“You two behave. Sousuke’s having dinner with us tonight.” Makoto told the twins. “No jumping all over him, okay?” They nodded in unison. The doorbell chimed and Makoto looked at the door. “That should be him.” He heard his mother answer the door, conversing with his boyfriend for a moment.
“Sousuke’s here, Makoto!” she yelled. The twins grinned and ran out of their brother’s room, eager to meet Sousuke.
The taller boy smoothed out his button down, fixed his hair in his mirror and followed his siblings down the stairs.
He and Sousuke had only been dating for a couple of months, a friendship fostering after the water gun fight at Samezuka that past summer. Sousuke was the epitome of tall, dark, and handsome but Makoto had found that the stoic had a heart a mile wide. Unlike Makoto’s more maternal nature, though, Sousuke protected those he loved like a loyal knight, preventing harm that he could and executing vengeance when he couldn’t. It was endearing, to say the least.
Coming down the stairs and seeing his boyfriend crouched and chatting with his siblings brought a smile to Makoto’s face. He was dressed in a dark blue sweater and khaki slacks. There was something inadvertently sexy about the muscles Makoto knew hid under those clothes. His cheeks reddened as his thoughts finally caught up to him. His family was right there. Teal eyes met green ones and Makoto’s breath caught in his throat. Then, Sousuke smiled that smile.
Makoto was not going to survive dinner. He knew it.
“So, Sousuke-kun, what are your plans after high school?” Makoto’s father asked. The teal eyed boy looked up from his curry.
“I want to study physiotherapy. Hopefully, I’ll be able to keep some athletes from making the same mistake I did.” He said, a sad smile on his face. Makoto lightly squeezed his hand under the table.
Makoto’s mother smiled. “That’s very admirable of you, Sousuke-kun. You and Makoto will probably have a lot of the same classes together then, hm?”
Sousuke chuckled, “I’m hoping so, Tachibana-san.” A thumb caressed the back of Makoto’s hand beneath the table.
“Oh, please. Yuko is fine.” Both parents liked him. That was wonderful.
“Okaa-san?” Their mother shifted her gaze from Sousuke to her younger son and daughter. Ren shyly continued, “Can I—can we ask Sousuke-kun something?” Oh no…Yuko opened her mouth to respond but Ran cut her off.
“What are your intentions with nii-chan?” Makoto choked on his curry while his parents laughed good-naturedly.
Makoto could see it now: Here Lies Tachibana Makoto – Killed by Embarrassment and Unresolved Sexual Tension…
“I am so sorry about the twins.” Makoto started, closing the door behind him. Sousuke looked up at him from the step below the Tachibana’s porch. Makoto hoped that his boyfriend thought the flush of his cheeks was from the cold.
Sousuke waved him off with a gloved hand. “It’s fine, Makoto. Really. I’m pretty sure they like me.” He pretended to think for a moment. “But there was that thing that Ran said to me when I first showed up…”
“What? What’d she say?” Unlike her twin, Ran had no qualms about saying what was on her mind, appropriate or otherwise. Makoto covered his face with his hands. Goodness, she could have said anything. “And after I told them to behave.” Sousuke smiled at his boyfriend’s antics. He pulled Makoto’s hands away from his face, placing them on his shoulders and his on Makoto’s waist.
“I’m kidding, babe.” Makoto rolled his eyes, bringing his hands to clasp around Sousuke’s neck. The porch light beautifully reflected in his teal eyes and for probably the hundredth time that night, Makoto’s heart began to race at the sight. He shook his head, thinking about the twins.
“I seriously never know with them. They are such a handful and it seems like as they get older—,” he was interrupted as Sousuke’s lips met his. His eyes widened for a moment before they fluttered shut, Sousuke pulling him closer. Makoto’s lips tingled as Sousuke ended the kiss.
“Have I ever told you that you talk too much?”
Makoto smiled, “Maybe. Is that always how you’ll shut me up?”
“I can think of other ways,” Sousuke whispered as he brought their lips together again.
“Onii-chan, you said you’d play with—onii-chan?” Makoto heard Ren gasp and then Ran giggle. He whipped around, eyes wide. “Mom! Onii-chan’s making out with Sou-chan on the porch!” Ran yelled as the twins ran back inside. Of course, they had chosen that moment to come outside. He sighed, turning back to Sousuke.
“I’ve gotta go. Are we still on for lunch tomorrow?”
“Of course. Oh! I, uh,” Sousuke reached inside his coat pocket, pulling out a small box. Makoto’s eyes widened. The teal eyed boy realized what he may have implied with the box. “Shit. I mean, that’s not, dammit. It’s just a Christmas gift. Sorry.” He shyly handed the box to Makoto.
A blush rose onto Makoto’s cheeks as he opened it, finding a woven bracelet inside. He blushed harder. If that was even possible. “Sousuke…”
“Rin taught me how to make it. I know it’s not much, but I wanted to give you something.”
“I didn’t even get you anything, Sousuke.” Makoto felt Sousuke’s arms wrap back around his waist again.
Smirking, he said, “You’re all the gift I need.”
Makoto groaned and covered his face. “You’re so embarrassing.” They shared one more kiss before Makoto reluctantly went back inside. He pressed the box to his chest, smiling.
“That was amazing.” Makoto drew circles lazily on Sousuke’s bare chest. Sousuke squeezed his boyfriend closer to him. Makoto could hear his heartbeat slowly steadily returned to its resting rate. Snow fell outside the green-eyed man’s Tokyo apartment.
Between all the assignments, essays, and exams he’d had at the end of the semester, Makoto had barely had a chance to see his boyfriend. Sousuke was working part-time at his father’s company while juggling classes as well. His employment was the only stipulation his father had requested for him to pay for Sousuke’s apartment and schooling.
“I don’t think I’ve come that hard in my entire life. Can we celebrate every Christmas with sex?”
“Sousuke!” Makoto sat up, sheets pooling around his waist. “You can’t just say stuff like that.”
“Oh, really?” He rolled over, pinning Makoto beneath him again. Sousuke leaned down to whisper in his ear. “That doesn’t even compare to all the stuff you were saying to me ten minutes ago.”
Makoto pushed weakly against Sousuke’s shoulders. “Come on, Sousuke. That’s not fair. Let me up.” Sousuke quickly pecked him on the lips before rolling back onto his place on the bed. Makoto swung his legs off the bed, grabbing a pair of boxers off the floor. They may have been Sousuke’s but it didn’t matter. “Sou?” he called from the kitchen.
Makoto grabbed a bag of chocolate candies. He smiled at the mini Christmas tree, plugged in on the counter. His apartment wasn’t large enough for a real one. “Do you want a snack?”
“Sure.” Makoto grabbed the box of gingerbread cookies he knew Sousuke liked. On his way back to his bedroom, the brunet hit his foot on the kitchen wall.
Makoto hissed as pain throbbed in his foot. “Yeah. Yeah, I’m fine. Just stubbed my toe.” He walked back to his room, nearly limping. Sousuke had sat up by the time he stumbled back into the room. He flopped onto the bed next to Sousuke, handing him the box of cookies. “I really need to get a bigger place.”
“My place is bigger.”
There was a beat of silence.
“Are you asking me to move in with you?”
Sousuke looked over at his boyfriend. “If you want.” Makoto brought his hand up to cup Sousuke’s cheek, kissing him softly.
“I’d love to, Sousuke.”
“I’m home!” Makoto yelled into the apartment. He took a deep breath, enjoying the coffee-less smell. The brunet wasn’t sure what it was about that day that made everyone and their mom want coffee and/or some sort of pastry. He and his co-workers, Nagisa and Rei had trouble filling all of the back-to-back orders, but they survived. After trekking back through Tokyo in near-blizzard weather all Makoto wanted to do was have a bath, eat dinner, and spend the rest of his night with his boyfriend. Maybe they could—
There was some clattering in the kitchen. “Just—just a second!” Sousuke shouted back. Then, quieter, “Will you hold still, please?”
Makoto shrugged off his coat and put his bag down, slowly walking towards their kitchen. “Sousuke?”
“Don’t come in the kitchen! Just wait on the couch.”
Hesitantly, he went over to the couch and sat down. “Are you sure you don’t need—,”
“Nope! I’m good.” There was more noise from the kitchen and muttered curses from Sousuke, then the teal eyed man finally emerged. His hair was ruffled and his shirt was wrinkled.
“Are you alright?”
“Yeah, just, um, yeah.” Sousuke plopped down next to his boyfriend, Makoto immediately wrapping his arms around the larger man.
“You wanna tell me what you were doing in the kitchen, Sou?”
“Gimme a minute.” Makoto smiled down as his boyfriend, running his hands through his short black hair. He sighed contentedly, momentarily forgetting about whatever was in the kitchen.
A high-pitched whine emitted from the kitchen. Makoto sat up, jostling Sousuke. “What was that?”
“Umm.” Sousuke got up and ran back into the kitchen. “Close your eyes.” He called.
“Just trust me.” Makoto shook his head but complied. “Hold out your hands.” As soon as warm, moving fur touched his hands, Makoto’s eyes flew open. A black kitten stared up at him, its blue eyes surprised at the other giant man holding him.
“Sousuke…He’s gorgeous.” The kitten leaned into Makoto’s hand, licking it as the man tried to pet him. “Aren’t you? Just the cutest little thing.”
“His name is Haruka.” Meow.
“I don’t think he likes that name, Sousuke.” Makoto cradled the kitten to his chest like a child.
“That’s what the lady at the shelter told me his name was.” Meeeeow.
“How about Haru? Hmm? You like that?” Haru purred lowly against Makoto. “See.”
“You really have a way with animals, babe. This guy apparently doesn’t like anyone.”
Makoto scratched underneath Haru’s chin. “He likes you.”
“I beg to differ.” The taller man held up his hands which were covered in angry, red scratches.
“Haru did that?”
“He really doesn’t like cages.” Meow. “I spent the whole day trying to get his bed and litter box set up. I didn’t realize getting a pet means you have to childproof the house.”
“What do you mean?”
Sousuke his head back, closing his eyes. “Notice anything missing from the couch?”
“…The throw pillows. Really?” Sousuke nodded. Makoto looked down at the kitten contendely rested on his chest. “Haru-chan, no.” Meeeow. “Don’t give me that.” Haru opened his eyes, wriggling out of Makoto’s hold and crawling into Sousuke’s lap. He patted at the man’s stomach with his paw.
One teal eye opened. “What?” Haru jumped off the couch, away from the two men.
“Where’s he going?”
“Probably to destroy something else.” Makoto quickly got up, following the kitten. He saw a black tail swish into the bathroom. Confused, he walked in to see Haru jumping to try to get in the bathtub.
“Did you give Haru a bath earlier?”
“Yeah, why?” Judging from how close his voice sounded, his boyfriend had gotten up from the couch as well.
“I think he wants to get back in the tub.” Makoto giggled. Sousuke leaned in the doorway next to him.
“Would you look at that. After all the trouble he gave me when I was bathing him.”
“Sounds like Haru-chan’s quite the character.” Meow. “Thank you, Sousuke.” Strong arms wrapped around his waist, Sousuke leaning his head on his shoulder.
“Merry Christmas, Makoto.”
“Mom and the twins said Merry Christmas. I told them we’ll be home a few days before New Year’s.”
“Great.” Makoto grabbed a cookie off of the kitchen counter. Life had been different after his dad died. He had considered asking Sousuke if he would mind moving back to Iwatobi after they finished college. All the way in Tokyo, Makoto didn’t feel like he could do enough to help his mom and the twins. No matter how much she protested, Makoto still sent part of his paycheck home, twice a month. The twins had just started middle school and were dealing with their grief better than their brother was, or if it was bothering them, they certainly didn’t show it when Makoto skyped them each week or when he was at home. Makoto didn’t know which of those was worse. He’d have to ask Sousuke about moving soon.
“Hey, babe, could you come here a sec?” Still eating his cookie, the brunet followed the sound of his boyfriend’s voice to the living room.
“Sousuke, we need to—,” He gasped when he saw Sousuke on one knee, holding “Haru?”
“Makoto, we’ve been together since high school and these past few years have been the best of my life. I know I don’t always say or do the right things. But you still love me anyways. I think.”
The green eyed man smiled “I do.”
“Tachibana Makoto, will you do me the honor of making me the happiest man in the world?” Makoto grinned.
“Of course I will, Sousuke.” Sousuke smiled that smile and Makoto’s heart fluttered. “But why are you holding Haru?”
“Oh. Um. The ring.” There was the ring, resting on Haru’s blue collar. Impatient with his two owners, Haru wriggled out of Sousuke’s hands, hightailing it to the bathroom. “Haru! What the hell?”
“I have never known a cat to love water as much as Haru-chan loves it.”
“Well, I’m just glad you said yes.” Makoto wrapped his arms around his now fiancé’s neck.
“I don’t think I could have said anything else. I love you.”
“I love you, too, Makoto. Merry Christmas.” Sousuke pressed his lips gently too Makoto’s, pulling away after a moment.
“Merry Christmas, Sousuke.”