Winter had hit the city of Nagoya harder than usual, the unusually heavy snowfall turning Kineicho into a charming snowy scene. Shinada had gone out for an afternoon coffee, snow crunching under his boots as he trudged back to his apartment. Christmas had since passed by, and though it was one of the better holiday experiences he'd had in his life, something was missing. Or rather, someone was missing. Though he'd texted Daigo a merry Christmas and left it at that, he felt a slight disappointment at the lack of his physical presence. It hadn't been long since their reunion as highschool friends, and Shinada had somewhat expected him to visit, but it seemed Daigo really was a busy man after all. Sixth Chairman of the Tojo Clan, Shinada reminded himself as he sipped from his cup of coffee. It was still hard to wrap his head around.
Though there was much to love about the cold winter season, there were things about it that Shinada could do without. One such challenge that came with the weather was the ice that would coat the stairs to his apartment and force him to walk up much more slowly and cautiously than he'd like. As he reached the top, he noticed a suspicious-looking figure standing outside his door. Just as his fight or flight instincts were about to kick in, the person turned around.
"Oh, there you are, Tatsuo," Daigo greeted him with a smile.
"D-Daigo?! What're you doing here?" Shinada asked, nearly dropping his coffee in surprise.
"I let you know via text that I was coming," Daigo explained, "But you weren't responding, so I got worried and came down as fast as I could."
"Sorry, that's my bad, phone died overnight," Shinada's gaze fell on the bag in Daigo's hand, "What's that?"
"A Christmas present. It's late, but I couldn't show up empty handed," Daigo extended the bag towards Shinada.
"Really? I can't accept that! I don't even have anything to give you in return, I didn't think you'd show up like this!"
"It's a gift, I don't expect anything in return."
Shinada opened his mouth to protest some more but decided against it and accepted the gift, "I'll open it inside," he said, opening the door with his free hand and kicking off the snow from his boots before entering. Daigo followed behind, shutting the door behind him. Shinada set his coffee on the counter and reached into the bag, fingers gripping soft fabric before he tossed the bag onto the ground.
"I figured you would appreciate something simple and practical," Daigo said. In Shinada's hand was a thick black scarf, "Thank you, it's great!" Shinada said as he draped the scarf over his shoulders and wrapped it around itself. Immediately he was met with a familiar smell, distracting yet pleasantly so. Shinada pulled the fabric closer to his face, inhaling deeply and trying to recognize the scent. Realizing how odd he probably looked, Shinada disregarded the thought and let go of the scarf, "It's really warm! Sorry I don't have anything to give you."
"If you're so insistent about giving me something in return, you can give me the time out of your day to take you out," Daigo said.
"I'd hoped to confirm that you didn't have plans today first, but I couldn't get a hold of you earlier."
"Sorry about that again," Shinada apologized, "That reminds me!" he retrieved his phone from where he had left it to charge. Upon turning it on, he noticed the abundance of missed texts from Daigo, asking what his favourite restaurant was and if he was available to spend the day with him.
"I didn't get your answer," Daigo said.
"Oh, right. Yeah, I'm free today! I don't have much spending money though," Shinada replied.
"Don't worry, it's my treat."
"Seriously? So then... This is, like, a date, right?"
"I suppose so."
Shinada felt his heart jump, "Okay! Where to first?"
After a meal at Shinada's favourite restaurant, the sun had set, and the two decided to take the scenic route through mid-square. The Christmas lights hung on various trees glimmered brilliantly against the pure white snow that was descending softly onto the ground. It was a beautiful sight, enough so that Daigo had stopped to take a picture. While he was distracted, Shinada scooped up a handful of snow, shaping it into a ball and hurling it at Daigo's back. It hit him dead on, causing Daigo to turn around, "Tatsuo?"
Shinada laughed and grabbed some more snow while Daigo was still confused and putting his phone back in his pocket. Shinada threw the snowball at him, "You gonna fight back? Come on!" he teased as he prepared another. Daigo kneeled down to gather snow, scarcely avoiding getting hit yet again before he could even shape it. When Daigo was finally able to throw his first counterattack, Shinada dodged it and threw one back at him just as fast. It hit Daigo in the chest, slowing his efforts to prepare more ammunition. Dodging Shinada's next attack, Daigo threw his snowball and nailed Shinada directly in the face. Shinada lost his balance and stumbled into the railing behind him, hands failing to brace himself as he slipped and fell on his ass.
"Okay, mercy, you win! My hands are cold," Shinada admitted defeat, using the railing to stand back up.
"Were you picking up snow without gloves on that whole time?" Daigo asked him.
"Umm," Shinada chuckled nervously. Daigo sighed, "Here, you can wear mine," he pulled off his gloves, handing them to Shinada.
"Thanks," Shinada said, putting them on and flexing his fingers, "These are super warm."
"The winter scenery in Kineicho is beautiful this year," Daigo said.
"Yeah, it's really something. Look, you can even see the ferris wheel from here," Shinada replied.
"Have you ever been on the ferris wheel?"
"Hm? Uh, no, I guess not."
"Would you like to?"
Shinada paused, "You mean right now?"
"Yes. Would you happen to know the fee?" Daigo asked.
"Yeah, it's 500¥ per person. I could cover for the both of us if you don't have any coins," Shinada replied.
"If you insist. Let's get going," Daigo grabbed Shinada's hand before suddenly crossing the road. Shinada glanced at their joined hands, squeezing ever so slightly.
"It's moving much slower than I expected."
"It's to give you time to take in the view! Man, Kineicho looks stunning from up here!" Shinada was halfway off his chair, practically pressing his face against the glass wall. The city was ablaze with thousands of neon lights flickering in the night scenery, the light snowfall accentuating the magical atmosphere.
"We haven't even reached the top yet," Daigo reminded him.
"Hey, I can still enjoy the view before we make it to the top! I can just about see my apartment from here!" Shinada replied, bubbling with excitement.
"I'm just suggesting you save some of the astonishment for when the time comes," Daigo said. When the gondola had finally reached the ferris wheel's peak, it wasn't the cityscape that Shinada couldn't take his eyes off of; it was Daigo. His heart drummed at the sight of sparkling lights reflected in his eyes and a warm half-smile to match his serene expression. Despite how cold it was at the top, heat buzzed in Shinada's cheeks. Without thinking, he leaned forward, planting a soft kiss against Daigo's lips. Daigo flinched slightly, eyes going wide as he froze for a moment. When Daigo's hands came to rest on Shinada's shoulders, he pulled back abruptly.
"Oh shit, I'm sorry! I don't know what the hell came over me! I- I was just caught up in the-"
"It's okay," Daigo interrupted.
"It's- Huh? You're not mad?" Shinada asked, confused.
"Why would I be? I thought we were on a date," Daigo replied.
"I- I just- I thought-"
Daigo gripped the scarf around Shinada's neck and pulled him in close, cutting him off with an abrupt kiss. Shinada took a moment to react but soon melted against his lips, eyes falling shut as he kissed back, tentatively at first but gradually growing in confidence. Shinada slid a hand into Daigo's hair, combing it back slowly and tangling his fingers in his soft locks. The kiss was short, with Daigo drawing back first and letting go of Shinada's scarf. Shinada's eyes fluttered open, his fingers retreating from Daigo's hair, "Again?" he breathed.
A smile tugged at the corners of Daigo's mouth, "Sure," he said, closing the gap between them. Shinada rested a hand on Daigo's shoulder as he leaned deeper into the kiss, his eyes screwed shut and his head in the clouds. When Daigo brought a hand to his cheek and prodded at his lips with his tongue, Shinada had to dig his nails into his thigh to hold himself back from climbing over the armrest into his lap. Daigo slowly stroked Shinada's cheek with the pad of his thumb, again being the first to pull back, "We've nearly reached the bottom," he said, his hand still cradling the side of Shinada's face.
"Last one?" Shinada asked.
Daigo couldn't bear to say no, "Alri-" he started before Shinada practically pounced on him, hooking an arm around the back of his head and kissing him hungrily as he settled into his lap. Daigo struggled to keep up, allowing Shinada to take complete control of the kiss. Moaning softly, Daigo slid the hand on Shinada's cheek down to his chest, pressing his palm flat against him. Shinada pulled back, "Is this too much?" he asked breathlessly, ghosting kisses against Daigo's jaw.
"N-No, it's just..." Daigo's words died in his throat when Shinada planted a kiss against his Adam's apple, "I... Aren't we really close to the bottom now?" he asked. Shinada looked to his side and realized that they were very close to the bottom and most likely getting a couple of stares. Shinada abruptly stumbled off of Daigo and returned to his seat, "Y-Yeah, we are."
"I assumed as much," Daigo laughed softly, "You made it more than obvious enough."
Shinada pulled his scarf closer to his face to hide his embarrassment, noticing the familiar smell from earlier. It reminded him of just a few moments prior, when he was trailing kisses down Daigo's neck. It clicked then that it was Daigo's scent he was recognizing, the realization sending heat rushing to his face.
"Can I... kiss you just one more time?"
Daigo couldn't help the smile it brought to his lips, "Go ahead."