Masayoshi was a bit farther behind schedule than he intended to be. The past few weeks had been peaceful on the surface, yet underneath, Masayoshi had been busying himself for a very important day. Hidenori Goto, his partner of three months and best friend of two years, would be turning a year older very soon. He had far since reached the age where he no longer saw much regard for birthdays; nonetheless, Masayoshi believed it would be an injustice if he ignored the occasion, and thus decided he needed to make the day perfect.

Although the scheme he had in mind to get Goto the day off from work had failed, the rest of his plans seemed to be set in stone: wait on him like he was a prince, serve him the finest curry recipe he could find, bake him a cake for dessert, and after cleaning up, give him his very special present. "Just a liiiiiittle bit more…" he uttered to himself through clenched teeth. His eyebrows were furrowed tightly and knuckles were turning white as he squeezed the very last bit of icing out of the tube. He glanced over at the wall clock; 6:00…. Goto was late. Which was, in this case, a fortunate turn of events, seeing as the curry was still cooking and the cake was only almost complete.

"…..there!" he breathed triumphantly, relaxing his grip on the icing tube once the little square of cake was completely covered by white. Letting out a big sigh, he wiped the sweat off his brow with the back of his hand and gazed proudly down at his work. I sure hope Goto-san likes vanilla… he thought to himself. He froze in horror as it crossed his mind that perhaps Goto didn't like vanilla. What if he was more of a chocolate person? He knew Goto had nothing against desserts in general, but he never even thought to ask for his preferences… Images of his partner's disappointed face as he bit into the cake flooded Masayoshi's mind and filled him with devastation.

Well, it was too late to worry about it now… He needed to finish the curry, set the table, and change into something nice before Goto got home; which could be at any moment, since his expected arrival time had been half an hour ago.

Masayoshi shook his head and wiped his hands on the front of his apron. "Okay, okay, got to finish the cur-" Masayoshi's mumblings were interrupted by the sound of keys jingling in the doorknob. His jaw dropped in horror. Goto couldn't be back yet, things weren't ready-! Panicking, Masayoshi fumbled with the strings of his apron, ripped it over his head, and tossed it over the handle of the oven. He was in the middle of feverishly stirring the curry with one hand and smoothing out his hair with the other when Goto, still in uniform, entered the apartment.

"I'm home…" he called as he took off his shoes in the entrance. "Something smells-"

"Welcome home, Goto-san!" Masayoshi squeaked, deciding the curry was cooked enough and hurrying to turn off the stove.

Goto paused in the middle of hanging his jacket on the coat hanger. A curious smile formed on his mouth. "You haven't called me 'Goto-san' in months. I thought you had gotten used to the whole first-name basis."

Masayoshi let out a squeak similar to that of a small animal whose tail had just been sat on. "Sorry, Hidenori-! Um, I- So- How was work-?" he sputtered. This was not good, not good at all… He was supposed to greet his boyfriend at the door, dressed his best with his hair combed back, a calm and seductive smile on his face; not ramble at him from the kitchen!

"Eh, fine…" Goto answered, scratching his head and joining Masayoshi in the kitchen. "Uneventful until I was about to leave. For some reason, I couldn't find my-"

"Sit!" Masayoshi barked at him. Goto's mouth clamped shut, eyes wide and blinking in shock. Masayoshi's face exploded into a mortified blush. In his head, he saw himself gesturing toward the sofa and affectionately suggesting that Goto take a seat. Everything was going wrong…!

"…uh… O,kay? Are you feeling alright? You look at little pale…" He reached out a hand to feel Masayoshi's forehead for a fever, but he flinched as if he expected to be slapped so he pulled away.

"…sit, please," Masayoshi repeated in a calmer tone, opening one eye to look at Goto. "Dinner's ready, I just have to set it out…"

"Oh, well, I can get it myself," Goto pointed out, reaching toward the cabinet that held the bowls. Masayoshi grabbed his arm, stopping him. He took a deep breath and forced a little smile as his eyes made contact with Goto's.

"I'll get it for you. After all, you are the birthday boy!"

Goto stared at him for a moment, dumbfounded, until an incredulous sort of smile appeared on his face. "Is that what's going on? That would explain why you're so panicky, and why there's icing on your cheek."

Masayoshi's eyes widened in alarm. "What? Icing on my cheek-?"

Goto unintentionally flashed an adoring smile. "Yeah, right here." He licked his thumb and then wiped off the little white smudge. "I'm surprised you remembered," Goto continued as Masayoshi's face glowed redder than a fire engine. "I don't really pay my birthday much mind… But okay, I'll humor you for the night. I'll go sit down after I get changed." And so he ruffled Masayoshi's hair and headed to the bedroom to put on regular clothes while Masayoshi, smiling dumbly at himself like a young child that just received praise, filled two bowls with curry.

He was seated at the table by the time Masayoshi had finished. "Here you are, straight off the stove!" Masayoshi announced proudly, setting the filled-to-the-rim bowl in front of the cop with a grand gesture. "Handmade by yours truly~ Not even the microwave brand!"

"Looks good…" Goto nodded in approval. He brought a spoonful to his mouth, gently blowing it off before taking a bite. His face contorted the moment it touched his tongue. "Uh- It's a little, undercooked, isn't it?"

The cheery grin faded from Masayoshi's lips as if he had been slapped hard in the face, devastation overtaking his features. "I… I'm sorry, Hidenori-!" he squeaked. "I was rushing, a-and-!"

"Hey, it's fine," Goto interjected reassuringly. He smiled and took another bite to show he was sincere. "It isn't bad. Now sit down and try it for yourself, would you?"

Masayoshi's shoulders relaxed, the despair lifting from his demeanor. A sparkle returned to his eyes and he took his seat across from his boyfriend, excitedly digging into his own curry.

Their dinner from that point on was exactly like any other evening they'd shared in the past. They chatted casually, Masayoshi about some fan mail he had read that day and Goto about an article he was scrolling through at work. "Are you done, Hidenori-san? I'll take your bowl to the kitchen and bring out the cake," Masayoshi offered, grinning joyously as the two of them recovered from a bit of laughter.

"Yeah, sure, I'd appreciate that," Goto responded, wearing a lighthearted smile himself. Masayoshi saluted and stood up without pushing his chair back. The quickness of the action nearly knocked over the table, which would have sent the bowls crashing either onto the floor or into Goto's lap. He flashed an embarrassed, apologetic smile, hurried to collect the empty bowls with their used utensils, and dashed off into the kitchen.

Goto stared after him, shaking his head fondly. "What a weirdo…" he murmured under his breath.

I'm so in love with him.

His smile dropped with that abrupt thought. A blush rose to his cheeks. What was he doing, thinking such sentimental things-?! Of course he loved Masayoshi, he wouldn't be with him if he didn't… Still, it wasn't a topic he put much thought to. Masayoshi loved him, and he loved Masayoshi; that was all there was to it, nothing to mull over. ….he loved Masayoshi, and Masayoshi loved him…. What a pleasant feeling. He smiled faintly to himself.

"Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you~!" Masayoshi sang, setting the cake in front of his partner along with the knife required to cut it.

"Wow, looks great…" Goto praised, starting to salivate ever-so-slightly.

"Thank you!" Masayoshi beamed. "It was a little rushed, but I'm confident in it… Now close your eyes and blow out the-" He froze, and terror paled his face. "The candles-! I forgot to pick up the candles…!" he yelped.

Goto chuckled, reaching for one of the dessert plates Masayoshi had remembered to set out earlier. "Hey, I don't care… Better to not risk having a house fire on our hands. Besides: I've got nothing to wish for. Everything I could ask for is right here." He reached up and grabbed Masayoshi by the collar of his shirt, pulling him down to peck his cheek. Masayoshi's face flushed redder than his Samurai Flamenco suit.

"…u-um… How big of a piece do you want?" he squeaked with wide eyes and a flustered expression.

"Here, I'll cut it myself." Goto picked up the knife and carved into the cake, a smile on his face. Neither of them had any idea where this romantic boldness of his had come from; perhaps there was just something in the air, or he was in a particularly good mood. Regardless of the reason, it left Goto feeling quite confident in himself and Masayoshi feeling a little lost.

He took the time Goto used to eat his cake (Masayoshi wasn't very hungry himself) to mentally prepare for the next step of his plan to charm Goto on his birthday. It was nice and all, having Goto in a flirtatious mood, but Masayoshi needed to be the one with his game on. He closed his eyes tightly and took a deep, cleansing breath. When he reopened them, Goto had just finished his cake. Perfect; Masayoshi was finally in the zone. Showtime.

"Here, I'll put your plate in the kitchen for you. I can put the cake away later. How about you go get ready for bed?" Masayoshi suggested with a sweet smile. Goto shrugged.

"If you don't mind. Thank you for the food, it was delicious." The cop pushed himself away from the table and headed off to the bedroom. Once he was out of sight, Masayoshi's smile turned into a grin that was conniving, anxious, giddy, and sexual all at once. He dashed into the kitchen (without taking Goto's plate with him) and tore open the highest cabinet, above the refrigerator. This was where he had stashed a special little something: the crucial tool for the grand finale he had planned.

"Hey, Masayoshi, have you seen my- …what are those?"

Masayoshi froze halfway through closing the cabinet. Goto wasn't supposed to come out of the bedroom, that wasn't part of the plan-! He had been relying on the element of surprise, and here he was caught red-handed. No, no, there's no need to panic just yet, he told himself in silent alarm. There was still the chance Goto hadn't seen what he was holding; after all, he did ask what it was. He continued to stand stock-still, hoping that maybe if he stayed frozen, Goto would stop caring and walk away.

However, the opposite seemed to be true. Masayoshi's muscles tensed even tighter as he felt Goto approaching him. "Are those…. They are! What the hell are you doing with my handcuffs?!" Masayoshi flinched at Goto's booming voice. So he had seen…

"…um… I can explain-?" he retorted feebly, slowly peeking over his shoulder and shriveling in on himself.

"I sure hope you can," Goto snapped, crossing his arms with his eyebrows furrowed in displeasure. "I was late coming home because I couldn't find them! I was driving myself nuts looking all over the office!"

Masayoshi continued to shrink, like a puppy being scolded. "Um, see, I took them before you left for work this morning… I saw something online the other day, and I wanted to try it out ourselves! And, tonight seemed like the perfect occasion… I could treat it as a sort of present!"

Goto was still fuming. "What could you possibly have-" His words choked in his throat as a potential answer to his question dawned on him. His eyes rounded and jaw fell slack. A both horrified and embarrassed blush flamed on his cheeks. "Jesus Christ, Masayoshi, were you thinking of bondage?!"

Masayoshi's head hung low in shame, his figurative tail between his legs. "We've never done something like that before…! We've done all the basic things, but, I thought I'd try to… spice it up a little bit…" he whimpered.

Groaning, Goto brought a hand up to his reddened face and rubbed at his forehead. When he partially opened one eye and peeked put under his hand, he saw that Masayoshi was on the verge of tears. He sighed heavily. "Look, I just would have appreciated it if you had asked me for my handcuffs ahead of time. I would have been suspicious, but not angry." …although, he wasn't exactly angry right now. Flustered and suffering severe secondhand embarrassment, but not angry. His shoulders relaxed slightly and he slid his hand down to his chin. "…okay. We can do that."

"Wait, what-?" Masayoshi's gaze snapped up from the floor, his wide eyes faintly sparkling with hope. Goto's blush resurfaced and he glanced away.

"If you really want to, what kind of guy would I be if I told you no? It would be… different. So let's try it."

Masayoshi sprung back to life. "Really?! Thank you, Hidenori-san!" He threw his arms around him ecstatically, more like a grateful child than his boyfriend about to have sex with him. "You go to the bedroom and wait for me while I get all ready, okay?" he instructed before Goto had time to even wrap an arm around him.

"….yeah, sure…" Goto murmured, immediately wondering whether this was an idea he would regret going along with.

Once Goto had closed the bedroom door behind him, Masayoshi began preparing. It was mostly just mental preparation; he had already stashed away all the necessary tools (except for the handcuffs, of course) for making this run smoothly in a convenient place in the bedroom. Since he hadn't had time to freshen up before Goto came home, he scrambled off to the bathroom now. He stripped down to nothing, tossing his clothes in the hamper, and quickly ran a brush through his hair. He spritzed himself with cologne- not too much, though- and, lastly, turned on the sink and splashed his face with cold water. As he patted his face down with a towel, he caught his own eye in the mirror. One final step before putting the final step of his plan into motion: a pep talk.

Gripping the edge of the sink, he stared himself down. "Hidenori-san loves you. He's seen you do way weirder things than this. It'll be fine! Even if you mess up! Which you won't, because you're ready for this! You did your research, you know how to make this fun for Hidenori-san! He's going to love it. You're an actor; you can pull this off!"

He stood there for a few more seconds, until finally he felt his confidence had reached its apex. Nodding assertively, he took a cleansing breath and hurried out of the bathroom, making sure to grab the handcuffs on his way to the bedroom. His eyes closed as he grasped the doorknob. Seductive… He needed to be seductive… He was in charge tonight. …yes, he could do that. He could play that role. For Goto. Opening his eyes, he twisted the knob and slowly opened the door.

"Good evening, Hidenori…" Masayoshi purred, setting one foot inside. He wrapped his fingers around the dial that controlled the lighting on the wall, slowly spinning it down until the lights were at half-brightness; setting the mood. He had planned on turning on sensual music, too, but it just occurred to him that he had left his iPod on the charger….. Well, no turning back now. He slipped all the way inside.

Goto showed no change in expression except for a raised eyebrow. He had seen Masayoshi naked so many times that it wasn't even sexual anymore; if anything, it was just a little awkward. Only when Masayoshi crawled onto the bed on hands and knees, handcuffs clenched in his fist, did he show any sort of curiosity or interest.

"You had me so scared, Hidenori-kun…" Masayoshi murmured, trailing the hand that wasn't holding the cuffs down Goto's chest. Once he reached his jeans, he walked his fingers back up his chest and caressed them across his neck.

"…scared? Uh, why-?" Goto managed to get out, unsure of where to focus his eyes.

"Coming home so late… I was afraid you'd never ever come home! I think… you need to be punished." Goto raised his eyebrows, readying a defense (something along the lines of "I was late because you stole my handcuffs!"), but the words caught in his throat, a surprised sort of blush glazing his cheeks. Masayoshi was casually spinning the cuffs around his finger, his eyes half-closed and gleaming. Goto had gotten past the stage where the concept of sex was awkward for him; still, this was of a whole different category. First of all, there was the strangeness of Masayoshi being the one in the lead. Masayoshi Hazama- Samurai Flamenco, the man that fought evil in a superhero getup on a weekly basis, trying to be sexy? It was so wrong it was almost comical. Not to mention this sort of sex itself was completely foreign to the couple. It was something you would read in an adult novel, not actually do with your partner, Goto thought…

….and yet, he found himself strangely aroused. Maybe it was the husky tone Masayoshi was using, or the lure of this different side of Masayoshi that might have been hidden all along, or the undeniable fact that Masayoshi truly was an attractive young man… Or maybe because with both of them being caught up in work so often, the couple hadn't gotten intimate in quite some time. Regardless of the reason, Goto was actually enjoying this weird little show Masayoshi was putting on.

"You know, Hidenori-kun, I never thought you were the bad cop type," Masayoshi crooned as he took Goto's hands in his own, holding them out palms-down and then gently slapping the cuffs around his wrists.

"No, I didn't think so, either," Goto replied awkwardly, his heart rate gradually increasing and face starting to redden. What was Masayoshi looking for? Did he want Goto to squirm and beg? To act sexy, just as Masayoshi was doing himself? Or to play along and just let this happen? Usually, Goto acted naturally during sex, to avoid any feelings of awkwardness. He was always as calm as possible, not particularly delicate but also not too rough, only getting a little wild once things really got heated and the ecstasy of the moment started to take over. Then again, Goto was always the one on the top. What was he supposed to do when the positions were swapped? Well, Masayoshi was the actor, not him; so he took a breath, relaxed his tense muscles, and allowed Masayoshi to raise his hands above his head.

"Ready for your punishment, Hidenori-kun~? I think you'll like it," Masayoshi murmured, walking his fingers down the zipper on Goto's jeans. As well as he was portraying this role of a dominant, seductive boyfriend, Masayoshi was a nervous wreck beneath the surface. His heart was pumping even faster than Goto's, a bead of sweat trickled down his forehead, and his fingers quaked ever-so-slightly. He couldn't let Goto know this was how he was feeling, that would be so typical of him… This was supposed to be special.

…but wait. What was next? Masayoshi knew how this type of sex was ideally supposed to go, he had researched it thoroughly… But he was so currently engrossed in keeping up this smooth persona that suddenly his mind was too scrambled to recall what he knew. Was it foreplay, perhaps-? But what kind of foreplay? Kissing? Touching? Stripping? Well, Masayoshi was already naked… And, he realized with a strike of horror, Goto couldn't get naked; they wouldn't be able to take his shirt off over the handcuffs. Had he cuffed him too soon-?!

"…Masayoshi? You okay?" Goto asked, a little less embarrassed and a little more concerned. Masayoshi tensed. Had he broken character? There was no time to mull over his mistakes; hands on Goto's chest, he kissed him a little too aggressively. It felt misplaced. He had to move on now… No longer looking Goto in the face, he started working at lowering his jeans.

It occurred to Masayoshi as he undid the button and skirted his fingers across the brim of Goto's underwear that perhaps he had not only put the handcuffs on at the wrong time, but also in the wrong way. Goto had too much freedom; he could still wrap his arms around him, if he found the right position. But then, what was the correct way to put them on? Behind his back? Around the bed post? He couldn't remember… Biting his lip and ears turning red, he rested his hands on Goto's crotch. He had to make up for his mistakes… He would pleasure him this way-!


This sudden change in pace hadn't gone unnoticed by Goto. After all, Masayoshi had gone from steady and sexual to like a mouse trying to find its way out of a maze. Masayoshi's eyes darted up to him nervously, his composure completely shattered.

"Masayoshi," Goto repeatedly, a little more loudly but also more gently, "you're starting to hyperventilate. Stop this."

For a moment, Masayoshi stayed frozen, as if he'd be able to continue smoothly if he only paused and then resumed. However, after a few seconds passed, he crumbled. He withdrew his hands, placing them on his own knees, and bowed low in shame. "I'm so sorry, Hidenori…! I had it all planned out perfectly, but, I forgot how to-! And I just-! I panicked, and-!"

"Hey," Goto interrupted his ramblings. He brought his arms down, a faint smile on the corner of his lips. "Relax. I don't think this was really… right, for us. You aren't exactly a kinky guy."

"I just wanted to give you something fun for your birthday…" Masayoshi whimpered, sniffling.

Goto leaned forward so he could rest a hand on Masayoshi's shoulder (with the other hand not far behind). "I know you did. It's the thought that counts, really…" He paused. His smile grew a little bit. "But, the night isn't over yet. We could watch a movie or something… And if you really want to use the handcuffs, we can, but in a less… sexual, way."

Masayoshi peeked up from his shameful bow, tilting his head slightly. "How?"

Goto shrugged. "Dunno… We could, cuff our wrists together so we can't leave each other all night, and find comfortable ways to sit together…" He blushed, realizing after a pause just how planned out that sounded. "…or something," he coughed and glanced away.

"That's a really good idea!" Masayoshi beamed, finally sitting up. Goto turned back to him.

"Then get dressed and get the key, we'll-"

"The key?" Masayoshi interjected, confused.

"….um, to the handcuffs?"

All of the cheer faded from Masayoshi's face, giving him an expression that clearly said "oh, shit." Goto's eyes bulged, a look of disbelief on his face.

"…don't tell me you don't have the key."

Tears shined in Masayoshi's eyes; he looked like he wanted to die. "I… I never thought to grab it, I-! I'm really sorry….!"

Goto sighed heavily. "You're lucky I have a spare in my car. If you can run out and get it for me…"

"Yes! Yes, I can do that!" Masayoshi insisted, scrambling to his feet.

"Get dressed first!" Goto called after him as he dashed out the door. Seconds later, Masayoshi was wheeling back into the bedroom, heading to the dresser. "Oh, just throw on my robe," Goto suggested with a sigh, jerking his head at the robe hanging on the door. Masayoshi immediately complied, grinning at him before running back out the door. Goto couldn't help but smile back.

Masayoshi returned with the key a few minutes later, and he unlocked the cuffs before re-clasping one half around his own wrist. "There! Now we can't be separated," Masayoshi declared proudly.

"Well, put the key down somewhere safe or else we'll never be separated," Goto retorted, taking the key out of Masayoshi's hand and setting it safely inside the top drawer of the bedside table. His face flushed as he saw that this was where Masayoshi had stashed the sex items (i.e., a box of condoms and some lube) and he slammed it shut immediately. "Er, so, I'll pick the movie this time."

Masayoshi's eyebrows furrowed together in a concerned sort of frown. "You mean you don't like my movies?" He sure hoped this wasn't the case; after all, the only movies he ever watched with Goto were the ones he chose, and all of them were, of course, of the same genre. What if he silently hated them this whole time…?!

"No, no, I like them… You can just have too much of a good thing, you know?" he assured him. Masayoshi loosened up, relieved.

"Okay, good! Well, I'll watch whatever you want. It is your special day, anyway." Smiling adoringly, he let Goto lead him to the living room like a dog on a leash eager to go for a walk.

"…thanks, Masayoshi," Goto said after popping in a DVD of his choosing and settling down on the couch. Masayoshi automatically rested his head on his shoulder and set his left hand- the cuffed one- atop of Goto's right hand, his cuffed one. He glanced up at Goto with his eyes when he heard him speak.

"Eh-? Oh, you're welcome, Hidenori! I mean, I messed everything up, but…"

"No, really… Thank you." Goto sat forward slightly, taking his eyes away from the TV and looking directly at Masayoshi. "For just… being here. I gotta say, you make me really happy." The corners of his mouth turned up ever-so-slightly. "I love you, Masayoshi."

Masayoshi's mouth hung slightly agape, taken quite aback. Goto was the type that saw no sense in saying something he felt was obvious, and so he very rarely told Masayoshi that he loved him except for while saying good night. A grin slowly grew on Masayoshi's lips; maybe he did really make him happy this evening… "I love you, too, Hidenori! You know that I do…. Happy birthday." He opened his arms to wrap them around Goto, but ended up yanking his lover's arm up along with it.

"Ouch…" Goto moaned, though with a grin, dropping their arms onto the back of the couch. They both laughed and leaned in for a kiss, as if they were linked not only at the wrists, but the minds. It had been a while since they'd shared a kiss so tender and perfect.

After the movie (Masayoshi actually got quite invested; it was exciting for him to step out of his own genre), they turned off the TV and returned to the bedroom. Goto managed to change his pants but settled for sleeping in his regular shirt. Through trial and error, they managed to find a comfortable sleeping position that involved keeping their cuffed hands under the pillows, Masayoshi's free hand curled against Goto's chest, and Goto's free arm wrapped around Masayoshi. They kissed a lot and touched each other a bit, but not sexually; just sensually. The last thoughts they had before slipping off into sleep were of similar natures:

Happy birthday, Hidenori-kun,


I love you, Masayoshi.