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a hug for a hug, a kiss for a kiss

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Tsukinaga Leo was no genius.

Wait, scratch that- he was! When it came to stuff like songs and composing, he was unrivalled. There was a period of time where he himself had doubted that, but now, with unwavering support from Sena and his Knights, he knew it for sure. He was a genius, one of the top in his field, never to be knocked down from the top of his citadel by the unruly masses. (Never again, rather.)

Scribbling down a masterpiece in ten seconds flat? Easy! Garnering inspiration for a new work simply by watching a line of ants troop by? Been there! Creating something so mindlessly spectacular he knew, with absolute confidence, that this composition would finally be the one, the momentous, soon-to-be celebrated piece that let him beat Mozart at his very own game? Still working on that! (But he'd get there, someday.)

There was a different kind of genius that Leo definitely wasn't, however. The kind who got straight As and the best grades in school, the kind who probably wore glasses and could recite any existing fact known to mankind when prompted. Leo just wasn't that kind of genius, and that was fine- he had no hopes or expectations of being one, anyway. He loved composing, and he'd stick to it. If heaven-sent assignment of random talents and interests were a hit or miss at birth, Leo's had definitely been a hit- he loved what he had the skill to do, and he was grateful for that.

Tsukinaga Leo was no genius. Still, he had a theory, and he was pretty sure that he was right about it.

What was the theory, one might ask? It was simple. Easy. Something even a non-genius like Leo was able to come up with after a mere two months of living with his grumpy, lovable friend in Florence.

Sena Izumi was a hugger.

It wasn’t as if Leo hadn’t suspected it throughout their years together in Yumenosaki- the silver haired boy, despite often rejecting shows of affection and physical contact at first, would always relax into Leo’s touch when the latter’s attempts persevered, or lean into his side when they sat next to each other at Leo’s preferred level of closeness (very close). It didn’t take much to notice that Izumi, for all his cold manner and prickliness, didn’t actually hate being touched or held. It made him uncomfortable when coming from those he was unfamiliar with, sure, but when it was from people he trusted, he was much more open and willing. Craved it, even.

Case in point: Izumi coming up to Leo and abruptly hugging him from the back.

Leo started, hand jerking in surprise and nearly spilling the water he’d been pouring from a jug into his glass. “Sena!”

There was a small grumble from where Izumi’s cheek was pressed to the shoulder in front of him, and that was all of a response Leo got. Leo hummed, setting his full glass and half-full jug carefully down onto the countertop. “What’s up?”

A grunt, this time, as Izumi’s grip tightened around Leo’s waist. Then- “Drink your water.”

Ah, prioritising the ones he loved over himself- classic Sena. Leo drank, the clear liquid cool and the best thing his parched throat and tongue had ever tasted. He hadn’t had a drop of hydration for hours, after all- he’d been shut up in his study, composing something new for an upcoming live. Izumi, on the other hand, had been… huh. Leo didn’t know. Time to change that!

“So,” Leo said conversationally, and Izumi made some sort of noise in response. He was being extra bad with his words today, Leo guessed. “Did you get kidnapped by aliens, or something? That’s kind of like karma, right?” he spread out an arm like it was a canary’s wing, or a conductor before his very own orchestra. “The kidnapper becomes the kidnapped. Ah, that’d make a great song, actually.” He could see it all now- the back-and-forth notes, coming slowly and enticingly at first before picking up the pace, chasing one another through winding alleyways and abandoned streets in an overwhelming crescendo. This was definitely a piece worth pursuing- Leo made a mental note of the idea, hoping he wouldn’t forget all about it within the next few minutes.

Izumi mumbled something that Leo couldn’t quite make out, and, well, if Sena wasn’t going to speak up, Leo was just going to keep doing it for him. “What is it they say in English- the turns have tabled?” He was pretty sure that was it. “It’s supposed to be funny, right? They reversed the normal phrase- that’s what Mikejimama said. Pretty cool, huh. We should-”

“Leo-kun,” Izumi interrupted, and nice, he was being verbal again. Leo grinned, setting his now-empty glass onto the counter and squirming around in Izumi’s arms a little. Izumi got the hint and loosened them, allowing Leo to turn and face him before grabbing his wrists and putting his hands around his waist again. Izumi’s cheeks flushed a pretty shade of pink, and Leo’s fingers itched for a pen- he wanted to write a thousand songs about that colour on fair skin, and gift them all to Sena- but then again, who didn’t want to do that for the person they were in love with?

But that was completely unrelated! Leo wasn’t going to bring that matter into whatever situation they were in right now. There were many optimal times to confess your love, Leo imagined, and now was not one of those times. (Coming from him, that sentence probably held weight.) “Sena,” he said instead of I love you, “did something happen?”

Izumi stared at him with a grumpy expression that was probably meant to deter Leo, but Leo hadn’t as much as batted an eye at in years. “Why do you assume something happened?”

“‘Cause if something hadn’t, you’d be all ‘have you showered’ and ‘did you remember to eat lunch’ and ‘why are all the water jugs still full even though it’s been a whole day’, right now.” Leo reached out and twirled a strand of Izumi’s hair around his finger, and wow that felt soft. Leo wondered if his own unruly locks were the same way- Izumi had taken to making Leo use certain hair and skin products recently, ones the model deemed appropriate and beneficial for Leo’s ‘type’, whatever the hell that meant. At any rate, most of the products carried similar scents to the ones Izumi used himself, which meant Leo smelt just as good as the model did on a daily basis- and that was a win for everyone. (They shared laundry detergent, too, so all of Leo’s shirts and hoodies came out of the wash smelling like Sena’s. This was the dream, the ultimate dream.)

Izumi narrowed his eyes, and oops, maybe Leo shouldn’t have brought up all that potential nag material. “Why are all the jugs still full? Is this the first glass you’ve had today?”

“Nope! I just filled them up!” Of my own accord, which I never, ever do, and oh there’s no way he’s going to buy this bluff I need to think of something else. Leo quickly dropped his hand from Izumi’s hair and grabbed the two hands around his waist, Izumi’s eyes widening and cheeks pinking further as Leo dragged him over to the couch. “So! Did you just get back from work?”

Izumi rolled his eyes as Leo plonked them both onto the cushiony piece of furniture, the model shifting to sit properly as Leo unceremoniously squeezed himself between Izumi and the armrest. “Yes. You’ve really got to be more observant- if you can’t notice me entering the apartment, you probably can’t notice anyone entering the apartment. It’s like you’re asking to be robbed.”

“Nah, you’re special! If it were an intruder, I’d notice for sure.” Leo adjusted his body so he was sitting horizontally, legs sprawling across the length of the couch, and by extension, over Izumi. “So, back to my question.” He leaned forwards and formed a fist with one hand to act as a mic, before shoving it before Izumi and adopting the tone of a low-voiced interviewer. “What happened at work today?”

Izumi swatted the hand away irritably, brow furrowing as Leo tumbled back against the couch in a fit of giggles. “Nothing happened. Just a few assholes being the usual, it’s not a big deal.”

“If they’ve gotten my Sena all dejected, it’s definitely a big deal,” Leo countered, letting his body fall forwards again, this time throwing his arms around Izumi’s shoulders and smushing his cheek against his button-up as he landed against him. Izumi made an annoyed sort of sound but didn’t try to shove Leo off, which Leo counted as a win. “Tell me, tell me.”

“It isn’t- stay in one place,” Izumi groaned, grabbing Leo’s shoulders and keeping him still as the latter began to sway from side to side, back and forth, threatening to fall off the couch if he let go of his endearingly grumpy housemate. Leo gave a (hopefully) pitiful whine as he ceased his movements, making up for his restlessness by giving Izumi a pleading look. There was a soft sigh, and then Leo was being tugged onto Izumi’s lap, making for a very pleasant development as Leo sat with his legs around the model’s waist, steadying himself with two hands resting on his shoulders. He got a perfect view of Izumi’s clear bashfulness, his usually confident persona giving way to averted eyes and a slight blush.

Ah, he’s beautiful. Maybe Leo could ask to replicate this exact position with Sena later, only next time with a paper and pen in hand- it’d be a waste not to write something with all these melodies dancing in his head, each and every one of them brought to life by the person in front of him. Downward scales, maybe, on the higher octaves- quick, but still legato. It’d be delicate, charming-

“Hey.” There was a gentle tap of knuckles against his temple, and Leo blinked, his muse coming back into focus. “You still here?”

Another minute, another melody. Leo really needed some sort of device that’d transmit music from his head straight onto paper. “Yep! Gonna tell me what’s up yet?”

“Just-” Izumi sighed again, eyes shifting somewhere east of Leo, thumbs circling slowly over the jut of the composer’s hips as Leo fought not to swoon. “They’re saying- that our boss is biased. Towards me. And that I’m only getting supposed good results because she’s into me, or something.” Double taps against Leo’s hips as if to vent out physical frustration, which Leo didn’t particularly mind- destressing was important, and it wasn’t as if Sena would ever hurt him, anyway.

“Does what they think matter that much?” Leo asked, fingers moving up and down over Izumi’s shoulders as if the model were a piano. “I didn’t think you’d care.”

Izumi gave a liberal roll of his eyes. “I don’t. But if those idiots start blabbing all sorts of untruths to people at the agency, I might get a bad rep for no reason at all. That’s what I’m concerned about.”

Leo hummed in understanding, making an upside-down V with two fingers and walking them up the side of Izumi’s neck. Upon reaching his cheek, Leo tapped once, twice, thrice. “Anything I can do to help? Arson? Blackmail? A song so audibly terrible you can sneak into their earphones and make them run for miles from?”

“I doubt you’re capable of making anything that sounds even remotely bad,” Izumi muttered as he batted the composer’s hand away, and Leo gave him a wide grin in response. “There’s nothing you can do, Leo-kun. It’s just up to me, and how well I can blow them away with hard work and talent alone.”

“Yeah? You’ll do great, then!” A sudden urge overtook Leo, one that made him want to lean in and press his lips to Izumi’s cheek- a good luck kiss? A ‘do your best’ kiss? A one hundred percent non-romantic ‘I think you’re great and that you deserve the world and that all your measly coworkers should get a swift boot into the nearest ravine for saying literally anything against you, my love, my life, my dearest knight’ kiss?

Bad ideas, all of those. He settled for the next best thing- flinging himself forwards and smothering Izumi in a giant hug, earning himself an undignified yelp of surprise that had Leo snickering and Izumi swatting him lightly over the head. No attempts to escape the embrace were made.

Sena secretly likes hugs, official evidence number one, confirmed.

•••

It wasn’t uncommon for idols to hum along to songs on the radio as they cracked eggs into frying pans, or tap their fingers against countertops to the rhythm of the beat as they waited for the sizzling of their meals to reach their climax. It was uncommon for Sena Izumi, however, to exhibit any of those behaviours this early in the morning, especially when someone else was in the room with him. Leo opened his eyes in a slow blink, the faint crinkling of manuscript papers in his arms the only sound he made as he rolled over on the couch. There was a blanket over his shoulders (unbelievably soft and warm) that definitely hadn’t been there the previous night, which brought him to thought number one upon waking up on this fine Saturday: Sena found me fast asleep on the couch this morning and put a blanket over me, letting me sleep instead of waking me up to be productive for once.

A familiar tune, one that wouldn’t be out of place in one of Knights’ practice rooms (or concerts), began to play over the speakers Izumi had at a low volume. With a thrum of joy in Leo’s chest and an upwards turn of lips came thought number two: Sena can hit not only his own high notes, but nearly everyone else’s, too. I could make use of this.

“I know you’re awake, Leo-kun, get over here and help. It’s your breakfast too, you know.”

Izumi’s tone was light, almost amused, so far from his usual chiding one that Leo had to giggle. Sena’s in a good mood today, was thought number three as he pushed the blanket off himself and gave the songs he’d fallen asleep writing a quick rifle through- good stuff, all of it. He’d get them down on a more coherent medium before submitting them to one of his clients later. Work more or less done for the weekend (until inspiration struck him again, of course), Leo hopped up from the couch and bounded over to the stove, where his housemate was now frying bacon that gave off a scent like heaven.

“Hi,” Leo said as he slipped his arms neatly around Izumi’s middle, careful not to jostle him too much as he peered at the food over his shoulder. “Thanks for the blanket! You could just join me next time, though. It’d probably be warmer.”

Bacon was dutifully flipped in the pan, and either the heat from the fire was way too high, or Sena’s ability to blush at simply the prospect of sleeping with Leo (in the literal sense! For now) was equally high. Leo decided to give him the benefit of doubt, yet make it supremely obvious so there really wasn’t any room for doubt at all. “You’re really red, Sena. Should I take over the cooking while you go cool off?”

“Fuck off,” Izumi replied, and oh, his ears are red too. Cute. Leo grinned, tightening his grip around his friend’s waist and mimicking his movements as the latter stepped to the side to grab a plate, the two of them moving as a single entity. “I’m not spending a night on the couch just to sleep with you.”

So it’s the couch that’s the problem here? Interesting. It wasn’t as if they hadn’t slept beside each other before, but those instances were always happy accidents, like rolling over into each other’s futons when sleeping over at school, or Leo going to bed half-asleep at four in the morning and instinctively finding Izumi’s bedroom rather than his own. Izumi was always gone by the time Leo woke up, and then they just went about their lives like normal, never mentioning the nighttime incidents again. Just once, Leo wanted their time together to be on purpose, not because someone was tired or mind-boggled or already fast asleep- and if Sena was willing to talk about it after they got up the next morning, then that would be a pleasant bonus.

“There’s always my bed, or yours,” Leo said brightly, pulling back to press his lips briefly to the nape of Izumi’s neck. “We’d both definitely fit- Sena?”

The model had frozen abruptly, almost minutely, and then his head was whipping back to stare at Leo with wide eyes. Leo blinked at him. “What is it?” Did I say something? He ran a quick mental playthrough of the past twenty seconds, starting from himself talking about the blanket, all the way to the time he’d paused his words to lean in and- oh.

Oops.

I kissed him I kissed him I kissed him I kissed him. Oh, he was screwed, he was absolutely screwed. Fuck. He’d held out for literal years not doing a thing like that to Sena, so why was he messing up now? Had the idea of sleeping next to Sena Izumi in a way that was deliberate, in their own home rather than at school camps or airport lounges, addled his brain this badly? This was it, this was the end, Leo was going to have to pack his bags and change his name and move to Russia and never step foot in Florence or Japan ever, ever again. “Sena-”

“Get me the salt?”

All of Leo’s thought processes came to a sudden, screeching halt. Izumi was pointedly not looking at him, now, gaze fixed on the salt shaker approximately ten centimetres away on the kitchen counter. It would be the easiest thing in the world for Izumi to simply reach over and take it himself, but here he was, asking Leo to do it for him. He could’ve tasked the composer with something that required him to let go of him, to move away, and Leo wouldn’t have blamed him- he’d just kissed him for no good reason, after all. Still, there was no angry outburst, no wrenching of Leo’s arms off his waist and shoving him away- there was merely a request, one that interrupted all of Leo’s potential apologies, one that allowed Leo to stay close despite what he’d done.

And when Leo chanced a glance, Sena’s cheeks were still, if not even more, an endearing shade of cherry blossom pink.

This is even more of an interesting development than the couch thing. “Sure thing, Sena!”

The salt was passed over, and Izumi wordlessly sprinkled some over the eggs on a nearby plate before switching the stove off and plating the bacon as well. Leo shifted to accommodate his movements, wondering if he should just let go, before thinking the better of it- he wouldn’t let go until Sena asked him to, or until it got too blatantly inconvenient to work.

They lasted another few minutes, up until their toast was ready and side dishes were at risk of getting cold. “You know, we could… eat on the couch,” Izumi said suddenly, and he sounded hesitant, like he wasn’t sure he was making the right move. Leo cocked his head to the side, cheek pressing against Izumi’s shoulder and arms still tight around his waist as he waited for further explanation. “Then we wouldn’t have to split the food up onto different plates, and there’ll be less to wash later. It’s more efficient.”

Possible translation: After having you stuck to me for nearly fifteen minutes, it’d be weird for us to separate to the extent of using the dining table. Eating on the couch meant sitting close, sharing plates, getting to steal some of Sena’s food when he wasn’t looking…

“Sounds good to me,” Leo grinned, and maybe, maybe, after the meal he’ll let me hold him again, too.

(Sena secretly likes hugs (and kisses?), official evidence number two, confirmed.)

•••

It wasn’t difficult for a person to slip and slide and plummet straight down into a dismally terrible day.

The world was white, Leo observed dimly, everything splashed over in pale, washed out colours, the light of the sun indistinguishable from the rest of the murky sky. It was cold out here on the balcony he was curled up on, tiled flooring of the minimal space leeching all the warmth straight out of his body. His skin was alight with tiny pinpricks and stings, winter biting into his fragile self despite the long sleeves he was wearing- and yet he felt numb, his mind sluggish and his body unresponsive. I should move, came a tiny, barely-there rational thought as a particularly strong gust of wind blew across the balcony, as good as going through Leo what with how useless his clothing seemed to be, not doing a thing to shield him from the frigidity he was so cruelly cloaked in- but he stayed put, teeth chattering and knees tucked tightly to his chest, fingers struggling to keep their grip around his pen. I can’t give in now.

His surroundings were strewn with discarded papers and fresh ones, plain and ink-marked manuscripts alike fluttering innocently in the insistent breeze. Perhaps some of them had taken flight and met their gruesome fates multiple storeys down below when the wind had blown a little too excitedly, enjoying its game with the sun and the clouds- Leo wasn’t sure, and neither could he bring himself to care. If the wind didn’t approve of those songs, then nobody else would, and the fact that the papers had been left so carelessly about meant that they hadn’t satisfied Leo in the slightest, either. There was no better end for them than being picked up by the recycling committee as they did their rounds down the road, or being preyed upon by a mischievous stray who decided that a crumpled ball of paper would be a good substitute for yarn.

(At least that way, those songs would be useful for someone, something. And that was all Leo could ever hope for.)

Don’t stop. Another gust of biting cold, another full-body shiver as Leo curled up into himself tighter, trying to huddle up some sort of warmth. He pressed the nib of his pen to the paper he had flat on the freezing tiles in front of him, and willed his hand to move. Don’t stop, keep writing, keep trying. Sena was counting on him, Knights was counting on him, the world was counting on him-

And yet his mind remained utterly, painfully blank. There were no lilting melodies, no definite rhythms- there was nothing but an icy tundra, an achingly blank sheet of paper marred with staves that might never be filled. Cold from what had to be howling wind and rustling breeze sank its fangs into his hands and cheeks, yet the sounds that usually accompanied them were eerily absent. The quiet was frightening, deafening, and oh, maybe I really can’t hear anymore. Beethoven had lost his hearing at a moderately young age, and died nearly a decade later- perhaps Leo would meet the same fate. It would be pathetic to go out the exact same way a past genius already had, but…

Even the boos and jeers he usually heard in his slumps were preferable to this deplorable silence. No doubt he’d regret even thinking this in a few days (assuming he was still breathing by then), when his head would be overrun with nothing but slurs and abuse for his withering music, and surely then, he’d plead for this soundless, empty world instead. But at least on those days, there was something to fight, a sort of enemy he could rally against in his attempts to shut the voices out and force an aching, straggling melody from his veins. Now, with only white and quiet and nothing around him, he was simply immobile, unable to lift as much as a finger to save himself.

Give me something, let me hear something, please-

He was met with nothing but cold, stony silence and a hollow feeling in his chest. He’d finally broken, he realised in a foggy haze- he couldn’t think, couldn’t hear, couldn’t write a single note. He was a songless canary freezing to death in the snowy mountains, and he deserved every second of his punishment. Still, still…

You can’t give up. He was blind, foolish, and never knew when exactly he should quit, be it for his own good or that of others. He didn’t want to quit, feared being abandoned in the wild as some worthless creature more than anything else in the world, so giving up was not an option. There was a fix for this, there had to be- all he had to do was draw in a shaky breath, lift his right hand to his dry, trembling lips, bare his teeth and-

“Leo-kun!”

The sound pierced into his veiled world like a bullet through his heart, and Leo jolted, hand jerking away from his mouth. (It was a shame, because his breaths were at least the tiniest bit warm, and the rest of his body was so, so cold.) Willing himself to act but failing miserably, Leo sat fixed and rigid on the balcony floor, pen desperately clutched in one hand as the other hand hovered mere centimetres away from his parted lips, begging to bleed. Footsteps permeated his empty, barren world, so loud and jarring they rattled his bones and dug daggers into his skull, and then someone was coming into view, shattering the mountains and the skies and that helpless, lonesome feeling in just the slightest.

The person wouldn’t have been out of place in a fairy tale, Leo thought vaguely as the newcomer dropped to their knees before Leo, taking his hands and rubbing at them between their own. Their silver hair shone and glinted beneath the rays of sun that now tentatively showed themselves from behind the paint-dipped clouds, and a pair of striking blue eyes met Leo’s with a burning intensity that Leo couldn’t bring himself to look away from. Because amidst the weeping wind and flurries of snow within those orbs, there was also warmth and worry, emotions that Leo couldn’t understand for the life of him yet tugged at his otherwise motionless heartstrings regardless.

A song about a prince… a prince in a cold, winter kingdom. A prince who was icy and rigid at first glance, but the closer you got to him, the more time you spent in his company…

“Leo-kun,” came a quiet call, which Leo dutifully ignored. He quickly pulled his hands from the person’s grip, tuning out the protests he got as he searched for paper- where is it, where is it? A melody began to play in his head, something sweet and haunting, designed to bring its listeners to the very top of treacherous peaks and into the hearts of swirling storms- before taking their hands and leading them out carefully, lovingly, with whispered apologies and promises of more. It was a deadly dance, yet tantalising and beautiful all the same, and if Leo didn’t get it down on paper right this instant-

“Here.” Something was being pushed into his hands, something smooth and flat and oh, this is exactly what I need. Hurriedly unfolding his legs and letting his knees meet the tiled floor, Leo felt himself come to life, hands moving and fingers tapping and small, black notes being rapidly penned on the parallel lines provided. He was doing it, he was writing, this really, truly was...

“A masterpiece,” Leo breathed, because he could breathe now, the air warm and inviting and spring-like, the sounds of leaves and soft breathing tickling his ears pleasantly once more. The world was no longer quiet, no longer torn up and empty save a single pitiful presence- there was someone else, now, a living human being, someone who knew how to take Leo’s hands and drag him up from the depths of despair within seconds, knew how to stay quiet and unobtrusive as Leo finished up his final line of song. Deft strokes were marked swiftly up and down before he was dropping his pen onto the floor with a joyous clatter, his work finally done- this was a piece he could be proud of, could present with his chest puffed out and his head held high. He lifted his head, then, body thrumming with energy and a reckless sort of high, feeling his lips curve upwards in a natural reaction. “I did it! Thanks, Se- oof.”

Izumi had his arms around Leo within seconds, and while this wasn’t uncommon these days, it was still a surprise. Leo blinked, carefully pushing his pen and paper aside in order to properly reciprocate the hug like the gentleman he was. “Sena? You okay?”

The warmth that had seeped pleasantly into Leo’s body retracted itself near-immediately, and he gave a soft whine at the loss. “Am I okay? You’re asking me that?” Izumi’s words came unquestionably harsh, yet as Leo listened, he detected a faint tremor in the model’s tone, and the hands digging into Leo’s shirt tightened their grip in the slightest. “I come home to you freezing to death out on the balcony trying to write some stupid fucking song and you ask me if I’m okay? What the hell, Leo-kun, why would you- you can’t just-” Izumi’s gaze raked up and down Leo’s form quickly, desperately, as if he was trying to affirm that Leo was still alive and unfrostbitten- and then he was pulling him back in for another bone-crushing hug, face burying in the crook of Leo’s neck, shaky breaths tickling the skin there with every pump of both their hearts.

With no small degree of uncertainty, Leo slowly curled his fingers into his winter prince’s hair, running through the soft strands in what he hoped was a soothing manner. “I’m… sorry?”

“Sorry doesn’t cut it,” Izumi said tightly, his voice wavering and threatening to break. “Your hands, you were going to- to-” a shuddering breath was audibly forced through his lungs as his body trembled against Leo’s, and the composer felt his own chest constrict with an emotion akin to guilt. “You scared the hell out of me, Leo-kun, I- you can’t-”

What exactly Leo couldn’t, he didn’t get to find out. Izumi pulled back to look at him again, gaze an aching mixture of both fear and disbelief, and Leo forced himself to hold eye contact. One second, two seconds, three seconds-

“Never do that again,” Izumi breathed, and Leo nodded as fast as he possibly could. Anything to bring Sena relief, anything to keep that terrified expression off his face and put his mind at ease. For this person before him, Leo would promise as much as the world itself, and he’d make good on that promise or die trying. (He got the feeling that Sena might kill him if he died, though, nonsensical as it sounded. No doubt Sena would find a way to make it work, to surpass Leo’s wildest expectations- he always did.)

“Good.” Izumi huffed a heavy breath, and then he was stepping away, hands leaving Leo’s shoulders in an act of direst cruelty. “I’ll clean up. You get inside and take a hot bath, or something. You definitely need one.”

“It’s my mess, I’ll-”

“No.” Izumi levelled him with a strict glare, and Leo recoiled immediately. “You’re fucking freezing, Leo-kun, I felt it when I hugged you- you’ve been out here for hours, haven’t you?”

Leo gave a sheepish grin, stepping back with his hands out in an I surrender position- he couldn’t argue with the truth, after all, and Sena likely wasn’t backing down today. Plus, now that it had actually been mentioned, Leo did feel pretty cold- like he’d been beamed up into zero-temperature space for a few hours before being dropped right back down onto earth as a Leo-shaped ice cube. He turned away from the balcony, retreating into the apartment through the sliding door.

“Ah- wait. Leo-kun?”

Name called as soon as he stepped foot inside the threshold of the apartment, Leo looked back at Izumi curiously. The model had a stack of papers in his arms already (ever the efficient worker), but he set them down on the metal table they had outside before striding over to Leo quickly. His expression didn’t give much away, the only meaning Leo could glean from it being something along the lines of I forgot something. Some last-minute instructions to give to Leo regarding returning inside, perhaps?

“What’s up, Sena?” Leo asked as Izumi drew closer, feet coming to a stop just a few centimetres before Leo’s socked ones, and huh. Sena had rushed out onto the freezing balcony tiles barefoot? Well, that wouldn’t do. Leo opened his mouth, just about to tell his idiot friend that he had no right to be preaching self care to Leo when he himself didn’t have the sense not to get his own feet frostbitten-

-when Izumi leaned in and pressed his lips to Leo’s forehead in a gentle kiss.

The feeling on his skin was gone before Leo could even react, his eyes widening and hand flying up to touch just a millisecond too late. The kiss had been brief, barely-there, and then Izumi was stepping back, cheeks rosy and eyes facing everywhere but at Leo. Leo gaped at him in marvel, some vague disbelief- he wasn’t sure the point of contact could even be called a kiss, what with how light and fleeting it was, simply the tiniest brush of lips- and yet it undoubtedly was one, because there was no way in hell even Sena didn’t know the significance of using his lips like that.

“I’m- glad you’re here,” Izumi muttered, eyes flicking up to meet Leo’s for a fraction of a second before looking away again, focusing somewhere over Leo’s shoulder. “And not just for your songs, okay? It’s for you. So don’t go freezing to death so easily, over something like that.” (Leo was sure he’d be able to paint a thousand pictures using the red in Sena’s cheeks, right about now.) “If you ever feel like that again, just- call me. Or something. You can wait for me, just- don’t force yourself to write if you don’t think you can.” Izumi’s eyes shifted downcast, then, fingers clearly fidgeting where they were stuffed in his pockets. “Don’t… hurt yourself over it. Promise me that.”

Leo didn’t feel at all cold anymore- he couldn’t imagine feeling cold, at this very moment. It was as if a thousand fireworks had lit up and burst inside of his chest, bringing forth a thousand melodies of equal shine and splendor. “I promise, Sena!”

Izumi’s head snapped upwards at the words, evident surprise in his eyes- perhaps it was a product of how readily Leo had agreed, or how Leo hadn’t commented on the kiss (it was a kiss, it was a kiss, Sena had kissed him!)- and then the emotion was gone, cleanly wiped away and replaced by the model’s usual no-nonsense expression. “Good,” he said for the second time in under ten minutes, before turning away and quickly moving back in the direction of the balcony. 

Ah. “Sena, wait!”

Izumi turned back to look at him, looking just a touch apprehensive, and Leo bounded up to his friend (housemate? Crush? Were they dating now? What the hell did that kiss mean, actually?) with a beaming smile that he couldn’t quite keep off his face. He looped his arms around Izumi’s neck easily, ignoring the half-hearted mumble of a protest he got, and brought a hand down to cup at Izumi’s cheek. Warm, was what immediately came to mind, because that was exactly what Sena was- warm, comforting, sort of like hot chocolate on a cold winter day. Easy to burn yourself on if you weren’t careful, but a source of love and care once you got past your initial wariness and took a single chance.

Leo ran a light thumb over Izumi’s cheekbone, a little in awe at how soft his skin was- before letting his eyes drift down to a more obvious, inevitable destination. Pretty. Sena’s lips were pretty, all pink and plush and not dry or cracked in the slightest, the model ever so diligent with his lip balm applications in the cold. Leo looked at those lips and wanted- it would be so easy for him to just lean in and press his lips to Sena’s, to taste his warmth and chase the high he’d been wanting to for the past three years. It’d be quick, wouldn’t take even a second-

-but Izumi was looking at him with wide eyes, lips slightly parted in what might be shock. While he definitely had his gaze trained on Leo’s lips as well (is he not aware of it? Cute), and was possibly thinking along the exact same lines as Leo, the composer wasn’t sure if they were ready for that- for this. They were still fairly new to this whole ‘might actually be in a relationship but who knows’ mess, and hadn’t talked about their feelings in the slightest- which, now that Leo was thinking about it, they should probably do.

Still, he couldn’t just leave his Sena hanging like that, so he went for option number two- not as good as number one, but good enough. He trailed his hand down to Izumi’s jaw and tilted his head gently to the side, suppressing a grin at the slight hitch in breath he got in response, the fluttering of eyelids as the silver haired obeyed his silent command without a word for once. Standing up on his tiptoes, Leo leaned in and pressed a chaste kiss to Izumi’s cheek.

There was a soft gasp as Leo pulled away, heart surging with love and affection and I did it I did it I did it. When Izumi turned to look at him there was something bright and impossibly tender in his eyes, an intoxicating mixture that Leo rarely came across, and yeah, maybe option two had been a pretty good idea.

“I’m glad you’re here too, Sena,” Leo said giddily, body thrumming with pure elation. The smile on his own face seemed to be infectious, because Izumi was smiling too, now, the expression softening his usually sharper features in a way that made him look- happy. What was it he’d said back then, when they’d both been on Requiem’s stage the previous year, hearts full and souls light and pulses beating with enough love and joy to light up the entire world…?

If you’re smiling, then I am, too.

Well, Leo supposed as he fought the urge to lean in and kiss this most charming, unintentionally romantic bastard senseless, that much seemed to be true. And it didn’t just go one way- seeing a smile on his knight’s face made Leo’s heart soar, his pulse race, made him feel as if he could conquer the world with a thousand songs in that very instant.

Even something as daunting as world domination was no difficult feat when he had Sena by his side, after all.

(Sena secretly likes hugs and kisses, official evidence number three. Confirmed!)

•••

(“I could carry you on my back so your feet don’t touch the ground, it’s really irresponsible for you not to be wearing socks out here, Sena-”

“Shut up, Leo-kun, and get off of me. If you want to help so badly, go pick up the papers over there before they fly off in the wind and take someone’s eye out.”)

•••

The sound of a key entering a lock came loud and clear to Leo’s ears where he was lying in front of the apartment’s front door, scribbling a quick line of notes accompanied by a whole fleet of sharps and flats on manuscript paper. Lifting his head, he quickly sat up, eyes on the twisting doorknob before him. If past experience served him well enough, Sena would be stepping through the door in three, two...

One. “Sena!” Leo yelled, flinging himself forwards and throwing his arms around Izumi’s legs as the model entered their home, nearly knocking him off-balance and out the door. There was a yelp of surprise that made Leo grin, squeezing his friend tight as said friend scrabbled for purchase against the doorframe to keep from toppling over. “Sena, write a song with me!”

Izumi’s cheeks went from their usual colour to Leo’s current favourite shade of pink within seconds. “Write a- what the hell, Leo-kun,” he said in obvious fluster as he frantically glanced behind him, as if to make sure none of their neighbours were out and about to witness him getting ambushed by a certain hyperactive gremlin (or so Izumi would call him). He shook his right leg the best he could with Leo on top of it- a clear attempt to get the composer to release him, which Leo refused to do- before groaning and giving in, shuffling into the apartment amidst the blockade and slamming the door shut behind him. Leo took immediate advantage, taking Izumi’s hands in his and pulling him down onto the floor with him, the two of them ending up a jumbled mess of limbs and warmth on the hardwood beneath them.

“I mean it,” Leo said brightly from where he was sprawled over Izumi’s lap, the latter wincing as he dragged himself properly upright and scooted backwards to lean against the front door. The look on his face was one of vague panic and disbelief as Leo looped his arms around his waist from where he was lying belly-down in between his legs, resting his cheek against Izumi’s hip. “Write a song with me. I’m bored, and it’ll be fun, and I want to, so we should! Write one with me!”

“I- is this supposed to be a proposal, or something?” Izumi spluttered, and ooh, Leo hadn’t thought of that before. It was a nice idea, actually- getting down on one knee and asking Sena to marry him, to be his and only his from thereafter. Or maybe he could propose through song, or an elaborate composition that spelled out his monumental question in a secret code- but all of that brainstorming could come later, he supposed, given that the Izumi in the present was looking so adorably wide-eyed and taken aback at his blatant misunderstanding. (Not that it had to be a misunderstanding, if he didn’t want it to be.)

“I didn’t mean for it to be one,” Leo mused, tapping his fingers idly against Izumi’s hipbone in a three-beat melody. “Why? Do you want me to propose to you?”

Cheeks flushing spectacularly and looking thoroughly out of his element, Izumi averted his gaze, pushing himself up off the floor with his palms and making Leo lose his grip on him with a whine. “Shut up,” the model muttered as he got to his feet (Leo scrambling to do the same), and then Izumi was quickly walking away in the direction of their bedrooms, red tinting his skin all the way up to his ears. 

Leo chased after him, the way he always did. “No, wait! Does this mean this is your preferred way of being proposed to?” He caught Izumi’s wrist and held him back, heart beating a thousand miles per hour as he dug his heels in and kept the object of his affections in place. “How’d it even seem like a proposal, anyway?”

Izumi groaned, prying at Leo’s fingers with his other hand and roughly breaking free from his grip before continuing his path down the hallway, Leo following. The model’s steps were hasty yet brisk, and he kept his eyes stubbornly forward and away from Leo as he spoke. “You’re always writing songs for me, but you’ve never asked me to write one with you. So it sounded kind of like you were asking me to spend the rest of my life with you, or something. Do me a favour and never mention this ever again.”

That… made zero sense, and at the same time made a lot of sense. “Would you want to spend the rest of your life with me?”

Izumi froze for a mere millisecond, as if he was actually considering it- and then he was moving full speed ahead again, so quickly Leo had to jog to keep up as they entered a familiar bedroom. “Don’t be an idiot. I’m going to shower.” 

“Yeah? Can I come?” Leo was dimly aware that his mouth was moving faster than his brain, but that was hardly any different from the usual, so it should be fine, right? (Probably.) Besides, he was pretty sure that at this point, the only answer Sena would be giving him for anything was-

“No.” Izumi spoke tersely, tugging his phone and wallet out of his pockets before striding over to the nearby nightstand to put them down. “Just drop it, Leo-kun.”

“I haven’t even proposed properly, though?” Leo reached out and grabbed Izumi’s hand again, and the latter didn’t even try to escape this time, opting to keep walking straight ahead and drag Leo along behind him as the composer tried to keep up instead. “Hey, Sena, do you like me?”

Izumi’s steps halted far too abruptly, and Leo tripped, sending himself stumbling forwards with a faint yelp. There was a soft noise of surprise from Izumi as he whirled around to face Leo, eyes widening and palms flying out to steady him on his feet like it was second nature- except the hands on his shoulders weren’t enough to keep Leo from tumbling into his housemate from lack of balance regardless, making Izumi stagger backwards and land on the edge of his bed, one hand quickly pressing against the mattress to prop himself up as his other arm curled around Leo.

There it was- the question that had been on the tip of Leo’s tongue for weeks, ever since the Dual Kiss Phenomenon out on the balcony. Ever since Sena had kissed him (on the forehead) and Leo had kissed him back (on the cheek, but who was keeping track, anyway) and they’d then proceeded to do what they did best- ignoring the entire affair and avoiding the inevitable tricky discussions. As if just not talking about it would fog out everything potentially problematic between them. Now was as good of a time as any to get some answers, Leo guessed as Izumi tensed beneath him, eyes flitting away from Leo’s and fixing on a nearby lamp instead.

“Of course I like you. You’re my friend,” Izumi said quietly, which wasn’t what Leo meant at all and Sena definitely knew it. “Is this all? I’d like to shower, now.”

“I like you, Sena.” There was a shallow, barely-audible hitch in breath, along with Izumi’s grip tightening on Leo’s shoulder in the slightest, which Leo took as a sign to continue. “I like you- no, I love you. A lot. Like, a lot, lot. So much I feel like I’m going to burst, sometimes.”

Izumi shook his head, giving a dry, humourless laugh. “You love everyone, Leo-kun.”

“This is different!” Leo shot back indignantly, fingers fisting into the front of Izumi’s shirt from where he was practically straddling his hips, knees pressed to the mattress as he tried to force Izumi’s gaze upwards by tugging at the soft fabric. “You’re different. I love you in a way that’s, like...”

How could he explain this, exactly? Explain that the very sight of Sena made Leo’s heart flutter and his lips curve upwards for reasons he couldn’t explain (he could), that the briefest brushes of hands between them felt like gentle flames flickering against Leo’s skin, warm and cozy and unmistakably home? That the knowledge that this particular person was here, with him, made Leo feel like this was all he needed, like his every possible want or need had already been fulfilled in an instant? That the idea of losing Sena, seeing him walk away or be wrenched out of Leo’s sight made his heart jerk, his body still, his blood run absolutely cold? How could he possibly say all of those things aloud, express them and do them justice in the way his beloved knight deserved? How, how, how…

A song, came the obvious answer, and Leo damn near let go of Izumi as the thought hit him like an asteroid striking the earth. A song. How could I not have thought about that before?

And how do I write the perfect song in under five seconds, while Sena’s still looking at me with this expression on his face?

The look in Izumi’s eyes was open and conflicted, vulnerable in a way Leo had only ever glimpsed a handful of times. He was gazing straight up at Leo now, lips pressed together like he was forcibly preventing himself from uttering a word (or maybe crying? He did look a little like he might cry, if Leo pressed him hard enough in a fit to break him), and there was fear mixed in there, something Leo couldn’t disregard even if he blindfolded himself and wiped all his senses away in some alienistic ritual. He got the vague feeling that he was holding up the weight of the world (his world, his Sena) on his shoulders, his next words surely capable of doing as much damage to Izumi as he desired. He could heal him and build him up, or he could shatter him and crush his remaining pieces to the tiniest molecules in existence- all with a mouthful of words, words that weren’t Leo’s forte to begin with.

I don’t want you to be scared anymore. I don’t want to be the one to put that expression on your face, and yet...

Will my next words be the ones that hold you in the tenderest embrace imaginable, an embrace that you, who loves to be held, will surely love- or will they rip us both apart, tear into the fragile connection we’ve been maintaining all this while, and morph us into something wholly irreparable?

...There was the littlest spark of hope in Izumi’s eyes, if Leo wasn’t just imagining it.

“You’re… special,” Leo said softly, fingers loosening their grip on Izumi’s shirt in the slightest. The gaze boring into his was blue, blue, blue, and Leo wondered, briefly, what it’d be like to be allowed to admire those clear springs anytime he wanted, without having to fear the consequences. “The main melody, sort of. Like, if this were a song, everyone else would just be ornaments, stuff like turns and trills and tiny little appoggiaturas- which sound pretty and all, sure, but you…” He found himself lifting a hand to thumb gently over Izumi’s cheek, watching in awe as the model’s eyelids fluttered shut for just a moment in response. “You’re the main thing. The real thing. You bring it all together, you… none of this, nothing in the world would exist, without you.”

Izumi gazed up at him as if in a trance, eyes wide and lips enticingly parted. Leo felt his own heart skip one, two, three beats as he anxiously waited for a reply. “Sena?”

“I...” The model’s lips moved soundlessly, clearly trying to sound out whatever words that he felt were appropriate yet failing, and wow did Leo just want to throw caution to the winds and kiss those lips if they weren’t going to say anything, anyway. “I thought we were talking about a song?”

“We are. A song can go on even without ornaments or extra direction, as long as it has the main melody to be played. That’s the most important thing,” Leo reiterated, lightly nudging at Izumi’s cheek with a knuckle. “That’s you. You’re the main thing, the important thing, the conductor of my orchestra. I love you. I love you like that.”

Izumi fell silent again, simply looking up at Leo like he couldn’t believe his eyes or ears. Leo felt apprehension slowly bubble up to the surface, throat tightening in the slightest as he gave Izumi a shake by the shoulder. “Sena. Does that make sense? Do you get it?” Please, please, please tell me you get it. This was likely the best explanation Sena was going to get without the aid of a literal composition, which Leo currently didn’t have the time for, so if Sena didn’t understand this...

Leo wasn’t sure what else he could possibly do.

“Leo-kun, I-” Sena was talking, he was talking. Leo met his eyes hopefully, helplessly, every cell of his body shimmering and thrumming and on absolute tenterhooks as Izumi picked out his words agonisingly slowly. “All those things, I… everything, you’re- just-” the model broke off with an annoyed sort of groan, eyes falling down to his lap, arm tightening around Leo’s waist in evident frustration. He seemed to be struggling, words only coming out in bits and pieces, and Leo could sympathise with that- conveying one’s thoughts in ways others could understand, without manuscript paper and the sound of strings and keys to fall back on, was a daunting task he knew all too well. Sure, the situation was probably slightly different for Sena, but the premise was the same. Leo wanted his answer now, he’d wanted his answer yesterday, but to push Sena like this, to force such blinding expectations onto him with his words, his expressions...

Leo sighed softly, drawing Izumi’s attention back up to his face. Azure eyes met green, the former clearly trying not to but still showing equal, if not even larger amounts of apprehension that Leo himself felt- and yet, despite the way his heart leapt and plummeted with every passing second Izumi didn’t respond to his confession, Leo felt his lips curve slightly upwards.

“C’mere, Sena,” he murmured, letting his body fall forwards as he threw his arms around Izumi’s shoulders, the model letting out a faint sound of surprise as he was sent toppling back onto the sheets with the weight of both their bodies. Leo took a slow, shaky breath, Izumi’s scent enveloping him and clouding his senses, ever so familiar and calming. “It’s fine. You don’t have to answer, okay? I just- wanted you to know.” That was a lie, probably the greatest lie Leo had ever told- he wanted, needed an answer, felt like he might physically combust within seconds if Sena didn’t give him a reply- but he couldn’t say that aloud, wouldn’t rush Sena into saying something he might regret. Instead, Leo hugged him as tightly as he possibly could, trying to convey every drop of care and reassurance and love he could in the single action, fighting the urge to press his lips to the crook of Izumi’s neck as he buried his face there. “It’s fine. It’s fine, Sena.”

(Maybe if Leo said that to himself enough times, he would come to believe it.)

He felt Izumi shiver beneath him, the model’s breath shuddering as he breathed in and out- then arms were wrapping around Leo slowly, tentatively, and hugging him right back. The room fell silent save the sounds of both their breathing, and Leo’s eyes begged to fall shut- all was quiet, peaceful save the thoughts going absolutely haywire within the confines of his brain. Maybe if he fell asleep now, he’d wake up and this would all have been a dream. He’d never have spoken to Sena about any of this, never would have confessed, wouldn’t be squeezing his eyes shut and forcing burning tears back as he clung on to Izumi like a lifeline the way he was doing now-

“I love you too, Leo-kun.”

Leo’s eyes flew wide, wide open.

“Don’t-” Izumi’s palm pressed at one of Leo’s shoulders, keeping him down and still against his body even as the composer tried to sit up, to see with his own eyes that Sena’s lips were moving, that the words were really, truly coming from him. “Don’t get up. Don’t- look,” Izumi mumbled, and he sounded awkward, maybe a little embarrassed, the way he always got when he said anything remotely honest about his feelings. “If you look at me, I- I won’t be able to. All the things you said...” Fingers curled gently into Leo’s hair, and Izumi’s next exhale came in the form of a shaky sigh. “I feel the same. You’re important to me, the most important person, and-” Leo’s heart soared, soared, soared- “I love you, in that way. Romantically. If it wasn’t already clear. Because you really aren’t clear with all of this, the way you’re always ambushing me and hugging me and saying you love me but never really, really-”

Leo laughed, lifting the upper half of his body and propping himself up on his palms, breaking free from Izumi’s arms in an instant. There was a flustered yelp from the model as Leo gazed down at his face, which he could finally see, and oh. 

“You’re gorgeous, you know that, Sena?” Leo said warmly, feeling the grin on his face lift a little higher as Izumi’s eyes widened, cheeks flushing even pinker than before, if possible. For someone full of airs and faux confidence, Izumi sure was terrible at handling genuine compliments- something that Leo planned to use to his full advantage. “You’re so, so beautiful, and cute, and kind and careful and considerate and soft and-”

“Shut up ,” Izumi groaned, aiming a poorly-executed swipe at Leo’s head that the latter easily dodged. “You’re being insufferable. As usual.”

“But you love me, so it’s fine, right?” There was a loud, long-suffering noise of complaint (but not explicit denial!), and then Izumi was tugging Leo back against his chest, hugging him close and clearly keeping his head firmly down on purpose. Leo giggled, pushing back against his grip and managing to prop himself up on his arms again, hovering over a blushing, blushing Izumi. “I love you, I love you- hey, Sena, can I kiss you?”

Izumi’s gaze flitted from Leo’s eyes down to his lips for one, two seconds- before promptly looking away, as if doing so would erase the moment, or the flush in his cheeks. “...Do whatever you want.”

That, Leo definitely would. He sat up, rocking back on his heels and tugging at one of Izumi’s hands to get him to sit up at eye level as well. The model complied to his whims without a word of protest, looking the slightest bit self-conscious as Leo cupped his cheeks carefully, tenderly in his palms. It felt as if something bright and multicoloured had burst forth in his heart, his soul, bringing a thousand possible melodies to mind in turn, to the point that they were overflowing. Everything was a blank canvas made of staves waiting to be filled, countless harmonies made possible by this one moment, this one person-

“Hey,” came a soft, vaguely annoyed-sounding murmur that likely wasn’t all that annoyed at all, and Leo blinked, the world coming back into focus. Izumi rolled his eyes, one hand in Leo’s hair and a smile tugging at his lips as he thumbed at Leo’s hip with his other hand, the motions warm and grounding. “Focus, would you?”

“Sorry, Sena!” Leo grinned, leaning in so their noses lightly bumped, and oh. He wasn’t completely sold on the concept of heaven, but as Izumi gave an impatient huff and leaned in to close the gap between their lips himself, Leo felt like he might just become a believer.

Izumi’s lips were impossibly soft and loving and warm, slightly hesitant with their press against Leo’s yet growing far more insistent when Leo responded. The arm around his waist pulled him closer, as if they weren’t already close enough, and really, Leo shared the sentiment. There was nothing about Sena that Leo wouldn’t want to be close to, wouldn’t endlessly crave when they were even a centimetre apart- simply doing this, sitting pressed up against his other half as their lips met again and again and again, one of Leo’s hands reaching up to tangle in Izumi’s soft hair, was something to be cherished. Leo wouldn’t mind spending the rest of his life like this, actually, the only downside to the otherwise perfect arrangement being-

Leo felt his eyes widen, breath hitching in his throat as he hurriedly pulled away from their tenth, twentieth, hundredth kiss. Izumi blinked at him, looking as if he’d been snapped out of a daze, cheeks flushed and hair a mess and lips pink and shiny and oh, what Leo would give to kiss him again-

“What is it?” Izumi asked, eyes searching Leo’s with thinly veiled worry. “Did I- did something-”

“I forgot about the song!” It was blatant, obvious, nearly a crime- Sena surely seemed to agree, if the look of complete disbelief he was giving Leo was anything to go by. “We still need to write one together! Except now, it’ll be like consummating our relationship, or something.”

Izumi let out a soft groan, and before Leo knew it he was being tugged forwards into the model’s arms again, every inch of him warm and inviting. “Leo-kun,” Izumi said in a way that was likely supposed to be stern, even as Leo got the feeling he was trying his hardest not to laugh, “you did not just stop kissing me to tell me you want to consummate our relationship by writing a song together.”

“I kind of did, though?” Leo pouted into the fabric of Izumi’s shirt, then tilted his head slightly to rest his cheek against his shoulder. “Why, what’s wrong with a song?”

“Nothing, but the outburst definitely could have waited, and there are better ways to consummate things,” Izumi said flatly, and oh, that was quite the idea. “Do you even know the context in which consummation is used, Leo-kun.”

Leo pulled back and grinned at him. “Marry me and you’ll find out.”

He was well-versed in the act of dodging a half-hearted flick to the forehead by now, and he laughed while doing so, swaying his body from side to side as he looped his arms around Izumi’s neck, nuzzling his cheek affectionately. “Fine, fine,” Leo said, planting soft kisses wherever his lips could reach and smiling as Izumi relaxed in his hold, arms snug and warm around Leo in turn. “No more of that. Let’s just… stay like this, for a while?”

“Mm.” Izumi pressed his lips briefly to the top of Leo’s head, the gesture so unfailingly tender and intimate, somehow, that Leo’s fingers longed for a pen and some blank paper- he was filled from the crown to the toe with so much inspiration he felt like he was bursting at the seams, but...

...He didn’t quite want to leave Sena, yet. So he didn’t.

It was minutes before Leo dared to break the comfortable silence they had going for them, Izumi’s fingers carding soothingly through Leo’s hair. “Hey, Sena?”

An idle twirl of some unruly locks, before the ministrations continued. “What is it?”

“Does this mean I can join you in the shower now?”

Leo howled with laughter as Izumi shoved him sideways onto the bed, cheeks brilliantly flushed and looking, for all intents and purposes, absolutely scandalised. “Fuck you,” he said in obvious fluster as Leo rolled over on the mattress chortling, and then the model was hurriedly getting out of bed, leaving Leo clutching at his stomach in mirth as he grabbed a towel and headed towards the bathroom. “See you later, Leo-kun.”

“I love you, too!” Leo called back, and he’d have had to be blind to miss the slight smile that graced Izumi’s face as the bathroom door swung deftly closed. The sound of the shower started up, and Leo felt his own lips curve upwards as he sighed contentedly, lying more or less spread-eagled on Sena’s bed and letting his eyes fall dutifully shut.

(Sena not-so secretly likes hugs, kisses and me- Tsukinaga Leo- official evidence number four, confirmed.

Case closed!