Hikaru checked his wallet, making sure that he had cash and his credit card, because he was going to need them both. Maybe even his debit card, if the way Touya was glaring at him was any indication. He smiled sheepishly back and gave his roommate a finger wave.
“It won’t be that bad, Touya,” he said in an effort to cheer Touya up. “It’s just shopping.”
Touya scowled. “I wouldn’t need to go shopping if you and Waya-san hadn’t burnt all of my clothes.”
“We didn’t burn them all,” Hikaru protested. “We left your jeans and that turtleneck.”
“My apologies, then. I suppose I should be thanking you both,” Touya replied disdainfully.
Hikaru rolled his eyes. “Look, we told you we’d replace them, right? Waya is meeting us at the mall, and we’ll buy you and entirely new wardrobe. And a new suit.”
“I liked my clothes, Shindou.”
Yeah, Hikaru thought, well I didn’t. Out loud, he said, “I know. This is why we’re both very sorry and all that stuff.”
He grabbed Touya’s wrist and pulled them to the train door. “Our stop is next,” he explained when Touya jerked his hand away.
“You could have simply told me rather than pulling me along like some sort of doll,” Touya complained, rubbing his wrist.
Hikaru had to fight from rolling his eyes. He wasn’t holding Touya’s wrist that hard. The train began slowing, and Hikaru braced himself against the door. Touya, apparently not realizing, stumbled into him and pushed him flat against the door.
“Oww, Touya!” Hikaru complained. “That hurts. Get off me!”
“I’m sorry,” Touya said, pulling away and bumping into someone else. “I’m very sorry.”
This time, Hikaru did roll his eyes. “Come on,” he sighed. “We have to hurry or we’re going to be late.”
“And whose fault is that, Shindou?” Touya asked, walking off the train.
“Hey, I couldn’t find the gel,” Hikaru replied, looking over his shoulder at Touya, who was now fiddling with the hem of the shirt he was wearing, which happened to be Hikaru’s, since it was too warm for turtlenecks. “I told you not to move my gel.”
“You have three different bottles of it, Shindou. Surely it would do to have only one in the medicine cabinet?”
“That’s my winter gel, Touya. I can’t use it during summer!” Hikaru said, aghast. “Would you wear gloves in summer?”
“That’s completely different, Shindou,” Touya said, exasperated.
“It’s not! That gel is moisturizing so that it doesn’t get brittle and dry in the winter. I have to use the non-moisturizing gel during the summer; otherwise my hair gets all oily. Honestly, Touya.”
Touya stops and stares. “Then what is the third bottle for?”
Hikaru stops and turns around, hands on his hips. “When I go out. It’s extra-strength.”
“There are no words for you, Shindou.”
Hikaru sticks his tongue out. “Come on. The mall is about five minutes away. If we’re late, I have to buy lunch.”
“Aren’t you buying, anyway?”
“Only for you. You barely eat. Waya eats like a horse.”
“Waya-san eats about as much as you, Shindou.”
“Not when I’m buying he doesn’t.”
Waya was sitting on a bench in front of McDonald’s, looking at his watch, when Hikaru and Touya arrived.
“You’re late!” Waya crowed, jumping up from his seat.
Hikaru looked at his watch. “No, we’re not! I’ve still got one minute!”
“You can’t judge on your own watch, Shindou.”
“You can’t judge on your own watch, Waya.”
Hikaru looked at Touya and grinned. “Oi, Touya. Come here. Let me see your phone.”
Touya walked over to them hesitantly, and Hikaru thrust his hand into Touya’s pocket, pulling out his cell phone.
He clicked a button on the side and lit up the LCD. “Ha! On time!”
Waya grumbled and rolled his eyes and Hikaru grinned.
The phone was suddenly snatched out his hand and Touya was glaring at him angrily, face red. “What kind of idiot puts his hand in another man’s pants?” Touya shrieked.
Hikaru took a step back and put his hands in front of him in surrender. “Sorry, sorry!”
“Let’s get this over with,” Waya groused. “And we’re eating at McDonald’s today.”
“Sure, sure,” Hikaru said happily. “Let’s go. There’s this really awesome store on the second floor that we have to go to.”
“If we’re buying clothes for me,” Touya interjected, “shouldn’t we go where I want to go?”
Waya and Hikaru looked at each other. “Nope,” they said in unison.
“No offense, Touya,” Hikaru began, “but you have no style.”
“We’re buying, so we’re picking,” Waya put in.
“So! Second floor! Let’s go!”
Three stores, and ten bags later, Hikaru decided to call it a day. Touya looked at him blankly while Waya stretched.
“I’m beat,” Hikaru announced. “Let’s eat and go home.”
“Yeah,” Waya agreed. “I want to have a nap before Morishita-sensei’s study group.”
Touya was staring at the various bags on the floor around them. “I think I’ll meet you down there,” he said finally. “Father’s birthday is coming up, and I saw something back there that I think he’ll like.”
Hikaru and Waya shrugged. “See you in a bit, then,” Hikaru replied, and he and Waya took off towards the elevator, leaving the bags with Touya.
The next morning, Hikaru was sitting at the table, sleepily eating his cereal, when Touya walked into the room. He looked up to say good morning and nearly choked on the food in his mouth.
“Are you quite alright, Shindou?” Touya asked, brow furrowed in concern.
“Where,” Hikaru choked out, pounding his chest to dislodge the cereal. “Where did you get those? We didn’t buy you that?”
Touya looked down at his clothes – a green and orange argyle vest over a yellow short sleeved dress shirt and brown slacks. “These?”
“Yes,” Hikaru hissed. “We didn’t buy those! And we burned everything that looked like that!” He pointed at the argyle vest in horror.
“Oh, I merely returned the clothes you and Waya-san purchased for clothes that were more reasonable and comfortable.”
Touya went into the kitchen to start his tea, and Hikaru stared wide eyed at the place Touya had been standing, mind going over the day before.
We didn’t leave him alone for too long, he thought frantically. The only time he was really alone was in the changing room and when he went to pick up that antique wall scroll for Touya-sensei. That only took him about, Hikaru calculated the time between him and Waya leaving Touya on the second floor to buy the gift and when Touya showed up for lunch, fifteen minutes, max.
Hikaru stood up quickly and ran to the kitchen. “When?” he demanded.
“When, what?” Touya asked, annoyed.
“When did you switch them out? It would have taken longer than fifteen minutes!”
“Oh, when you and Waya-san were picking out clothes, I was picking out my own and putting them on hold at the counter,” Touya explained easily. “I just had to pick them up on my way to get Father’s present.”
“So,” Hikaru said, horrified, “all those awesome clothes Waya and I got you?”
“Returned.” Touya seemed satisfied.
“Returned.” Hikaru echoed.
“Or, rather, not all of them,” Touya said. “I kept some things, like the dress slacks, and some of the dress shirts, as well as two pairs of jeans.”
Hikaru collapsed against the counter. “What was the point then?”
“There was none. “
“But you’re not supposed to be sneaky!” Hikaru accused.
Touya lifted an eyebrow. “I prefer to call it clever, thank you. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have a match this morning.”
Hikaru watched Touya leave, self-satisfied smile on his face.