20. Independent Couple

"I said no!"

Murata held out the package insistently. "Oh come on," he urged. "It's a gift from Mrs. Shibuya. She even asked me specially to bring it to you. She'll be so disappointed if you don't accept it!"

"I don't care! I am not wearing that... thing!" Wolfram crossed his arms and stuck his nose in the air stubbornly.

"Oh, hey Murata," Yuuri commented, entering the room. He had just come in from his morning run and was still breathing heavily. He mopped off his brow with a towel he had slung over his shoulder. "What are you doing at the castle?"

"Ah, Shibuya. Your mom sent me back with a gift for Wolfram."

Yuuri froze. "Don't take it, Wolf," he warned urgently.

"I assure you that I don't intend to!" Wolfram responded.

Murata sighed. "What does everyone have against Jennifer? I think she's a lovely lady, personally..." He reached inside the box he was holding and pulled out a frilly blue and yellow apron. "And this is really quite nice..."

"You wear it then!" Wolfram huffed, turning on his heels and making for the door.

"Wait!" Murata called after him, waving the other half of the present in the air. "She also sent this disposable camera!"

"Murata..." Yuuri moaned, shaking his head slowly. "Would you and my mom... please stop trying to make my boyfriend into a housewife?"

The sage grinned. "Come on. I've been one plenty of times. It's not as bad as it looks."

"I'm glad you're so comfortable with your feminine side," Yuuri responded dryly. "Why don't you use it to go bake some cookies or something."

"You know, one of you will have to accept some womanly responsibilities in your relationship," Murata said matter-of-factly.

Yuuri just looked back at him with a deadpan expression. "Why? We have you for that." He turned and picked up his robe from the back of a chair. "I'm off to the bath. See you around, Murata."

Murata gaped, then followed him out of the room. "What's that supposed to mean? Hey, Shibuya! Get back here, Shibuya!"