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somewhere only we know

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Winter is a wonderful season, one of warm holiday drinks and glittering white snow. There are a lot of fun things to do in the winter - have a snowball fight, go ice skating, even just stay inside to cuddle under a kotatsu. Lots of wonderful, heart-racing activities!

Going swimming in the winter? Not one of them.

It’s been how many years and somehow, Kanata still hasn’t properly grasped this concept.

“Ow, ow, please don’t ‘rub’ my head so roughly,” he whines as Chiaki towels off his soaking hair aggressively. “Chiaki, it hurts. My scales are going to fall off...”

“Let them fall off,” Chiaki barks back, still recovering from the mini heart attack he suffered from when he found Kanata floating near-unconscious in the pond by their apartment complex. He had screamed at the top of his lungs as he pulled him out of the water and carried him up to their room, immediately turning the heat on and piling him with blankets on the couch. He had patted Kanata’s cheeks repeatedly until his boyfriend opened his eyes. “Seriously, do you want to die?”

Kanata pouts at him. “It was not that ‘cold’... It’s February so I thought the water would be warm…”

“There was still ice in it!” Chiaki groans as he moves his hands to unbutton Kanata’s soaked shirt, hoping that with quick work he could warm Kanata’s chilled skin before he caught a fever. Though judging by the redness of his nose and cheeks, it might be too late for that. “Couldn’t you have just taken a bath?”

“Chiaki knows ‘nothing.’”

He rolls his eyes at that. Over the years, Kanata has become easier to understand and Chiaki’s sure he’s got most of his odd habits pinned down. Some things though, will never change. Though when he carried Kanata’s cold limp body up the stairs, he really wish they would. He would die early at this rate. He finally tugs off Kanata’s shirt, tossing it aside. “Alright Kanata, take your pants off.”

Kanata tilts his head in response. “Chiaki is really naughty?”

Chiaki just closes his eyes in response. He takes a moment to pinch Kanata’s nose ignoring his muffled “Chiaki, Chiaki, I can’t breathe - “ before he gets up to grab a dry shirt from their room. Their room is messy, clothes still in baskets and not put away so he grabs the first shirt he can find and the fish-print quilt Kuro knitted for them last Christmas. When he returns to the living room, Kanata has stripped as instructed and is looking at him expectantly. His skin is still damp, droplets clinging to pale, perfect skin, and Chiaki very pointedly doesn’t look at his legs. He doesn’t.

“Here,” he tugs the shirt over Kanata’s head, smiling at the little “oof!” he squeaks out. Then he drapes the quilt over the lower half of his body, wrapping him up like a crepe. A second blanket around his shoulders...there! A Kanata crepe! “That should do it!” Chiaki beams, satisfied with his handiwork.

Kanata lifts the collar of Chiaki’s shirt and sniffs the fabric. “Mmm...this is Chiaki’s isn’t it….” He curls up happily. “It smells like you.”

Chiaki blinks. “Does it?” He had just done laundry too… “Should I grab something else?”

Kanata immediately shakes his head. “No… it is a warm and comforting ‘smell’...” He burrows his nose in the fabric and takes a deep breath. “Ah, it feels like I’m being swallowed up by Chiaki~”

Chiaki’s face blooms bright red at his words. “Kanata...saying things like that…you really...”

Kanata looks up at him, puzzled. “Hmm...?”

“...Ah, don’t mind it, don’t mind. Here, scooch over - “

Kanata brightens up. “Are we going to cuddle?” He sways side to side with excitement. “Please, come warm me up Chiaki.”

“Yes, yes,” Once he sits on the other side of the couch, he opens his arms for Kanata to crawl into. “I don’t see why you deserve cuddles when you’ve been such a bad boy!” he huffs, though it’s completely offsetted by the way he pulls Kanata close. Physical affection like this is always automatic with the two of them, instinct-like even. Chiaki does enjoy being close to him.

Kanata sighs happily burying his face against Chiaki’s chest. “You can ‘punish’ me later.” Chiaki chokes a little in response.

“You….!” He can’t think of anything to say so he just rubs his cheek on Kanata’s head, his damp hair cooling his skin a little. Kanata is always naturally cool, especially compared to Chiaki who runs red-hot no matter what season it is, but now he’s just freezing. Chiaki tugs him closer so that he’s practically in his lap, slides a hand up his shirt. “You are so cold!” His words come out muffled. “Promise me you won’t do something so stupid again, okay?”

Kanata hums, a vibrating sound against Chiaki’s neck. “It will be fine. Because I have a ‘hero’ who will surely come to my rescue whenever I am in trouble…”

“Since when did you get so spoiled?” Chiaki mutters, pulling back to look down at Kanata. Kanata is smiling dreamily at him, hair all mussed up from Chiaki’s handling and entire face flushed. “You’re really going to get sick.”

“Mm, maybe not. Chiaki is so warm I feel better already,” Kanata wriggles in his hold. “Chiaki is really like fire…”

He puffs his chest out at that. No matter how much time passes, he’ll always feel close to his Ryuseitai Red name-call. “Of course! I’m the burning heart after all~”

Kanata doesn’t say anything to that - just places his hand on Chiaki’s chest, right over his heart. Chiaki blinks before sliding his hand up Kanata’s body to do the same. They’re quiet for a moment, Kanata’s heartbeat solid and comforting under his hand. Then Kanata breaks the silence with his giggles. “Chiaki’s heart is so ‘loud’~”

Chiaki splutters. It’s not beating that hard is it?! Kanata giggles again. “Does Chiaki have something he wants to tell me?”

“Stoooop,” Chiaki whines, burying his face in Kanata’s shoulder. “How am I supposed to react when you’re being cute like this?”

“Chiaki is really naughty.”

“You’re the last person I want to hear that from!”

Chiaki stews a little longer before Kanata is poking his back. “Chiaki.” He grumbles in response. “Chiaki. Chiaki.” Kanata continues calling his name, his pokes getting sharper. “Chiakiiiii~”

“Ow, ow, okay I get it!” Chiaki looks up with a huff, Kanata’s eyes glinting mischievously at him. “What is it, Kanata?”

Kanata taps his lips in response. “Kiss.”

He could explode right now. Right now, into little tiny pieces never to be seen again. Death by Shinkai Kanata, too adorable and irresistible for words. While Chiaki is slowly combusting away, Kanata settles more comfortably in his lap - which is actually quite difficult considering the blanket wrapped tightly around his legs. He tugs on Chiaki’s hair this time. “Chiaki~ kiss~”

Chiaki flails a little, sliding his hands back down to grab Kanata’s hips. “Alright, already.” His face is so red, between the two of them it’d be hard to tell which one actually has the fever. “Jeez, Kanata you’re always like this…” he mutters as he leans in.

Kanata laughs lightly in his face. “And Chiaki is ‘always’ embarrassed… even when we do much more than just ki - mmfph!”

Kissing Kanata is always like dunking his head into water; refreshing, soothing, and overwhelming all at once. It makes sense since he likens Kanata to the sea in the first place, calm and placid one moment and fierce and powerful the next. Kanata kisses like he’s trying to rob all the air from his lungs and Chiaki has to give it his all right back. Kanata’s hands have settled in his hair, fingers clenching when Chiaki deepens the kiss, letting out a quiet muffled moan against his mouth. Chiaki leans forward, his hands on Kanata’s waist steadying him.

It’s at this moment that Kanata would normally wrap his legs around Chiaki’s waist, and pull him in even closer, but the quilt restricts all his movement. He struggles a little in Chiaki’s hold, trying to kick his legs free, but to no avail. Chiaki seems to misunderstand his plight and breaks the kiss, the two of them flushed and breathing heavily.

“Okay,” Chiaki gasps out. Kanata leans forward and begins to nip at his neck. “That’s enough - ahhh - you need to rest…”

“No,” Kanata bites down on the skin, not hard enough to really hurt but enough to make a little mark. “Chiaki has to finish ‘warming’ me up, you know…?”

Chiaki stares at him, pupils blown wide with desire and frustration. His cheeks are bright red too - Chiaki is so cute. “Ahhh, I can’t believe you!”

Kanata squeaks happily when Chiaki picks him up bridal style, heading over to their bedroom with quick strides. He was right about one thing - Kanata is most definitely spoiled. And he will gladly allow Chiaki to continue to spoil him for the rest of their days.