Itachi is not the romantic type, and there's no one who knows that better than Shisui. The mawkish, brooding, Wuthering-Heights-is-a-perfect-love-story, Hell-is-other-people type? Absolutely. But if someone stupid and impetuous were to, say, give Itachi a garish pink teddy bear holding a heart embroidered with the words "I Love You", well, Itachi would burn it. In a trash can. (Itachi has no appreciation for ironic presents. Shisui is just glad the benefactor remained anonymous instead of, say, signing his damn fool name.)
Which is why Shisui has been racking his brains for an appropriate Valentine's Day gift for about two months. Because Shisui is the dozen-red-roses, scented-candles, give-me-back-my-Taylor-Swift-CD-and-stop-laughing-she-has-more-Grammys-than-you type, though he doesn't like to admit it, and it's their official five-year anniversary, and since Itachi is a freshman at Harvard and Shisui is a rookie police officer (read: traffic cop) in an entirely different county, they barely have any time to see each other at all. Ever.
And Itachi is probably just fine like that - living in the basement of the science building and dicking around with computers to his heart's content, surfacing for air when Shisui drops by with fresh fruit for scurvy and rickets prevention, spared from Sasuke's incessant texting by several meters of concrete - but Shisui is definitely a Hell-is-loneliness type. He's sure he didn't used to be, but that's what relationships do to you; worm their way into your soul until you can't do without them anymore.
Are you free on V-Day? he texts Itachi, pensively, on the sixth.
Of course. I don't plan my calendar THAT far in advance.
Shisui pauses. ... I didn't mean Veteran's Day.
This time the reply takes a little bit longer.
I have a statistics exam at 7PM. Shouldn't take more than 30 min. Plans?
Shisui realizes that he is shuffling his feet and grinning like an absolute idiot and that the PD secretary - Jaundiced Janet - is giving him a perplexed scowl. Yeah, plans.
After a medically tempestuous youth - Shisui nearly died - he's not technically allowed to eat overly-salted foods anymore. The doctor wants him to stick to fresh, organic, flavorless meals and has threatened to sic Itachi on him if she finds out Shisui has started smoking again. Shisui agreed to these little life changes with as much grace as one might expect - i.e., dragging his heels and bitching continuously - but now he's more or less settled into his diet.
(He had hoped to be able to take the moral high ground, but Itachi is Itachi, and piously went vegan to "offer Shisui some much-needed community support". Fucking swaggerjacker. If Shisui didn't love him, he'd hate his guts.)
And all of this would be more or less totally irrelevant, except it makes dinner reservations a huge pain in the ass.
There's a vegan pizza place and a tofu fro-yo place both within trotting distance of campus, but you don't take your date out for pizza or fro-yo on Valentine's Day. Itachi probably wouldn't mind, bless his puny heart, but Shisui is capable of shame. Eventually he manages to book a table at a semi-nice restaurant with mouthwatering tofu, because he knows the chef.
Dinner reservations at 8:30. Pick you up at your dorm around 8.
Presumably Itachi is in the computer lab again, because that one doesn't get a response.
"Roughest holiday of the year," Fat Bob tells Shisui comfortingly from his desk across the hall, where he has been filing police reports and listening to Shisui try to make reservations over the phone for about two hours. "Hope you get lucky, kid." (Skinny Bob and Tattoo Bob are out on duty; it's raining cats and dogs outside, which is a step up from snowing but still completely miserable.)
"Tell me about it," Shisui agrees, stretching. "You doing anything special with the wife?"
Fat Bob glares at him, and Shisui remembers too late that one of the Bobs is married, one of the Bobs has never been married, and one of them is divorced. Shit. "... still on the outs?" he guesses, desperately.
Fat Bob's face wrinkles with sorrow, and Shisui sighs with relief, resuming his internal scheming. Dinner and what else? Getting laid, hopefully. ...But what else?
It's the thirteenth before Shisui can think of an "else" to give. Itachi likes eating food - hence the dinner - and Itachi likes Shisui, whom he's already 'acquired' many times over. But Itachi also likes coffee. Frivolously expensive, astonishingly fussy coffee. So Shisui gets him gift cards for every nearby coffee/tea house in the area and bundles them up in blood-red wrapping paper. They almost look tasteful. They are almost romantic.
... yeah, he was reaching at straws, there, but come on. Flowers are a no-go, chocolate is also a no-go (Itachi doesn't like sweets), date movies are an exercise in painfully awkward silence (because Itachi is easily bored, and when bored, likes to amuse himself by seeing how long he can go without breathing or blinking) and Shisui can't afford ballet tickets. Itachi is an avid reader, of course, but he just checks things out of the library and seems vaguely affronted when Shisui tries to get him his own copies "just to have around and write in and stuff". Itachi enjoys being physically fit; he already has a Harvard gym membership. Itachi is so fucking self-sufficient it makes Shisui want to puke.
Those are, actually, the first words out of Shisui's mouth when Itachi meets him at the door (Shisui is wearing his nicest clothes: a black dress shirt, a black blazer, black slacks, a very dark red tie. Itachi is wearing Armani, the bitch, and sort of makes Shisui look like a waiter by comparison.) "You make me want to puke."
"... I missed you, too," Itachi says, the corner of his eyes crinkling up in that way they do when he's making a point of not laughing, and Shisui's heart skips several beats. Itachi smells like his aftershave. His ponytail is hanging down his back like black silk. Shisui feels like a spectacularly inadequate trophy wife.
"Great, we're even," Shisui says, trying to remember to breathe normally, also making a point of not laughing (even though Itachi is carrying a man-bag). "Just a heads up, I got you a really shitty present."
"Well, you had to make the dinner reservations," Itachi says, absolutely unperturbed. "Shall we?" And Shisui lets him link their hands together and says nothing about the way Itachi hums off-key, because people are stupid when they're in love.
It's Cambridge, so they actually aren't the only gay couple in the restaurant, but Shisui privately thinks that they're better-looking. Idly, he chews on his steamed kale and watches Itachi cut his entire dinner into bite-sized pieces, arranging every bite with an approximately equal ratio of fried tofu, rice, and vegetables before placing it precisely in his mouth, chewing three times, and swallowing. Shisui wonders if Itachi can actually feel hunger.
"Is there a problem?" Itachi asks.
"No, 'm fine. How's your food?"
"Delicious," Itachi says, flatly.
"Really? Because you look like you're eating gravel."
Itachi pauses after his second chew to think for a few seconds. He looks Shisui in the eye and swallows, and then - thank god they're in a booth - he reaches across the table and puts a hand over Shisui's. "I'm sorry," he murmurs, contrite. "It really is delicious. I am just a bit nervous."
The idea that something could make Itachi nervous has Shisui breaking out into a cold sweat. Itachi does not scare easy. "Are you... is everything okay?" he murmurs back, running his thumb over Itachi's knuckles, narrowly avoiding putting his elbow into his soup bowl.
"Yes," Itachi assures him, and then pauses. "... Well, hopefully," he amends. It's times like these that Shisui wishes he could read Itachi's facial expressions a little more precisely. There is a very fine line between was that potato a little off? and Shisui, I just killed a man.
"Hey, I'm on your side, no matter what, okay?" Shisui presses, half-imagining some kind of international diplomatic crisis. With nukes. "I could - I could come around more? Or less. You know. Be more supportive. Or less needy. Or something." He pauses, blood running cold. "Are you thinking of coming out to your family?"
Unexpectedly, Itachi breaks into a grin, dissipating some of the tension in the air over their table. "I told you I was busy on New Year's."
"You said it was a term paper, you lying weasel."
"My father turned purple," Itachi says, recalling the moment with relish. "No, rest assured, Shisui, my family has been dealt with."
"Wow," Shisui says, a little bit choked up with pride, remembering how he came out to his own parents. (Via text message. They were not amused.) "So. If it's not a nuclear apocalypse, and it's not Fugaku -"
" - what is it?"
After muttering something that sounds like 'you say the strangest things', Itachi gives him a soft, gentle look, the sort of look that effectively turns Shisui into melting butter and makes several parts of his anatomy throb. "Shisui."
"... yeah?" Shisui responds, voice cracking.
"Are you happy with me?"
This obviously isn't a "maybe we should see other people" speech, because Itachi's expression is sublimely hopeful, a smile flickering in the edges of his pretty eyes. They've been together for five years, so. Maybe...
Shisui blinks, and then slowly turns a nice, deep shade of totally embarrassed. "Yes," he croaks. This isn't roses, and it isn't scented candles and Taylor Swift, but it's... it's his. And it's romantic enough. "Really happy."
"Would you..." Itachi pauses, and Shisui's heart races.
"Yes?" he murmurs, hands shaking. Itachi's voice drops to a low, sweet whisper.
"Would you still be happy with me if I took a job with the FBI?" he asks.
"I've received an offer," Itachi says, pragmatic to a fault. "Because of my work with database security -"
"... Yeah," Shisui says, with some difficulty. Where's the door to the back of the restaurant? "Sounds great."
"Shisui. You're very pale," Itachi points out, his brow wrinkling.
"Excuse me a minute," Shisui says, stumbling blindly away from the table. "I need some air."
What was he expecting? "Let's move in together"? "Let's see each other more than once a month"? "Let's change our relationship statuses on facebook"? Shisui isn't precisely sure what he was expecting, but he still feels vaguely wounded, and doesn't know why. It's enough, isn't it? Wandering around and ticketing illegally parked cars while Itachi turns into some sort of James Bond character isn't exactly fulfilling, but it's not like Shisui would ever dream of asking for more.
Because he is idiotically, head-over-heels in love with the most special person on the face of the planet, and as long as Shisui is at least a little more important than the gum stuck to the bottom of Itachi's shoes, then...
"Found you," Itachi says, quietly. It's raining a little; the streetlights from the main road are smeared across the damp pavement where Shisui is crouched, lost in thought.
"I don't really give a shit if you run for president, Itachi," Shisui says, vague but very passionate as his throat chokes up on him. Itachi is kneeling in front of him, trying to look him in the eyes. "I just... Whatever you want, you know?"
"I settled the bill," Itachi says, his smile a little bit rueful.
"Fucking great," Shisui says, and digs his shitty hand-wrapped present out of his breastpocket, shoving it into Itachi's hands. "Happy goddamn Valentine's Day."
"Oh, it's present time?" Itachi says. "I'll open yours first, then."
Shisui stares at the ground, wishing he hadn't run out and caused a scene (because Itachi hates it when anyone causes a scene), wishing he had thought of something a little more inventive than gift cards for coffee, wishing he could stop his hands from shaking. He can't look, but he can hear the paper tearing, the pause, the noise of comprehension. "Told you it was a shitty gift," he murmurs, in lieu of apology.
"It's very useful," Itachi says, interrupting his pityfest to kiss him on the forehead. "Thank you very much, Shisui. I'll be able to get a lot of use out of these."
Itachi doesn't say things if he doesn't mean them, not to Shisui. Shisui once again turns the sultry hue of embarrassed. "You're welcome," he mumbles. "God. I don't know why you put up with me."
"I love you," Itachi says.
Shisui (with great effort) does not laugh. "Well, that explains it," he says, cracking a smile.
"I simply thought that you should have a say in my future career," Itachi continues. "After all, not many people want to be married to an FBI agent."
"... What?" (Is it possible to have three heart attacks at once?)
"Which reminds me," Itachi says, pleasantly, fishing a - oh god that's totally a ring box - out of his suddenly very dashing man bag. Like he's been practicing it - and, knowing Itachi, he has - he flips the lid open and presents it to Shisui with a dignified flourish. "Shisui, will you consent to marry me?"
It's platinum and it's very masculine and dignified and holy shit, it's an engagement ring.
"Way to do that completely backwards, asshole," are the first words to escape Shisui's gaping mouth. Itachi smiles at him.
"I'll do my best to make you happy."
"... Yes," Shisui says, after recalling that he hasn't technically agreed yet and feeling like he ought to get that out of the way before he continues to lecture Itachi on the finer points of not causing heart attacks. "And by the -"
Itachi takes the ring out of the box and slides it, gently, onto Shisui's left ring finger, which suddenly feels the weight of it, the reality of it, and these sensations are so important they rob Shisui of speech.
"Thank you," Itachi whispers, and presses a really-very-romantic kiss to Shisui's lips.
"... this looks really expensive," Shisui stammers.
"It wasn't," Itachi says, tugging Shisui to his feet. "It's a family heirloom."
"As long as you didn't mortgage your liver, or something."
Itachi laughs. "Come on, it's getting cold out."
"We're going somewhere?"
"I took the liberty of arranging a hotel room for the night."
It was the most romantic V-Day ever, Shisui thought; all three Bobs and even Jaundiced Janet congratulated him on the ring.
a/n: hahahaha. sorta-sequel. for v-day 2011 on bitter_nakano.