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“Have you heard about Inspector Hosonaga’s baby?”

“Oh, yes. He brought him along when delivering some evidence the other day.” The sheets rustle as Ryunosuke’s ice-cold toes make their appearance, pressing against Kazuma’s shin. “Longest eyelashes I have ever seen on a child.” 

“Oh yeah?” Biting back a hiss, Kazuma pokes his fingers against his partner’s ribs in retaliation, relishing the startled yelp. 

(The conversation takes a brief pause as their tussle devolves into a short-lived but intense battle of flailing limbs and underhanded techniques. A near-ruined pillow, two nipped noses and a coughing fit later, a stalemate is declared.) 

“Doesn’t it feel like everyone’s having babies these days?” Kazuma asks once they’ve caught their breaths. Behind him, the clock ticks with the stern reminder that the deadline for getting dressed is fast approaching. “We were gift shopping for a new-born just last week.” 

“Well, it’s not that unusual at our age,” comes the muffled reply. Ryunosuke pauses mid-stretch, eyes crinkling. “Well. Your age.”  

“...Are you calling me old ?" 

“Self-awareness is very important - especially for men of your status and age, Asogi-sama - “ 

The nerve. The gall. The audacity.

“Men in glass houses with your birthday shouldn’t be throwing stones, Ryunosuke - “ 

“Didn’t you get called ouji-san by the cashier last week?” 

The morning sun dapples Ryunosuke’s sleep-rumpled skin with shadow freckles, honey and burnt gold. His grin only widens in the face of Kazuma’s scowl, eyes glimmering with the infuriating smugness of being right.

Kazuma is an adult. Travelled, educated, respected. He is above retaliation to such childish jabs.

With a growl, the heir to the respected Asogi clan tackles his partner back into the sheets.

-

“Ryunosuke, have you seen my necktie?” 

“You left it on the table, next to the Eichi case files,” comes the reply from the next room. Fabric rustles, wood clacking against metal. “Give me a second, I’ll grab it.” 

The last mouthful of jasmine tea scalds the tip of his tongue, just a shade too bitter from its hasty brewing. His hair finally surrenders to his wishes when Ryunosuke joins him in front of the mirror. Ignoring Kazuma’s outstretched hand, he crowds close to loop the tie around his neck. With a smile, Kazuma leans down to make his job easier. 

“Iris’ suit today?”

His partner hums, twisting the red silk with quick, practiced motions. A knot soon settles snug against Kazuma’s throat. “Considering today’s client, it seemed appropriate.” 

“Quite.” Kazuma allows his eyes to rake over every handsome inch, indulgent in their current privacy. “You look very dashing, as usual.”

The sharp, clean cuts of the navy suit did wonders for Ryunosuke’s shoulders. The sight of Chunosuke’s familiar grey ears, tucked snug and safe into the breast pocket, warms his heart.

“My students have been following the trials eagerly, you know. I’ll be expecting a victory that will leave them raving.”

Ryunosuke’s reflection rolls his eyes, tempered by the beginnings of a grin. “I shall do my best not to disappoint them, sensei .” Nimble fingers twist the silver family crest in place before sliding down to rest on Kazuma’s chest. “There you go.” 

Mmmm - thank you.” 

He can feel Ryunosuke’s smile underneath his own - and Kazuma can’t help pulling him back as soon as they part, a kiss more befitting the final moments of a date rather than a Wednesday morning before work. His partner’s face is warm under his palms when they finally break apart, eyes glazed and glassy. 

“What’s gotten into you this morning?” His voice hitches from pointed to breathless, ears flushed a delightful shade of pink. The urge to take a quick bite is hard to resist. 

“Can’t a man kiss his partner goodbye?” 

“Not twenty minutes before he’s due to leave the house, he cannot,” Ryunosuke grumbles. Fingers pinch Kazuma’s hip in quick retaliation. “Now lest you want to admit to deliberate sabotage, let go.” 

Twenty-five minutes later, Ryunosuke’s footsteps thunder across the courtyard with the nervous energy of someone very late. Pocketing his keys, Kazuma glances over to the family altar.

“I’m off,” he calls out, voice soft. He gives himself another moment to linger - on his parents’ joined hands and beaming smiles, immortalised in glossy black and white print - before he pushes the front door open. 

-

“Have you read through the whole case file?”

Koizumi-kun - Wednesday’s student and one of his most promising prosecutors-in-the-making - nods vigorously. 

“I have, Asogi-sama. I just…”

He trails off, unsure. With what he hopes is a gentle but encouraging smile, Kazuma nods at him to speak his mind. 

“...it just seemed a little...far-fetched?” Shaky fingers twist nervous creases into his hakama and Kazuma makes a mental note to dedicate next week’s lesson to body language and composure. “It was a very interesting case but surely it’s pretty….unrealistic, as far as attempted murder cases go?”

Ah, youth and their faith in the Universe’s reasonableness. “You’d be surprised. I did change the names and a few circumstantial details - but the majority of that case is based on a very real one from London.” 

Koizumi-kun’s mouth falls open. “...even the bird witness?!” 

Kazuma manages to swallow his laugh, reaching for the thick, yellowed folder. 

“Let’s review it together, shall we?” 

-

Ryunosuke is twenty minutes late for dinner. 

When he eventually arrives, it's in a flurry of half-packed documents and weary smiles. 

“Sorry, sorry!” There’s a brief touch against Kazuma’s shoulder before he lands in the opposite seat. “Post-trial proceedings got dragged out.” 

Kazuma just nods, carefully to school his smile into one suited for a crowded restaurant. “Too many adoring fans to greet?” 

Ryunosuke’s chuckle is more courtesy than amusement. “Ah - nothing of the sort. After the guilty verdict, the culprit started throwing some really ugly insults. And chairs. Security had to get involved.” 

There’s exhaustion in his voice where pride should reign after a victory well-deserved - a grim set to his mouth that is frankly unacceptable.

“You could sue them for damages, you know. I’m sure they gave you plenty for a claim.” Hidden behind the soy sauce bottle and their mugs, his fingers rest atop his partner’s hand. “I’d be happy to represent you any day.”

“...You know, I thought that kind of declaration would be much more romantic.” 

Underneath the table, Kazuma’s foot bumps against the other’s ankle. “Isn’t it?”

“The opposite, actually. I can see it already.” Ryunosuke shakes his head, voice climbing an octave with pretence. “‘Kazuma, it’s past midnight. Come to bed.’” His spine then straightens into an exaggeration of a familiar posture, voice dipping into gruff baritone. “‘I can’t, I’m busy preparing your case, partner. Can’t you see that my tenth practice run of the opening statement couldn’t possibly wait until morning?’” 

“Oh bite your tongue before I do it for you, Counsel.” 

---

It’s been ten years and change since his glorious defeat in the British courts, and Kazuma Asogi - prosecutor, newly-minted mentor for fledgling lawyers and professional status-quo-agitator - finds himself at an impasse. 

---

Moving back into his old family home was a little more complicated than he’d expected. 

Living in London had been a complex, convoluted thing. The English capital had been a strange, faraway concept for so long, synonymous with his father - his aspirations, his absence, his unfair death. Once he’d regained his memories and his occupation, it had been impossible to avoid constant reminders of Genshin - surrounded by his former colleagues and friends, frequenting his haunts daily. The first few months had been a hurricane of hectic work, strained social events and quiet moments that seemed to last forever, pocketed between gray mornings and smoky, starless evenings. 

But - unexpectedly, steadily, inevitably - as the seasons changed and the years multiplied, London slowly morphed into something familiar. Like a new pair of boots finally fitting after months of blood and blisters, shaped by Kazuma’s mortifying failures and shining triumphs. 
A place no longer shaped solely by Genshin Asogi’s absence. 

His childhood home, on the other hand, was a different story altogether. 

Every corner featured in at least one memory, from hazy emotional scraps to crystal-clear recollections. A glance over the top of the paper would prompt a flash of his mother - pouring tea, her posture perfect and lips pursed in concentration. The sun would scatter a rainbow across his desk and he was six again, perched over his father’s lap gripping a fountain pen with both hands. The wind would extinguish the evening’s incense and Genshin’s voice would ring through his ears, reminding his child-self about fire safety. 

He walks past the corner he’d favoured during hide and seek every morning. His clothes hang in the same cupboard his father used to keep his suits in. The stairs still bear the scars of Kazuma’s first enthusiastic sword practice. The doorframe to his office is still marked with lines chronicling his growth, his mother’s neat script proclaiming each date and age. 

(He’d caught Ryunosuke tracing over them a few months prior, with a brush and a steady hand.
“I didn’t want them to fade,” he’d said, quiet and flustered. The memory still holds Kazuma’s throat in a vice grip.) 

Most days, it’s a good thing. Warm and terribly familiar, tangible when foggy darkness threatens to swallow his thoughts. Other days, Kazuma swears it would be easier to breathe in a country where his house was a complete stranger.
When the desire to uproot threatens to overwhelm, the Mikotoba estate was a good compromise - comforting in its familiarity, but home to significantly less familiar ghosts. 

“Thank you for having me on such short notice.” 

“You’re always welcome here, Kazuma-sama.” Tea swirls into his cup, accompanied by a tone equal parts fond and exasperated. “You know that.” 

(He does, mostly. The thought is easier to accept these days.)

His esteemed sister - needle-sharp and terrifyingly observant - keeps the conversation light and safe, ranging from her studies to the betting pool regarding Prosecutor Auchi’s bald spot. It’s only when he stands to help her serve the sweets that he notices the package. 

“...what’s that?” 

“Oh! We were cleaning out the attic the other day.” With a quick tug of string, Susato reveals its contents. “Do you remember these? 

“Of course.” The little bluebell yukata Susato wore to festivals when she was small enough to carry. Textbooks with big letters and colourful diagrams. The dog-eared collection of ghost stories that kept them exhilarated long into the night. “Sure brings back memories.” 

“I wanted to donate them to the local school, but Father wants to keep them.” Susato’s voice dips, as if sharing a secret. “He says he’d like to safekeep them...for the future. Just in case.” 

“...Ah.” 

What a sweet, simple wish. If only it were that easy. He was already so lucky, having a mentor who welcomed his affections towards his dearest friend - they both were. 
(And yet his heart - traitorous, insatiable, insufferable - keeps urging him to steal just another glance at the remnants of their childhood, aching with something like longing.)

“I don’t think I’ve had a chance to commend your students yet, Kazuma-sama,” Susato says, breaking him out of his reverie. With a flutter of pink fabric, she settles in the seat beside him. “They’re very sharp on their feet.” 

“It’s been an honour, getting to tutor them. And I love sharing what I learnt in London.” The admission is easy, as is the pride in his voice. “Foreign legal knowledge should be accessible to more without a compulsory assassination.” 

That earns him a chuckle. “It suits you.” In the flickering lamplight, Susato’s eyes are impossibly warm. “You always had a big heart.” 

“...I’m just a greedy man, really.” The words taste strange on his tongue. “Always wanting more, refusing to acknowledge my own limits. And the world’s.” 

A shoulder bumps against his own, followed by the familiar weight of his sister’s head. “A man can contain multitudes, nii-sama.”

-

The walk back is a blur, all reflexes and muscle memory. He thinks he takes his coat off and locks the door, fingers numb from the cool evening air. In the living room doorway, his feet stutter to a halt.  

It’s a scene he’s come home to a hundred times - the lights painting long shadows on the wall, Ryunosuke’s back hunched in his familiar bad posture over the well-loved dining table. But tonight - head hazy with Professor Mikotoba’s hopeful wishes and Susato’s encouragements - the sight leaves him struggling for breath. 
As if on cue, Ryunosuke glances up, concentration melting into a warm smile. 

“Welcome home,” he says, easy as anything, and Kazuma’s heart hurts. “How is Susato-san?” 

“All good,” he replies, voice miraculously steady. “Hope I didn’t interrupt.” 

“Ah, no - just reading my letters from London.” With a little flourish, he procures a delightfully pink envelope. “Iris sent another list of very specific requests and naturally, Gina piggybacked onto it. There’s also a long one from Maria - a page full of horrifying medical discoveries, and another full of questions about...pickled plums and why every Japanese dessert has beans in it.” Ryunosuke’s expression crumples into weary acceptance. “No matter how many times I’ve tried explaining that it’s not like those beans - the tinned ones swimming in tomato sauce - she still doesn’t get it.”

It usually takes five steps to cross the living room. Kazuma manages it in three, hand settling on the small of Ryunosuke’s back. “...For an only child, you have amassed an extraordinary amount of younger siblings.” 

Brown eyes roll good-naturedly, lips pursing into a near pout “I am excellent in running errands.”

“I don’t think you understand. You left the entire British court completely enamoured with you.” 

A snort. “Oh, please.”  

“It’s true! It was all but your good graces towards my person that kept Prosecutor Van Zieks and Inspector Lestrade civil.” 

“You are being dramatic.” If Kazuma’s grip around Ryunosuke’s waist is too tight for comfort, he doesn’t mention it. “Are you going to come help me carry all this home tomorrow?”

“Buy me dinner first.” 

---

On Sunday, Kazuma wakes up just before the dawn. 
The glass bells chime above the porch, the wind sharp with the promise of rain. Next to him, his partner snores peacefully, grip snug in the blankets around his hip. Threading his fingers through his lover’s hair, Kazuma watches the sky bleed into morning and thinks about legacy.

---

Ryunosuke had brought up the topic only once. 

“You’re the subject of the latest gossip again, y’know.”

They’d met in the park they’d frequented as students, at the visiting prosecutor’s behest. The leaves were crimson and copper above their heads and crispy underneath their shoes, air sharp with the impending winter. Kazuma remembers managing a short moment of coy pretence before nudging his partner to continue. “Let’s hear it then. Anything good?”

Ryunosuke’s cheeks had been pink from the wind, smile far too knowing for his liking. “It’s the usual, really. Rumours of your London exploits. How you accused a visiting prince of espionage, then duelled him in the courtroom. How you were supposedly involved in Mr. Sholmes’ latest escapade involving a locked room mystery and four jars of lard.” A pause, his breath misty. “And the real reasons behind your visit, of course.”  

“...Surely there’s nothing odd about a visit home after so long.”  

Ryunosuke had hummed, oddly nonchalant.“...Many speculate you’re making arrangements for the future.” 

And there it was. The moment he’d been waiting for - the perfect opening for Kazuma to deliver his good news, a secret months in the making and painstakingly guarded.

“Preparing to get engaged, perhaps.” 

And as per usual, nothing in his plans accounted for Ryunosuke himself.

“...What?” was the only thing Kazuma could croak, dumb and bewildered.

“I mean - it would make sense for you,” Ryunosuke’s gaze had shifted to the distance. “The Asogi family line is long and prestigious. I know it’s always been a point of pride for you, rightfully so.” 

“...Ryunosuke, what are you saying?”  

“...I’ve thought about it, too. And how - it’s not something I can give you.” The words sounded rehearsed, like a doctor delivering tragic news. “So if - that was the reason why you’re here, I’d…I’d understand.”

Kazuma could still recall the icy dread that had gripped him, each word a dagger to the heart. Without thinking, his fingers had fastened around the other’s wrist. 

“Would you?!” he’d snapped, the thought a bitter vice tight around his throat. “You’re telling me you could - accept that, just like that? After all we’ve been through?!”  

For a long, torturous moment, silence was his only answer. Then Ryunosuke’s shoulders had slumped, strings cut. 

“It would be...excruciating.” A raspy admission, composure crumbling at the edges. “But I know how important your family legacy is to you. I don’t want to take that away from you.”

Through some miracle, Kazuma had resisted the immediate urge to viciously shake the other. 

How could he explain? How could he put it into words - the all-encompassing urge to stitch himself under Ryunosuke’s skin, to weave the strings of their destinies together into knots that no disaster could untangle? If there was one thing the years apart have confirmed - it was just how much brighter Kazuma’s life was for having Ryunosuke in it. No matter the distance between them or the odds stacked against their favour.

“Legacies - our legacy is built on pride and love.” His voice had been a strangled thing, a desperate attempt to confess before asphyxiation. “It’s worthless otherwise.”

He remembers Ryunosuke’s pulse rabbiting against his trembling fingers, eyes wide and wild. It was like standing on the docks of Dover all over again - holding out his soul and most precious treasure to a speechless boy. Asking to be safekept.  

(What a terrifying, wonderful privilege, to have someone whose hands you’d place your heart in, over and over again.)

“I’m coming back. For good.” Oh, how good those words felt to say aloud. “I’ll finish my apprenticeship and wrap up everything in the next six months - and then I’m coming back to Japan, for good. And - as I was going to ask before you decided to throw yourself on your sword for my supposed sake - I want you to come live with me.” 

It had been Ryunosuke’s turn to be gobsmacked.“...what?”

“Move in with me,” Kazuma had repeated, thumb pressed snug against his wrist.“...if the Asogi estate isn’t to your liking, we can move somewhere else once my affairs have been settled - “  

And then, with a flutter of coats and limbs, his arms were suddenly full, Ryunosuke’s grip crushing the air out of his lungs. 

“Okay,” he had whispered against his ear, warm and solid and perfect. “Okay.”

---

Wednesday finds him at the Mikotoba residence, afternoon suddenly cleared due to a small flooding in the prosecutor’s office. 

“...it must have been a difficult decision. Taking me in, back then.” 

A stray bird calls for its mate under the window, rain clattering against the glass noisily. Behind the gentle curtain of his steaming drink, Yujin Mikotoba’s expression is puzzled. 

“...it was a very simple one, actually.” He traces the rim of his mug, smile softening. “Genshin was one of my most treasured friends. And - you probably don’t remember, but I’ve known you since your parents brought you home from the hospital.” 

“But you risked so much!” It’s a struggle to keep his voice level. The thought had been like a pebble in his shoes for days now, sharp and begging for clarity. “With all the accusations against Father - you could have endangered your reputation, your career...Susato-san’s future!” 

“My priority was making sure you were safe and cared for - anything else was secondary. “ There’s a terrible sort of kindness in his eyes that cuts through Kazuma like a knife. As if to spare him, Professor Mikotoba glances out the window in contemplation. “And...perhaps it sounds arrogant, but I always thought that...whatever problem came about, I could and would solve it somehow.” 

He raises his mug to his lips. Kazuma finds himself mirroring him, porcelain scalding against his fingers.

What a lovely, straightforward sentiment. If only it were that easy.

But then again…

If someone’s ambitions had included studying medicine in Great Britain, befriending a great detective and accompanying him on adventures that would later serve as inspiration for a world-famous series of novels - alongside marrying and raising a wonderful daughter and becoming a respected university professor actively involved in research and national cases…

Kazuma would have deemed such a list overambitious and impossible. 

And yet…
Here sat Yujin Mikotoba, living example and far from completing his list of accomplishments. 

A clock rings cheerfully somewhere in the house, reminding them of the impending dinnertime. 

(...if only it were…)

“You seem deep in thought, Kazuma. What are you thinking about?”

Alongside hindsight, the past decade had been generous with its gift of self-awareness. Kazuma - once-amnesiac, first-time partner and elder-brother-still-in-training - knows he’s a man insufferable in his stubbornness and perfectionism with all things important. He knows his temper could still use tempering, as could his patience. A demon still lurks in the darkest depths of his heart, forever holding a reminder of what he’s capable of.
But he’d also crossed the ocean and helped clear his father’s name, thwarting the most powerful man of British law in the process. He’d studied under an aristocrat, a famed detective, a peerless inventor. His efforts had slowly - but inevitably - contributed to kickstarting a change in the legal system that will be felt for generations to come. He’d offered his heart to the man he’d grown to love, and was embraced in return. 

Who was to tell him that the rest of his dreams were impossible?

“Legacies,” Kazuma replies slowly. He thinks of Ryunosuke’s smile between waking and his first tea, precious and unguarded. Of the marks on his office doorway and the dog-eared paperback in the Mikotobas’ attic. Of the applications on Susato’s desk, the Yuumei uniform hanging outside her closet. Of Sholmes’ photos tucked into his letters, chronicling the thawing of Prosecutor Van Zieks and the rapid growth of Iris. Of his students, their youthful ambition and unrivalled determination. 

“And that perhaps...some things...certain futures are not as impossible as I once thought they were.”

A second bird joins the first outside the window in a flurry of cheerful trills. Across the table, Professor Mikotoba’s smile is wonderfully kind.   

“There are so many lost, abandoned children in the world, aren’t there?”  

---

Surely, steadily, inevitably, the seasons change and the years multiply. The wind winds its way between the festival stalls, catching the ends of the red ribbon adorning Kazuma’s long hair. 

“I’m glad it didn’t end up raining in the end,” he says to the lady he recognises from the office - not well enough to call her by name, but enough to warrant a greeting and polite small talk.

“Last thing we needed!” she laughs, nodding vigorously. “Well, please enjoy the festival and - oh! Those must be your children over there, Asogi-san!” 

He follows her gestures to the nearest stall, towards the little girl in a bluebell yukata. The lanterns light his daughter’s profile in sharp focus, curly brown hair glittering bronze. She adjusts her aim with utmost seriousness, eyes blazing with fierce determination. Head carefully angled away from her elbow, her brother chants his encouragement from her side.

There’s a sting in his eyes that Kazuma swiftly ignores. “You could pick them out with just one glance?”

“Well, of course! With that confidence, who else could they be?”

The ring lands around a carved wooden toy, prompting a flutter of applause from his son. His sister grins, crossing her arms in a terribly familiar manner. 

“Indeed,” Kazuma replies, composure a breadth away from cracking. “They’re my pride and joy.” 

-

“When are the fireworks starting?” 

“Shouldn’t be long now,” Ryunosuke repeats, wiping their son’s cheeks clean from his third dango. As their daughter - insistent on having her brother sit on her lap and not anyone else’s - starts up an impromptu countdown, Ryunosuke’s eyes meet Kazuma’s above the children’s heads. 

“I thought we agreed we weren’t going to adopt more festival goldfish?” he mouths, annoyed. With no less than three fish-filled plastic bags balanced on his lap, Kazuma can only grin. 

“I didn’t think she would just keep winning,” he mouths back with the innocence of someone who definitely hadn’t spent the last few weeks practicing goldfish scooping with their daughter, at her earnest request. At Ryunosuke’s deepening frown, he bats his lashes.“...I’ll buy you shaved ice afterwards?”  

“You can’t solve everything with shaved ice,”  his partner whispers with the conviction of someone who already decided on his choice of flavour. Kazuma’s reply is swallowed by the sudden whistle through the air, accompanied by a cavalcade of bright lights and delighted screams.   

Eyes fixed on the fireworks, Kazuma’s hand finds Ryunosuke’s, resting on their daughter’s back.
The sky explodes into gold and pink. His partner’s fingers intertwine with his own. 

His children's smiles rival the stars in the sky and all’s right with the world.

 

 

---

AN:

An extremely late entry for Day 3 of the Asoryuu Week, Family! Please check out the other amazing works for the week on Tumblr and Twitter! I also implore you to check out these amazing AsoRyuu family fanarts - they are absolutely perfect and make me so, so happy. 

Hope you guys enjoyed - any thoughts are super appreciated <3 If you're on Tumblr, hit me up!