It’s not that he’s uncomfortable – he’d long gotten over any discomfort he might have had about being in a relationship (and, okay, maybe there was still a teeny tiny bit of discomfort at that thought) with Ashiwara-san a few months after they’d started…. Dating? He isn’t even sure how to classify it because, in all honesty, there wasn’t a defining moment when things shifted. They had been having lunch together for years (Ashiwara-san has never been able to take no for an answer), and yeah, the movies on weekends were new, but they’d been doing that for at least a year before…
Anyway. It’s not that he’s uncomfortable with the idea of spending Christmas together. Because Christmas is really just another day. One for couples. And that’s what he and Ashiwara-san were. Sort of. Maybe. (He still isn’t sure about the mechanics of coupledom, but he’s pretty sure they are.) So instead of trying to avoid the subject (like he had Valentine’s day, but in his defense, they’d only started… whatevering a few weeks before, and he hadn’t been prepared to deal with who gave whom chocolate. Plus, he’d recovered – mostly – by White day), he decides to charge into it head on.
“AreyoudoinganythingonChristmas?” No one ever said he has to be graceful about it.
Ashiwara-san looks up from the goban, eyebrows knit together as he considers his next move (moves? Is Kouji making a move? Is this some sort of important move?) and potentially, how to break Kouji’s heart. Which is ridiculous because didn’t Ashiwara-san start all of this to begin wi— “Hm?”
Of course, there’s also the possibility that Ashiwara-san didn’t hear him. Ashiwara-san, who often hears the quietest, mumbled phrases that he really oughtn’t have heard. Some deity is clearly screwing with him.
Okay, Kouji thinks. Nonchalant. It’s not a big deal. It’s just Christmas. “I was just wondering if you were doing anything on Christmas?”
His rival (yes, rival was a good word; isn’t that what Shindou and Touya Akira call themselves? And he’s pretty sure that they’re doing more than playing go) blinks before smiling. It’s not Ashiwara-san’s usual blindingly bright smile, but a more hopeful one that Kouji is pretty sure is making him blush. “I was thinking of staying in, maybe recreating a game.”
“Did you want to… stay in together?” And that doesn’t same lame at all. Kouij is pretty sure he’s the least suave person on the planet. “I mean, we could stay in and play a game. Or study. Or something.” Something that would not require him to speak because he’s pretty sure that every word out of his mouth is making Ashiwara-san rethink their… whatever.
“That sounds nice.” Ashiwara-san is still smiling. “Maybe we can watch a movie? There’s an American film I usually watch around that time.”
“Sure,” Kouji says agreeably. “Anything you want.”
“Anything I want, huh? That’s a dangerous thing to offer, Saeki-kun.” The smile is now less shy and hopeful and more amused. Ashiwara-san must figure out his next move, because the pachi of the stone hitting the board snaps him out of staring and into thinking about all of the ways that that could go badly.
Last time he’d told Ashiwara-san they could do anything he wanted, he’d ended up at Tokyo Disney Sea, wearing Mickey Mouse ears and taking pictures with every character Ashiwara-san could find.
“Within reason,” Kouji adds.
“Of course,” Ashiwara-san agrees, still smiling.
He doesn’t heave a sigh of relief – after all, it’s not like he thought Ashiwara-san would rebuke him (okay, only a little unsure) – but he feels significantly better about things now that there is a tentative plan. Kouji looks down at the goban and blanches.
Now if he could only feel good about this game.