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May 2019


A late spring snow, wet and splattering on their heads. Yuzu puts his arm around Shoma, as though they are not entering a very public Starbucks to wait for the weather to clear.

"Why don't we get an Uber or take the subway?" Shoma hisses, heart rabbiting as their skating luggage rumbles. 

He is afraid of being seen, of Yuzu being exposed. Yuzu loathes the press and being caught in public. Not because he is indifferent, but intensely humble, embarrassed even, when caught out in public. That and it irritates him, and he has never found peace with it. It's one of the most endearing things about Yuzu.

"Why don't we sit here and get lattes?" Yuzu says cheerfully, as though not a hair's breadth from being known. 

Yuzu steers them into an easy chair -- the pair of them sharing -- and shivering delicately against one another.

Shoma hears it then: the shutter-click of phone cameras pointed in their direction. He almost springs out of the chair to confront the perpetrators, when Yuzu ropes him around the waist, easing him back down.

"Take a selfie with me," Yuzu whines. 

Yuzu never asks such things.

"Uh?" Shoma says. 

"Take a selfie with me," Yuzu repeats cheerfully, holding his phone up.

Shoma blinks at himself in the camera screen.

Yuzu kisses him on the cheek, more than just chastely, and Shoma feels himself burn, red as early spring roses, along his jaw.

"What was that for?" he asks later, over some white chocolate mocha and caramel macchiato. 

Yuzu shrugs.

"People lose interest when you don't pay attention. And you look good when you blush."

"Oh," Shoma mutters, feeling the flush along his jaw renew itself.