Yuki Eiri stood in the living room of his apartment, his mouth agape in shock. He stared wide-eyed at the decorated evergreen tree that now stood in one corner. His yellow eyes followed the ropes of tinsel that were now taped around the windows and doors. On top of the television set was a small Santa figurine, his arms held up in the direction of the sky. There were two stockings tacked to the wall near the bedroom door, "Yuki" embroidered in gold on one and "Shuuichi" in silver on the other.
"What the hell happened here?" He almost screamed. He wheeled around and glared at Shuuichi.
The pink haired boy quickly found something interesting on the floor, making sure not to look at his lover. "Well, Yuki... I just thought that, since Christmas is in two days... that I would... decorate a little," he said after a pause.
The novelist just stared at him. After a long moment he sighed and flopped down on the couch, covering his eyes with his arm. He could still see his lover, though, and watched as the boy shuffled to the wall and began to take down his silver embroidered stocking. "Leave it," Yuki said.
Shuuichi turned to look at the blonde, his large purple eyes full of confusion. "I thought you didn't like it," he said, his voice uncertain.
"Did I say that?" asked Yuki, moving his arm off his face and sitting up to look at his lover. He watched as Shuuichi shook his head slowly, then as his face lit up with the realization that Yuki was practically saying that he liked the decorations. He allowed an inner smile while watching that complete change of emotion in such a small amount of time from the boy he called "Koibito" on national television.
Instantly Shuuichi was on the couch, his eyes having gone the size of bowling balls. His hands were balled into fists and gripping the fabric of the couch cusions. Yuki thought he looked like he was going to explode.
"You like it?" he asked excitedly.
Yuki nodded and jumped slightly as his lover let out a loud "Wai!!" and started bouncing on the couch. He began prattling on about how long it had taken him to pick out the perfect tree and about how he had taken the stockings to an embroidery shop on the other side of the city to get the characters sewn onto them. The novelist was only half listening.
He took his package of cigarettes out of his pocket and pulled one out. He stuck it between his lips, lit his lighter and held it to the tip of the little stick until the tip glowed red. He took a few drags off of it as Shuuichi was still bouncing and talking his ear off. "I take it that this means you expect a gift?" he interrupted.
Shuuichi stopped midsentence and blinked. "Well, uh... I guess I was, sort of. But you don't have to get me anything, Yuki, if you don't want to! I mean... Being with you is enough for me," he stuttered.
Yuki closed his eyes and smirked, taking another drag from his cigarette. He could sense that his lover's mood had just shifted again, plummeting from the happy high that his approval of the decorations had elicited. He opened one eye to peek and was surprized to see tears in those purple eyes. He watched as they spilled over and down Shuuichi's cheeks.
"What's wrong?" he asked.
Shuuichi sniffed and wiped his eyes on the sleeve of his orange sweatshirt. He shook his head and smiled big, laughing shortly. "Nothing, nothing..." he said, "Um... I'm going for a walk." He stood up and got his coat. He pulled it on, waved at Yuki and walked out the door.
Yuki blinked. He stared at the door for a minute, then shook his head. He hadn't thought that his teasing about a Christmas gift would upset the younger man so much. He sighed and put out his cigarette in the tray, then stood up and walked into his bedroom. He picked up the corner of his mattress and pulled out a piece of paper, the poem he was writing for his lover halfway finished.
Shuuichi had run all the way to Hiro's house and was now sitting on the floor with tears in his eyes that threatened to spill over any minute. He sniffed and stared at Hiro who had done nothing but smoke a cigarette since the singer had arrived.
"Hiiirooo..." Shuuichi whined, "Why wouldn't Yuki want to get me a gift?"
Hiro shrugged and looked over at his friend. "I don't know. Why does it matter?" he replied.
Shuuichi's shoulders slumped and he poked his index fingers together. "I just thought, you know, that since he and I had been living together for so long..." he said, his voice shaky from the crying he had been doing.
"Idiot. It doesn't matter how long you've been living together. This is Yuki you're talking about. I'm guessing that he doesn't care much for this holiday," Hiro said, putting out his cigarette. He got up from the bed and sat down beside his friend on the floor.
"But, Hiro..." Shuuichi whined again, looking at his friend with huge purple eyes.
Hiro put his hand on the top of Shuuichi's head. "Christmas isn't about presents, Shuuichi. It's about love. You shouldn't be so hung up on a gift from Yuki anyway. Just be glad that you have him as your lover and that he will be with you on Christmas."
Shuuichi nodded and sniffed again. "You're right, Hiro. I'm sorry. I will just be happy that I have Yuki with me," he smiled.
"That's good," Hiro said.
He stood up and walked over to the closet, pulled opened the door and rummaged in it for a minute. Shuuichi watched him curiously from his spot on the floor. Finally the longhaired boy turned around holding a little box wrapped in red paper. He walked over and handed it to Shuuichi.
"Merry Christmas, Shuuichi," he said smiling.
Shuuichi frowned. "T-thank you, Hiro. I didn't bring yours, though..."
"That's okay. I'll drop by and visit you and Yuki on Christmas," Hiro poked Shuuichi in the forehead.
Shuuichi giggled and nodded.
Shuuichi knelt in front of the coffee table the next day, a roll of green and silver wrapping paper, scissors, and tape set out before him. He hummed softly as he rolled out the paper and picked up the box that was sitting beside him and placed it as neatly as he could on the table. He measured out the paper and began snipping it off the roll.
As he wrapped the paper around the box he thought about how he had begun to cry last night. He had left and run all the way to Hiro's apartment, collapsing on his best friend's floor and crying for a good hour about how Yuki didn't seem to want to give him a Christmas gift. He had felt rather like an idiot, though, after he and Hiro had talked.
He put the last few strips of tape on the box to hold the paper in place and turned the box over so that the smooth side was facing up. He grabbed the little bow that he had gotten to match the paper and stuck it in the upper right corner and then took out a pen. He wrote "To my lover, Yuki, from Shuuichi. Merry Christmas and I love you!" under the bow and picked up the gift. He trotted over to the tree and set it underneath the branches.
Just then the doorbell rang. Shuuichi straightened and started towards the door, wondering whom it could be. As he opened the door the smiling face of Yuki's younger brother, Tatsuha, greeted him. Shuuichi blushed, then grinned and let the dark haired man in and shuffled into the living room once more.
"Is Big Brother home?" Tatsuha asked.
"Um, no, he isn't. He left early this morning," Shuuichi replied while walking into the kitchen to get a couple of sodas. He came back and gave one to the other man.
Tatsuha nodded and thanked Shuuichi for the soda. He flopped down on the couch and popped the top of his can, taking a long drink. Shuuichi sat on the opposite side of the couch from him, opening his own can of pop and taking a sip before setting it down on the coffee table.
Tatsuha looked at him. "You still remind me so much of Ryuuichi..." he said with a gleam in his eye.
Shuuichi's eyes went wide and stared straight ahead of him. He heard Tatsuha set his can on the coffee table and was very relieved to hear the doorbell ring again. He practically leaped off the couch and to the door, leaving Tatsuha looking very disappointed on the couch.
When Shuuichi opened the door he blinked and jumped back a little. Standing in front of him, having gone chibi, was Sakuma Ryuuichi. He had a huge bag slung over his back and was wearing a little red Santa hat. He looked up at the pink haired musician with huge green eyes and squealed, bouncing through the door and into the living room. Shuuichi followed him.
"Presents! Presents for Shuuichi-kun! It's Christmas time, you know!" he said in a singsong voice. He spotted the tree and bounded over to it, dumping out his bag and arranging all the coloured boxes beneath the branches.
When he turned around his eyes fell on Tatsuha. He squealed again and bounded over to him, returning to his normal size and pinning the other man to the couch. "Hihi, Tatsuha-kun!" he said. He poked Tatsuha on the nose and giggled. He had greeted him like that ever since they had met each other at the Tokyo Music Festival where Nittle Grasper had sung Shining Collection.
Shuuichi plopped on the couch and watched as the two other men flirted and giggled. He smiled and shook his head, picking up his soda and taking another drink from it. His mind wandered with thoughts of where Yuki had gone off to that morning. He barely noticed as Ryuuichi and Tatsuha escaped to the privacy of the spare bedroom, but rather kept sipping his soda until it was empty. Finally he set it down and decided to take a nap.
Meanwhile, in the park near his apartment, Yuki was sitting on a bench near a tree. He had the half written poem on his lap and the tip of his pen in his mouth. He had been staring up at the sky for a good half hour or more, his thoughts full of lyrics and rhymes. He wanted the poem to be perfect, to express everything that his own actions couldn't begin to tell.
Finally he came out of his haze and looked at his watch. He shook his head and jotted down the rest of the poem that had been dancing through his head for most of the morning. He read it and reread it and gave a slight nod of approval. He smiled, imagining Shuuichi's response to the words that were written on this piece of paper.
Yuki stood and stretched, put out the cigarette that he had been smoking, and turned towards home.
When Yuki walked into the living room the first thing he noticed was his lover sprawled out on the couch fast asleep. The second thing he noticed was that there were now a number of boxes under the tree. He walked over and read some of the labels. Most of them said "To: Shuuichi; From: Ryuuichi". A couple of them read "To: Yuki; From: Ryuuichi" and one of them was addressed to him from Shuuichi. He smiled slightly and turned to go to his bedroom and hide the completed poem.
When he came back out of the bedroom he noticed that Shuuichi was halfway off the couch. He shrugged and went to the kitchen for a beer, knowing that his lover would crash onto the floor any second. He walked back into the living room again just in time to see it happen. He smirked.
Shuuichi sat up rubbing his head. "Ow!" he cried. He looked up and spotted Yuki near the entryway from the kitchen and grinned. "Hey, Yuki! Where have you been all morning?"
Yuki shrugged and walked over to the couch, sitting himself near Shuuichi. The younger man stayed on the floor but scooted over a bit and rested his head on the novelist's leg. Yuki looked down at him and smiled inwardly. He liked it when Shuuichi did those little actions of affection.
Suddenly the door to the spare bedroom opened and Tatsuha staggered out, his face flushed and his clothes looking a little bit rumpled. He was followed by Ryuuichi, who looked about in the same manner. Both of them flopped onto the couch and Tatsuha gave a small wave to his brother.
Yuki blinked a couple times, then shook his head and sighed. "Hello, Tatsuha," he said.
"Hello, Big Brother," Tatsuha replied.
Yuki awoke Christmas morning to the sound of squeals of delight in the living room. He slowly pushed away the covers, retrieved the poem, and left his bedroom to go join Shuuichi in the other room. When he saw his lover he smiled. Shuuichi was surrounded by the gifts that he had gotten from his friends. He looked up when Yuki entered and grinned.
"Thank you, Yuki, for all the pocky in my stocking!" he exclaimed. He picked up the box wrapped in green and silver wrapping paper and held it up to the blonde haired man. "Open your gift from me first!"
Yuki kept the poem well hidden behind his back as he sat down near Shuuichi and took the box from him. He slowly pulled the tape away from the paper so as not to rip it. When he finally got it all untapped he pulled the paper off and looked at the box in his lap. It was a new laptop computer, top of the line and with many perks. He smiled.
"Thank you, Shuuichi," he said, "And now you have to receive your gift from me." He reached behind his back and picked up the piece of paper, handing it over to the surprised looking boy.
He watched as Shuuichi's eyes went wide as he read it. There was a long pause before the pink haired boy set the paper down and looked at his lover. His eyes were teary and the corners of his mouth twitched.
"Oh, Yuki..." he said quietly.
"Merry Christmas, Koibito," Yuki said smiling.
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