Disclaimer: I do not own Harukanaru Toki no Naka de nor its characters, they are the property of Koei and Mizuno Tooko.
Notes: Okay, here's a birthday fic for Abe no Yasuaki! This is taking place in the same timeline as all of the Christmas fics I have written, which is why Kotengu is living with them in modern Kyoto. There is shounen-ai in this, which means Yasuaki and Eisen are in a romantic relationship, so if you don't like that, then please leave. If you enjoy this pairing, then I hope you enjoy this fic!
Eisen was the first to wake that morning, as he tended to be. But, the time he woke was a lot earlier than usual. He had a lot of planning to do. Why? Because it was Yasuaki's birthday.
Yasuaki continued to sleep peacefully, he didn't even notice Eisen was slipping out of the bed and tiptoeing out of the bedroom. He turned onto his side.
Eisen looked back at Yasuaki and smiled lovingly before leaving the room and shutting the door as quiet as he could. There was someone he did have to wake to help him out with setting up for breakfast.
Kotengu continued to slumber in the little bed he had been given (it was a doll's bed that Akane had once owned as a little girl), soft snores sounding from him. He was dreaming about the day he was big again, only his large size was the same as the average human, and he had the choice of hiding his wings...that would finally end the numerous times little children mistook him for a stuffed animal.
Eisen entered the room quietly and approached the little bed resting on a shelf. He felt bad for disturbing the tiny tengu, but it had to be done, or the little guy would sleep forever...or at least until the smell of breakfast filled his nostrils. The young man gently nudged the slumbering tengu. "Kotengu-dono, please wake up."
Kotengu stirred and slowly opened his eyes. He looked around the room dazedly before letting out a large yawn and stretching. "Oh, what time is it?"
"I'm sorry to wake you so early, but I would like your assistance. Do you remember what we had talked about last week while Yasuaki was out?"
"His birthday?" Kotengu whispered, noticing Eisen was also keeping his tone soft.
"That's right. I was thinking of making him a special breakfast, and well...to make it a family effort, I was wondering if you would be able to assist me."
"Sure thing. What would you like me to do?"
"We'll prepare Yasuaki's favourites this morning." He carried the tengu out of the room and into the kitchen.
Yasuaki turned onto his other side, still not aware of his partner's absence. He was dreaming.
As he was heading to the Tsuchimikado manor, a young monk carrying an eight-stringed kin hurried past him heading in the other direction. He could feel something from him and came to realise he had found his Hachiyo partner. Knowing the monk would die if nobody did anything, he decided to follow him. All he knew at that time was that Akane would cry if anybody died because of her, he didn't realise it was more than that reasoning as to why he saved him.
He arrived at the pond and saw the monk was entering the water, the kin also going underwater. What is it that he has planned? He sat under a nearby tree and continued to watch, ready to offer assistance if needed. He sensed something behind the young monk. Hey, behind you! he called in his usual monotone.
Excuse me, but who are you? the monk wondered as he finally noticed he had company. He heard something behind him, he sensed it, he turned and saw a large onryou. He heard the onmyouji enter the water and was soon standing in front of him, a barrier being raised to protect them.
This onryou wants to stop you. The onmyouji turned to face him, and to his shock, he saw a dragon's gem under his right eye. He realised he was also a Hachiyo. What are you doing? Hurry.
Eisen did as told and continued to find the cursed string. He finally found it, and the onryou became even more fierce. He saw the onmyouji was about to seal it, but he knew the spirit of the onryou, he didn't want him to be sealed. I will help him to move on. Please, trust me.
Yasuaki didn't understand why, he didn't see why the monk wanted to save the onryou. But, he gave his assent and watched as the monk reached in, cupped a small black ball in his hands, and brought it out of the water, whispering about their shared love of music. He watched as the ball rose into the air and burst into a shower of flower petals. He didn't understand how that could've happened.
Eisen felt relieved that his friend was able to pass into the next realm. He stood beside his Hachiyo partner and watched the petals falling from the sky. Soon, they both left the water and he saw many others there. He knew Yorihisa and Tomomasa, he suspected the other present males were also Hachiyo.
Yasuaki saw as all interacted. Even though they were all Hachiyo and shared a bond (though at the time he didn't know Tomomasa was also one) he still felt best to leave when he did. What was to be done was done, it was time to go.
He paused at the voice of his partner.
Thank you very much. Eisen watched as the onmyouji walked off without a word. He was more than a little surprised, but all he could do in response was utter a soft um....
The day they first met, and they still barely knew each other. All they knew of the other was that they were Hachiyo. Yasuaki had also known Eisen was the prince-turned-monk younger brother of the current emperor, you learn these things in the profession he was.
He felt relieved that his prediction hadn't come to pass. Back then, his relief was only for Akane's sake, even if he didn't realise he was feeling it. But, time passed and they both got to know each other. They were able to form a strong bond. Neither knew that in time they would fall in love with each other. He turned over again and he was lying on his back.
While Eisen was mixing up some pancake batter, Kotengu was squeezing fresh orange juice. The tiny tengu held the orange half over the large glass and squeezed as hard as he could. "Eisen, this isn't working..."
The young man set down the bowl of batter and stepped over to the tengu. "There's something we use here to make it a little easier." He opened the drawer he was standing in front of and pulled out a juicer. "Okay, put the orange half over this and just turn and squeeze at the same time."
Kotengu did just that, and found it was easier. "Oranges here are harder to squeeze than back in Kyou."
The Ten no Genbu nodded in agreement. He had to admit they were stronger. Must've been because of enhancement. He returned to mixing the batter. Soon it was done. He carried the bowl to the frying pan that had been heating and poured four medium-sized puddles on it. "How is the juice going?"
"Think I almost have it...and that looks to be it," Kotengu replied as he removed the half from the juicer and carried it over to the compost bin.
Eisen picked up the juicer and poured the juice into a bowl, then used a spoon to pick out any pips. Following that, he poured it into a glass and put the other half on the juicer. He returned to the pancakes and carefully checked them.
Kotengu grabbed the orange half and started squeezing it as he turned it left and right in order to squeeze the juice out. "Okay, just about got it...that's all of it."
Eisen turned the pancakes and went to where Kotengu had been working. He waited until the tiny tengu had removed the remainder of the orange half and carry it over to the compost bin. He picked up the juicer, poured the juice into the bowl, picked out pips with the spoon and then poured it into the glass. He carried the glass and put it into the fridge. He returned to the frying pan and checked the pancakes again.
"Okay, since the juice is done, what now?"
"Could you please whip some cream? It's in the cold box."
Kotengu flew over to the fridge, grabbed the little rope tied onto the handle and pulled it until the door opened. He found what he was seeking and carried it over to the bench. He flew back and pushed the door shut. He returned to the bench and opened the bottle of cream. "How much would you like?"
"Half a bottle, please." Eisen placed the pancakes onto a plate and put them in the oven to keep them warm. He picked up the bowl of pancake batter and poured four more medium-sized puddles on it.
Kotengu got out a bowl and the electric mixer, one at a time of course, and set them onto the bench. He poured half a bottle of cream into the bowl and put the lid back on. He flew to the fridge, opened the door by pulling the rope, returned to the bench, picked up the cream and carried it back to the fridge.
"While you're over there, could you please get out the strawberry punnet?" Eisen requested as he flipped the pancakes.
"Sure thing!" Kotengu picked up the punnet and carried it to the kitchen bench, then returned and closed the door. "Okay, now to whip that cream!" He returned to the bench, set the mixer in the bowl and pushed the on button.
Eisen took the pancakes off the stove, took the plate out of the oven, set each of them onto it, then put the plate back in the oven. He then moved to the bench where Kotengu was working. "How are you going?"
"Good, this thing gets easier to use when you know what to expect." Kotengu was thinking of one time he used it...the first time he used it. The kitchen was a huge mess by the time he'd finished. "What are you doing?"
"I'm fanning the strawberries, they'll be around the plate. They're one of Yasuaki's favourite fruits."
"Huh, I never knew that..."
"I didn't either, at least, not until the day I saw him looking longingly at a punnet when we were at the market."
"It wasn't his usual look, either. The expression he was wearing was...well, it was actually cute."
Eisen blushed lightly. "Then, when I mentioned we could use some for the dessert I planned on making that night, he looked as happy as the day we confessed to each other."
Kotengu switched off the mixer. He lifted it out of the bowl and carried it to the sink, then pushed the eject button, causing the beaters to fall into the sink. He then put the mixer back on the bench. "Can I have a strawberry?"
"Of course you can." Eisen found a large, plump one, then handed it to the tengu.
"Thanks!" The tengu sat down and started chomping on it.
Eisen had finished slicing the strawberries so they would fan out. He then took one more out and just cut off the top. That was for the top of the pancakes. He got out a plate and set the fanned strawberries around the edge of it, then took the pancakes out of the oven. He set the pile into the middle of the plate, then started decorating the top with the cream. He also added little drops on the strawberries on the plate, then finally, placed the last strawberry in the middle of the top pancake. He placed it onto a tray, then got the orange juice out of the fridge, and also set that on the tray. "Okay, Kotengu, let's go wake Yasuaki up."
Kotengu nodded, finished his strawberry, and flew after Eisen as he left the room.
Yasuaki stirred and opened his eyes. He saw he was alone in the bed. Eisen is up already? He sat up and rubbed at his eyes, then let out a yawn. Just as he was about to get out of the bed, he saw the door was opening.
Kotengu pushed the door open while Eisen carried the tray into the room. "He's awake!"
At that, Eisen started to sing their special birthday song as he carried the tray over to the bed. He heard Kotengu join in. They soon finished. "A very happy birthday to you, Yasuaki." He set the tray onto Yasuaki's lap, then climbed into the bed and kissed him on the cheek.
Yasuaki turned to face Eisen and kissed him in return. "Thank you, Eisen." He then looked over at Kotengu, who was hovering in the air on his left. "Thank you as well, Tengu."
Kotengu smiled. "No problem."
"I'd like for both of you to have some too. Would you both like to help me eat this?"
"That's very kind of you, Yasuaki," Eisen replied.
Yasuaki cut a portion off the pancakes, speared a bite-size piece with his fork and offered it to Eisen. "Open wide."
Eisen opened his mouth and accepted the mouthful.
As Eisen chewed his mouthful, Yasuaki picked up a strawberry from the edge of the plate and passed it to Kotengu.
Together, the three of them cleared the plate, sharing a peaceful family moment...there was no better way Yasuaki could think of to celebrate his birthday.