Written for murakisilver for the yaoi-challenge obscure fandom challenge.

Wedding Knells

As romantic reunions after a long parting went, this one was distinctly unsatisfactory, lacking tears of joy, passionate embraces, ardent kisses and things like that. Not that Yuichi cared overmuch for clichéd sappy public displays, but there was being discreet, and there was… being tanned and happy and healthy, showing no signs whatsoever of pining even slightly after school summer camp and yet more time away with his family, and no calls even just to check in, say hello, I miss you, how are you -- surely none of which were unreasonable expectations. (One might add that secretly, Yuichi was also a trifle disappointed at the lost opportunity to try "phone sex".)

There hadn't even been a postcard. So much for young love.

At the very least, if he couldn't afford to call and had forgotten Yuichi's mailing address, Wataru should have made some attempt, when he finally got back in touch and agreed to come early, before Takako-chan's birthday party, to turn up on time.

Instead, Yuichi found himself pacing anxiously as the appointed time came and passed without any sign of Wataru. He finally set out through the park to see if he could intercept Wataru, if indeed Wataru was coming and had not been overcome by a sudden attack of cold feet and good sense once he had had time to think over the ramifications of their fragile, tempestuous new relationship again.

He found his strayed sheep at the playground, blithely playing with Takako-chan and her little dog, Puru. There was another little girl he didn't know. To his credit, Wataru managed to look sheepish and apologetic when he saw Yuichi, and Yuichi decided he could afford to be magnanimous and accept Wataru's apology graciously. Once he apologized, anyway.

"I see you've made a new friend," Yuichi said coolly, crouching to lower himself to the children's eye level as the strange little girl ducked shyly behind Wataru and leaned out again to peek at him. "Hey there. I'm Yuichi. What's your name?"

"I'm Mina," she told him, and with the artlessness of the young and innocent, confided, "I'm going to be Wataru-nii's bride when I grow up."

Wataru choked at the same time that Takako piped up, "You can't! Wataru-nii is going to be Yuichi-nii's bride when he grows up."

Neither of them had managed to formulate a response when Mina frowned thoughtfully and asked, "Why can't I be Wataru-nii's bride after he becomes Yuichi-nii's bride?"

"You just can't," declared Takako in an authoritative manner, then she frowned in consideration of Mina's obviously valid point, clutching Puru like a stuffed bear. Yuichi gritted his teeth in what might, with some exercise of the imagination, pass for a smile, and tugged Wataru a short distance away.

"Did I hear wrong, or did you just get engaged behind my back again?"

Wataru bristled and tensed like a wary deer, sensing danger but too stubborn to back away. "What? No! She's my -- I mean my neighbor asked me to babysit --" Yuichi stepped closer, flustering him more, then grabbed him when he tried to back away. "Hey, what are you -- wait, you can't -- ah -- not here!" he managed to shove Yuichi off him but not break the embrace entirely, spoiling a perfectly nice, if interrupted, welcome-back kiss. "Think of the children!" he said, aghast.

"I am thinking about the children," Yuichi told him grimly, "particularly about this worrying thing you seem to have with little girls. It makes one wonder if you're a lolicon --"

"That's ridiculous!"

"Obviously, you need to be rehabilitated to cure you of this sickness," he concluded, and Wataru yelped in outrage, trying to squirm free and peel Yuichi's hands off at the same time. That took a little more coordination than they had between the two of them, evidently.

"Cut it out!" Wataru squawked, still struggling, then he suddenly squeaked and they both froze in shock.

Takako and Mina stared at them with wide-eyed awe. "That's Bad Touch," said Mina. "Mina's kaasan told Mina about it last week. Is Wataru-nii going to tell his kaasan?"

"No!" Wataru said as Yuichi hissed, "It was an accident!" and Wataru turned on him angrily, "Oh yeah? Then take your hand out of my --" and Yuichi hastily complied before he reconsidered and grabbed Wataru by the back of his shirt to keep him from skittering out of reach.

"Takako-chan, Mina-chan," Yuichi addressed the girls with all the calm gravity he could muster, shaking Wataru a little as he did to keep him quiet. "That was just an accident while we were playing, nothing to worry about."

They nodded in solemn agreement. "Like when Takako sometimes holds Puru too tight and Puru tries to get away," Takako said sagely, as Puru yapped and wriggled about in her arms. She petted Puru a little more, then, taking her own words to heart, set the dog down. The dog wagged its tail and ran off.

"Yes, exactly like that," Yuichi said hastily, and Wataru made a soft snort of indignation. He looked around and saw, to his relief, Touko approaching in the distance with Puru trotting to meet her. She waved cheerily and made some signs that might plausibly be interpreted to mean that she would take over watching the children. He decided not to stay around to find out differently. "So, why don't the two of you carry on playing, and us big boys will go home and continue playing inside."

"What -- continue playing -- inside?" Wataru protested, looking alarmed and blushing almost to the color of a ripe plum, but he allowed himself to be led away like a puppy.

Takako and Mina watched them go, then looked at each other. "So Mina cannot be Wataru-nii's bride?" asked Mina, a little forlornly.

"No," said Takako with great patience. "Wataru-nii is going to be Yuichi-nii's bride." Then Takako reflected on the matter again, frowning in thought. "Or maybe Yuichi-nii is going to be Wataru-nii's bride." The two children mulled over this weighty conundrum silently. "I think we should ask Touko-neesan," Takako decided. Mina agreed.

The end