On quiet nights when he's alone in his apartment, his mind wanders. Seiichi isn't one for maudlin thoughts, not normally, but his memories, at least the ones his mind favors on nights like this, are not his happiest. Even the best of them, the ones where he pictures Tomoki alive and smiling, brimming with the vibrancy of life that would soon leave him, even those are tinged, tainted with regret and the bitterness of loss.

He closes his eyes, leaning back in his chair, and lets the warm summer breeze play across his face. There's a glass of red wine ignored in one hand. The lights are off. Soft jazz croons from his sound system, barely audible. The wind rustles the curtains as it blows in through the open balcony, and the sound reminds him of laundry and one particular summer day.

In the short while that he'd lived with Tomoki, before Tomoki had passed on, he'd developed a fondness for the simple act of doing chores. There had been a washer but no dryer in the house they'd lived in, and thus they'd made good use of the clothes line strung between two T-shaped posts in the backyard. Seiichi would carry the basket out, smiling softly while he ignored Tomoki's protests that he was well enough to carry the basket at least. He had been overprotective, he knew, but with reason.

Tomoki would hand him a piece of laundry and Seiichi would hang it, pulling wooden pins from further along the line. Shirts and clothing first, then a load of towels and sheets, until all three lines were full. Tomoki was still too short to reach the line on his own, though there was a small step ladder, now tucked away in a corner of the porch, for when he needed to reach the laundry on his own. Seiichi would gladly have done it on his own, along with the rest of the chores, but Tomoki insisted on helping. It made Tomoki feel alive, knowing there were still things he could do. When they finally emptied the basket, Tomoki would take the basket back to the porch before Seiichi could get it, smiling at the look Seiichi would shoot him, a look that mixed exasperation and fondness.

It was a bright and sunny day out and they had nothing planned for the day, which lead to the two of them stretched out just inside the house, the doors out onto the porch wide open. They lay snuggled close. Tomoki's head was pillowed on Seiichi's chest. Minutes passed with only the sound of the wind chimes near the doorway and the distant traffic from the street to disturb them.

"Seiichi?" Tomoki's voice was soft and low.


"What will you do... when I'm gone?"

Seiichi opened his eyes and stared up at the ceiling. The wooden boards held no answer for him, but he kept his gaze fixed there while he thought. There were a number of ways he could answer that. He could ignore the question, let the quiet and sun lull Tomoki into sleep. He could distract Tomoki, leading his mind away from the question with soft kisses and touches until their hands found their way into clothing and Tomoki forgot all about his heightened mortality. A flippant answer was completely out of the question.

He shifted his arm slightly until his palm pressed against the small of Tomoki's back, holding him close with very light pressure.

"I don't know," he answered honestly. It wasn't a subject that he liked to give much thought.

"Will you go back to Blue Boy?"

He could. Reiji would welcome him back, but he didn't know if he'd be capable of the same level of charm.

"I might."

"I think you should," Tomoki said, his voice quiet but there was determination thick in his tone. He pushed himself up, hands flat on Seiichi's chest, until he was looking down at Seiichi.

Pain was evident in Tomoki's face. The pain was constant now, though he tried to hide it. He'd need another dose of his pills soon. The doctors said that Tomoki didn't have much time left.

"Seiichi." Tomoki's eyes held his. "I love you."

"I love you, too." He carded his fingers through Tomoki's hair, brushing lightly across Tomoki's head before settling on his neck. Tomoki leaned down. They kissed, chaste at first, then turning deeper. If the kiss tasted of salt, they both ignored it.

When they settled again, their clothes were askew and Tomoki was draped across him like a living blanket.


He pressed a kiss into Tomoki's hair, pausing for a moment there to savor the smell of him. "Hmm."

"Promise me you'll find someone. I don't want you to be alone."

The honk of a car horn pulled Seiichi from his memories. He opened his eyes to find the room darker than he last remembered. Standing, he moved to close and lock the glass doors to the balcony, drawing the curtains shut over them. He flicked on a light as he entered the kitchen. The wine went down the sink, the glass into the dishwasher. The clock on the microwave flashed the time in blue light. It was still early in the evening. He could head down to the bar, maybe meet up with some friends.

Seiichi wasn't the type to hold on to lost love forever. Even Jin had moved on, though he still denied the attraction between him and Katsuki. Those two would be fine, given time, and so would he. He knew that he'd find someone again, someday. But, for now, the memory of Tomoki was still to dear to him, the loss too fresh.

With a flick of his hand, he plunged the apartment into darkness and walked out the door.