Title: Little Things I-
Rating: PG-13 (some yaoi themes. Like you expected anything else)
Summary: Ken makes too much noise.
Word Count: 2,403
Time: So wasn't paying attention...
A/N: So, I have no ideas for anything but mindless fluff right now I suppose. I tried angst but I suck big time at it (surprise, surprise), and I just don't feel funny enough to do humor for WK again, ever. --;; So yeah. Romantic fluff. Gratuitous cuddle warning. We'll see how this works out, I guess. crosses fingers Apologies if I trigger any gag reflexes or if the slew of pink, fluffy bunnies being unleashed as I write this asphyxiates anyone. And yes, prepare yourself for major OOCness. Because it's what I do. Totally stole this concept from a line in "Scrubs" of all shows, but my muse wouldn't let it not be written. My muse is an evil, evil bastard.
Dedication: To Pris, because she'll probably be the first victim to have to endure this piece on its maiden run. I'm so sorry. I'm so sorry.
Disclaimer: Not mine… if they were, Ran and Ken would have had their happy ending by now, goddammit!
Distribution: Just lemme know.
Ken snored in his sleep. Constantly. It wasn't loud per se, just deep and rumbling, a kind of gruff sawing noise that went in through his mouth and out through his nose. On his back, on his side, on his stomach, no matter the position he'd fallen asleep in, Ken could, without fail, snore in it. Ran had discovered this upon the first few weeks he'd spent sharing a bed with the younger man, when he'd finally shoved all reason in a closet and decided that with all the time they spent in each other's beds, they might as well just share a room officially and leave it at that. The first night he'd been privy to the snoring, the redhead had awakened at the sudden sound in his ear by jerking upwards violently, his assassin's instincts reacting instantaneously to the noise as the arrival of a possible threat.
Needless to say, his quick reflexes resulted in accidentally(forcibly) dislodging (ejecting) Ken's chin from its place against his shoulder, which in turn, sent the other assassin flying off of the bed, comforter and all.
Ken had given an indignant yelp and tumbled off the mattress in a naked flurry, bruising his shoulder on the corner of the nightstand before hitting his ass on ground with a rather solid thump.
Yohji had banged on the wall at the sudden noise; the playboy's muffled shouts of "Quieter sex goddammit!" ringing in both of their rather startled ears.
Ran had felt incurably guilty for throwing Ken off that first night, and hadn't quite known how to react as he'd blinked incredulously down at his partner, who was sitting on the floor, rubbing his shoulder and asking what the hell was wrong.
Trying to maintain some semblance of dignity, Ran stopped blinking and allowed his eyes to narrow into his characteristic glare once his thoughts had ordered themselves into something coherent. That being, that it wasn't his fault. Necessarily. Well, it wasn't entirely his fault. "You were snoring," he muttered accusatorily.
Ken rotated his shoulder until it popped satisfactorily several times. Assured that he wasn't as broken as he felt save for his pride, he got up and plopped back onto his side of the bed, pulling up the comforter with him. "So you decided to throw me across the room as punishment?" he retorted upon hearing Ran's accusation.
Ran's glare became more indignant than the intimidating he had been going for at the brunette's sarcasm. "I didn't throw you that far."
Ken laughed as he read the subtle difference between the redhead's expressions and the pout (oh it was there) in the other man's voice. "Still…"
"Sorry," Ran murmured reluctantly, running a hand through his sleep-tousled hair. "It just surprised me."
"Hair trigger," Ken snickered.
Ran glared. "Shut up."
They sat in silence for a while, Ran feeling a bit awkward and not quite knowing what was supposed to come next. He'd never actually had to deal with something along these lines before, what with the sneaking to and from each other's beds they'd done in the first few weeks of a rather frustrating (and argument fraught) courtship. Regardless of his inexperience however, the taller assassin could now note with confidence, that throwing your partner from the bed in the middle of the night created a strange atmosphere. Especially when it was the first full night together. Hoping Ken would take the lead, he decided the best policy was to react rather than act and thus he remained immobile, waiting.
Ken sighed hopelessly at the other man for a moment before tiring of whatever weirdness had arose, and pushed Ran back down on his back to climb half atop him, decisively reclaiming his human pillow. "I snore sometimes," he admitted as they lay down again. "Sorry for not warning you?"
Ran scowled but its effect was dampened by his wiggling to get into a more comfortable position with Ken lying atop him. "It startled me," he admitted, wrapping an arm around the other man's shoulders as the awkward air slowly dissipated with renewed contact.
The brunette snickered against his skin. "The fearless assassin…"
"I'm not going to have to worry about being tossed around every night, am I?"
Ran nudged Ken with the shoulder his cheek was pressed against. "Do you snore every night?" he asked dryly, hand absently stroking the curve of the younger assassin's neck.
Ken moved at his lover's remark, lifting his head slightly so that the tip of his nose brushed against the underside of Ran's jaw. "I don't know."
Ran grunted in response, eloquent as ever.
Ken smiled, and turned a bit wistful as pressed a kiss to the redhead's chin. "I used to snore, sometimes. Before Weiss," he admitted, slightly embarrassed. He nestled back down and Ran turned to face him, studying the far off expression that had settled across Ken's features from the corners of his eyes. "My mom said I would snore like a train whenever I was really comfortable."
"Oh." Ran processed that, eyes still trained intently on Ken's face, studying the nuances of movement, the little details about his partner's revelation that he knew would be the most vivid part of this memory when he looked back on it years from now.
Ken continued talking quietly, aware of Ran's silence but comfortable enough in it to know that it was due to the other man's absorption of as much detail as possible, as much sensory input as he could find. Ran always seemed to want to grasp as much as he could, to study and analyze and piece together things so that he could fully understand them and react accordingly in his strange but endearing manner. Too much illogical logic sometimes, but Ken loved him regardless. "She used to make fun of me because I was so carefree that I could sleep through anything short of an explosion. She said I was just like dad, always so content with life that if I wanted to sleep, I was going to and nothing was going to bother me. She said I slept like I owned the world," Ken chuckled, warm with memory.
Ran filed that away as well, noting the timbre of his lover's voice and the twinkling contentment he could see dancing in his eyes. Along with that, he acknowledged the strange feeling that had gathered in his stomach when he heard Ken tell him these precious private things, these small snippets of a perfect life, lifetimes past. He unconsciously pulled the other man closer and Ken readjusted, shifting so he was on his stomach, arms moving to wrap around the redhead's neck.
Sighing lazily, Ken pushed his forehead against the older man's chest, butting gently. "I guess I haven't slept like that in a long time, huh?" he mused, smiling a little into Ran's skin.
Ken's breath tickled ever so slightly, but not in an irritating way, so Ran let him stay as he was, not really wanting to move him anyway. "You didn't snore before," he mused, running a hand through the brunette's sleep-messy hair, letting his fingertips linger on Ken's scalp before descending to rest at the base of his neck.
The soccer player chuckled gently. "I didn't, did I?"
"No, you didn't."
"You never held me afterwards, before."
Ran squirmed a bit uncomfortably at that, but said nothing. Ken butted his chest gently again, this time in reassurance. "I understand," the younger assassin murmured, content to let whatever issues the two of them had had in the past remain there so long as they were dealt with, over.
So long as this was where they were now.
There was silence for a while after that, and Ken closed his eyes, relaxing into Ran's embrace as he tried to rediscover the blissfully content sleep he had been so rudely pulled from moments ago. But just as he felt his eyelids growing heavy, he felt Ran take a breath, deeper than one that would be required for sleep. The soccer player made a small, half-conscious noise in the back of his throat, questioning his partner.
"My mom… used to laugh at me because I was such a light sleeper," Ran started a bit stiffly, as if he were still searching for the words as he said them.
Ken was equal parts surprised and pleased when he heard his lover's words, stilted and reluctant as they were. But the athlete also sensed the older man's discomfort, and knew him well enough, loved him well enough, to know the significance behind the attempt itself. It was enough that Ran wanted. That simple fact alone was enough to bring Ken immeasurable joy. "Ran, you don't have to…"
"She said I always seemed like I was worried about the entire world," he continued, stubborn as ever and feeling some sort of need to tell Ken something about the person who he used to be. Not necessarily as an apology for who he was today, but not exactly not, either.
Warmed over again by Ran's refusal to stop, Ken let himself laugh a little at the older man's words, but in a warm sort of way that didn't make Ran feel embarrassed about what he was saying. Though it didn't stop Ran from pinching the athlete a bit after a moment, to quiet the last of his ongoing chuckles. "Sorry, it's just so you," Ken apologized, hefting himself up onto his elbows so he could look down at Ran's face as he spoke. "Go on."
Ran looked up into Ken's expectant eyes, luminescent and completely fixated on him and this story of a rather pointless snippet in his life which he didn't quite know why he was relating in the first place. The soccer player's undivided attention unnerved the redhead a bit more than he was already, and he tugged Ken back down against his chest when it became overwhelming, when it made that strange feeling that had been gathering in the older assassin's stomach twist just a little bit more. "Aya used to, too," he continued after they had both gotten comfortable again. "She was a lot like mother. They liked to tease me all the time for being so serious. I remember… Aya'd sneak into my room early in the morning when we were kids and jump onto the bed and make the loudest sound she could just to scare me."
Ken laughed again, nestled against Ran's warmth, imagining the two siblings during their childhood in his mind's eye as the redhead narrated, rumbling voice deep and soothing in his ears. "Sounds like her," he murmured, feeling his eyelids grow heavy again.
"Yeah," Ran breathed, a fond smile creeping onto the edges of his lips. "She was the only one who could ever scare me like that. Every Saturday morning our parents woke up to me shouting."
Ken pressed a gentle, sleepy kiss at the base of Ran's throat. "Mmm… sounds nice," he murmured, only half conscious.
Ran scowled a bit. "Boring you?" he quipped, though there was no edge to his voice.
Ken snuggled closer, pulling the comforter up around them both. "No, course not. I'm just… really comfortable."
"Go to sleep then, idiot."
"Not going to throw me again are you?" Ken teased, though he let his eyelids close.
"I'll just suffocate you with a pillow."
"Pfft. I love you too," Ken drawled, his final words as he drifted back to sleep.
Every night after that first night, when they'd fall asleep beside each other, Ken would snore. It wasn't unbearably loud so much as a low, grating rumble, the kind of snore that had a steady rhythm, that billowed in through the brunette's mouth and growled out through his nose. It was in Ran's ear every night without fail, after a long day of closing up shop, after a blood soaked mission, after a quiet dinner for two and a walk in the park, after a game of soccer, after a run in the rain, after hours of lovemaking or hours of arguing. Every night, no matter what, Ken would fall asleep with his head pillowed in the crook of Ran's neck, murmuring a half coherent goodnight before he closed his eyes and drifted off. Minutes later, Ran would hear that snore. The first few weeks were spent getting accustomed to it, learning to adjust and deal with it along with several other aspects of the brunette that drove the older man up the wall, but it was work Ran was happy to accommodate because he was beginning to pin down exactly what that strange feeling in the pit of his stomach that had been plaguing him as of late was, and as such, was beginning to realize that maybe it wasn't so strange a feeling as it was a nice one.
So he tried to endure those things about Ken that made him a little bit insane, the snoring and the dirty clothes on the floor and the dog-eared books and the late night soccer games and the muddy cleats in the hall and the public displays of affection and the way he'd steal parts of dinner he liked off of Ran's plate in restaurants and how he'd plop down on the redhead's lap like he owned the place even when Ran was in the middle of doing something.
So Ran learned eventually, to deal with every one of those things about Ken that bothered him one by one, even that grating, rumbling, constant snore, the one that had startled him so badly the first full night they'd stayed together and that had kept him from sleep for the better part of a week afterwards as he'd tried to adjust to its presence just below his ear.
It wasn't easy exactly, as Ken's snores were undeniably, some of the most unattractive he could imagine in both quality and consistency. Some nights (though they were growing fewer and far between), he still awoke, startled at the strange noise and somehow, even stranger feeling of another human being so close beside him. But with time, discipline, and the eventual ability to acknowledge aloud that yes, this was part of the beauty of love, Ran learned how to accept that for the rest of his life, the nightly accompaniment to his slumber would be that particular sound.
Eventually, he realized he couldn't sleep without it.