A/N: I get the randomest damn urges to write fic for this series.


Kaya doesn't cry when he tells her.

She knew already, in a way. She's always known. Known that Akito's heart beats for pen on paper, for the thrill of creation. It only makes sense that he'd fall for his partner. Mashiro makes it possible for Akito to achieve his dreams. What does she do for him? Clean the studio? Do some inking when the assistants are too busy?

What she can't understand, truly cannot fathom, is the fact that Mashiro feels the same. Akito's never seemed that in love with her, not really, but Mashiro… Miho, she thought, is his everything. Maybe she was, once. Maybe he just thought she was.

Kaya knows it will come as a surprise to Miho, and she's expecting it when her cell phone rings and Miho cries into the phone and says, "I don't know what changed."

Kaya doesn't know how to respond, because things didn't change, not for her. Akito didn't change. He woke up.

Fingers in his hair, strong fingers, calloused fingers. He loves those callouses, those reminders of how far they've come, how hard they've worked. Together.

"She was crying." Murmured against his neck, the vibrations tickling his skin. "I — she was crying. And I just — I walked away. Should I have…"

Mashiro trails off. Takagi drags his palm lightly down Mashiro's cheek. "You're probably the last person she'd want comfort from then."

Mashiro's lips purse, part to speak, close again. Finally he says, "Probably."

"…Kaya didn't cry." He doesn't know why he says it, but he does. "I don't… I don't know if that's worse. Like she… knew it was coming." He laughs uncertainly. "Was I that bad a husband?"

"Well, you — " Mashiro pauses. "Not… really. I guess… I guess we're both really focused on work."

"Is that a bad thing?"

"Maybe for Kaya-chan. Maybe it would be for me, too, if we weren't… us."

Takagi 'hm's and continues tracing the lines of Mashiro's face with his fingers, around his jaw and over his lips. "It's a good thing we're us, then."

Mashiro nods absently, mussing his hair since he's lying on his side. "…She'll find someone. Won't she? She's… she's perfect. She's not like my uncle."

Takagi doesn't know how to answer, so he doesn't, just trails his hand down Mashiro's shoulder, his side, smiling a bit when his lover shivers.

"She will," he says finally. "There's no reason she wouldn't. She'll move on, just like Kaya will."

"I keep worrying…" Mashiro smiles faintly, as though he's perfectly aware he's being ridiculous. "She's going to, I don't know, go crazy with jealousy and come after us with a gun or something."

"Well, it is always the quiet ones." At Mashiro's expression, he laughs. "Don't worry. Stuff like that only happens in manga. And… life and manga aren't the same thing. We should've realized that a long time ago."