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Tadaima

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Dan stands on the doorstep with suitcases and a smile as if he is expected, even though Akutsu hasn't seen him in two years. Dan is nearly as tall as Akutsu now, all wiry muscle and sinewy grace.   He smells of innocence tarnished by truth, dark hair hanging over dark eyes, and it's on the tip of Akutsu's tongue to ask where the green sweatband went but he keeps silent. Akutsu doesn't invite him in, but Dan enters anyway like he has done from the very beginning. 

Akustu is twenty-one and beginning his third year of university, a surprise to everyone but him.   His grades were never a problem, boredom was, but he stuck out the lower years on the promise of a sensei that university was much more interesting. The sensei had been right (though Akutsu never thanked her). His life is on a track he likes and he doesn't want or need complications. 

Dan wordlessly oohs and aahs over the small apartment, which holds little more than a futon, a television, and a kitchenette. Akutsu uses two baskets for clothes - one clean, one dirty - and an old packing crate for his books. Dan's suitcases go under the lone window with the broken blinds, and he surveys the room a final time before nodding in satisfaction. 

Akutsu should be asking Dan about what he thought he was doing and why he was here, but digs leftover ramen out of the fridge instead. Akutsu knows the answers anyway.

Dan accepts the microwaved bowl and sits thigh-to-thigh beside Akutsu on the futon. "Tadaima," he says, speaking for the first time since he appeared.   

Akutsu grunts, and kisses Dan's ear. "Okaerinasai." 

Welcome home. 

 

End