Usagi leaned back in his chair and examined the story he had just written. The glowing of the computer screen was a stark contrast to the pitch-black room. After hours of typing Usagi's fingers hurt, his head ached, and all he wanted was to sleep. He blinked the tiredness out of his eyes and corrected a few grammar mistakes here and there with a click of the mouse. His mind wandered until he couldn't focus on the task at hand, so finally with a sigh he saved the document and closed the word program.
I'll finish the rest of it tomorrow. He thought to himself, then glanced at the clock above the monitor. Oh. Wait. It is tomorrow.
He turned off the computer and the room was plunged back into darkness. Usagi allowed his mind to relax and tried to forget about the upcoming writing deadlines. Today was a day for personal time and nothing was going to mess it up. It was Misaki's birthday. To celebrate, Takahiro and his wife were taking the teenager out for the day. Which meant Usagi would be all alone until evening, with countless hours to kill until Misaki came home for dinner.
With another glance at the clock, Usagi determined that three in the morning was late enough to go to bed. He quietly slipped his shirt off, relishing the cool breeze against his skin, and crawled into bed. He wrapped his arms around his teddy bear, Suzuki, and tried hard to pretend it was Misaki instead. His bed felt rather lonely and cold without another person for company.
Bright sunlight streamed through Usagi's eyelids. It took him a moment to realize that he was awake, as his brain was still foggy from lack of sleep. He sat up in bed and waited for his senses to reconnect with his environment. It was eight thirty in the morning. Misaki had probably already left. Usagi untangled himself with difficultly from his warm bed sheets and shrugged a long sleeved white shirt on. He tromped down the stairs to the kitchen and began filling his mug with some coffee Misaki had been thoughtful enough to make earlier. As Usagi began to catch up with the day, he noticed a note lying on the kitchen counter.
Usagi-san, it read, Nii-chan and his wife picked me up early today. We're going to go shopping for a bit and then go out to eat, in case you want to know where we are. I should be home at around 7 tonight, breakfast and lunch are in the refrigerator. Try not to destroy the kitchen when heating them up, please. -Misaki. Usagi grinned slightly at the last comment because he knew how possible that would be. It was kind of nice that somebody knew him well enough to predict his mistakes. Usagi washed his coffee cup out and set it on the drying rack, then flopped down on the couch. Vainly he tried to decide what to do with his time. There were story deadlines, sure, but those could wait. Misaki's birthday gift was picked out and wrapped, and Usagi had put a lot of thought into it. It wasn't the most expensive gift he had ever bought, but then again Misaki would refuse anything too fancy. With a bit of surprise, the author realized he was totally and utterly bored. And very lonely.
Well. Usagi sat up and lit a cigarette. Holding it between his lips, he leaned forward, rested his elbows on his knees and started hard into a nearby ashtray. What else is there to do? After a few moments of thought, he realized that since Misaki wouldn't be home until late, there was no way he would be able to do his usual chores. Maybe, just for today, Usagi would do him a favor and get them out of the way. He wouldn't even say anything about it, just wait until the teenager sought him out and thanked the author in his own cute little way, with a slight blush and adverting his eyes. "Thank you, Usagi-san," he would mumble, and allow the author to ruffle his hair and have his blush deepen. He would then try to leave the room discreetly, only to be pulled back by Usagi's tight grip on the back of his shirt. He would look over his shoulder with a hint of surprise in his eyes, already sensing his impending doom...
Usagi closed his eyes and took a long drag on his cigarette. Yeah, right. Just another fantasy. He crushed the tip of it into the ashtray and left it to smolder out.
First things first. Laundry. Usagi took a basket from the laundry room and began gathering up all the dirty clothes. Misaki always threw all his worn clothes into a hamper, so it was easy to get them together. As the author was dumping them into his basket, Misaki's scent drifted up from the folds of fabric. At the familiar smell Usgai felt himself starting to miss the rambunctious teenager more than before, then reminded himself they were only apart for the day. Misaki could pay him back later tonight. With a smirk the author set off down the hallway to his own room, basket against his hip as he opened the door. It was then he noticed how many dirty clothes he had strewn about. All over the floor, across the backs of chairs, they were everywhere.
Usagi bent down and picked up each article, then folded it over his arm. Once he had a considerable stack and all visible clothes had been picked up, he tossed the stack into the basket and tromped down to the laundry room. For a minute he stared blankly at the washing machine. Oh sure, he had washed his own clothes before. It was just, with him being so used to Misaki doing it without question, it was rather hard to remember just exactly how much soap and water and temperature was required to do such a simple chore. Finally he dumped the load into the machine, poured a bit more detergent that usual in, and turned it on. It started up with a hum and began shaking, sending vibrations into Usagi's bare feet. He left the basket on the floor and went to stand back in the living room. Next, dishes.
Used to living alone, Usagi never realized until now how many dishes he and Misaki used together. He rolled up his sleeves and filled the sink with warm soapy water, then began scrubbing at the glasses and plates with a sponge. He found himself wishing he owned a dish washer, and resolved to buy one so Misaki wouldn't have to do this every day. He noticed with amusement that this must be the way a normal commoner would go about the chores. After washing each dish, he drained the water and dried his hands off on a nearby washcloth. He started to dry the plates and glasses, but halfway through a particularly wet plate slipped through his fingers and fell to the floor with an alarming crash. It shattered into several huge pieces, cutting his bare feet in the process. He swore quietly and bent down to pick them up, then hobbled to the trash can. The author dumped the broken shards in, then with a glance downward determined the cuts weren't as bad as they looked. He finished drying the dishes, making sure to keep a firm grip on each one, then looked with slight pride at his finished handiwork. Then glanced at his watch. It was only 1 in the afternoon. Six more hours.
The laundry wasn't supposed to be done for another 45 minutes, so at a loss of what to do Usagi went through all his old cookbooks that he had never been opened. He was searching for a relatively simple recipe, and after setting aside several volumes he finally found the one that seemed easy enough to complete, even with his almost non existent cooking skills. The recipe called for two eggs, three cups of flour, one cup of milk, one cup of water, and half a cup of sugar. He gathered up the ingredients and began dumping them in a large bowl. Everything was going smoothly until he came to the sugar. After searching his whole pantry, Usagi had no idea where Misaki had hid it. Exasperated, the author ran a hand through his ashy silver hair and lit a cigarette. With it dangling out of the side of his mouth, he searched the very top shelf until he found a white bag far in the back. There was no label. A quick check revealed the substance to be grainy and white, and Usagi couldn't taste anything with the cigarette in his mouth. He dumped in the required amount, stirred, and popped the batter into the over at the recommenced temperature As he set the timer the washing machine went off, so with some slight grit sticking to the bottom of his feet he made his way into the laundry room. He stacked the damp clothes in the basket and grabbed a handful of pins, then attempted to hang everything out on the clothesline on the balcony. The strong wind whipped each garment to and fro, and he almost lost his grip on a pair of pajama pants. The tip of his cigarette fell off onto a new white shirt and burned a slight brown hole in the sleeve. Usagi cursed silently as he tried to rub out the burning ash, but to no avail. Angrily he snubbed the cigarette out on the rail of the balcony so hard that it broke in two. He then proceeded to hang up the rest of the clothes rather sloppily, and as he walked back into the penthouse with the basket under one arm he failed to notice the dark clouds gathering overhead. Three more hours.
Misaki shut the door behind him with a sigh and looked forlornly at the shopping bags piled at his feet.
How did they manage to convince me to buy so much? Nii-chan insisted that today the bill was on him, and he and his wife Manami practically shoved the purchases in his arms.
"Oh, this would look so cute on you, Misaki! This scarf absolutely matches your eyes! Oh! Isn't this teddy bear sweet? I bet Usagi would be so happy!"
The teenager took off his shoes and opened the door to the living room. He was met with the sight of Usagi snuggled with Suzuki, half-asleep on the couch. The older man perked up at the sight of his lover finally arrived home.
"You're back." he said, sitting up, "how was your day?"
Misaki looked down at Usagi's feet and noticed the cuts. "Woah! What happened here?" He took off his coat and bent down to examine the damage.
Usagi shrugged. "I broke a plate."
Misaki stood off and went to the bathroom for the first aid kit. "What the heck were you doing?" he called over his shoulder.
Usagi replied with a slight smirk in his voice, "trying to wash the dishes."
The teenager sighed and rummaged under the sink. The day Usagi does chores is the day hell freezes over!
A shadow blocked the light and Misaki looked up with alarm as a pair of arms wrapped around his waist.
"I missed you." Usagi mumbled, giving the teenager a warm kiss on the neck. His cold hands came under Misaki's shirt and hugged him close around the ribs.
"Ah, Usagi, w-what are you doing? I just got home, dang it!" Misaki squirmed slightly and was surprised when Usagi loosened his hold. He turned around to find the author staring at him levelly and holding out a brightly wrapped gift.
Misaki's eyes lightened up and he set the first aid box down beside him.
"Oh, thank you, Usagi-san!" He eagerly began to rip at the paper but froze when a horrible smell hit his nose. Something was burning.
"Dang it!" Misaki shouted, running into the kitchen to discover thick black smoke pouring out of the stove. "I told you to not burn the house down!" he opened the stove door and coughed as the smoke burned his eyes. Usagi stood calmly against the doorframe, holding the first aid kit and Misaki's abandoned gift.
"I tried not to." he said, watching with amusement as Misaki pulled on a pair of gloves and took the dish from the rack. Surprisingly, the substance Usagi had managed to 'cook' wasn't that badly burned, just some black spots around the edges. Misaki looked at the twisted brown mass of whatever to the author with puzzlement in his eyes.
"Um," he said, "what is this?"
Usagi walked forward and set the stuff he was holding on the counter. "A birthday cake." A hint of pride entered the older man's voice. "I made it."
Realizing it would be rude to turn down something Usagi worked so hard on, Misaki swallowed and pulled a cake knife from the drawer. He cut a piece of the mass and was surprised to find the inside baked all the way through. He set his piece on a plate and cut another for Usagi, then led the way to the dining room table. After the author sat down across from him, Misaki hesitantly put his hands together and said, "Idadakimashu." before taking a bite.
Usagi obediently repeated Misaki's words and with difficultly cut a bite sized piece off.
As soon as the 'cake' touched Misaki's tongue, it was apparent that Usagi had defiantly messed up something in it. It tasted like slightly moist bread, except very, very salty. It burned more horrible than fire and he retched, then made a slight choking noise. He blindly grouped for glass of water, chugged it as fast as he could, then set it down with a huge gasp. Usagi chewed his piece thoughtfully, then politely took a sip of water. He eyed his plate with a look of slight disgust and said,
"Not the best thing I've ever made."
Misaki ran his tongue around his mouth, trying to get some feeling back into his gums, then hesitantly reached over for another piece of the god-awful stuff. Usagi-san worked so hard to make this. I would be a horrible person to tell him how bad it really is.
Usagi reached out a hand and trailed his finger down Misaki's wrist. He turned his lavender eyes up and said,
"Don't worry about it. I don't want you to scald your tastebuds off with this stuff."
Misaki opened his mouth to protest and shut it again when the author's other hand pulled Misaki's half-opened present across the table.
"You haven't finished unwrapping your gift."
The teenager eagerly drew it to himself, how could he have forgotten such a thing? He pulled the rest of the paper off and stared in surprise at the items that tumbled out. First was a large book titled, "How to Learn English for the People That Don't Learn Well." Usagi smirked and said in English,
"You could always brush up on your foreign languages."
Misaki only recognized a few words and tried to piece the sentence together mentally, then gave up and set the book aside. "Well, its not like im leaving the country any time soon."
The next gift was a brand new cell phone, having just come out with all the new features. Misaki gasped happily and began prying at the tape to get it open. Usagi watched with a bemused expression and remarked,
"There's a G.P.S. tracking device in it. That way you wont be able to escape."
Misaki froze with the box half-open and eyed the author sitting before him. Before he could protest about Usagi's weird assumptions, the older man leaned over and pointed to a piece of paper that had fluttered out of the wrapping paper.
"One thing left."
It was a picture of a state of the art dishwasher, and Misaki examined it for a moment before asking, "What's this for?"
Usagi grinned slightly, in such a way that it threw the teenager off guard for a moment.
"So you wont have to keep washing." the author said knowingly.
Misaki had no idea what he was talking about, but smiled in a way that made Usagi want to hug the boy as tight as he could. He stood up and began clearing away the plates and paper, and froze as Usagi gave him a kiss on the cheek before reluctantly heading upstairs. Misaki stood still for a moment, surprised that this is one of the times that he isn't pounced upon. The spot where Usagi's lips met his face burns slightly, even though the author has kissed him countless times before. For some reason, this peck stands out among all the others. Misaki finished dumping the rest of Usagi's 'cake' in the trash can, then went to wash the dishes that had been piling up. To his surprise, each previously used dish had been washed and dried, and were waiting in the drying rack. He put them away in the cabinets, then stood and scratched his head. Usagi must have done them earlier.
He shrugged and went to gather up his laundry, but all his clothes had been picked up. When he glanced outside he saw all the clothes were hung up in the strangest fashions. One was strung up by it's sleeve, others were simply draped across the lines. Was this also Usagi's doing?
The door to Usagi's room opened. The author glanced up from his computer at Misaki standing in his doorway. He pushed his glasses up and said,
The teenager didn't respond for a moment, and stood with his head bowed. Usagi could see a blush across his cheeks and nose.
"Um." misaki began, then licked his lips. "T-Thank you, for uh, doing my chores." He looked up at the older man.
Usagi smiled and stood up. He crossed the room with a few long strides and placed his large hand on the teenager's head. Misaki turned away slightly as the author drew his face closer, then closed his eyes as a light kiss was placed on his cheek.
"Happy birthday." Usagi whispered, then pulled him into a tight hug. Misaki resisted for a second, then allowed his shoulders to droop. He wrapped his arms loosely around Usagi's back.
"I love you." the author said warmly into Miskai's hair.
"I know." was the muffled response.