give up her quarters for them.

To his credit, Seigan conveniently "forgot" to examine Adell for a few hours before declaring him fit to travel. But in that time, Orihime had remained firm. She was clearly not happy, not completely, but she wasn't about to admit it, not even when they were all gathered in her yard, ready to depart.

"Orihime," Adell said softly, staring into her eyes. "If you ask me to stay, I will."

She only smiled back, her eyes shimmering with unshed tears. "Have a safe trip, Adell."

Before he could make another attempt to sway her, Miki leapfrogged over his head and caught Orihime's hand on the way down.

"Hey, Hime-chan! Remember, you promised to call me when the baby starts to come out, so I can be the first one to hold my new sister!" Miki considered Adell to be her brother these days, and people had gotten used to it rather quickly.

"I won't forget, Miki," Orihime assured her, leaning down to kiss the top of the pink-haired girl's head. "Take good care of Adell for me, okay?"

"Why does everyone keep asking me to do that? Onii-chan isn't that helpless!" Miki giggled wildly.

Frowning, Adell fished a gumball out of his pocket and threw it, watching Miki race after it. "So it's a girl," he murmured, his lips twitching upward slightly as Miki caught the gumball in her mouth and began chewing furiously.

"Well, I'm not sure," Orihime admitted. "But Miki has her heart set on one, and I can never say no to her."

"Then you want a girl."

"All I want is a child that's yours, Adell."

He wanted to say something, but his throat had gone dry, and Orihime was very carefully watching an eager Yulina spar with a very flustered Seigan. Yulina sparring was generally odd, but still amusing to watch. Instead, Adell merely allowed his fingers to brush against hers, and was somewhat relieved when she quickly took his hand.

"Um, excuse me," Leila murmured softly, "but we should really be going now..."

"Right." Adell gave Orihime's hand a final squeeze before slowly releasing it. "Miki, Seigan! Time to go!"

Seigan practically ran over, quickly healing up a nasty cut on his arm along the way. "Such a... spirited girl," he laughed weakly, possibly from excessive blood loss. Yulina was not a violent girl, but she was definitely strong.

Adell wanted to say something, but he could think of nothing that would help. So he merely stared at Orihime as Seigan drew out his scythe, pointed it straight up, and launched a burst of energy into the air. The energy broke apart in mid-air, which released a glowing blue net that fell down and covered the group that was leaving. The world tilted for a moment, and then there was a great yank before they were dumped roughly in Houjo's office.

"Still haven't worked the kinks out of that rescue net, Seigan?" Houjo asked as she helped everyone up.

"At least I got it to land in the city this time, instead of that pit like last time..."

"Yes, that was rather unfortunate, but I'm sure they appreciated the rescue all the same. Or they will, if they ever wake up..."


Nobody was quite sure why Ignis slept in the closet of her room in the Demon Realm. Similarly, nobody was quite sure why she shared the closet with her sister Karin, and Ariana. THeyjust knew that that was how it was.

Ariana had only been sleeping for a few hours when the closet door was pulled open, and someone rudely climbed in without invitation, forcing a strangled squawk from Ariana as a heavy knee prodded roughly into her ribs. She didn't even need to see the silouette in the moonlight from the window to know the identity of the intruder.

"Adell!" she snarled, punching him in the head. "What the hell are you doing in here?"

By then, both Karin and Ignis were awake. Neither said a word, assuming that Ariana and Adell would come to blows, make up, and grudgingly apologize without words in just a few minutes. That was always how it worked with them.

Adell looked to be in a hurry though, because he skipped straight to the last step. "Sorry, guys. I need to talk to you, and it can't wait."

Ignis and Karin were far too patient with Adell's overwhelming... "guyness," as Karin called it, to take offense to being referred to as "guys." Really, it was Adell's way of calling them friends, or even sisters. Ariana... well, taking offense with Adell was practically her job.

"You climb into our bed without asking, and then you call us-!"

"I slept with Orihime," Adell muttered.

There was complete, stunned silence as Adell carefully tried to find a position that was actually approaching comfortable. Finally, he just picked up Ariana (she was, after all, still too stunned to protest, the smallest of the three, and the one he was most comfortable with touching inappropriately simply because she acted so much like a guy and was like a sister to him) and took her spot between Ignis and Karin, settling her back down on top of him. With anyone else it might have been weird, but Ariana just shifted slightly and tucked her head under Adell's chin, relaxing as he draped his arms around her waist to keep her from falling into the others.

"Don't leave anything out," Ignis instructed, and Adell had little choice but to obey. As he talked, he gradually became more aware that all three of his new bedmates were, in fact, female, all curvy and soft in most of the same places that Orihime had been. Consequently, he had to pause often and clear his throat or try to maneuver his crotch away from Ariana's rear. Fortunately, Ariana was smart enough to realize that Adell's story was having the same effect on everyone, and forced herself not to consider his erection a compliment. She was definitely going to tease him about it later, though. Well, Ignis and Karin would after she told them.

"So even though she told me it was okay," Adell concluded what seemed like hours later, "I still feel like a total deadbeat. But I can't just quit and go be with her."

"Because you have duties here," Ignis added.

Adell blinked. "No, because Orihime wouldn't let me."

"She guilts you into getting her pregnant, then won't ask you to stay with her," Ariana murmured. "That sounds like Orihime, alright."

"Are you kidding? That's nothing like Orihime! She's spent her whole life avoiding me-"

"Only because she was so in love with you that she didn't know what to do with herself."

"Then out of nowhere she wants sex all night-"

"Well, obviously she wasn't getting any!"

"But the baby part-"

"Her biological clock ticks like everyone else's. And since she waited this long for you, it only makes sense that she'd be rushing."

Adell scowled at the top of Ariana's head. "Don't make me kick you out of this bed."

"How is it my fault that you're so colossally stupid? Adell, you know nothing about love. For example, what would you do if I told you I was in love with you?"

"Run," Adell said at once, earning a whack upside his head. "Ow."

"I'm serious!"

"So was I. OW!"

Ignis interrupted there, because she was growing bored, and missing out on her sleep. She grabbed Adell's chin, tugged his head close, and kissed him more to shut him up than anything else.

Karin was also bored, and did the same with Ariana, who had been expecting as much.

"The hell?" Adell grunted once Ignis released him.

"You're both idiots," she sighed. "Ariana, Adell loves you. You're like his sister, and he'd do anything to save you. Adell, Ariana worries about you because she cares so much. That's her job, and you should be used to it. Now, I want you two to kiss and make up."

Adell blanched. "Handshakes are more appropriate where I-"

Ignis elbowed him and glared into his eyes. "Kiss her, you idiot."

"Oh, come here," Ariana sighed, grabbing the sides of Adell's head. "I won't bite... this time."

Reluctantly, Adell leaned forward, wincing slightly as Ariana gave him two quick pecks on his lips. "Now you're good forever, right?" he muttered.

"For this century," she corrected with a smirk.

"Ugh. Can we get back to my problem, please?"

"You should be the Earth Affairs Administrator," Karin said at once.

"Why?" he asked dumbly.

"Because it would mean you could be stationed on earth, of course."

"...we have one of those?"

"No. All the more reason to create one."

"What do I have to do?"

"Get Miki and the other council members to agree."

"Okay, now that that is decided, I'm tired, so time for bed," Ignis said firmly.

Adell frowned. "We're already in-"

"Time for SLEEPING in bed, Adell."

"Oh." He moved to leave, but Ariana whacked him again.

"Don't be stupid; I've just gotten comfortable."


"We're not going force ourselves on you, Adell, but we are going to have our way with you. And our way means shut up and lie there like a good pillow." With that, Ariana laid her head on his chest and closed her eyes.

Adell felt weird for all of ten seconds. Then he remembered that he, too, was exhausted, and decided that sleeping with Ariana and the girls probably couldn't get him in any more trouble than, say, impregnating a sweet, naive young woman and then leaving her to fend for herself.

"Damn, I suck," he grumbled.

"We know, now go to sleep," Ariana muttered, poking him in the ribs.


All was not well within the Demon Realm. Rather, all was not perfect, but for the most part, things were running as smoothly as they ever had. But it was rather obvious that some people were more than a little distracted.

Adell seemed to be caught in a stream of endless meetings, all of which centered on convincing the new head of the council, Houjo, of the necessity of a strong (if singular) demon presence on Earth. Mainly, himself. It wasn't that the man didn't like the idea, though. Had Adell not been so stubborn, he might have noticed that the crafty man was gradually forming a small task force of demons with human world experience to ensure the venture's success. Really, the idea already had Houjo's blessing: he was just stalling until the group was selected, and keeping Adell out of the loop. Not out of suspicion, but because Houjo recognized a stressed soldier when he saw one, just as easily as he recognized a boy with woman trouble. And since Adell was both, he was not about to be trusted with anything too sensitive at the moment.


Tatsuki couldn't help gaping at Orihime over breakfast.

"Yulina, would you pass me the jelly, please?" Orihime asked.

Tatsuki's shock further grew when Orihime took a small amount of grape jelly and carefully spread it.


She had NEVER done that. Ever.

That was just one of many such instances, though.

Orihime's pregnancy, fittingly enough, had been marked by a great deal of what most people considered perfectly normal behavior... for anyone who was not pregnant, that is. She ate mostly the same foods as Tatsuki, in slightly larger portions. She calmed down quite a bit, too, which was VERY odd. Orihime also allowed Tatsuki and Yulina to fuss over her, which she usually tried to forbid to the best of her ability. She was, of course, used to Tatsuki mothering her, but Yulina's obvious interest in the baby's well-being was so touching that Orihime had no complaint when she insisted on holding her hand at nearly all times.

Tatsuki, on the other hand, practically had a nervous breakdown every time Orihime expressed any hint of discomfort. By the third month, her nerves were absolutely shot, and Yulina found herself taking care of both of them. She understood that Tatsuki was only freaking out because Orihime wasn't, and someone had to. She couldn't really blame Tatsuki for caring so much, any more than she could blame Miki for being short and cute.

Tomoya and his wife Monica (that shocked the hell out of Orihime) stopped by at least twice a week with home-cooked meals, claiming Yulina had forced him into it (although how a sweet girl half his size could make him do anything was never explored). Yulina herself practically moved in, she was there so often. "I've got to look after my little nieces!" Yulina was fond of saying as she rubbed Orihime's belly. Tatsuki thought that any implication that Orihime might have more than one baby this time around was in poor taste, but that was mostly because she could barely handle the thought of the one baby.

Samantha came by often, though she couldn't look at Orihime without getting mad at Adell. She loved her son, but the disappointment she felt toward him for not being there was overwhelming. She was still very excited about being a grandmother, though, and made a point of being the one to drive Orihime to each of her doctor appointments.

Anyone could tell it meant a lot to Orihime that the Kronos family accepted her as one of their own, but she was strangely resistant to the idea of taking their name (Samantha and Yulina kept bringing it up). Tatsuki assumed it was because Adell hadn't proposed (and probably never would, in her mind), but it really had more to do with the fact that Orihime likely wouldn't have changed her name even if she had gotten married: she would always identify herself as an Inoue. After the death of her brother, she was the only Inoue left, after all.

Roughly eight months and thirteen days to the hour she became pregnant, Orihime opened her eyes, smiled, and shook Yulina awake. "Yulina," she said softly, "tell Samantha to get his keys." Yulina's response was to give her a quick hug and then race out of the room. Orihime carefully ran her hands over her belly. She was not the least bit concerned that she was early: she was having at least one girl for certain, and expected the baby to be as pushy as Tatsuki, for some reason. She was also prepared for this to be the longest night of her life, and she was right.

Just for all of the wrong reasons.

Despite all appearances to the contrary, Orihime was actually quite intelligent. It was just that she tended to think with her heart, rather than her head. The fact that her heart was also an exceptionally generous one presented something of a constant roadblock on her path to true happiness. She'd spent most of her life just being satisfied with the joy she brought others, but this did very little to fill the emptiness she felt whenever Adell hadn't acknowledged her as anything more than an odd girl who bumped into things a lot.

But the baby would change all of that.

For the first time in her life, Orihime was poised to grasp true happiness, at least by her standards. She was loved (well, physically, but Adell didn't exactly hate her, either) by the man she loved. She was going to have that man's child. She had a loving family to support her.

But the universe is rarely so kind, especially to those who actually deserve it.

Therefore, Orihime was shocked, but not exactly stunned, when she suddenly realized that the doctor positioned to catch her baby was not a kindly, older gentleman, but actually Korick Habren. She had never actually spoken to the man, but thanks to Leila, she knew three things about him for certain: he was blind, he was with Xavier, and he was supposedly a gentleman.

If Orihime was alarmed at all, she only showed it by blinking rapidly. Although it was easily missed, considering a rather severe contraction hit an instant later. Unfortunately, the only person in the delivery room who might've noticed was Samantha, and of course she was far too preoccupied with holding Orihime's hand and helping her breathe properly.

Orihime had little choice but to continue having her baby, and hope that Korick's being a gentleman included not attacking birthing mothers and newborns. But the very fact that Korick had slipped by all of the people in the lobby indicated that Xavier was nearby as well, and Orihime unfortunately knew that he had no problem with killing women, and beyond that, rather seemed to enjoy it.


Korick Habren was by no means a doctor. Everything he knew about delivering babies, he had learned in the last few days, at Xavier's orders. Xavier had assured him that it was hardly necessary, however: he firmly believed that Orihime would not, and could not, die during the birth of her child, or immediately afterwards. He'd offered no explanation, but Korick assumed that it referred back to the reason Xavier was so interested in possessing Orihime's powers initially.

Indeed, there were absolutely no complications during the birth... and if there were, they corrected themselves with no help from Korick. Soon enough, he was holding a squirming, crying child in his hands. Being blind in no way dulled the moment for him: Korick's other senses were far more reliable by now, and he was very much aware of how powerful this moment was, not just for him, but for everyone in the room.

"Habren-san," whispered a soft voice.

He 'looked' up to 'see' Orihime gazing down at him, a strangely serene expression on her face. "Yes?" he asked without thinking, despite the fact she had no good reason to be using his given name. There was just something about the woman that was a bit too disarming.

"Is... my baby okay?"

Korick almost said yes, then decided against it. Instead, he went against every order that Xavier had given him, and handed the baby to its mother.

And he had no idea why, other than the right thing to do was to allow for a mother to hold her child, especially considering the fact that his orders were to bring the babies to Xavier. He had no choice. He simply stood there, 'watching' Orihime cuddle and coo at her new daughter. The child quickly settled down, and was handed off to Samantha, who proceeded to smile at her.

Then Orihime was smiling wearily at Korick, and saying, "I think you'd better get back down there, Habren-san. You might miss the other baby."

His eyes widened, and he quickly did as he was told.


Adell had known something was wrong the moment Miki took a detour in taking him to Orihime, in order to pick up Gig. After all, Gig wouldn't care about a birth unless Yulina or Samantha was the one pregnant, and nobody took Gig along anywhere unless they expected to be in a tough fight.

They landed directly inside the hospital lobby in just a matter of minutes, and the first thing Adell saw was Yulina and Tatsuki arguing about who should get to hold the baby first.

The next thing he saw was Xavier, standing calmly beside a vending machine. How he was able to mask his vile aura, he didn't know or care.

The world slowed to a crawl, then exploded as Gig shoved Adell aside and plowed into Xavier with the force of a runaway freight train, knocking them clear through the wall. Miki was right on his heels, yelling her head off and waving her arms. It would've been cute if Adell hadn't known how dangerous she was. Against Gig and Miki, Xavier stood a snowballs chance in hell of winning.

Amazingly, Xavier was not Adell's immediate concern. He ran through the hole in the wall that Gig's charge had created, heading straight for where he could feel Orihime's weakened energy.

But the scene waiting for him in the hospital room was not one he would've ever expected.

The moment Adell passed through the door, the body of Korick Habren was there to greet him. The man was slumped against the wall with a hole through his heart, his chest soaked with blood.

Adell felt nothing as he took in the sight, then turned away.

Orihime was asleep in bed, thoroughly exhausted.

Beside the bed, holding two sleeping babies, was Adell's mother. One of her arms was coated in blood, and the other was curled protectively around the twin baby girls.

Adell's brain slammed to a halt. "Twins...? Both girls?"

Samantha smiled, with unshed tears in her eyes. "They're absolutely beautiful!"

While that was true, Adell had a question. "So, you, um, always kill high ranking demons in your spare time, or just because this was a special occasion?"

"Little girls have to be protected," Samantha replied firmly. "I have no idea what the man had planned for them, only that it included taking them away from my daughter."

"Daughter? Orihime isn't-"

"If you don't marry this girl soon, Adell, I'll never forgive you!"

"It's not that simple-"

"These girls need a father. It IS that simple!"

Adell sighed, suddenly wishing Gig had let him fight Xavier. Even that would've been easier than trying to win an argument against his mother.


When Orihime woke up, Adell was frowning down at her.

"Twins," was all he said.

"Aren't they beautiful?" she asked, grinning.

"TWINS," he said again.

"They have names, you know. Well, they will soon. I wanted to name one after Samantha, and she seemed pleased, but told me to ask you first."

Adell blinked, clearly not expecting that. "Um. Yeah, it's fine..."

"Only I thought I might have a boy and a girl, so I don't have another girl name picked out..."

"You could name her after Tatsuki, so she'll stop muttering curses whenever she sees me."

Orihime shook her head. "No, I want... oh! I just thought of a name I've always liked! And it's someone we know!"

"Who?" Adell asked warily.

She told him.





"Orihime, you can't-"

"But it'll be so perfect!"

"No, no, no! Do you have any idea what this will do to her ego? She'll never let me live this down! And she'll be over here all the time teasing me about how we have a baby named after her! Absolutely not! There's no way I'm letting you name our kid that!"

A single tear slipped out of Orihime's right eye.

Adell paled. "Orihime, I didn't mean to yell at you, it's just-"

"You said 'our kid,' Adell. Did you mean it?" she whispered.

He blinked. "Well, yeah. You think I'd care what you named the kids if they weren't ours? You could call them Cheese and Crackers if they were anyone else's, as far as I'm concerned. But these are... they're my, I mean, our girls."

Orihime beamed at him. "Really? That's wonderful!"

"Yeah, it is," he agreed softly, reaching out and squeezing her hand gently.

Her smile widened. "But I'm still not changing her name."

Adell practically threw himself in her lap. "Orihime, you can't!"

"Sorry," she said pleasantly, not looking the least bit repentant as she lovingly ran her fingers through his hair.


Houjo decided to put the whole matter to rest once and for all. First, he ordered the creation of Earth Realm Connections (Karin laughed over that one until she was red in the face), which Adell was to recruit and command from Earth. Houjo would take Adell's seat on the council, and Miki, surprisingly, would take the head seat. He'd finally pushed things through so that the Demon King was more than just a figurehead. Also, Houjo insisted that part of Adell's duties include spending at least ten hours at home every day. At first Adell didn't see the point, until Houjo went on to define home as "wherever a man and the mother of his twins decide to reside."

Adell, though pleased, was not amused, but Orihime was. She made sure to send Houjo a thank you note.

~To be Continued~

"There is no such thing as 'Coincidence'. Only 'Inevitability'." ~ Yuuko Ichihara

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PostSubject: Re: Decisions   2011-10-02, 9:00 pm

Eight Years Later…

Desmond was a good guy, if a bit rough around the edges, but for once in his life, he was seriously considering striking a small child. Not because she was Adell and Orihime's daughter (actually, that was one of the reason's he resisted doing so), or even because she insisted that his name sounded like a 'small, flightless Australian bird with a brain smaller than a raisin.'

No, it was because she always hit him first. And no one ever saw her do it!

Oh, how he hated that demon spawn. Even Tomoya had some tolerable moments, but not her. She was a beast, a ruffian, a twisted and evil... THING that needed to be put down, or destroyed in some way, repeatedly and mercilessly.

He should've known she'd be trouble, simply from her name. Why Orihime had insisted on that name, no one but Adell knew, and he was still touchy on the subject, despite how much he loved his girls. And as that particular girl had grown, she'd grown mean, and sneaky, and downright annoying... exactly like her namesake, in other words.

Even now, as he watched her playing oh so innocently with her twin, Desmond was not fooled. Orihime only asked him to baby-sit the little menaces because no one else ever would. Well, that's what he thought. The real reason was because everyone else was out of town.

A few minutes later, the non-evil twin skipped over and latched onto his leg. "Mr. Desmond, can we have our cookies and milk now, please?"

He sighed. "Yes, Samantha. You may each have two cookies and one glass of milk."

"Chocolate milk?" she asked hopefully.

"No," he said firmly. "Your mother was very specific about that."

Samantha pouted. "Please, Mr. Desmond?"

"I'm afraid not. Now go collect your... sister."

Only the sister wasn't there anymore... just as Desmond had suspected. He ran into the house, straight into a rapidly spreading puddle of chocolate milk and oatmeal raisin cookies (it had to be raisins, of course). Glaring, he pointed a single, trembling finger at the troublemaker, whose lips were dripping with chocolate milk. "YOU!"

A wicked grin split her face, and then she bolted, leaving him to slip and slide his way through the mess.

"TOMO!" he howled, chasing her upstairs and into her room. "Get back down there and clean up your mess!"

"Nyaaaaaaah!" she whined, sticking out her tongue. "You can't make me, stupid-head!"

For a moment, Desmond forgot himself, traces of violent blue energy collecting on his fingertips. Then a heavy hand came down on his shoulder.

"That wouldn't be an attack I sensed, would it?" asked a silky voice in his ear.

Desmond scowled and instantly released the energy in a harmless pulse. "Tomo."

The woman grinned and gestured to the child. "Come on, Tomo-chan. Today I'm going to show you how to catch rats."

"Yaaaaaay!" little Tomo squealed, zipping across the room and latching onto her namesake's back.

"And why," Desmond asked, "would she need to learn that?"

"In case a rat gets in," the elder Tomo replied. "Don't worry, I won't tell her how to eat them. She'll have to figure that out on her own."

"I'm calling Orihime," Desmond said at once.

"Go ahead. I'll tell her how you almost attacked her child. Again."


"Got any proof?" the elder Tomo asked, tossing the giggling child high into the air, and catching her neatly on one hip. "Didn't think so."

Desmond watched helplessly as both Tomo's left the room (the little one stuck her tongue out at him again along the way), and was still standing there when Adell's other daughter poked her head in.

"Um, do I have to clean up the mess downstairs? It's spreading..."

"No, Samantha. I'll do it," Desmond muttered.

"I'll help!"

"I would appreciate it."

They walked downstairs together, only to find that the "rats" the elder Tomo had referred to were actually oranges, and little Tomo was having the time of her life, sliding through the chocolate milk puddle and slamming into furniture while trying to snatch up the oranges as she went zooming past.

"You have to be faster than that, Tomo-chan! Those rats won't hold still when they see you coming!"

"WHAT ARE YOU DOING?" Desmond howled.

The elder Tomo glanced at him. "Told you. Catching rats."


She shrugged. "Well, it would attract them. In theory."

"Oh, that's IT!" Desmond grabbed the phone and started dialing. He tried to ignore the particularly loud crash behind him when someone finally picked up on the other end.

"Yes?" murmured a curiously hazy voice that might have belonged to Orihime, that is if she'd been sniffing paint again.

"Orihime? Tomo is slamming your daughter into furniture. Again!"

There was a slight giggle. "Stop that, Adell! I'm on the phone!"

Desmond coughed, loudly and falsely. "But if I'm interrupting something more important than the safety of your daughters..."

"No, no. Um, tell Tomo-san that we'll be home in half an hour."

"I do hope you plan to shower first?"

"Wouldn't be a good idea. Those take me forever now, you know, since Adell can't keep his hands to himself in enclosed spaces, so-"

"I'm hanging up now," Desmond growled, slamming the phone down.

"They were doing it, weren't they?" the elder Tomo asked with that same grin.

"Oh, shut up," Desmond grumbled, just as the smaller Tomo crashed into an expensive-looking lamp.


"I almost feel guilty, leaving him alone with the girls," Adell sighed, yawning loudly.

"Well, he said if I ever needed anything once they were born," Orihime pointed out, snuggling against his shoulder. She had always liked his shoulders. Maybe because they looked better when they were as bare as she currently was, but that wasn't really important.

What was important was that any minute now, Yulina could come in without knocking, again, and catch them having sex in Adell's room. Well, she'd catch the evidence that they'd had sex, assuming Adell was as tired as he seemed.

Adell had been a little weird about having sex with her again, at first. He kept asking if she was sure, and Orihime had finally just shoved her tongue into his mouth out of frustration. That had been the end of Adell's resistance. He still didn't like the fact that Orihime had shown no interest in marriage, but he had gotten her to agree to them being exclusive. So even if Orihime wasn't his wife, she was still technically his, and that was enough to keep Yulina from whining about a wedding (but not from humming "Here Comes the Bride" each time she saw Orihime).

They were also being very careful not to have any other children. It wasn't that big a deal if birth control ever failed, but they'd both agreed that having two Tomo's running loose was pressing their luck as it was. And Orihime was leaning towards Salem for a name if they ever had a boy, so Adell in particular was very careful about not getting her pregnant.

Neither of them was quite so devoted to the idea that they stopped having sex regularly, though. Orihime enjoyed it far too much to stop, and Adell wasn't exactly refusing her advances anymore. He still wasn't sure he was in love with Orihime, but he could no longer safely say he wasn't. At the least, she was the mother of his children, and at the most, only Orihime could unknowingly smile at him in a way that made him feel both invincible and powerless at the same time.

It was Tomoya who had finally given definition to Adell's feelings of attachment to Orihime. "You're completely devoted to her, Adell. I believe the modern terminology is, 'You're whipped, wussy man.'" And Adell couldn't even get mad, as he knew for a fact that Tomoya had first heard the phrase in reference to Adell from little Tomo of all people (who had no doubt learned it from big Tomo).

Whatever he was, Adell was content. Miki practically ran the Demon Council, and Demon Realm itself, by herself now, though she got plenty of help from Seigan, Leila, and Houjo. Things were calmer now that Xavier and his allies were all dead, so things ran smoothly.


Orihime was very fortunate in that her daughters inherited her rather odd taste buds: they would eat virtually anything, so long as it was smothered in whipped cream or drowning in melted cheese. Meals in their home were less about cooking, and, in Adell's view, hoping that anything that wasn't moving had been killed long before it reached their house, instead of by whatever Orihime had done to it afterwards.

The girls never complained, and Adell loved Orihime far too much to ever tell her a second time that her cooking was slightly more dangerous than trying to fight Xavier with a rubber chicken.

So Orihime continued to cook every week as if it were perfectly safe, choosing to ignore that all invitations to dine at their house were either firmly or fearfully refused.

If asked why she insisted on cooking, Orihime would admit that there were three reasons.

The first was that her children genuinely enjoyed her food, and that was a VERY rare thing.

The second was that it became increasingly easy to drive off unwanted visitors, simply by always having something bubbling or smoking in the kitchen.

The third was that once every month, Adell would dump the girls on someone, take Orihime to a fancy restaurant and let her order whatever she wanted. This would be followed by movies, dancing, lovemaking, and anything else that she might want... all so she wouldn't be able to cook for at least one night.

It was almost a year before Yulina finally pulled Adell aside and pointed out that maybe the reason Orihime cooked almost every night was because she secretly hoped that he would take her out on those nights, as well. Orihime denied this, but she always dropped her plans instantly if Adell even implied that they might be going out.

Desmond thought they were both insane, and firmly believed that they had each pissed off someone important in order to deserve each other.


Adell was disgusted to find that, one day, without warning, he'd become 'lazy'. He didn't train as much as he used to (though he was still in shape, he just trained as much as a sane person now, instead of an insane one) and he took naps alot.

However, whenever he did take a nap, he always woke up with two extra little bodies attached to him, so he had to be doing something right. The downside was that for being so little, his girls had inherited his strength, and no one but Orihime could pry them off.

It was never quite that simple, though.

Adell would wake up and hiss, "Orihime, they're ON me again!"

Orihime would reply with something like, "And? It's fun being on you. I would know."

To which Adell would blush and growl, "ORIHIME!"

And since Orihime had gotten rather used to Adell only saying her name with love and devotion in his voice, she would get annoyed and snap, "Do you really have a problem waking up with two angels attached to you?"

"In a word? Yes." Adell would answer.

"Fine! Then try it with three!" And then Orihime would add herself to the pile, and Adell would be stuck for at least another two hours.


Adell had never been the romantic sort, but he honestly did try, and that was usually enough for Orihime. But he would occasionally do something completely un-Adell-like, just for her, and those gestures were usually her favorites.

With Yulina living her own life, and Adell regularly conning others into watching the girls, the family was rarely all together at once for a whole day. The only constant exception was Adell's mother's birthday, when they all went down to the cemetery. Even little Tomo was subdued on those days, and would cling to Yulina's hand so tightly that she could easily be mistaken for her sister.

Orihime always asked for a little time alone with the late Samantha, who had died just two years earlier, saving little Samantha from a final attack by one of Xavier's surviving allies. Orihime would ask Adell's mother to watch over the girls. Though it wasn't necessary to hide it, she somehow thought that Adell would think she was being silly. She just felt that way, despite the fact that Adell liked that Orihime wanted to pay her respects, and never gave her a hard time about it.

It was during one of those trips that little Samantha wandered over and tugged on Orihime's hand.

"Not now, sweetie," Orihime said gently. "I'm talking to Grandma."

"Daddy says that Grandma says you talk too much, Mommy," the little girl replied.

Orihime simply stared at her, not sure whether to frown or smile.

"Daddy says that if you want Grandma to keep listening to you, you should wear this from now on."

Orihime knew what she would see when she looked at Samantha's outstretched hands, but somehow, the diamond ring seemed even brighter, simply because her daughter was offering it to her.

"You should wear it, Mommy," Samantha said softly. "I think Grandma would like that. Me and Tomo-chan want to be Kronos'. Don't you?"

Before Orihime could respond, there was a loud snap, and she turned to see Adell, Yulina, Miki, elder Tomo, Tomoya, Monica, and Leila tumble out of the bushes where they'd obviously been spying on her.

"Just put on the ring so we don't have to sneak around like idiots anymore," Tomoya sighed.

"We really want you to become part of our family, Orihime," Yulina pleaded. "Officially, anyway."

Adell eventually managed to extract himself from the bottom of the pile (although not from Miki, who seemed to be attached to his shoulder) and slowly approached Orihime, who had gone back to staring at the ring Samantha was holding.

"Look, Orihime. I'm sure you could come up of plenty of reasons not to marry me. But none of them are going to change the fact that we love each other And I do love you. And I have to say, for someone that's usually so considerate of everyone, it's pretty inconsiderate of you to keep saying no to me. That sort of thing starts to hurt a guy's feelings after a while. So what's it going to take to make you change your mind? Whatever it is, I'll do it. But we're not leaving here until you say yes, and if you don't believe me, there's camping gear in the car."

"You just want to get married in front of your mother, don't you?" Orihime asked softly.

"It'd be nice," was all Adell would admit to. "You're not going to make me beg, are you?"

Orihime slowly took the ring from Samantha. "Do we have someone to perform the ceremony?"

Adell's face fell. "Um… no?"

She couldn't help smiling at him. "Then you'll have to find someone quickly."

"I can do it!" Miki said loudly.

Adell sighed. "I appreciate that, but-"

"No, I really can! The Demon King can do stuff like that!"

Orihime looked at big Tomo. "Is that true?"

She shrugged. "Who knows? What matters is, is it good enough for you?"

Orihime thought about that for a moment. "Yes, it is."

"Okay!" Miki pointed at Orihime. "You took too long to say yes, so you'd better not back out, ever!"

Orihime blinked. "I won't."

"Great, you're married, now kiss her, Onii-chan!"



"That wasn't-"

"KISS!" everyone but Adell and Orihime shouted.

Orihime giggled. "I think you're out-voted, Adell. Better do what they say."

Shaking his head, Adell leaned in to kiss her. "I just hope you're not marrying me for my body."

"Why would I do that? Your body's been my property for years now, and I can have it whenever I like."

"Like tonight?"



"There is no such thing as 'Coincidence'. Only 'Inevitability'." ~ Yuuko Ichihara

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