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Touya works everywhere .

Normally, this isn’t a problem. Normally, Yukito likes that he has the possibility of running into Touya whenever he’s out. Normally, he likes to watch Touya work, likes to watch the finer details of his boyfriend, be it his hands expertly pouring cream into steaming hot coffee to form a perfect heart on its surface or the forced smile on his face as he engages with yet another irritating customer.

(Yukito especially likes the way Touya’s smile turns soft and genuine when he sees him.)

But this week isn’t a normal one, and Touya’s ability to work countless part-time jobs at once is nothing but trouble, because Yukito is trying to keep a secret from him.

It isn’t a bad secret. But it’s a secret nonetheless, so when Yukito runs into Touya at the fabric store, he panics and is nearly found out.

It happens when Yukito is standing in front of rows and rows of bolts of fabric, all of them bright and colorful and patterned, so much so that looking at them is beginning to make Yukito’s head hurt. He knows he needs simple fabric, something soft and plain, but beyond that, he’s lost. There are so many different types of fabric, and he needs his choice to be perfect . It’s probably ridiculous for him to be doing this in the first place, if he’s being honest with himself. But Sakura had suggested it, and maybe Touya would—

“Having a hard time deciding, sir?

Yukito nearly jumps out of his skin at the sound of Touya’s voice, wry and amused. The tips of his ears burn, and he knows Touya spots his blush when he turns around because Touya’s grin turns into a full blown smirk.

“Wasn’t expecting to see you here, Yuki,” Touya says. “You don’t normally come to shops like this. What are you doing?”

“I—” Yukito scrambles for an excuse; he latches onto the first one he sees. “I’m just helping Sakura-chan with a gift for one of her friends.” Yukito smacks himself internally. He prays Touya won’t ask his sister about this mysterious “gift” or why she went to Yukito for help instead of him.

Touya lifts a brow. “Wouldn’t it be better if she were here to help you pick out fabric? What are you two making anyway?”

“I… I don’t know.”

Touya blinks at him.

“I-I mean,” Yukito continues hastily, stumbling over the words, “all she told me was that it’s a gift for her friend. She said to get some kind of fabric that’s soft to the touch. Furry, almost.”

Touya hums. “You’d probably be best going with this one then.” He pulls out a bolt of fuzzy, light gray fabric that matches Yukito’s hair in color. “I’m assuming you’ll be sewing it, and this one is easier to work with than thicker fabrics. How much do you need? I’ll cut it for you.”

Yukito mumbles some half-remembered measurements that provide him with far more fabric than he really needs and leaves in a hurry with the fabric bundled tightly in his arms. That was close. That was too close.

And it just. Keeps. Happening.

Everywhere he goes, Yukito seems to run into Touya. When Yukito realizes the string he bought doesn’t match the fabric, Touya is there to check him out. When Yukito fails at hot gluing the ribbon into a bow so many times that he’s forced to get more, Touya is there to offer his recommendations. When he nearly stabs himself in the eye with his needle because he’s too tired to stay awake and goes on a late-night coffee run, Touya is there .

(That one wasn’t actually suspicious—or it wouldn’t have been, had Yukito not frozen automatically and nearly walked out of the coffee shop upon seeing Touya behind the counter.)

Each time, Touya simply looks at Yukito with an expression that, by the end of the week, has begun to shift from amusement to confusion to worry. Yukito feels a bit guilty when he sees that worry on the edges of Touya’s eyes, but he reminds himself that it will all be worth it. Touya, despite his increasing concern, still doesn’t question Yukito, not even when Yukito skittishly purchases from him a small gem that is obviously an amethyst. Yukito breathes a sigh of relief once the amethyst is safely in his pocket.

With that, his secret is complete.


“…are you hiding from your own birthday party?”

Yukito isn’t sure why he’s surprised. He arrived at Touya's house a few minutes ago and was greeted with a kaleidoscope of colors even more blinding than the fabric store was. Rainbow streamers were strung along every wall, confetti littered the floor in thick piles, and a huge banner done in a child’s scrawling handwriting announced “HAPPY BIRTHDAY TOUYA.” Fujitaka apologized for the chaotic mess; Sakura did not. She emerged from the kitchen with flour spotted all over her apron and informed Yukito that the cake was almost finished and he had to get Touya to come out of his bedroom because it is his birthday and she will eat the entire cake without him if he doesn’t hurry up.

Touya, sprawled languidly on his back in his bed with a book in his hands, glances briefly at Yukito. “I’m trying to. I heard that little monster say she was making me a cake. I’m pretty sure I don’t want to eat it.”

“I’m sure Sakura-chan’s cake will be delicious. It smelled good,” Yukito offers helpfully, setting down the box he’s carrying and sitting on the edge of Touya’s bed.

“You eat anything . You hardly have high standards.” Touya drops his book to his side and looks up at Yukito. “She and Dad always go all out for my birthday on leap years. I don’t get it. It’s not like we don’t celebrate it on other years too. We just do it on the 28 th . I don’t want them to spend money getting me presents.”

Yukito lifts a brow. “Does that mean you don’t want my present either?”

Touya’s eyes flash.

He is upright in an instant, is kissing Yukito in the next, so suddenly that Yukito has no time to blink, so quickly that Yukito forgets to kiss him back . He should be used to this by now, to the intensity of Touya’s affection when they’re alone together, but it always startles him, as if some part of him is still in denial about Touya truly loving him. But then Touya’s hand fits to his cheek, his fingers sliding up beneath the gray of Yukito’s hair, and Yukito eases into the familiarity of the kiss. His eyes flutter shut; he sighs against the smile of Touya’s lips. His hand comes to rest on Touya’s chest, and beneath his palm he feels the steady thump of Touya’s heart as it stutters faster. Touya kisses him hard , insistent, drawing Yukito in closer, closer, until Yukito is breathless and light-headed—and frantically reminding himself that Sakura and Fujitaka are expecting them downstairs any minute now and they really can’t take this any further right now.

Touya frowns when Yukito pushes him away. He looks so genuinely surprised by Yukito breaking their kiss that Yukito can’t help but laugh. “I’m not the present,” he teases.

Touya’s cheeks turn faintly red. “Right,” he mumbles. “Yeah. Obviously.”

Yukito can’t resist kissing the light crimson on Touya’s face. He rises to retrieve the present and tosses the box to Touya. “Open it,” he says, bouncing slightly as he settles back onto the bed. Touya looks at him for a moment before slipping the lid off the box.

Inside is a teddy bear.

Touya pulls it out with a look of confusion. The bear is clearly handmade; the stitches of its mouth are uneven, and its ears look more like a cat’s than a bear’s. The lilac ribbon around its neck has a few lingering strands of hot glue from where the amethyst birthstone— Touya’s birthstone—was stuck onto the center of the bow. Touya runs his fingers through its soft, gray fur, forming lines in the very fabric he helped Yukito choose a week earlier. His eyes widen with dawning understanding as he realizes that this is why Yukito had been so skittish.

Yukito watches quietly, waiting for Touya to say something. As the silence stretches on, he starts to wonder if he should apologize. Maybe Touya is angry with him for trying to avoid him this week. Or maybe Touya thinks the present is dumb. Giving a grown man a teddy bear for his birthday? Who does that? “I’m sorry,” Yukito says quietly. “I know it’s kind of childish. I couldn’t think of anything you would want. Your sister gave me the idea, and I thought it was cute, and maybe you would like it if I made you something, but you don’t have to keep it if you don’t, so—”

Touya cuts off Yukito’s rambling with another kiss.

It’s softer this time, just a brief brush of their lips on one another, and when Touya pulls back he’s smiling. “Yuki, I love it,” he says. “I’d love anything you got me. You know that.” He looks back at the bear in his hands. “I’m just embarrassed I didn’t figure out what you were doing. I mean, I knew you were up to something , but honestly…”

“You didn’t make it easy,” Yukito admits. “How many jobs do you have , exactly?”

“Too many.” Touya brushes the fur out of the bear’s black button eyes with a look of gentle fondness. His smile, small as it is, is so warm that it makes Yukito’s heart skip a beat. “You really didn’t have to get me anything. I’m just…”

Touya trails off, but Yukito hears the unspoken echo of the words.

I’m just glad to have you here with me .

“Of course I had to get you something.” Yukito reaches out to stroke the top of the bear’s head and looks up at Touya with a grin. “After all, it’s not every day you turn 4.”

“Shut up ,” Touya groans. He squishes his face into the bear’s stomach in frustration. His next words are muffled. “Do you have any idea how many times I heard that stupid joke today?”

Yukito laughs and reaches out to pull the bear away from Touya’s face. Touya glares half-heartedly at him from behind the bear’s fur; Yukito kisses his forehead, the only part of him he can get to, until Touya drops the bear in favor of pulling Yukito back into his arms and pressing their lips together once more.

“Thanks,” Touya breathes when they part, his voice the slightest bit unsteady, and Yukito smiles and touches his forehead to Touya’s.

“Happy birthday, Touya.”