Kazahaya yawned and closed his eyes as he leaned against the broom to keep himself propped upright. Kazahaya was supposed to be sweeping the floor, but after the late night he had the day before, he could barely stay awake.
Feeling a heated glaze on him, Kazahaya forced his eyes opened and saw, that from across the store, Rikuou was glaring at him while he helped a woman find some cough medicine. Nevertheless, Kazahaya didn’t care about what Rikuou thought; Rikuou hadn’t been traumatized the night before like Kazahaya had been.
Their job had started easily enough, all they had to do was burn incense at a certain shrine at midnight. It was to appease a spirit at the shrine, Kakei had explained to them when he had given them their assignment. Kazahaya had been overjoyed, thinking that it was going to be a straight-forward task instead of one that seemed simple at first but then turned complicated due to one reason or another.
When they reached the shrine, Kazahaya stood back while Rikuou burned the incense; it was a precaution measure since Kazahaya was nervous about touching anything, just in case something odd happened. In the end, Kazahaya was glad that he hadn't been close; the incense that Rikuou ended up breathing in caused him to go weird and made him kiss Kazahaya, repetitively.
The worst part was that Kazahaya had enjoyed it; he liked the taste of Rikuou's lips against his own. He had stayed up the rest of the night, huddled on his bed, wondering if Rikuou would come for him. When he did fall asleep, Rikuou appeared his dreams, ravaging him and filling him with hot, intense kisses.
In the morning, Rikuou was acting like normal, which annoyed Kazahaya beyond belief. He couldn't believe that after everything that had happened, Rikuou could simply forget about it. It infuriated Kazahaya that Rikuou was able to toy with his emotions.
“Wake up or take the day off,” Rikuou harshly whispered to Kazahaya as he walked by.
Kazahaya didn’t say anything in response, he only glared at Rikuou’s retreating back. Rikuou might not remember what had happened due to the incense, but Kazahaya still held it against him. He wasn't about to let Rikuou boss him around.
Kazahaya’s break, since he was not going to take the day off, finally came when Kakei called him and Rikuou into the back room to let them know about the 'special job' that they would be preforming that night. The news surprised Kazahaya, it wasn’t often that they had an assignment two nights in a row.
Kazahaya groaned slightly at the thought of a job; he would do it, since he needed the money, but at the same time, he wasn’t looking forward to staying up late again. He was exhausted and his plans to collapse after the store closed and sleep until morning were now gone.
Fortunately Kakei told them that they could take the afternoon off and that he wouldn't even dock them their pay. Kazahaya felt like hugging him, except he was too tired to do that. Instead he hurried upstairs for a nap and hoped that he wouldn’t be bothered by weird thoughts about Rikuou.
Kazahaya followed Rikuou through the dark park, carrying a bird cage in one hand. Luckily his nap had been uninterrupted and he was feeling a lot better but he wasn’t exactly thrilled about their mission. They were supposed to find a small bird that had escaped from its owner; the problem was, Kazahaya hated birds. They were small and loud with their chirping, especially in the morning, plus they liked to drop their poop on him when they would fly overhead.
“Can’t we just throw some food on the ground and hope that it shows up?” he complained; he wanted to go home.
“Do you really think that would be a good idea?” Rikuou replied as he looked back to glare at Kazahaya, who was very glad that it was dark out since the full intensity of Rikuou's glare couldn't be seen.
“I guess not...” Kazahaya said, wondering why they were looking for a bird so late at night. He was under the impression that owls were the only type of bird that was active at night. It seemed like the type of job that should be done during the day; he voiced this to Rikuou who quickly scoffed at him.
“It’s not a normal bird,” Rikuou replied. “Don’t you remember what we were told?”
Kazahaya was tempted to say ‘no’; that he had been half asleep that afternoon but for some stupid reason he didn’t want to disappoint Rikuou. It wasn’t that he worried about being scolded, he simply didn’t want Rikuou to be angry with him.
“Of course,” Kazahaya finally said, thinking hard at what he could vaguely remember. “It’s a small bird that is light blue in colour.”
“And it glows at night,” Rikuou added. “In the day, it would just look like a normal bird.”
“Oh,” Kazahaya mumbled before falling into silence, feeling a bit useless even though it wasn’t his fault. It was Rikuou’s fault for keeping him up the night before.
“At least you’re awake now,” Rikuou said with a small sigh and it was almost like he was speaking to himself.
Kazahaya certainly didn’t appreciate it.
“It was your fault!” he finally cried, exploding with rage. “You and that stupid kissing incense! And it’s not fair since you have no idea what I’m talking about!”
A snicker escaped Rikuou and Kazahaya glared at his back with hatred. He really didn't understand Rikuou at times; a normal person would demand to know what Kazahaya was talking about, but Rikuou's reaction was to laugh.
Finally Rikuou stopped walking and turned to look at Kazahaya. “It was a lie.”
The blood drained from Kazahaya’s face as it dawned on him what Rikuou was saying; Rikuou had faked what happened the night before to make a fool out of Kazahaya. Kazahaya knew they didn't get along a lot of the time but he never thought that Rikuou would sink so low.
“I’m going home,” he quickly said as he turned to leave.
The embarrassment was too much for him and even if Kakei wouldn't pay him for his part of the job, there was no way that he could stay around Rikuou for the remainder of the night. If Kazahaya was thinking clearly, he would tell Rikuou to leave and that he would finish the job himself, but he certainly wasn't in the right frame of mind to do that.
Before Kazahaya could get very far, Rikuou grabbed his wrist to stop him. Halting his steps, Kazahaya still refused to look at Rikuou. He didn’t want Rikuou to know that what had happened between them had affected him so much; plus he was very close to crying and he didn't want to appear weak in front of Rikuou.
“Don’t be that way,” Rikuou said.
Anger surged through Kazahaya once again. Furiously he turned to Rikuou, ready to tell Rikuou exactly what he thought, only to have Rikuou quickly press their lips together for a kiss.
Instinctively, Kazahaya began kissing back. The kiss was just as good as the ones the night before, but something inside Kazahaya’s told him to stop and he ending up roughly shoving Rikuou away even though almost instantly he missed Rikuou's touch.
“Why?” Kazahaya demanded to know, all while glaring at Rikuou who seemed unfazed by what happened.
“Because I like you.”
Rikuou’s words surprised Kazahaya; he certainly hadn’t expected an excuse like that. He wondered if Rikuou was a masochist, since often their activities involved fighting, but then he realized that more often than not, their arguments involved Rikuou teasing him. Rikuou wasn’t the masochist, he was a sadist.
With his free hand, since he was still holding the bird cage, Kazahaya massaged his temple. As much as he hated to admit it, he liked Rikuou too. Sure he was a pain in the ass at times, but Rikuou was also always there whenever Kazahaya needed him. Plus the kisses were indeed nice, Kazahaya certainly had to admit that.
“I like you too,” he finally mumbled, looking away so that he didn’t have to into Rikuou’s eyes. He didn't want to see Rikuou's look of satisfaction.
Rikuou however didn’t seem to care; he wrapped his arms around Kazahaya and moved in for another kiss when from the corner of his eye, Kazahaya spotted their prize some distance away, sitting on a tree branch, glowing brightly in the dark park.
“The bird!” Kazahaya cried as he dropped the cage and went running towards the tree.
Wasting no time, Kazahaya scaled the tree and slowly crawled partway out onto the limb trying hard not to disturb the bird who happily chirped from where it stood at the end of the branch. Kazahaya could tell that it was going to be iffy if the branch would hold his weight so he wasn't going to venture far out on the limb. Instead, he settled for stretching out and trying to grab the bird with his bare hands.
There was a snicker from below Kazahaya and he glared at Rikuou who had finally caught up.
“Why are you laughing?” Kazahaya demanded to know.
“You look like a cat trying to get a bird,” Rikuou replied.
Kazahaya hissed at Rikuou’s words, which only made Rikuou snicker harder and Kazahaya wondered what he saw in Rikuou. Rikuou certainly wasn’t being very supportive and was more than willing to let Kazahaya do all the work, but at least he had brought along the birdcage that Kazahaya had dropped when he had taken off after the bird.
“Are you going to help me or are you just going to watch?” Kazahaya asked. He hoped that Rikuou would perhaps get the hint to help out.
“I’ll catch you when you fall.”
“I’m not going to fall,” Kazahaya muttered but he wasn’t exactly sure of that himself. The truth was, he really didn’t have much of a plan for capturing the bird; he only hoped that it didn’t fly away before he was able to get it.
“Here, birdie,” Kazahaya gently called while holding out a finger, hoping that the bird would be willing to come to him. Instead the bird had other plans, flying over and sitting on Kazahaya’s head.
“I see you’re on top of the situation,” Rikuou called up to Kazahaya while the bird happily chirped, liking its new perch.
“Get it off!” Kazahaya protested as he swiped at the bird, only to lose his balance and tumble from the branch.
The next thing that Kazahaya knew was that he was on the ground, on Rikuou, who Kazahaya had indeed landed on. After making sure that neither of them weren't hurt, Kazahaya slowly got to his feet and helped Rikuou up as well.
“Are you okay?” Kazahaya asked.
“I told you that I would catch you,” Rikuou replied while rubbing the back of his head.
Kazahaya was grateful; if it hadn’t been for Rikuou he could have been seriously injured. Forgetting about the bird, Kazahaya passionately kissed Rikuou. If they were going to be in a relationship together, he was determined not to let Rikuou be in control the entire time.
Kazahaya could tell that Rikuou was surprised by the kiss, but he responded quickly and began kissing Kazahaya back. Closing his eyes, Kazahaya lost himself in the kiss. He didn’t even flinch when he felt something light in his hair, assuming that it was Rikuou’s hand. It was only when he heard a chirp, did he realize that it wasn’t Rikuou at all.
Breaking the kiss, Kazahaya was ready to swipe at the bird again but before he could, Rikuou lifted a hand to Kazahaya’s head and the bird happily jumped onto it. Not wanting to give the bird a chance to fly away, Rikuou quickly placed the bird inside the cage and locked the door. Their job was now finished.
“I hate you,” Kazahaya said to the bird as he knelt down and glared at it.
“It’s just a bird,” Rikuou replied.
“I still hate it.”
In response the bird began singing a cheerful song, much to Kazahaya’s displeasure.
It was late when Kazahaya and Rikuou were finally able to return to their apartment. They had left the bird with Kakei, who would make sure that it returned to its owner. They were looking forward to spending some time alone together, but Kazahaya was simply too tired. The energy Kazahaya had gained from his afternoon nap was all gone and as soon as his head hit the pillow. Time alone with Rikuou was going to have to wait for another day.
Dreams of Rikuou came to him for the second night in a row, but this time Kazahaya was not traumatized by them. Instead he found the dreams, exciting and lustful. In the morning, Kazahaya felt refreshed and ready to take on the day.
Rikuou was already awake by the time Kazahaya dragged himself out of bed and was in the kitchen making breakfast for them since Kazahaya was useless in the kitchen. In an odd way, it made Kazahaya happy even though Rikuou had cooked plenty of times for him in the past. It was different now that they were together; it felt special since they were no longer simply roommates.
Breakfast was more rushed than Kazahaya would have liked. There were no sweet kisses or longing looks, they simply ate their food in silence since they were pressed for time and needed to get to work. Kazahaya nor Rikuou could afford to be late.
Nevertheless, Kazahaya was beginning to wonder if last night had really happen. If it had all been some sort of a dream that was brought upon by exhaustion. There was nothing from Rikuou that indicated that they were now together. It made Kazahaya angry, but before he could voice his resentment, Rikuou pulled him aside and kissed him.
“You were looking pissed,” Rikuou explained when they had broken apart. “That has to last you for the rest of the day though so don’t get sulky later.”
It was hard for Kazahaya to keep a dopey smile of his face as he headed down to the drugstore. He certainly wanted to act like normal because he knew if he didn’t, Saiga would ask questions and teased him until Kazahaya spilled the truth. Kazahaya knew that Saiga and Kakei would eventually learn of his and Rikuou’s relationship but that could wait for awhile; in the meantime, Kazahaya was content for things to stay between him and Rikuou.
Biting his lip, to stop himself from beaming, Kazahaya began stocking shelves. With a quick glace across the store, he saw that Rikuou was helping the first customer for the day and Kazahaya couldn’t help but give a small smile; it was amazing how quickly things had changed but Kazahaya certainly didn't mind. Thinking back, Kazahaya realized he had probably loved Rikuou ever since Rikuou had found him freezing and half dead on the sidewalk, but had been in denial about it. There was no denial anymore.
When he turned back to his work, Saiga was by his side, grinning at him.
“What?” Kazahaya asked, hoping that Saiga had seen nothing.
“Kakei said that you’d be needing this,” Rikuou replied as he pressed something into Kazahaya’s hand before walking away.
Looking down at the object, Kazahaya saw that it was a container of lube. With red cheeks, he shoved the lube into his pocket, wondering how Kakei and Saiga already knew. Glancing at Rikuou once more, Kazahaya saw that Rikuou was now watching him as well with an expression on his face that read he was curious over what Saiga had said. Satisfied that it wasn't Rikuou, Kazahaya went back to his work, trying to forget about what had happened. Kazahaya supposed that he simply done a bad job of pretending to be not in love.