One Year Later

"Uhhh... Soren, are you sure these figures are right?" Snake's tone was lingering between almost drunk and barely sober as he held up the profit listings that come in the mail monthly for his cafe. Soren had been sitting at the counter and he took the paper from him. He gave it the barest glance.

"Yes, it's correct."

Snake groaned as he reclaimed the paper and confused himself looking over it.

Snake had graciously let Soren help him run his cafe and business had skyrocketed. The cafe had been remodeled so more customers could fit inside and it was one of the more popular places to go. Soren had wonderfully flexible hours so that he could still concentrate on school, since he was retaking a year.

Ike's position hadn't changed. He still cleaned and cooked, and was incredibly proud of what Soren had accomplished. And what was better was that he got to go home with Soren every night.

"Here you go!" Ike's voice reached Soren's ears and he turned around to see Ike placing a bag on the counter in front of him. The bluenette leaned over and met Soren's lips in a chaste kiss. "I got you blueberry."

The ebony haired youth smiled and took the bag. "I don't know why you keep trying to force these sweets on me..."

"Maybe because you've earned them. You deserve more sweet things in your life," the bluenette whispered, stroking back the youth's hair as he leaned over the counter and rested on his forearms.

Soren smiled brightly. "Why would I, when I have the sweetest thing of all?" he asked, leaning in for a passionate kiss.

The two were interrupted by a loud rip.

"Blueberry?! Oh, Ike, you shouldn't have!" Roy cooed before eating half of the treat in one bite. "'Ish gewd!" he forced out, spraying flecks of muffin all over the table.

Marth yanked the boy away. "You're disgusting, Roy! What have I told you about--"

Roy shoved the other half of the muffin in Marth's mouth. "Ah ah! Don't talk with your mouth full! C'mon guys! The fireworks are going to start in an hour! Did you get the treats, Ike?"

"I did, but I'm not telling you where I put them... You'll eat them all," the larger male replied.

Soren chuckled as Roy pouted.

"Well, I'll find 'em once we get there... Jeez, Marth. You owe Soren a muffin!"

Marth covered his mouth and turned away, reaching for napkins to rid himself of the pastry.

"No, I do not, I owe you an ass beating!" Marth turned and grabbed Roy's shirt to force him to the ground. Regulars at the cafe giggled at their everyday antics.

Ike rolled his eyes and turned from the two obnoxious lovers to walk around the counter and hold his own.

"Marth~ Here in front of everyone? A little kinky for you, ain't it?" Roy said loudly. Marth grit his teeth and had to restrain himself from head butting the youth.

Soren looked up with a smile and reached for his boyfriend as he rounded the counter. Ike stood beside his stool and wrapped his arms around him. The ebony haired youth leaned into the embrace.

"Ready to see some fireworks?" Ike asked, kissing the youth's temple. Soren reciprocated with a kiss to the bluenette's jaw and a simple nod.

***

Not long after the cafe closed, the group drove over to the empty field across the lake from the annual display. They were lucky to have a spot at all, since most of the cars were all scrunched together.

Somehow, Roy had managed to locate Ike's snacks, as well as a few smaller fireworks. After showering Link with smoke bombs, the red head launched a bottle rocket in the blonde's direction. The two raced around cars throwing lit bottle rockets at each other while Marth pleaded with them to stop.

Ike and Soren lay on the hood of Ike's truck, chuckling at all of the commotion. The bluenette sighed. "I can't take them anywhere."

"I can see why you were asked to leave last year," the ebony haired boy laughed.

"Heh, last year we were asked to leave after he did $700 worth of damage."

The youth shook his head. "It's nice to be part of such a close-knit group... I've never been this happy in my lifeā€¦"

Ike smiled and leaned up so his back was against the windshield. He pulled Soren up next to him so Soren's hand rested on his chest and his head on his shoulder.

"I've never been this happy, either." Ike whispered, holding him close. Soren snuggled into his neck, his hand traveling down Ike's front. His fingers lingered on his stomach, where he could feel the bluenette's scar through the fabric.

"A couple of years ago, I thought I knew what love was." Soren whispered. "But it wasn't... with you, I--"

"I know, Soren." Ike tilted the youth's face up and rewarded him with a gentle kiss. "I know."

Is there a limit to how much you can love someone?

Soren rolled over on top of the bluenette and Ike's hands rubbed his back. Their foreheads were touching as they exchanged playful kisses. Just as the two were about to migrate to the bed of Ike's truck, a bottle rocket gone off course landed on the hood next to them.

Soren dove into his lovers embrace, yelping like a small girl.

Ike held him close and glared at the red head. After lovingly placing him in the safety of the bed of the truck, he grabbed a handful of black cat fire crackers to throw at the red head.

Marth screeched at Ike to no avail.

"Wait 'til I get my hands on you, Roy!" Ike yelled, jumping over the hood of an onlooker's car to get the youth.

"MARTH! I DON'T WANNA DIE!"

"Get what you deserve!" Marth yelled back at him, approaching the bed of the pickup truck where Soren had moved to sit on the tailgate. The bluenette sat next to him and sighed deeply. "Hopefully that ass will go to sleep early tonight..." Marth mused, rubbing his forehead. Soren chuckled as he watched Ike chase Roy down. He thought briefly of how gorgeous the bluenette was.

"Knowing Ike, we won't go to sleep for quite a while tonight." Soren said idly. Marth smiled at him.

"It's hard to believe you two have been together a year." he said, causing Soren's body to shiver with happiness. "Seems like only yesterday he bought you that coffee."

"Oh, I remember that!" Soren said, turning to look at Marth with laugh.

"Yeah, he was so crazy. The moment you walked in that door, he had the hugest crush on you."

"I'm sure he didn't..." Soren murmured, looking down and twiddling his thumbs. Marth cocked an eyebrow.

"Ike's never talked to you about that?"

Soren looked away. "We don't... discuss life before we were together." He mumbled. Marth nodded, happy to change the subject.

"Roy always begged me to tell him all of the positive thoughts I had about him. He loves to be complimented. In other words, he's full of himself."

"He's ridiculous." Soren chuckled, looking back to see that Ike had captured the red head and was now playfully body slamming him. Link had lit a cigarette and was gingerly tossing lit bottle rockets in their direction. "Not to be rude, but what do you see in him? You two are so... different."

Marth smiled and looked up, his gaze falling lovingly on Roy as he tried to fight Ike off. "Well, he's adorable for one thing." Soren looked up and Marth rolled his eyes. "To me, he is. And even though he's an ass in public, he's very passionate. His heart is so big, yet he won't show it to anyone but me. I just have to handle him during the day."

"He does... need to calm down."

Marth laughed and took a deep breath. "Even though I nearly break his neck everyday, I love him so hopelessly much."

"Now that sounds like how I feel with Ike. I would die without him." Soren and Marth watched their lovers fondly as Roy finally scrambled underneath a car. Ike was tossing lit bottle rockets under after him.

"IKE!!! Stop it, that's dangerous!" Marth yelled and hopped from the truck, taking off running to make sure the bluenette didn't kill Roy in his antics.

Soren smiled as Ike stood up straight. The bluenette looked over at him and their eyes locked.

I love you. Ike mouthed. Soren smiled and the bluenette walked over to him as Marth pulled a charred Roy out from underneath the car. Ike picked up speed as he drew closer, sweeping his lover into a warm embrace. As their lips met, there was a colossal boom that sent tingles down both of their spines.

"Fireworks!" Link announced. "Show's starting!"

Roy limped over, giving the blonde a quick punch to the groin before jumping into the car. Ike carried Soren over to the hood of his truck and held the youth to him as the show began. Their fingers laced together as the sky lit up in a vast array of destruction and beauty.

Marth eventually joined Roy in the car, but the red head jumped lovingly into his lap before he could scold the boy for being so obnoxious. He muttered affectionate nothings in Marth's ear.

Marth smiled and kissed him. "You're sweet... stay this way."

Ike laughed as he watched Marth and Roy move to the back seat of Link's car. He tried to alert the blonde, but he was too wrapped up in the show. The bluenette redirected his attention to Soren, who lay comfortably on his chest.

"Thank you, Ike."

"Oh? What did I do?"

Saved me, of course.

"Oh... you just gave me something to smile about."

Ike nuzzled the boy and chuckled. "I'm just glad that I can give you what you give me."

The two looked into each other's eyes. Fiery crimson clashed with icy blue in a display that outdid any firework.

(The End)