Author's Note: This was written at Van's request during Fan Fic Sunday on my Livestream. FF Sundays are always fun because I have to come up with a story on the fly. I didn't do much research to refresh myself with Fruits Basket, so I ask for your understanding if they are horribly OOC! :) I hope you are able to enjoy this small one shot anyway!
Five Cups of Tea
"Shigure, are you home? I brought us cakes from that new shop by the station!" Ayame called out from the front door, his voice characteristically light and sing-song. The house was quiet. Slipping off his shoes, he walked inside, searching for signs of the residents.
Only Shigure was inside of the large home, alone in his study, surrounded by manuscript pages. Most of them were written on, some with notes, others with doodles. He had his cheek resting on the table, taking a quick afternoon nap in the comforting summer heat.
Ayame continued to call out for him, excitedly, until he stumbled upon him. He couldn't keep the smile from his face when he realized Shigure was fast asleep. Smiling impishly, he snuck into the room on tip-toes, pausing when Shigure huffed softly in his sleep, shifting into a more comfortable position, hunched over the table.
Kneeling beside Shigure, Ayame set the box on the table. Within a matter of moments, Shigure was sniffing at the air, gradually waking up. When he saw Ayame, he gave him a sleepy smile, sneaking an arm around his waist. "Well, good to see you too, Aya. I was wondering when you would be back."
Shigure leaned up as he pressed his lips against Ayame's cheek. Ayame laughed as he hugged Shigure tightly, lips brushing up against his temple. "I really am terribly sorry that I was gone for so long! That cake shop was hard to find! But it certainly was worth it! We really must make it our cake shop!"
Shigure looked puzzled. "Cake shop?" he asked curiously.
"Oh yes! You know the one Tohru told us about, that new shop by the train station. I bought enough cake slices for all of us to enjoy!" It was then that Ayame seemed to realize just how quiet the house was. "Where are Tohru, Yuki and Kyo, anyway? There's no way we could possibly eat so much cake by ourselves!" He chuckled softly under his breath, "well, you could, but that would hardly be healthy for you!"
The clock struck four o'clock and a look of understanding washed over Shigure. He said nothing as he pulled Ayame close, practically onto his lap, holding him tightly.
He spoke against his neck, lips running against the soft, exposed flesh. "They've..." he hesitated for a moment before continuing, "stepped out. I'm sure they'll be back soon."
Ayame nodded his head as he stayed where he was for a few moments, obviously enjoying the attention, though that was hardly new. Shigure always played around with him. But this time felt different. It felt oddly…serious. "I don't know what has gotten into you, Shigure, but I rather like this new affectionate you! But, I really should start on the tea. They will all probably want tea and milk to go with their cake, after all. Children will be children," he said with a giggle as he moved away, grunting softly as he moved to his knees. Hm. All that walking must have made him rather tired.
When he looked at Shigure now and, for a moment, he looked much older than Ayame remembered him ever looking before. Ayame smoothed his fingers along Shigure's forehead. "You mustn't be so worried all of the time, my dear friend. You'll get wrinkles and turn into an old man long before you're time. "
Shigure smirked. "By that logic, I suppose you will stay young forever." That obviously pleased Ayame as he got to his feet and spun around on his heels, walking towards the kitchen. "Indeed it does! Now, no sneaking any of the cakes! We must save some for the children!"
When he was left alone, Shigure opened the box. Five slices of cake, as usual. Almost every Wednesday for the last five years, Ayame had come home with cake for their little "family".
The only problem was that the three youngest members had long ago left to start their own families. It really was only Shigure and Ayame living in that house alone.
It had been like that for nearly thirty years now.
Shigure ran his fingers through his graying hair. It was almost as pale as Ayame's now. The doctors had warned him that it was only natural, but it still hurt. It hurt to think that there were moments when Ayame could forget the life they had so painstakingly built together, even for a moment. Ayame always came back to him in the end, but Shigure feared that one day, he might lose him forever.
When Ayame returned, carrying a tray of tea, he looked somewhat lost, confused. "Shigure... had... you asked me to make tea?" Shigure smiled as he nodded, getting up easily to help Ayame sit down. Ayame groaned softly from the effort, rubbing his lower back as he settled against the cushion.
"Yes, yes, Aya. Thank you. Oh, look! You made extra so we wouldn't have to keep refilling. You know how much I enjoy my tea."
Ayame blinked a little in confusion before he chuckled, rubbing at his wrists. "Yes, you do. I seem to be making a lot of extra things lately! Where has my mind been going lately? Oh!" he announced, seeing the pink bakery box. "Cake again? Shigure, you are too sweet. You know I love that bakery," Ayame cooed, leaning over to kiss Shigure's cheek.
Shigure just smiled as he set out a slice of cake for each of them. "I know you do, Aya." He hesitated for a moment as he rested his forth again his slice of cake, the metal pressing down into the strawberry. "I love you. You do know that right?"
Ayame quirked one brow, curiously, before he pinched Shigure's cheek, his expression never changing. "Of course I know," he said around his fork, a smile beginning to form as he scooted closer to Shigure, nuzzling against his side.
"And you won't ever forget that?"
Ayame snorted lightly as he took another bite of his cake, snaking his free arm around Shigure. "How can I? You remind me every day! Enough talk, the tea is getting cold."
Shigure just smiled as he settled beside Ayame, enjoying sweets as they talked about their day.