Contains: KaRe - beware.

For this unique once-every-fourth-year-day I decided looooooong ago that I'd post something, because I thought that would be cool. You know. To post on a day that doesn't come every year (Happy birthday all you leap year babies out there!). Anyway. This was supposed to be a christmas giftfic for Mharie (see how good I am with, uh, deadlines?). Also, I started this fic after having heard, once too many, I might add, Bon Jovi's Dirty Little Secret. It's a good song. Check it out. It should be on Youtube. I think.

It had always been somewhat a case of 'hit the lights and I'll come crawling through your window tonight'; their relationship. Something they had never really talked about because it had never been something they could openly talk about. It was taboo, and it was forbidden. It was bitter-sweet, and it was something they never wanted to end. A dirty little secret. The not-quite-secrecy made them feel alive and wild, it made them feel normal despite it all and despite what the downgrading rumours of their respective childhoods had said. Children were mean in their innocent ways, and adults never talked about other possibilities to find your own road to happiness, your own niche in creation.

"I'll be your dirty little secret and you'll be mine," Rei had once said in a moment of not-quite sobriety and Kai had solemnly nodded while groping his ass.

"I wanna feel alive," he'd muttered into Rei's neck, moving his hand and slipping it beneath Rei's already loose and unbuttoned trousers.

Rei hissed, "oh yessss..."


"Rei!" Rei startled, eyes shooting open and Kai rolled his eyes, nodding his head towards the door, "Someone just parked a car on the driveway." Blinking the sleep out of his eyes, Rei nodded and sat up. The he grinned, hazy eyes trailing over Kai's, very naked, body. "And you say I'm a pervert..."

"You are." Rei grinned then slowly rose from the bed, stretching languidly. "Stop staring at me, Kai."

Kai huffed, smirking, but looked away, dragging a hand through his hair and dropped the armful of clothes he was holding, the clothes that had been disposed off in a hazed frenzy, left crumpled on the floor, on the bed. "If people knew-"

"-we wouldn't have the problem of hiding, yes I know, Kai. But it was you-"

"-who thought the problem of hiding would be considerably smaller than the problems that would arise in the ashes of the truth, I know. Therefore," Kai trailed off, pulling his underwear on.

"Therefore," Rei arched his back, breathing a soft sigh, "We made a promise and we'll keep it," he said, his eyes affectionately heated as he pulled his clothes back on, unable to suppress the smirk he felt crawling up on his face as he watched, perhaps a bit too avidly, Kai do the same. Watching Kai dress was, in its own way, far more interesting than watching himundress. People were so unguarded when they dressed. The footsteps from outside grew louder, closer and Kai and Rei shared a brief, panicked glance before Rei grabbed the last of his clothes, shoes and the white cloth from the bed and ran outside to the balcony.

It was only as he tried to bind his hair that Rei realised the white cloth in his hands wasn't his hair bind at all and he, for a short, panicked moment wondered how Kai would explain away the red mark that Rei, caught in a passionate haze, had left in a far too…visible place.

Rei plaited his hair; quickly and inefficiently and several strands of hair fell loose but it was the best he could do for now because the door to the balcony was opening again and Kai stalked out, glaring and scowling as he snatched his scarf from Rei's lax grip. The chairman of the BBA followed at a decidedly more languid pace, frowning as his dark eyes flitted between Kai and Rei.

"Boys," Kai glared out over the city, and Rei fixed a smile on his face, turning towards Daitenji and crossed his arms. "I trust you had a pleasant night celebrating your team's regained position as reigning world champions? Your younger team-mates certainly seemed very exuberant!"


Standing quietly next to Kai, Rei frowned and Kai glared. Hiromi ignored them both with troubled eyes , pushing the girls on either side of her forward. "I told them this was a stupid idea...but...if you show up at any more premiers or galas or BBA conventions together-"

Kai sneered, "Fuck off." Turning on his heel, he stalked off, leaving Rei with three girls, all of whom were staring after Kai, one with fond, exasperated annoyance and two with puzzlement.

Sighing, Rei shook his head and picked up his and Kai's bags, "Sorry, Hiromi," He said, not sounding very sorry at all and turned to follow Kai, still frowning softly and biting his bottom lip.

"Rei!" Hiromi ran after Rei, swiftly catching up, the two girls forgotten and disposed off in the the blink of an eye, "The BBA had them sent over- do you really think I care if you show up alone together or with dates and together?"

Rei shrugged. "Someone obviously does, Hiromi," he sent her a wry look. "You going with Takao again?"

She shook her head, "He's taking a cousin."

Eyebrows raised, Rei nodded thoughtfully, biting his bottom lip. "You could-"

"Oh?" Hiromi rolled her eyes. "And Kai won't bite my head off for that?"

"No." Hiromi startled and whirled around. Kai was leaning against the wall just behind them, the wall they had just passed and Rei looked around, searching for the numbers on the doors and belatedly realised they had passed the room he and Kai were supposed to share.

Rei smiled and nodded. "Takao won't be jealous if you go with friends, you know."

Gay friends, Hiromi silently added in her mind. Not that either of them would ever come out and say it, but to someone who knew them, someone who wanted nothing more than for every member of the team to be happy, unconditionally happy, it was hard to miss the signs.

"Why not? We could-" Kai glared and Hiromi shrugged, rolling her eyes, "Whatever. Can I at least pick out your clothes?"


Rei sighed deeply, watching the film Mao was grinning and laughing at through his peripheral vision. It seemed rather good at times, despite the romantic cheesiness and silly jokes. Rei's head snapped around as Rai suddenly snorted, sneering and looking thoroughly disgusted as he stood and marched from the room. Rei suppressed another sigh, put down the magazine he had been supposed to read and sneaked over to sit down next to Mao.

Mao shook her head, eyes slightly saddened but not very surprised. "I don't think subtly trying to imply something is a very good tactic, Rei."

Shrugging, Rei leaned back against the couch and focused on the screen with heavily lidded eyes and a tired sigh. "Buy him a book?"

Mao snorted and shook her head. "As if he'd read it." A few seconds later she grinned and nudged Rei's leg. "I think he's finally gonna kiss him!" She nodded at the screen, and Rei raised an eyebrow.


Mao nodded. "He's been pushing him away since he came out to him, but…"

"…he's been looking a bit weirdly at him?" Mao nodded again, and Rei shrugged. "What were you subtly trying to imply?"

"Oh…you know…" Mao waved at the screen, "I just thought that if Rai could see for himself that gays can be in films without being driven away maybe he'd stop being such an idiot about it."

Rei frowned even as he tried not to look too interested as the two young men skirted around each other with just a bit too much longing glances and twitching hands. It looked somewhat similar, he knew, to something he was...rather...acquainted with. The shyness and insecurity were long since gone now, though, but that very first time they had accidentally stumbled into that territory... "What do you mean?"

"He realised that someone he thought he knew was hitting on him."

Rei, for an inexplicable reason, briefly, very briefly, felt dread rising from within trying to consume him. But at the same time he knew; heknew he hadn't ever hit on Rai, so...he nervously wet his lips, "Who?"

"Some French guy?" Rei relaxed. Mao shrugged. "Apparently he's just as crazy about photographyas Rai and, according to Rai, 'was using their meetings as an excuse for an outlet to his disgusting freakiness'."

Rei grew very still. "Ah." His expression stony, too bright eyes fastened a bit too intently at the screen, Rei pushed away the pangs of hurt he knew he shouldn't feel, because, after all; hadn't he always known what Rai was like?

The phone rang, and Rei stiffly went to answer it, ignoring Mao and her narrowed eyes.

"Kai!" Rei grinned wryly and winked as Mao rolled her eyes and sighed.

"Nowthat's a freak," Mao mumbled, going back to giving the film her undivided attention.

"Yeah, sure…hm? Oh, no! I'd love to! Eh?" Rei rolled his eyes, groaning exasperatedly. "Don't be an idiot, Kai," he laughed. "'Kay, bye, then." Smiling hesitantly, Rei hung up and put the phone down.

"I still can't get over the fact that you can call Hiwatari an idiot and get away with it, Rei," Mao said slowly, her attention mainly on the film.

Feigning innocence and ignorance, Rei shrugged and grinned. Then he grew strangely serious and rubbed his neck. "Mao?"

"…yeah?" Mao barely blinked, absorbed as she was in the film.

"What would you wear to a function of similar…status as…hm…let's say…if you're meeting the parents for the first time?"

"What are you talking about, Rei?" Mao mumbled.

"…nothing. Never mind."


They had agreed. Really, they had, and Rei kept telling himself that over and over as the car brought them closer and closer to their destination. Kai was fidgeting in his seat next to Rei, and it was not helping matters. At all. Mainly because Kai never fidgeted; Reihad never seen Kai fidget.

"I hate dressing up," Kai muttered sulkily, and tugged his already loosetie looser

Rei bit his lip. "Tell me you're honestly not nervous."

Kai grew quiet, and still, Rei noted, and it took several awkward minutes before Kai answered. "...I love you," he said.

Rei started, then sputtered, "That's not what I asked!" He turned around, eyes wide and frantic, "How am I supposed to be calm if you'refallingapart?!"

"I'm not falling apart," Kai mumbled crossly and crossed his arms.

"You have a mighty fine way of showing it..." Rei shot the screen separating them from the driver a look, then unbuckled his seat belt and slid over, sitting right next to Kai and fastened that seat belt instead, their sides touching. "Are they very strict?"

"They're my parents, Rei! How am I supposed to know!?"

"Theyraised you!"

"I know!"

Kai glared and Rei narrowed his eyes. Then Rei growled and sat up straighter, grabbed Kai by his hair and pulled him down, kissing him almost desperately.

Later, as the car began slowing down and Kai and Rei hurriedly drew back from each other and began to straighten out their rumbled clothing and messy hair in a frenzy, making out as a way of dealing with a sudden onslaught of nerves did not feel like a very clever idea at all.

Later still, hearts still beating hard and fast, but for a different reason entirely as he and Kai stood outside an ordinary looking door, Rei had to wonder how he and Kai had ever come to the conclusion that, perhaps, telling someonewould deal with several potential problems and would thus allow Kai and Rei to relax.

Then Kai knocked, and Rei gulped. Mere seconds later the door was opened, and Rei tried to smile. Kai was probably managing better.

Tightening the grip Kai and Rei had of each others hands, Rei managed a somewhat nervous and shaky smile at the faintly familiar elder couple standing just inside the house, on the other side of the threshold. Kai turned his head and gave Rei a brief, twitchy smile, before turning to face his parents, and all but blurted, "There's someone I'd like you to meet; this is Rei, my boyfriend!"

Rei almost cursed loudly. Couldn't Kai at least wait until they were inside? But, he reminded himself as he fidgeted slightly, Kai didn't seem to be any more sure of himself at the moment than Rei was.

"Kai!" Mrs Hiwatari reprimanded, "Let us at least invite you inside first!"

Kai and Rei almost fell over in shocked surprise.


Several hours later, as they were heading home, Rei couldn't for the life of him remember what he and Kai had been so nervous about in the first place.


Rei rested his head on Kai's shoulder, taking in the paper Kai was reading with boredom. Yawning, he reached out for the cup in Kai's hand. Kai exhaled somewhat loudly but relented hisgrip and Rei sighed softly in appreciation, taking a few sips of the warm beverage.

"What's it about?"

Rei's soft question startled Kai; it was so rarely that he spoke up in the mornings, nocturnal as he was but still insistenton enjoying the calm stillness of morning air. "News. Economics." Nodding, Rei slid closer and Kai smiled slightly, leaning back to accommodate better for both of them and relaxing.

Kai slowly paged through the newspaper, distantly taking in the headlines and reading through some of the more lengthy articles, the weather reports, the comics (Kai might have lingered there long enough for Rei to read them through and snort at the horoscopes). He was just about to turn another page when Rei's hand on his thigh stopped him.

"Rei?" Rei tapped the paper with a finger, and Kai paused. It was the…the estate agencies' advertising pages. Kai breathed in sharply, "we can't."

"Why?" Rei said quietly, urging Kai to bring the paper closer, which he did, and intently read through all the adverts,pausing longer at some and tapping others thoughtfully, which caused Kai to read them as well and question his earlier, instinctual refusal. Kai slowly turned a page, and the next two pages were full of more houses, dingy little flats and larger estates.

Rei breathed out a soft sigh of appreciation and Kai grunted, handed Rei the paper and shrugged Rei off before standing and disappearing into the kitchen. Rei blinked slowly and tilted his head. Moments later, Kai came back with a few colouring pens in his hand and sat back down. Smiling, Rei gave Kai back the paper and retook his former position of leaning against Kai, head on his shoulder. Handing Rei a pen, Kai uncapped one and circled an advertbefore frowning as he went back to going through them, slowly and methodically.

Rei's smile widened slightly then, copying Kai, he started from the other end. The pages became very colourful, very fast. Flats they liked but could never reasonably afford, houses with pretty gardens, places they'd never want to live at and the places they liked, could afford and maybe consider living at.


"That one?"

It was a maisonette. It was small, quaint and just big enough for two without being cramped or cost a fortune to afford. There was a bedroom, the same minuscule balcony most flats had, a kitchen and a bathroom, with a rather...squarish hallway leading between the two rooms and the front door and the stairs. It could have been called a room, were it not so obvious that it was a mere platform to connect everything together.

"...we could afford it, Kai," Rei smiled lazily.

"There's a tour at two."


Kai hummed, nodding.


Stretching out on the couch (his and Kai's very first jointly bought piece of furniture), Rei watched with badly concealed amusement as Mao, loudly and in great detail, complete with hand motions, re-told her latest date. It appeared to have been a fiasco, and Mao was quite worked up about it. Some small part of him felt bad for finding Mao's mishaps amusing, but the way Mao was talking indicated that she, too, found parts of it entertainingin sheer its absurdity.

"-and then he had the nerve to tell me to give-upbeyblading because it was 'an undignified pursuit mainly reserved for males' and that it was 'highly unbecoming' for me, as a woman, to do it," Mao cried out. "I hope he's still bleeding, the jerk!"

Rei chuckled. "Ah…you broke his nose?"

"I sure hope so!"

Laughing, Rei closed his eyes and wriggled on the couch, smiling, stretching his legs. "How lucky I am, then."


Sighing softly, contently, Rei said, "that I'm your friend, Mao. That we're friends." Mao laughed gently, and the couch dipped as she sat down on it, kneeling with Rei's legs between hers. She crawled forwards, over Rei and Rei frowned, opening his eyes as she straddled his waist. "Mao?" Her hands were firmly planted on either side of his head, the low-cut shirt exposing a bit more than she was comfortable with, but, like she had predicted, Rei's eyes never wavered from her own, whereas that arse of a guy she had been out with last night hadn't really noticed the colourof her eyes. Rei's eyes were guarded, the confusion swirling in his eyes standing out the most and Mao sighed fondly. "What're you doing?" his voice carried a distinct panicked edge to it that almost made Mao feel bad.



"…yes?" came the apprehensive reply.

"This may come as a shock to you, but I am trying to seduce you by exposing my breasts."

"Oh," Rei blinked, frown deepening,"uh…okay?"

Mao closed her eyes and sighed loudly, fondly, "you're such a dense idiot, Rei." She opened her eyes again and glared a bit. Rei's eyes continued to swirl with confusion. "Breasts, Rei. Men stare at breasts."

"I know that!" Rei glared, forehead creased. "But it doesn't explain why you're-oh." Rei blinked, eyes wide. "Oh..."

Mao chuckled dryly, shaking her head. "You're so gay, Rei."

"Yes," Rei said, completely serious and Mao nodded, biting her lip,

"I thought so."

"I figured as much," Rei shifted, his hands coming up to Mao's hips and pushing gently. And that was that, as they say. "Mind getting off? I have a…'date', I suppose you might call it, to get ready for."

Obliging, Mao backed off. "Who?" her eyes were bright with curiosity.

"You don't like him, Mao," was all Rei said. It was all that needed to be said judging by the sudden change of expression on her face.


Rei nodded sharply, grinning. "Yeah. Rich andgay," he winked, "Kai's really such a catch, eh?"

Mao groaned loudly and wearily rested her head on upturned palms. "Hiwatari?"

Rei stared silently at Mao, slowly sitting up. "It is why I asked you over, Mao." Standing, Rei disappeared into the kitchen an re-emerged a short while later, holding a glass of water that he handed Mao, who had slumped backwards instead, neck exposed and eyes closed. Rei grabbed her hand to make sure her fingers closed around the glass properly and sat back down. "I don't live here on my own."

"I figured," Mao stated, faintly disbelieving. "Rai'll kill you, Rei."

"Yes, well," Rei shrugged, face drawn, "He doesn't need to know."

"And I did?"

"Yes." Rei bit his lip, hesitating slightly, "I...I thought you'd want to know."

Blinking at the ceiling, Mao slowly raised the glass and took a few sips. "So did I. I mean, I knew there was someone...something going on and that you might not be perfectly straight, but...why him? Rhetorical," she added softly, eyes still fastened on the plain white ceiling. Then, "have you ever told anyone?"

"No. Just you," Rei said quietly.

"So anyone who'd want to see it...would know?" Rei nodded, something Mao could only vaguely see through her peripheral vision. "Who, then?"

Rei shrugged, biting his lip and forehead creasing as he thought. "I don't know. Hiromi, maybe. Probably. Max might know...maybe Hitoshi...he always smiles at me in a sad, knowing kind of way. Oh...and, ah, Kai's parents know as well. But Kai told them, not me. I was just...standing there, mostly."

"Not the BBA?"

"No..." Rei sighed. "We thought about it. And Daitenji walked in on something that, had he chosen to see it, would have told him everything he'd need to know. But he's never mentioned it, so we just assumed he didn't want to know."

"Fuck, Rei," Mao said, almost calmly, "you never could do anything the easy way."

"That's because I always wanted the best, bethe best, you know? To be the strongest and prove myself to the elders..." Rei chuckled, shaking his head. "I have the best, now, and Kai doesn't expect me to prove myself to him and he doesn't care if I fail...and it works both ways...funny, that, isn't it?"

Mao sighed, "Just make sure you're happy, then, and if Kai hurts you I'll slowly castrate him and shave his head."

Rei laughed uncomfortably and crossed his legs. "Please don't; he'd...look very...stupid."


Rei frowned. "Why are you glaring at me?"

Kai snorted and threw Rei the magazine Hiromi had bought, read, laughed at and given Kai. "Page three."

The pages rustled faintly, then stopped. "Ah." Rei grinned, "that."

Kai's eyes were narrowed, intrigued, and not really angry, "What were you doing?"

Rei shrugged, smirking impishly. "They give away free lube there. And condoms. To those in need, and I figured we were. In need, that is."

Kai raised an eyebrow; his eyes glittering and eager. "Do they now?"

Grin widening, Rei nodded and almost absent-mindedly leaned against the wall. "Lots of it. Scented." Kai's eyes lit up, and he came closer, hands coming up to the side of Rei's neck and leisurely started pulling the fastenings open. "Cinnamon, even."

"So you say…" Kai smirked.

"Oh yes…and it's upstairs."

And upstairs, there was only one room. A room with a bed big enough for two.

Happy Leap Year Day! xD