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Day 2: Cuddling

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Eiji took a slow sip of his hot chocolate as he looked outside. The world was a flurry of white and gray. A sudden snowstorm had swept the city off its feet, and Ash was lost in the midst of it. Eiji had tried to call Ash, then realized he didn't have Ash's number, and frowned. Ash didn't exchange numbers with Eiji because he didn't want anyone to be able to trace Eiji through his phone should it ever fall into the wrong hands. Logically, Eiji knew it was for his safety and that this was for the best, but he still regretted this course of action. Now Ash was somewhere in New York, in the blistering cold, and Eiji had no means to contact Ash. And going into the storm to try to find Ash would just be plain stupid. Eiji had no choice but to wait for Ash to get home.

Eiji was wearing baby blue and white bunny pajamas. The sleeves and bottom of his button-down shirt and pants were trimmed with a thick band of blue. The blue silhouette of small bunny heads lined the white.

Despite the heating, the apartment was still cold. Not as cold as outside, but cold enough to justify curling up underneath a comfy blue blanket covered in rocketships and watch anime. Eiji curled up on the plush couch, bunny slippers and all, and wrapped himself with the blue blanket. Eiji takes out his phone and starts to watch some anime to distract himself from Ash's absence.

A few episodes into the show, he hears a click at the door. Eiji pauses the episode, leaves his phone and hot chocolate on the coffee table, and stands up with his blanket wrapped around him like a cape. Eiji shuffles over to the door as Ash steps into the apartment. Eiji gasps at the sight of Ash. Ash wore nothing but a t-shirt and jeans, along with a denim jacket. Without hesitance, Eiji immediately wrapped his blanket around Ash's shivering shoulders.

"Thanks," Ash says, trembling. Eiji closes the door behind them and wraps an arm around Ash, guiding him to the couch.

"Where have you been?" Eiji inquires, gently pushing Ash's shoulders down, making him sit on the couch. Ash sinks into plush, cloud-like cushions, letting out a relieved sigh.

"Went out to take care of some business and suddenly there was snow," Ash finally replies. He pauses for a moment to shrug and close his eyes before continuing. "I got the work done and that's all that matters."

"Why didn't you bundle up?" Eiji scolds. Ash opens one of his eyes to glance at Eiji. Ash would never admit it, but angry Eiji looked pretty cute. Him standing there, arms crossed, hips jutting out to one side, eyebrows scrunched together, his cute pink lips curled into a small frown. Eiji’s bottom lip was sticking out slightly more than his upper lip, providing the illusion of a pout. It was hard not to comment.

“It wasn’t that cold when I left,” Ash snaps, closing his eyes and pulling the blanket tighter around him. “How was I supposed to know that a blizzard was going to sweep the city off its feet?”

“By checking the weather ahead of time,” Eiji replies as if it were the most obvious thing in the world. Ash scoffs. He was a gang leader, a prostitute, a murderer. He was wanted by every mafia in New York City. He was Ash Lynx, the youngest notorious gang leader in all of New York City, and here he was, being lectured by a cute, pouty, black-haired chocolate-eyed Japanese boy named Eiji Okumura. It was almost laughable, except for the fact that Ash actually enjoyed Eiji’s concern. Having someone worry for him was a rare thing for Ash, so when it did happen, he didn’t mind so much.

“Don’t nag me, Onii-chan,” Ash teases, opening one eye to peer at Eiji with a smirk plastered onto his face. “It makes you sound older than usual.”

Eiji harrumphs and walks to the kitchen. Ash lets out a soft chuckle as he sinks deeper into the couch, his smug expression making way for a more content, demure one. He closes his eyes and lets his mind melt away as he listens to the gentle clamor Eiji makes in the kitchen. Ash wondered what Eiji was making in the kitchen. Maybe it was a warm drink or snack. Cookies, maybe. Or chocolate. Homemade chocolate simmering in a hot stainless steel pot, flooding the whole apartment with its delicious, intoxicating scent. And Eiji would be there, too, standing over the stove and stirring the chocolate slowly in his blue bunny pajamas, smiling to himself.

“Ash? Ash!” Eiji calls gently, his soft fingertips brushing Ash’s cheek. Ash opens his eyes to the sight of Eiji kneeling in front of him, a small frown and furrowed eyebrows etched onto his delicate features. Eiji’s left hand rested atop Ash’s thigh and his chest barely brushed Ash’s knees. Ash could feel the places Eiji was touching burn with yearning and possibility. His face flushed as Eiji spoke.

“Don’t fall asleep yet, Ash,” Eiji says, his voice softer than cotton candy clouds. “You have to warm up first, okay?”

A simple nod was all Ash could muster as Eiji stood up. Eiji grabbed a green mug from the coffee table that he had presumably placed there before he woke Ash. Eiji held the cup out to Ash.

“Here,” Eiji says as Ash takes the cup from him. It wasn’t cookies or homemade chocolate fresh off the stove. No, it was hot chocolate, and hot chocolate was more than enough for Ash right now.

“Be careful,” Eiji warns as he starts to walk away, his voice light as a butterfly. “It’s hot. I’m going to get you a spare change of clothes.”

Ash nods, then blows on the surface of the hot chocolate, watching as ripples promptly formed and dissipated because of his fast, hot breath. Ash took a sip of the thick liquid. The hot, sweetness of the hot chocolate warmed Ash from the inside-out, spreading from his stomach to the tips of his toes, making him even more drowsy.

Eiji comes back into the living room with a spare change of clothes in his hand. “Here. Go change.”

Ash shakes his head, burying himself deeper into the blanket. Eiji sighs and holds out the clothes in front of Ash. He says,“You’re gonna catch a cold if you don’t change.”

Ash ignores Eiji’s words. Ash makes his silky golden locks fall across his face and obscure his expression as he tugs at the hem of Eiji’s pajama shirt. Eiji makes a confused noise.

“Sit,” Ash says which such unprecedented vulnerability that Eiji finds himself unable to resist as he is pulled down onto the couch, the clothes slipping from his grip and fluttering onto the floor. Ash wraps the rocketship blanket around the two of them and snuggles closer to Eiji, his head resting on Eiji’s shoulder, his arm draped around the front of Eiji’s waist. Eiji instinctively wraps his arm around Ash’s shoulders and leans his head on top of Ash’s head, Ash’s smooth hair tickling Eiji’s lips.

“Is this okay?” Ash whispers, his lips moving against Eiji’s shoulder, nothing but a thin piece of fabric separating his skin from Ash’s lips. The sensation makes Eiji flush.

“Yes,” Eiji manages to squeak. Ash lets out a satisfied hum as he buries himself closer to Eiji. As the initial shock wore off, Eiji could a smile forming on his lips. He grabs his phone off of the coffee table and pulls Ash closer to him. Eiji starts to watch his show again, enjoying the story and the feeling of Ash snuggling up against him, drifting off as the cold wind and the whirlwind of snow outside continue to howl into the night.