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Summary: Zi Hao and Ji Hao are left by their Baba, who goes on a military inspection on the borders of Tianji, with their Papa and their unborn baby sibling. Their Papa and baby sibling are not far from the big day, but they all very reluctantly agree to let him go for the good of the county, leaving the family of four in the palace. Then they notice Papa is acting weird and keeps working all day, does he miss their Baba too much?
The royal twins usually enjoyed playing with the scary Minister of Finance, uncle Wang, and the agitated minister of foreign affairs, uncle Feng, but their minds were elsewhere, not in the sun bathed pavillion in the garden of their family villa. They could see that behind the thin paper doors of the dining room, their Papa was extra tired and stressed, with his big tummy looking super big, but they would not say that because their Baba had once suggested that and he had been hit by a jade vase with the flowers still in, making him soggy and achy. “Uncle Feng, will Pa be alright? He looks sad and lonely without our dumb Baba to help him. Dumb Baba should have put off the trip to the borders and stayed here.”, Ji Hao mumbled miserably, flicking the end of his calligraphy brush in boredom.
Minister Feng sighed, “Ji-ah, your Papa is smart and knows his limits most of the time, but like the time before he married Baba and lived with him, he can be reckless and ignore the most obvious things. He needs you two to help him out if he asks, but don’t intervene if it’s unnecessary, the baby makes him unexpectedly moody and he apparently thinks he is independent.”, he told the sad boys. Minister Wang put a warm hand on his shoulder and glanced at him sympathetically, it was hard to comfort the family that had always been together when they were split up suddenly, and the kids felt the difference the most. Of course, everyone had concerns about King Jian Bin, the leader of Tianji who was also carrying a future heir of the nation. However he refused help from the servants to do all the chores despite the calls for him to go on bed rest and remain relaxed until the Consort came home.
Jian Bin only knew one way to cope with the absence of his beloved husband, and that was to bury himself in work so much he didn’t have time to think about how his Xiao Qi was miles away from the palace and his family. The little one kicked to remind him to call for food, more tea and the time he had to cook dinner for him and the twin Princes, but otherwise he was having severe withdrawal symptoms from the lack of comforting presence. “Your majesty, it is time for the Prince’s bath, then bed. The Young majesty’s have taken dinner with the ministers of finance and foreign affairs.”, the servant spoke softly. The King nodded dismissively and made his way to the bathroom with the biggest sandalwood tub where his twins always chose to bathe, feeling the exhaustion his new lifestyle produced in excess.
The consort was overseeing training and wondering if it was okay to leave early as things were going fine with the army since he had to step down as active high general Qi years ago to become Consort Qi and of course, the twins Baba. He felt very guilty as he reflected how he still agreed himself to see the army inspect through, though he had duties as a husband to his heavily dependent and pregnant spouse and sweet monkeys Ji and Zi. As he read the letters that had accumulated during the week, one caught his attentions, from Wang Qing the minister of Finance and a short, extremely angry note from minister Feng of foreign affairs. Wang Qing asked that he considered coming back early for the sake of his husband and children, and Feng Jian Yu was straight to the point, Jian Bin was resorting to his old self buried under work and looking after the twins without caring about himself or the baby. The letters removed any hesitation, and he set to quickly concluding the inspection so he could ride back to the palace, where his soulmate and their miracles were.
Ji Hao noticed Papa looked tired and suggested that they bathe alone while he rested comfortably, but nothing changed his Papa’s determined mind, and he still insisted on washing their hair personally and reading them a story before bed. The story ended prematurely, with the Prince never married the Princess because Papa fell asleep in the cushioned chair. His hair was messy and his face wasn’t calm like when he told them a bedtime story with Baba. “Should we get someone strong to take him to the big bedroom him and Ba share? I think uncle Wang is still exercising, often the maids say him and uncle Feng exercise late at night to be so handsome.”, Ji Hao whispered as quietly as he could. Zi Hao shook his head and just put his silk comforter over their sleeping Papa, patting the edges down the sides of the chair, and climbed in his twin’s bed for the night. “Just till Baba comes back, then no one will be sad, but Papa needs us to be near him or he feels lonely like uncle Feng said.”, he whispered back.
Fortunately, the Consort arrived at the palace gates at dawn, after an enjoyable night of riding on the empty roads on Hao, his trusty horse. The servant that greeted him at the personal villa of the Tianji royal family as they called it, told him the King had taken the twins for their bath and bedtime story, and never come out of the Prince’s room. He nodded dismissively, and silently opened the sliding door to reveal exactly what the the ministers and servant had described, kind of sweet if you looked at the sight only, but for him it was bitter, because he knew the reason why his spouse and children were curled up in a chair together was because they missed the man who had left them. His husband had clearly fallen asleep during the bedtime story for the twins, and the kids had curled around him with another comforter, it was absolutely adorable.
The sleepy twins and Papa woke up in the huge bed with Baba. “Mmm.. Xiao Qi. Xiao Mi wants mango porridge with honey, please???”, Jian Bin mumbled in his sleep, stroking his large middle. The Consort yawned loudly and ruffled his messy hair, adjusting his clothes so the kids didn’t see the love bite scars his lover had left occasionally, “Wait for me to dress, or at least till a servant comes round for early morning duties. Who knew the great King Jian Bin mumbled pleas of mango porridge in his sleep.” The vaguely mocking tone sounded familiar, and the slumbering royal bolted up from the pillows, feeling pain in is achy back for sitting up too fast, but very surprised to see his husband laying next to the twins, that he was sure last sat in their own beds. “Xiao Qi, what got you here? Me and the kids thought you were busy, we missed you a little bit but not that much.”, he mumbled slightly louder than before.
“Coping fine my ass, minister Feng and minister Wang told me your reckless loneliness coping mechanism of working to exhaustion was upsetting Zi and Ji, and they confessed they missed me a whole lot more than you say.”, his husband fired back, watching his partener fiddle nervously. As the silence began between the King and his Consort, the Consort’s little genius Ji Hao woke up, flinging his short arms round his magically appearing Baba. The excited yelps soon woke up the sleeping Zi, who hugged his Baba as tightly as he could with his five year old body, then attempted to hug his Papa, but he failed because of the growing baby sibling in his tummy. “Baba is home! We all missed you, even if Papa doesn’t admit it, uncle Wang says he is not good at hiding feelings.”, he mumbled into the light sleeping robes of the King. Jian Bin frowned, but the consort laughed, “Qing, I’d never guess he knows your so well he tells the kids about your little quirks, but is alright, I love your quirks and everything else. Don’t you babies?”
[A/N: not proofed, just finished quickly this morning 😅]