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Counting Up

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Masayoshi had not expected his first kiss with Gotou to go like this. Not that he'd expected a first kiss with Gotou at all, or even realized that kissing Gotou was a thing that he wanted to do until just a little while ago, but he certainly wouldn't have dreamed it to be while naked in the burned-out wreck of his apartment. Gotou's eyes were red-rimmed and exhausted, spent emotion leaving him sagged into Masayoshi's arms and Masayoshi realizing how real and true and deep his love ran.

Gotou's lips were dry and chapped, and Mari gagged from behind them.



“Look, Gotou-san,” Masayoshi said, breath fogging in the cold December air. “Snow!”

Gotou turned up his face to the sky. Sure enough, fat white flakes of powder were drifting slowly from the dark clouds above. It wasn't a surprise, the clouds had been heavy and fat with precipitation all day, but he would admit that the timing was impressive. “It snowed last Christmas Eve, didn't it?” Masayoshi nodded his head, grinning, his cheeks rosy with the cold.

“Masayoshi,” Gotou said, before he lost his courage. Masayoshi looked at him, and went very still when Gotou leaned in, and kissed him gently.



Masayoshi didn't know why he was keeping track at this point, except it was a fun thing for him to do. It was almost a training exercise in a way, to keep his focus when Gotou pushed him into the wall and kissed him intently (23rd), tasting still of whiskey and cigarettes; or by the time they were on the bed (27th), Masayoshi's knees tucked securely around Gotou's hips, sweat rolling from Gotou's hairline and dripping down onto him (31st).

“What are you doing?” Gotou murmured from the bed as Masayoshi stood in front of the closet, putting hashmarks into the small notebook he had purchased.

“Counting,” Masayoshi said, closing the notebook and tucking the pen into the spiral for safekeeping.

“Counting what?” Gotou's voice was drowsy, and Masayoshi crawled back into the bed beside him.

“How long do you think it'd take us to get to a thousand kisses?” Masayoshi asked seriously, and Gotou, sleepy and sated, laughed.

“I don't know,” he said, and ran his finger down Masayoshi's face, an affectionate gesture that made Masayoshi smile. “A few years?”

“We're at fifty-seven,” Masayoshi said.

“You're actually counting them?” Gotou sat up on his elbow, a little in disbelief. Masayoshi nodded his head earnestly, and Gotou sighed. “You're such a freak,” he muttered, then leaned over and drew Masayoshi's face closer. “Fifty-eight,” he said softly, and kissed him again.




“We should dance,” Masayoshi said, taking the champagne flute out of Gotou's hand and setting it on the table behind them. Gotou obliged him, because he always obliged Masayoshi, and anyway it was his wedding, after all. It was hard not to be aware of the eyes on them, but Masayoshi seemed oblivious as always, his attention for Gotou alone.

“What are we up to now?” Gotou asked, his hand on Masayoshi's waist.

Masayoshi chewed his lip, eyes bright. “Four hundred and fifty-three,” he said solemnly.

“You are a kissing monster,” Gotou said, and yielded the lead to Masayoshi. He leaned in close though, as if any of the other guests could even hear over the music. “I bet we get to five hundred by tomorrow.”

Masayoshi tilted his head, clearly considering this. “But we have to travel,” he said, “and-”

His words were cut off rudely by Gotou's mouth on his, teasingly light. “Only forty-six more to go,” he murmured, and Masayoshi had the good sense to go pink.



“Do kisses count if they're not on the lips?” Gotou asked thoughtfully. “Because if that's the case, we definitely passed one thousand by now.” He winced a little as Masayoshi's fingers curled around his skull, catching in his hair.

“Gotou-san,” Masayoshi wheezed. “Please don't talk with your mouth full.”

“It's not full,” Gotou said petulantly.

“Pay attention to what you are doing!”

“You're so needy,” Gotou teased his tongue up hot, velvety flesh and was rewarded with a shuddering moan from Masayoshi. “Lost count yet?” he asked innocently. Masayoshi yanked his hair.

“Seven hundred and eight-five,” Masayoshi said through gritted teeth.

“I'm not doing my job well enough if you can remember that,” Gotou said, and swallowed him down.



Masayoshi woke to Gotou's lips on his, warm and welcoming. “Good morning,” Masayoshi said sleepily, blinking up at his husband.

“Happy birthday,” Gotou said, sitting on the edge of the mattress, already dressed. “Sorry I have to work, but I'll make it up to you tonight, okay?”

“Mm,” Masayoshi said, burrowing in the covers and refusing to wake further.

Gotou smiled and reached over to table, flipping a well-worn notebook open and putting down a hash mark, then leaned over and kissed the top of Masayoshi's head. “Doesn't count,” he said, and turned the light off as he left.



It was raining, a slow cold fine rain that fell straight down from the sky. Gotou held the umbrella and Masayoshi ducked a little because it was really too small an umbrella for them to share. “You're sure,” Gotou said, and Masayoshi nodded his head.

“I kept detailed records!” He said this proudly, although Gotou did have cause to doubt his bookkeeping skills. It was the spirit of the thing that mattered, anyway. The apartment had long since been rebuilt and resold; so they stood outside the building in the autumn rain.

“Did you want to, I don't know,” Gotou was going to say, 'say something meaningful,' but Masayoshi instead just straight went in for the kill, hands on Gotou's face, kissing him deeply. Gotou's umbrella slipped through his nerveless fingers and fell to the ground at their feet.

“One thousand!” Masayoshi proclaimed, bangs plastered to his forehead with the rain. “How long do you think it would take us to get to ten thousand?” 

“Gimme that notebook, I'm going to burn it,” Gotou said.

“No, Gotou-sa-!”