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How to Court a Nezumi

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Nezumi had been back for a few months when he discovered Shion’s secret.

Despite the years of separation, or perhaps because of them, the two men had settled in together quite easily upon Nezumi’s return. Shion was still a pretty high-ranking member of the council, responsible for overseeing construction projects and law proposals, along with a few others. Fortunately, this meant he could basically work from home most of the time, unless there was some sort of mandatory meeting. Since those meetings were pretty rare, it was far more common to find the white-haired man at his home office, reading glasses on as he combed through laws and projects for any possible loopholes.

On one such morning, Nezumi snuck up behind his partner, wrapping his arms around the other man and bending down somewhat awkwardly so that he could rest his head on the other’s shoulder. Shion didn’t even flinch.

“Good morning,” he said calmly. From behind thin-framed reading glasses, his eyes never once shifted from the plans spread out across the desk.

“’Morning. What’re you working on?” the dark-haired man peered at the papers from his perch on Shion’s shoulder. They looked like architectural plans, though there was something vaguely familiar about the building featured on them. He couldn’t quite place what it was.

“The plans for the new amphitheater the city is building. I’m supposed to look them over and approve them. It’s supposed to be modeled after the Roman Coliseum, I think it was.”

“….An amphitheater?”

“Yup. The purpose is largely the same as the original Coliseum, to be a place for the general populace to gather and be entertained. It’s supposed to be designed for mostly plays and musical performances, but there will be some sporting events that can be held there, just like the original. Though this time around we’ll be skipping the gladiator fights and bloodier aspects of ancient entertainment, or at least I hope-“

“Shion,” Nezumi cut the other man off, straightening from his previous position, “who, exactly, proposed the project?”

“Ah, well, it was decided on by everyone, because we all felt it was about time we started to really encourage the arts and other forms of entertainment since the city is much more stable now. And we want to show that we are encourage creativity and whatnot so we can establish a clear difference between this government and the last regime. And now that we’ve managed to settle down so much we need to build up the areas of society that were repressed for so long.”

Nezumi did not miss the bright red hue the other man’s ears had taken on as he spoke. ‘You always were a terrible liar,’ he thought as he spun the other man’s chair around so that they were facing one another. Shion carefully avoided his eyes, much to Nezumi’s amusement.

“Shion, look at me.”

It was amazing how quickly Shion’s eyes would always meet his when he said that. Some things never changed, it seemed. The white-haired man’s expression was sheepish behind his glasses, causing the actor to grin.

“Convenient timing for the Council to start supporting the arts, isn’t it?”

“Well we’ve always been supporting the arts, we just had to focus on other things up until now.”

The way Shion’s expression morphed into defensiveness so quickly was oddly endearing, but Nezumi was not to be distracted today.

“Oh of course. And I’m sure this new amphitheater has nothing to do with you never really getting to see me in action back then.”

“I wouldn’t be opposed to seeing a professional troupe perform a Shakespeare play at the opening,” Shion smirked, “but I think they’d need a different Ophelia.”

“Please, the only thing holding me back is my appearance. Otherwise I could act her part perfectly.”

“Indeed. What a shame.”

“Did you develop a perverted streak on me while I was away?”

“Probably. You were gone for quite some time, after all.”

“I suppose I was. However, I’ll forgive you for your lecherous and filthy mind.”

“Oh you will, will you? What, may I ask, did I do to redeem myself?”

“You built me an amphitheater, for starters.”

“So I take it you like it?”

“Do you really have to ask.”