"We're home!" Suga calls as he and Daichi tumble through the front door. Asahi pokes his head out of a side room and smiles when he sees them: Daichi's ears and nose are red with cold, and Suga's eyes are bright over the warm folds of his scarf.
"Welcome back," he says, stepping toward them. "How was the party?"
"It was great," Suga says, struggling with the sleeve of his jacket.
"It was missing something," Daichi says, tossing Asahi a glance as he passes by to help Suga out of his coat. Asahi's eyes flick away.
"I've got it, I'm fine," Suga protests even as Asahi draws his arm free of his sleeve. He's laughing, a little unsteady on his feet. On his other side, Daichi rests a steadying hand on his elbow. "Both of you, really, I'm fine."
"Yeah, of course," Asahi replies. "I'll just hang this up, okay?"
Daichi's sharp look has softened into one of mild gratitude as he ushers Suga into the living room. "Drank too much?" Asahi murmurs as they pass.
"I heard that," Suga croaks, his voice still too cheerful to sound like an admonishment. "And I only drank a little."
"One of his coworkers challenged him to a drinking competition," Daichi replies, just as quietly.
"Okay, maybe more than a little," Suga amends. "I won, though."
"Of course," Asahi says again, but this time it's fond. "I'll be back with some water."
He can feel Daichi's eyes on him even as he coaxes Suga to sit down at the kotatsu. Suga slides his feet underneath the blanket and then flops against Daichi's shoulder with a satisfied sigh, his eyes closing. "Asahi," he calls out, "I missed you."
Asahi winces, closing the faucet with a soft squeak. "Sorry," he says as he presses the water into Suga's hand. He drinks greedily and Asahi watches the easy movement of his throat as he swallows. It's not enough to distract him from the weight of Daichi's gaze upon him, though, waiting him out as he always has.
"It was a nice party," he says. "The people were nice. You should have come."
"I don't really like crowds," Asahi says with a shy duck of his head. His hands curl into fists. "Besides, you're more..."
The silence hangs. "More what?" Daichi says, frowning a little. Suga's head bows as he puts the emptied glass upon the table, but Asahi knows he's listening, too.
Asahi gestures vaguely at the two of them. "They know about you," he says.
"They know about you, too," Suga says. His voice is softer, though still a little hoarse from the alcohol. "I talk about you all the time."
"Yeah, but." Asahi looks down. He doesn't want to say it: it's already bad enough that they know you're gay. I don't want to push your luck.
"I was okay here at home," he says instead. "It was good. I got some writing done. Cleaned up a little."
Suga sighs, but changes the topic. "We brought you back something," he says.
"Oh, it was in my coat," Daichi says. He eases Suga off of his shoulder and gets to his feet with a groan; none of them are seventeen any more. "Be right back."
Silence descends as Daichi pads toward the closet. Suga reaches for Asahi's hand silently and Asahi squeezes back, grateful as always for the feel of Suga's fingers entwined with his. Suga doesn't have the calluses he used to when they all played volleyball every day, but his skin still isn't as soft as Asahi's is now; the medical field and its attending hand sanitizer use is just as demanding as orchestrating a team of strong minded teenagers, in a way.
"I love you, you know," Suga says.
"I know," Asahi says. "I—I love you too."
"Did you write a lot today?"
"Did you like what you wrote?"
"That's okay." Suga taps his fingers against Asahi's palm, a soft pitter-patter that's felt more than heard. "You can always edit it later. Don't delete it."
Daichi comes back then. "It's not much," he says, "but they were giving these out at the party, so we wanted to bring some back for you." He presses a handful of brightly wrapped chocolates into Asahi's other hand.
"Oh," he says, surprised. "I didn't expect anything."
"I love you, too," Daichi says, pressing a kiss to Asahi's cheek. "It was just a party, anyway. You're the one we'll be spending Christmas with, after all, and that's what really matters."
"It wouldn't be the same without you," Suga murmurs. "It's always been that way, ever since we met. The three of us, together."
Bracketed on either side by the people he loves, Asahi opens the shining foil wrapper and pops the piece of chocolate onto his mouth. It melts in his mouth, the flavor smooth and rich as it spills across his tongue, and he thinks: oh, happiness.