"It's just temporary," Gotou repeated as Masayoshi followed him into the genkan, duffel bag slung over his shoulder and pillow in his arms. "Until you find a new apartment."

Masayoshi, with his eyes wide and strangely bright, nodded, clutching the pillow to his chest like a protective barrier. Gotou's wrists still had the faint bruises from the handcuffs – he didn't wear the bandages and Masayoshi had chided him twice about wearing the doctor-approved braces, but Gotou ignored him both times. It hadn't been so long since their world had been turned upside down and backwards.

"Just a few weeks," Masayoshi agreed solemnly, and promptly flopped on Gotou's bed with his pillow.


Gotou's apartment had only ever been meant for one person. He had a little bit of experience with working around a leech – especially a particularly clingy one – but he didn't quite have the experience he needed to deal with someone who clambered out of the closet at the ass-crack of dawn to go for a jog; who poked Gotou until he growled, then provided him fresh coffee as some manner of peace offering.

Masayoshi cleaned up after himself – mostly. A display cabinet popped up beside the television, a pile of DVDs appeared almost overnight. More than once Gotou stepped on a figure that had been knocked off the table, to Masayoshi's dismay. "You've bent his arm out of shape, Gotou-san! You'll have to replace him!"

"Like hell, you shouldn't leave your toys out where they can get stepped on!"

"Harakiri Sunshine is not a toy!"

They'd squabble and eventually a newly packaged figurine would appear on the table waiting for Masayoshi when he got home from an overnight shoot – Gotou sitting up barely awake on the bed, the only light coming from the television set as Masayoshi sat on his knees at the table – and Gotou wondered, when did this become home, for Masayoshi?


Weeks turned into months; Masayoshi got woozy and drunk going out with Gotou and staggered into Gotou's bed and fell asleep, already drooling into the pillow. Gotou shoved him over, pushed him against the wall and put his back to Masayoshi, he wasn't about to get bullied out of his own bed by some idiot who couldn't hold his liquor.

Gotou slept the best he had in weeks, and woke with Masayoshi's face tucked against the back of his neck, arm slung over his side.


The shelf in the closet gave up the ghost one night in a terrific crash that Gotou was certain woke people three blocks away. Masayoshi was unharmed – startled, wild-haired and definitely awake, but not bleeding anywhere that Gotou could see, frantically checking him under the harsh fluorescence of the overhead light – and Masayoshi chuckled weakly, until Gotou put his forehead against Masayoshi's back and let out a ragged sigh, thick with emotion.

"I'll get the shelf fixed," Masayoshi said. "But I suppose I'll have to buy a futon now."

"Yeah," Gotou said, his eyes closed, forehead still pressed to Masayoshi's back.

A futon was never purchased.


Masayoshi was long and gangly, and could somehow curl up and take up all of Gotou's space while still keeping his head on his own pillow, eyes closed, delicate spray of lashes across the rise of his cheek. Gotou stared at him in the dimness, felt the tightness in his chest relax just enough. Masayoshi was asleep. He slept through everything, and yet still managed to rise on time every day. Gotou smiled to himself, drifted forward without realizing it, brushed his lips over Masayoshi's own and then jerked back, waiting for Masayoshi to react, for his eyes to snap open and glare at him judgmentally, for something, anything to happen.

The only thing that happened was Masayoshi's face relaxing into a soft, serene smile.


"Maybe," Gotou said, crowded in the bathroom on a morning that they were both running late, Gotou trying to shave without bumping his elbow into Masayoshi's back and Gotou's toothbrush in Masayoshi's mouth because he hadn't been awake enough to go for the kid's toothbrush with the Neo Red Axe logo on it.

"-we should consider-" Gotou banged his head off the wall as Masayoshi rolled them. Both of Gotou's arms came up to check his head for damages and Masayoshi caught him by the wrist, stared down at him intently, and suddenly this bout of roughhousing took on a whole different dimension.

"-a bigger-" Gotou almost spilled boiling water on them both when Masayoshi chose just the wrong moment to try to duck past him in the tiny kitchen area.

"-apartment," Gotou's breath left his lungs when Masayoshi kissed him, both hands holding his head still, tilting inward just a little bit. He shouldn't be as smitten by a single kiss, stunned into silence by the dominance of it, Masayoshi's fingers curling back into his hair, eyes closed and determination written all over his features. He shouldn't be, and yet he is, and without thinking his hands settle on Masayoshi's hips, and they're moving together in synch, as if their entire lives had been lining up for this moment of perfect harmony.

When they parted, finally, Masayoshi doesn't let go of him, but his eyes open slowly and Gotou wants to look away but he can't, captivated. "For the two of us?" Masayoshi says, and Gotou wets his lips.

"Yeah," he said, leaving the rest of that thought on his tongue. "Yeah. Just for us."

Masayoshi kissed him again.


"It's only temporary," Masayoshi said, holding the whining puppy in his arms, shirt soaked through to the point of translucence as he stood dripping in the genkan.

Gotou sighed and held out his hands for the writhing bundle of wet fur, the overhead light catching on his ring. "I don't think you quite know what that means," he said, and Masayoshi grinned.