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Sleepover and Over

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Ritsu doesn’t like to be lonely.

He hates it, but sometimes Mao is busy with council work and Ritsu’s bug of a brother is off being more useless than usual and two members of Knights are both wrapped up in their modeling shoots, and the other two are— 

“Nhaaa, what am I gonna do?”

Ritsu’s ears perk up. 

“I was gonna ask Naru-chan for help, but the phone’s not goin’ through...”

Ritsu tilts his head just enough to peek an eye out over the curve of his arm, suddenly at full alertness even though he probably looks like he just woke up from his customary end-of-class desk nap. “Mikarin?” he says through a yawn, “So noisy~”

Mika lets out a nasally yelp and bangs his shin on a chair leg flipping around to look behind him. “Ritsu-kun! Uh-oh, did I wake ya up? I didn’t mean to…”

Ritsu hums like he’s thinking about it, eyes squinted extra hard against the light for effect. “Maybe if you give me something nice I’ll forgive you ♪”

Mika instantly digs through his pockets—this isn’t the first time Ritsu’s said something like this after all—but all that comes out is an old candy wrapper and a neon-colored piece of lint. Mika mumbles in consternation at his own hands. “Nnn, darn it, I think it fell out someplace.” He turns his pockets inside out and pokes around, looking for holes in the lining. 

Ritsu’s just about to ask what fell out someplace when Mika yelps again, catching a glance of the classroom clock. “I’m late! Oh no, I’m late already an’ I don’t even have anything ready yet an’ Oshi-san’s gonna be so worried an’—” Right on cue Mika’s phone dings. Mika snatches it from where it’s laying on his desk and immediately groans like a dying animal. 

Ritsu props his face up on his hand, interested. “Is that Itsuki? Hm, so he knows how to text after all~”

“Nfufu, he’s still real bad at it though. See?”

Mika turns the screen and scrolls up through a forest of texts, some short and terse, some long like a novel excerpt, some chopped up all weird like he accidentally pressed send before he was ready. “Wowwww,” Ritsu drawls. “No wonder he never messages anyone else.” Ritsu makes a mental note to steal Itsuki’s number as soon as possible...or at least the next time he gets bored.

The phone dings again, and Mika frantically types something back, chewing at his own lip in a way that Itsuki definitely has to hate. When he’s done he shoves it in his pocket and fixes Ritsu with a desperate stare. “Ya gotta help me, Ritsu-kun!” 

“Help you? Mmm, that sounds like a lot of effort though. And you’re the one who owes me ,” Ritsu pouts, playing it up. But then Mika’s grabbing Ritsu’s hand and pulling, and maybe Ritsu hates being dragged down the halls in a half-run like this, but Mika’s hand is soft and warm and not letting go, and that’s a very, very hard thing to say no to.



It turns out Mika needs Ritsu’s help to prepare the ‘perfect sleepover,’ since Itsuki and Mademoiselle have never had one before—and having been forged in the fires of many a Knights sleepover Ritsu conveniently knows exactly what to do.

(He makes Mika do most of the actual work, but it’s okay. Mikarin likes being bossed around.)



Somehow after that night sleepovers with them become a habit. Mika drags him along for a second and a third time, claiming that the first one turned out great and saying: “Oshi-san and Naru-chan really don’t get along all that well so Ritsu-kun definitely should come an’ help again!” And before Ritsu knows it, it’s become way too much of a bother to remember exactly how many times he’s done this.

Which means it’s time to spice things up a little.

“‘Oh my, a game?’” Mademoiselle says with clear excitement in her voice. She’d be clapping her hands together if she could. “‘What are the rules?’” 

Ritsu grabs a pillow and makes himself comfortable, sitting criss-cross on Itsuki’s needlessly huge canopy bed as he hugs it in his arms, chin resting on the top. “Mm, well usually at a Knights sleepover we play the King’s Game, but I don’t feel like preparing anything right now and there’s only three of us, so...let’s just play Truth or Dare.”

Mika scrambles up on the bed after him, blanket around his shoulders like a cape. “I dunno if Oshi-san’s gonna like Truth or Dare…” he says doubtfully. He settles somewhere around the foot of the bed, back propped up against a banister. 

“‘Oh don’t you worry, Mika-chan! I’m sure Shu-kun is willing to give it a try.’”

Itsuki himself doesn’t comment, just chides Mika on his poor posture and sits down primly, completing the circle, Mademoiselle taking her customary place on his lap. Ritsu takes that as implicit agreement. Itsuki’s just too embarrassed to admit he’s curious.

“I’ll start,” Ritsu says, not wasting any time. “Lady Mademoiselle Truth or dare?”

“‘Ufufu, I see. So I have to choose which one? Well, I think I’m feeling a little daring today~’”

Itsuki shoots Ritsu a warning look, but Ritsu ignores it, continuing to choose a dare without mercy. “Then I dare you to kiss Mikarin.”

“Nghaaa?!?! But...but but—”

Mika’s face goes red all the way up to the roots of his hair, and Itsuki wouldn’t have looked any more scandalized if he’d been shown all of the indecent pictures on Ritsu’s phone. Ritsu chuckles into his pillow, eyes curved in lazy mischief. “What?” he says with faux innocence. “Is there a problem?”

“It’s Mado-nee!” Mika squeaks.

“I never said where she had to kiss.”

Mika doesn’t get it at all still, steam practically coming out of his ears even up to the moment that Mademoiselle pecks his cheek with an exaggerated ‘muah!’ “Oh.” He says, ducking his head right afterward. He sheepishly twists the cuff of his pajama pants between his fingers.

“Hmph! As if I’d let anything untoward happen to her under my watch,” Itsuki scoffs.

“Wha—! Whaddya mean! She was the one who kissed me !”

“‘Now now, Ritsu-kun’s a good boy. I’m sure he wouldn’t make me do anything improper. Right, Ritsu-kun?’”

“I would never,” Ritsu swears solemnly, acting as knightly as possible for a person curled around a pillow. “But now it’s your turn to pick someone, Lady Mademoiselle~”

“‘Oh my, now who should I choose…?’”

She happens to be surprisingly ruthless despite her giggling sweetness, enough that Ritsu has to actually put some real effort into his own questions and dares, and under their combined reign of terror Ritsu learns that:

1) Mika has a crush on half the school 

2) Mika is afraid of half the school (mostly the same half he has crushes on) 

3) Itsuki does in fact shave his legs

4) Mika is a really sloppy kisser. Not that Ritsu minds. 


Ritsu slows the kiss down to something more leisurely and hums as he breaks it, pulling away and licking his own bottom lip with a contented smirk. Mika’s finally gotten past the embarrassment stage of truth or dare now and has dived straight into hedonism, mismatched eyes glinting with interest. Itsuki though...Ritsu flicks his eyes over. Itsuki stopped protesting at everybody’s dares a while back, but now he’s staring at them aghast like he can’t quite believe they’d dare to do something so ‘scandalous’ as make out in front of him. 

“Hm?” Ritsu leans in. “Lonely?”

Pardon ?”

“Ahhh, you probably still haven’t kissed anyone before, have you?”

Itsuki clicks his tongue and looks away, a blush high on his cheeks. “I never said that.”

Ritsu blinks. He’d been teasing—and admittedly fishing for a little info—but somehow hearing any kind of real answer is a surprise. “Fufu, then that means you have. So who was it? The Sovereign's first kiss…” His mind is already clicking through possibilities. Honestly if it hadn’t been the former ‘beloved doll’ Nito Nazuna (and the entire school would have known it if that was the case), then it would have to have been one of the infamous ‘Oddballs.’ And it could reasonably be any of them—didn’t that one soggy guy follow Itsuki around a lot in the beginning?—but in the end some relentlessly masochistic part of Ritsu’s brain makes him say: “...maybe it was my brother?”

Itsuki squeaks

Ritsu pouts and pushes through the twinge in his stomach. Of course Anija did. Why wouldn’t he have? “No fair,” he complains, scooting in closer by his knees. The wide-eyed look Itsuki gives him in return makes his lips curl up, ruining his pout. “Hey Ikkun, truth or dare?” 


”Truth or dare,” Ritsu insists. 

Itsuki’s arms tighten around Mademoiselle as Ritsu scoots even closer. “T...This game is ridiculous! I refuse to play it anymore.”

“You can’t quit in the middle. I already asked you.” 

Itsuki’s eyes dart down to Mademoiselle, like she’ll say something to rescue him, but she stays conspicuously silent. “Truth.”

Itsuki says it with smug confidence, like he’s escaped already just by picking that. Ah, for such a genius Itsuki really is a terrible strategist, isn’t he? It’s kind of cute. Ritsu leans forward until their noses almost touch, drinking in the way Itsuki’s gaze wavers down to his lips for just the barest of seconds. 

“Truth,” Ritsu repeats, humming thoughtfully as if he doesn’t already know exactly what he wants to ask. He draws the moment out a little longer just to make Itsuki nervous. “Do you want to kiss me right now?” 

And it’s satisfying to see how much wider Itsuki’s eyes get, but then Itsuki just clamps his mouth together and doesn’t say a single word. Ritsu pouts again. “You’ve got to say it Ikkun, or I’ll have to go around school and tell everyone you chickened out~”

Shu huffs, looking to the side as his arms tighten around Mademoiselle. “I...Well. I suppose…” His eyes flick to Ritsu for a moment before fixing stubbornly to the wall. He clears his throat. “I suppose I wouldn’t mind it.”

“Oshi-san?!” Mika squawks.

“Fufufu…” That’s all the permission Ritsu needs to loop his arms around Itsuki’s shoulders, his mouth seeking Itsuki’s out when Itsuki looks at him in surprise. Ritsu swallows the inelegant noise he makes, presses forward, and ah…

Itsuki really is a lot softer than he makes himself out to be, isn’t he?



Ritsu: hey naruchan i kissed mikarin last night

Arashi: are you serious??? omg omg omg omg


Ritsu waits a couple seconds for dramatic effect.


Ritsu: *and* itsuki

Arashi: WHAT?????? Σ(゜ロ゜;)!! how???????

Arashi: you HAVE to tell me everything ricchan or i’ll DIE


Ritsu leaves it on read and takes a nap.



Tonight isn’t even a sleepover night, but Ritsu finds himself at Itsuki’s house after school anyway, flopped listlessly over in a desk chair with his face smooshed up against something rectangular and paper-y. A sketchbook? He can feel the ring binding digging into his cheek, but he really doesn’t feel like going anywhere else. 

Itsuki impatiently clears his throat from beside him. “So this is where you’ve gone. If you’re going to sleep then do it in a more suitable location.”

“Mmmmmm…” Ritsu rolls his head toward Itsuki for a moment, then rolls it back. “Don’t feel like it.”

Itsuki sighs harshly, then begins to tug at the corner of the sketchbook. “For heaven’s sake, just move . I need this.”

Ritsu does his best to make his head as heavy and immoveable as possible. Itsuki has the tight expression of someone who’s been working way too much and sleeping not nearly enough. You see it a lot in Yumenosaki, and that goes double for any so-called ‘geniuses.’ Itsuki should thank him. Ritsu’s doing him a favor. “Move…?”

“I would settle for you sitting properly upright in your chair.”

Ritsu yawns and snuggles against the sketchbook. “Sounds like a myth…”

Silence. Is Itsuki giving up? Ritsu’s starting to peek over and see when he feels one arm slide behind his back and another under his knees. Then there’s a soft exhale by Ritsu’s ear, and he’s lifted up from the chair entirely. 

Ritsu considers this for a moment and decides very quickly that he likes it.

“Mm, thanks this is way comfier~” Ritsu mumbles happily. Snuggling up against someone’s chest is much better than some pointy sketchbook. When Itsuki tries to put him down somewhere Ritsu clings to him, making it impossible no matter how hard Shu tries.

“Oshi-sannnnn,” Mika calls from past the hallway. “Where’d ya put the orange thread?”

“Do you mean the knotted up spool that was on the kitchen table? —Sakuma, you are stretching the collar of my shirt—I untangled it and put it in its proper place upstairs, of course.”

“But I was gonna use that!” Mika slides into the room and then stops stock still, mouth a perfect oval as he stares at Ritsu with his arms around Itsuki’s shoulders. “Hey! Ritsu-kun, no fair!”

“Kagehira, there you are! Help me peel him off. He’s being dreadful.”

And maybe Ritsu immediately proves him right when he sticks his tongue out at Mika, but it’s worth it to hear the ‘Gyyogh!’ Itsuki makes when Mika makes a running leap at his back. Itsuki staggers, frantically trying to balance their weights, but Mika’s flailing hand grasps under Itsuki’s chin, and Itsuki’s head tilts back, and suddenly they’re all tumbling in a heap to the ground.

Mika wheezes like a broken toy. 

There’s a scramble of limbs as Itsuki tries to roll both Ritsu and himself off of him. “Kagehira!” he scolds, checking him from head to toe, “Does every reasonable thought just instantly leak out of your ears? What were you thinking?!”

“‘M fine, ‘M fine,” Mika says, giggling when Itsuki’s fingers prod at his ribs. “Was just heavy that’s all.” He notices Ritsu flexing his hand and flings himself up into a sitting position. “Nhh? Ritsu-kun? Didja get hurt?!”

“Oh? Is Mikarin worried~?”

Itsuki scans over the hand with sharp eyes, but doesn’t move. “Kagehira. Examine it.”

“Ngha? Whatcha mean?”

“Like I taught you.” Itsuki sits seiza on the floor and watches. “You’ll have to be able to perform proper maintenance for yourself when I’m gone, after all.”

And then Mika is poking and prodding at Ritsu’s hand in a way that’s way more adept than Ritsu anticipates, lightly moving Ritsu’s fingers and testing his joints, eyebrows scrunched in concentration. “Nn...doesn’ look too bad to me. Just a little sore, right? Lemme massage it a little for ya ♪”

Mika’s thumbs start rolling over the muscle of Ritsu’s palm, releasing tension Ritsu hadn’t even known was there. It’s strangely relaxing being Mika’s training dummy, even with Itsuki leaning over Mika’s shoulder with a correction here, a criticism there. It feels a lot like being pampered. Is this always what Itsuki’s infamous ‘maintenance’ is like? Ritsu’s jealous.

He opens his mouth to say so when Mika interrupts. “Hey Ritsu-kun, if anythin’ hurts again just come an’ see me!”

“Oh…?” When Mika lets go of Ritsu’s hand he splays himself out on Mika’s lap instead. “I’ll be counting on you all next year then~” he teases.

“Nfufu, alright!”

Ritsu stares up at Mika’s smiling face, surprised. That’s it? He gets an okay that easily?

“Hmph,” Shu cuts in. “Don’t go making promises while your skills are still sub-par. I hope you’re ready to be trained intensely for the rest of this school year.”

“Aye, Oshi-san~”

Ritsu stays on Mika’s lap a little while longer, feeling warmer than usual, and wonders how this all started becoming more complicated than just wanting to kill some time.



Ritsu finds Itsuki alone in the handicraft club room, murmuring something into a paper cup with a string attached, the string going right out the open window. Ah, that’s right. The music club sits next to this one, doesn’t it. 

He walks up behind Itsuki, veering towards the right side where Itsuki’s elegant hand is curled around the cup. “Ah,” he says loudly. “Is there an idiot at the end of this line?”

Some sort of commotion comes from the cup, but Ritsu doesn’t bother to try making out exactly what it is. It’s really easy to guess. Ritsu snickers and arranges some cloth scraps on the nearest table into a pile so he can cushion his head on them when he lies down. 

“Sakuma!” Itsuki turns to face him. “What are you—get your face off of those! The oil from your skin will get all over them!” 

“My face isn’t oily,” Ritsu protests. “And you’re not going to use these anyway. Tsumugi-niisan says you’re really bad about wasting fabric.”

Itsuki clicks his tongue, but can’t find a way to argue that. And he soon gets distracted by Ritsu’s idiot brother again anyway. 

“Tell him he’s a gross, slimy worm,” Ritsu suggests.

Itsuki’s hand covers the cup’s opening. “I will not .”


Ritsu snoozes until Itsuki bids his brother goodbye, dropping the cup out the window as if that were a completely normal thing to do. Ritsu stretches with a jaw-cracking yawn. “Aw…” Ritsu says in mock disappointment. “You didn’t give me any time to tell him to get lost.”

“I really do not understand how the two of you operate in the slightest,” Shu comments mildly, taking a seat at the table. He picks up a half-done piece of work, the needle still threaded on, and resumes from where he’d left off.

“You have an older brother too, don’t you?” Ritsu prods. 

“I do,” Itsuki acknowledges, not looking away from his embroidering, “but the difference in our ages kept us from ever becoming close.” His hand pauses for a split-second before the next stitch. “Or...perhaps it was the difference in our temperaments.” 

“Oh?” Ritsu’s sharp eyes belie his lazy response, but Itsuki doesn’t seem to notice.

“I deeply respect my family, but my grandfather is the only one of them who has ever truly understood me.”

A lonely thing to say, Ritsu knows. His brother had been the only one to ever understand him, once upon a time. Then he’d left. 

Ritsu rises on his elbow and leans just far enough to smack a kiss on Itsuki’s cheek, snickering when Itsuki jolts and drops his needle, flushing a bright red. 

“W-W-What are you doing so suddenly?!”

Ritsu shrugs, settles back into another comfortable napping position. “Whatever I want.”



It’s not a sleepover exactly, but it starts out with Mika and Ritsu pouring over an old, really inaccurate book about vampires in the afternoon, and ends with them piled up together with Itsuki on the couch watching a new, really inaccurate anime about vampires that night, so it might as well be. Mademoiselle rests on Itsuki’s knee already in her nightgown, swaying slightly as she sings along to the opening song.

Mika’s the first to go under, five episodes into the marathon, drooling heavily onto the sleeve of Itsuki’s cashmere turtleneck. 

“If you’re going to sleep then do it in your bed you graceless creature,” Itsuki grumbles. “This position is horrific for your spine.”

Mika just mumbles incoherently and slings an arm over Ritsu, nuzzling further into Itsuki’s willowy bicep before conking right out. Ritsu suppresses a laugh, eyes slitted open as he watches Itsuki fall into slumber next, that played up annoyance fading steadily from his face until someone could almost call him serene. 

It’s nighttime so Ritsu doesn’t actually feel sleepy at all, but for now he doesn’t mind playing pretend. He closes his eyes, slows his breathing down. It’s warm like this, tangled up with these two. He can feel Itsuki’s heartbeat against his cheek, can hear Mika’s light wheeze on every slow, soft exhale. 

It’s really...really warm.



That morning everyone tumbles off the couch with stiff necks and sore everything else, Itsuki trudging into the kitchen with complaints falling out of his mouth every couple of minutes as he fixes breakfast. Ritsu happily ignores all of the ‘I-told-you-so’s as Mika works the knots out of Ritsu’s shoulders for practice. 

When Mika finally stands up, he knocks a couch cushion askew on accident and gasps. “Ritsu-kun, Ritsu-kun, there it is! I found it!”

“Mm…? Found what, Mikarin?”

A miniature, hand-felted bat is shoved in front of his face. “What fell outta my pocket, ‘member?”

What fell out of...oh. Ritsu takes it, looks at it from all angles. It has cute little red eyes. “That was a long time ago, Mikarin.”

“I knowwww. I was gonna try ‘n make another one, but I couldn’t get it the same way…”

Ritsu tries to hand it back.

“Uh-uh, that one’s yours. See?” Mika scrambles over to another room and comes back with a little crow. It has tiny mismatched eyes, blue and yellow. “It’s a set! I ended up making Oshi-san one too.” His voice lowers like he’s sharing a secret. “It’s an owl, yanno? ‘Cause of the way he laughs sometimes when he’s real excited? Like: hoo-hoo-hoo♪”

Laughter hits Ritsu so hard he almost snorts. “Doesn’t he go ‘kakakaka♪’?”

“Well yeah, but I swear he does that one too. You haven’ heard it?”


“Nnn...then let’s all go to a museum! You’ll definitely hear it then.”

“Sounds tiring…” Ritsu leans into him as if he were exhausted just by the thought of it. “Carry me, Mikarin.”

“The whole time? No fair, why dontcha ever carry me!”

Ritsu considers this for a moment. “You can carry me, and Ikkun can carry you.”

“No way, Oshi-san’s arms’ll fall off!”

“You two!” Itsuki calls from the kitchen. “You’ll bring the house down with all your noise so early in the morning. Hurry up and sit at the table before your food gets cold.”

Ritsu trails behind Mika and watches as he hops into the kitchen, Shu immediately scolding him for recklessness and then making the both of them wash their hands just like an old-fashioned housewife. Mika lays out tableware while Ritsu chats with Mademoiselle, showing her the little bat Mika had made while she ‘oo’s and ‘ah’s over it. 

Ritsu considers himself a strategist, but he never expected he’d end up here, so deep in Valkyrie’s orbit. 

“Ritsu-kun, ya gotta try this! Say ahhhhh…”

Ritsu obligingly opens his mouth and hums appreciatively at the taste of strawberry. “Feed me the rest. If you do, I'll make one of my desserts later ♪”

“The real scary ones?! Oogami-kun talks about ‘em a lot.”

“Aren’t you curious~?”

“I wanna try! I wanna try one!”


Ritsu never expected it, but...he likes it. He likes it a lot.