Somewhere to Begin.

When he comes back home there's the wonderful scent of fresh curry being made. Kimihiro blinks, and for a moment he's stunned because he can't remember the last time anyone cooked anything for him.

Then Doumeki peeps his head, as stone-faced as ever. "It's him."

"What' with that kind of greeting, you ass?! You should kneel down and bow your head to the floor and say 'OH, WATANUKI-SAMA, I AM SO GRATEFUL THAT YOU'RE BA--'"

He interrupts himself when Himawari comes out of the kitchen, a dream in a pale blue apron, her smile the most glorious thing that had ever existed and she looks at him.

"Welcome home, Kimihiro-kun."

Even the idiot is kind of smiling (or what marble-faced people do for that), and Kihimiro can't help but smile back a little, feeling the way his heart hurts in all the good ways.

"I'm back."


Surprisingly enough, it didn't take them much time to fall into a comfortable routine. Doumeki was the first one up (and that had been surprising for Kimihiro to find out) and he'd make tea and rice before Kimihiro had woken up. Then, as he started with breakfast, Doumeki would go to the bathroom and get ready, and half through making breakfast Himawari-chan would join him in the kitchen, hands wrapped around a cup of tea, telling him about what she was going to do that day.

It's not until Doumeki is in the kitchen that she moves to press a kiss against his cheek, beaming at him before she goes to the bathroom to get ready. And when she walks out, Doumeki kisses him too, teasing his lips and tongue before he berates him, telling him not to burn their breakfast, making Kimihiro yell at him, asking him whose fault would it be if that happened.

He finishes breakfast first so that then he can go to the bathroom and clean up for the day, and by the time he's back in the kitchen, Himawari-chan and Doumeki will have the kitchen clean and ready for them to carry on.


Late at night, as he sleeps in their bed, sometimes he wonders... is it okay that I'm here? Is it okay?

But Himawari sighs gently and Doumeki's face almost seems gentle as he sleeps and Kimihiro can't keep on thinking about that for long.


Himawari wears her scars proudly, as much as Watanuki had felt guilty the first time he saw them.

"I'm glad," Himawari had said, touching a hand to his face. "That I could carry these for you. I'd rather have them than not have Watanuki-kun."

And late at night, Watanuki touches them carefully and wonders that Himawari doesn't complain, of her strength, and he sees the way Doumeki touches her back too, the way his eyes seem to promise that he won't let anything like that happen again and Watanuki wants to make the same promise, wants to promise that he'll be the one to care for them too.

Whenever Himawari kisses him, Doumeki kisses him too and now he wouldn't know what to do without that difference, the gentle, sometimes almost hesitant way Himawari's lips move against his own, the way Doumeki's tongue moves against his.

And Doumeki presses against his back, steady and strong, arms tightly wrapped around him and Kimihiro sighs against Himawari's breasts, moans softly against her skin, then moans again when she tilts her hips just so for him to press into her, his name on her lips, her kiss on his forehead, and there's warmth and a quiet sense of belonging, this space of time and air and existence that tells him that if he had disappeared, he would have been missed, that even if he had been forgotten, there would be an irreplaceable moment where someone would know he was missing.

"Watanuki," Doumeki says softly against his ear, biting at his neck almost gently, half playfully, almost, and he moans a third time, no words left in him for this, turns his face enough to kiss him, to try and say how grateful he is for this, for them, for this sense of belonging, for making it so that he exists in this world, for Himawari's arms around them both, for Doumeki's strength and warm surrounding him, and when he comes it's almost a sob of both their names.

Now when he sleeps, he's not afraid of disappearing, but he worries about time, worries about more, worries about this life that is his and he's not sure how to fill it, how to make sure that he's enjoying it fully.

"Idiot," Doumeki mutters, but his arm remains around his waist.

He hears Himawari's soft giggle, feels her fingers threading his hair.

"There's time for that later."

And then he sleeps, and tomorrow he'll wake up and there'll be someone saying good morning, someone to answer back.


Doumeki remembers:

-- suddenly he was dizzy because the world was rushing, and he was running before he could understand what was happening, and there was a scream, and he almost tripped because then there was pain, so much pain.

Blood, so much blood, and Watanuki's body laid battered and broken among the glass, limbs twisted in ways they weren't supposed to go, and Kunogi was screaming.

Don't die, he wished, gathering Watanuki's body in his arm. Don't die, don't die, please, please, don't die.

And then he was within a house he didn't know but for Watanuki's sight, and the witch's eyes were careful and sad.

"I believe you have a wish," she said, and Doumeki nodded, cradling Watanuki's broken and bleeding body closer to his.

"Save Watanuki-kun!" it wasn't his voice. He turned around, shocked, and found Kunogi still kneeling down, and she was still crying. He had never seen her like this, had never seen her seem so desperate. "Please! It's my fault!"

"There will be a price," Yuuko said instead.

Doumeki nodded. "Name it."

"This will bind you three together, possibly forever." Yuuko said again. Doumeki didn't need to look towards Kunogi, didn't have to look at Watanuki's pale face, for all that he held him a little bit closer to him.

"Three things must be given to save his existence;" and she looked towards Kunogi. "You will carry the scars he would have gathered from this, and the knowledge that he might not forgive you for this."

"I'll do it," Kunogi said, shoulders trembling, still not daring to touch Watanuki.

The witch looked at him.

"You will give the blood that he lost from this, and realize to what extent you are ready to go for him."

Doumeki nodded. "The third thing?"

"That has already been paid, many years ago."

"Then do it."

And she did.