" Aren't they coming?" Jinpei asked.
" Yes, in a minute." Ken said.
Both Ryu and Ken knew they needed some privacy.
"Why didn't you tell us you could do this?" Jun asked.
" I've only pulled this outfit out to do modifications for your birdstyles. Never thought I would fight in it." Nambu lowered his eyes and studied the carpet. " I'm sorry if it upset you at all."
" I'm not upset, Hasake. A bit confused that is all."
" Confused about what, Jun?"
" Why now? What happened?"
" Long explanation. The short version is I got mad. I'm not proud of it. Especially after I lectured all of you on not letting your emotions influence your actions. I'm sorry." Nambu looked up expecting to see a stern look from Jun.
" Don't be. I'm not." Jun said as she drew Hasake into a hug.
Nambu was confused. This wouldn't be the first time. He knew he wasn't a great parent. He was never sure what he had gotten right or wrong until he was told. Jun could feel his confusion.
" I never had anyone who would go and fight for me. Take care of the school bully, as it were." Jun said squeezing him tighter.
" But the boys fight for you all the time. Actually, you have complained about that on many occasions." Nambu stated.
Jun hated getting mushy. She didn't like the underlying weakness of it. Nambu would never think her weak. Plus, he deserved to hear this.
" It's not the same as your Father doing it. Thanks Dad."
Jun could feel Hasake steady his breathing. She could tell he heard and understood.
She broke the hug and disappeared out the bubble.
" Parenthood is truly an institution." Nambu said to the God Phoenix. " With all the mood swings that is where you'll end up."
Jinpei had already made it to Joe's bedside. Joe was sound asleep. Jinpei was torn. He really wanted to wake him and tell him everything. But, Joe needed to sleep to help the healing. So much to tell.
" Joe ani. Wake up. We are back." Jinpei said as he shook his brother awake.
Joe mumbled groggily.
" Let me sleep, shrimp."
" Hasake has a bird style and he scalped Katse."
Joe opened his eyes and tried to move. His body was stiff and sluggish. Joe always hated getting an injury. It would mean recovery. Recovery was slow, tedious and boring. One of the hazards of the job. Joe looked beyond Jinpei to the rest of the team.
" Has he eaten to many Skittles? The shrimp is making no sense."
Joe slowly sat up in the bed. He looked to the faces of the team. None of them were even smiling.
" No Joe. Jinpei is not on a sugar high." Ryu offered.
" Hasake has a beautiful birdstyle. He always told us he tested the technology on himself first." Jun added.
" So he came with us to..." Ken paused.
" vent his frustrations on Katse." Jun finished.
" Did you defeat the Mole?"
" Yes." they all answered.
" Is Katse, dead?" Joe would hate it if he missed Katse's death.
" No, but I almost cracked his skull."
Nambu moved Jun over so he could stand next to Joe's head. Joe gasped when he saw Hasake's bird style.
" I want you to see this first." Hasake said as he handed Joe the headdress.
Joe slowly turned it over in his hands. He smiled when he saw the bloody, blond hair.
" How did you do this?"
Nambu backed up and twirled a few times to show off his birdstyle.
" That is beautiful, Hasake. A crane. Suits you very nicely." Joe was impressed.
"And quite deadly as well."
Hasake faced Joe and shook his wings. Both swords popped out. Joe got all wide eyed.
Before he could speak, Hasake cut him off.
" No you can't have a sword. These are my weapons."
" You are no fun Hasake." Joe said with a smile.
" Yes I've been told that for a couple of hours now." Hasake said returning the smile.
They all had a good laugh around Joe's bed. Hasake knew, for the moment, things were ok. That is all he could hope for.
P.S.--- I had wanted to do a bigger ending. I decided just to do a follow up story. I want to thank all those who encouraged and helped me with this. Thanks for being there.