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Natsu Matsuri

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It wasn’t often that Atsushi was given an opportunity to attend any celebrations held in Yokohama, least of all a summer festival. It was only because of the agency that he was given a chance to be a part of such things, running around and relishing the time that he spent with his friends. The few instances where Atsushi was able to join them on such outings, he had considered those occasions to be extremely fun.

So when Chuuya had asked him if he would like to accompany the other male to a summer festival being hosted in town, Atsushi had instantly agreed. It would be just the two of them on a proper date, quiet and peaceful as opposed to the chaos of a group excursion. Atsushi had been looking forward to it since the moment Chuuya had brought the subject up.

Though admittedly the sight of Chuuya in a dark blue yukata, his red hair kept in a ponytail that spilled over his shoulder, was far more than Atsushi had been prepared for.

While Chuuya was quick to tease him for his staring (but Atsushi noted with a similar satisfaction that the mafioso took quite a few peeks back at him as well), he also seemed determined to make sure that Atsushi was enjoying himself thoroughly.

Although in this case, Chuuya appeared absolutely adamant about spoiling him. He purchased anything that Atsushi had even looked at with curiosity, despite repeated assurances that such a thing wasn’t necessary. It was why he had been gifted with cotton candy even before he was finished with the takoyaki that Chuuya had already given him. And that wasn’t the only time it had happened, either.

It was a bit overwhelming, but it was a sweet gesture, and one that Atsushi appreciated very much. Not to mention that it allowed him to share the snacks with Chuuya, something he was more than happy to do. It was how they spent most of their evening, talking and laughing about anything that came to mind while they shared whatever sweets they had just bought.

Time flew by before either of them knew it. It was late in the night when they finished examining all the stalls that the festival had to offer.

“I think that about does it for the attractions. At least for the noteworthy ones, anyway. I can’t think of any other booths we could have missed,” Chuuya commented, humming with satisfaction as he snagged another piece of cotton candy from the bag shared between them. “Is there anything else you wanted to see?”

Atsushi shook his head, alternating between bites of cotton candy and surveying the area around them.

“I don’t think so. I’m pretty sure we’ve already visited every stall at least once. What about you, Chuuya-san? Did you want to stop and revisit anything?”

“Nope. I’ve already seen everything that I was interested in,” Chuuya told him with a smile. “If there’s nothing else, then do you want to go ahead and start walking to the fireworks spot?”

“Sure, that sounds good,” Atsushi replied, returning Chuuya’s smile with one of his own. “Are they supposed to start soon?”

“We do have a little bit of time before it’s supposed to begin, but it’s always nice to get a head start on these sorts of things,” he explained, turning and catching sight of one of the gaming booths nearby.

It was a standard shooter game, nothing too special about it. Instead, it was the series of fluffy prizes being exhibited that caught his attention, with one in particular that he found himself staring at.

It was a white, plush alpaca, fairly decent in size. A little hat sat atop the head of the toy, tilted against it’s furry ear. A black tie was encircled around the neck of the plush, white collars sewn into both sides to complete the look. It was rather cute, a tiny stitched smile and glassy eyes reflected back at him.

Atsushi seemed to notice that Chuuya’s attention had been claimed by something else, and he followed the other’s line of sight until he found what it was. Unaware of his boyfriend’s newfound interest, Chuuya turned away from the prize after he had finished examining it.

“Alright Atsushi, let’s...”

He trailed off upon finding that his companion was no longer beside him. He scanned the surrounding area until he was able to find Atsushi, standing in front of the gaming booth. He handed over the money needed to play, getting a feel for the toy rifle after he was handed it. He wasn’t nearly as proficient with guns as Kunikida was, especially not a plastic one such as this, but he wasn’t about to be deterred by that. He aimed and took fire at one of the targets, frowning when the cork bullet just barely grazed it.

“Want me to use my ability to make sure you win?” came a whisper right by his ear, causing Atsushi to jump. He turned to Chuuya, now pouting at the amused look on the other’s face.

“Of course not, that would be cheating. Besides, I want to get this on my own.”

Chuuya shrugged as he moved to watch the performance. “If you’re sure.”

Atsushi raised the rifle once more to eye level, focusing intently on where the targets were located. He took the next two shots, looking visibly relieved when they hit. He prepared for the final shot, eyes squinting as he focused. It was during this time that Chuuya had to stifle a small laugh, not only because of how determined Atsushi looked, but also at the sight of him chewing on his lip in concentration. Whatever that prize was, he must have wanted it pretty badly.

When the final target was knocked down, the woman running the game announced Atsushi as a winner. Chuuya whistled lowly, glancing back at Atsushi approvingly.

“Not too bad, those games are normally pretty hard to win at. Nice job,” he grinned. Atsushi returned the gesture, flushed pink with pride.

“Come on up and collect your prize,” the operator called to him cheerfully, leading Atsushi to excuse himself.

Chuuya moved to the other side of the booth in case there were any other potential players, and he settled in to wait. It was a few moments later that Atsushi came back, keeping his winnings hidden from view.

“So which one did you-” Chuuya began to ask, before Atsushi presented the alpaca to him.

“Here you go!”

Chuuya stared at the plush almost uncomprehendingly, before reaching forward and hesitantly taking it from Atsushi.

“You...won this for me?” he asked. Atsushi nodded.

“Yeah. I saw you looking at it before, so I wanted to try and get it for you,” he explained. “It really is very fitting though, it has a hat just like you do. It even has the color of your eyes!”

Chuuya brought the alpaca closer and noted that Atsushi was right: it DID have blue beads in place of eyes. Chuuya could feel himself growing warmer. Seriously, what were the odds?

“This is kind of an embarrassing thing to give to someone in the mafia though, you know?” he spoke up, carefully angling his face out of the other’s sight.

Atsushi jerked back as if just realizing that for himself.

“I’m sorry, I didn’t even think about that. Here, I can try to take it back and see if they’ll let us exchange it for something else.”

Chuuya shot him an almost offended look.

“Like hell you are. I’m keeping it forever, so back off,” the redhead huffed, crushing the stuffed animal to his chest as he grabbed Atsushi’s hand. “Now come on already. The fireworks are gonna start soon.

Atsushi allowed himself to be pulled along, noting that the tips of Chuuya’s ears were colored red. Atsushi smiled as he fell into step beside the other.

“I’m happy you like it,” he spoke up experimentally. A few seconds passed by before Chuuya responded.

“I do. Thank you for this.”

Atsushi’s smile softened as he squeezed the other’s hand.

“I’m glad. So, are you going to name it?” he asked curiously.

Chuuya paused, peeking at Atsushi before looking contemplatively at the alpaca.

“Natsu,” he decided.

“Is that because we’re at a summer festival?” Atsushi inquired.

“That’s part of it,” Chuuya admitted, the corners of his mouth quirking upwards. “It also reminds me of you, so that’s what I’m going to name it after. That’s actually why I was even interested in it in the first place.”

“Really?” Atsushi blinked. The delight of having Chuuya name something after him was buried under the confusion of learning that Chuuya thought the two were similar. He leaned over to inspect the plush more thoroughly. “I don’t see what you mean.”

“Well it’s not there right now, but it’s got a tie just like you do,” Chuuya began, tapping the spot where Atsushi’s tie would normally rest.

“Not to mention the white fur,” Chuuya continued, playfully twirling at the longer lock of Atsushi’s hair.

“And then that cute face? How could it not remind me of you?” Chuuya smiled, moving to brush his thumb along Atsushi’s rapidly blushing cheek. His expression quickly became mischievous. “Someone looks embarrassed.”

Atsushi averted his eyes to the side, now attempting to hide his face.

“I-I’m not! Besides, weren’t we on our way to watch the fireworks?”

“Yeah, but I think I’ve decided that I like looking at you more.”

Atsushi smothered himself with his hands, feeling heat emanating off of his skin. “Chuuya-san!”

The older man chuckled. “Sorry, I couldn’t resist. If it helps, I was only halfway joking.”

“It doesn’t,” Atsushi pouted, but he removed his hands from over his face.

“That’s better,” Chuuya quipped as he moved to reclaim Atsushi’s hand. “Now let’s get going.”

They resumed their walk to the intended location. A minute had gone by before Atsushi realized that they were going the wrong way.

“Chuuya-san, isn’t the viewing spot back that way?” he questioned, gesturing in the opposite direction.

“Yeah, but I had a better place in mind,” he explained, slowing down his pace. “It’s not too far off, but it is a bit of a walk to get there,” he added, looking back at Atsushi with consideration. “Unless you would prefer to go to the one that’s closest.”

Atsushi shook his head.

“I don’t mind, so long as I’m with you. Lead the way,” he smiled. Chuuya mirrored the gesture, stepping closer to Atsushi as they began to walk again.

It took a few minutes of traveling outside of the festival grounds before they arrived at their destination. Soon they found themselves on a small hill overlooking a grassy clearing. The whole area was hit with the light of the bright moon above them, giving their surroundings an almost ethereal glow. There were fireflies all around them, flickering in and out of sight as they flew around the pair. Atsushi’s eyes were wide as he took in the scenery.

“Wow,” he murmured.

Chuuya grinned, leading the pair closer to the curve of the hill. He stopped near the edge, sitting down in the soft grass and prompting Atsushi to sit beside him.

“So, will this work?”

“Yes,” Atsushi answered, the corners of his lips still tilted upwards as he continued to admire the view. “This is perfect.”

“Good,” Chuuya nodded.

“How did you manage to find this place though?” Atsushi asked curiously.

“Just got lucky and found it once a few months back,” Chuuya replied nonchalantly.

In truth, he had been out scouting for a good location while the festival was still undergoing preparations, but it’s not like Atsushi needed to know that.

“Really?” Atsushi paused, peering back at their surroundings. “It’s kind of out of the way, but it seems like a perfect spot to watch the fireworks. It’s a good thing that you remembered it.”

“Yeah, well, that’s what I thought when I came here. I figured this would be a nice place to view them,” Chuuya noted.

Atsushi’s head tilted to the side, his eyebrows furrowing in confusion.

“But the festival wasn’t announced a few months ago. It was only done more recently,” he pointed out. Chuuya’s expression grew deadpan.

“And anyway, you said that you’ve only been here once, right? But you knew exactly where to go when we began walking here. Like you planned for this...” Atsushi trailed off, looking at Chuuya with pleasant surprise.

Heat traveled to Chuuya’s cheeks at the knowledge that he was caught, and it only worsened when Atsushi gave him a smile full of affection. Chuuya huffed, angling his head away as he pushed the last of the cotton candy to Atsushi’s mouth.

“Don’t give me that face. Shut up and eat your cotton candy already.”

Atsushi gave a quiet noise of protest at the silencing, but he obliged in eating the sugary treat. His lips brushed against Chuuya’s fingertips, sending a tiny thrill though the redhead. Atsushi smiled at him once he finished the candy.

“Thank you.”

“Yeah, yeah,” Chuuya relented, waving him off. “It’s not a big deal. I just thought you would prefer to be somewhere quieter.”

“No, I don’t mean this, though I do appreciate that as well. I meant, thank you for bringing me here today. I had a great time at the festival, but it was even better that I got to spend that time with you,” Atsushi explained, his expression fond as he gazed at Chuuya, causing the older male’s heart to twist.

Dammit, this cute little bastard was turning him weak.

Chuuya released an amused breath, gently nudging Atsushi’s side with his elbow.

“Don’t thank me yet, you haven’t even seen the fireworks. They’re always considered the best part of any festival.”

“That’s what I always heard too,” Atsushi remarked. “But I’ve never actually seen them before.”

Chuuya looked at him incredulously.

“What? I thought you went to a couple of festivals with that agency of yours. You didn’t see them then?”

“No. We went to a few together, but something always ended up getting in the way right before they started,” Atsushi explained.

Chuuya sat back for a moment, looking like he was pondering something to himself. After another second he reached over to pat Atsushi’s back, a small grin on his face.

“Well then, save your thank you for another time. I don’t need it now that I know you’ll be watching them for the first time with me,” he declared, now turning ahead to stare at the horizon. “Speaking of which, it should be starting any time now.”

Atsushi watched the side of Chuuya’s profile, eyes fond as he looked at him. He had to smother a laugh in the next instance as a firefly landed atop one of Chuuya’s red curls, the older male seemingly unaware of this. Atsushi allowed himself to chuckle as he reached over, brushing the firefly away.

After a fleeting thought, Atsushi tucked Chuuya’s hair back behind his ears, smoothing and playing with the strands. Atsushi couldn’t help but to admire the man next to him, his expression soft as he gazed over Chuuya. Not for the first time, he couldn’t help but wonder just how he had gotten this lucky.

“You’re staring again.”

Atsushi was snapped out it by the sound of Chuuya’s voice, now seeing that the other male was smirking at him. Realizing what he was doing, Atsushi reddened as he hurriedly pulled his hand away.

“Ah, s-sorry about that, Chuuya-san. I didn’t notice.”

“I could see that,” Chuuya commented, his smirk curling into something more impish. “Were you trying to start something, Atsushi?”

The boy grew considerably warmer at Chuuya’s playful remark. He gestured wildly with his arms, even as Chuuya began to move into his personal space.

“N-no, I swear! I was just-!”

“Although I have to say,” Chuuya leaned in, supporting his upper body with his arms. “I wouldn’t really mind that.”

Atsushi knew that this was Chuuya’s own special method of teasing him, the grin that had spread across the mafioso’s face told him as such. Even so, Atsushi had wanted to kiss Chuuya since their evening began, and that urge had steadily increased over the course of the night. Atsushi no longer even cared that they were still technically in public.

And, well, Chuuya had already made it abundantly clear that he didn’t care, either.

Atsushi swallowed, taking a small breath before he placed his hand over Chuuya’s own. He relished the moment that Chuuya’s sultry expression morphed into one of surprise, seemingly not expecting for Atsushi to indulge in his teasing words. He blinked once as his surprise quickly passed, a content smile appearing as Atsushi began to inch forward. The redhead chuckled quietly, closing his eyes as he leaned in to help bridge the gap between them.

They were only a second away from connecting whenever the fireworks began.

Atsushi jumped at the sound of the sudden explosion, reminding Chuuya very much of a startled cat. The mafioso’s laughter was muffled by the raucous sound of the fireworks, but he had no doubt that Atsushi was able to feel it in the shaking of his shoulder as he moved closer. Their sides pressed together as he leaned against Atsushi, loosely tangling their fingers together. Atsushi didn’t give a reaction, his expression awestruck as his attention was captured by the fireworks, but the twitching of Atsushi’s hand against his let Chuuya know that he was aware of it.

The older man smiled, burrowing against Atsushi as he tried to focus his attention on the display before them. However, his gaze had begun to flit back towards Atsushi, so much so that Chuuya decided to forgo watching the fireworks entirely.

His boyfriend still appeared just as captivated as when the fireworks started. Wide, unblinking eyes watched the beautiful spirals and dazzling bursts across the sky, those jewel colored orbs glowing with almost childlike wonder. The fireworks shimmered against the backdrop of the sky, painting Atsushi with various colorful hues as they rained down above them. Though it was Atsushi’s smile that Chuuya was most enamored with.

His lips were pulled into an overjoyed grin, crinkling the corners of his eyes and brightening his features better than the fireworks were able to. It had been that smile that Chuuya was hoping to coax out by the end of the night, and the fulfillment of that goal sent a warmth spreading throughout his chest. Though really, it was any time that Atsushi looked happy that Chuuya was sent into an equal feeling of contentment.

It truly spoke miles of just how weak Chuuya had become if he was left so affected by a grin that wasn’t even directed towards him.

But Chuuya had come to accept that he was powerless against Atsushi, all as a result of the feelings that he had developed for him. There were so many things that he admired about the boy. How loyal he was, that stubborn spark within him that had refused to dim, his kind heart despite his past circumstances. The fact that he had been so determined to win a silly stuffed toy for him, and all because there was the slightest chance that Chuuya may like it.

Chuuya had known for a long time that he cared about Atsushi, but it wasn’t until recently that he discovered the magnitude of those feelings, and just how far they extended. Chuuya smiled as he gazed upon Atsushi, taken in by that lovely smile and expression of happiness on the other’s face. Overcome by a softness that he would only ever really show around Atsushi, Chuuya couldn’t help his next words from spilling out.

“I love you.”

It was little more than a mumble. A barely audible admittance to himself of the feelings that he had accumulated for Atsushi. He had assumed that his words would go unnoticed, swallowed up over the echoing booms of the fireworks.

But Chuuya hadn’t considered the fact that Atsushi had an enhanced sense of hearing due to his ability, something that he remembered with startling clarity as Atsushi’s shoulders jerked in surprise, his head snapping around to turn shocked eyes upon Chuuya.

Warmth that had nothing to do with the heat of summer crawled up Chuuya’s neck, rather it was a sheepish reaction to being caught. A bright red sparkler broke out across the sky, leaving Chuuya unsure if the scarlet color highlighting Atsushi’s skin was due to the fireworks, or as a result of his confession. The overhead display fizzled and popped into nothing, leaving the pair in a deafening silence.

Atsushi gaped at him, mouth opening and closing as though unsure of where to begin.

“I – Did I hear that correctly? D-did you just say that you-?”

“Yes.”

Chuuya said it matter of factly, leaving no room for any of Atsushi’s doubts. He returned Atsushi’s gaze with ease, not allowing himself to look away. Unintentional though it may have been, Chuuya wouldn’t let himself look embarrassed after Atsushi had heard his declaration. Not when he knew that he meant what he had said.

“S-so then,” Atsushi began, nervously fumbling with his words. “Does that mean that you, um...that you actually-?”

“I’m pretty sure that I already said yes, Atsushi,” Chuuya spoke up, smiling slightly. “But it’s true. I love you.”

A choked sound escaped Atsushi’s throat, his eyes growing impossibly wider as he stared at Chuuya in shock. The mafioso released an amused breath of air, leaning casually against Atsushi’s shoulder as he turned to stare forwards. He kept his line of sight locked straight ahead, trying not to appear as vulnerable as he actually felt.

“Don’t worry about saying it back. I know that was a pretty big thing to just spring on you like that, and I don’t want you to feel like you’re under any obligations. So you don’t have to-”

“I-I do, though.”

Chuuya almost missed it, too caught up with his reassurances that a lack of a response was fine. But as it stands, he was able to pick up the whispered reply, and it was his turn to peer back at Atsushi in surprise. The younger male fidgeted under the intensity of Chuuya’s eyes, but he refused to glance away. His gaze was as sincere as his next few words.

“I love you as well, Chuuya-san.”

When the final showcasing of fireworks shot out across the sky, a blaze of pure white that once again illuminated their features, there was no mistaking the red on Atsushi’s face as anything else but a blush.

The finale barely registered in Chuuya’s mind, occupied as he was with Atsushi’s response. A couple of slow blinks was all the time that it took before his mouth stretched into an amazed grin. It was easy to disregard everything else in favor of focusing on Atsushi as he now raised a hand to cup the boy’s cheek. Colorful sparks in the sky meant nothing in place of learning that his love is reciprocated.

Chuuya leaned in, meeting Atsushi in the middle as their lips were pressed together in a gentle kiss. It was unhurried and tender, fueled by the pure affection that they felt towards each other. Their hearts beat in unison, pounding stronger and louder in their chests than the explosions raging long forgotten behind them.

The two broke apart unwillingly, Chuuya moving in to rest his forehead against Atsushi’s. The boy’s sparkling eyes gazed back into his, matched beautifully with Atsushi’s own beaming smile. Chuuya smiled back at him, playfully bumping their noses together before closing the distance with another kiss.

Neither one noticed as the fireworks continued on, a massive shower of pink raining down from the sky above them. All they could concentrate on was the series of sweet kisses exchanged between them, and the feeling of their fingers being interlaced with each other. To the pair on the ground, nothing was more perfect in that moment.