"Ash, let's go Halloween shopping!"
Ash looks up from his phone to look at Eiji, who had too much enthusiasm on his face for ten in the morning. Ash was sat on the couch, and Eiji was standing behind the couch, leaning over and resting his body on top of the couch so he could talk to Ash.
"Why?" Ash asks, turning his head to look down again at the article he was reading.
"I thought it would be fun," Eiji says, his excitement slightly deterred by Ash's disinterest. "In Japan, we don't really celebrate Halloween. Halloween is such a big thing in America and I thought it would be fun to join in for once."
"It's a bit early in the month to buy Halloween decorations," Ash says, still scrolling through the article, his expression blank, his jade eyes dull, like a dirty rock.
"Do you not like Halloween, Ash?" Eiji asks, tilting his head to the side.
"It's not that I don't like it, I just never really celebrated holidays, so when the festive season comes around, I don't really care," Ash says, shrugging it off. Eiji, on the other hand, felt as though he'd been stabbed in the heart. Eiji had forgotten that Ash had such a lifeless, gray childhood. Eiji had forgotten that with all the mistreatment from his father and all the rape and the murder and violence that obviously Ash would never have gotten the chance to have fun during the festive season.
Ash looks over to Eiji and his thoughts stop dead in its tracks as he notices the sad puppy dog expression on Eiji.
"What?" Ash asks, failing to hide the concerned surprise on his face.
"That's so sad, Ash," Eiji states, his voice barely above a whisper. Ash's cheeks flush at the honesty in Eiji's statement and looks away. The scathing reality of the statement cuts Ash to pieces and he stares at his phone, determined to ignore the growing pain in his stomach creeping up to his heart. Ash fails to focus on the article he's reading as his eyes blur with tears. He looks up at the ceiling to hold it in.
"Ash," Eiji says, guilt wrapping itself around his core. He forces himself to perk up his voice. "We should go Halloween shopping together! Then, we can decorate the apartment and celebrate together."
Ash turns his face away from Eiji and rubs at his eyes. Ash manages to mumble a response. "Yeah."
And now, here they were, at a generic chain shop full of miscellaneous items and Halloween themed decorations.
"Wow, it's a bit..." Eiji trails off, unsure what to say.
"Underwhelming?" Ash finishes, raising an eyebrow. Eiji blushes and nods.
"I mean, I don't know what I was expecting, but," Eiji pauses. "I thought there would be something grand, like a Christmas tree, but Halloween themed."
Ash snorts and they both walk around in the decorations aisle looking at little trinkets and such. Eiji lets out a soft gasp as he reaches out to hold a cute plant pot shaped like a black cat with wide yellow eyes. The pot was glittery and small.
"Ash! Look!" Eiji whispers, not wanting to disturb the other customers. "It's so cute! Let's get it!"
"Do you have a plant to put into that pot?" Ash asks, crossing his arms.
"No, but, I could put small sweets inside it," Eiji quickly counters. Ash shrugs and Eiji smiles as he puts the pot inside their shopping cart. The whole shopping trip goes by like this, with Eiji out cute Halloween decorations and Ash shrugging, letting Eiji buy whatever he likes. They get orange streamers, black streamers, purple streamers, big jack-o'-lantern stickers to put on the walls, black bats to hang from the ceiling, cute ghost night lights, cute clear crystal bowls to put snacks in, and bags and bags of candy. Their shopping cart was full at the end of their shopping spree.
As they headed to the register to pay for the decorations, Eiji realized that Ash hadn't picked anything out himself. Eiji pauses mid-stride, making Ash stop to turn to him.
"What?" Ash asks, his hands shoved into his hoodie pockets.
"Ash, you didn't pick anything," Eiji states, his expression blank. A smile forms on his face as he says his next words. "Pick something!"
"Eiji, it's fine," Ash says, dismissive as he turns around to continue walking. "Let's go pay for our stuff."
"Ash," Eiji whines, dragging out the 'a' in Ash's name. "Please!"
"Fine," Ash huffs. He looks around for a moment before picking out a snow globe with a black cat wearing a witch's hat inside. Inside of white snow, the snow globe had orange glitter.
"Did you really want that?" Eiji asks, suddenly serious. The sight made Ash snort and smile at Eiji's silly antics. Eiji struggled to keep up his serious front as Ash smiled.
"Yes," Ash says, rolling his eyes as he walks toward the register. Satisfied, Eiji follows and they both wait in line to pay for the decorations. Eiji hums as he thinks about decorating the apartment with Ash, the thought making him smile.