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Birthday in Bed?

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   For Makoto, being ill on his birthday, while certainly unfortunate, wouldn’t have been a big deal. But when that birthday fell on the day of a crucial midterm and in-class presentation, he couldn’t perceive the predicament as anything other than punishment. There he was, unmoving in bed, consciousness waving up and down to painful head throbs that felt like needles jabbing his skull. Yep, definitely punishment. The better part of him wanted to get up and power through the day, sickness or not. He had tried sitting up, tried slipping out of bed and onto the floor, but every bit of movement spiked the pain. Makoto was dealing with one of the worst headaches in recent memory. Or was it a migraine? As if he could tell.

Makoto had done this to himself. His part-time job as a student cashier at the university fitness center, while enjoyable, was stressful enough without him making things harder. Then he accepted extra shifts at his boss's request. It was an on-campus job, so surely his boss would have understood Makoto rejecting in favor of academic commitments, but other students had already done that, leaving the center short staffed. Makoto had been, technically, available and able to do the work, suggesting otherwise wouldn’t have felt right. Maybe he wanted to eliminate any impending guilt on his end, maybe he believed he could handle the extra work. Either way, despite the risks, despite common sense, he agreed, and he was paying for it in the fullest way. Not only was Makoto a weak sack of muscle and bones, his lunch date with Haru—the one thing he wanted to live for—wouldn't be happening.

Makoto felt a sharp pressure at the back of his head and winced as he rolled onto his side, reaching for the cell phone on his nightstand. Unlike most days, Makoto decided not to scold himself for every indiscretion. He was self-aware, but he also wasn't stupid. The last thing he needed to do was dig himself a hole of regret. He had people to contact, things to straighten out. He could lament his misfortune later. 

Makoto called in sick to work and dialed his professors to schedule make-ups. Then he opened the text he had received from Haru the previous night and pondered over a response. Whether it be the headache or the fact that this was the fourth time in the past two weeks he had to cancel on Haru, Makoto felt absolutely terrible, like he had failed his boyfriend and the entire world around them. A simple sorry, I’m sick wasn't going to cut it. Setting the phone on his chest as he rolled onto his back, Makoto closed his eyes, hoping words of substance would enter his mind naturally. Instead, he remembered the smile on Haru's face from the other day when Haru dropped by unannounced and they talked about birthday plans.

 "I'm sorry. I'm sorry," Makoto whispered, hoping those wouldn't be the only two words he would be capable of saying.

———  

Makoto woke some time later to the feel of his phone vibrating on his chest. His body stiffened to the light sensation, triggering a sharp, crashing head throb. He grabbed the device in spite and carefully rolled onto his side, pushing the duvet down to his waist, desperate to relieve the damp heat on his back. Checking the phone, he saw a new text from Haru.

12:17pm

where are you?

2:40pm

i’m coming over

Makoto's heart leaped from his chest and he left his pillow with a start, gritting his teeth and holding his head as the pain struck again. He had told Haru he wasn't coming, he thought he had anyway. Scrolling up the conversation, he couldn't find his message. Then he realized that he didn't remember writing one, that he had only thought of doing so before dozing off. Nice job, Makoto!

It was 3pm on the dot. He scrambled for something to say, shaky thumbs hovering over the on-screen keyboard that was, really, too small for his fingers. He and Haru usually met up on Tuesdays and Thursdays for lunch at the cafe they frequented, about 10 minutes by tram, 20 on foot from either of their schools. With it being Makoto's birthday, they had decided on a new restaurant just up the street that specialized in curry. 

He thought of Haru sitting alone at the restaurant, waiting for him, worrying about him. You screwed up, Makoto chided himself. His body went cold and hollow, his heart, a dark mass of remorse. How could he let this happen?

The front door unlatched and opened. Immediately, the overcast autumn daylight from outside cut through Makoto's nightlight lit apartment. If he weren't living in a small one-room space, he would have freaked, wondering who was at the door, if the door was even opening, or if his imagination was betraying him again. He instantly recognized the slender yet strong silhouette in the doorway—only one person had a copy of his key. The door closed, re-enveloping the room in its dim light as footsteps advanced into the room.

 The main light clicked on, revealing Haru, bundled in a jacket and scarf, at the end of the low table parallel the bed, his raised hand just leaving the pull chain. In Haru's other hand were three plastic shopping bags one of whose logo belonged to the drugstore just a minutes walk from the apartment complex.

“Hey,” Haru greeted, expression neutral as always. He shuffled between the bed and the table and set the bags down before turning focus to Makoto. 

This might have been a dream, Makoto thought, because there was no way Haru would be there, prepared for the situation, unless their ability to read each other had evolved into telepathy. No. Makoto, you're sick. Stop it!

"Ha-Haru, I'm so...so sorry." Makoto stammered but didn't panic as he normally would have. He didn't have the energy for his own hysteria, he felt too awful about everything. He looked up at Haru with unwavering eyes. "I woke up with a headache. I meant to text you this morning, I really did, but I fell asleep again before I could."

Makoto’s head pulsed again. Clutching the lap of his pants, under the duvet so Haru couldn’t see, Makoto tried to keep his facial features straight but failed by the squint of his eyes.

Haru narrowed his gaze, making clear he wouldn’t be turned away, not by Makoto telling him he was okay or by a suggestion that the headache was due to stress and should pass with a day’s worth of sleep. Haru sat on the edge of the bed and reached to feel Makoto’s forehead with the back of his hand.

“Lay down,” Haru demanded.

Taking Makoto by the shoulders, Haru led him back to the pillow. Makoto didn't refuse, he couldn't. He half-expected Haru to leave the bed afterward, but Haru stayed with his hands on Makoto's shoulders, frowning down at him like Makoto owed him answers. He did, and yet, Makoto was the one with questions.

“How did you find out I’m sick?” Throwing out the telepathy theory, the fact that Haru had stopped by, prepared to nurse him, was a mystery too big to ignore.

Haru looked off to the side, loosening the blue scarf around his neck, the scarf Makoto had given him for Christmas that past year. Haru almost never wore scarves, or even a heavy, buttoned jacket like the one he was wearing now, no matter how cold the weather would get. Due to Haru's unearthly desire to dive into a body of water at first sight, Haru simply disliked wearing layers. Anything he couldn't easily strip out of was an indisputable no. Makoto had bought Haru the scarf for that reason. He knew if he gifted it, Haru would feel more inclined to wear it. But that Haru wore the scarf, without Makoto needing to nag him, spelled precaution more than practicality.

Haru sat up and lowered his head, as though trying to rest his cheek on his shoulder. “When I came over the other day, I’d just recovered from a headache. So I thought maybe I’d gotten you sick.” His ears grew rosy and he turned his body away.

Makoto's eyes widened as if he had realized something significant, though he was mostly confused. He was no medical expert, but he was pretty sure headaches weren't contagious. Haru hadn't been coughing or sniffling that day, so catching a headache-triggering symptom from Haru was unlikely. Makoto was certain his condition resulted from stress and overwork. If anything, he had contracted something at school. None of it was Haru's fault.

“Haru-”

“Anyway,” Haru interrupted. “You may have a slight temperature.” He stood from the bed and sifted through the drug store bag, retrieving a pack of cooling patches and a water bottle. 

“Don’t you still have class today? And training…” Makoto asked. 

He wasn't going to lecture Haru on why he should be at school and not with him, but Makoto had to, at least, try pushing Haru away, as harsh as that sounded. If not only because he was feeling guilty after learning that Haru had been sick and he hadn't been there to care for him.

Haru sighed, “I don’t have training, and I didn’t plan on going to class.”

“But Haru—”

Makoto's words were snuffed by a glare as Haru resettled on the bed and placed the bottled water near Makoto's head on the pillow.

“I guess I have to give in, huh.” Makoto gave a faint, if not nervous, smile and watched as Haru took out a slip from the box and peeled it open.

Haru held Makoto’s bangs back and applied the patch like a bandage across Makoto’s forehead. “You always give in.” His glare abated and his entire expression softened. 

“Yeah…” Makoto closed his eyes and exhaled slowly, letting the refreshing, minty feeling of the patch do its work.

"You haven't eaten, right?" Haru pulled off his scarf and unbuttoned his jacket. "I'll make something, so relax for now."

Makoto felt Haru leave the bed. By the time he opened his eyes again, Haru was at Makoto’s closet across the way, hanging his jacket and scarf. He then retrieved the bags from the table and headed into the kitchen. Makoto took another long breath and closed his eyes. This time he wouldn’t feel bad about falling asleep.

 ———  

A half hour later, Makoto woke to a tap on the shoulder and Haru watching over him with concerned eyes offset by a soft smile. With the scent of menthol in his nostrils, an overall fresh feeling in his head and chest, Makoto's senses were clearer, though he felt a little drowsy, eyes still coated in heat.

“Want your soup in bed or at the table?” Haru asked.

With his boyfriend standing over him, Makoto couldn't help but want to get out of bed, to be beside Haru, doing whatever Haru was going to do.

 “At the table,” Makoto smiled and slowly sat up, passively dreading a surprise wave of pain.

He shifted his legs over the side of the bed when Haru's extended hand caught his attention. Makoto naturally accepted, and their joined hands squeezed in confirmation. He didn't want to think too deeply about the contact, but it was nearly impossible for Makoto not to marvel at it. Not only were their usual roles switched, Haru had, essentially, become his nurse. Supposing Makoto couldn't stand, being that the table was mere inches away, he could have simply crouched onto the floor. Haru didn't have to do anything, and usually, he wouldn't, knowing Makoto's decent stamina and sturdy body. Makoto wasn't questioning his boyfriend's kindness, but something was…off.

As Makoto stood, another bout of throbbing hit him. Though milder than before, the sensation still made his face tighten. Unexpectedly, he felt Haru's slender fingers graze the sides of his face before rubbing circles into his temples, right where he needed it. Makoto's body loosened instantly as though Haru, through touch alone, had dispelled the minor ache. If Haru sang a lullaby and tucked him back in bed, Makoto would safely call it a mother's touch; a silly thought, yes, but Haru was every definition of love to him—as weird as others might interpret that. The massage continued for a minute, but it seemed longer as if Haru was willing to go all day. Makoto chuckled at the thought, lips breaking into a grin. There was nothing "off" about this.

"It's your birthday," Haru chuckled back, hands leaving Makoto's face. "You're getting more than this."

“Aw, Haru, you really don’t have to go out of your way.”

"But I should. I'm your boyfriend." Haru's features smoothed into an almost unreadable face. He was evidently teetering on irritation but wanted to mask it with a more welcoming facade.

Haru was freer with his expressions when they were alone together, but he purposely dialed back whenever Makoto said something too obvious or disagreeable by Haru standards. Maybe that something was obvious to Haru, but not entirely to Makoto. 

“Well, I’m your boyfriend too, but you didn’t tell me you were sick a few days ago.” The words tumbled from Makoto’s mouth, and right then, he realized how unnerved he truly was about the issue. The mood between them had darkened, and he couldn’t stop it.

Haru knew about Makoto's extra work hours and had probably decided not to contact Makoto for that very reason. If their situations had been switched, Makoto would have done the same. But still, he could have done a number of things for Haru—send him a get-well note, buy him medicine, massage his head, anything. He had to be there for his boyfriend, and the fact that he hadn't been, regardless of circumstance, left him feeling like his heart was being chipped at.

“I wish I could’ve been there for you.” Makoto’s voice fell thin, about to give way to the pending lump in his throat.

Haru’s lips sank into a frown and his eyes deepened with concern. “I know. I’m sorry.”

The response gave Makoto pause. He thought Haru would counter him, rightfully point out that he kept things from Haru was well. Yet there Haru was, showing remorse, eyes seeking Makoto’s instead of falling down and away.

"I felt terrible when you didn't show up." Haru continued, fingers curling into a loose fist. "I didn't know what happened but, for some reason, I started thinking of the worst scenarios, that maybe you'd gotten hurt and I wasn't there for you. I don't want to make you feel that way, ever. So, I'll be better about telling you things."

A knot finally formed in Makoto's throat. The tremble in Haru's voice sounded like it could have been his own. It was. They had both been feeling the same, worrying about the same things at the same time. In just the past year, since starting college, they had gone from taking each other for granted to wondering about each other every minute they weren't together. Sure, they made the effort to contact each other whenever possible, but texts and phone calls only made them miss each other more. Call them love sick puppies, but this was their reality.

They were independent young men whose hearts were irrevocably bonded, and feelings of love and longing couldn't be controlled. It wasn't that either of them was too prideful to accept help from the other. They just didn't want to inconvenience each other by being—what they perceived as—needy. And yet, they couldn't force themselves to be self-reliant and expect to have a healthy relationship. They were both aware of that, but in the moment, Haru was the one exposing their flaws with his words, letting them dissolve in the air. Haru saw their issue for what it was, a simple problem that called for a simple solution. In a blink, he mended everything. Intentionally or not, Haru did it, and it was beautiful.

There weren’t many ways Makoto could have responded, not with his stuttering heart and slack-jawed expression effectively impairing him from speech. Yet, as his heart drummed in his ears, he couldn’t stay quiet. He was falling in love with Haru all over again.

“Haru, have I ever told you that I love you?”

"Plenty." Haru's lips pursed slightly as his cheeks flourished pink. His evasive eyes said shut up, but the hand that wrapped around Makoto's wrist said I love you too.

Makoto, free of discretion, leaned forward and laid a kiss on Haru’s bangs. “I’ll be better about telling you things too.”

Things?” Haru cupped his own chin and eyed Makoto intently. “Like your birthday wish?”

Makoto tilted his head. “Birthday wish?”

From the looks of things, Haru was referring to something Makoto knew or should have known. He traveled as far back as recent memory would let him, but he couldn't remember mentioning birthday wishes, much less what he would have wished for. Birthday wishes were secrets, made on the day of one's birthday, Makoto reasoned. If he had asked for a particular gift, as Haru was implying, then it wasn't really a wish. 

Haru gave a nonchalant sigh. “You’ll find out later.”

Though Makoto considered himself a relatively patient person, there was no way he couldn't wonder about something he should have known. His curiosity was mild at best, but it stayed with him longer than he wanted. Even when they sat at the table with their bowls of miso and cups of tea, Makoto couldn't stop wondering.

He studied Haru from the other side of the table. For the first few minutes, things were normal as they sipped their miso in silence. Then, for a split second, Haru's features perked and, in an uncharacteristic motion, he grabbed his cellphone from the table and checked it. He tapped and scrolled for a good minute before setting the device down. Haru noticed Makoto's fixated eyes and countered with a questioning gaze of his own—deflection at its finest. Ultimately, Makoto chose not to push the subject.

After their meal, Makoto took pain relievers and freshened with a quick shower and change of clothes. Extra hours of sleep combined with Haru’s care had Makoto feeling fine, minus the minor motion pains, but even those weren’t making him grimace anymore. Once the pills kicked in, the sensation dissipated altogether. Makoto made sure to drink the water Haru brought him and noticed a few more bottled waters lined on the kitchen counter. Little things like that made Makoto’s heart swell with joy.

Sitting at the edge of his bed, Makoto stared into the kitchen, admiring Haru’s poised profile as the guy washed dishes, donning Makoto’s rarely worn apron. Just like a wife, um, husband. Haha, no. Makoto checked himself, knowing such a leap wasn’t healthy.

As though he had heard Makoto’s inner dialogue, Haru peered at Makoto over the shoulder. “Why aren’t you lying down?”

Makoto had no immediate verbal response, but he smiled and continued staring as though Haru hadn’t just transmitted a serious warning. He raised the near empty bottled water to his face, indicating the reason he wasn’t lying down.  

“I’m drinking water.” 

Haru huffed and turned to his task. “Get more rest, you’ll need it.”

Of course, Makoto needed more rest, that went without saying, but Haru's mystery plan was the real issue. Makoto couldn't decide if he felt anxious or excited. It clearly wasn't a simple cake and card type of deal. With Haru, the surprise could have been a variety of things, but expectedly something peculiar, given Haru's eccentricities. Makoto only hoped it didn't involve water or mackerel in a significant way. God, please no.

All Makoto could do was guess as he lay down, daydreaming the possibilities. Maybe Haru would finally let Makoto carry him princess-style, or maybe Haru would let Makoto call him Haru-chan for the rest of the day. Haru consistently opposed both ideas in the past, but it was Makoto's birthday, so why not?

The fun of guessing came to an abrupt halt when the scene of a naked Haru bursting out of a giant birthday cake (an actual cake) came to mind. Please, not that either!

——— 

Makoto woke for the third time to a hot whisper in his ear and soft lips kissing along his jawline, down to the side of his neck. Slowly opening his eyes, Makoto registered the soft hair brushing his chin, the moist tongue tracing his clavicle, the heat weighing on him. The pieces clicked rather quickly. He had been in this position many times before, but experience couldn't stop him from shuddering with thrill and anticipation, goosebumps sweeping his skin. Combing a hand through Haru's locks, Makoto breathed his boyfriend's name and let his eyes wander from the ceiling to the body against him. Inching his head from the pillow, he was greeted by the sight of a nearly naked Haru astride him, legs folded and stocking clad.

Makoto froze, mind and body, before reality hit him. Haru was wearing white stockings! He noted the lace trims around Haru's thighs, the garter clasps leading to Haru's waist. As Haru shifted down and continued his trail of kisses to Makoto's chest, unbuttoning the red flannel, Makoto noticed the white lace headband arching the top of his boyfriend's midnight hair. 

The stockings and headband were familiar and may have matched one of the french-maid costumes Makoto had browsed for online a while back. His fantasy of Haru in a maid getup had been alive for some time, and he contemplated making it happen, though he knew if he bought a costume, he couldn't possibly gather the courage to ask Haru to wear it. Yet and still, whatever the likelihood, Makoto couldn't give the fantasy up. He was glad he didn't.

Makoto breathed deeply in a useless effort to calm his pounding heart as Haru's hands swept the sides of his frame, lips trailing over his firm abs and staying there. Normally, Makoto would have melted into a puddle under Haru's touches by then, but the excitement of seeing Haru dressed for service made Makoto hyper-aware of his own blood flow, how it was rushing below, far too fast.

Haru’s lips returned to Makoto’s clavicle and paused. Just when Makoto brought his hands to caress Haru’s bare shoulders, Haru sat up, giving Makoto full view of his costume. Save for the headband, stockings, and a skinny black choker, Haru was nude under a see-through white lace apron. Makoto remembered some type of frilly dress, or at least a petticoat, under the apron, but he couldn't say he was disappointed. He couldn’t imagine his boyfriend bothering with extra clothing anyway. The accessories only, lingerie maid before him was sexier, freer, and very…Haru.

Makoto's eyes skimmed down, where they met another lovely surprise—Haru's cock already tenting the apron. At some point, Haru had slipped on a condom, as though he wanted to spare Makoto's bedsheets for once. Makoto thought to wear one too, but Haru's ass was, literally, holding him down. Haru, picking up on Makoto's concern, swayed his hips, grinding himself on Makoto's desperate groin. Neither of them was moving for anything.

Makoto’s cock pulsed under Haru and he knew Haru felt it too when his face reddened and those ocean blue eyes narrowed in a steamy gaze. Haru sunk more of his weight onto Makoto’s center as he curved his back, planting his hands on Makoto’s abdomen. With a controlled breath, Haru closed his eyes and stayed in position, giving Makoto permission to do what he wanted, for now.

Honoring Haru's restraint, though he had enough of his own to exercise, Makoto admired the skimpy costume. He caressed Haru's knee and inched up, feeling Haru's skin through the thin lace trim. Both hands then stroked Haru's smooth thighs, intermittently fingering the garter clasps before they advanced to the hips and slid around to grip Haru's shapely ass.

“I didn’t know this was my birthday wish.” Makoto’s voice was husky and warm. It was a wonder he could formulate words, as dazed as he was by Haru’s appearance and the whole scenario in general.

"Sure you did." Haru opened his eyes, that gaze now sultry and piercing. If lust hadn't already taken Makoto, that face would have broken him immediately.

"Did I?" Makoto questioned, tilting his head as his hands continued fondling Haru's smooth rear.

A smirk of satisfaction surfaced Haru's lips, as though he had just recalled something amusing. Makoto, however, was a little too preoccupied to worry about it. "Remember the other week when we had a few drinks?"

Oh. Makoto's hands paused and his face stiffened. Yes, he remembered. Well, he remembered most of it. Two weeks earlier, he had had his first drink of alcohol, and it was thanks to Haru, really. The day prior, after a long study session, Makoto's senpai from school had left an opened bottle of sake in the fridge, telling Makoto he could keep it. Makoto had no idea what he would do with a half-empty bottle. He still had a year before he reached legal drinking age, and he had never taken interest in alcohol, so his natural course of action (or inaction) was to leave the bottle alone. When Haru visited the following day and noticed the bottle, he somehow persuaded Makoto to try it with him. Haru had tasted sake before, sometimes cooked with it, but he had never had a proper drink of the stuff. They poured a minimal amount into two small tea cups, toasted, and downed the rice wine. Haru was done after the first go, but Makoto, swaddled by the warmth and exhilaration sprouting through him at first bitter taste, went in hesitantly for another, and another, and another, until he could no longer feel the stress of college life—exam after exam, endless studying. Before Makoto knew it, he was more than buzzed, may have even been drunk.

 "You were out of it and started browsing for maid outfits on amazon," Haru added. "You said you wanted me to wear one for your birthday, then you passed out. So I made a purchase and had it shipped to my dorm."

Makoto’s face went hot. He fought hard to keep his hands from covering his face because doing so would make his embarrassment more apparent, not that leaving his flustered mien exposed wasn’t already doing that. He had to exert his nervous energy someway, and after thinking himself in circles, he opted for distraction. Makoto gripped Haru’s thighs and stared at Haru’s defined nipples showing through the apron, and instantly, his inebriated act became less of a problem as excitement refueled him.

"You look amazing," Makoto cooed, hands slipping under Haru's garter again. He felt himself growing harder and drew a long breath as if that could tame his arousal.

"But…a maid?" Haru breathed, caressing Makoto's firm abs in short sweeps. "You couldn't be more creative?"

"I'm a normal boy with normal fetishes," Makoto said in a singsong tone, like he was proud of the fact.

“You’re not normal.” Haru applied pressure on Makoto’s crotch again, making him writhe and groan for a moment.  

Any guy would be hard when his impossibly sexy boyfriend was grinding on him, so Makoto knew Haru was referring to his bigger-than-average size. "I-I g-guess a nurse costume would've been more appropriate," Makoto uttered weakly.

Of course, Makoto couldn't have known he would fall ill, so he couldn't have thought to pick a nurse costume based on the fact. Regardless of logic, the comment was worth derailing focus from his manhood—a topic Makoto would rather drop before memories of humiliating middle school in-class erections spoiled the mood.

"I can still take care of you as a maid." Though the words alone implied nothing beyond a simple response, Haru's voice which dipped into a low whisper and eyes simmering in a passionate stare, made clear he was dealing out sexy talk. "You know, sex is a great remedy for headaches," Haru added, hovering over Makoto, hands planted on either side, above Makoto's shoulders.

“It is?” Makoto’s brows raised. This was news to him. He considered telling Haru that his pain was mostly gone, but that also would have spoiled the mood.

Haru sighed. “I looked it up earlier.”

“Ah…” Makoto recalled how odd it was when Haru checked his phone while they were eating.

“Don’t move,” Haru shifted to Makoto’s thighs. “Just feel.” 

In other words, Haru would be doing everything; Makoto supposed he was okay with that. He couldn't make promises about keeping still though. After Haru pulled Makoto's sweatpants and briefs to the knees, he inched up the mattress, re-situating himself on Makoto's center as he lifted the hem of the apron and caught it between his teeth, unveiling his erection. Haru angled his waist so the tips of their cocks touched, and from that brief contact, a floaty feeling empowered Makoto, much like the hot, liberating embrace he had felt after several shots of wine. Sex with Haru might have always been that way, but Makoto could finally draw the relation.

The next Makoto knew, Haru had retrieved a bottle of lubricant and began stroking Makoto's cock, distributing the substance along the swollen length. Haru lifted slightly on his knees and reached down his front, rubbing lube on his underside. With a shallow sigh, Haru lowered onto Makoto's erection. The hot, moist contact pumped Makoto with suspense and he placed his hands on Haru's thighs.

"Don't even think about trying something," Haru warned, swaying his underside over Makoto's cock.

The motion drew a gasp from Makoto as he twitched in delight beneath Haru's firm scrotum and smooth underside. Haru continued the slick motion, back and forth, unraveling Makoto from the inside out and vice-versa as a surge of heady sensation curled in his increasingly tender body. It was their first time doing this particular method, and it felt better than any other time they had rubbed against each other. Maybe because Haru had always been under Makoto when they had sex, Makoto never fully realized how hot and soft Haru's inner thighs were, softer than he expected from Haru's tight, muscular build.

Haru moaned through his teeth, quickening his seamless motion, burning away the discomfort Makoto may have felt from his erection awkwardly pressing against his belly. Tremors raced to Makoto's groin. He could feel himself rising to a peak, cock leaking onto his stomach. As stirring as the friction was, it wasn't enough for either of them. The frustration in Haru's face, his tightened lips and furrowed brows, as he stroked his own cock and continued grinding on Makoto was too apparent to ignore. Makoto couldn't lay there and not do anything.

Makoto sat up, propping himself by the hands. He placed a feathery kiss on Haru's lips and ran a thumb over the soft area, coaxing him to release the hem from his teeth.

“Turn around,” Makoto whispered, sliding a hand under Haru, tapping his entrance.

Haru's already flushed face brightened in color, and with a nod he complied, turning onto his knees, thighs spread and ass out. He rested the side of his head on the furled duvet, clutching the material in both hands. Makoto stripped off his shirt and pants and rose to his knees. His long fingers slipped into Haru, but before he could massage him, Haru, deep in need, moaned for Makoto to go in.

And so without a word or wasted thought, he pushed into Haru, sliding in, all the way, with a single, steady thrust. A groan left Haru on impact and Makoto paused as his body washed over in pleasure, adjusting to Haru's welcoming, tight heat. Haru had prepared for him, as he usually did, and the fact of it impassioned Makoto more so. At Haru's desperate plea for movement, Makoto gripped Haru's hips and thrust back in, filling his boyfriend with a rush of delicious penetration as a sweltering energy rocked Makoto over and over, keeping him vulnerable, yet unhinged in his motions. Makoto couldn't help glancing at their union, how the white garter framing Haru's ass made the connection so much more exotic, nearly otherworldly. He never thought of making love to an angel, but this had to be close to it. Even as Haru, opened himself for Makoto, made lewd sounds with every plunge, he was still the purest person Makoto could ever know. Someone so unassuming and true to themselves, who possessed a natural balance of frankness and sensitivity, couldn't be anything but pure.

Makoto hunched over and eased a hand under the front of the apron, grazing Haru's nipples before teasing them between his fingers. Haru's muscles clenched around Makoto, keeping him deep inside, inviting him further in. Makoto was almost undone, spiraling into delirium, as if he wasn't already a goner. Makoto continued pounding into Haru, drawing out a beautiful mess of gasps and cries. Leaning in to close the space between his chest and Haru's back, Makoto licked the curve of his ear, biting gently before kissing the side of his face. Haru moaned sharply as his whole body shuddered, muscles clenching tighter on Makoto, locking him in this time. Makoto paused and reached around to feel if Haru had released. Of course, since Haru was wearing a condom such a thing was difficult to tell without looking. Before Makoto could, Haru lifted on his hands, his ecstasy wrecked face turning to glance at Makoto over the shoulder.

"Keep going," Haru insisted, breathless. 

When Haru relaxed, Makoto dove in, hitting his boyfriend’s pleasure spot repeatedly, until they spasmed in release and collapsed onto the mattress. A minor pain pricked Makoto’s head but dissipated without reaction. They spooned for minutes, maybe an hour, immersed in the afterglow. Everyday words and thoughts, the prospect of leaving the bed, couldn’t have been further from Makoto’s mind, and it clearly was in Haru’s case too as he kissed the beads of sweat on Makoto’s forehead and brow. A faint, salty taste skimmed Makoto’s tongue at their casually joined lips. Just a minute more, Makoto thought, wishing to prolong every breath, every second. It was hard to believe his birthday wasn’t over yet.

———

After a bath together, Haru started on dinner, insisting Makoto get more rest. Haru had offered to remain in his costume for the evening, but Makoto humbly refused. He feared restraint would become an unfathomable concept if Haru wore so little while cooking, or simply walking about the place. Though Makoto often concealed it, he was horny enough without being pushed to his limit.

And it was a good thing Makoto refused, because shortly after they finished their bath, he received a call from his parents and younger siblings wishing him a happy birthday. Ren and Ran wanted to skype, so Makoto spoke with them for a good twenty minutes. Apparently, Ren had a crush on a girl in his class whom he was too shy to talk to. Makoto offered a few pointers, though he wondered if his advice would be useful. Makoto had never developed romantic feelings for anyone other than Haru, so he didn't know how it felt to crush on someone who was, practically, a stranger. Haru eventually left the stove with the fire on low and joined Makoto who was sitting against the bed, laptop on the table. After waving hi to the cheerful twins on screen, Haru listened in with little reaction, save for the furious blush that crept on his face when Makoto's parents, who were apparently preparing dinner in the kitchen, could be heard thanking Haru for taking care of Makoto. Ran's joke about them resembling a married couple didn't help matters.

Right after speaking with the family, a skype call came in from Nagisa and Rei. The four of them chatted about the swim club. Eight of the fourteen members who tried the club that semester had decided to stay, giving Nagisa and Rei the task of deciding their relay team. Having so many members was a blessing, Rei expressed, but it also made him and Nagisa miss the simpler days with just the four of them. Their conversation nearly took a nostalgic turn when, out of left field, Nagisa pointed out Haru and Makoto's damp hair.

 “Did you two just shower together?” Nagisa winked.

Makoto was willing to ignore the comment, but Haru just had to chime in, his manner blunt and surprisingly defensive, as if he thought showers were a thing of evil. "We took a bath."

 Nagisa’s eyes brightened, “That’s right! Haru-chan prefers baths. But isn’t the tub too small for both of you?” The question seemed innocent enough, but they all knew Nagisa just wanted the dirty details.

 Haru shrugged. “We make it work.”

 "Haru!" Makoto's shoulders sunk, forehead falling into the palm of his hand. It couldn't be helped. It really couldn't.

Nagisa's eyes beamed, almost in gratitude that Haru was willing to talk about such things, even if only in a minimal way. "You know, sometimes Rei-chan and I do that too!"

"Nagisa-kun!" Rei burned red with mortification, grabbing Nagisa by the shoulders, shaking him like a doll. "Why are you sharing that information?!"

Nagisa giggled and placed a hand over Rei's on his shoulder, expressing no evident concern for his boyfriend's embarrassment. "Why not? It's just Haru-chan and Mako-chan."

Rei backed off, took a breath, crossed his arms, and adjusted his glasses. "I'd appreciate you asking me before sharing what we do behind closed doors."

Nagisa rested a chin on Rei’s shoulder, hugging the guy’s arm. “Then, can I have permission?”

Makoto and Haru bit back laughter at the hopeless scene. Normally, Rei managed to preserve some level of composure (though never entirely) at the onslaught of surprises that slipped from Nagisa's mouth; details of their intimate life seemed to be a hard exception, and Makoto couldn't blame Rei. Even so, it was amusing to be reunited with such a familiar sight. Nagisa drew a chuckle out of Rei, burrowing his head against Rei's shoulder, that ever-loving smile still on his lips. Their dynamic was as healthy as ever.

After the skype session, Haru served their dinner for the night—green curry, Makoto's favorite. They were ready to eat, their meal and tea before them, when Haru, without warning, crossed into Makoto's space, retrieved Makoto's bowl and spoon and straddled himself on Makoto's lap.

Makoto’s heart stuttered, face blooming with heat. This was something newlyweds did, he was sure! “Wha-What brought this on?”

Yes, it was his birthday. Yes, Haru was being extra indulgent with him, but neither explained his boyfriend's unprovoked advance. When they weren't having sex, or close to it, Haru's display of affection was subtle at best. The maid outfit was one thing. Haru sitting on his lap wasn't something Makoto thought he could get his hopes up for.   

“It was the other part of your wish.” Haru averted his eyes to the bowl of curry and rice in his hands. “You wanted me to sit on your lap and feed you, dressed as a maid. That’s why I said I’d keep it on if you wanted me to.” 

“It’s fine.” Makoto chuckled with his closed-eyed smile, brushing his curled fingers against Haru’s cheek. “I got the first part of my wish. Sex with Maid Haru.”

Haru lowered his head, refusing to address the comment. His silence could only have meant that something had gone wrong, or had, at least, been misinterpreted on Makoto's part. Makoto began questioning his own wish. Haru had a strong inclination for sex, maybe just as strong as his passion for water, so they made love regularly. But if Makoto were to wish for anything, it would be for something he never had or didn't get very often. Wanting Haru in a maid outfit was totally believable, undeniable, and fit perfectly with his earlier hypothetical wishes. But sex? Unless Haru…  

Ah, it makes sense.  

Makoto caressed the side of Haru’s arm. “You added sex, didn’t you?” he asked playfully, a conceited smile on his lips. He knew he was right. 

Haru looked up again, giving no signs of irritation or embarrassment, just a blank face. Makoto thought Haru might retract the offer to feed him, so he was stunned when Haru shoved a spoonful of curry and rice into his mouth, stainless steel grazing his teeth as it passed through.  

"You seem better," Haru grumbled, blue eyes glaring with a threat so strong, it almost made the deep ocean seem like a safe haven. But Makoto was too happy to flinch. 

Chewing the food, Makoto savored the tender chicken pieces and the sauce which provided the perfect balance of salty and sweet, even after he swallowed. 

Makoto's features relaxed and he rested his hands on Haru's hips. He noticed the personal birthday cupcake placed near the teapot in the center of the table—chocolate with green-colored frosting, topped with a cute orca ornament. Haru must have picked it up when he purchased the pain relievers. And the curry, Haru had made it because they had planned to eat at a curry restaurant. The day's events swathed Makoto in warm emotion, as though Haru was protecting his heart, nurturing his spirit. No, Haru was doing those things, he always had. This was the first birthday Makoto was spending away from his family, away from Iwatobi, but nothing felt missing. 

With his sight growing misty, Makoto rested his forehead on Haru's shoulder, surrendering to a thudding chest, a tightening throat. "Thank you for being here, for taking care of me, for the surprises. I'm glad we talked about our problems too…" 

“Yeah.” Reaching back, Haru placed the bowl on the table before running a hand through Makoto’s olive brown hair, the other caressing his neck. “Happy Birthday, Makoto.” 

"Thank you," Makoto whispered again and again, though he knew it wasn't enough to express his joy, not even the tears forming in his eyes would do. But when Haru kissed the corner of his brow, Makoto knew his boyfriend understood, and that would have to be enough for now. Still, he managed a few more thank-yous and a weepy I love you.