When Yata finished putting his suit on and turned to look at himself in the mirror, everything felt weird as hell.
Even with all the work and the hassle - and it had really been a fucking hassle, trying to find a place and someone to officiate on only a few months' notice for a Tanabata wedding - it still felt like this. Like it wasn't really happening. He was just making up shit in his head. It was some kind of dream, and he'd wake up later on and scratch his head at how bizarre it was.
Except that he looked at himself in the fancy white rented suit reflected back from a full-length mirror hanging in a banquet hall's preparation room, and it was unquestionably real.
I'm marrying Saruhiko today.
The thought brought a lump to his throat; Yata couldn't help but smile a little. The person who had been his best friend, his most bitter enemy, and the love of his life. The person who was so brilliant and scornful and closed off, but so clumsy and vulnerable under all that. The person who had always fascinated him, taking his breath away from the beginning - taking his heart before he'd realized he'd offered it up. The person who had hurt him the most, made him feel the strongest, and in the end gave him so much happiness he thought he'd burst.
Today, he was marrying that person.
A telltale sting rose up to the back of his eyes and nose; Yata shook his head and frowned back at his reflection, straightening his shoulders. Not now, damnit... He was seriously never going to hear the end of it if he cried before the ceremony even started.
In an attempt to distract himself a bit, he took another look around the room. It was small - just enough room for two or three people to get comfortably changed - and aside from the mirror there wasn't much in the way of furnishings. A single stool, some hangers for clothing and a few generic scenery paintings on the cream-colored walls.
The banquet hall they'd chosen - or rather, jumped on when it turned out to be available - wasn't terribly fancy, and it wasn't all that big, either, but it was enough for what they had planned. He still wasn't totally sure how that Blue King had found it when they were frantically looking for a place that wasn't booked, but he guessed he owed the guy one now.
Somehow, that was hard to take. Yata scowled to himself. Or maybe we're fucking even, since I'm going to be staring at a bunch of blue uniforms on my goddamn wedding day. That was a battle he was still feeling quite bitter about, and the fact that it had come down to 'Fushimi-kun's comfort level' and 'some needed sense of familiarity' irked him to no end.
As if you know any more about what makes him comfortable than I do...
Still, he wasn't going to let some stupid smiling Blue King ruin anything about today. Yata resolutely turned his mind away from that and moved to pick up his tie from the stool, looping it around his neck and tucking it under the shirt collar properly. Aside from the red carnation that would be pinned to his jacket - which Kamamoto was holding for him just outside - it was the last thing he needed to put on.
Unfortunately, he'd never exactly learned how to tie one...
"Misaki?" There was a light knock on the door along with his mother's familiar voice. "I came by to wish you good luck."
That was good timing. Yata stepped over to the door and swung it open. "Thanks, Mom!" He offered her a grin, rubbing the back of his neck a bit sheepishly. "And, uh... by the way..." He held up the end of the tie.
"You still haven't learned to tie one by yourself?" She shook her head at him critically, but still leaned it to grasp the ends of the tie. "Honestly, Misaki..."
Somehow, she was still smiling a little. Yata watched her face as she focussed on the task, and felt a sudden rush of warmth. His mother was dressed up for the occasion, hair pinned up elegantly and with some delicate jewelry to accent what was probably a brand new dress. It wasn't like she was a frivolous spender when it came to clothing, either - this was special. And she was the on who'd found them an officiant after everything - who'd talked him through all the little details he hadn't known he'd have to worry about - who'd planned out the decorating for the hall, since they couldn't afford to get someone to do it for him. She'd been here with him all day yesterday without complaining, along with some of his close friends from Homra, and at the end she'd been smiling, patient and fond like always.
It was enough to get him choked up again. Yata swallowed hard, and managed a smile as she finished with the tie and lifted her head. "Thanks, Mom." It couldn't be helped if his voice came out husky like that, right? "I... for everything, you know? I love you."
The smile she answered back with was almost blinding. "I love you too, Misaki." She reached up and stroked his cheek, eyes growing suspiciously shiny. "You look so handsome. I am so happy for the both of you." Gently, she reached back to tip his head down and tilted her own face up, planting a kiss on his forehead. "Good luck. You two will be just fine."
"Yeah." Even as he watched her walk back down the hallway, he could feel the truth of that surrounding him, comforting and certain.
We'll be just fine.
There was an order and a precision to the ceremony that was almost relaxing. Fushimi wasn't particularly bothered by the formality, although his husband-to-be had been fidgeting beside him since they'd met just outside the door where they were supposed to enter. Misaki looked a bit out of his element, stiffly handsome in his suit, face a bit red and an anxious scowl on his lips. If anything, when Misaki had looked at him, sharp nervous eyes drifting all the way from his head down to his toes, he'd only seemed to tense up more, as if the sight of Fushimi in his matching white suit had hammered everything home that much harder.
There's nothing to be all that worried about, you know...
He'd memorized the setup of the banquet hall, so he'd already known exactly how far it was from the door to the table where they were sitting while the officiant - some friend of Misaki's family, supposedly - ran the ceremony. It was moderately unnerving to be the focus of so much attention, but in the end, it wasn't like he hadn't handled more than this. One entire side of the room was just people in the familiar blue uniforms anyway, which made it easier.
Focusing on the order and specifics of what was coming took care of any remaining nerves.
None of this was complicated - even Misaki could handle it without mistakes. All they'd had to do was wait for the introduction and then walk in together and sit down. From there, it was just answering questions and signing papers. Everything was so straightforward that anyone could do it.
Why is he still bothered by this? Really, it was no big deal, but Misaki had been on edge the whole time, loudly blurting out his affirmation to the question of whether he took Fushimi as his husband and then glaring out at their audience when the subject of objections came up, as if he thought someone might be stupid enough to actually raise one. When the document was passed to them to sign, Misaki's already messy signature was shakier than usual.
Well, sometimes the smallest things rattled Misaki, so there was no point in thinking too hard about it. Fushimi passed the paper to his right, and Akiyama took it from him, adding his own tidy handwriting to the appropriate line without hesitation.
When it came down to it, Akiyama had only been the least objectionable of Fushimi's choices for someone to stand up with him, but it had worked out nicely. He was efficient, had no trouble following directions, didn't make any irritating comments or ask stupid questions when they'd been told how the ceremony would go, and he could be relied on to carry out last minute tasks if needed. The fact that he'd seemed genuinely pleased to have been asked - had smiled and set a hand on Fushimi's shoulder and responded that he was honored - was a side factor.
A side factor that had permanently etched itself into Fushimi's brain as a not-unpleasant memory, but still a side factor.
Kamamoto sat on Misaki's other side, wearing the same plain black suit as Akiyama - a suit that he'd had to be fitted for less than a week before the wedding due to whatever freakish phenomenon caused him to turn into what appeared, to Fushimi's eyes, to be a completely different person. The transformation was unnerving.
Not that it matters...
Their officiant took the document and held it up for the guests to see - as if anyone really cared - and then strode back to his position just left of their table, cleared his throat, and announced that the couple had chosen to write their own vows and those would be read now for everyone.
... Right. That.
Fushimi felt a little unpleasant curl in his stomach. It wasn't that he'd exactly forgotten about the vows. It was more... he'd pushed it out of his head, not wanting to spend too much time examining the reality that his personal feelings would be announced to everyone in the room.
It's so annoying.
If he'd had his way, the vows would have been the standard ones, static scripting like the rest of the ceremony - nice and safe and uncomplicated. Misaki had been adamantly against that, scowling at him pugnaciously and loudly declaring that scripted vows were useless and what was the point of all this if they couldn't declare their feelings honestly and openly, anyway. Fushimi had eventually given in, more to keep up the appearance that it didn't really matter to him one way or another, and later regretted it as he struggled with the notion of writing something that would be sufficiently serious about his commitment to Misaki.
Declaring his feelings honestly and openly had never been something he was good at.
"Why not try thinking about some special moment with Yata-san while you write?" had been Akiyama's suggestion when he and some of the others from the special operations unit had found Fushimi in the break room scowling at the blank document that was open on his laptop.
"From the heart is best!" Hidaka had added enthusiastically.
"Say you want to make him happy!" Doumyouji had tossed out with a careless shrug. "I see that in wedding dramas all the time!"
Enomoto had looked momentarily thoughtful, and then diffidently added, "Make sure to mention how much you love him. I get the feeling that's a requirement for vows."
... Useless, all around.
In the end, the words came in painful pieces, some sinking into his head while he watched Misaki's back in the kitchen, some floating in disjoined fragments in front of his eyes at work, some rising to the surface of his thoughts as he drifted off in Misaki's arms. He hadn't written much at all, but Misaki was just going to have to deal with it.
So will everyone else, since it's being read to them.
Somehow, that thought was enough to send a sudden, unexpected rush of panic through him. Fushimi clenched his hands into tight fists in his lap, resisting the urge to stand and tell the officiant to just shut up and skip this part.
"From Yata Misaki to Fushimi Saruhiko," the officiant began, and Fushimi had just a second to consider whether this was a good development or a bad one (if Misaki's were read first, it at least meant he'd have some idea for comparison, but with his being last, they were the ones that would be remembered more clearly) before the man was continuing on. "I was in love with you before I knew it, so it was probably from the beginning."
Somehow, that start had him relaxing a tiny amount. What? That's a really lame way to put it. He glanced sideways at Misaki, and got back a pugnacious glare and scowl, as if to challenge him. You could almost read the question from his expression: 'Wanna fight over it?' The distinct red on his cheeks spoiled the effect somewhat.
"Even someone like you with" - there was a momentary pause, as if the officiant wasn't quite sure what to make of the next words, and he couldn't quite mask the bemused tone when he continued - "no sensitivity should know this, right?"
It was hard to resist the urge to click his tongue at that. Misaki's scowl shifted to a smirk; he breathed a soft, almost inaudible "heh", as if to say 'you totally are, don't deny it'.
"When we were just two kids clinging together, every moment was bright. I felt selfishly satisfied knowing that I could see sides of you that no one else did."
Fushimi blinked, and furrowed his eyebrows. He had those kinds of thoughts?
It... wasn't what he'd expected, somehow.
"Even now, that feeling hasn't changed."
Misaki's ears were red, Fushimi noticed with a certain amount of fascination. Those expressive amber eyes were still fixed stubbornly on his face, bright with determination even as their owner blushed furiously.
"After everything, we still find and cling to each other in the end, right? Your position in my heart never really changed."
Something about those words made his skin prickle. Fushimi could feel it as the beat of his own heart picked up, intensifying quickly to a loud pounding in his ears. In front of him, Misaki's face had softened into a smile, his eyes suspiciously shiny with a mixture of warmth and hope and sincerity, and it was suddenly difficult to breathe or swallow around the painful lump that had lodged itself up at the back of Fushimi's throat while he wasn't paying attention.
Misaki's open and honest feelings...
They could still surprise him after this many years.
"I want to be the one who makes you more happy than anyone else."
If he hadn't been struggling with awkward feelings already, the reminder of Doumyouji's wedding drama comment probably would've made him snort. Make me happy, huh?
That was already a given at this point.
"I swear," the officiant went on, and it was possible to see the way Misaki's eyes darkened with even more earnest emotion, "I will take care of you forever, Saruhiko. Until both of us die, and even after that."
It was almost possible to hear that repeated in Misaki's voice, with his usual energetic zeal and the way his tone deepened out as he expressed something he was serious and passionate about. Fushimi felt the answering pang in his chest, and shut his eyes for a brief second, savoring it. He allowed himself a tiny smile as he opened them again, murmuring under his breath, "So dramatic."
If anything, Misaki's face flushed even darker; he scowled again, and whispered back fiercely, "Shut up!"
That's a pretty good reaction. Despite the fact that it was a bit awkward, the emotion threatening to carve its way out of his chest compelled him to add, softly, "I didn't say it was bad."
Misaki's eyes widened a bit and then softened noticeably, but before he could respond to that, the officiant was continuing. "From Fushimi Saruhiko to Yata Misaki."
That unpleasant little knot was forming in his stomach again - although it wasn't as bad now, having heard Misaki's vows first. Fushimi resisted the urge to turn his gaze. Despite everything, he did want to see Misaki's face, even if there was nothing particularly special in what he'd written.
"You're mine and I'm yours," the reading began, and it was possible to see the slight widening of Misaki's eyes as he recognized the origin of the words. "If it's not like that forever, this world" - once again, there was a brief, awkward pause, but to his credit, the officiant continued staunchly - "can go to hell."
In front of him, Misaki let out what looked like an amused huff; his lips turned up again in a rueful smile.
"I don't know how to say how much I love Misaki."
Hearing his own uncertainty expressed by another person was almost unbearably frustrating. Fushimi could feel the tension in his shoulders build, and his mouth turned down into a frown. It was the truth, but it felt uncomfortable for it to be exposed like this. There was a slightly unpleasant warmth building up along his neck and around the edges of his face.
Still... Misaki's eyes were steady on him, full of emotion. It wasn't totally bad.
"I think if it was something you could measure in weight or volume, a physical body wouldn't have the capacity to contain such feelings."
The smile that spread on Misaki's face was brilliant enough to take Fushimi's breath away, and all at once, the discomfort and humiliation seemed worth it. "Saruhiko," Misaki mouthed, reaching over impulsively to take his hand. The eyes that met his were openly wavering.
"It's like this even if" - another of those pauses, but briefer this time, as if the man was getting used to being surprised by things he couldn't understand - "you're an idiot."
There was some shifting from the audience at that. Misaki's eyebrows came down and he let go of Fushimi's hand to punch him in the shoulder. The smile somehow just got brighter, eyes shifting to a mix of exasperation and fondness. "Asshole," he murmured, without conviction.
"You wanted to marry me," Fushimi mumbled back, caught between embarrassment and those indefinable feelings that swirled restlessly within him when Misaki's existence at the center of his world shone so brightly.
"Don't you think it'd be nice to make it totally clear to everyone?"
Hearing the words of affection that Misaki was willing to say openly to him in front of the other people in his life... Maybe it was a bit nice.
"Would the couple now please go ahead with the exchange of rings?"
In front of him, Misaki blinked, looking like he'd almost forgotten that there was more to the ceremony than just the vows. He'd lost a lot of that nervous edge during the reading, but was clearly on his way towards getting flustered again when he shifted in his seat to take the ring from Kamamoto. He fumbled a bit and nearly dropped it before turning back to Fushimi with a red face and white knuckles where he was pinching the little silver circle.
Well, it's probably fine. Fushimi held out his left hand.
The trembling of Misaki's fingers was noticeable as he took the offered hand, but his motions were gentle when he slid the ring on. Afterwards, he held Fushimi's hand for maybe just a second too long, staring at it as if momentarily fascinated, and then raised his gaze, eyes brimming with emotion again.
Don't look at me like that right now... The ring felt cool and comfortable, but Fushimi couldn't spare it a glance. It was enough to know that Misaki had put it there.
They did have an audience, though, after all. Fushimi turned to retrieve Misaki's ring from Akiyama, who offered him a small, encouraging smile, and then turned back to take Misaki's left hand in his.
He was familiar with the feel of that hand, hard calluses and short, wide fingers. Misaki's hand could grasp his with incredible strength or brush against him with unbelievable gentleness, depending on the mood of its owner. Right now, it was clammy in his, and he could feel Misaki's eyes on him as he slipped the ring onto the correct finger, sliding it slowly up until there was no space left to cover.
Such a small, stupid thing, but...
Fushimi could still picture the moment when Misaki had tried the ring on, with just the two of them in their bedroom, grinning at it openly. He looked up at Misaki's shining eyes and wide smile, and thought, It looks better on him now.
Somewhere outside of the small bubble with just the two of them, the officiant was moving on. "To celebrate the marriage, please raise your glasses in a toast."
There was the sound of shuffling from the tables in front of them and then a loud, uncoordinated chorus of "congratulations", but Fushimi couldn't be bothered to turn from Misaki's face to check it. Even as he watched, he could clearly see the tears forming at the corners of his - his husband's eyes. "Don't cry," he mumbled, more to cover the stinging he felt at the back of his own than anything.
Really, what a pain...
"Shut up! I'm not!" Misaki raised his hand to swipe furiously at his eyes. "I just - I'm happy, okay?"
Fushimi watched him for a second longer, emotions welling in his chest, and then allowed himself a small smile. "Me too."
I'm happy. It shouldn't have felt strange to think, but even until now, it was rare that he didn't feel at least a bit wary of it. Misaki.
From somewhere at the guest tables, Doumyouji called out, "Kiss!"
"H-hah?" Misaki was already jerking his head to stare wildly out at their audience, face slowly growing red. "K-k-k-kiss? N-now?"
"Yeah!" someone from the Homra side of things chimed in, enthusiastically. "Kiss him, Yata-san!"
That seemed to open the floodgates.
"You can do it!"
"Do your best, Fushimi-san!"
"Make it a good one!"
"Let's see some of that action!"
"Come on, don't be shy!"
Misaki was stuttering, face flaring up like a tomato, so Fushimi took on the task of glowering out around at the room. "There's no kiss in the ceremony," he said flatly, raising his voice just enough so that it would carry.
"It's traditional in certain other regions," Munakata pointed out, meeting his gaze with calm amusement before glancing around the room meaningfully. "And it does seem as though there's a certain demand for it among your guests. Why not indulge everyone, Fushimi-kun?"
How annoying... Fushimi clicked his tongue. "Why should we have to do something like that?"
"Saruhiko." Anna had pushed herself up from her chair; she was in between the two long tables now, a camera clutched in both hands and her eyes serious as she studied them. "Misaki." Even as a teenager, the soft plea was compelling. "For the pictures."
Misaki jerked in his seat. When Fushimi turned his head, it was just in time to meet that embarrassed gaze as it fixed on him as well. Behind Misaki, Kamamoto thumped him on the back boisterously. "Go on, Yata-san - you can do it!"
Fushimi could already feel the argument being lost. From his other side, Akiyama patted his shoulder with a certain sympathy.
"Ah, geez!" His husband let out a sharp, agitated huff. "I get it! I get it already!" He glanced back towards their guests with uncertainty. "J-just one, okay?"
"Yes," Anna responded, without hesitation. "Ready."
Misaki's eyes turned back to Fushimi again, full of determination in the same way they got when he was preparing for a battle. His shoulders straightened. "All right," he muttered, and leaned forward.
"Seriously..." Fushimi resisted the urge to click his tongue again and tried to ignore all the eyes that were definitely fixed on the pair of them. Better to just get it over with, he decided, and moved to meet his husband in a chaste kiss.
It felt far too awkward. Misaki's lips were still and unmoving, pressing against Fushimi's with maybe a little more force than necessary. That uncomfortable warmth was rising on his face again, and he wanted to turn and scowl when he heard a chorus of cheers. Someone even let out a shrill-sounding whistle.
Anna's camera went off.
It was like being released from a spell. They broke apart quickly, and after opening his eyes to Misaki's flushed, embarrassed face, Fushimi hastily turned his gaze aside, clicking his tongue sharply and feeling the heat on his own cheeks spread further.
What a stupid thing.
"Thank you," he heard Anna's voice say in the middle of all that fuss, and didn't bother to try and respond.
"Let's eat!" someone from Misaki's side of the room called out, and the room abruptly seemed to erupt with even more noise as the guests started to rise from their seats to line up at the buffet.
Fushimi stayed where he was. Beside him, Misaki also hadn't moved, likely still paralyzed with embarrassment.
As attention shifted away from them, the discomfort from earlier seemed to settle and he could breathe more easily. Fushimi glanced sideways at Misaki, just at the exact moment that Misaki turned to look at him, and somehow that had them both huffing out a brief laugh.
"Congrats to us, huh?" Misaki said, grinning at him somewhat ruefully.
Fushimi shook his head. "Something like that."
Misaki's hand found his, and by unspoken agreement they stayed sitting there for just a little while longer.
They had set up several large bamboo near the guest entrance to the hall, on the opposite side of the room from the head table. As the rush for dinner and dessert was winding down and people were starting to mill while the attendants at the hall cleaned up the remains of the food trays, Yata took the opportunity to wander over to the little setup.
There was a small table with strips of paper for writing wishes, and he could see that quite a few people had already done it. The bamboo grass was already lined with the brightly colored papers, making the display much more lively.
Well, I should write something myself. It was his wedding day, and he definitely had wishes for the future, so there was no point in wasting the opportunity. Yata picked out a strip of paper and a pencil, considered it for a quick moment, and then hastily scrawled the first thing that came to mind.
After he'd hung it on the tree, he stepped back for a moment, checking it. All right, good. Really, the way they'd set it up was nice - there were some small lanterns set up as replacement candles in strategic places and it cast light and shadow across the bamboo to bring out the colorful papers lined up along the shoots.
"I took a picture already," Anna said quietly from his right side, and he jerked, startled.
"O-Oh. Right." Yata grinned sheepishly at her. She'd always been able to move without being noticed; he kind of got the impression that she did it without even thinking now. "Thanks."
She smiled back, and then turned her eyes to the bamboo again. "It's very pretty."
"Yeah, we did pretty good, huh?" He turned as well, looking the whole setup over with satisfaction. "Though it was mostly Mom figuring out everything."
"Yes, your mother is a good person," Anna agreed. "I like your family."
His grin widened at that. "Heh. Right?"
"They explain a lot about you, Misaki."
"Huh?" Yata turned to blink at her, a little confused. "Like, they said some things about me at dinner?"
Anna shut her eyes, smiling a bit. "No, that's not what I meant. The person you are and the person that you try to be..." She opened her eyes and turned to meet his gaze. "It becomes clear when I talk with them."
"O-Oh." As usual, he didn't really get it. Yata offered an apologetic shrug. "If you say so."
"Onii-chan, did you write something already?" Minoru stepped over on his right, smiling - and then abruptly stiffened as he spotted Anna. "K-Kushina-san!"
She turned her smile on him. "Good evening."
"Y-Yeah... Yes! G-Good evening!"
Yata glanced from Anna to Minoru. His younger brother was fidgeting, doing his best to stand up straight, and his cheeks were turning red as he stared at Homra's King.
For fuck's sake - really?
Well, whatever. As Anna turned to head back to her seat, Yata kept an eye on Minoru's awkward, wistful gaze after her, and then watched him slump in a sigh. He's not any better with girls than me, huh? It was probably for the best - Yata wasn't sure if he wanted to spend his wedding night making sure his friends didn't beat up his brother.
Probably better not to mention it at all. "Oi," he said, clapping a hand on Minoru's shoulder to snap him out of it. "Hurry up and make a wish already if that's what you came here for."
"Oh. Yeah, right." Minoru sighed again, looking a bit sheepish as he turned towards the table.
Wishes, huh? Yata could still see his, freshly hung, and grinned a bit. One way or another, it was coming true.
'For a long and happy future with Saruhiko'.
There was a lot of activity in the hall as the attendants were rearranging the tables and chairs in order to clear off the floor for dancing. Fushimi hung back towards the wall where there wasn't already a group of guests, taking advantage of the situation to get a little time to himself.
Misaki was chatting animatedly with some of his friends from Homra, looking happy and energized, but it wasn't terribly irritating to watch. Fushimi shut his eyes, bringing his hand up to rest lightly over the breast of his jacket, where the familiar burn scar still sat.
He was pretty sure it was never going to heal, but after years of Misaki's care, it had at least faded to a semi-healthy pink. Fushimi didn't mind it, really. It was a constant reminder of past mistakes and years lost to bitterness. Whenever he was upset with Misaki - or when Misaki was upset with him - he would feel the tingling in his fingers that signified the urge to scratch. Scratch and forget. Inflict pain, and wash out any of the unpleasant feelings with physical discomfort.
To curb the habit, he'd tried to replace it, running the pads of his fingers over the mark and feeling the thin ridges of skin beneath them. It helped to be aware of it - to remember what it meant and where he'd gone wrong.
To remind him of how fortunate he was with the way things were now.
"Do you mind if I join you?" Munakata offered a small smile when Fushimi opened his eyes to look at him. "You appeared to be thinking deeply, but I thought you might appreciate some company."
Strangely enough, the offer wasn't unappealing. "Do what you want."
"Thank you." Munakata moved in to stand beside him, straight and tall with his arms behind his back, and turned his gaze onto the activity in the hall. "It appears that the wedding has been a great success."
A statement like that was definitely premature. "The night isn't over yet."
"Very true." The agreement was calm and good-natured; Munakata smiled confidently out at the rapidly clearing floor. "We can still achieve excellence before the festivities end."
Fushimi shot him a dubious glance, but before he could respond to that, a familiar voice interrupted him.
"Saruhiko-kun." Misaki's mother stepped up towards them, a wide smile on her face, and moved without hesitance to pull him into a hug. "Congratulations! You and Misaki did wonderfully up there." She pulled back, one hand still lingering on his shoulder as she regarded him with fondness. "Both of you look so handsome and so grown-up! It seems like just yesterday that you were doing your summer homework together."
He blinked at her, feeling the usual stirring of uncertainty and something that might have been yearning at her open affection. Misaki's family tended to catch him off-guard. "... Thanks."
"Oh? You must be Yata-kun's relative, then." Munakata smiled pleasantly, seemingly at ease with the situation. "This is certainly a pleasure."
Misaki's mother blinked at him, looking mildly surprised. "Oh my... I'm so sorry - yes, I'm Misaki's mother, Yata Manami." The smile was back, bright as ever; she tilted her head. "Saruhiko-kun never mentioned an older brother, though... Or perhaps you're a cousin?"
Fushimi just about choked at that.
"Munakata Reisi." Without missing a beat, the Blue King inclined his head. If anything, his smile had become more serene than ever. "I suppose we'll be seeing a great deal more of one another in the future, Yata-san."
He doesn't even try to deny it... Fushimi clicked his tongue. "We're not related."
"Ah, sorry for the mix-up!" Misaki's mother laughed a bit, waving a hand slightly. "The two of you look so similar standing over here together that I just leaped to a conclusion without thinking. Are you a close friend of Saruhiko-kun's, then?"
The gleam that shone off of Munakata's glasses as he raised his head seemed somehow ominous. "As a matter of fact - "
"He's my superior at work," Fushimi interrupted flatly.
"Oh, I see." She didn't seem to notice any awkwardness at all, continuing on blithely. "Well, it seems like the two of you get along well. Saruhiko-kun, you were always such a quiet boy - I'm so glad to see you've opened up a bit to others."
For a moment all he could do was stare at her in perplexity. Where did she get that impression?
Munakata seemed more than happy to pick up the conversational slack. "Indeed," he responded, "Fushimi-kun and I have been working closely together for years now." His eyes were full of keen interest as he regarded her. "If it's not too bold, I would be very interested to hear any stories from his childhood with Yata-kun."
That immediately set off all of Fushimi's hackles. "Don't just ask for something like - "
"Of course, yes!" Misaki's mother laughed, patting Fushimi on the shoulder with good humor. "Don't be stingy, Saruhiko-kun - I won't mention anything too embarrassing. Munakata-san, please - you'll have to come and meet the rest of the family." She half-turned, waving a hand ahead of her. "Follow me."
"That's very generous of you, Yata-san." The Blue King moved from the wall with a pleased smile. "You should join us, Fushimi-kun; perhaps you can add your own thoughts to these moments of reminiscence."
How annoying. Fushimi clicked his tongue again. This was quite possibly the worst combination he could've predicted for tonight: two people who knew more about him than he was comfortable with, one of whom had a knack for not minding his own business and the other too open and chatty for her own good. It was going to be a disaster.
He didn't know why he wasn't more irritated with it...
Well, whatever. Either way, he was going to have to go along if he didn't want Munakata to worm some information out of Misaki's mother that he really didn't need to have in the first place. It was a pain, but it couldn't be helped. Just one more thing that he needed to take care of, that was all.
Fushimi moved away from the wall to follow the two of them, resolutely ignoring the warmth that was forming in his chest.
Chilling out and socializing had definitely eased off a lot of the tension from the ceremony but once the floor was cleared and the music was set up and ready to go, most of Yata's anxiety returned almost immediately.
Fucking dancing, in front of everyone...
He'd really wanted to just skip the step where he and Saruhiko had to go out alone, but his mother had insisted that it was what the guests would expect, and then set her hands on her hips and asked him if he was going to let his embarrassment prevent him from doing things properly with his husband-to-be.
That had pretty much settled that.
"There you are, Misaki." Speaking of his mother... She was smiling brightly as she came through the crowd towards him. "Come on, don't keep everyone waiting. Saruhiko-kun is already on the floor, see?"
He followed the direction her arm waved with his eyes. Yeah, Saruhiko was technically on the floor, at the outside edge where the chairs had been pushed off. He was standing by himself, frowning off at some point beside him and looking mildly annoyed. The obvious tension in his shoulders betrayed just how uncomfortable he was with the situation.
At least we're both gonna suffer through this. "Yeah, I'm coming."
"Good luck, Yata-san!" Kamamoto called after him.
"Break a leg!" Akagi cheered.
"Just not literally," Eric added.
Yata shot him a scowl, waved a careless hand back at all of them, and marched out to join his husband.
Fucking husband. He couldn't help but grin a little at that. It was still sinking in.
"What are you so happy about?" Saruhiko muttered when he stepped up to join him.
Yata raised an eyebrow at him. "What, I'm not allowed to be happy on my wedding day? What are you so pissy about?"
Saruhiko returned his gaze, expression difficult to read in the poor lighting. It was hard to see his eyes behind his glasses. "I'm not, really."
"Heh. Right." You just keep telling yourself that. Yata held out a hand. "Come on, let's get this done, huh?"
There was a split second of hesitation, and then Saruhiko took it, shoulders relaxing just the tiniest bit. "If you insist."
It was almost possible to feel the eyes on them when they stepped out. Yata's skin prickled, and he had to swallow as they stopped somewhere around the middle of the floor. He - they - had practiced this, and he was pretty sure he had his part down, but doing it in front of all of his friends and those guys from Scepter 4 was nerve-wracking.
Also kind of embarrassing, because he wasn't the one leading.
They probably would've argued over that, too, and technically he was the better dancer so he should have been leading... but as the person running the lessons, his mother had decided they were going to settle it with a bystander vote. Bystanders being herself, Minoru, and Megumi - and all three of them had voted for Saruhiko over him, the traitors. And then his fiance had glanced at him and smirked... Seriously, if it wasn't for the fact that his pride had already been in question with that whole bit about embarrassment preventing him from doing things right, he would've said 'fuck it' to the whole idea right there.
But, instead, there they were - and now it was happening for real.
"You remember what to do, right?" he muttered, while they waited for the music to start. Saruhiko had never been very good at rhythm games and still couldn't match his movements to the beat all that well, so there had been a lot of clumsiness and irritation and poorly masked embarrassment during the lessons. Which was - he had to admit - kind of cute. The way Saruhiko's frown almost seemed to set into a pout and his cheeks flushed just the slightest bit...
It almost made dancing the girl's part worth it.
Saruhiko clicked his tongue, frowning. "Worry about yourself."
This is kind of a team effort here, asshole. He didn't get the chance to voice that, because the music started and they had to move into position, Saruhiko's hand sliding to his waist and his slinking up onto his husband's shoulder.
The song was an old favorite - one of the ones they'd listened to a lot with a set of shared earphones back in school. There were new favorites, but in the end there hadn't really been much discussion. They'd just... kind of gone with it. Yata wasn't sure what Saruhiko had been thinking, but for himself, it was like... everything now was so focused on the future that he wanted just a little piece of the past they'd shared. To remind him what was behind them as they moved forward.
For all the practice, Saruhiko had never managed to really relax at this; he was stiff and awkward even now, although he had memorized the movements without much trouble. The dance was pretty simple anyway, just a lot of stepping and swaying, so for the most part, Yata moved and Saruhiko matched him. Sort of a role reversal considering their positions, but whatever. Team effort.
No matter what they did, in the end they worked well together.
Thinking about it that way, this wasn't so bad. Yata managed a grin, watching his husband's face. "Not tripping up so much this time, huh?"
"Shut up," Saruhiko mumbled back at him. He was frowning, forehead creased with obvious concentration; it was strangely endearing.
Definitely not that bad.
The song came to an end not long after that, and they broke apart.
"Heh. Well, that's over." Even though it hadn't turned out as awful as he'd thought, it was still a relief to be able to move off the floor together as a couple of others trickled out onto it. Yata turned his head again to catch Saruhiko's eyes, and felt the smile spreading wide on his face again.
Everything is better when it's the two of us.
Megumi's voice was so quiet he almost didn't hear it, and just about ended up walking into her. "H-huh? Don't sneak up on me like that! What is it?"
She hunched her shoulders forward, looking bashful, and her eyes darted past him to Saruhiko for just a split second before she grabbed his collar and tugged him down so that she could whisper in his ear. "C-Can I dance with Saru, too?"
When he glanced over and saw her large, wavering eyes and the slight jut of her bottom lip, though... Yeah. Seriously.
For fuck's sake. Well, whatever. It wasn't like he was the one who'd have to keep dancing, after all. "What? Why are you asking me?" Yata grinned at her, tugged her hand loose from his collar, and then turned back to Saruhiko, who was eyeing them both warily. "He's right there - just ask him."
Megumi's breath caught sharply. Saruhiko's eyebrows furrowed; his frown deepened, as if in suspicious. "Misaki - "
"You don't mind dancing with her, right, Saruhiko?" He cut in before his husband could continue, clamping a hand on his shoulder. "I mean, you're practically a pro now - you can handle it, right?"
Saruhiko stared at him like he was an alien. A glance to the side showed that Megumi's face had lit up, though - she was gazing forward with shining eyes, the hint of a bashful blush on her cheeks. "R-Really?" she breathed, hands fisting in her skirt nervously.
"Of course!" Yata responded confidently, and turned back to his husband with a grin. "Right?"
The struggle on Saruhiko's face was plainly visible. He glanced from Yata to his sister and back again, then clicked his tongue and let out a sigh, facing Megumi with clear resignation. "It's fine."
Megumi actually squeaked, face going even redder. "Th-th-thank you!"
"Mm." Saruhiko turned to head back onto the floor, shooting Yata a flat look as he went. Megumi practically tripped over her own feet scrambling to follow him.
Heh. Well, that was his good deed for the day, anyway. Yata grinned to himself, feeling satisfied, and moved to leave the dance floor.
Dancing with Misaki had been fine. Dancing with Misaki's younger sister, who was fidgety and tense and barely looked at him as she kept missing steps and causing them to fumble, was not so fine.
Why did she even ask me if neither of us can do this properly? It was irritating.
It didn't help that there was still that little edge of awkwardness around Misaki's family... that tiny little thread of doubt that he was really welcome. No matter how many times he was told that he was 'part of the family', some part of him could never quite shake the feeling that he was an outsider - an intruder, even. Someone lurking in the shadows like a thief, soaking up the warmth even while knowing it wasn't meant for him.
He was starting to accept that a lot of the things he told himself were lies.
That didn't make it any easier to figure out which ones were true, though...
The song ended, and Megumi jumped back from him, face red and barely looking him in the eye, and squeaked out what might have been a 'thank you' - or possibly just some kind of incomprehensible gibberish - before almost running back off the dance floor. Fushimi stared after her in perplexity.
What was that even about?
Well, it didn't matter in the end - and he had something to take care of, anyway. Fushimi glanced around, eyes scanning the crowd until he spotted the person he was looking for. Without waiting, he stepped off the dance floor and moved over towards her. "Lieutenant."
Awashima had been sitting on one of the chairs that were lining the dance floor, arms and legs crossed as she watched the dancers. She glanced up at him quizzically. "What is it, Fushimi?"
"I need to ask a favor." He didn't wait for her to question that. "Could you dance with Misaki?"
She looked a bit surprised, but recovered quickly. "Why are you asking?"
"I just danced with his sister."
"I saw." Awashima's gaze was steady. "And?"
"I don't have a sister to force on him in return," he admitted, blandly. "You're the closest thing."
She raised her eyebrows, and for a moment he thought she'd refuse right there. Then she shut her eyes, sighed, and made a soft, amused sound. When she opened them again, a small smile was building on her lips. "Very well. I can do that much for you, on your wedding day." Rising from her seat, she turned that smile on him, softening it just a bit. "Congratulations, Fushimi."
Then she was striding off briskly across the floor towards where Misaki was standing with his friends.
I think I have to agree with the Captain's assessment. She definitely did have a sadistic streak.
Well, it was working in his favor, so he couldn't complain. Fushimi watched with satisfaction as Misaki's expression went from moderately nervous to outright panicked while Awashima spoke with him, culminating in jerky movements and stuttered protests when she took him by the wrist to lead him back onto the dance floor.
Serves you right.
"Saruhiko." A light touch on his arm interrupted that thought. When he turned, Anna was regarding him seriously. "Can I have a dance, too?"
He blinked at her, momentarily taken aback. "... I don't dance very well."
She offered him a small smile. "That's all right. I can guide you."
There wasn't much he could say to that. And it was Anna, so the idea wasn't totally annoying. Fushimi lifted his shoulders in a small shrug, before turning to head back onto the floor. "Let's go, then."
As it turned out, she hadn't been lying when she'd said she could guide him. He and Misaki had been a better match, of course, but Anna glided smoothly in the motions of the dance, the wide skirts on her dress shifting elegantly with each movement. "When did you learn to do this?"
"Izumo taught me." Her eyes met his again as they started to fall into a - relatively - comfortable rhythm. "Congratulations, Saruhiko." She smiled again, with a warmth that lit her face. "And thank you. Misaki's been so happy."
Somehow, it was hard to hold that gaze; Fushimi could feel the muscles at the back of his throat clench. 'Misaki's been so happy'. The implied 'with you' hung in the air between them, unspoken, and he wasn't sure what to do with the rush of longing. That he was capable of making someone happy - making Misaki - happy... It was one of those simple truths that still made the tiny, fading voice at the back of his head whisper, "lies".
And yet... he really did want to believe it. He should believe it.
One day, maybe. Hopefully.
"You're happy, too," Anna said quietly, into the silence that had fallen between them, "aren't you, Saruhiko?"
That question was easier. Fushimi closed his eyes briefly - as long as he could without stumbling - and thought of Misaki tangled in the covers beside him in the mornings; chatting at him across the table over meals; smiling at him with open, unself-conscious affection.
Gazing at him with eyes full of overflowing emotion when they exchanged their rings.
"I'm happy," he murmured, so softly that he wondered if she even heard it - but when he opened his eyes, it was in time to catch her answering nod.
Over the top of her head, he caught a glimpse of Misaki struggling to dance stiffly, as far away from Awashima as he could manage to be while still keeping his hand on her waist, his head tilted awkwardly as he kept his gaze resolutely fixed away from her and his face bright red. She looked faintly exasperated with him.
Fushimi couldn't help but smile to himself, just a little.
"Um. Saru." As the song ended and he parted from Anna, Minoru's voice cut in tentatively from beside him. When he turned, Misaki's younger brother looked tense and a bit awkward, eyes darting from Fushimi to Homra's King with a kind of nervous energy. "Could I - I mean, would you mind - that is... ?"
Now what? Fushimi frowned at him, a little unnerved by the behavior. Don't tell me...
"I'll go then." Anna stepped back, offering one last smile for him and a small nod to Minoru. "Thank you, Saruhiko." Then she turned to leave the dance floor.
A quick sideways glance showed Misaki's brother staring wistfully after her, hands twitching with agitated nerves - and then he abruptly went slack, hanging his head in a kind of agonized resignation. "Again..." he moaned, almost too low to be heard.
This kind of thing, huh? Fushimi clicked his tongue, not really sure whether he should make some move to try and comfort him - was it expected, since he was technically part of their family now? Hopefully not. He thought back to Megumi's embarrassed retreat earlier, and then shifted his gaze to find Misaki scratching the back of his head with a red face and his eyes fixed somewhere just to the side of Awashima's face as he stumbled through excusing himself.
I guess it's a family trait, after all.
Yata wasn't really a fan of wine, but that was all there was for alcohol at their wedding, and after dancing with Awashima, he needed alcohol. With a couple of glasses down, most of the tension had gone and he was feeling just a bit buzzed, which put him in a very good mood for when a few of Saruhiko's co-workers came over to where he and some of his friends were standing near the back of the room.
"Yata-saaaan!" one of them called out to him loudly as they approached, red-faced and exuberant. "Hey, we were all wondering, how'd you and Fushimi-san meet?"
The question was so unexpected that all he could do was blink at them for a moment. "... Eh?"
One of the others with him, obviously not quite as drunk, made some kind of nervous, waving motion as the little gathering of Homra members turned to look at them. "Sorry - we were just - "
"Huh? Oh." The moment passed; Yata grinned at them, straightening. "Don't worry about it! Saruhiko hasn't told you guys, huh? Hah, figures that guy would keep secrets for no good reason!"
"More like everyone's too scared to ask him," one of the blue uniformed guys muttered, almost too quietly to be caught.
Yata was ready to make a comment about how typical that was, but was interrupted by Kamamoto coughing lightly. "Yata-san, you never told us about that either."
"What, really?" He frowned, glancing around at the others and getting back a few shrugs and some blank looks. "I could've sworn... Anyway, it's not like you guys ever asked me! I'm just supposed to decide on my own that I should tell you random shit, or what?"
Kamamoto shrugged, a bit awkwardly. "That's not what I - "
"Well, whatever - I'll tell you." He was in a pretty good mood, after all. Yata quickly thought back to that day - it was something he still remembered clearly, even now. "I was just heading home on my bike after class, and I happened to - "
"'After class'?" The loud-mouthed one from before cut in, eyes widening with almost comical surprise. "How old were you guys?"
"Hah? You don't even know that much?" Yata crossed his arms, a little irritated by the interruption. "First year middle school."
"Really? That long ago?" another of the Scepter 4 officers - a taller guy with short, somewhat messy brown hair - mused, looking thoughtful. "You've known each other a while, huh?"
Another of them nodded. "I wonder what Fushimi-san was like at that age..."
"Think he was more friendly?"
"There's no way, right?"
"Oi!" Yata scowled at them all, more than just a little annoyed by then. These guys are worse than kids. "You wanna hear the story or not?"
The comments faded off into somewhat sheepish silence.
Better. "Okay, so like I was saying, I was heading home on my bike, and I happened to overhear some third years trying to mug another kid." He could remember his mood from back then, full of reckless confidence and pride - it was kind of stupid now, so he didn't really want to dwell on it. "Of course I jumped in and told them to cut it out" - not like they needed to know the details - "and then anyway, it turned out that kid was Saruhiko."
"Fushimi-san was being mugged?" The brown-haired guy blinked at that, then frowned, his brow furrowing. "Somehow, I just can't picture it..."
"Wouldn't he just tell the bullies they're worthless scum or something?"
"And then pull a knife on them."
"Yeah, that sounds more like something Fushimi-san would do."
"Standing up to bullies - that's just like you, Yata-san!" Kamamoto clapped him on the shoulder with boisterous enthusiasm.
He grimaced, feeling a bit awkward about it. "Y-Yeah, well..." The memory wasn't one he looked back on with any particular pride - not just because of how it had ended, but his own attitude and some of the circumstances surrounding it gave him mixed feelings. Not regret, exactly, but... Well, whatever. It was in the past and he wasn't going to explain his own foolishness in front of the whole group. "Couldn't just let it pass."
"So, you saved Fushimi-san from bullies?" one of the other Scepter 4 members asked, eyes bright behind a pair of round glasses. "Isn't that kind of like something out of a book?"
When he put it that way... Yata shrugged, going for a casual cool response. "Right, I - "
"Did nobody any good, and got beat up yourself," a very familiar voice drawled from his right - when he jerked his head in that direction, Saruhiko raised an eyebrow at him from outside the group circle. "Don't forget the important details of the story, Misaki."
Yata scowled at him. Bastard. You didn't need to say that... "How is that an important detail?"
"I wonder about that..." Saruhiko smiled, slow and condescending. "Wasn't it you jumping in like an idiot that caused things to escalate in the first place?"
"Hah?" He glared back, scowl deepening. "The hell are you talking about? Things got messy because you were throwing out all those arrogant comments! Remember all that crap about not wanting to touch stuff anymore after they'd touched it?"
"See, that sounds like Fushimi-san," someone in the Scepter 4 group muttered.
One of Saruhiko's eyebrows twitched. "The only reason it came to that in the first place is due to your interference, right?"
"Hah! As if you'd have kept your mouth shut if I wasn't there!" Yata seized his advantage, managing to smirk back through the irritation. "Anyway, it was you who forgot all about the consequences and made things worse later, wasn't it?"
Saruhiko's eyes narrowed, lips curling down into a frown. "And wasn't it you who said that the way I responded was 'so awesome'?"
"I assumed you had a fucking plan at the time, you - "
"Next question!" That was the enthusiastic one from Scepter 4 again, cutting into their argument unapologetically. Some of his co-workers were giving him doubtful looks, as if wondering whether to drag him away from this situation. "Who confessed first?"
A sudden rush of panicked embarrassment hit Yata at that; he turned hastily with his fists already clenched, vaguely noting that Saruhiko had stiffened at the same moment.
"N-n-none of your goddamn business!" he snapped, at the same time as his husband retorted darkly with, "Don't ask stupid questions like that, idiot."
They exchanged a quick, startled glance.
Saruhiko clicked his tongue and immediately turned away, the faintest hint of red coming up on his cheeks. "I'm not hanging around for this ridiculous conversation anymore," he muttered, already moving away from the now-silent group even before he'd finished speaking.
"O-oi..." Yata stared after him, nonplussed. Don't just run off and leave me after all that, asshole!
"What's the matter, Yata-san?" Kamamoto asked, sounding mildly concerned.
"Huh? Uh - nothing." He scratched the back of his head, feeling a lot less buzzed and a lot more flustered now, and tried to move past the moment. "Just - just never mind about that dumb question, okay?"
No way in hell was he ever going to admit that neither one of them could remember to this day who'd been the first to initiate a tear-soaked kiss in the middle of a mess of hugging and crying and painful feelings. Yata clenched a hand over the breast of his jacket, feeling his face grow hot at the memory. He could still easily recall the feeling of that soft press of lips against his, and the way his heart had jumped with a mix of anticipation, anxiety, and suppressed longing. The remembered sight of Saruhiko's wet eyes behind the crooked, slightly fogged shield of his glasses and the way they'd caught their breath almost in unison, hesitating for just that brief instant before simultaneously leaning back towards each other for more, were clear in his head, even now. The moment had been too emotionally charged to really be clear who started it - or if it had just kind of happened. He couldn't deny that it was good, but...
There's no way in hell these guys need to know that stuff!
Some history just really shouldn't be shared with others.
It was starting to get late, and the party was winding down - Yata's family had already left a while back, after congratulating both of them again - but it seemed like he'd just turned away for a second and now he couldn't find his damn husband anywhere.
Where the hell did he go?
He spotted Akiyama talking with another of Saruhiko's co-workers - one of these days he was really going to have to learn all of their names - and made his way over there. "Oi, have you guys seen Saruhiko anywhere?"
"Fushimi-san?" Akiyama blinked, then frowned thoughtfully. "Not recently, sorry."
"He was talking with the Captain last I saw," the other man offered helpfully, and nodded off to the right a ways. "You should ask him."
Yata's gaze turned in the direction of that nod, and his stomach curled into a little knot of annoyance when he spotted the Blue King. "Yeah," he agreed without enthusiasm, "thanks."
He didn't think he really hated Saruhiko's boss - there were a lot of things he'd come to terms with years ago, and whatever lingering resentment was left was mostly just the dying embers of a fire he'd stopped feeding. It was hard to put all of that stuff aside, though. Hard to look at the sword hanging from his belt and know what it had been used for. Hard to look at that calm, confident face and know that its owner had inspired Yata's best friend to leave him behind.
Even knowing now that neither of those things had been as simple as he'd thought, it was hard.
Steeling himself, Yata moved past Akiyama and across to where his target was standing at the edge of the dance floor, observing the last pair of dancers out there. "Hey. Blue King."
That uncomfortably keen gaze turned on him. "Oh, Yata-kun. This is a pleasant surprise."
Something about the way this guy said his name really got on his nerves. At least he stopped with the whole 'Garasu-kun' thing. All the same, Yata had to fight the urge to scowl. "I'm looking for Saruhiko. You seen him?"
"I believe Fushimi-kun mentioned earlier that he wanted to get some fresh air." There was no hint of amusement or calculation in the man's expression, at least - those were things Yata had come to dread whenever he had to deal with Saruhiko's boss. "You might have some success if you check outside."
"Right. Thanks." It was more likely that Saruhiko had had his fill of being around people and used the 'fresh air' bit as an excuse to go off by himself - but looking at the Blue King's small smile, Yata got the feeling he already knew that and just wasn't blunt enough to come out and say it.
He knows Saruhiko pretty well, after all... He hesitated a moment, briefly considering an uncomfortable truth he didn't like admitting most of the time. In those painful years when they'd been separated, it wasn't like he could've watched out for Saruhiko himself. But someone had. Well, more than just someone, but there was definitely one particular person...
He really didn't want to think about how things might have gone if there was nobody to do it at all.
"Hey. So." Yata rubbed the back of his neck, looking off to the side in the hopes that it would be easier to get the words out. If he didn't say this now, he probably never would - and it was his wedding day, so he couldn't be blamed if he got a little sentimental. "I thought I should - that is - just - thanks. You know. For - for a lot of things." At that, he forced himself to bring his gaze back up, looking at the Blue King seriously. "Saruhiko's not good at saying things honestly, but I can tell he's - you know - happy."
There was a moment of not-quite-uncomfortable silence between them; somehow, that canny gaze had an air of patient expectation to it.
Yata cleared his throat, fidgeting a bit, and added, "Anyway, I'm grateful. That's all I wanted to say. See you, Blu - ehm." He took in a breath, set his shoulders, and finished, "Muna... kata."
That little edge of amusement he'd expected before seemed to spark to life in Munakata's eyes. "Well spoken, Yata-kun. I accept your gratitude." There was a brief pause, and then he added, more seriously, "I hope you'll accept mine as well."
Some of the tension that had built between his shoulder blades eased off a little at that. "Yeah, sure." Yata broke out in a wide grin, a little curl of satisfaction forming within him as he turned to head for the door. "See you around."
For the first time, he thought he actually wouldn't mind seeing that guy around.
It was actually warmer outside than it had been inside, which was a little surprising but not necessarily bad. Fushimi had moved a short ways from the entrance of the hall, walking on the level ground just above the wide set of steps that led down to the parking lot, until he reached the point where the walkway turned sharply to the left along the side of the building. From there, he couldn't be seen easily by those leaving the hall, but it was still quiet and the air was easier to breathe.
Not that he had disliked the celebration - it wasn't at all unpleasant, if he was being honest - but there was a limit to how much time he could spend around so many people before he started to feel stifled and uncomfortable.
Well, it's almost over now, anyway.
It was almost over, and he was married to Misaki. Fushimi absently ran a finger along the smooth edge of the ring. He was going to have to get used to it; he'd never really worn a ring before. More than that, though...
Misaki put it on me. Somehow, that thought made his throat clench painfully. The tip of his finger trembled slightly where it rested against the polished metal, and it was difficult to breathe.
It was ridiculous, really. He'd maintained all along that there wasn't any particular significance to this wedding. It was a celebration of something they'd decided between them a long time ago. The rings were a token. In the end, this whole business was overrated.
In the end, Misaki's eyes had glistened when he slid the ring on.
In the end, Misaki's honest feelings for him had been declared in front of everyone.
In the end...
They were together, and would continue to be from now on. Fushimi had accepted that in his head, although he was aware that there were still some walls around his heart that he'd built without knowing and had no idea how to tear down. Today, he thought maybe at least a couple of those unconscious defenses had collapsed.
"So you're out here after all." Misaki's voice cut into those thoughts; when he turned, he found himself being fixed with a fond grin. "Should've figured it out sooner. You got sick of being social?"
"I can only take so much idiocy in one night," Fushimi answered lightly, and allowed a small smile to build on his lips in response.
"Heh. Right." Misaki stepped closer to him, his eyes gleaming in the dim light. There were electric lanterns that had been set at strategic points along the front of the building, but the corner where Fushimi was standing was shaded, and the timing and placement of that movement gave the impression that Misaki had left the light behind in order to stand next to him.
The visual trick wasn't unappealing.
"So what are you doing, anyway?" Misaki went on, unaware as always. He turned his head to the right and up, towards the sky. "Stargazing?"
He hadn't been, but it didn't really matter. "It's Tanabata - isn't that one of the things you do?"
"Huh. I guess." Misaki frowned up at the sky for a moment, brow furrowed in concentration. "Which ones were the stars from the legend again?"
Fushimi followed his gaze, took a few seconds to catch his bearings, and then moved to stand by his husband's shoulder and leaned in close to point it out. "Altair is there - that's Hikoboshi." He waited a second to be sure that Misaki was looking in the right direction and then added, "If you look at the stars just beside it, they form a line. Follow that" - he slid his finger out a bit, along that invisible line - "and there's Vega - Orihime."
"Oh yeah, I see it now." Misaki stared up at the sky for a moment, a little bit of wonder in his gaze, and then turned to smile at Fushimi again. "How do you keep all this kinda stuff in your head all the time? It's like you know everything."
His face was close. Fushimi felt the familiar pleasant stir in his chest; the comforting sense of 'Misaki is near me'. He lowered his hand. "It's not that difficult."
"You always say that." Misaki's eyes softened with affectionate warmth; he reached out to grasp Fushimi's hand in his, twining their fingers together. "I can't figure out if you're telling me I'm dumb for not being able to do it or if you really just have no idea how awesome you are."
There was something nostalgic in those words. Fushimi shut his eyes for a moment, breathing in deeply and catching the faint odor of wine and sweat from the evening entertainment mingled with Misaki's familiar unique scent. "It's been a while since you called me that."
"Yeah, well, I'm feeling generous tonight." He felt the shift when Misaki leaned in towards him, and didn't bother to open his eyes even as he tilted his head to meet the kiss partway. Misaki's lips moved gently against his, a kind of conscious softness to the kiss that tugged at Fushimi's heart. It was like the rest of the world closed off around them, momentarily pausing in its activity as he basked in full awareness of all the little things. Misaki's fingers tightening against his. Misaki's breath brushing his cheek with its fleeting warmth and stinging-sweet scent. Misaki's mouth pressing against his with warm affection, as if he were trying to fit all of his feelings into that simple contact.
There was an almost painful sweetness to it.
They broke apart slowly. When Fushimi opened his eyes, it was in time to meet his husband's gaze from just inches away. Misaki smiled at him, open and full of emotion as always. "I love you, Saruhiko."
The words always sent a little shiver down his spine, but somehow in that moment, it wasn't difficult at all to answer honestly. "I love you, too," Fushimi murmured, conscious of the increased staccato beat of his own heart against his chest. "Misaki."
In the end, it seemed like an official bond really did mean something to him.
The door into their apartment had barely shut behind them before they were kissing deeply, lips and tongue engaged. Yata felt unusually warm, and it was difficult to breathe; his heart was going about a mile a minute. Saruhiko's movements were slow, almost sluggish; when Yata opened his eyes just a little, he could see that his husband's cheeks were flushed, eyes closed tightly.
He's really into it right now...
It was kind of exciting, but also kind of nerve-wracking. They already had sex regularly, so it wasn't like this was going to be new or anything - but it was the first time as a married couple, and that made it kind of special, right? It should be romantic. Or something. Maybe.
To be honest, after everything that had happened through the afternoon and evening, he was fucking exhausted, and it was hard to think properly about it. Shit... I hope I can actually get it up...
He'd manage somehow, though. This was important.
Worries aside, it wasn't hard to nudge Saruhiko into moving backwards towards the bedroom as they continued to kiss, breaking apart here and there to tug off articles of clothing - jackets, ties, belts, shoes - and then crashing back together in a rush of lips and hot breath and fumbling hands. Yata's fingers felt about five sizes too big as he struggled to unbutton Saruhiko's shirt while his mouth was peppered with short, fervent kisses. His own shirt seemed to come off much more quickly under his husband's deft hands, though, and the fancy dress pants slid off his hips without too much resistance. He kicked them the rest of the way off as they fell onto the bed, still chasing each other's lips while squirming into some semblence of a comfortable position.
"Misaki," Saruhiko breathed out almost directly into his mouth, and it sent a shiver down Yata's spine. He scooted closer, sliding his hand up along the familiar line of his husband's torso, a little hint of arousal sparking to life within him at the feel of naked skin under his fingers.
All right, I can do this... The bed felt really comfortable... but... their wedding night...
Saruhiko's free arm wound lazily around his shoulders, breathing deepening as Yata pulled back a ways so that they could look directly at each other. His eyes were heavy-lidded behind his glasses, and his face was still flushed, but he didn't move to continue the kiss.
There was a significant pause.
Saruhiko broke the moment of inactivity, shutting his eyes and pulling his arm back again to reach up and slide the frames off his nose. "I'm tired," he mumbled.
Yata stared at him, internally struggling with it, and then let out a huff of a breath. "Fuck." He smiled, slow and rueful. "Yeah, me too."
"Mm." Saruhiko rolled onto his back, reaching out to place his glasses on the bedside table. He turned his head on the pillow and regarded Yata with a kind of lazy contentment.
That was enough to make Yata's heart swell. He pulled up the covers and scooted closer, sliding his hand over Saruhiko's belly and planting a lingering kiss on his shoulder. "Tonight was good," he murmured.
"You had fun, right?"
Yata smiled to himself. "Everyone was really happy for us, too..." he mused.
"And it was kinda nice to - "
Saruhiko abruptly brought his free hand over to flick Yata in the forehead. "Shut up," he mumbled, a mix of sleepiness and irritation in his voice. "Go to sleep already, Misaki. I'm tired."
"You didn't have to do fucking hit me," Yata grumbled half-heartedly, rubbing at the stinging spot on his forehead.
A dismissive sniff was his response; Saruhiko had closed his eyes again.
Somehow, he couldn't help but smile, just a little. "Yeah, yeah... Goodnight to you too, jerk."
There was no response, but even so, Yata felt a kind of satisfaction settling in his heart as he let himself drift off to sleep.