Washed Up

A/N: unfortunately, this will be the last log we'll write together, as I've decided to stop. This log is also unfinished, so excuse all this build-up with no climax. It was fun while it lasted! I hope everyone enjoyed it as well.

Authors: Celianna (Momo) & Happiestwhen (Kaidoh)

Rating: T

Events leading up to this log:
- After the day at the karaoke place, Momo and Kaidoh have been meeting up regularly to catch up for lost time
- When Momo sees an ad for a new burger at Mos Burger, he decides this is a good excuse to invite Kaidoh to hang out with him on Valentine's Day
- Momo texts Kaidoh about it, and also says he's picking him up with his bike

Date: February 11, 2013


Despite having skipped breakfast so he can be pretty hungry for when lunch rolls by, Momoshiro is in a good mood.

About a week or two ago, Momoshiro saw this ad on TV. It was about Mos Burger's special Valentine's Day deal. It had the most delicious looking hamburger Momoshiro's ever seen. Three layers of buns, two stacks of meat, dressed in vivid green lettuce and tomatoes, topped off by the cheese melted all around the sides. It was mouth watering, to say the least.

It didn't however, had any requirements for buying it, such as purchasing it as a couple.

He might have told Kaidoh there was such a requirement.

Momoshiro came up with a little white lie, and told Kaidoh he could only get the burger if there were two people, and invited him to come to Mos Burger on the 14th.

See, it was a bit awkward for Momoshiro to call Kaidoh up, and say he wanted to eat out with him on Valentine's Day. He thought about it a little, like perhaps he should be doing something with Kaidoh, a thought that kept him up at night feeling fuzzy and embarrassed. But it's kind of weird. And Valentine's Day is for couples, and he and Kaidoh aren't. He still doesn't know what exactly they are, but he's settled on for 'friends who fool around', and that's the closest description he can use without feeling creeped out by it. Anything more than that makes him feel strange.

So they jerk each other off and kiss sometimes. No big deal. As long as no one knows, Momoshiro can get on with his life, and fool around with Kaidoh every now and then.

Though every now and then ended up being quite more frequent than expected. While they hadn't hung out every day since that fateful day at the karaoke place, Momoshiro did feel free to bother Kaidoh a lot more than before. It'd been weird when they came back from the island, but after getting over that part, everything just fell into place, like nothing had changed, and Momoshiro was back to his old self of bugging Kaidoh with incessant texts and phonecalls. That, and getting him to visit Momoshiro, or Momoshiro to come visit him so they could do more … physical stuff. In private of course, very discreetly.

Though it's kind of hard to be discreet when they're surrounded by family, and they're never alone together in the house. It actually really sucks. To go from having the utmost privacy on the island, even sleeping together in the same cramped hut, to a situation where neither of them are ever truly alone together. It puts a damper on Momoshiro's spirit, and he can tell Kaidoh's bothered by it too. They don't want to be found out of course, but where else would they go? It's not like they can keep going to the karaoke place, it's a miracle they hadn't been found out the first time.

Though there is one other option that Momoshiro had briefly entertained, before turning really red and slamming his face into his pillow a bunch of times.

Privacy … discretion … alone together doing physical stuff … it's what love hotels are made for. Everyone knows this. Momoshiro knows this. But the implication of going to a love hotel, just so they can do their thing … makes it seem kind of planned. And that makes everything ten times more scary. And it's kind of nasty.

He and Kaidoh always seem to roll along with the punches, nothing is ever planned between them. It just sort of happens. It's not that they meet up just so they can jerk each other off. Though Momoshiro won't deny that it is on his mind when he's with Kaidoh … but still. One thing leads to another, and he's on top of Kaidoh, mouth angrily sucking on his. Things have always escalated between them, for years on end—but they're not fights this time. Not by a long shot.

Besides, planning to go to a love hotel is just plain ridiculous for two guys. What would Kaidoh even say? He'd probably call him a moron, and might not want to do anything at all for a while, turned off at the idea of Momoshiro even asking. Or he'd be too horrified to even look at Momoshiro again. So Momoshiro had pushed it to the back of his mind, and focused on other things. Like keeping his voice down when Kaidoh sucked on his neck, or when his fingernails scraped down his back, or when he grinded his hips into Momoshiro's … yup, pretty much most of the time, they're trying to hold back as much as possible.

It sucks the fun out of things. Quite honestly, Momoshiro likes to be rough and loud with Kaidoh, and he loves hearing Kaidoh's voice rip out of his throat into a long groan because of something Momoshiro did. He gets a kick out of it, and it makes him more enthusiastic. And it's not like Kaidoh holds back on getting Momoshiro to enjoy himself either, he's always biting his lips to prevent himself from making too much noise. Trying to be quiet all the time is pretty annoying in that respect.

And then Momoshiro's sister almost walked in on them that one time. Luckily his sister had knocked, and Momoshiro had told her, in an attempt to hide their secret, and in a shaky and out of breath voice, that no girls were allowed. His sister, obviously insulted, stomped off at his childish behaviour. It had been so nerve wracking, and it also destroyed their mood. They kissed a bit more, before Kaidoh left without finishing. Momoshiro had to jerk himself off afterwards, feeling frustrated. He made sure to be extra rough with Kaidoh the next time they met up again, and it seemed Kaidoh was thinking the same thing, because god that was the most amazing orgasm he got in his life. And he's got the marks (that he hides) to prove it.

Either way, it sucks to have no privacy, and Momoshiro is trying pretty hard to find more part time jobs so that he can save up enough money to move out of his parent's home again. At least then he and Kaidoh can have some privacy, and fuck without giving a fuck.

The idea of a love hotel was looking quite attractive though. There's only so many times they can be interrupted before Momoshiro might just be driven to insanity from not finishing up.

All he wants is some alone time with Kaidoh—is that too much to ask for?

And then the idea of Valentine's Day popped up in his head. Spending the entire day with Kaidoh, doing things with him like always, and then perhaps have some privacy for once, and get down and dirty with each other. He'd even like it if he could sleep with Kaidoh again—something he's missed quite a bit.

Momoshiro had gotten used to it on the island, after forcing Kaidoh to come home before dinner. They'd go to sleep at the same time, and it was nice, and comfortable, and Kaidoh would be there when he woke up. Sometimes he would be creepily staring at Momoshiro, and sometimes Momoshiro would get creepy boners, but other than that, it was nice. A few days before they were rescued, they even went to sleep in the same bed. It was soothing to have Kaidoh that close, that he could continually touch him, and have him pressed up against him. Even kissing him seemed effortless like that. It's something Momoshiro would only do with Kaidoh, he'd never be this close and caring with someone else.

It's quite strange how Momoshiro is able to think of all that as caring, and being intimate. It took him a while, but he knows that's what it is. He tries to make himself believe it's because there's nothing wrong with wanting intimacy with another person. It simply falls under the 'friends who fool around' umbrella, and he shouldn't put too much meaning into it. Even if in their most tender moments, he sees Kaidoh's face all relaxed, and half smiling up at him as his arms are wrapped around Momoshiro's body. Something odd pulls on his heart whenever he sees Kaidoh like that. He wants to see more of it.

He wants to see more of Kaidoh period.

Hence why Momoshiro sort of asked him out on a totally not-date, because they're totally not a couple, on Valentine's Day. Just two guys hanging out. He didn't mention it was Valentine's Day, simply referring to it as the 14th of february. It seemed kind of … right? Or at least, Momoshiro felt like they had to do something. It might not be couple-y, but there's nothing wrong with spending time together. After all, Kaidoh had agreed and didn't say no.

So Momoshiro's been hyping himself up for those past couple of weeks, wondering what he should do with Kaidoh, what he should talk about, and what they should do after Mos Burger. He can't exactly ask Kaidoh to go to karaoke with him because a; he hates fun, and b; he would misunderstand and think Momoshiro meant 'let's go jerk off' instead (though he won't object if that were to happen). Perhaps they can do something else afterwards as well. Maybe they can go to a cat cafe or something—they did have a talk about cat cafes several months ago. Surely, it would be a safe option to pick if Momoshiro simply wanted to spend time with Kaidoh. As long as Kaidoh doesn't object to sit on the back of his bike to get there in the first place.

The prospect of Kaidoh riding along with him makes Momoshiro feel giddy; Kaidoh's only done this once before, shortly before they lost contact. It just feels nice, to have Kaidoh on the back, and they're riding together. Like they can face the world together, and go anywhere they'd like. He's seen lots of people do that, and he's done it with other people as well, but Kaidoh's special. Kaidoh can use the seat as his throne, if he'd like. And perhaps hold onto Momoshiro as well. Yes, that'd be nice. Strong warm arms wrapped around his stomach as they ride through the cold air of February. It almost sounds as good as eating burgers at Mos Burger. Almost.

And then, when it's time to take Kaidoh home, he can sort of 'stumble' upon a street filled with love hotels. And perhaps make a casual remark how everyone's doing it nowadays, and vaguely suggest that he's got enough money to pay for a room overnight. Because Momoshiro really does want to be alone with Kaidoh. And if not on Valentine's Day—a day that's supposed to be about two people having privacy—then when?

Momoshiro is growing increasingly frustrated that they just can't seem to be left alone, that yes, he's really considering the love hotel option.

And doesn't it annoy Kaidoh as well? Surely he must be feeling frustrated as well, at the lack of privacy, at their change of routine after getting used to sleeping with each other. Doesn't he miss this as well? Momoshiro sure does.

He even bought some stupid chocolate to persuade Kaidoh to go. Or maybe lure him inside. Or perhaps that method only works on Momoshiro himself.

Either way, Momoshiro is here right now, standing in front of Kaidoh's house with his bike in tow, and chocolates stuffed in the pocket of his jacket. His fingers are freezing and his cheeks are red from the cold, but he feels warm despite all of this. Warm at the prospect of spending a day with Kaidoh, and perhaps, if the chocolate he bought looks expensive enough, he can convince Kaidoh to stay the night with him as well. He takes out the cellphone from his other pocket, and quickly tries to send Kaidoh a text that he better not leave him waiting outside for too long, lest he lose his fingers to frostbite.

Perhaps, instead of spending his first paycheck on expensive chocolates, a really nice burger, and potentially a love hotel, Momoshiro should have spent it on getting gloves and a scarf to survive the winter. Ah well, if Kaidoh goes along with it all, he won't have anything to complain about.

Kaidoh goes through the whole charade of pretending to be busy and taking his time, so as not to seem totally eager by rushing out to meet Momoshiro as soon as his phone buzzes with the text message. He doesn't manage to keep it up for long—five minutes, tops—because the truth is he is eager. Lately it's like all he wants to do is hang out with Momoshiro, which feels weird and definitely disrupts his strenuous running schedule. Somehow, that hasn't bothered him nearly as much as it should.

No, he's always able to find time for Momoshiro, even though when he talks to Momoshiro about it, he makes it sound like it's a total pain in the ass to do so. That's not his fault though, arguing just seems to come naturally when they're together. And saying to Momoshiro directly that spending time with him is somehow important, or that it's even remotely a priority in Kaidoh's life just, well, sounds really … weird. And needy. And kind of gross. And like Kaidoh wants this to be something it isn't. It isn't, right? Sure, it might be Valentine's Day—as his mother cheerfully reminded him this morning, stupid holiday—but it's not like he and Momoshiro are dating or anything. So it hardly matters what day it is.

Although deep down, it kind of feels like it matters. Momoshiro wants to spend this day with Kaidoh. That feels like it means something although Kaidoh's trying his best not to read into it.

After all, the only reason it has to be today of all days is because Momoshiro got fixated on some dumb hamburger. Kaidoh's used to it by now; Momoshiro's obsessive food cravings. He even kind of indulges them most of the time, and tells himself that's because it's easier to agree and get it over with than put up with Momoshiro whining on about it, although maybe he also kind of likes how happy Momoshiro gets when he's eating something he really enjoys. But that's a weird thing to like. Well, Momoshiro in general is a weird person to like, too, but Kaidoh's given up trying to fight himself on that.

He still hasn't admitted it though, either. Especially not to Momoshiro.

His brother has suggested, more than once, that he should, but it feels like some insurmountable task. It also gives Kaidoh a fluttery feeling like he's got insects trapped in his stomach, and that's not the most pleasant sensation. It's not altogether unpleasant either, just weird. And jittery. It reminds him of how he felt through much of middle school; nervous and young and confused. But a lot of things have changed since then, so surely he shouldn't still feel quite so nervous. He isn't sure why he is, especially when, when it comes to nearly everything else he does with Momoshiro, he's only grown more and more at ease. But then, most of those things don't require a lot of talking. Putting things into words has always been a challenge for him.

Well, he doesn't have to worry about that right now. Because even if it is Valentine's Day, he's not some girl, so Momoshiro won't be expecting some big dumb confession from him—ew, the idea alone ties Kaidoh's throat up in a horrified knot. This day is simply about satisfying Momoshiro's stomach. Although Kaidoh probably wouldn't complain if they did some other things too. Or maybe he would complain, since that's kind of what he does, but he wouldn't mind it.

He told his parents this morning that he was going to go hang out with a friend and luckily they didn't pry, although Hazue did raise an eyebrow at him. Well, what is Kaidoh supposed to say? He doesn't really know what to call this thing they do. It's kind of hanging out, although not like any hanging out he's ever heard of. And referring to Momoshiro as some nameless "friend" feels weird too. To be honest, referring to him as a friend at all seems strange. He isn't sure if that's what they are now. The label doesn't quite fit, but they're certainly far from rivals these days.

Well, whatever it is, whatever they are, Kaidoh's spent enough time stalling in his room and should just go outside and meet Momoshiro already. Who cares if it seems like he was sitting on the edge of his bed anxiously awaiting Momoshiro's arrival. Momoshiro won't care, Kaidoh's sure. In fact, if Kaidoh waits any longer, he'll probably just complain about him taking too long. For a moment, Kaidoh considers the merits of that. Then they could get into an argument before they even leave, which isn't something Kaidoh necessarily views as a negative, because even with everything that's changed and evolved between them, he still likes arguing with Momoshiro about stupid stuff. It feels comfortable and familiar, even if neither of them really mean most of the insults anymore.

But finally Kaidoh's impatience to see Momoshiro outweighs his hesitation and immature desire to piss him off, and he goes downstairs, stopping in the entryway to pull on his jacket and shoes, and then heads outside. He closes the door and jogs down the front walk and out the gate to where Momoshiro is waiting.

When he sees him, his heart starts beating just a little faster. "Hey dumbass," he says, and the insult almost sounds friendly. It might not be written all over his face, but he's in a good mood.

Momoshiro's been watching him from the moment he stepped outside of the door. He cracks a friendly grin at the greeting. "Hey stupid," he greets back, feeling a lot happier all of the sudden. A lot warmer too. Kaidoh stops in front of him, and he's got this strong urge to pull him close, and kiss him on the lips. He even wants to hold Kaidoh's hands (because his are cold, not because he's feeling mushy).

And for a split second, he does remove his hands from his pockets, raising them towards Kaidoh, until he remembers. They're in front of Kaidoh's house, out in public. They can't do stuff like that here. Treacherous hands. Even any kind of friendly touching, which he's done a million times before, suddenly feels like he shouldn't be doing in public, because it means more now that they're like this. An arm wrapped around Kaidoh's neck to pull him close isn't the same as it was when they were still rivals. So he awkwardly lowers his hands again and shuffles on the spot, trying to think of an excuse why he tried to reach for Kaidoh.

"You took too long, my hands are frozen, see," Momoshiro decides to say instead, and shows the top of hands, which are red and the skin is broken and dry. "If it were me, I'd be out in less than thirty seconds!" he boasts. Because it's true, he'd be eagerly rushing out to meet Kaidoh.

For a moment, Kaidoh feels a little guilty for keeping him waiting, but he brushes it off. "Whatever," he says with a dismissive eye-roll. "That's only because you can't wait to go pig out."

"But you really should just get some gloves," he adds, but then looks down at his own bare hands and realizes it's a bit hypocritical of him to tell Momoshiro how to dress for cold weather. But it's not like Kaidoh is the one complaining about the cold. In fact, if he were going running, he'd probably be out here in a tank top. And be just fine.

Momoshiro wrinkles his slightly red nose at Kaidoh. "Well I would buy some gloves, but I'm taking someone out to go eat," he says in an exaggerated voice. He pouts and averts his eyes so it rests on his fancy shoulderbag instead. The one containing an extra set of clothes, as well as a box of chocolates. He came prepared. Except no gloves.

Then Momoshiro cracks a smile and he pushes his knuckles into Kaidoh's chest, the contact feeling familiar, yet still tingly. He wants to do more. "Though you're welcome to give me some, of course."

Kaidoh punches Momoshiro's arm lightly in return. "Hah, yeah right," he replies. He means to sound lighthearted, but his voice is still blunt like the crack of a tree branch and just as humorless. At least he doesn't really look grumpy as he says it, so maybe in a weird way that's some kind of progress.

Not that tone of voice has ever held Momoshiro back from demanding things or teasing Kaidoh, though he does notice Kaidoh seems to be in a good mood. Well, he better be, today is going to be awesome. Just the two of them, and hamburgers. What could be better than that? Well, it could be better if they were alone and out of public eye right now, then Momoshiro could do whatever he wanted to Kaidoh. He feels anxious to touch him. It's not in his nature to hold back, but he tries.

Momoshiro turns his body around to face his parked bike. He sets his hands on the cold handlebars (he'll be ok without gloves … he thinks), and takes off his kickstand. It's already making him feel giddy knowing Kaidoh has to sit on the back. He sets his foot on the pedal and turns his head to look at Kaidoh with a smirk.

"Get on then, I don't want to hang out in the cold any longer." His smirk transforms into a gentle smile. "... And hold tight," he adds in a softer and hopeful voice.

Kaidoh remembers the last time he rode on the back of Momoshiro's bike, back when they were in high school. He'd spent the entire ride with his hands behind him gripping the metal rack, terrified that Momoshiro's reckless steering was going to send him hurtling into the street the moment they went around a curve. As if he hadn't had reason to be nervous enough already.

This time, however, it isn't the bike rack he holds onto, instead slipping his arms around so his hands rest at Momoshiro's waist. It feels a little strange, and a little embarrassing, like he's relying on Momoshiro, putting his safety in his hands, and Kaidoh doesn't really like relying on others. But it also feels kind of nice and comfortable, and he gets a kick out of the way Momoshiro tenses slightly at his fingers and then relaxes again.

"Okay, here we go!" Momoshiro yells out confidently, and starts to pedal away. The cold rush of air stings his fingers, but he ignores it in favour of the warm feeling of Kaidoh's embrace.

The moment the bike starts to move, Momoshiro can feel Kaidoh's hands clench around the fabric of his jacket, and it's a nice kind of feeling that he's actually doing this. At fifteen years old, this might have earned him a punch in the face for even suggesting to hold onto him, but now, so many years later, Kaidoh goes along with pretty much anything he suggests.

They've changed a lot, haven't they? Well, not in the sense that Momoshiro feels like a different person, but the way he's like with Kaidoh definitely changed. And that's not even counting the thing they have going on between them—that's definitely something that's never happened before—but it's the little things. Gestures, tone of voice, less fighting (who would have thought?), and generally more agreeable. It's like they've become pretty comfortable with each other, not finding it as scary anymore to rely on the other as much. Such a thing would have been impossible six years ago; Momoshiro would never rely on Kaidoh. Except maybe during tennis matches. Then Kaidoh was always reliable. Okay, outside of tennis then. He and Kaidoh had always butt heads with each other, so it's pretty remarkable that they've come this far.

Momoshiro can't even remember the last time they had gotten into a stupid fight with each other.

Well, actually—the last time would have been on that fateful and embarrassing day when Momoshiro found out Kaidoh was K-chan. But that felt different. That wasn't a stupid fight. That was a very serious fight, a first actually. Momoshiro can't remember if he's ever fought Kaidoh on something serious. It was always stupid stuff, like Kaidoh stepping on his toes, or knocking him in the head with a tennis racket. It had never been complicated.

They had never been complicated.

Momoshiro turns a corner around the street, and he feels Kaidoh move closer to his back to hold on. Kaidoh can't see, but he's smiling delightfully. And his cheeks aren't only pink because of the cold either.

Yes, things have gotten quite complicated between them. Things used to be very simple between them, and they mainly communicated through fights. Now, they still get into simple fights, but it's not like before when they were young. These fights are actually quite lighthearted. Rarely does it turn out into a physical confrontation. And if it does, it doesn't last long before one of them starts to kiss the other. Actually, Momoshiro might be trying to turn some fights into a physical one on purpose, just so he can have an excuse to shut Kaidoh's mouth with his own.

Sometimes, he doesn't even need an excuse. Lately, it's been like that more often.

But even as some things get easier to do—such as not feeling weird or awkward reaching for Kaidoh's hand when they're alone—everything else feels like it's been building up into something … bigger. What used to be flying fists with no thoughts, are now carefully placed strokes of the hand. Everything seems to have meaning now. After that day in the karaoke place, it hasn't been the same since. Because now it's sort of like an official agreement between the both of them. Their little secret. And the more secretive stuff they do, the more important their actions seem to become. They're no longer adolescent children getting into immature fights; they are adults who are doing adult-like things with each other.

It might have started out as a hormonally charged impulse on the beach, but Momoshiro knows that's not the case anymore. Well, he won't deny the fact that he gets pretty damn horny around Kaidoh, but aside from that, they're doing this because they want to. Because they chose to. Because somehow, it's important to Momoshiro. And each passing day they continue to do these things with each other, Momoshiro grows more attached to Kaidoh.

As if he wasn't already.

He sees the changes in Kaidoh as well. The usual grumpy reply he'd get for even suggesting to do something, has now been just a casual snort, followed by a quick agreement. As much as Momoshiro wants to see Kaidoh, Kaidoh wants to see Momoshiro as well. He probably won't ever outright say that, not without some prodding coming from Momoshiro's side, but he shows it in subtle ways. Like the way Kaidoh answers the phone lately, greeting him with a stupid nickname in a fond way. Even most of Momoshiro's texts to Kaidoh get answered, whereas in the past, only one or two would get replied to every month. Then there's the casual way Kaidoh pushes his fist into Momoshiro's arm or chest, like this has become some sort of secret handshake between them. It feels nice and comforting, like an evolved kind of fist bump. Momoshiro secretly really likes it when Kaidoh does this.

Of course, then there's the obvious hints that Kaidoh's been changing too, such as when they're alone together, in Momoshiro's bedroom. It sometimes surprises Momoshiro just how non-aggressive Kaidoh can be when it comes to this. He's actually quite … gentle? Which is not a word Momoshiro would have ever used to describe Kaidoh with. Stupid? Annoying? Grumpy? Yes, those fit much better, but he can't deny the fact that Kaidoh's a lot more docile when they're touching. Caring, even.

Especially after they've just jerked each other off, Momoshiro likes to snuggle up to him, and Kaidoh starts brushing his fingers through Momoshiro's hair. He even looks quite content and at ease when he does it. It's moments like these that Momoshiro really, really likes. It's when they least resemble their old selves. There's still some teasing, and some name calling present, but it's so tongue in cheek that Momoshiro's mood is never disrupted, and he simply plays along as he relaxes against Kaidoh, while Kaidoh relaxes against him.

Yeah, he really likes those moments, hence why Momoshiro wishes they could be alone together without being interrupted by someone else. And he thinks—or hopes, really—that Kaidoh wants to be alone, too.

Hopefully this totally non-date will be successful enough to lure Kaidoh into a private hotel room.

And if Kaidoh complains, well, he's never really been able to resist Momoshiro's charming side for very long. Momoshiro will just have to be extra charming today.

After about fifteen minutes riding his bike, Momoshiro sees Mos Burger come into view on the street. He tells Kaidoh they're here, and he rides up onto the sidewalk to get off his bike, but waits until Kaidoh's hands finally slip away from his waist. They both get off the bike and he parks it against a streetpole. He wrings his hands together and blows hot air into them to warm them up, but it doesn't do much. Perhaps he really should have bought gloves instead of saving up for this day.

But then he wouldn't be able to spend the entire day with Kaidoh. He'd rather go cold, than miss that kind of alone-time with Kaidoh. He hopes Kaidoh's hands aren't as cold as his either.

"Alright, let's order this awesome special burger," says Momoshiro excitedly as he pushes the door open to walk inside. The warmth inside feels good against his cold skin. He turns to hold the door open for Kaidoh as well (he's always mindful like that of course). "So, what do you want to eat?" he asks as Kaidoh walks by him.

"Uhh …" Kaidoh stops when he's inside and looks up at the menu in puzzlement. How the hell is he supposed to know? It's been ages since he's been to this place, or any fast food chain for that matter, and each and every time it was never really by choice. But he is hungry and he did agree to come, so he might as well just bite the bullet and try something. What's the worst that could happen?

Once Momoshiro stops next to him in front of the counter, Kaidoh turns and asks, in a still skeptical tone, "Which one is … the least greasy?" which is kind of his way of asking Momoshiro for a recommendation, but he doesn't want it to sound like that, like he's looking to take food advice from him, because that would just be stupid. And pointless, since in all the time Kaidoh's known him, Momoshiro hasn't met a food he didn't like.

"Hmm, let's see," says Momoshiro as he thinks it over. He looks at the menu, and sees a few new burgers on there that weren't there before nine months ago. It's kind of frustrating, since he doesn't know if it'll taste good or not.

But hey, they're burgers—of course they'll taste good!

At least, to Momoshiro of course. Kaidoh is a special case. The least greasiest, hm.

"If you wanna go for least greasiest, you wouldn't want to pick a hamburger with beef. Definitely not. They're filled with the juiciest greases that are like a slice of heaven, but I guess you're not into that. So no regular hamburger for you, weirdo. Okay then uhh, I guess you'd pick something like chicken, or some other kind of seafood. There's the chicken burger, which has a really yummy sauce and plenty of lettuce on it so you can pretend it's healthy. I really recommend it. But if that's still too greasy for you, then there's always the fish burger. Definitely no greasiness there. But it's very small though, it might not really be very filling. Oh!" Momoshiro turns his head and grins at Kaidoh, but is surprised by how close they are. They're so close in fact, Momoshiro has got his arm slumped around Kaidoh's shoulders—when exactly did that happen? "You should eat my favourite burger; the shrimp cutlet burger. It's not greasy at all, and it's filled with shrimp. And then get a side salad instead of fries, sound good to you?"

Momoshiro continues to smile pleasantly to Kaidoh, briefly wondering when exactly he made the move to drape his arm around Kaidoh like this. It seems he can't resist touching him after all, even in public space.

Kaidoh hisses. "Yeah, I guess that doesn't sound too bad," he agrees, and since Momoshiro's right there, he takes the opportunity to elbow him in the side, too. Because he's a moron who can't shut up about food, and maybe a little bit because Kaidoh just wanted to touch him again. But mostly it's because Momoshiro is getting all googly-eyed over hamburgers and that's stupid. Although maybe not as stupid as Kaidoh used to make it out to be. He used to act like it was the most annoying thing on earth, but in truth it never really was.

Not like that will stop him from giving Momoshiro a hard time about it, but that's just what they do.

"And I guess you're planning to eat that giant thing then," he says, sounding disgusted as he nods to the advertisement displaying the special limited time offer burger. It's stacked so high with toppings that Kaidoh isn't sure how anyone could even feasibly fit it in their mouth.

Momoshiro starts to drool at the sight of it, already forgotten to jab Kaidoh back with his elbow for revenge. "Hell yeah," he says excitedly. He finally removes his arm as he walks up to the register.

As Momoshiro starts to order their food, he scans the room with his eyes, looking a bit shady. There's really only two other people in here today, they're sitting at the window, chatting about something. Surprisingly, Mos Burger has not adapted an urge to sprinkle hearts everywhere in their vicinity, despite having a Valentine's special burger. It still looks pretty normal, which is good, it'd be awkward to eat food with Kaidoh when there's hearts floating around them. It makes it seem like some mushy kind of date, and the thought makes something weird crawl inside of Momoshiro's stomach. No, this is not a stupid date, they're just doing things together which happened to be on Valentine's Day. Momoshiro gripes about it a bit more in his mind as he waits for their food to arrive, and luckily they don't have to wait long.

At least Kaidoh doesn't question him when the cashier made no such mention that you need to purchase the burger as a 'couple'. Maybe Kaidoh already noticed that it was just a flimsy excuse to get him to come in the first place. Momoshiro jabs Kaidoh in the side for being so sneaky as he gets the tray of food.

"Let's go sit …" Momoshiro looks around for something that doesn't have huge windows next to their seats. He sees one at the back, near the bathroom, a small booth against a wall, looking pretty cozy and secluded. No one would really be able to hear them talk, or see what they are doing. Perfect. "There," he finishes with a smile. With the tray of food in his hands, Momoshiro hastily makes his way over to the booth, with Kaidoh following.

"This burger is gonna be so delicious," Momoshiro gushes as he sits down on one of the benches and puts down the tray. He's brimming with excitement, the reason being he's going to eat a new burger, and the other reason being that he convinced Kaidoh to eat one too. And that Kaidoh is even here in the first place, of course.

Momoshiro really wonders if he can set operation Love Hotel into motion. He looks over at Kaidoh as he sits down on the opposite side of him, and flashes him a grin. "You better enjoy this burger, I'm not buying another one for you," Momoshiro teases.

Kaidoh leans back a little against the booth and looks suspiciously at the burger in front of him. "Yeah ..." he says cautiously, like it's some strange science specimen in front of him instead of food. But weirdly, despite his complaining and sour expression, Kaidoh can't deny that the food actually smells kind of ... good? Or edible, at any rate. Which is to say, it probably won't kill him to try. Momoshiro eats them all the time and he still—against all odds—seems perfectly healthy.

He lifts the burger up, holding it by the paper wrapping. It's stuffed full, looking almost as big as the one Momoshiro ordered, and there's sauce squeezing out at the top over the lettuce and shrimp. It seems kind of unnecessarily messy to Kaidoh, but he steels himself to take a first bite, determined to not get it all over his hands. He's not some kind of animal, after all. He's just hanging out with one—as evidenced by the fact that Momoshiro's already stuffing his face.

Kaidoh on the other hand, tentatively bites in and chews slowly. As burgers go, in Kaidoh's very limited experience of them, this one's actually pretty good. So maybe not everything Momoshiro eats is complete junk.

After he's swallowed, he looks up at Momoshiro and says, "Well it's not as terrible as I thought it would be."

Momoshiro is having an explosion of food ecstasy in his mouth. So at the moment, he is unable to talk at all, as his mouth continues to savour the taste of the juices from the burger, the special sauce, the golden cheese, the fresh lettuce, the squishy tomatoes … everything tastes like a slice of heaven. He finally swallows, and he swears there are stars in his eyes as he looks at the burger in his hands.

"This … is the best burger I've ever tasted," Momoshiro says in awe.

When he hears Kaidoh cluck his tongue at him, he remembers he's not alone, and Kaidoh had actually spoken to him before.

"Oh, how's yours? Good, right? I know it's good. I can pick out the best burgers. Want a bite of mine? It's super delicious, I almost don't want to share—haha!" Momoshiro leans over the table, stretching out his arm with his yummy burger so Kaidoh can get a bite. He smiles pleasantly, happy to know Kaidoh's here and not hating on the food.

Kaidoh rolls his eyes, but still takes a bite of Momoshiro's burger anyway, mostly because it's being shoved right in his face so it's kind of hard to avoid. He does however swat at Momoshiro's hand immediately after, because it doesn't feel right to simply go along with everything so agreeably.

"It's okay," he says once he's finished it, which is about the best compliment he can manage for something like a hamburger. He can see why Momoshiro would be so into it—and he is, quite obviously. He looks positively delighted. It makes Kaidoh's chest feel tight and jittery, but in a good way, but he quickly collects himself and returns to his own burger, so as not to look like he's staring creepily at Momoshiro while he eats, because what the hell, who does that?

Momoshiro is positively delighted that Kaidoh took a bite from his hamburger. He used to be greedy and not want to share his food with anyone at all, but it's fine when it's Kaidoh. Especially since he'll try to deny that he liked it, even though Momoshiro can tell he doesn't really mean it.

He kind of wants to sit next to Kaidoh and let himself be fed though. They did that a lot on the island. And yes, it's kind of stupid, and a little embarrassing, but Momoshiro feels comfortable enough to do this with Kaidoh—and Kaidoh only. It feels lazy and cozy, and Momoshiro misses it a little bit. That he could hang all over Kaidoh and bother him, while eating food. Two of his favourite things in the world. Momoshiro smiles up at Kaidoh once more; they just need to be alone for a while again. Yes, that'd be perfect.

But at the moment, Momoshiro should finish his hamburger, which has been a gift of god. He keeps seeing Kaidoh looking at him, and he looks sort of disgusted in return. Well, Momoshiro admits he can be a messy eater, but the food is so good! Then again, he didn't invite Kaidoh just so he could pig out, he does still want to talk to him.

Then he suddenly remembers something. Taking another big bite, and not waiting until he's finished chewing, he points his finger at Kaidoh.

"Did yah know, I was dead?" asks Momoshiro. He chews some more, making loud smacking noises.

"Huh?" Kaidoh blinks, feeling lost. He hopes Momoshiro isn't making some metaphor about how his burger is so good it's killed him, because that would be so painfully dumb he'd have to punch Momoshiro right then and there.

Momoshiro chews thoughtfully. "You know this thing people have, called a Facebook? Well you probably have never heard of it, considering how primitive you are with technology, but anyways, it's this profile you make online about yourself. And, it seems my sister hacked into mine and ... declared me dead. It became like this weird memorial thing to me, it was creepy. People are still posting on it thinking I'm dead! Geez. I certainly didn't expect this." Momoshiro swallows and thinks some more again. How did his sister guess his password anyway? He was sure it was safe! After all, he wrote 'password' in English, and no one would ever guess that.

"Oh yeah … I—" Kaidoh starts, and then stops himself, not wanting to seem like a stalker. "I mean, Hazue saw that." Which is still true. It wasn't like he was the one who'd gone searching for Momoshiro's Facebook page, after all; that was all his brother. "I didn't really look at it …" he adds with a dismissive huff that doesn't manage to sound very convincing. "But yeah, that's … pretty weird."

Momoshiro's lips turn into a wide smirk. "Are you sure? I could have sworn I saw a certain Kaidoh Kaoru on my friendslist …"

Kaidoh's cheeks flush. "Asshole, that was just—shut up." Momoshiro wasn't ever supposed to check that!

Momoshiro nudges his knee against Kaidoh's underneath the table, toying around with him. "So, got worried about me? When you saw I was dead, I mean," he asks in this satisfying smirk. Catching Kaidoh in the act is so much fun.

Kaidoh throws an annoyed glare back at him. He tries to kick Momoshiro's shin too, for good measure, but misses and hits the table leg instead. "Of course I wasn't worried," he says. "Don't be stupid. I was just trying to find your address." As soon as he realizes how that sounds, he makes a noise that sounds caught halfway between a hiss and a grumble and averts his eyes. Great, now he just seems like a creepy weirdo.

There's this smile on Momoshiro's face, one even bigger than before when he took a bite out of his hamburger. Perhaps bugging Kaidoh is a higher priority than eating food after all. It's always so much fun to tease the snake and get all these different kind of reactions out of him. Momoshiro could never get enough of this.

At least now it makes sense why Kaidoh knew where he lived in the first place; he stalked him. That thought makes him very giddy.

Momoshiro leans over the table, his hamburger clasped in his hand in a very cool way (well, he thinks he's cool), and he raises his eyebrows at Kaidoh. "Oh, is that so? What else did you try to find out, huh."

"N-nothing!" Kaidoh protests. It hadn't even been his idea to begin with! In fact, if it weren't for his brother's meddling, he probably would still be totally in the dark about what Facebook even was … Which would mean he also wouldn't have a rather suspicious number of photos of Momoshiro saved on his phone. But … that's completely not the point.

Momoshiro leans back and takes another bite out of his delicious burger. "Well, whatevah," he says with a mouth full. He swallows this time before he talks. "You should be glad you were on the island with me. You'd probably think I was really dead if you saw that. Haha, that'd be kind of awkward. Ehh, my parents would hold a funeral for me and … hmm, would you come too? I wonder."

Before they met again on the island, they hadn't had contact since. Which meant that Kaidoh would probably have never known about Momoshiro disappearing, or being proclaimed dead. But what if he knew? Would he come to visit? Would he be sad? Momoshiro would be sad to find out if Kaidoh didn't feel a pang of hurt upon finding out he had died. That would make him truly heartless. But he knows Kaidoh better than that … he's just very good at hiding things.

Kaidoh frowns. "Don't say stuff like that," he grumbles. "If you really …" He stops, and his frown turns into more of a scowl. Because that's super depressing, and it's hard to imagine Momoshiro suddenly not being around. Sure, they'd stopped talking for all those years, but that was hardly the same thing. So he just says, "If you died because of Atobe's stupid boat, I would have been pissed off."

Momoshiro laughs. "You better be! Speaking of Atobe, I'm still in the process of kicking his ass in court. Well, not really. Our lawyers are talking it out or something, making up some kind of deal. I bet I'm gonna get some money at least. It'd be good. Then I can stop living in my parent's house again and move out." He slurps on his cup of coke and ponders how much money he'd get.

"Hey, what about you—don't you want money to move out?" he asks Kaidoh. And be alone with me?

"Yeah, I guess …" Kaidoh says with a shrug. Moving out hasn't really been something he's given much thought to, to be honest. After all, he doesn't hate living with his family, although recently it's been kind of awkward reconciling the whole living at home thing with also seeing Momoshiro quite a bit. The idea of doing all these … things together, under his family's roof, initially mortified him, and the lack of privacy still makes him nervous. Things were a lot easier when they had their own space. Sure, they still both have their own bedrooms, but it's not the same when their parents or siblings are always just down the hall.

He huffs. "I don't know, I guess it might be nice. But I was planning to just work and save money to pay for college tuition again, since I got dropped from my course and all …" Which feels like the right thing to be doing, and certainly what would make his parents proud, but it's been months since he even attended a class and it feels kind of weird to settle back into that, especially since Kaidoh was never really sure what he planned to do with that degree in the first place.

"Right. That sucks. They should have let you retake it for free." Momoshiro takes a huge chomp from his burger, and chewing slowly. If he's going to get a lot of money from Atobe … then he could give some to Kaidoh as well. Or at least, enough to pay for his college tuition. It's only fair after all, Kaidoh wouldn't get any money at all since he got lost on his own. He was never part of the cruise ship. Right, Kaidoh never accepted the invitation.

"You didn't come on the cruise because of your college, right? Or were you still in Japan when you got that invitation?" Momoshiro can't remember exactly when he got the invitation. Like a month or so before March. He'd been excited to see everyone again (plus he could eat for free on the ship).

Momoshiro sighs and leans his chin on the palm of his hand, the other hand lazily clasping his half eaten burger. "It was really disappointing to know you didn't come. I wanted to see everyone again ..."

"Well, it didn't matter so much whether or not I took the invitation," Kaidoh points out, with a slight smile that, on his face, ends up looking more like a grimace, "since we all ended up in the same place anyway."

"Hmm, I guess so … but then it's like I wanted you to get stranded too, and that's not right." Even if he did wanted to see Kaidoh, see what he was up to, know some details about his life, and maybe punch him in the face.

Momoshiro nudges his knee against Kaidoh again, a smile playing on his lips. "Hey, hey, did you ever thank me for rescuing you? I don't remember it!"

Kaidoh scowls. "That's because you didn't rescue me, dumbass," he argues. He hadn't needed any rescuing! Or well, maybe he had, but his prideful self still refuses to acknowledge that.

"Thank you, Momo-chan, I am eternally in your debt," says Momoshiro in a high voice.

Kaidoh rolls his eyes. "You wish."

"Hmm, it's okay." Momoshiro grins at him again. "I can tell you're thanking me from the bottom of your heart!" Then he sneakily places down his hamburger, and reaches for Kaidoh's hand, which had been resting next to the tray. His eyes shift around a bit to see if no one is looking, then his fingertips brush over the back of Kaidoh's hand, before he simply covers it entirely. He flashes Kaidoh another smile. "You're here with me today, after all."

"Whatever," Kaidoh replies, but he doesn't dispute the fact, and this time his expression resembles more of an actual smile instead of the failed attempt from before.

Even so, he still hesitates a bit before turning his hand just enough that he can squeeze back on Momoshiro's fingers. A small part of him finds this thrilling, but they're still in public, after all, and doing this out in the open, where anyone could see, feels weird to him. He's used to being private, even secretive—hell, when he was younger, he would routinely freak out if someone simply caught him petting a stray cat—and his other habits, running especially, have always been pretty solitary too.

So now he feels kind of nervous, and a little embarrassed, like he's not sure what he's exposing himself to since this feels different than when it's just the two of them in a room with a closed door. He looks up at Momoshiro, feeling his face warm up even more as he does, and then, overwhelmed, he turns his hand over again and slides it out from under Momoshiro's fingers.

Which feels like a mistake as soon as he does it. After only a second, he misses the feeling and his fingers surely do as well. They're kind of hovering awkwardly on the table, like he can't decide whether or not to pull them away completely.

And he finds he doesn't want to do that at all.

He likes being close to Momoshiro, and why should it matter if there are other people in the restaurant? They're not even looking over here, so maybe Kaidoh can allow himself this one tiny indulgence. Because Momoshiro isn't shying away from it, so since Kaidoh isn't some kind of coward, he shouldn't either. It's just holding hands. Although holding hands with Momoshiro has never really felt like something that's "just" anything.

With a soft hiss, Kaidoh acquiesces and slides his hand back, this time not making any attempt to conceal what they're doing, or pass it off as anything but what it is. This time his fingers are deliberate, not pretending to be accidental, as they curl around Momoshiro's own.

They fit together like two puzzle pieces. Momoshiro's entire body warms up at the small action, as if there's this strange current flowing into him from Kaidoh's hand. Well, it's not so strange, and it's definitely not unfamiliar—but the place they're at, in public, is definitely new. He didn't think Kaidoh would reciprocate at all, but he did, so now they're here, hands warmly holding onto each other.

Momoshiro casts his eyes down at their hands, a relaxed expression on his face, with a slight uplift of his lips.

This feels really nice; Momoshiro doesn't want to let go. It's exciting too, and more than a little embarrassing if someone caught them like this, but they're mostly secluded from anyone's view. He softly squeezes his fingers around Kaidoh's, and feels his heart beat faster when Kaidoh returns the same kind of affection. They've certainly come a long way if they can do this without complaint, more or less without Kaidoh complaining at least. Momoshiro has never really shied away from the topic or possibility, even if it had been terrifying at first. But like this, it's not at all terrifying, it feels like how it should be. It simply feels right.

He wonders … if this is simple to do, then would doing other things with Kaidoh be simple as well? It's been on his mind ever since he met up with Kaidoh at his house, and while being able to hold his hand is nice—Momoshiro wants more. Lately all he ever wants to do with Kaidoh is to get every single inch of their bodies touching, and to stay like that without a care in the world. It's a little scary that he's been feeling like this recently, but at the same time, Momoshiro wants to explore all of these things with Kaidoh. All of these feelings that stir up within him when they touch is definitely new territory, but he doesn't shy away from them. Not anymore. Not after what happened during Christmas. He will latch onto these feelings for as long as he can, and therefor, will continue to hold Kaidoh's hands for as long as possible.

But it's not just holding hands that Momoshiro wants. He looks at Kaidoh, his eyes searching for the other's. There's an unmistakable blush on Kaidoh's cheeks, the sight of it making Momoshiro gulp and feel a little embarrassed as well; Kaidoh's newfound expressions have that sort of effect on him. Determined, he keeps looking at Kaidoh, until Kaidoh finally looks at him too.

"Hey Kaidoh, come closer for a second," Momoshiro says as he himself leans his upper body over the table a bit. He keeps a strong hold on Kaidoh's hands so that he can't let go without yanking it free.

Kaidoh blinks. Why ...? Is there something on his face? Well, besides the annoying red warmth flushing his cheeks.

But Momoshiro just keeps smiling pleasantly at him, offering up no explanation, although his fingers squeeze Kaidoh's a little more tightly. In return, Kaidoh's own eyes narrow, like he's suspicious of Momoshiro's motives—maybe he's trying to distract Kaidoh so he can swipe the rest of his hamburger—or just suspicious of the situation, which is definitely a first. Sitting here eating burgers and holding hands with Momoshiro is not something Kaidoh could ever have really anticipated, let alone prepared himself for ... although he may have thought about it once twice, as some kind of far-fetched fantasy.

But as with most things lately, his reluctance doesn't last for long and, for better or worse, he leans in a little, though still regarding Momoshiro somewhat warily.

A little annoyed at Kaidoh's reluctance to do what he asked, Momoshiro narrows his eyes at Kaidoh. What's he so afraid of? That Momoshiro will steal his burger or something? Seeing the little amount that Kaidoh has moved, Momoshiro switches onto the offense.

"You're too slow, idiot," he warns Kaidoh, then yanks on Kaidoh's hand to bring him forward.

Now that Kaidoh is close enough, Momoshiro quickly does what he had wanted to do all day long before Kaidoh can pull back. He presses his lips (or in this case, more or less squashes them) against Kaidoh's. He can feel Kaidoh's surprise, and even feels him wanting to retreat, but after a second he seems to get it, and slowly presses back.

Momoshiro feels like he's dancing on clouds. He pulls back, and sits down normally again, looking at Kaidoh with a bashful and lopsided grin. He's sure his own cheeks are pink as well. But it was worth it.

No one saw that, right?

"D-dumbass," Kaidoh stutters, but doesn't manage to sound the slightest bit annoyed, just shaken up. In fact, that's kind of how his insides feel after that, like they're the contents of a fizzing can of soda. He feels bubbly and weird, and when he looks down at the table and then back up at Momoshiro again, the strangest sound crackles out of his throat. If Kaidoh didn't know by now that giggling is simply not something he does—and he's certainly not about to start anytime soon—he'd almost think that's what the sound was.

He coughs, trying to pass it off as just him clearing his throat instead, because the idea of him making weird involuntary giddy noises because of Momoshiro is embarrassing and beyond stupid. And he's not supposed to be the stupid one here.

Yeah. Momoshiro is the stupid one. So Kaidoh hisses and kicks the toe of his sneaker under the table. Like that's making some kind of point.

Momoshiro hadn't prepared for a reaction such as this, after all, they've done a lot of kissing these past several months, and even things that go beyond kissing, yet Kaidoh is squirming on his seat, making weird noises as if Momoshiro just did an unthinkable thing. As if it had been their first time or something. He's never seen Kaidoh this embarrassed, it's yet another unexplored side of Kaidoh. And while he enjoys seeing Kaidoh's face all red, still holding onto his hand, it seems embarrassment is contagious, because now Momoshiro feels a bit put on the spot; heat rises in his cheeks and spreads to his ears. This is stupid, why is Kaidoh acting like this, and why is Momoshiro reacting to this in such a weird way? He covers his nose and mouth with his free hand, like he's trying to hide his face from Kaidoh.

"Stupid … I j-just didn't have a chance to when I picked you up at your house," Momoshiro says in a shaky stream of air. Why is he suddenly so nervous!? He shouldn't be, and neither should Kaidoh!

It almost seems like … it almost seems as if this is a … date, or something. Momoshiro turns even redder at the thought of it, and he shrinks back into his shoulders, trying desperately to cover up his red face. Is that what Kaidoh thinks this is … ? That they're on a date?

Sure, Momoshiro thought about it before—it is Valentine's Day after all—but don't couples go on dates? They're not … that together, so this is not a date, even if Momoshiro wanted to use this day to be alone with Kaidoh. But that doesn't make it a stupid date! And Kaidoh should stop squirming on the spot already, as it's making Momoshiro feel uncomfortably warm. He almost wants to take out his cellphone and snap a picture of Kaidoh's face to accommodate the memory. Because no matter how embarrassed he gets, seeing this look on Kaidoh, Momoshiro kind of likes it. He kind of really likes it, so he can't get himself to hate his reaction. Even the slightest tremor of their hands—either Kaidoh is shaking, or Momoshiro—he can't help but enjoy it. Yeah, he can't bring himself to hate this part of Kaidoh …

He can't believe that this is so distracting, he doesn't even feel the need to continue eating his delicious burger. Instead, he shakily clasps his fingers tighter around Kaidoh's.

Momoshiro dares to look up at Kaidoh again, swallowing what feels like the biggest burger in his throat, before he manages to speak up again. "Hey, uhm …"

Maybe it's because of Momoshiro's expression, but at that moment Kaidoh feels a weird jolt of electricity pulse through him. It lingers for a second like a low buzz and then stops. He's so nervous that it takes him a moment to realize that it's not anything quite so dramatic—it's just his phone vibrating in his pocket.

He fishes it out with his free hand and flips open the cover to read the message. It's from his brother, and embarrassingly, he's reminding Kaidoh that today's his opportunity to confess. Immediately, Kaidoh's whole face flushes red and, glaring slightly, he slams his phone shut again and stuffs it back into his pocket. His gaze drifts downwards, to the table where he's still holding Momoshiro's hand, and suddenly that seems so weird that he almost wants to pull away. But he doesn't, because doing that would be even weirder.

So for a moment he doesn't really know what to do, and then he decides to pick up his burger again and take a bite, because—and he never thought he'd say this—right now food seems to be the only fitting distraction from this abrupt and unwelcome swirl of nervousness within him.

Sus-pi-scious.

Momoshiro narrows his eyes at Kaidoh, trying to figure out who would text him, other than himself of course. He's pretty sure he knows everyone Kaidoh talks to, and that pool is very small. So who was it then? He doesn't like to be kept in the dark about Kaidoh's interactions with anyone else. What if he could be … texting some other guy.

Wait, that's stupid. Momoshiro shakes his head, trying to clear his moronic thoughts. He eats his hamburger in silence, and even the delicious taste of it isn't enough to distract his stupid thoughts. What's he getting all worked up about? Kaidoh is allowed to have his own life, and text who ever he wants. It's got nothing to do with Momoshiro, nothing at all.

This doesn't stop Momoshiro from squirming in his seat as he leans over the table again, trying to see where Kaidoh stuffed his cellphone.

"Family?" he asks with his eyebrows slightly raised, trying to play it off all cool and nonchalant. "They do know you're … with me, right?" Momoshiro quickly asks afterwards. Everyone should know Kaidoh is going out with Momoshiro.

No, wait, that was phrased really stupidly. Uhh, uhh … they're hanging out—that's it. They're not going out. Hah! Momoshiro shrinks back into his original sitting position, but doesn't let go of Kaidoh's hand either. After all, they're hanging out, and only Momoshiro is allowed to do that with Kaidoh.

Kaidoh glances up and his voice stumbles a bit as he replies, "Uhh … yeah." He doesn't know why he feels so on edge, but his brother's words, and this stupid holiday, and just being in public with Momoshiro like this—even if they're doing things that are far from new—have given him all these fluttering butterflies. "I-it wasn't anything important though," he adds, brushing it off. He wishes he could brush the color off his face just as easily, but that, annoyingly, seems to be staying put for the foreseeable future.

"Good," Momoshiro says with a huff. He looks away from Kaidoh and gobbles up some of his fries, trying to manage it with using only one hand. It's good it's not important. Important things can't happen without him knowing about it. Like, what if Kaidoh had more plans? Plans that didn't involve him? The thought makes him queasy.

Which reminds him, he should probably tell Kaidoh about the plans he has in store for them. Or, well, at least try to. He can't exactly come out and ask him if he wants to go to a love hotel. That's stupid, and embarrassing, and Kaidoh would most likely punch him.

Momoshiro stares at their still intertwined hands, feeling a little bit at ease like this. Knowing Kaidoh is not pulling back. It had been something of a fantasy, this scenario; him and Kaidoh eating burgers in Mos burger. His favourite place on earth, with his favourite food, eating it with his favourite pe—wait. No, this is stupid. They were just fleeting thoughts he had in the back of his mind, that's all. It's not like he was actually looking forward to eat burgers with Kaidoh.

And it's not like he's totally lying right now, not at all.

His palms are getting sweaty the more he thinks about how he's really eating burgers with Kaidoh, he hopes Kaidoh will just think he's the one sweating instead. The thought of eating together with Kaidoh, and actually being fine with it, even if it means he won't score a free handjob out of it, kind of sets him on edge. Like he's actually doing this because he wants to …

Momoshiro sighs.

Fine, he does. But he's not about to tell Kaidoh that.

At least, so long his big mouth won't betray him. "Uhh, Kaidoh," his lips have already formed before he can stop himself. Great, it is betraying him after all. "You free? After. I mean, to be with me. I meantospendmoretimewithme—I told you to keep the day free!" Momoshiro's face flushes a million colours, and his voice changes pitch several times. He can't seem to keep his voice steady, nor to prevent himself from looking like a tomato. And a fool, that too.

If he were Kaidoh right now, he'd hiss from frustration.

Momoshiro's words make Kaidoh's heart race, and the fact that he's nervous getting them out makes Kaidoh feel funny and shivery and pleased for some reason he can't quite pinpoint. Of course, he kept the day free. Momoshiro may not know it—or maybe by now he's beginning to catch on—but Kaidoh always has time for him, and even if he didn't, he'd clear his schedule if it meant getting to be with Momoshiro.

But he'd never say as much. He doesn't know why it seems somehow important to do so, but whenever Momoshiro wants to hang out, Kaidoh always makes a big fuss complaining about how busy he is, and how annoying it is to skip his running, or training, or whatever he was planning to do … even though in reality he's leaping on the inside at the thought of getting to see Momoshiro again. It just seems hard to come right out and say that yes, he can't wait to spend time with Momoshiro too.

So instead of replying with any ounce of enthusiasm, he just says, "Yeah, I guess I'm free," but his small yet genuine smile betrays the impassive tone of his words.

And in turn, Momoshiro can't help but crack into a wide smile as well. "Then I hope you don't mind if I hog you all day long." And night.

Kaidoh huffs back at him. "Moron." No, he doesn't mind at all.

Momoshiro pinches the skin on the back of Kaidoh's hand with his fingers. "Dumbass," he responds before slipping his fingers back into Kaidoh's hand. He could do this all day long, and he certainly hopes he can do it at night too, but asking Kaidoh to spend the night with him as well takes a lot more courage. It is after all, a step they haven't made yet.

They might have spent nights together at the island every day, but when they're back in this world, they'd need a reason to spend the night together.

Momoshiro can't tell what that reason is anymore. Does he want to get off with Kaidoh with no one to bother them, or does he honestly want to spend time with him? To crawl up against him under the blankets, like they did that one time. To wake up and see Kaidoh staring creepily at his face, which still scares him a bit, but he could get used to it. Yeah. He wants to get used to it.

Momoshiro spends the rest of his time gorging himself down with his fast food, and he might have stolen another bite from Kaidoh's hamburger or two (well it is his favourite!). Obviously he's the one who's happily chatting about stuff, as Kaidoh simply stares at him with this funny look, not saying a word. Momoshiro thinks Kaidoh just likes to hear him talk, or see him eat food, or maybe both—or he just doesn't like talking. But despite the fact that his conversation partner is not pulling his weight, Momoshiro feels comfortable either way. That's just how Kaidoh is, and Momoshiro's always got something to say when he's with him. He'll talk for two. Either way, he's happy Kaidoh isn't running off, or getting into a fight with him (though he doesn't mind those too much), or even letting go of his hand.

Yes, they held hands the entire way. Momoshiro still feels the lingering warmth of Kaidoh's hand when they finally do let go, getting ready to leave.

"So, that wasn't so bad right? You should definitely come to Mos Burger with me more often," Momoshiro says in a coy voice, hanging all over Kaidoh as they try to fit through the entrance together at the same time. Momoshiro stubbornly refuses to pry himself off of Kaidoh.

Kaidoh rolls his eyes and once they're out the door, he gives Momoshiro a little shove. "Just because I ate one doesn't mean I want to make a habit out of it," he argues. It also doesn't mean that he doesn't want to either. After all, he wouldn't be coming to Mos Burger for the food, but for the company anyway, so maybe he wouldn't exactly hate it if it were to happen again in the future.

He stuffs his hands into his pockets since it's still kind of chilly outside. When his fingers brush against his phone, Kaidoh feels a little pang of nervousness again, because as much as he'd like to pretend he doesn't care, his brother's "encouragement" did get him thinking a little. Which is stupid, because really, there shouldn't be anything to think about here. They're just … hanging out, right? Sure it's Valentine's Day and they held hands and even kissed but that doesn't mean Kaidoh should be expected to say anything at all about his feelings for Momoshiro. His lips curl into a scowl. Gross. Just calling them that—"his feelings"—makes him sound like a total idiot.

When they reach Momoshiro's bike, Kaidoh decides to distract his mind from such dumb things, by asking, "So where'd you wanna go now?" He eyes Momoshiro with a bit of skepticism as he adds, "… Not more food, right?"

After unlocking his bike, Momoshiro shakes his head. "No, I think you'll like this one. We did make a promise after all," he teases. He wonders if Kaidoh even remembers talking about it. Then again, that conversation happened when … well, a certain other Valentine's Day was brought up. It makes Momoshiro's hands feel sweaty despite the chilly wind outside.

Momoshiro positions himself on his bike and waits for Kaidoh to get on too. It might not look like it, but he's actually enjoying the fact that Kaidoh's going along with it, that he will hold onto Momoshiro as they ride together to their destination (but he won't admit that it was some kind of fantasy … maybe). Like he's kind of taking care of Kaidoh, and while that wording sounds disgusting, Momoshiro doesn't seem to hate the thought at all. Taking care of Kaidoh sounds like something fun instead, it feels good to have Kaidoh rely on him for something. Surprising Kaidoh with a cat cafe also sounds like a lot of fun.

It's getting hard to deny that Momoshiro has fun with Kaidoh regardless of what they actually end up doing. In fact, he can't think of a single thing he'd hate doing with Kaidoh. Not one. Not even going jogging for his stupid training.

No, mostly he just wants to see the look on Kaidoh's face when he's happy. Even if it's just a small smile, Momoshiro will take it. It makes him feel happy as well, like a chain reaction. After all, getting Kaidoh to smile is quite a feat. Though lately, Momoshiro does spot him looking amused every once in a while. Then again, lately Momoshiro has been discovering all kinds of sides of Kaidoh, and yeah, maybe he'd like to see more of it.

And Kaidoh actually is feeling pretty happy right now. Nervous too, but at least for now there's enough good feelings to outweigh that.

It doesn't feel weird at all to rest his hands on Momoshiro's waist for balance. He doesn't even hesitate this time, and his fingers curl against Momoshiro's jacket more than is probably necessary, but it's still ordinary enough to be something only the two of them would ever read any meaning into. Kaidoh isn't exactly sure why there needs to be any meaning to it, or what that meaning would even be, but everything does feel kind of different right now. It's not the way things were on the island, where they were together all the time because they shared a shelter and it was sort of unavoidable. This isn't like the way they are in private either, especially lately, when Kaidoh feels constantly guarded, worried about his or Momoshiro's parents finding out. This just feels free and easy and they're both here because they want to be, and not because of circumstances or hormones or whatever else.

Of course, that also makes all of it a little more difficult to explain, but Kaidoh can't really complain right now, and as long as he doesn't try to think about it too much, he thinks he'll be fine with it. Why shouldn't he be? Why should he question this? It's something he wants, after all, and since Momoshiro didn't tell him to get lost as soon as they finished their food, Kaidoh thinks maybe it's something Momoshiro wants as well.

Before Momoshiro takes off, he releases the handlebars and reaches for Kaidoh's hands that are wrapped around his waist. He covers them with his own hands, smiling pleasantly at it, even if Kaidoh can't see.

"You should put them in my pockets, it's a longer ride so it'll be cold," says Momoshiro as he curls his fingers around Kaidoh's hands to move them into his own pockets. He can feel Kaidoh's hands gripping him tighter again on the inside of his pocket, and it's giving him this sugar rush, boosting him with enough energy to make it all the way to the cat cafe without a single complaint about the cold. He completely forgets that he also kept his box of chocolates in his right pocket, so is blissfully unaware that Kaidoh might find out.

Positioning his hands back on the handlebars, Momoshiro finally starts pedaling, with Kaidoh shuffling closer to his back. At least the cold of the winter is a nice mask for his rosy cheeks this time. Kaidoh better like this cat cafe, Momoshiro spent some time looking online for the perfect one. Or well, for the one with the most cats that was affordable still (he doesn't earn that much at the toy store). He found one which had 40 different cats; it's like being attacked by a kitty avalanche. They can spend the day there until it's time to uhh … get 'lost' on a sketchy street, and take refuge in a love hotel.

When they've been riding for ten minutes already, and stop at a traffic light, Momoshiro takes the time to take his left hand off the handle and stuff it into his pocket. His fingertips graze Kaidoh's warm skin, until he grabs it entirely, half wanting to warm up a little bit, and half wanting to hold Kaidoh's hand where no one can see them. He smirks at his own cleverness.

Momoshiro looks over his shoulder, only managing to see some of Kaidoh's bandana. "Just another ten minutes, and we'll be there." If Kaidoh keeps him warm like this, then surely he'll be able to make it without getting frostbite.

"As long as you know where we're going ..." Kaidoh grumbles back, in a typically irritated tone, like riding around on the back of Momoshiro's bike is some kind of hardship for him. It isn't really, and the way he squeezes back on Momoshiro's hand says as much.

When the light changes and they start moving again, Kaidoh lets go so Momoshiro can use his hand to steer. In its absence, Kaidoh allows himself to shift a little closer, pressed up against Momoshiro's back, in a way he can easily argue as inevitable—there isn't a ton of room on the bike rack for him to move around after all. He can smell Momoshiro's hair and see the way the tips of it fall back behind his ears against the skin of his neck. He doesn't have to steal glances at him, it's all just right in front of him, all up close.

He wonders what Momoshiro would say if he knew how much Kaidoh was staring, how much he's enjoying this simple proximity. It's a little embarrassing, like he's doing something sneaky, but Momoshiro isn't stopping him or telling him to back off. Everything he's done so far suggests the opposite, that Kaidoh is welcome to be as close as he likes, which feels like a strange and foreign invitation when they're in public like this, the bike weaving along the street, past cars and other pedestrians. But the thought of the other people around them doesn't bother Kaidoh. In fact, he's ignoring them, caught up in the moment with Momoshiro like they're the only ones here. That's potentially a little dangerous, like Kaidoh might be letting his guard down, and Kaidoh doesn't like feeling like he's not in control of his own actions, but that's been happening more and more. It's not really something he can stop.

His fingers crunch against the warm lining of Momoshiro's jacket pockets. No, he can't seem to stop doing this. His hands feel a little crowded in there—Momoshiro sure carries around a lot of crap—but, as seems to be the case more and more lately, Kaidoh doesn't seize the opportunity to give Momoshiro a hard time about it.

It might be cold outside, but Momoshiro feels pretty warm inside regardless, it's like a dream come true. Sort of. It sounds mushy and stupid, but yes, Momoshiro had been looking forward to this. And judging by how close Kaidoh seems to sit, with his hands stuffed in the pockets of his jacket, Kaidoh is enjoying this too. Or at least, he doesn't seem to object. When they're outside like this, it feels like they need to hide what they do, but on the flipside, it also feels like they're free to do whatever they want because those people are strangers. They don't know them, so who cares if they see them like this? Besides, they're zooming right past them, so Momoshiro can do whatever he likes. And right now, that's to ride his bike with Kaidoh on the back.

But the ten minutes are up quite fast, and Momoshiro rolls into the street with the cat cafe. He hopes Kaidoh won't notice it straight away, since he'd like to keep it a surprise so he can see his happy face when he realizes what it is.

"Okay, we're here," Momoshiro announces as he slows down the bike. He eventually comes to a halt and jumps off, Kaidoh getting off as well. He parks it against another pole and locks it. His hands are pretty freezing right now, so he blows hot air into them. But it should be warm inside.

Then he gets an idea as he stands up straight to look at Kaidoh and spots his bandana. "Hey. Close your eyes, you can't see what's inside yet until I tell you to," he boasts with a confident grin.

Kaidoh gives Momoshiro a slightly suspicious look. A few months ago, the suggestion would have gotten an immediate "Hell no, idiot" as a response, because, as a rule, he's never really liked surprises. He likes when things are solid and concrete and don't sneak up on him, or so he always thought. But sometimes when he's with Momoshiro he wonders if he's really the way he thought he was at all, because Momoshiro seems to bring out this weird other side of himself, one that's much more tolerant of spontaneity, and maybe even likes it a little.

"Fine," he grumbles, giving Momoshiro a final warning look—as if to say, This had better not be anything terrible or I'll punch you—before closing his eyes. The logical part of himself isn't quite sure that he should be trusting Momoshiro of all people to lead him around blind. Somehow, the rest of him is feeling totally illogical, and just pleasantly jittery instead.

"Uhh …" Instead of taking him by the arm and leading him towards the door, Momoshiro ends up staring at Kaidoh's face instead.

Momoshiro can see the usual tension in Kaidoh's face, right at his eyebrows and the way he's lowering them as if to glare without using his eyes. Even his jaw is clenched tight, probably preparing himself for anything funny Momoshiro might have had in mind (maybe he might have wanted to a little ...). But other than that, he's obediently following Momoshiro's orders, and that rarely ever happens. And now that Kaidoh's got his eyes closed, Momoshiro feels he's like he's free to stare at his face as much as he wants.

And the longer he stares at Kaidoh's face, the more he wants to touch it. To kiss it. Suddenly Momoshiro's entire body is telling itself to lean forward and kiss him right there. But they're out in public, and they're not zooming by people because they're riding a bike. Right now, if anyone saw them, they might actually recognize them (the news did make them a bit popular). So he stands there for a few long seconds, shifting his weight on his feet, trying to make up his mind whether or not to kiss Kaidoh, or to push him into the cat cafe.

Momoshiro sees Kaidoh is getting impatient of waiting, and right before he opens his lips to complain, Momoshiro quickly dives in and sloppily presses his cold lips against Kaidoh's. They feel a lot warmer than his, and his entire body shivers at the contact. He hastily pulls back, cheeks flushed with red and his eyes scanning the area looking for people who might have seen them. So he quickly hooks his arm around Kaidoh's—not giving him any chance to protest the kiss—and he pulls him forward to the big tall windows of the cafe.

"Right this way ... haha ... hah …" Momoshiro's voice sounds stuttery and nervous, but that's because he feels like it. Like they might have been caught because of his stupid impulse to suddenly kiss Kaidoh. He's gotta get that urge under control!

Somehow Kaidoh manages to keep his eyes closed as they walk into the cafe, even though the rest of his face is reacting like he's been struck with a sudden sunburn in the middle of February.

He has to fight the urge to step on Momoshiro's foot, because a little warning would have been nice, especially when they were out on the street where anyone could see them! But he doesn't, because he still has his eyes closed—unsure why he's still going along with this stupid idea—and if he tried to do anything right now he might miss and that would be annoying.

But luckily, any anxiety or embarrassment he was feeling wears off as soon as Momoshiro pulls open a second door and Kaidoh hears a sound of what could only be a cat.

Actually, it sounds like a whole bunch of cats.

Unable to stop himself, his eyes blink open and immediately widen as he takes in the scene in front of him. There are dozens of cats in the cafe; cute little kittens and giant fluffy monsters, cats of every different kind and color imaginable, and they're all just lounging around waiting for attention or walking around and plaintively demanding it.

It's like nothing Kaidoh's ever seen, and he's mesmerized. His insides feel like they've been dipped in cotton candy. He leans a little into Momoshiro's side and murmurs to him, "There are so many …" because he doesn't really know what else to say to express his amazement.

"Yes I know, I tried to look for one who had a lot of them, and this was the chea—err—closest to us," says Momoshiro with a slight chuckle.

Taking a second longer before Momoshiro shrugs Kaidoh off of him, he starts to take off his shoes and jacket, motioning for Kaidoh to do the same. And he does, in a seemingly speedy manner; he must be excited. When they're done, Momoshiro stands up to head to the counter. "Now go, do whatever you do best, I'm gonna go pay for two hours, so you better enjoy this." Not that Kaidoh will be the only one to enjoy this …

When Momoshiro takes his wallet out of the pocket of his coat, he remembers the Valentine's chocolates. Right, he needs to give that to Kaidoh sometime … maybe when Kaidoh is not getting so distracted by a black cat who is circling his legs, tail upright and happily twitching. He quickly takes it out of his pocket anyway, and puts it in his bag instead, in case he wants to give it to Kaidoh in the cafe itself.

Though the thought of giving Kaidoh chocolates on Valentine's day kind of gives him creepy jitters in his stomach that won't calm down. He did it once before, so he should be able to do it again, right? Well, the first time he did it, it was meant to be a joke, because no one in their right mind would ever give Kaidoh chocolate on Valentine's day, and Momoshiro was giving him some to make fun of him. Yet here he is; chocolates hidden in his bag, and it's meant for that stupid grumpy snake. Though at the moment he's looking nothing like his usual grumpy self, but instead awed at his surroundings, eyes sparkling at the cat near his feet, and trying to pet it like a naive eight year old kid who has never seen a cat before.

Momoshiro's heart melts into a puddle. He knew this was the best place to go today.

He smiles and leaves an awestruck Kaidoh alone, like he's standing in a battlefield full of mine kitties, just waiting to explode and run towards him. There's a few other people in the cafe, sitting at tables drinking beverages, petting cats that are resting on their laps, but otherwise it's pretty empty looking. Perhaps most people are out eating dinner in restaurants instead today. A cat cafe is not exactly the place to be to have a date.

Not that this is a date.

Definitely not.

Momoshiro makes his way over to the counter—avoiding a bunch of cats on the way—and pays the clerk the money, while looking over his shoulder to see what Kaidoh is doing. He's still just standing there, with this really dazed look on his face. It's rather endearing that he doesn't know what to do, or most likely, doesn't know which cat to start petting next. He smiles at the sight, feeling all pleasant inside. Yes, the cat cafe was a good idea. A brilliant one even.

A sudden tiny mew alerts Momoshiro that there's a cat rubbing up against the cuff of his pants. He looks down and laughs; it's a tiny white furball. Couldn't be much older than a month or two. The kitten is very fuzzy with hair, and is scratching at his pants, as if Momoshiro is standing in its way or something. So he moves, but only to scoop up the small kitten and hugs it against his chest.

"Please do not pick up the cats," warns the clerk behind the counter, and in his hand is a small flyer of rules he's offering to Momoshiro.

"Oh, right." Momoshiro feels embarrassed and gently places the kitten down. Right, there are rules in the cat cafe after all. He takes the flyer and mumbles an apology, before deciding to go back to Kaidoh, and see if he hasn't died from fluff overload already.

"Hey uhm," Momoshiro starts as he gets closer to Kaidoh. "Don't pick up the cats, it's one of the rules here, or something." He doesn't say that the clerk scolded him for doing it in the first place, he knows Kaidoh would scold him as well. He hands Kaidoh the flyer—he can read them instead. "Here."

That snaps Kaidoh out of his daze a little bit and he looks bashfully back at Momoshiro. "Well yeah, obviously. I wasn't planning to," he protests, even though it's a little bit of a lie. The impulse is kind of hard to resist when they're all so cute. He's never been surrounded by so many cats before, especially not ones that are this outgoing. A lot of the strays he runs by on the street dash off into the nearest bush whenever he tries to get close to them, but these cats are so friendly it's kind of taking him by surprise.

He's not going to admit it out loud, but he's pretty happy that Momoshiro decided to bring him here. It's really … thoughtful of him, which is a strange way to be describing Momoshiro, since most of the time he just likes doing things because he likes them, or to get a rise out of Kaidoh, or to piss him off or tease him, but he doesn't seem to have any annoying reason for doing this. It's like he just knew it was something Kaidoh would like, and that makes Kaidoh feel really warm and good.

He shuffles forward, the little black cat trailing along behind him, nuzzling at his ankles as he moves. He can feel his mouth tugging a little into an uncontrollable smile as it does—he can't help it, it kind of tickles.

"We could find somewhere to sit, I guess," he suggests, looking around at the empty chairs and sofas. Some are already occupied by sleeping cats, a sight that makes Kaidoh's face warm up even more. It really feels like he's in a dream right now. In fact, he's definitely had dreams like this in the past. Having Momoshiro here, real and solid and not even immediately mocking the way Kaidoh can't seem to stop staring wide-eyed at everything, makes the situation feel even more surreal, and it's weird, but there's something really nice about it too.

"Sounds good, my legs are killing me," Momoshiro complains. Not that Kaidoh is really heavy or something, he just likes to tease him either way. Momoshiro starts walking towards a sofa—he'd like to be able to sit next to Kaidoh this time—and after scaring a cat awake who then ran off to make way for Momoshiro, he sits down with a satisfied smirk. Kaidoh sits next to him, fidgety as if he wants to play with all the cats in the room. Kaidoh's good mood is infectious, and Momoshiro keeps smiling as well.

"So you really don't remember?" he asks Kaidoh. "About our conversation. Come on, you gotta remember, it's when you told me that you gave me—uh, well, it was when we were on the island. Talked about visiting cat cafes when we'd be back home …so yeah … here we are."

"Oh yeah," Kaidoh recalls. "I guess we did." That conversation seemed like such a long time ago that he never really thought it would actually happen. They talked about all kinds of stuff back then, and at the time Kaidoh figured once they were off the island they'd probably part ways again and Momoshiro would forget about it. Well, obviously that didn't happen, much to Kaidoh's relief. Now he can't even imagine them being apart.

A fluffy tabby cat jumps up onto the sofa next to Kaidoh and starts climbing over his lap, onto Momoshiro's, and then back again, kneading at the sofa cushion and Kaidoh's arm. Kaidoh pets it tentatively at first, like he's still worried he might scare it off, but then loosens up and smiles a little more when the cat starts purring affectionately.

"It's weird that you remembered," he says, since it's too hard to say he's glad that Momoshiro did. "But uh, this is cool."

Momoshiro laughs, before he reaches over to Kaidoh's side and pinches his cheek. It's something he probably won't ever stop doing. "You're welcome," he says, knowing Kaidoh won't ever say thank you out loud in front of him. Well, maybe not anytime soon.

"And you're stupid," Kaidoh grumbles back, but he doesn't really look like he means it. It's hard to be all that grouchy when he's got a lapful of contented cat.

And Momoshiro feels like it's hard not to laugh like he's really happy, because that's how he feels right now. Simply at ease sitting here with Kaidoh, petting cats. He scoots closer to Kaidoh, until their thighs are pressed up against one another, and he stretches out his hand to start petting the very eager cat, who has settled down on Kaidoh's lap, kneading its paws into his thigh. When Momoshiro's hand brushes against Kaidoh's on accident he doesn't pull away, nor flinch—like he might have done so several years ago. Instead he simply looks up at Kaidoh and smiles at him, letting his fingers linger on top of Kaidoh's hand deliberately. To the others in the cafe, this might look like they were petting the same cat, but he and Kaidoh know different. It's no accident, and in fact, nothing has been an accident anymore after the day in the karaoke room.

Everything they do together right now is because they choose to, because they want to, out of their own free will they will do things like this. The reason why, Momoshiro isn't exactly sure of, but he does know he wants to, he wants to do all these things with Kaidoh, like kissing him whenever he feels like it, hold his hand and smile at him, or see his happy face as he pets a cat.

He might even like this more than eating that delicious burger a little while ago.

Well, maybe just a little.

"They've got kittens too," Momoshiro says. He won't tell Kaidoh he picked one up though. "Little white furballs. Makes you want to take one home and keep it, haha." Momoshiro's hand runs up the cat's spine, until his fingers connect with Kaidoh's again and he lingers to savour the good feeling he gets from it.

"That would be nice," Kaidoh muses, and tries to imagine it, having one of these cats for his very own, getting to see it whenever he likes and pet it as much as he wants. He'd like that. "Too bad my parents would never allow one in our house." He scratches the cat behind its ears and it flexes its front paws approvingly. "But maybe that's why these cafes exist."

Momoshiro pushes his knuckles into Kaidoh's arm. "Yeah, built especially for people obsessed with cats," he says with a snort.

"Dumbass, I'm not obsessed," Kaidoh argues, his cheeks heating up furiously. Okay, maybe the current situation is not really helping his case much, but he isn't! Saying he's obsessed with cats makes him sound super lame, and Kaidoh isn't lame. He just thinks they're really cute, and really cool, and wants to pet every one he sees. That's normal.

He hisses out air and it startles the cat in his lap a little, which in turn makes Kaidoh hiss again. "I just like them …" he says weakly.

It's always so much fun to tease Kaidoh. Momoshiro can't help himself, it's always been like this, starting from the day they met. But lately, Kaidoh's reactions are much more … well, for lack of any better word, cute? Sort of. Maybe. He gets all bashful and annoyed, and Momoshiro enjoys seeing him squirm around like that. He's happy he managed to convince Kaidoh to come with him on this day without much fuss. It seemed like an impossible task half a year ago, but right now, Momoshiro seems to convince Kaidoh (or maybe trick him into things) quite easily. He doesn't put up much of a fight anymore, or should he say, he pretends to put up a fight. Kaidoh's nonchalant and grouchy reactions are so transparent to him.

Momoshiro raises his hand to lift it above Kaidoh's head to pat him twice on his bandana. "You're allowed to like 'em," he says in an amused voice. He drops his hand until it brushes the hair on Kaidoh's neck, and then rests it on his shoulder, feeling quite comfortable in this position.

"I'd want one, for my apartment. If I'm ever going to get enough money to move out again, that is. Maybe two even, they need a buddy to play with, right? It shouldn't be too hard to take care of a cat, I hear they're fine when you leave them alone. Dogs just bark all day long until you return, they're helpless like that. Cats would probably be sleeping away somewhere, not caring you left them alone. Yeah, I think that'd be easier to take care of. Plus they're fun, just look at this one on your lap—hah it's purring!" Momoshiro scratches the cat's back and it raises its tail in response.

Yes, he would like to have one, too. Kaidoh would probably want one more though, Momoshiro isn't that obsessed with getting a pet. But it would be nice. What would be nicer is if he had a place to live at, alone. Only then can he get a pet. And only then will he and Kaidoh have some privacy together, love hotels notwithstanding.

"Yeah," Kaidoh agrees, with a small smile. "The ones here are so friendly." He's surprised this one hasn't jumped off his lap by now. Well, he reminds himself, most of the cats he's had experience with were just strays out on the streets. They're bound to be more skittish and wary of people. Kaidoh's relieved that none of the cats in this cafe seem to have that problem. In fact, it's kind of the exact opposite. These cats seem to be loving all the attention they're getting. If Kaidoh had known that this was how these places were, he might have tried going to one sooner. Or maybe not, since who else would he have gone with? And it definitely would have felt too weird to go hang out in one on his own.

At any rate, Kaidoh is glad that it's Momoshiro here with him right now. To be honest, he can say that about just about any place; it's better when Momoshiro's there too. He tilts his head a little so he can look over at him, and then his smile broadens ever so slightly as he notices a little black kitten sneaking up behind Momoshiro's shoulder. He's never had to do so little work to get cats to come to him before.

Cute, Momoshiro thinks.

Momoshiro mistakes Kaidoh's gaze as staring at him, and he's smiling! It's not a full blown smile like Momoshiro does so effortlessly, but a smile nonetheless—Kaidoh's been showing a lot of different expressions today. He can feel his stomach doing flip flops the longer he sees Kaidoh staring at him with that cute little smile of his. It makes Momoshiro want to hug and squeeze him to death. His fingers are already itching to move, and the muscles in his arm are already getting tighter just so he can hold Kaidoh close to him.

But just as he's about to scoot closer in glee, something scares the crap out of him as it lands on his shoulders.

"Whoa—where'd that come from?" Momoshiro exclaims in a startled voice. He cranes his neck to see what attacked him, and sees a small black kitten, standing proudly on his shoulders, and meowing right into his ear.

Momoshiro chuckles. "Geez, they really just jump right onto you, huh?" He lifts his hand to pet the cat's head, and it nuzzles against the palm of his hand. Alright, this cat is cute too.

Then the small black kitten decides it's time to scratch at Momoshiro's nose for no reason at all. He yelps and withdraws in pain, knocking into Kaidoh next to him, which causes the other cat to flee from Kaidoh's lap. The kitten uses its nails to hook into Momoshiro's hair and climb on top of his head, with Momoshiro wincing in pain.

"Ow, ow, Kaidoh help me get this one off for a second, those nails hurt!" Momoshiro huffs and tries to reach for the kitten, but simply gets swatted away with its paw. Then it starts to knead right on his head! Okay, he takes it back; this kitten is not cute.

Kaidoh can't help but snort, because it's pretty funny the way the tiny cat is attacking Momoshiro's head like it's a ball of yarn, and Momoshiro, the idiot, seems helpless to defend himself against the onslaught.

"See, the cat knows you're a moron too," he points out, amused. But then Kaidoh gives in and decides to help out after all, and reaches over to try and pry its paws away. It doesn't work out quite as planned, but the kitten is distracted enough by Kaidoh's intrusion that it loosens its hold on the Momoshiro's head and starts swatting at Kaidoh's fingers instead, before leaping onto Kaidoh's wrist.

Ouch.

Momoshiro wasn't lying about the nails hurting. Its claws are really sharp for such a tiny, and harmless looking animal. It takes a little maneuvering, and Kaidoh pulls several faces ranging from discomfort to outright distress as the kitten digs its nails in, but eventually it seems to lose interest in making a scratching post out of Kaidoh's forearm and lets go, strutting off to explore a nearby jingly mouse toy instead.

Maybe it's possible, Kaidoh thinks, for a cat to be too friendly.

Momoshiro's hair is disheveled, and his red nose stings. He huffs, then points at the little devil on the floor. "If you're ever getting a cat, don't get that one."

Then he notices the red mark on his index finger; the cat really did scratch him to make him bleed. Momoshiro groans and examines his precious finger. "Little devil," he mumbles as he hugs his finger to his chest. "How are your battlewounds?" he asks, looking over at Kaidoh.

Kaidoh turns his arm over to survey the damage. There are red streaks along his wrist, tracing almost to his elbow. It looks like someone's raked a fork up his arm.

"It's fine," he says, dismissively, even though they kind of sting. Whatever, he's not going to act all wimpy over a cat scratch, especially since the cat in question is now looking so adorably innocent and oblivious that Kaidoh can't help but forgive it. "And you'll be fine too, dumbass," he adds. "But if it's really that bad, I'm sure the staff have bandages or something."

"Yeah, because it looks like you really need it," says Momoshiro with a laugh. He pokes the damaged area on Kaidoh's arm, awaiting his reaction.

Kaidoh flinches and his mouth pulls into a grimace and then a scowl. "Asshole," he hisses. "Cut that out."

Momoshiro simply smiles at him, with this smug and satisfied face. "Should I ask for some, then?" He wonders if these cats are healthy, and if they won't give them any weird mutation disease from scratching them. What if that's how zombies are created? He shakes his head; it's a cat cafe, not a zombie cafe.

Kaidoh glares. "I said I'm fine," he protests, unwilling to admit that something as tiny as a kitten might have hurt him.

"Well I guess if Kaoru-chan said so, I better hurry up and get a first-aid kit from the clerk then!" Momoshiro promptly gets up, giggling and skipping away from Kaidoh before he can retaliate against him. He almost ends up tripping over a cat that ran right by him, but manages to catch himself in time, and stumble over to the counter.

As he asks the clerk for a first-aid kit, he looks over his shoulder to see Kaidoh glaring at him. He shoots him a very dashingly handsome smile in return.

Just like with the little kitten, Kaidoh finds it hard to stay grumpy at Momoshiro when he looks like that, but he's trying to make a point here, which is that he doesn't need any stupid bandages because he's not some weakling. They're just cat scratches, even though a couple of them do look kind of deep and they sting when his arm brushes against the sofa. But he's not going to let anyone know that a cat got the best of him.

So he just narrows his eyes back at Momoshiro. That is, until the clerk up at the counter glances up and over at him and, Kaidoh, not wanting to look like he's glaring at her, immediately drops his gaze and pretends he's been looking at cats all along.

Before taking the entire box with him to Kaidoh, to 'nurse' him (Kaidoh's gonna hit him for that one), Momoshiro quickly wraps his own finger with a very colourful band-aid with kitty faces on it. Well. He'll switch it when he's at home, or something. Or just walk around with his hands stuffed in his pockets all the time. He has to assure the clerk that yes, he didn't try to pick up another cat, when inquired about the scratches. He's not that dumb.

He thinks.

Momoshiro likes to think he's not. Though Kaidoh would certainly disagree.

"Okay, would you rather I plaster twenty different band-aids on your arm, or do you prefer to be wrapped like a mummy?" Momoshiro asks as he sits down next to Kaidoh again, kit in hand.

"I would rather you did neither," Kaidoh grumbles, even though he knows it's pretty futile to try and protest Momoshiro when he's on a mission. The mission being, apparently, to embarrass Kaidoh as much as possible. "The scratches really aren't that bad," he tries, hoping that maybe he sounds a little bit convincing. Well, by Kaidoh's standards anyway, it's true enough. They aren't that bad at all. He's had worse scrapes and bruises from scuffles with Momoshiro in the past, and it wasn't like he'd offered him bandages afterwards. Kaidoh would have punched him if he tried.

"You could get rabies," Momoshiro jokes. He gets out a few cotton swabs so he can clean it at least, so the scratches don't get infected for real. That'd be stupid. Another orange cat jumps up on the sofa, and sits on Momoshiro's lap, staring at the first-aid kit with curiosity, then its eyes are fixated on the cotton swab in Momoshiro's hand. He hopes he doesn't think it's a toy.

"Come on, I'm wearing a stupid kitten band-aid, so join my embarrassment," says Momoshiro with a laugh. He reaches for Kaidoh's hand to grab it, so he can clean the small wounds.

"I'm not going to get rabies," Kaidoh huffs, but acquiesces and doesn't put up a fight when Momoshiro takes his hand. He tells himself this is just because he's trying to pick his battles, and fighting with Momoshiro over band-aids in the middle of a cafe crowded with purring and meowing cats is really not the place for one. That, and maybe Kaidoh doesn't hate Momoshiro fussing over him as much as he lets on. Which is to say, it's not his least favorite thing in the world or anything.

The orange cat transfers from Momoshiro's lap to Kaidoh's lap, feeling more content over there as it curls up into a small ball, purring loudly. Momoshiro smiles as he sees Kaidoh's face transform from a grouchy one, to a more neutral one. He can't seem to resist cats for very long, it's kind of funny. He tries to keep himself focused on tending to Kaidoh's 'wounds', cleaning it as efficiently as he can, and eventually slapping a bunch of band-aids on it before Kaidoh can complain. When Momoshiro's finished, there's four colourful band-aids adorning Kaidoh's arm, positioned at the worst scratches. He did quite a good job, even if he does say so himself.

"Done," Momoshiro exclaims. "And don't rip them off right away," he warns Kaidoh.

Momoshiro quietly puts everything back into the small white box, wondering if one of the cats stole a bunch of bandages or something to play with. Speaking of toys, there should be a few in the cafe. One of the other customers was playing with a feather like thing, so there must be some around. He closes the first-aid kit and brings it back to the counter, leaving Kaidoh alone with his kitty band-aids. Before returning, he scouts the area for any kind of toy, and spots one on a very large scratching pole; it's a fishing pole. Or at least, Momoshiro thinks it's one. It's a black thin stick, and at the end is a gold fish hanging off a small rope. Great, Kaidoh can go fishing with the cats, he'd like that. Happily he retrieves it from a sleeping cat who was holding it hostage—careful not to wake up the cat, lest he be scolded again—and returns back to Kaidoh, stick in hand, and a smile gracing his face.

Despite the sting on his finger, Momoshiro is actually enjoying his time here with Kaidoh. "Look what I got," he says as he dangles the goldfish in front of Kaidoh's face. The orange cat's ears immediately perk up.

Kaidoh feels like swatting the fish out of his face, because it's annoying. But luckily the cat in his lap seems to have similar feelings, because a second later it leaps up and tugs the fish between its teeth, and wraps both its front paws around it as it pulls it down into Kaidoh's lap. That's when the toy stops being annoying, because it's hard for Kaidoh to find it anything but totally adorable the way the cat guards the fish territorially, not wanting to relinquish its hold on it.

"I think he likes it," Kaidoh says, and strokes the cat behind its ears, like he's praising it for its expert hunting skills.

Whatever the cat seems to like, Kaidoh seems to like it more, Momoshiro thinks. He's getting a bit moodswingy now, looking annoyed one second, and melting into a puddle the next. Momoshiro feels a bit jealous how these cats can effortlessly bring forth a smile on Kaidoh's face, while he has to work overtime to even get a neutral face. It's not fair! Does he need to cuddle up on Kaidoh's lap to get the same reaction?

Ew, gross, he's not some stupid cat.

But he wouldn't mind sitting in Kaidoh's lap …

But that's still gross.

Momoshiro passes the stick to Kaidoh. "Here, you can play with it, it seems to like you very much." He sits down next to Kaidoh once more, scooting up close to him so that he can stroke the cat's fur with a pleasant smile. This cat is a lot better than that devil that gave him and Momoshiro scratches. He eyes the band-aids on Kaidoh's arm, looking all happy and colourful, and is tempted to laugh at him for not tearing it off already. He's surprised Kaidoh didn't punch him at the mere suggestion of it.

Then again, doesn't Kaidoh seem like the kind of person to carry around band-aids with him anyway? Just like that stupid sewing kit that Momoshiro discovered. He pushes his arm up against Kaidoh to get his attention (he seems to be digging that stick). "Hey, don't you carry that stuff with you? The band-aids, I mean. In case of emergencies or whatever."

"Not all the time," Kaidoh mutters. Or at least, he doesn't have any on him at the moment. Sure, he usually brings some when he goes running, in case of blisters, and has a small first aid kit he used to take with him to school. But that's just being prepared.

He hisses. "And anyway, so what if I do?" he argues, in a tone like he thinks Momoshiro's making some kind of accusation or trying to start something.

"Nothing. Just thought it'd be useful right now." Momoshiro smiles as he leans closer to the side of Kaidoh's head, getting all cozy with him despite all the people around them. "Why, did you think I was going to call you a girl?" he muses.

Kaidoh elbows Momoshiro in the arm. "Well, it wouldn't be the first time you said something stupid like that."

Momoshiro laughs; he's said it plenty of times before indeed. But it's fun to tease Kaidoh about it. He gets all up in arms, and starts getting super defensive and eventually they're in another stupid fight. It's hard to resist the temptation, Momoshiro simply likes getting Kaidoh to fight with him. It's a really stupid constant he's relied on for years. It's a comfortable area to be in, because no matter how much they fight, they don't hate each other. However, right now, he feels like relaxing, because this is nice too, so he doesn't take the bait.

"I'm not saying it right now though," says Momoshiro. After all, Momoshiro is on his best behaviour today. He's gotta convince Kaidoh to spend the night with him after all, and something tells him that's not the way to do when he's throwing insults at him.

Instead, it's better if he makes Kaidoh happy. Then slip the chocolates to him when he's in a good mood, and offer him to spend the night together.

Easier said than done; Momoshiro feels kind of weird about the whole thing, and he'd rather not get rejected and embarrassed by Kaidoh. That'd be stupid. Besides, Kaidoh's gotta want it too on some level, right? Alone time, just the two of them … not being surrounded by cats.

"Hey Kaidoh, how are those shoes I gave to you? Do you run with them?" Momoshiro asks instead, wanting to remind Kaidoh that he gave him a christmas present, and Momoshiro didn't get anything, and that's blackmail enough to go to a love hotel with him.

Or at least, it should be.

"Yeah," Kaidoh says, and for a moment he's too distracted by the cat to say more. Or rather, the cat is a convenient distraction because Kaidoh's still a little embarrassed that Momoshiro gave him them in the first place. Receiving gifts is not really something he's used to and he doesn't know what he's supposed to do about it. Say something nice, he guesses.

"I like them," he continues, but before it sounds like he has some weird sentimental attachment to them, he clarifies, "because the traction and support in the soles is really good and they're a lot better than my old ones."

"Obviously they're better, they were rather expensive," Momoshiro says as he remembers how much that hurt his wallet. But he's glad to hear Kaidoh's been using them at least. So he didn't throw them after that stupid fight after all.

Another cat—a silver tabby—jumps up on the sofa and demands Momoshiro's attention by meowing and pawing at his pants. He can't help but cave and start petting the cat's head, and scratching its chin. This one's a lot cuter than the other one, and Momoshiro giggles a little as he play with it, temporarily forgetting he needs to butter up Kaidoh and invite him over. The chocolates are still stored away in his bag.

Speaking of chocolates; won't Kaidoh give him some, too? Back then, in middle school, he had given Momoshiro chocolates before (not that he knew about this, not until almost six years later), because he liked him and all.

So …

Momoshiro glances over at Kaidoh, his hands stilling on the cat's fur.

Won't he get some this year as well?

Not that he wants them or something. No, he's just curious, yes, curious. He wonders if they're burnt again, like last time. He chuckles at the memory. It had been his mystery girl, when in fact it had been an awkward Kaidoh who never fessed up to it. Back then, it definitely freaked him out when he found out it was Kaidoh, but right now, when all that's been said and done between them, Momoshiro just thinks of it as a pleasant memory. One he can use to tease Kaidoh with in the future.

"But don't expect me to give you another pair once you ruin those. You run way too much," says Momoshiro.