Title: Lines of Demarcation
Gokudera & Haru
Gokudera and Haru have negotiated their respective territories.
594 words; schmoopy fluff. For khrfest on LJ, to the prompt Gokudera/Haru - lines; "her body curved on a couch"

Lines of Demarcation

They had their territory clearly marked out: the easy chair was Hayato's, and the corner of the couch was Haru's. The demarcation was quite clear; Hayato's books ended up lying face down over the arm of the chair or on the side table next to it. Haru had a basket for her books and magazines, and a thousand bookmarks to keep her place, and they'd had to come to a mutual non-aggression pact over the matter of cracked spines and dog-ears and notes made in the margins.

The afghan thrown over the back of the couch marked her territory, too; she'd made it herself, when she and Kyouko-san had gotten it into their heads to take up knitting. It was ugly as all fuck, lumpy and crooked and full of big holes and gaps that even Hayato could see hadn't been deliberate. Its only saving grace, far as he was concerned, was that Haru liked to look at it and laugh, and say, "I guess we can't be good at everything."

Well, it was warm, too. That was the other reason Haru kept it around, so she could draw it over her shoulders in the evening when she got cold. That happened easily; she'd stayed thin and slightly-built, even as an adult, and whenever she'd sat still for too long, she got chilly. (The thermostat wars were ongoing, but Hayato had a bad feeling that he was on the losing side, since it wasn't like he minded going around in shirtsleeves. But he refused to surrender without a fight. It was a matter of principle, damn it. Still. Haru did make a pitiful sight when she was wrapped up in that God-awful afghan and was shivering beneath it.)

The other thing that marked the couch as her territory was the teapot. It lived on the coffee table on a more or less continual basis, since Haru drank tea like it was going out of style. Hayato didn't see the appeal, himself: good black coffee was better, any day, and a hell of a lot less fussy than Haru's little tins and boxes of tea. (She had twenty-three different kinds of tea sitting on the kitchen counter. He knew, because he'd counted. She insisted each one was different. The woman was clearly insane.) Hayato preferred his coffee cup, or in the evenings, a nice glass of good red wine, and left her to her incomprehensible preferences for pot after pot of tea.

Hayato wasn't exactly sure why Haru had ended up with so much of the territory, actually--the couch and coffee table and so forth, while he had a side table and an easy chair--but the territory division worked, regardless. It was good to come home in the evening to find her curled up on the couch, feet tucked under the afghan and her tea cup steaming at her elbow, hair sweeping across her cheek as she read. No matter how absorbed she was by her reading, she never failed to look up when he came in.

"You look like you're in a good mood," she said, and Hayato realized that he was smiling at the sight of her. She moved to throw off the afghan and get up.

Hayato forestalled that by crossing the room and leaning down to kiss her hello. "Just glad to be home," he said, when he'd drawn back from the sweetness of her mouth.

And Haru smiled at him, like she understood all the things he hadn't said, too, and drew him down to join her.


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