Chapter Thirty: Black Lamb:

So cute with fat little cheeks and cool little black eyes on an adorable little face. Tsuzuki watched Akira in the living room. Hotaru dressed him like a little sailor today. He looked better than when Tsuzuki and Hisoka first found him. I don't want to do this, the shinigami thought. Mike patted him on the shoulder.

"It'll be okay," his eyes told him. Tsuzuki nodded.

"Sorry to keep you waiting," Hotaru said as she came out with a tray of tea and cakes. Tsuzuki's eyes lit up.

"Ooo! Cake!" he said. He went right in and took a bite. "Yummy!" Hotaru smiled.

"Really?" she asked. The shinigami nodded.

"You are so good!" he said. Hotaru smiled and blushed.

"Thanks," she said. "I have been practicing." The loli demon knelt down to play with her son. Tsuzuki ate another cake. Mike gently trapped him on the arm. The shinigami looked up. Mike gave him a serious look.

"You can't slack off here," he said. The shinigami frowned.

"Okay," he said. They turned back to Hotaru.

"But how do I get her away from the baby?" he asked. Mike glanced at his tea.

"I think I have good idea," he said. He looked at Hotaru.

"Uh� Hoto-chan," he said. The loli demon played with the baby's toes.

"Hm?" she asked.

"The tea's a bit weak," he said. She turned to him.

"Hm?" she asked. Tsuzuki held up his cup.

"Yeah," he said. Hotaru looked puzzled.

"It is?" she asked. The loli demon took the mug and took a sip. She made an odd face. "You're right, it is weak."

"Think it's expired?" Mike asked.

"Don't know," Hotaru said. "Maybe�" Mike leaned in.

"Time to go buy some?" he asked. Hotaru shrugged.

"I guess," she said. "The shop should be open now, right?"

"Yeah," the men said, nodding. Hotaru pondered this.

"It wouldn't hurt," she said. She turned and picked up Akira's carrier. Mike stood as she headed out the door with him.

"Hey," he said. "You don't have to take him with you." Hotaru paused and turned to him.

"And why is that?" she asked.

"We can watch him for you," Tsuzuki offered. Hotaru raised an eyebrow at him.

"You sure it won't be a hassle for you guys?" she asked.

"No," they lied.

"Okay�" Hotaru said. �I'll be back." The loli demon set down the baby and walked out the door. Mike and Tsuzuki waited until they heard the door close. They turned to baby Akira. The little sailor stared at them. Mike nodded.

"Okay, go for it," he whispered. Tsuzuki drew in a breath and nodded. He pulled out his fuda and held it over the child. However, the man paused. Mike gave him an odd look.

"What's wrong?" he asked. Tsuzuki shook his head.

"I can't do it," he said. "I can't do this to a baby!"

"What do you mean?"

"Look at him!" Tsuzuki hissed. Akira looked at them with his cute little face. Mike tried to resist.

"Oh�" he said.

"See?" Tsuzuki asked. Mike picked up a blanket and covered the baby's face.

"There," he said. "Go for it." Tsuzuki nodded.

"Right�" he mumbled uneasily. The shinigami heard up his fuda. He parted his lips to chant the spell.

"Hey guys!" they heard a familiar voice chirp. "I just remembered we still have tea in�" The men looked to see Hotaru staring at them. Her face twisted into a frown.

"What's going on here?" she asked. Tsuzuki stood up.

"Hotaru, this isn't what it looks like�" he tried to explain. Rage filled her face.

"Stay away from my son!" she snapped. Hotaru turned into her true demon form and sailed forward. She held Akira to her chest when she changed back.

"No!" she snapped. Mike dropped his shoulders.

"Told you it wouldn't work," he said.

"What are you talking about?!" she snapped. Tsuzuki broke down and told her about the bounty on Akira-kun's head. Hotaru held her son closer to her.

"No�" she said.

"That's how it is," Tsuzuki said. Hotaru shook her head.

"There must be a way to take the bounty off his head," she said.

"How?" Mike asked.

"Can't you talk to someone?" Hotaru asked.

"Who?" Mike asked.

"I don't know! Just someone!" the new mother yelled.

"I'll see what I can do," Tsuzuki promised. Hotaru's dark eyes lit up.

"Really? You mean it?" she asked. Tsuzuki closed his eyes and lowered his head.

"Yes," he mumbled. Hotaru quickly bowed her head.

"Thank you!" she cried. Tsuzuki forced himself to smile. What the hell did he just do?