Chapter Forty-Five: Cake Bribes

Yanase Yuko glanced over at her brother's pregnant boyfriend, slightly amazed that he had just finished his third piece of cake. Where the freak did he find room for it all? She silently reached over to the coffee table and cut him another piece from the German chocolate cake before continuing her story.

"So I eventually broke the arrangement off, though I must admit dating a heterosexual couple was extremely satisfying. All in all a mutually beneficial relationship, as the woman and I enjoyed intimacy and companionship, and also had the added plus of her boyfriend's well hung package. Even still, it wasn't exactly the best long-term experiment. Things tend to get a bit stale so matter how many people you have. Plus it really takes time to perfect a threesome in the first place. You wouldn't believe how awkward just adding another person can be."

Hisashi nodded and swallowed another bite of cake.

"I can see that."

The blond kept eating as Yuu's sister talked, enjoying the rich cake she had brought over. Yuu was working a lot of hours lately, as Renaka had commissioned him to help her with a manga adaptation of a novel. Yuu had mentioned his schedule while talking to Yuko on the phone one night, and the next day his sister had shown up at their front door with sweet confections for the bed ridden and pregnant. Hisashi didn't mind her coming over unannounced at all. It was nice to have to have company other than the dog and the TV, plus he found he could learn some interesting things about his boyfriend in her ramblings.

"And oh, you would not believe the drama," She sighed. "When a couple fights they always look for a new target to aim their anger at, when the problem really lies with them. I mean, I'd like a steady girlfriend or boyfriend, but they seem to become really possessive after a time, like we've signed a satanic blood pact or something."

Yuko leaned back on the couch, running a hand through the back of her short hair.

"Yuu was never really like that. I suppose we're actually very different in the way we handle relationships. Yuu sometimes had a brief fling on the side in college, but he always had his heart set on Yoshino. He could've had any boy he wanted, but he chose that airhead who barely gave him any mind."

"Yeah," Hisashi said. "He must've been in a lot of pain."

"You don't know the half of it," Yuko replied. "Yuu always seems to lose the ones he cares about. Despite our family's special form of insensitivity, Yuu did have someone he genuinely loved when he was growing up."

"Really? Who?"

"Our paternal grandfather. He was an artist you see, did traditional watercolor painting. I think that's where Yuu got a lot of his creativity. They were very close when he was a child, but unfortunately Ojii-san passed away when he was nine. But by then, Yuu was practically a factory of art, going through sketchbooks like crazy. I think he knew then that he wanted to be an artist, and he had enough drive and luck to see it through."

"Yuu's always been a hard worker," Hisashi nodded. "Did you both go to Mitsuhashi University?"

"For a time yes," Yuko replied. "We even shared an apartment for those years. But unfortunately, things kind of fell apart in our third year. You were right about Yuu being a hard worker. He was obsessive in college and would pull all-nighters constantly for trivial reasons. I eventually came to the conclusion that Yuu was working so hard because he visualized that his artistic success would win Yoshino's heart. Frankly, I told him to stop pinning over a lost cause and move on with his life, and that sparked a whirlwind of arguments. Eventually we got so fed up with each other that he moved out and I transferred to Teito to finish my degree in law."

Yuko paused, taking a sip of tea and sighing.

"I suppose that's kind of what killed our own relationship. We haven't been very close in years, especially since I still talk to mom. But oh well, I'm glad to see him doing so well these past few months."

"Me too," Hisashi nodded with a smile.

"You know," Yuko said, turning to him. "You're a good listener. After my longer rants most people just act like they're not trying to tune me out. Unless they're drunk. Then they usually just want to get me in the sack."

"Thanks," Hisashi replied, licking his lips after he finished his fourth piece of cake, which once again left Yuko speechless. From the few clues Yuu had given her, it sounded like Hisashi had an anxious eating disorder, not problems with gluttonous binging.

"Thank god I'm not pregnant," She muttered inaudibly. All of a sudden, the two heard sounds of the door opening. From the spot next to Hisashi, Steve lifted his head and gave a single, lazy bark to welcome Yuu home. However, Yuu's brow immediately creased as he saw the scene in his living room.

"Sashi, why is my sister in my house and sitting in my spot?"

The blond shrugged dryly.

"I dunno."

Yuu turned to Yuko and gave her a look of contempt as he saw the scattered remains of the cake.

"That's low Yuko, bribing a pregnant man with cake."

"I like to think of it as resourceful." She replied aloofly. "But you know, watching your pregnant uke eat his body weight in cake has really affirmed my own views in birth control. You both have my gratitude. Now I'm off to go steal one of your beers, otouto."

As Yuko headed off to the kitchen, Yuu scoffed and came over to the couch, kissing Hisashi on the forehead and looking him over.

"How are you doing? Sorry I had to work so late."

"I'm fine," the blonde replied. "How's the storyboard coming?"

"Very well. Working with Renaka-san is quite something. She really is brilliant, though we have to give credit to the original author too."

"Who is he again?"

"Some literature professor named Kamijou. First time author but his book got great reviews. From what I know, he somehow met Kirishima, who recommended turning the book into a yaoi manga in the Sapphire department at Marukawa. And since the Always series has had so much success, they commissioned Renaka-san to do it.

"I haven't actually met the author yet, but we plan to have a meeting with him later this week."

"Wish I could be there," Hisashi sighed. "I never thought I'd say this, but I actually miss the office. There's only so many anime reruns I can take. I can't believe I still have two months left of this."

"I know," Yuu said, ruffling his curls. "But the doctor said you have to be on bed rest until the baby is born. Are you breathing okay?"

"Yeah, I feel a little short sometimes, but the relaxation techniques they taught at the birthing classes have been helpful."

"Good," Yuu said, craning his neck so he could see inside the kitchen. "I'd better go find out what my sister is up too while I order us some dinner. Think you could eat after all that cake?"

Hisashi shrugged and patted his baby bump.

"I can find room."

Yuu chuckled and headed into the kitchen, finding Yuko leaning against the counter with a beer.

"So," He said, grabbing another from the fridge. "What brought you over here today?"

"I'd just thought I'd give your boyfriend some company. Work's been slow and I was bored."

"Oh come on," Yuu said, reading through her easily. "There's more than that."

Yuko narrowed her eyes, a little irked that her brother could read her as easily as she could read him.

"Well," She muttered, taking another sip. "It just kind of dawned on me the other day that I'm the only connection your kid will have to the Yanase side of the family. So I thought maybe I'd like to get in with it ahead of time."

"Wait," Yuu said in surprise. "You mean you're actually looking forward to being an aunt?"

Yuko shrugged.

"I don't know if I do or not. That's why I thought I'd hang around before the baby's born."

"He's not due for another eight weeks."

"Really?" Yuko said. "He looks like he's about to pop any day."

Yuu shook his head.

"No, he just got to seven months. We still have a while."

"Oh. Well anyways, you get my point…what the hell are you smirking at?"

"Oh nothing," Yuu chuckled. "I just think it's funny. You've never taken such a doting interest in anything before."

Yuko shrugged, trying to appear non-chalant as she spoke her next sentence quietly.

"Watching you two, it's a little hard not to care. It's very clear you love Hisashi-san, and I'm just happy that you have a person who returns that love.

"And since you two are so gaga for each other, I'm going to need to be around to make sure that baby learns condescension and sarcasm correctly."

Yuu snickered and touched his sister's shoulder.

"Thanks Yuko. Nice to know you'll be around. Hisashi doesn't have any siblings so you'll be his only aunt. Though between Hisashi's parents and the baby's godmother Renaka-san, he'll get plenty of doting."

"Good. Well Uu-chan, I'm going to head home. I'll give you a call later this week. Maybe I'll take your boyfriend to a buffet and let him eat himself into labor."

"Hardy har har, Yuko." Yuu muttered. He leaned over and kissed her cheek before she went back out into the living room, bidding Hisashi farewell before she left.

After ordering their dinner from a nearby restaurant, Yuu headed over to the couch and sat down next to Hisashi, draping his arm around the blond's shoulder.

"Hey Yuu," Hisashi piped up with a hidden smile.


"Did I hear her calling you 'Uu-chan?'"

Yuu's eyes flickered and he scowled as he picked up the remote, trying to ignore the snicker in his Hisashi's voice.

"Absolutely not."

Hello everyone and thank you for the super chocolately fudge coated reviews!

This chapter is for my sweet seme hound who needed a little pick me up :)

And like I said, we are getting close to delivery. An's wedding is up next!

Flu Love,