Seducing Omi

 

It was mid-morning, and the flower shop was unusually empty. This was the case only due to the fact that it was Sunday, and they were closed. Aya was making sure all plants were fed, Ken was out jogging, Youji was asleep, and Omi was sitting at a table, bent over his schoolwork.

The radio was playing in the background. Aya was hardly listening. He was enjoying the peace and quiet.

Omi let out a loud and somewhat dramatic sigh, shutting his books. He rested his chin on his hand, staring off into space somewhat gloomily.

What now? Aya glanced around the store again, hoping for a sign of someone who could talk to the younger boy. Teenagers were not his thing - he had been hoping Omi might have skipped that stage of his life and jumped right from childhood into adulthood.

The youngest member of Weiss let out another sigh and slumped further toward the table, looking miserable.

Goddamnit… Aya made a mental note to hurt - or at the very least, severely frighten - the other two when he next saw them. "What's the matter?" he asked, not taking his eyes off the flowers.

"Nothing, Aya," Omi answered him politely, though he shifted in his chair. "I was just thinking… I mean… wondering… why it is that I always seem to attract the wrong people."

One of those… Aya mentally cursed, but kept it to himself. "There will be plenty of people here tomorrow to attract," he pointed out.

"But…" Omi hesitated. "They're… girls."

Aya couldn't hold back a small smirk at that. Youji owed him 500 yen. And it was always good to have one's suspicions confirmed… "Ah," he replied, blandly.

Omi sighed again, mournfully. "I'm going to die alone," he mumbled.

Probably. Aya didn't say it out loud. In his mind, the entire conversation was a waste of time, but he was willing to be less harsh with Omi than he might be with the others, since he was still young.

Behind him, the phone rang.

Aya picked it up. "Hello?" Strangely, his voice seemed to echo from the other end of the room.

"There's our lucky listener!" The voice was loud and obnoxious, and it came from the radio as well as from the phone in Aya's hand. "The tickets to the game are all yours if you just answer one question!"

The morning gets better and better… Aya frowned to himself, and said nothing.

"Not the talkative sort, huh?" The announcer continued on cheerfully. "All right, here's the question: in ancient Greece, what was the name of the goddess considered to represent war and wisdom?"

At the table, Omi appeared to have taken an interest. He hastily scribbled something on a piece of paper and held it up so that Aya could read it.

What a waste of time. Aya was about to hang up when an idea came to him. He said 'tickets to the game'… He could use that… "Athena," he read, off of Omi's piece of paper.

"Correct!" the announcer crowed. "You win! Now, all you have to do is come up to the studio and collect those tickets. Can I get your name?"

"Fujimiya Aya." The redhead smiled faintly. If all went well, everything would be as it should before the 'game' even happened.

~~~~~~

"I can't believe Aya won tickets to the hottest game of the season!" Ken tossed the soccer ball between his hands, agitated. "This is unbelievable!"

"Pure chance." Youji shrugged, not really caring. The thing he was wondering was whether or not Aya would actually go to the game. "Aya's not really a baseball fan - maybe you'll get lucky, and he'll give them to you."

"I'd give anything to get my hands on those tickets!" Ken said, fervently. "Even just one! I could deal with spending a night in Aya's company - if it means seeing that game, I could deal with anything!"

Oh yeah. Even spending a night with Aya. Youji smiled ruefully. "I doubt he'll actually go to the game himself. Can you picture Aya at a baseball game?"

"No, not really." Ken scratched his head. "But what's he going to do with the tickets, then?"

~~~~~~

"What do you think I'm going to do with them?" Aya raised an eyebrow. "I'm going to use them, of course."

Ken and Youji glanced at each other.

This is too easy. Aya glanced at Ken. The sports fan was the key to his plan. "Of course, I'll only need one ticket to get in myself - the other is free for the taking. But" - he stopped Ken's excited taking-up of his offer before it started - "I'll only give it out on one condition."

"Condition?" Ken and Youji both said at once. They glanced at each other again.

"Seeing as how you're both interested," Aya noted, with a brief look at Youji, "I'll call it a competition." He smiled slightly. "Whoever of you can first seduce Omi will get the second ticket to the game."

"Omi!?" Ken repeated, incredulous.

"OMI???" Youji echoed, dismayed.

They glanced at each other again, then at Aya.

"Isn't that kind of mean?" Ken suggested, tentatively. "What if he finds out it was a bet? Or if he actually does fall for the winner, and then… well, you know."

Aya shrugged. "You'll just have to trust me when I say that nothing bad will come of it," he answered, unhelpful as always. "Do you want the tickets or not?"

Ken bit his lip.

"I'm all for it," Youji agreed, calmly.

That about did it. No way are they getting to see that game live while I'm stuck watching it on TV. "Me too!" Ken blurted out.

The smile on Aya's face looked suspiciously like a smirk. "Good."

And he chuckled - evilly.

~~~~~~

Omi was back to his old cheerful self, humming lightly as he arranged some of the well-tended flowers into a bouquet for a waiting customer. With the sun shining in through the window and hitting the highlights in his hair, he looked disturbingly angelic.

He had no idea what was in store for him.

Near the back of the store, Ken was skulking. His eyes were burning into the back of Omi's skull. All I have to do is seduce him, he thought, watching the light, almost delicate motions of Omi's fingers. He's attractive… maybe this won't be too hard to do.

I could be going to the game!

I could be going to the game with Aya. Youji stood at the back of the store, in the opposite corner from Ken. He, too, was watching Omi. However, he wasn't thinking about the younger boy's attractive-ness. Just give him a few compliments, throw in some flowers or candy… all I have to do is out-seduce Ken; that shouldn't be a problem.

That decided, he pushed himself away from the wall, ready to start.

Ken's head shot up and he cursed inwardly as he noticed Youji heading purposefully toward Omi. Damn it! He got there ahead of me! Berating himself mentally, he leaned forward to watch.

Waiting until the customer had left, Youji walked around in front of the counter and leaned over toward Omi, a confident smile on his face.

Startled, Omi jerked back from the counter. "Y-Youji!" he stuttered, eyes going wide. "You startled me!" he said, a little accusingly.

"My apologies," the older man murmured. He brushed his fingers lightly over Omi's hand. "Someone as attractive as you shouldn't have to suffer any sort of discomfort," he continued, in a soft tone of voice.

"Ah… Youji… what…?" Omi stumbled awkwardly for words, cheeks flushing in an innocently appealing manner. He made no move to tug his hand back. "I… don't…" His eyes darted back and forth between Youji's face and his hand, adorably confused.

The sight made Ken's blood boil. No… he's going to win if I don't do something!

Spurred on by this success, Youji lifted Omi's hand from the table, holding it lightly. "Why don't you put me in charge of your comfort from now - ?"

"Hey, Omi!" Ken had to blurt out something, desperate to separate the two. Watching Youji touch Omi like that… "Look at the time - your shift's almost up!" He deliberately leaned over beside Omi, close enough to invade his personal space, and put a hand on his shoulder - the one farthest from him. "Want to play a little one-on-one at the courts?" he offered, trying to make his voice sound appealing.

"Um…" He could feel Omi tensing under his hand - from surprise, most likely. "I… Ken… you… uhhh… sure. I guess." Ken was close enough to feel the heat of his blush. He took the time to glare at Youji. Omi had firmly muscled but very slight shoulders; it made him feel protective.

Youji made an amused sound, leaning back calmly. "I was thinking of a different sort of 'one-on-one'," he commented, almost offhand. "And," he added, staring intently into Omi's nervous-looking eyes, "it would really by one on… one."

Ken could actually feel the blush spreading over Omi's face and neck. He glowered.

Youji tossed Omi a careless wink and sauntered back into the back room.

"I… I need to sit down," Omi commented, somewhat weakly.

"Huh? Oh!" This was his chance to get in some 'look at me, I can be attentive' points. "Here, I'll get you a chair." He left Omi's side and grabbed the nearest stool for him. "Take it easy, all right?"

"Ken…" Omi's eyes were a bit wild when he looked back up at him. "Was Youji just… hitting on me?" His voice squeaked a bit at the end, like he was either very frightened or very excited.

Ken hoped it was the first.

"Uh… no, no." He shook his head, vehemently denying the statement. "He was fooling around - you know what he does, right? Just teasing." Good. If he thought Youji was messing with his head, it'd be a lot harder for the blond to seduce him.

"He's never done anything like that before," Omi commented, blinking rapidly.

Ken scowled, a hot feeling burning at the pit of his stomach. "Maybe he's mad because there aren't any girls around," he muttered, through gritted teeth.

"Ken, is there something going on that I should know about?"

For a moment, Ken felt guilty. Omi was looking up at him, huge guileless eyes asking for an honest explanation. Maybe I should tell him…

Then he saw the baseball tickets in Aya's hand, and the words echoed again in his head - 'one free seat'. The game! I could be going to the game of the year! He couldn't give that up. No way.

"Uh… no, nothing." He forced a laugh. "You're too paranoid, Omi!"

"All right…" Omi glanced up at the clock. "You're right about my shift being over, though - it's about time to close up. Can you help me, Ken?"

"No problem!" Ken hurried to pull down the cover over the shop. "Then we can go play some one-on-one, hmm?"

Interestingly enough, Omi flushed at that. "Y-yeah," he stuttered, looking away from Ken quickly. "I just… have to sweep the store. He bit his lip to keep a nervous smile from spreading over it.

I never noticed Omi had such full lips before…

Ken shut the cover for the shop, thoughtfully.

~~~~~~

"Candy from Youji." Omi waved the rectangular-shaped box in front of Ken’s face. "You can’t tell me that’s just teasing! He went out and spent money on me! And look at the card!"

Ken snatched the box. Goddamn it, he works too fast! "Let me see that…" He opened the card carefully. ‘To one extraordinarily special pretty boy,’ it read – and had Youji’s signature boldly printed beneath it.

There wasn’t much he could say against that.

Ken swallowed, not liking the feeling building at the back of his throat. "I guess I was wrong," he said, forcing a smile as he looked back up at Youji. And that puts him one step ahead of me. "He was serious."

Omi sank into the chair beside him. "How serious, though?" He was watching Ken’s face closely. "This is really weird… You think I should go for it, Ken?"

"With Youji?" Ken snorted, trying to make the idea sound ridiculous. His heart was pounding fast. You can’t! "What makes you think he’d stick with a relationship for more than a week? Or that you’d be the only one? Look at him with the girls!"

He regretted the words, as Omi’s gaze drifted down to his hands. "I guess," he sighed, shoulders drooping. "But, honestly, Ken, how many options do I have? It’s not like I’ve got guys lining up to take me out."

Ken licked his lips unconsciously. Here was his chance. He could ask Omi out now – show him just what his options were. All he had to do was offer it, and he was certain Omi would jump at the chance. Or, at the very least, he would be polite enough to agree to one date. Right?

"Omi… I…" He stopped.

The younger boy glanced up quickly. "Yeah?"

Met with those trusting blue eyes, Ken choked. I can’t do this. I can’t trick him like this… it’s not right. "I think it’s just about time for your shift," he said instead, looking away.

Silence from beside him. Then… "Oh." The disappointment in Omi’s voice was glaringly obvious. "Yeah… you’re right. I’d better not be late." Ken found his gaze drawn back against his will as Omi pushed his chair away from the table and stood abruptly. If anything, there was even more disappointment in his eyes than in his voice.

Ken waited until Omi was gone and rested his forehead on both fists. Why would he be so disappointed? Did he want me to ask him out? Is that why? The idea was strangely thrilling.

"Idiot."

Ken glanced up quickly. Aya was standing at the far wall, leaning against it casually as he observed the athlete. "Have you been there the whole time?" Ken demanded, feeling pugnacious.

Aya ignored the question. "You could have had him," he pointed out. "He would’ve agreed to anything you asked. Why didn’t you?"

"Shut up." Ken glared at him, not willing to agree to the truth of Aya’s words. "I’m out, ok? I can’t do this. It’s not right. No matter how good that game’s going to be, no matter how desperate Omi is for a date, I’m not about to fool around with one of my friends’ feelings."

"So you’ll let Youji do it instead, is that it?"

Ken frowned. "Omi wouldn’t go for Youji," he said, with more confidence than he felt. "Youji’s too inconsistent. All he’d do is hurt him. Omi has to know that – he just has to look at the girls Youji hits on."

"Ken." Aya fixed him with a steady gaze. "Have you ever watched these girls that Youji is constantly flattering?"

"Huh?"

"They know," the redhead continued, "that he’ll always be hitting on other women – but he’s charming enough so that they’re willing to put up with it. And they can convince themselves that they’ll be able to keep his interest."

Ken’s frown deepened as he felt his certainty being shaken even more. It hadn’t been that firm to begin with. "Omi wouldn’t think that… would he?"

"How would I know?"

"Omi doesn’t even have Youji’s interest." Ken stared at the floor, suddenly alarmed for his younger teammate’s sake. "He’d never have a chance. He’d get hurt." The idea was just not tolerable. "How could you let that happen?" he asked angrily, glaring at Aya.

"It wouldn’t, if you’d make up your mind," Aya replied, as if he’d anticipated the question. "However, if you are violently opposed to the idea of dating Omi, then I’ll withdraw the challenge and take Omi to the game instead."

Something about the way he worded that made Ken’s vision go red. Violently opposed? To the idea of dating Omi? That is an insult to Omi! "Fine!" he snapped, glaring even more fiercely at Aya. "I’m asking him! By the end of the lunch break, Omi’s going to have a date for tonight – with me."

As he stormed out of the room, Ken had the nagging feeling he’d lost whatever argument they’d had somewhere in the middle of that conversation.

~~~~~~

"Finally!" Omi pushed open the back door of the shop and propelled himself into the kitchen. "Back in an hour, Youji!" he called over his shoulder – and so didn’t see Ken right away. It was obvious he didn’t expect him to be there, because he turned around and practically jumped backward. "K-Ken!"

"Sorry." Ken grinned. "Didn’t mean to startle you. I’m just finishing my lunch." He held up the plate of leftover dinner to back that excuse up. "You on break?"

"Yeah." Omi open the fridge door and peered inside. There was the faintest hint of red just fading from his cheeks. "Youji’s taking his break after mine. Is it your day off today, Ken?"

"No." Ken set down the plate, watching Omi pull out the food he wanted to prepare. "I’m joining you for the afternoon shift – just before ‘rush hour’."

"Thank god for that," Omi said fervently, smiling just a little. He still wasn’t looking at Ken; his eyes were fixed at what his hands were busy with. "Just two of us and a million girls? That’s the closest thing I can imagine to a nightmare come to life."

"No kidding." Ken followed his younger friend to the table, going over the half-formed plan he’d come up with for this conversation. "Hey… Omi…" He drew in a breath and went on, bravely. "Got any plans tonight?"

Omi’s head shot up, his eyes suddenly searching Ken’s face with an almost tangible hope. "N-no… not at all." That slight blush was back, right across his nose and cheekbones. It was adorable. "Why?"

All right. This was the important part. "I dunno… I thought…" He struggled for the right wording – make it seem casual, but not too casual. "Want to take in a movie and maybe grab some dinner?"

Omi let out a breath. "Are you… are you asking me out, Ken?" he stammered, and the blush spread down over his cheeks.

For some reason, that made it a little easier. Ken had a feeling his own face looked similar; it felt warm, too. "Yeah," he said cautiously, and watched the other boy’s face for a reaction.

"I’d love to!" Omi blurted. His face had lit up completely; eyes shining, lips lifted in a brilliant smile. "Ken, I… I mean, it sounds wonderful! Thank you… for asking."

Ken couldn’t help but smile back, relieved. Despite Aya’s words, and Omi’s obvious-seeming expectations, he’d still found it hard to believe that he would get a positive response. He said yes… He actually wants to date me. For a moment, he forgot why he was asking. He had a date with Omi that night.

"Great!" he said, and the enthusiasm in his voice wasn’t faked at all.

~~~~~~

Youji came out for his lunch break shortly after Omi had gone back in following his, and the blond looked caught somewhere between bafflement and agitation. It wasn't a look that Ken was used to seeing on his teammate's face.

"What's wrong with you?" he asked, curiously.

The older man dug out a cigarette. "He turned me down," he said - in a tone of complete and utter astonishment. "I don't believe it. I make an offer he couldn't refuse for an evening of entertainment, and he… refused."

Ken couldn't help a smirk at that, triumph and satisfaction mixing at the pit of his stomach. I got to him first! I did it! I beat Youji! "Probably because Omi already has a date for tonight," he pointed out, smugly.

"He already…" Youji stared at him incredulously. "When did you ask him?"

"At lunch." Ken shrugged. "I'm surprised you didn't ask sooner. You had the whole morning, after all."

"I did ask sooner." Youji raised an eyebrow at him. "I asked him almost first thing this morning. He said he had someone else in mind." A slow smile started spreading over his face. "At least now I know who 'someone' is."

Ken was speechless. Omi had… me… in mind? He turned down Youji for me? Somehow, he just couldn't believe. Cute, eye-catching Omi, holding out for Ken? Kind, sensitive Omi, who could have any number of people… choosing plain, average Ken?

Unthinkable. It was like a plot from some kind of teen novel.

"Well, Omi's not exactly my type anyway." Youji smirked at him. "Lots of luck with the pretty boy, Ken. Just don't be making any moves on Aya at the game. After all" - this was offered with a not-quite-playful grip on his shoulder - "I know where you live."

Ken couldn't quite put together the words to an answering sentence.

~~~~~~

"She said what?" Ken leaned forward incredulously, ignoring what was left of his meal in favor of hearing out Omi's horror story about a customer.

Omi bit his lip to keep from laughing and smiled. "She said - and I quote - 'If I buy one more, can I have your baby?'"

"No way!" Ken guffawed, sitting back again. "That's freaky."

"I know." Omi set his napkin down on his plate. "I'm stuffed, Ken." He smiled, a little shyly. "Tonight was really great."

"It was." Ken was a little surprised to find himself agreeing wholeheartedly. He couldn't remember the last time he'd had so much fun on a date. He was looking forward to whatever they might decide to do after… Maybe a kiss or two?

That got his heart-rate going.

Ken returned Omi's smile and reached out to touch his hand, almost awkwardly. The younger boy flushed a little, looking pleased. Ken was gratified by the look in his date's eyes when they met his own.

What an amazing thing…

"So where to, now?" Omi asked, once Ken had wrestled the check away from him long enough to make sure he was paying it himself. He'd asked Omi out, after all - it was only fair that he should pay. "I hope you're not going to say 'home'," he added.

Ken grinned. "I wasn't even thinking it."

This first date, he decided, should last as long as possible.

~~~~~~

"Ken, over here!"

"Shhh!" Ken stumbled after the faint shadow of the shorter boy. "You'll wake up Aya and Youji."

"No, I won't," Omi said confidently. "Come on, Ken." And he grabbed the older boy's hand to lead him through the dark room, to where the hallway divided into their separate bedrooms.

Both of them were still high on excitement from a successful date and an even more successful ride through the city streets until sunset spilled over into evening, and then beyond. The older boy figured this would be the point where he got his kiss, and so he wasn't entirely surprised when Omi enthusiastically threw his arms around Ken's neck and leaned up into him, stopping at the last minute as if he couldn't quite figure out how to finish it.

Ken slid his arms around Omi's waist, almost reflexively, pulling that slight body against his. Every nerve was singing. He was so lucky to have this beautiful boy in his arms… how could things get any better?

"Ken…" Omi whispered, barely a breath against his lips, and then they met in a searing kiss.

Every expectation Ken had had for the evening was met, and exceeded, in that one instant. The first shy kiss grew more passionate, and after only a moment, they were standing in the hallway, clutching each other tightly and exchanging sweet, hot kisses.

Omi pulled back a little and stared at him expectantly. Then he glanced at the door to his room. "Are you going to come in?"

Ken started. Omi couldn't mean… he couldn't… "Uhh… what for?"

The corners of Omi's mouth turned up. "Come on, Ken," he repeated, just the faintest flush left on his cheeks as he led the taller boy back through the door into his bedroom.

~~~~~~

Omi's bedroom was arranged differently than his, so Ken woke up to a sunrise hitting him almost right in the face. He mumbled something against a smooth-skinned shoulder and pulled that warm body he was pressed against even closer.

Wait a minute…

Shoulder? Body? Ken blinked, then relaxed as he started to get his memories back. Omi shifted against him, sighing a little in his sleep. Both of them were totally naked.

Ken flushed a bit, then laughed softly, helplessly, and kissed his lover's bare shoulder. He could think of worse ways to wake up.

Omi, it appeared, was still sleeping, a little smile on his face as he dreamed. It must have been a good night for the younger boy, too, Ken figured. He had waited until after to confess that it had been his first time, even though the older boy had just taken the fact for granted.

Did it matter? Ken smiled. He expected this to turn into a real, solid relationship anyway. It was just too good to let go, and last night had made him realize that he actually did want it.

I never thought Aya's contest would end up like this…

That was another thought: Aya's contest.

Ken frowned, turning the problem over in his head. If he took the tickets, and Omi found out about it, the younger boy would be really hurt. Might even break up with him, or refuse to talk to him. He definitely didn't want that to happen.

Besides, using his new relationship with Omi to get tickets made it seem somehow… cheapened.

Omi stirred, distracting him, and his eyes slid open. "Mmm…" He started to stretch, and appeared to notice Ken. The smile on his face rivaled the sun for a moment. "'Morning."

Ken grinned. He couldn't help it. "Hey."

The younger boy rolled over, so that they could face each other. "We're… exclusive, now," he said, somewhat hesitantly, watching Ken's face hopefully, "right?"

"I hope so," Ken agreed, stealing a kiss. "I don't feel much like sharing."

Omi relaxed into his arms, and he made up his mind. There was no way he was letting a contest get in the way of this.

~~~~~~

"Do what?"

Aya looked faintly amused. "You heard me."

Omi shook his head. "What on earth for?"

"You'll see." The redhead held the door open wider for him. "It'll only be for a few minutes, and you're going to get something valuable out of it, anyway."

"It seems weird to me," Omi admitted, shrugging. "But if it'll make you happy, Aya, I guess I can put up with it."

And he walked into the closet, letting his older teammate shut the door behind him.

~~~~~~

"Are you sure Omi's not going to barge in on us?" Ken asked, nervously. He definitely didn't want his new lover to hear some of the things that Aya and Youji were likely to say. "I'd rather he didn't hear - "

"I told you I'd take care of it." Aya's tone was frosty.

"How do you know he won't?" Ken insisted. This was important to him, after all.

"Ken, calm down." Youji raised an eyebrow at him. "Aya said Omi's not going to interrupt. What more do you want?"

Ken glared at him.

"The game is tonight," Aya pointed out. "I'm going to have to settle the contest right here and now. If neither of you has won, I'll have to take Omi to the game instead."

"Omi wasn't even part of the contest!" Youji protested.

Aya seemed unperturbed. "He helped me to win the tickets, and that puts him in the running. Now, did either of you manage to seduce him, or do you get to stay home tonight and watch the game on TV?"

Ken leaned against the wall, wishing this were over.

"Ken won the bet," Youji admitted, when it didn't seem that Ken would volunteer this information. "Omi's nuts about him. And if you don't pursue that, Hidaka" - he offered this with a smirk - "you're as crazy as he is."

"Thanks," Ken said flatly.

"No charge."

Aya pulled the tickets out of his pocket. "This is yours, then," he said, offering one to Ken.

The dark-haired boy stuck his hands behind his back. "I'd like to see the game," he admitted. "And I can't think of much that's better than seeing it live…" He took a deep breath, and plunged on in. "But I don't want the ticket. Take Youji instead."

"What!?" Youji's incredulous exclamation almost caused the cigarette to drop out of his mouth. He stared at Ken in utter astonishment. "What do you mean, you don't want it? I though that was what this was all about!"

"Maybe at first," Ken admitted, hanging his head. "But I think somewhere in the middle of this, I was beaten over the head with the idea that there's something involved here that's more important than tickets to the hottest game of the season."

Aya didn't look very surprised. It figured. Ken had a feeling he'd known all along how this would turn out. "Why don't you tell us about that 'something'."

"It's… I love Omi, okay?" Ken blurted, then glared around at the other two defensively. "And that's a hundred times more important to me than tickets! This might've been what it took to make me realize how great a thing we could share, but now that I've realized it, the last thing I want to do is cheapen it in any way. Keep the ticket. Omi and I will stay here - I want to spend tonight with him, anyway."

Youji whistled in admiration. "I really gotta hand it to you, Ken. That was a hell of a speech."

Ken shut his eyes and smiled, thinking of how he'd felt waking up that morning. "What can I say? I was inspired by someone very special."

"And that's that?" Aya asked, abruptly.

"Yeah." Ken opened his eyes again and stared at him stubbornly. "That's that."

"Good. Excuse me for a moment." Aya walked over to the closet and opened the door, revealing the youngest member of their team. There were tears still running down over the already traveled tracks on Omi's face.

"What…?" Youji stared, caught off guard for the second time that morning.

Ken couldn't say anything; he just gaped helplessly. But… Aya said…

He didn't get much chance to finish that thought, because Omi impulsively jumped out of his place of concealment and ran across the room to him, almost hurling himself at Ken. His arms tightened around the taller boy's shoulders, and he made a sound something like a half-sob half-laugh into Ken's shirt.

"Omi…" Ken slid his arms around his lover's waist, still slightly shocked but moving on instinct. That precious, slight form was trembling in his arms - with emotion, he suspected. He heard about the bet… But… It obviously wasn't the bet that had set the younger boy off like this.

"I love you too," Omi said, in a choked sort of voice that indicated he was still crying helplessly.

Even Ken had to get sort of choked-up about that.

"I apologize for the bet," Aya said, when the two of them finally managed to get themselves under control again. "I had no intention of going to that game. Since I don't expect that a certain one of you" - at this, he gave Youji a sidelong glance, and the blond grinned sheepishly - "was interested in the game itself, the tickets are yours, Ken."

Ken blinked. "Mine?" He took the offered tickets, dazed. "But…"

"Take Omi to the game," the redhead continued. "At least to give us a chance to talk about why Youji wanted a ticket for a baseball game when he can't even stand to watch the sport on TV." He gave the blond a steady look.

Youji managed to look faintly guilty.

Ken glanced down at his still crying but happy-looking lover. "Want to go?"

"I'd love to, Ken." Omi beamed at him.

God, the whole thing was almost too perfect, Ken thought, as he leaned down to claim another kiss. The game and the love of his life… What more could one ask for?

 

The End