Author's Notes:

Uzumaki-sama: And now we've come to the very end. (We kept the epilogue secret, bwahaha.) It's been fun writing this, and I really grew attached to these characters... I'm gonna miss it now that it's done. T-T

Vash's Girl: Surprise? Yeah... Well, I really like this ending, it's very cute, in my opinion. And it was fun to write. So let's hope that everyone—especially Ki—likes it as much as we do.

Disclaimer: We own nothing!


For Dark Ki—

As we wish that at least from us you have a very merry Christmas.


Epilogue

--

The snow seemed never ending, drifting lazily through the midnight sky as it had been all day and the morning before. A modest flame crackled in the hearth before the sofa, warming their faces and cold toes. The room smelled of burning oak, fresh pine, the scent of new furniture, and the lingering aroma of hot apple cider from earlier in the evening when they had exchanged their smaller gifts and shared a late snack.

It was a new beginning for both of them, and one they had planned themselves. No heartless parents dictating Riku's future, no family expectations surrounding Sora, schooling and jobs helping pave the way to their adult lives.

A lazy smile upon his lips, almost lethargic, Sora set his mug of cider on the coffee table and brought his knees to his chest so that he could wrap his arms around them. His small blanket was snug about his shoulders, but Riku's arm was infinitely better.

"I'm so glad that we got this new apartment." Smile steadily transgressing into a large grin, Sora looked to his boyfriend to see an answering, gentle upward tilt of his lips. "It was a really good idea, Riku. Way better than your lonely house."

Green eyes flicked away, but the older man wasn't upset, just contemplative as he sipped at his cider. He wasn't ready to set his aside yet.

Content, Sora leaned back into the sofa cushions. "This leather couch is comfy… where'd you get it?"

"Don't worry about that," Riku said in his quiet voice, melding in with the dying cracks of the fire before them.

"Muu, Riku, we said no secrets…" the younger man pouted, poking his boyfriend's knee a bit hard.

Licking his lips, Riku lifted his gaze, smiling faintly at Sora through his silver bangs. "Just like how you haven't told me about making the dean's list, right? Or how your brother practically moved in with Leon... Or about Artemis and Rairune planning a trip to Europe and inviting—"

"Wah! Stop there!" Sora's hand flew over Riku's mouth, his eyes widening. "You've been talking to my mom, haven't you?" he asked, playfully glaring at him. "Figures she'd spill all of that..."

Riku calmly pulled Sora's hand away, giving him a knowing smile. "She called a few times when you were finishing up at work."

"She's getting sneakier about that."

"She's just concerned about us," Riku mused, running his thumb over the rim of his mug. "It feels nice having someone care like that. Family-wise, I mean."

A soft look of understanding passed through Sora's eyes, and he reached out, slipping his hand over Riku's, stroking his boyfriend's knuckles. The gesture was simple, but it was comforting. Warmth settled inside of Riku as he met Sora's gaze, the dancing light of the fire reflecting in his eyes.

Recognizing the sharpening of Riku's eyes and the slight smirk curving along the corners of his mouth, Sora laughed quietly, lowering his own gaze almost shyly.

"Riku… I… I'm glad that—we're like this… now…"

"I know," the other man murmured, finally setting his mug of cider next to Sora's on the coffee table. He leaned forward, their foreheads brushing, before his nose gently nuzzled into Sora's.

"You have a moo-stash, Sora," Riku whispered, his breath a caress against his boyfriend's pouty lips.

Familiar—and welcome—feelings of desire stirred to life inside of Sora's stomach, and he gave a breathless chuckle before slipping his arms about the quiet man's shoulders and pulling him ever closer.

It was silent but for the soft rustling of clothes against skin, the popping of the fire as a log fell atop another in partly ashen pieces, the ticking of the clock above the mantelpiece, and the whisper of careful words before they were swallowed hungrily by a kiss.

I love you.

--

The sheets were cold.

Riku slowly lifted his head, blinking blearily at the empty spot on the bed where Sora was supposed to be. He wasn't, and Riku's arm was slung over one of Sora's pillows where it had originally been holding Sora's waist as they slept. And good sleep it had been, too, their warm bodies tangled naked together under heavy comforters after such intimate lovemaking.

Lazily stretching over their large bed, Riku yawned, idly wondering where Sora had gone off to, especially if he had been so sneaky about it. Not smelling anything cooking, or even hearing anything in the rest of their small townhouse, he figured that the other man was up to something if he was being so quiet. It was Christmas morning, but by now Riku knew Sora's antics.

He sat up, sliding out from under the covers, shivering a little as the cold air hit his bare skin. And as he reached for his robe and moved his feet to toe on his slippers—

He found them missing. In fact, they weren't even in the room.

"Soraaaa?" he called, rubbing his arms as he moved to his dresser to get something to wear.

There was no response.

His brows furrowing in thought, Riku wrapped his arms tight about himself and tip-toed out of the room, shivering despite the warm air. An inkling of warning began at the back of his mind, telling Riku that it was Christmas, and therefore Sora was probably indeed up to his usual antics. A cheerful Sora equaled a nightmare for Riku.

He was still a bit unused to his surroundings, having grown up his entire life in his family's home, but the off-white walls and smell of fresh paint was comforting. But what was more comforting, he thought bemusedly, was Sora in his arms as they snuggled together into the late morning. Not a missing Sora… and cold sheets…

Riku's teeth were chattering by the time he reached the front door, having scoured the very recesses of the house right down to the last closet. And true to his sense of smell, nothing had been cooked—the kitchen appliances were still sparkling, still pristine.

Sora must have been outside in the snow. Truth be told, Riku was not looking forward to venturing out there in the thin pajamas he had pulled on.

I'm going to kill him, and this is only our third day in this place...

So much for jolly thoughts on Christmas morning.

He pulled open the—yes, unlocked—front door and peeked his head out.

The front yard was a disaster. What should have been a flat blanket of snow in front of their townhouse was instead a war zone, tracks of footprints everywhere, and even a few snow angels.

Situated right in the line of sight, was a large snow man. It was wearing Riku's robe, earmuffs, and various other winter accessories, and his slippers were stuck into the snow at the base. If it hadn't been his stuff completing the snowman, Riku might have thought it cute.

Drawing in a deep breath, Riku steeled himself, hoped he didn't get frostbite, and leapt outside, cursing softly under his breath as he danced across the front lawn, kicking up snow in his endeavor to reach the snowman before Sora found hi—

"HAH!"

A snowball hit his shoulder as Sora appeared from behind his snowman, decked out in snow gear, his cheeks and nose rosy from playing all morning in the cold weather.

"Got ya!"

Sora proceeded to laugh, doubling over and clutching at his side, his eyes shining with his mirth. He was no doubt waiting for Riku to grab some snow and haul it back at him, and he might have, had he not been out here practically in his birthday suit.

The snow melting down the bare skin of his shoulder was freezing, and he cursed, hopping back and forth in a dance to end all frost-bite dances. A long moment of silence stretched between them, the clouds moving restlessly over the sun, before Riku decided he couldn't really take being out here anymore dressed as he was, and so he decided to exact his revenge in other ways.

He was back across the lawn and to the front door before Sora could digest what was happening, muttering obscenities the entire way. His mother would have frowned and called it improper behavior, but—he smiled as he locked the door behind him and proceeded to rub at his arms bedecked with gooseflesh.

Riku didn't really care about improper behavior anymore.

So what if Sora was gay, and he had drawn Riku into his heart of cheerful madness? So what if Sora's family was the exact opposite of his own, a bit poor but making it by all right, loving, and very helpful? So what if his relationship with Sora was more than a little scandalous? He didn't care. What… really mattered was the words he had whispered to Sora the night before, and how eagerly his brunette lover had responded to them.

"I love you."

How his eyes had shined with a pure blue, his lips swollen from all of their kissing. "I love you, too, Riku. Now c'mere, I'm getting cold!"

There was an abrupt pounding on the door, jarring Riku from his thoughts. He hadn't even noticed that Sora had tried jiggling the doorknob a few times, and only now his shouts of protest resounded both inside and outside of the house, although it was a bit muffled in the former.

"RIKU, LET ME IN! PLEEEEEEEEEEEASE? IT'S SO COLD OUT HERE!"

Riku leaned his head back against the door, calling out loudly. "No!"

There came more pounding, as well as Sora's upset whine, and Riku didn't have to see him to know the other man was pouting. "Muu, Rikuuu! I'm gonna freeze!" he cried, sounding convincing. His voice lowered, turning into a mope. "Pleeease? I'll be good! I'll make you breakfast! I just wanted to play!"

Despite his better judgment, Riku felt his heart soften with guilt, not liking the thought of a truly upset Sora being stuck outside when he didn't want to be. It was Christmas, after all. And he had just been trying to have a little fun...

"Such a bleeding heart," Riku muttered to himself, unlocking the door and swinging it open, ready to warn Sora about anymore pranks.

He didn't get even a word out.

"YAY, RIKU! You do love me!"

A body collided with his and he went flying into the hard floor, a snow-covered Sora on top of him. He managed a yelp of surprise, disoriented for a moment, and by the time he collected himself, it was too late. Sora sat on his stomach, looking victorious, a pleased grin spread across his rosy cheeks. His hair was dotted with flakes of ice, not to mention his clothes were damp and starting to soak through Riku's thin pajamas, but it seemed like Sora wasn't getting up any time soon.

"Heehee, you fell for it."

Riku narrowed his eyes up at his boyfriend.

Sora's lips broke into a broad grin. "What? Heehee."

"Get off…" Riku began, but broke off as icy hands touched his hips before palms rubbed over his pelvic bone. He gasped, shuddering hard at the cold, and brought his hands to Sora's shoulders to push him off. "Sora!"

The brunette purred, leaning down to press his nearly blue lips to Riku's. "You looove me, right? Then you'll do anything I want," he sang.

"Sora, it is freezing out here, I—"

Smooch.

"Mmm… Riku, did I tell you how sexy you were?"

"Well—"

Smooch. Smooch.

"Sooo sexy…"

Smooch. Smooch. Smooch.

Riku found his eyes drooping, his will to speak leaving him in light of the warming lips against his own. He sighed, letting his lashes flutter shut completely, and shifted a little.

"Ooooo, I think I feel Fred getting happy, too!"

His eyes snapped back open, widening at the sudden twist Sora's grin had gone to—it was now lecherous, and his eyes gleamed as he descended for another kiss.

"Off!"

A snicker. "Get off what?"

"Sora, this is—" He cut himself off as he heard the door click shut, Sora's foot having no doubt found it. He was also slightly fascinated by his boyfriend's slender fingers moving over the buttons of his wet coat, struggling to get out of it.

"Insane…" he finished weakly as layer by layer of warm clothing was cast aside until Sora was just as bare-chested as he was.

Smirking, the younger man leaned to capture his lips once more, pulling back only to breathlessly cheer, "You know you like it!"

"You are a demon…"

"Heeheehee."


-fin-