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Estimated Time To Arrival

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“Why’s Daddy’s ship taking so long to get here?” Luna flopped over the armrests separating her and her father, almost falling into Yoshiki’s lap.

 

“I don’t know,” Yoshiki sighed, minimizing away the documents on his eyecom. He loved his daughter, but she had asked that exact same question fifteen times in the last twenty minutes, and he had been hoping to get some work done. “Why don’t you ask the terminal AI?”

 

“I already asked! It said that it needed the ship's code!” She was pleading now, her tail feathers twitching in agitation.

 

Yoshiki turned his head. “Hide, what’s the code of the ship Sugi’s on?”

 

His other husband looked up, one hand playing with his long pink hair, a scaly tentacle unwrapping a piece of gum. “Uh… Delta 89 something something G? Hang on, I’ll look it up.” He looked off into the distance, a few telltale eye movements showing that he was using his eyemouse.

 

“Okay, it’s Delta 8 7 -55 G. You can go and look that up, Luna.”

 

Luna smiled. “Thanks, Hide-oji!” She ran off, a stray feather falling off of her tail.

 

Yoshiki turned to Hide, noticing that his face had noticeably fallen. “She likes you more than you think.”

 

Hide rolled his eyes. “Why’d you say that?”

 

“You seemed upset, and it’s either Sugizo not being here now, or that.”

 

“What if I am upset about Sugi not being here now?” He tilted his head.

 

“Then I’ll tell you the same thing I told Luna. His flight’s probably just delayed. He’ll be fine.”

 

Hide smiled, showing off his pointed teeth. “And what if he isn’t fine?”

 

“Then they'll find some way to contact us.”

 

Hide’s grin grew wider. “And what about the time delay?”

 

Yoshiki rolled his eyes, though not without a smile on his face. “It’s only a 20-40 minute time delay if he’s at Pleone. It’s not going to be an hour like when he was at the outpost. He’s fine.”  

 

Hide made a dismissive gesture with one of his tentacles. “Buzzkill.”

 

Yoshiki rolled his eyes. “If you’re trying to distract me from my work, you’re succeeding.”

 

“Is that so bad? You work too much, Yo-chan, I barely see you as is.”

 

“I thought I would be getting some work done while I was waiting here. Alone.”

 

“Did you honestly think that Luna wouldn’t want to be the first person to see Sugizo?”

 

“It’s a school night. She could see him in the morning. You’ve also got work tomorrow.”

 

“Last I checked, you’re not my denwarden.”

 

“Good.”

 

Hide childishly stuck out his tongues, and went back to doing something with his touchpad. Yoshiki started to bring up his documents on the eyecom but was interrupted by Luna grabbing his hand.

 

“The terminal AI said that ‘estimated time of arrival is 45 minutes’!”

 

He looked at her, a massive smile on her face. “Oh, really?”

 

“Yeah! That means I’ll get to see Daddy again in 45 minutes!” She was bouncing around without a care, her stubby wings flapping energetically.

 

Hide smiled at Luna’s excitement. “I think he’d love to see how your wings have grown in.”

 

Luna walked towards Hide. “Have they really grown that much? I still can’t fly.”

 

Hide reached out one of his hands to run his fingers through Luna’s brown and white feathers. “They have grown. Remember five months ago, when you didn’t have any flight feathers?”

 

Luna’s face lit up. “Oh right!”



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Sugizo was utterly exhausted.

 

His return trip wasn’t supposed to be short, but it shouldn’t have taken this long either! It had started at the shuttle that was supposed to take him from the outpost at the Crab Nebula to the spaceport on Aldebaran-B, before taking a day-long flight to the Subaru Yamashita Memorial Spaceport on Pleione to catch a three-day long flight back to the spaceport orbiting Neptune, where he would reunite with his husbands and Luna after six months at a research outpost in the middle of nowhere with a two-hour time delay on communication.

 

The troubles had happened when several unexpected mechanical problems in short succession caused his flight from the research outpost to be delayed for five hours, leading to him missing his flight out of Aldebaran and having to wait two days for a new one. Okay, he could deal with that, the sent images of Hide and Luna’s sad faces at the news certainly weren't helping, but he could deal.

 

The spaceship sent was much smaller than the one he was expecting, with barely any room to stretch out his wings or legs. He tried to get some sleep, but the Ulthar woman sitting next to him wouldn’t shut up, jabbering away to someone on her eyecom. There also wasn’t any purely meat-based options for food, leaving him to pick out the chunks of foul-smelling ham? from some sort of Inara mush, trying to keep the damn things from floating away in zero-grav.

 

After an entire day and night of that ordeal, he had practically kissed the ground at Yamashita Memorial Spaceport. And then, he promptly got lost and had to fly frantically to get there, barely skimming the heads of passers-by and most definitely banging against the ceilings of the spaceport, but by god, he finally made it to his launchpad in time.

 

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Yoshiki was trying to work. He really was. He’d gotten everything up and running on his eyecom, Luna was playing with some sort of holographic puzzle game on her touchpad, and had soon after that he felt a soft weight on his shoulder and a scaly tentacle had wrapped around his waist, and he would be lying if that didn’t make him smile.

 

You have (1) new message.

 

Oh, god, just when I was getting into the groove. Yoshiki opened it with a thought and a glance.

 

Sugizo’s smiling face popped up on the window. Next to him, he could faintly feel Hide’s head rising from off of his shoulder.

 

“Hey, you two .   He was fidgeting with something out of view, that strange chirpy sound that most Lar’ya did when they were nervous coming out of his mouth. “Hope you aren’t having too much fun without me. I just wanted to tell you that uh.. I got laid over at the spaceport on Centauri-B. The spacecraft..uh it had some sort of engine failure.” He trailed off, glancing over to the side. “But, they say we’re going to be airborne in 20 minutes from now, so I’ve probably already left port by the time you get this. Hope to see you soon!”

 

End message.

 

“ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME!” Hide threw his hands up into the air. “FUCK!” Out of the corner of his eye, Yoshiki could see multiple scandalized expressions on the others in the waiting lounge.

 

Luna looked up at Hide. “Daddy said you’re not supposed to say that word.”

 

Hide gave an exhausted smile. “What he doesn’t know won’t hurt him.”

 

Luna tilted her head. “Why can’t I say it then?”

 

Yoshiki turned to Luna. “Because the rules are different, and Hide,” He turned to face him. “Didn’t Sugizo tell us not say certain things around her?”

 

Hide got up from the chair. “Sorry, Yoshiki. I’m just. Frustrated. Very, very frustrated.” He walked to the lounge’s doorway. “I’m going to get something to eat. Anyone want to come with me?”

 

Luna jumped up from where she’d been sitting. Yoshiki decided why the hell not, we’re going to be here for at least twenty more minutes then we expected and followed.

 

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Sugizo was awoken from the few minutes of precious sleep that he’d gotten by the sound of the automated attendant’s voice, his mouth dry and wings numb from disuse.

 

We are about to enter the docking position. Please hold on to anything that is currently floating around you, and make sure that you are sitting down.

 

Thank god. Thank fucking god. Sugizo shifted under his restraints, his hair floating around him. I finally get to see them again, in person, with no time delay bullshit. He felt it, the strange jolt as the artificial gravity set in and he fell back into his seat. After six fucking months.

 

                           ******************************************************************

 

Hide was sitting at one of the food courts, his fingers tracing a pattern around the rim of his drink. Luna was still eating her food, and Yoshiki had that look in his eyes that meant he was working on his eyecom.

 

“When’s Daddy’s ship getting here?”

 

Hide quickly looked at his eyecom. “About...now?” Shit, I really lost track of time there.  

 

Luna’s face lit up. “Can we go?!”  

Hide smiled, taking her small, scaly hand in his. “Yo-chan, we’re going to meet Sugi, if you want to come…”

 

Yoshiki jumped up, leaving his food unattended. He walked forward, determination in his eyes, before turning around and staring at Hide, a vaguely confused expression on his face.

 

Hide tried to contain his laughter. “I think you go straight, then take a left.”

 

“I knew that.”

 

Sure you did.

 

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Sugizo had gotten off the spaceship and was sitting on one of the benches, idly looking at the flashy advertisements stretched fifty feet high. He was just about to call his husbands when he heard a voice calling out to him.

 

“DADDY!” Luna took a running start towards him, jumping forward and wrapping her body around his legs.

 

Sugizo smiled. “Luna!”  Before he could look around for the others, he felt a pair of soft lips kissing his own and a pair of arms flung around his neck.

 

“Hmm... let me guess, Hide or Yoshiki?” He felt a weight on his feet, someone standing on them to reach his lips. He pulled away slightly. Hide.

 

“Sugi!” The pair of arms around his neck tightened their grip, and he could feel a tentacle curling around his waist.

 

“Hide, don’t you dare hog him all to yourself.” Sugizo heard laughter, and out of the corner of his eye, he saw Yoshiki walking towards the duo, and soon felt another pair of lips on his cheek.

 

“Missed you.” God, I love you, the both of you so damn much.

 

“I missed you too, all of you.” He smiled and picked up Luna, to her delighted squeals.

 

“Daddy!” She started chirping with delight, and he could see both the massive smile on Hide’s face, to have his family back together again, as well as the slightly smaller grin on Yoshiki’s.

 

Yoshiki had taken hold of one hand, Hide trying to awkwardly grab his other hand. “So, does anyone want to do anything?” Yoshiki said.

 

Hide and Sugizo both yawned.

 

He laughed. “I’m joking. How was your flight.”

 

Sugizo sighed, a pitiful look on his face. “Horrible. Can we go home?”

 

Hide gave an impish grin, running his fingers through Sugizo’s head-feathers. “Of course, sweetheart, I’ll tuck you in and read you a bedtime story.”

 

Luna laughed, her laughter eventually becoming a yawn that shook her entire body.

 

Yoshiki smiled. “I think we all need to go to bed. Luna, you have school tomorrow, right?”

 

She sleepily nodded. The group decided to walk off to the space elevator back to the surface. We must be a strange sight , Sugizo thought, a Lar-ya in clothes that have to smell by now, carrying a sleeping chick in a school uniform, holding hands with a humanoid in a nice suit and tentacles with a Rhkh-n in all black, with a massive green hat and waist length hair.

 

The group eventually made it to the apartment door, Luna fast asleep by this point, Hide and Sugizo not far behind. Yoshiki picked Luna out of Sugizo’s arms, taking her to her room.

 

“Shouldn’t you- yawn- you get her into her- yawn- pyjamas?” Sugizo was clinging on to the door frame for support, Hide having already gone off to the master bedroom.

 

“It’s a school night, and I don’t want to wake her up.”

 

“You coming to bed?”

 

Yoshiki gave a dismissive gesture. “I’ve got work to do.”

 

“Don’t you always?”

 

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After two? three? Hours, Yoshiki was finally finished. He walked into the master bedroom to see Sugizo and Hide curled up on the bed, one of Sugizo”s wings serving as Hide’s blanket, Hide pulling Sugizo closer with his tentacles. Where the hell do I fit in? Yoshiki idly thought, before pulling off his shirt and crawling next to Hide, slinging one of his arms around Hide’s neck. Hide shifted in his sleep, sending out a tentacle to lazily wrap around one of Yoshiki’s legs.

 

God, I love you all so much.