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A Birthday Gift that Lasts Forever

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He had tried his hardest. No, really, he did.

Haru grumbled as he searched his coat pockets for his keys, still annoyed that it was nearly midnight and he hadn’t even gotten the chance to see Makoto yet.

And on his best friend’s damn birthday too. Because it seemed like no matter how much Haru planned ahead today, something or someone out there in this forsaken universe was out to get him. The trains were running late, his coach kept him after practice for almost an hour, the grocery store was out of Makoto’s favorite chocolate cupcakes and-

No.

You’ve got to be kidding.

Haru reached into his other coat pocket a little more frantically than before, feeling nothing but the scrunched up tissue that he had shoved in there on his walk home and a stick of gum. He checked the pockets of his jeans, only to find his wallet and cell phone, which was grand and all but wouldn’t help him get into his own apartment. He considered calling Makoto to ask him to bring the spare, but the raven decided with a grimace that asking Makoto for hassling favors on his own birthday was pretty unfair, especially since Haru had been a pretty shitty friend about it today already.

Dropping his backpack to the ground, he did a full cavity search, tossing his notebooks and books onto the porch with no luck. He moved on to his gym bag, pawing through his spare clothes and jammers with a sickly feeling clawing at his stomach until he heard the tell-tale jingle of metal hitting metal. Somehow buried in a sock, Haru managed to dig out his keys and unlock his door with a relieved but still very annoyed sigh.

Stepping into the dark and removing his shoes, Haru gave his watch a quick glance, squinting to see the time.

11:34. Fuck.

He could run to Makoto’s apartment and maybe make it on time, but after his practice today Haru really wasn’t sure he had the stamina for that. A phone call could do then? He hated how impersonal that was, but at this point he didn’t have many options. He really had thought that he would get home with enough time to wish Makoto a happy birthday to his face and to finally give him his gift.

Which, in all honesty, was the part Haru was certainly the most upset about at this point. The nerves had kicked in around five that evening, and Haru had been battling the most aggressive anxious stomach ache of his life while he came to terms with exactly what he planned to give his best friend as a birthday present tonight. His stomach gave another unsettling lurch at the thought, but the disappointment was there nonetheless. Well, another year of keeping it a secret probably wouldn’t hurt as much as the last twenty anyway.

He shuffled his way into the apartment, not bothering to turn on any lights since he would probably just shower and head to bed right after his short phone call. God, what would he even say? Makoto must have been beyond disappointed, especially since Haru had told him to stay at his apartment and not make plans with anyone else this evening. He had fully intended to go there and surprise Makoto with a homemade cake, but that idea was screwed over when Haru realized the day before that he had absolutely no time to bake. So he had settled to go buy a store cake, disappointed that his surprise was lost, until he reluctantly came up with a much sweeter alternative that he desperately hoped Makoto would like much, much more. However, as practice wore on earlier, Haru realized that the likelihood of him even seeing his best friend today was incredibly slim, and had sent Makoto a brief, guilt-ridden text that he would not be able to make it tonight.

Like he said, pretty shitty friend.

Flicking on the lights to his bedroom, Haru dropped his bags onto the floor with a thud and sighed, heading past his bed with so much determination to get in the shower that he almost didn’t notice the figure sleeping there. Haru stopped short, recognizing brown shaggy hair and a broad back even though the person was curled on his side facing the wall.

“Makoto,” Haru breathed, voice crossing between a groan and pure adoration. Of course, on his own damn birthday, this kid had come all the way here– probably way too late at night to be walking alone– just so that he could see Haru. And then fell asleep while waiting up for him.

How much more impossibly cute could you get?

Tiptoeing quietly to the bed, Haru smiled meekly at Makoto’s peaceful form tucked up into himself, chest expanding and contracting with each even breath he took. His shirt had ridden up a bit in his slumber, exposing a tantalizing bit of Makoto’s tanned hip and back that Haru longed to trace with his fingers. He slowly slid a knee onto the bed, the other following just as quietly as he positioned himself next to Makoto. With a slightly shaking hand, he reached out gently and clutched the brunet’s firm shoulder, giving it a light squeeze that he hoped wouldn’t startle his best friend too much.

“H-hey, wake up,” he whispered, and smiled a little more fully as he heard Makoto take in one huge breath, then let it out as he roused with a groaning sigh that sent goosebumps up Haru’s legs. “C’mon, Makoto. Get up.”

“Hmmmnnn,” the birthday boy whined louder this time, curling in on himself even more with a yawn.

“I’ll tickle you.”

The reply was almost too quiet to hear. “Haruuu, please don’t.”

“Then get up. I have something for you.”

Another sigh erupted from the brunet, this time full of insincere annoyance. “I told you not to buy me anything-“

“I didn’t,” Haru insisted, shaking his friend’s shoulder again. He felt the knot inside him growing tighter as he worked up his courage again. “Promise.”

Makoto finally peered over his shoulder, his jeweled eyes glimmering with childlike curiosity as a tiny smile adorned his lips. “You know, that was actually code for ‘I really wanted Haru to buy me something this year’.”

“Shut up. You’re lying,” Haru rolled his eyes, knowing just how much Makoto hated having to accept gifts from people that they spent money on.

Makoto laughed admittedly with a shrug. “How’d you get to know me so well, Haru?”

The raven blushed at that, looking away before Makoto could catch it. “Dunno,” was all he huffed. Finally turning to face Haru, Makoto adjusted onto his back, sliding an arm behind his head while the other hand rested lazily on his abs, which were still slightly exposed and leaving Haru a little dry in the throat. He gazed over at Haru sleepily, clearly content with his position as he brought up one knee to get more comfortable.

“Okay, I’m ready,” he grinned. Haru felt like whatever momentum he had gathered throughout the day was lost, the desire to just flop down onto the bed next to Makoto and yell into a pillow for the rest of the night taking over quickly.

“I- um…” He looked away, eyes glued to the stripes of his bedding as he tried his best to maintain his willpower. “Close your eyes,” he barely whispered, feeling a bit choked by his own voice. He glanced up in time to see the smile on Makoto’s lips fade to neutral, but the curious glint that remained in his stare was enticing enough to set Haru’s heart pounding wildly.

“Okay, Haru-chan,” his friend murmured back deeply, and suddenly the tension tripled between them as Makoto tilted his head just the slightest more in Haru’s direction, licked his lips once, slowly, and easily let his eyes drift shut.

All Haru could concentrate on now was the sweat of his palms, the thrumming of his heart, and most importantly, those plush, perfect lips unsuspectingly waiting before him. He felt the urge to wet his own, noticing that they had gone just about as dry as his throat had earlier, and carefully adjusted his position until he was close enough to lean over Makoto, and hopefully... Well, you know the rest.

He reached across Makoto’s chest, planting his hands on either side of the brunet’s head with a quivering sigh that made his head feel light and his face hot. Despite not being able to see the movement, Makoto felt the mattress sink around him easily, and Haru watched anxiously as the hand behind his head moved to grip the pillow with a tight fist, the other finding purchase in his t-shirt as well. The brunet’s lips parted and Haru was certain that Makoto must have known what was going on by this point, judging by the shaky exhale he breathed.

Neither of them spoke as Makoto patiently waited, the pace of his breathing increasing incrementally as the seconds ticked by, and Haru was beyond thankful for a friend who respected that he sometimes needed to take his time with things, even in such a high-stakes moment as this. He swallowed once more, willing his own eyes to shut instead of getting distracted by the pinkness that was starting to fill Makoto’s cheeks as well. He leaned down at an agonizing pace, the mattress creaking petulantly at him as he inched closer, stopping just short as one of Makoto’s breaths fanned across his face. He recognized Makoto’s gasp as he realized how close they were, but made no move to retreat, adjusting to the heat that was positively simmering between them.

Suddenly Haru felt a nose come up to brush his gently, encouragingly.

He just about lost it at that.

Makoto’s lips felt as perfect as they had always looked, and it was no surprise that his kiss was about as sweet as one of his signature smiles either. Probably because Haru could feel one blooming right now as they pressed their lips together with a sense of certainty that made it all feel right. That this was how it should have always been, that they were made for this. For each other.

“Makoto,” Haru gasped his best friend’s name barely loud enough for it to be recognized, but a hand was there to comfort him nonetheless, weaving into his hair delicately, holding Haru in place just long enough to take a quick breath and resume their kiss eagerly.

This time, Haru hummed his pleasure as Makoto tilted his head a little more, pressed into him a little harder, moaned a little louder into his parted mouth. His fingertips felt like fire where they touched Makoto’s skin, grazing down his forearms as he hesitated to go any lower just yet.

He was pulling away long before he was ready to, but he knew if this continued, it would be well past midnight by the time he could say what he had wanted to all day.

Makoto’s eyes looked a thousand shades of green darker, wide and unmoving as he waited for Haru to speak once they were apart. The raven cleared his throat, but found it unsuccessful as his voice cracked anyway when he spoke.

“H-happy birthday, Makoto. You’re my best friend, and um, and I love you,” he murmured shyly, ears feeling just as hot with embarrassment now as the rest of his body did.

But Makoto didn’t laugh, or make a disgusted face, or even roll his eyes at Haru’s shyness. No, he only smiled the most endearing, sincere smile Haru had ever seen and breathed an emotional but steady, “Thank you, Haru. I love you too.”

Makoto seemed pretty ready for what happened next, bracing himself easily as Haru shoved his flushed face into Makoto’s neck and toppled into him, hugged his waist mercilessly. The brunet settled into their embrace contentedly, wrapping his arms around Haru as well and stroking his back soothingly as they enjoyed the comfort of being so close once again.

Minutes, hours, probably days passed by like that. Haru couldn’t tell really when he finally felt Makoto shift beneath him, sliding carefully up into a sitting position.

“Um, H-haru?” He stammered, scratching at his flushed cheek as he looked away nervously. “What you said earlier…You uh, you meant that as m-more than friends, right?”

Haru did his absolute best to hold back the sarcastic look he was about to throw Makoto. No, really, he did.

“Of course, you idiot! Why else would I have k-kissed you? That’s not really something that just friends do, obviously.”

Makoto simply laughed at Haru’s little outburst and kissed him quiet, all hesitation thrown to the wind, forgotten in this new stage of their life that was emerging. “Of course, Haru,” he whispered into the raven’s lips gleefully, the hint of tears permeating his voice as he chokingly replied, “I was just making sure.”