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strawberry cake and a dozen roses

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At ten o’clock on a Sunday morning, all Kei wanted to do is sleep. But when the doorbell rang and Tadashi pulled him out of bed to go see whoever it is, Kei didn’t have much of a choice. Besides, saying no to Tadashi was nearly impossible. “Tsukki, Tsukki, someone’s here!” He cheered like Santa was on the other side of the door.

 

In his bright dinosaur matching pajama set, Tadashi toted Kei down, even though he’s only wearing a pair of boxers and a dirty white t-shirt with stains no bleach could get rid of. He whines in protest, but he was weak against children, especially his brother’s child. Tadashi was almost too much.

 

Tadashi worked on the ten locks on their door Kei insisted they needed before the door swung open and Kei was met with a sight he didn’t want on a Sunday at ten o’clock in the morning.

 

“Kuroo!” Tadashi greeted with a big toothy grin, dimples pressed into his tanned, freckled face at the sight of Tetsurou standing there with an equally toothy smile. Tetsurou was dangerous. Dangerous in that he was actually wearing clothes today, navy slim pants rolled up by his ankles, a matching plaid shirt with hints of blue and red, and a navy bow tie to match his navy sailor shoes, an outfit that only screamed Akaashi’s hand in it.

 

There was no way he put that together himself, not when Tetsurou was either shirtless in swim shorts or wearing his waiter uniform covered in ketchup stains because he was popular with the children on the island, Tadashi included. “Morning, Tadashi!” Tetsurou smiled and ruffled the boy’s already messy hair. He handed a small take-out box to Tadashi and put a finger to his lips. “Go put this in the fridge; it’s your favorite.

 

Tadashi nearly yelled, peeking into the box and bounding over to the kitchen screaming “DINO NUGGETS!” the entire way there. Kei, embarrassed by his own appearance, leaned against the wall by the door because he was too tired to hold himself up on his own two feet and deal with Tetsurou at the same time.

 

“So? Did you come all the way up here just to bring Tadashi some dino nuggets?” Kei sneered, though it wasn’t as potent because Kei wasn’t fully awake yet. “You couldn’t wait until tomorrow?”

 

Tetsurou smiled and only stepped in the house a little bit because he knew Kei wanted his space. “Of course not, Kei. It’s Valentine’s day! I had to visit...and I’m sorry it’s a little early, but I was just so anxious that...here I am.” Tetsurou gestured to himself, his outfit, and the heart shaped box and a dozen red roses that wasn’t missed by Kei’s eyes. “And I figured you wouldn’t have any plans today...so I wanted to invite you both to go surfing today, if you’d like. And maybe a dinner at a nicer place than the one I work at.”

 

Kei rubbed his temples and sighed. Ten o’clock in the morning was too early to deal with Tetsurou, too early to be an asshole, too early to shut the door in his face and force Tetsurou back on his way. “Fine. Whatever.” Kei succumbed to Tetsurou’s pressure.

 

“Really? Ah, Kei, I promise we’ll have a lot of fun today!” Tetsurou smiled before handing over his gifts. “The small box is for Tadashi. He still likes cherries, right?” Tetsurou inquired, to which Kei nodded fondly. Tetsurou was unfair. “I’ll be down by the beach!” Tetsurou smiled before running down the hill, cheering as he did so. Kei smiled.

 

He shut the door and headed inside to where Tadashi was sitting on one of the barstools in the kitchen, snacking on the dino nuggets that he just couldn’t put in the fridge. When Tadashi met Kei’s gaze, he frowned. “Sorry, Tsukki. I couldn’t help myself...they smelled so good.”

 

Kei smiled. “It’s okay.” He rummaged in the cupboards for a vase for the roses, setting them on the hall table where he’d walk by them every day and look at them in reminder of who brought them for him. Tetsurou was unfair. “Kuroo brought you chocolate cherries too.”

 

Tadashi looked in disbelief as Kei opened up a box filled with them. “You can have one if you finish your nuggets, and you can have the rest later when we get back.” Kei smiled and watched as Tadashi started inhaling the nuggets as fast as he could. “Don’t eat too fast. We’re...going surfing today. With Kuroo.” Kei paused. “Is that okay?”

 

At the moment, Tadashi was more invested in the food, so he nodded happily, cheeks stuffed with the corpses of miniature chicken dinosaurs. Kei smiled and took his own seat and eyed the heart shaped box. Tetsurou should have known Kei never liked chocolate; probably something he came up with since it was typical for the holiday. But when Kei opened the box and discovered it was not an assortment of chocolates, but a strawberry shortcake from his favorite bakery in all of Hawaii, Kei turned red in the face and nearly slammed his forehead on the island.

 

Tetsurou is unfair.

 

The only thing holding him back from being with Tetsurou was Kei’s endless thoughts that usually ended up in Kei crying at night. Tetsurou was perfect; he was great with Tadashi, always considerate of his feelings and laid back when he needed to, was extremely handsome, so thoughtful to get Kei and Tadashi  both something they liked...there was nothing wrong with him at all. Tetsurou had no faults, except maybe his hair. But even Kei found his hairstyle appealing.

 

There was no reason except Kei’s belief that if he were to date, Tadashi would ask questions, would pester more about his real parents, would think that Kei loved Tetsurou more, and that dating while raising a child would be too much for Kei to handle.

 

But Tadashi showed no signs of inquiring about his real parents, and latched onto Kuroo like a bee to honey. So once in awhile, he did indulge in Tetsurou’s whims, went on small dates, let him spoil Tadashi with his favorite foods, let them play together like they were a family. “Tsukki, is Kuroo your friend?” Tadashi asked innocently with a chocolate cherry in his fingers.

 

Kei stared incredulously. “Y-yeah...I guess.”

 

Tadashi muched slowly, and didn’t pester much after that. They quickly got dressed, packing Tadashi’s floaties and toys in a bag along with sunscreen and towels for both of them. The beach wasn’t far at all from their house, so they walked to the sandy shores until they spotted Kuroo underneath an umbrella, shirtless as per usual, with a surfboard sticking up in the sand and a small picnic box next to it.

 

“Yo, Tadashi. Did you already eat your dino nuggets?” Kuroo asked, lifting his sunglasses atop his head. Tadashi slid to his knees next to Kuroo with a smile, guilty of his crime. “Well don’t worry, I’ll bring you some more tomorrow if you’d like.”

 

Kei sat down gingerly on the sand as the two bonded easily before they were both getting up.

 

“Kei, do you want to come out and surf with us? My board is big enough for all three of us.” Tetsurou smiled, the sunlight basking him in glorious sunshine. It was hard for Kei to look away.

 

“Sure.” Kei stood up, let Tetsurou help him with the sunscreen on his back, trying to deny that Tetsurou’s hands on his back felt so good. And Tetsurou also tended to Tadashi thoughtfully before they were all heading out on the water to catch big waves. He knew Tadashi was safe with Tetsurou, and sitting on the board with Tadashi in front of him, and Tetsurou behind him, Kei couldn’t have felt happier.

 

He let himself go, smiling non-stop though it was unlike him, laughing and nearly screaming when Tetsurou rode them on a tight wave, making both Kei and Tadashi feel like they would fall off, but never did, when they were floating on still water and pushing Tetsurou off and laughing at how silly his hair looked wet, how Tetsurou would throw Tadashi high in the air and into the water, how Kei never heard Tadashi giggle so much and without restraint, how Tetsurou lay his head on Kei’s shoulder when Tadashi was floating by himself, staring at the sky, how Kei leaned back into the warm touch…

 

Cold and pruney, the three of them made their way back to the shore and under the umbrella to dry off and soak up the sun. Tadashi opted for grabbing all of his buckets and toys and playing in the sand not to far away from Kei and Tetsurou. Kei leaned back against Tetsurou until they were both lying on the sand, breathing quietly, enjoying each other’s warmth for the time being.

 

“Thank you...for the cake.” Kei mused, letting Tetsurou wrap an arm around his shoulders, let his body inch closer to Tetsurou’s. “I was almost mad at you...I thought you had gotten me some cheap chocolates…”

 

Tetsurou laughed. “I’m not that dense.”

 

“No, thankfully.” Kei hummed, closing his eyes, basking in the sound of waves crashing, the sound of Tetsurou’s nervous but even breath. “Thank you. For...everything. For...being you.”

 

Tetsurou smiled and pressed his nose against Kei’s cheek. “I know you’ve heard me say this before, but I do everything because I love you. And Tadashi included.” Kei didn’t respond; he didn’t know how to respond. “Will you be my valentine today, Kei?”

 

Dating? That wasn’t good right now. Tsukishima had too much on his plate. But today was a Sunday, Valentine’s Day. “Sure, I’ll be your valentine.” Kei sighed wistfully, turning into Tetsurou’s body, wrapping his arms around his torso. “But just for today.”

 

“Thank you, Kei.” Tetsurou kissed the top of Kei’s head. “Even this one day is enough to make me happy for weeks.” Kei laughed; he knew Tetsurou would be craving for more tomorrow. But Kei could indulge in Kuroo for just one day. Just one.

 

Tadashi peeked over at the couple, met eyes with Tetsurou, and gave him a big smile and a big thumbs up. Kuroo gave him a big thumbs up back.