Warnings: None really. KazukixJuubei fluff. Btw, 'okaeri' is what is said by one when coming home, while the person home is supposed to respond with 'tadaimasu.' Sort of like 'I'm home!' and 'welcome back'.

Enjoy!


Unrestrained


Kazuki was not in a good mood. It was a rare occurrence to see a frown on his face, for he was usually a passive person who even when irritated rarely let it creep past his mask of pleasantries. But tonight was pushing the limits. It was nearly midnight, and though that wasn't too late usually, the night before (or this morning, if you chose to see it that way) he'd been up until dawn with a job, and furthermore, had to meet this night's client at ten in the morning. In other words, he'd had around three hours of sleep, with two exhausting jobs, and several scratches and bruises that while not serious, were uncomfortable and stung.

He fished around for the keys in his pocket as he stood in front of his apartment, wavering a bit as he stifled back a yawn. The fluorescent lights of the halls flickered on and off, and he glanced briefly over the hallway balcony to see the glowing city lights amidst the darkness. He growled softly in his throat as his pockets decided to become black holes, and finally yanked the offending keys out of his pocket after several increasingly frustrating seconds, shoving them roughly into the doorknob and muttering something about having some way to have the keys handy. Pockets were supposed to do that, weren't they?

He kicked his shoes off and dumped his bag on the floor, making a grudging mental note to clean them up the next morning after a good long sleep, and headed towards his room. He stubbed his toe on the corner of a chair—damn, his coordination was screwed up tonight— and muttering hotly under his breath, finally pulled the door to his room open.

Only to stare at the two pairs of eyes that glanced at him in surprise.

Juubei, shirtless and fresh out of the shower, wet hair clinging to his face, was kneeling on the floor, one hand reaching out to meet a gray kitten's raised paw, both tangled in one of Kazuki's spools of thread.

Kazuki stared.

The kitten meowed pitifully, and Juubei's finger pulled uselessly at the taut tangles wrapped around it. Kazuki could only blink, feeling an indescribable something building up in him until—

He burst out laughing.

"Er… tadaimas…" Juubei turned toward the sound of Kazuki's laughter sheepishly.

"O-Okaeri," Kazuki managed to blurt out, albeit belatedly, in between gales of laughter. He leaned against the door frame, shaking with laughter and trying to hide it rather uselessly with one hand while the other held his side. Juubei just stared, dumbfounded, and the kitten tried to pull its paw out of the mess again.

"I- I'm sorry, it's just that… I'd been in such a bad mood when I came in…" he wiped the moisture from his eyes, "But to find you… and the cat tangled up in my strings…" he broke off into barely contained snorts that soon turned into another fit of laughter.

Juubei got that half-pout look on his face that he always did when Kazuki found something of his amusing that Juubei couldn't for the life of him see the same way.

"It's not that funny, Kazuki," he spoke defensively, "And it was an accident. The cat got into one of your spools… I tried to help it… but I failed," he lifted his arms, signaling to the thin threads that were enfolded messily around him.

Kazuki rolled his eyes playfully, though he knew Juubei couldn't see. Always taking things so seriously… goodness, who says they failed in helping a cat? The kitten had been a new addition to the household—Juubei and him had come across it about a week ago, and had decided that it wouldn't hurt to shelter it from the rain and give it food for a couple days, but it seemed like a couple days would turn into a permanent amount of time.

The kitten mewled and tried to tug its paw out of the tangles, and Kazuki sighed good-naturedly and knelt before them, laying his hand on Juubei's elbow, sliding it down to his hand.

"Really, I can't leave you without coming back to a mess," he said as he smiled, carefully beginning the process of untangling the threads. Luckily, years of frustration with the same problem rewarded him with expertise at handling the matter, and in several short minutes, both Juubei and the cat were free.

"I don't know how to repay you, Kazuki," Juubei said seriously, rubbing his hand were the strings had chafed the skin a bit.

"Don't be so old-fashioned, Juubei," Kazuki picked up the kitten and stood, setting on the bed before switching his dirty clothes for a t-shirt and comfortable silk pants, "Did you eat?"

"Yes," the kitten jumped from the bed and pawed Juubei, who still sat on the floor, fingering the now-wound spool of thread. Juubei patted it fondly, listening to the sounds of Kazuki's hair, now undone, swishing the ground, "There's enough for you."

"I had a big lunch," Kazuki responded, happily plopping down on Juubei, his legs straddling him. Juubei was silent, reaching up to slide his hand up the length of Kazuki's arm, along his collarbone, up his neck and finally tracing his jawline. Kazuki sighed happily, stroking the wet hair and playing with it.

"You're not working tomorrow, are you?" Juubei's eyebrows furrowed in concern.

"I'm free tomorrow."

"Good. You've been working too hard lately," Juubei's eyes locked onto his, as if his gaze was automatically magnetized to meet Kazuki's, no matter if he was blind or not. Kazuki smiled at the protective tone his lover took, and draped his arms around his neck, nuzzling him affectionately and kissing the corner of his mouth.

"Thank you for your concern," he leaned back, yawning, and leaned even further back, expecting Juubei's thighs to keep him from falling back and blinking as they didn't, and he fell through Juubei's open legs.

Kazuki raised himself back on his elbows, looked at Juubei's slightly apologetic face and laughed, reigning in the hair that had been splayed across the floor. He didn't know why. Just a few minutes ago he'd been in the worst mood possible, and now he was giggling giddily as Juubei reached out to take his hand and help him back to his former position on the blind man's stomach.

"You're in a good mood," Juubei observed. Kazuki giggled again.

"I love you!" he threw his arms around the other man's neck, laughing again as the kitten circled them, as if trying to find a good spot to curl up in. It apparently gave up and crawled under the bed.

"Kazuki… Did you drink something?" Juubei sounded slightly puzzled.

"I did not!" Kazuki said indignantly, "Kakei Juubei, when have I ever been a drinker?"

Juubei shrugged, "I was only asking. Forgive me if I—"

"I was just kidding," Kazuki waved his hand dismissively, pecking his lips, before yawning again, "I'm tired. Let's go to bed."

With that, he raised himself from Juubei and settled in bed, stretching largely, much like a cat himself. Juubei fumbled around with the drawers, feeling around for a shirt to sleep in, while Kazuki watched with increasingly lidded eyes. He liked Kazuki when he was happy, he mused. When he didn't have anyone to be proper and demure with, and could simply be a regular boy—or at least back in those times—or human being without restraints.

By the time Juubei had found and slipped on a shirt, Kazuki had already fallen asleep, and Juubei listened to the quiet breaths for a long time before getting in himself.


Alright... this was definitely a little piece of fangirl fluff that I decided to write up, with no real plot whatsoever, and it's my first try at these characters, in a setting that doesn't play much with their personalities, and as such, I'm not sure if it's in character. I really would like reviews on this to be more... beta-ish, especially in the characterization part.Comments on this would be GREATLY appreciated, as this really is an experimental fic that I might take down later on...