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ten ways of love

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They have both lived in Shibuya Manor together for a little while now. Seeker lived there first, has lived there for a long time, perhaps even years (they just seem to blend together) together with his teacher, and now, he finds himself sharing the space not with one strange person, but with two.

And Hitomi is certainly a strange person, perhaps even stranger that Shibuya-shishou. And that says quite a bit, as Shibuya-shishou walks around in a bull-body, head-included cartoon cat kigurumi.

He can't quite put his finger on what it is that makes Hitomi outrival Master in weirdness, though. He would if he could but he can't, even when he tries. In the end, though, it's a bit too much of an effort to think about, because Hitomi is simply so hard to figure out, and perhaps that's his answer, as it, at the same time, is the question. And despite the fact that Seeker doesn't mind philosophy, he finds that Hitomi just might be a bit too deep for him to read.

And that's what draws his gaze back to him, ultimately.

Because Hitomi, he is a peculiar young man, with an outlook on life completely different from Seeker's own. Yet somehow, they might not be all that different.

Now, Hitomi is splayed across the wooden surface of the kotatsu, head at an angle that can't be anything but uncomfortable, and he's snoring as he sleeps. The man fell asleep into his meal, and only narrowly missed the cereal bowl. The cereals have gone soggy, and some of his hair is floating on top of the milk and goo, and Seeker can't help but wonder how a person can fall asleep with a spoon in their mouth.

He looks up as Master scurries by, not even the slightest concerned about Hitomi's state of sleep, and Seeker frowns. That means that it's completely normal for Hitomi to fall asleep suddenly, in unexpected places. Or perhaps, Master knows something he does not. He hears the front door close, and sees Master vanish out of the garden.

For some reason, Seeker doesn't like that. It infuriates him, but he doesn't let it show. Instead, he turns his attention away from the doorway, and looks back at Hitomi. He's drooling, and it all is somehow less unsightly than it probably should be.

Another thirty minutes later, and Hitomi is still asleep. Seeker decides to, as he snaps himself out of his wandering thoughts that he now can't even clearly remember, clean up after Hitomi as well, and he brushes the hair out of the bowl. He absently licks his fingers clean from overly sweet milk, as he stretches for paper to dry off the black strands at least a little. There are crumbs from the cereal in Hitomi's hair, and there are crumbs on his lips, Seeker notices, as he leans closer to properly work out the dirt.

After another few moments, he slowly pulls the spoon out of Hitomi's mouth, and he brushes off the drool and crumbs.

Then he retreats, and puts the bowl and spoon in the sink, and throws away the paper towel. As soon as he is done cleaning up, he leaves the kitchen, leaves Hitomi and goes to practice his iai instead. Somehow, he feels like he did something that he shouldn't have.

*

He can't entirely shake off the feeling that he's being watched.

It's a light prickling at the neck that increases with time, and when he finally turns he sees Hitomi in the evening light of the dojo. No, it isn't evening light, Seeker realizes with a start. It's morning light. And it makes everything glow in a sharp way, yet the air around Hitomi seems to swirl slowly, more slowly than in the rest of the room, and Seeker wonders why.

Hitomi smiles at him.

Seeker feels that something again, but it's somehow a little different. He arches an inquiring eyebrow at the other man; "Yes?" he asks, not certain he should deal with Hitomi. Not sure how to. After all, they have barely spoken to each other during the three weeks that Hitomi has spent at Shibuya Manor.

"You look so graceful," Hitomi says, still with that smile. "I don't think I could ever pull off something like that."

It's not what he expected, but, to be fair, he didn't really know what to expect. He couldn't even begin to guess. But it's not as horrible as he probably would have guessed. "I'm not so sure, perhaps you could."

Hitomi's smile grows just the slightest bit. Like he's being baited to a challenge, and does it on purpose. "Really?" He comes closer. "But I've never tried, so I don't even know how to hold the handle."

"It's called tsuka," Seeker corrects him, and meets him half-way across the room. He demonstrates the right grip to Hitomi, the pale tsuka smooth and comfortable in his hand. Hitomi watches, and imitates the hold in the air, then slips his hands over Seeker's as if to confirm by touch that he's doing it right. Seeker notices that he stops breathing, when the slightly scorched palms wrap around his hands. Seeker thinks that, if he only tried, he could feel a slow, low current of electricity, just underneath Hitomi's skin.

And he remembers to breathe, when Hitomis steps closer, to shift his grip to a more accurate imitation. He has to force himself to breathe slowly, and he wonders if Hitomi knows that he smells like lemon and rain and camp-fire. He doesn't understand why it's such a pleasant scent, doesn't understand why he even notices, but he does, and he knows that now, he'll forever associate those specific scents to the skinny raven.

Then there is the sound of footsteps, padded by fabric-created paws, and they jump apart almost in a guilty fashion, when the door to the dojo slides open loudly, and Master, equally loud, makes it known that he's back and what are they doing holed up in here on such a fine morning, they were going to train outside today!

While he half-listens to whatever ramble Shibuya-shishou falls into, Seeker looks over to Hitomi. There is something in his eyes--but it might be the morning sunlight, and not some emotion that Seeker is unfamiliar with. But at the same time, he feels like the feeling is reflected on his own face, if only for a brief moment.

Something just now, the way Hitomi's hands had wrapped around his, and the way the sun caught the air differently around him before, makes him wonder if Hitomi feel like something just shifted, too.

And is it something that even should be allowed to shift? Because they live dangerous lives, as Eden's Code:Seeker and Code:01. There simply is too much at risk, isn't there?

But at the same time... He felt an odd sort of desire, unfamiliar and intriguing, and he wants to grasp it and squeeze it and see if it holds any meaning.

He wonders if Hitomi felt the same.

And then the other smiles, slowly and calmly and there is a hint of something certain yet uncertain, and Seeker understands that Hitomi feels exactly the same as he does.