Summary: There was one thing Rihito didn't know about the reindeer bond...
:O Omg, I have title that's more than three words! XD;;
Strenth of a Bond
By Dark Ice Dragon
Rihito stared blankly at the TV broadcasting news in the shop window. He'd finished studying for the day, but he couldn't stop his head from buzzing with all the information he'd tried to cram into it.
Suddenly, Rihito felt the reins tighten around his throat, a flurry of indistinct noise (except it wasn't – it was his santa's voice again, dammit) tumbling around in his mind, and he tensed in preparation for when –
He dropped back-first on top of a cushion, thankfully missing the table by a mere inch.
"When are you going to learn to not order me here?" Rihito snapped in frustration, shoving his glasses up to their proper place as he glared at his upside-down santa.
His santa actually blinked down at him in surprise, his hand still stirring the smoking pot. Rihito couldn't identify any of the scents that were coming from the pot, but that was normal. "I didn't call you."
Rihito rolled his eyes as he sat up. "You were talking to the cat," he finished for him. As al…ways? Rihito frowned as he looked around his santa's home. There wasn't a cat in sight, the front door was closed, and there wasn't a bowl with food or the like that Rihito could see either.
"No," his santa said slowly, mirroring his puzzled frown. "I didn't say anything out loud."
Rihito gaped at him. Was their bond broken - was he going to be called to his santa's side randomly, possibly while he was in the middle of an exam (except that could happen when the bond was working), at any time of the day?
But…he was right. Rihito hadn't heard his santa's voice clearly like he normally did, but more recognised the familiar feeling in his head.
'I was thinking it.'
"What?" Rihito yelped, staring at his santa's wide eyes. "You thought-" He hadn't heard that. He hadn't heard his santa say that.
Taking a shaky breath, running a hand though his hair, his santa switched off the stove and went over to sit next to him at the table.
Rihito had never heard about telepathy developing before and – Rihito's stomach plummeted when he realised what that meant. He was bound to his santa, bound to do his every order, no matter if he agreed with them or not, and while his santa didn't tell him more than 'come here', 'you do it', 'turn into a reindeer', and 'fly', the bond didn't bother to see if his santa was referring to him or not – if it was following his santa's thoughts now…
"This isn't normal?"
Rihito shook his head sharply. "No," he said through gritted teeth. Of course it wasn't! If it was, they would have been able to hear each other's thoughts as soon as the reins first formed!
"So…" His santa was frowning again, his gaze wandering around the room. "It's the reins."
"Yes," Rihito retorted, glaring at him. What else could it be?
His santa glared back at him. "It's not my fault this is happening."
"And it's not mine either!" Rihito didn't want to be born a reindeer, a slave for his santa.
His santa winced, rubbing his head. "I didn't want to be a santa either," he said quietly. 'Where I have so much control over another person.'
What? "But…" Rihito started doubtfully, "it's easy being a santa." They were always in control of their body, didn't have to worry about suddenly getting whisked away with no warning…
"Hm." His santa crossed his arms, keeping his stare fixed on the table. "I have to make sure I know exactly what I'm saying all the time, and when we're together I have to be sure I don't say stuff carelessly and make you do something you don't want to."
"You – you try to not call me?" Rihito spluttered in disbelief. He got called to his santa's side when he was trying to feed a cat.
"Yeah, I do."
His santa sighed. "What would happen if we-" He waved a hand, gesturing to Rihito's neck.
"If we…" Rihito repeated, understanding dawning on him.
That – that would probably work. But the main problem was – "I don't want to kiss you." And that was the problem: he could stay being a slave, or he could kiss his santa and dissolve the reins between them. But that would involve kissing his santa. That, and they both knew even if they did kiss, they'd end up fighting each other anyway, so there wasn't any point in doing it.
His santa snorted, sending him a dry look. "I don't want to either, but it's that or our heads still being connected."
Rihito grimaced. When it was put like that… He was quiet for a few seconds as his brain proceeded to go into fits over the two options. Kiss, or be a slave to his santa's words and his thoughts.
He made a grumbling sound as he stared down at his hands. There really wasn't much of a choice.
But he'd never had one anyway.
"Okay," he said quietly. His santa started slightly at his answer and then let out a long breath.
Neither of them moved, not quite looking at each other.
When nothing happened after a minute had ticked by, Rihito huffed, pushing his glasses up his nose. "This is ridiculous," he muttered, and he felt a sheepish acknowledgement from his santa.
Gritting his teeth, Rihito got to his feet, his santa following him a second later. His mind started to ring again as he stared at his santa's lips, both his and his santa's thoughts and emotions tangling together.
They stepped forward at the same time, his santa's hand coming up to rest on his shoulder. Rihito could feel the way his santa's hand fitfully clenched and relaxed, almost trying to keep him a certain distance away and then allowing Rihito to move so that they were practically nose to nose.
Before he could hesitate again, Rihito closed the final gap –feeling a flash of alarm from his santa- and kissed him.
His santa's lips were a little rough, and Rihito could smell faint traces of whatever his santa was attempting to cook (was that onions?), as well as the scent that was uniquely his santa.
But the bond was still there, thrumming with disconnected thoughts and emotions. Panic sparked in Rihito's stomach. A kiss was supposed to break the bond but if the bond was defective, maybe it wouldn't dissipate like it normally would.
Rihito pulled his head away, his -
Breath catching as he felt the collar loosen and fall from his throat, the reins on his santa's wrist fading away, becoming transparent, before they dropped like they had been cut. They were gone before they could hit the floor.
Rihito's mind was finally silent again.
He stared at his santa, realising how close they were standing together, not sure what to do. He was close enough to feel his santa's warmth through his clothes, hear every breath that he took…
Ack! Rihito jerked in surprise, spinning around to see Miyuki in the doorway, feeling his santa's hand brush his neck a second later. The reins looped their way back into place, like they'd never been gone, and Rihito sighed in relief when he didn't get the onslaught he'd been experiencing again.
There was a pause. "What're you two doing?"
Both Rihito and his santa jumped away from each other, Rihito's face going hot.
"Nothing!" He could see pinkness on his santa's cheeks as well. Good. So it wasn't just him.
Miyuki glanced between the two of them, before her gaze flicked to the stove. "Is that dinner?"
"No," Rihito muttered, scrabbling for normality, trying to prove that nothing had changed – and it hadn't - the reins were still in place, he was still a reindeer for his santa. He was in exactly the same situation he'd been in half-an-hour ago. "It's not edible."
His santa glared at him before he went to the pot. Rihito followed him, hoping he could salvage something from what his santa had concocted, so Miyuki wouldn't get food poisoning.
Rihito and his santa were tense for a few moments, pointedly not looking at each other as they tried to fix his santa's cooking. Until Rihito pointed out that his santa was cutting the carrots the wrong way.
Everything dissolved into the usual fighting after that.
For the 'Yoroshiku Master, Rihito/Daisuke: Telepathic bond - "Get out of my head"' prompt for springkink.