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Monday (subtitle: Certainly One of the Better Ones)

Sunday night, after a few hours of studying, Honda Hiroto slammed his history textbook closed and slid it to the floor. "Fuck it," he muttered in irritation. "Fuck this, and fuck the test."

"That's not a good way to study, Honda," Shizuka said in a soft voice, picking up the book and placing it back on the desk, and then putting her hands on his shoulders. Her hair brushed against his cheek and his ears turned red.

"I can fail one little quiz and still pass the class, Shizuka," Honda replied. Shizuka laughed and kissed his forehead, sitting on the edge of his desk.

"You're in college now. You have to try a little harder."

Honda smiled at her. "Says the freshman. I think I understand how college works, Shizuka. You, however, should already be in bed."

"Okay, mother." She moved away from him, heading toward the door. She paused with her hand on the knob and turned back. "You should lock your door if you don't want him to come in again."

Honda grimaced. "I'll be sure to remember."

Shizuka smiled teasingly. "If you two ever want to come into my bedroom, however…"

"Goodnight, Shizuka." Honda turned away quickly, shooing her with his hand, as he attempted to hide his blush.

"Just letting you know, sweetie!" Thankfully, he heard the soft sound of the door shutting, and could rest his head on his arms. When did she grow up so much?

At seven in the morning, a loud ringing jolted Honda out of his sleep. He didn't remember getting in bed. Sounds like a typical Monday, his mind pointlessly supplied. Nothing remotely good ever happened on a Monday. He sighed and curled up further in his warm blankets, unsurprised to hear the ringing stop anyway. "What are you doing in my bed? Again?" he asked in a low voice.

"Good morning sunshine," Otogi murmured back in a mischievous voice, pressing the tip of his finger to Honda's bottom lip and smirking when his eyes opened in a glare. "I missed you."

"Get up," Honda said tiredly, "I'm not in the mood." He could have sworn he locked his door…

Otogi smirked and leaned forward, ignoring Honda's equal shift backward. "I can get you in the mood."

Before Honda could reply, most likely with a scathing comment and an insult, Shizuka peeked into his room. "Ah, Otogi. I was wondering where you went. Breakfast is ready." She eyed the two of them speculatively before turning and leaving.

"W-wait, Shizuka! We didn't—I didn't—" He sat up, putting his head in his hands. "Otogi, get up. I mean it."

He felt a quick kiss on his temple, then the weight on the other side of his bed was gone and his door gently clicked closed. It had been that way for a while, he mused, running his fingers through his bed-mussed hair. Ever since Otogi, Honda, and Shizuka had become roommates, the black-haired inventor was getting more and more open about his odd feelings for Honda.

"Stupid," he muttered at the space that Otogi vacated, a little more fondly than he would admit.

He still harbored protective, loving feelings for Shizuka, the younger sister of his best friend; Jounochi had been more than reluctant to let her live in an apartment with two men, but they were all going to the same university, it would save them thousands of dollars in room and board, and he had known both Otogi and Honda for years. But those feelings weren't as romantic as they once were. They were more… brotherly.

Honda stood up and stretched his arms above his head, managing to relax himself a bit. Otogi was obviously bisexual, he continued to contemplate while shifting through his closet. He was one of those people who seemed open for anything. He must have fallen out of love with Shizuka, because he barely looked at her anymore. Otogi was cordial, and charismatic, and civil with her, as if she was any random woman living with them, but his bitter rivalry with Honda had faded. Or rather, changed drastically, into—

The door opened again, revealing Shizuka in her pink pajamas. "Come on. There are pancakes."

"Thank you so much for making breakfast, Shizuka," Honda said sincerely.

She smiled and shook her head. "It was no problem. I know you have class today and I didn't want to make you do it." She paused, collecting her hair in one hand and arranging it to rest on her shoulder. "Otogi is waiting for you."

Honda rolled his eyes good-naturedly at her, adjusting his t-shirt. "He can wait a few more minutes to stuff his face."

Shizuka walked over to him and wrapped her arms around his neck, standing on the tips of her toes to kiss him on the cheek. "I know you don't love me like you used to. I love you like I love Jou." Honda could feel his face reddening, but it wasn't from love struck embarrassment anymore. He knew she was telling the truth. He just hadn't wanted to admit it. "Otogi just wants you to try with him. If you're not attracted to men, so be it. But don't let him live with this false hope."

Honda blinked a few times, his arms still at his sides. "I didn't mean to—"

"I know, Honda." She kissed him on the lips, then rested her head against his chest, sighing. "It's early. You don't want to think about things like this in the morning, I know, but…" Honda looked down on her, frowning. She'd never said anything so introspective to him before. Shizuka had really grown up from the little girl he knew her as.

Otogi cleared his throat from the doorway. "The pancakes are getting cold, lovebirds," he said. "I won't wait much longer." He locked eyes with Honda for a moment. Honda looked away, uncomfortable; when he looked up again, Otogi wasn't there.

"I'll see you tonight," Shizuka said, releasing him and stepping back. Honda opened his mouth to reply, but Shizuka had already left.

Exhaling loudly, frustrated, Honda shut and locked his door. He tried to keep his mind blank while he showered and dressed, but every few seconds his thoughts would drift back to the entirely too serious expression on Otogi's face.

Emerald eyes were the first thing to meet him when he entered the kitchen. Otogi closed his phone, setting it on the table, and stared determinedly at Honda. "I understand if you want to be with her instead," he said.

Honda sat across from him, frowning. "I've woken up with you in my bed for the past month, and you tell me this now?"

Otogi didn't look phased. "You told me to leave. You didn't tell me not to come back."

"I should have."

"Will you?"

Honda shrugged, which was the only honest answer he could give. "It seemed like all you wanted was sex."

"And what if it was?"

Starting to get irritated, Honda said, "What's with you? You're never this… thoughtful." He faltered near the end. Maybe Shizuka was right. All this time, he'd been leading Otogi on.

"I've been pursuing you for a while, Honda. At first I thought you weren't interested. Lately, though, you've seemed different. And I'm," Otogi continued in a softer voice, "Giving up. I've tried, and I've failed. This isn't a duel. I know when to quit." He studied the table briefly, and then turned his gaze back to Honda. "I like you a lot. And I'm leaving the rest up to you."

Honda was touched at the display of honesty, even if he did manage to hide it under indifference. "I'm not interested in men," he said simply. Otogi nodded and stood up. "Wait. Just… wait." The game creator paused, leaning his hip against the table, and made a slight gesture for Honda to continue. "The way you've acted around me lately is the same way I've been acting around Shizuka for the past few years."

Otogi cracked a smile. "I used to act like that too, if you remember."

"I know." Honda took a deep breath. "I'm not sure why you like me. I'm not sure why I find myself drawn to you." He heard Otogi's sharp intake of breath, but chose to ignore it. "Shizuka is becoming more and more like a sister to me, but you are taking the opposite route. We can try." He said the last bit with a question in his voice, but left it hanging, staring at Otogi.

"Good." Black hair shifted smoothly from Otogi's shoulder down his back as he stood properly. "Thank you for your willingness to try."

"This is not the time to be all business," Honda chastised. "Aren't you going to ask for a kiss or anything?"

Otogi smirked and slipped two long fingers under Honda's chin, leaning his face upward. "I don't have to ask." Their lips met briefly; it wasn't all-encompassing, there were no fireworks. It did feel distinctly right, and then Otogi's lips were gone, and Honda was left sitting alone. "Get ready for class!" the same playful voice from that morning called back to him.

Getting back from class that night, Honda was almost fully convinced that his morning was a dream. Fully awake throughout the day, he could hardly imagine being more than civil with the emerald-eyed game inventor. After unlocking the door of their apartment, he dropped his bag by the door, slipped off his shoes (noting Shizuka and Otogi's already there) and stumbled into the living room, lying back on the couch and closing his eyes.

"There you are," Otogi said softly. Warm weight settled on top of the fatigued student's chest, even warmer breath playing at his neck. "Long day?"

Honda nodded as best he could from his position. "Very, very long day. And yours?"

"Boring. Shizuka and I had a talk about you. About us." He shifted, pressing one of his knees between Honda's legs and making himself more comfortable. "She thinks it's cute."

Inhibitions down from exhaustion, Honda slid his hands into the back pockets of Otogi's jeans and murmured, "I think you're cute. So we're all even."

Otogi laughed lightly. "She also offered to participate in any threesomes we decide to have."

Honda groaned, turning his head. "I can't believe… don't let Jou know she said that…"

"I know that. He'd kill me, and then you, for knowing and not telling him." Otogi's thigh put a bit more pressure in the space between Honda's legs. "You wanna come to bed?"

"With you? I'd rather not."

Otogi kissed his nose playfully, and Honda could hear the grin in his voice. "Please? I won't feel you up too much, I promise."

A door closed somewhere nearby and Honda cracked his eyes open. "I see you two are getting along," Shizuka said. "And without me. Otogi, I thought I told you- Well, I won't interrupt. What do you want for dinner?"

Honda couldn't keep the smile off of his face. Shizuka would really send her brother on a killing spree if he heard anything she'd said to him and Otogi. "Nothing for me, thanks. I'm going to bed."

"With me," Otogi inserted unhelpfully. Shizuka nodded at them with an amused smile, pulling her hair over her shoulder again, and left for the kitchen. "Take a shower with me?" he asked when she left.

Honda pushed him off and stood up. "Aren't you moving way too fast? We haven't even kissed twice. We haven't even dated. I barely even like you, Otogi."

Otogi pouted, crossing his arms over his chest. "I'll take you out tomorrow."

"You're the one almost acceptable thing that can come out of a Monday," Honda muttered, cuffing Otogi on the back of the head and heaving him up by his elbow, before stalking down the hallway.

Thoroughly nonplussed, Otogi stared at his back for a few moments, and then hurried after him. "Was that a euphemism?"