When Nezumi awoke, it took him a few moments to remember where he was. He opened his eyes to see a pair of bright eyes staring right at him. A smile crept onto his face as he stretched a bit in the small bed. The boy laying beside him smiled back and snuggled into Nezumi's arms, all the while keeping eye contact with him.

"Good morning," Shion whispered to Nezumi, burying his face into the others chest.

Nezumi responded by kissing Shion's forehead and pulling the smaller man closer to him. He brought his hand up to Shion's face and cupped his chin. Shion didn't need prompting and quickly brought his lips up to Nezumi's. All of their previously shared kisses had been simple, a light brushing of the lips together. This kiss was different. The two men began to move their lips against each others, enjoying in the different reactions they received. Nezumi's hand found it's way to the back of Shion's head and was keeping him pressed firmly against himself. Shion's hands were pressed flat against the taller man's chest, he could feel Nezumi's heartbeat underneath his left hand.

Nezumi felt Shion's tongue pressing against his bottom lip, asking for entrance into the others mouth. He was surprised at the boldness Shion was showing but automatically parted his lips, allowing the two of them to explore new territories. A grumbling noise interrupted their progress and Nezumi pulled back, a light blush covering his face.

"When was the last time you had something to eat, Nezumi?" Shion asked, suddenly concerned for the other man.

"Well, I was in a bit of a hurry to make it in time for your birthday.. I didn't get a chance to have dinner last night," Nezumi sheepishly responded, avoiding Shion's eyes.

"You put off eating just to come see me?"

Nezumi swatted half-heartedly at the other man for this question but didn't give an answer. The truth was, Nezumi hadn't had anything to eat the previous day except a packet of crackers that he was offered on one of his train rides. His stomach was now protesting loudly to it's lack of food. Nezumi however wasn't quite ready to remove himself from the arms of the white haired birthday boy in front of him. He moved himself so he was hovering over Shion, the smaller boy trapped underneath him. His lips moved to Shion's neck, lightly brushing over the red snake that wrapped itself around Shion's body. Not used to this sort of affection from anyone, Shion involuntarily shuddered at Nezumi's touch.

Shion felt a hand move to the edge of his shirt he had fallen asleep in. It wasn't cold but the feel of Nezumi's hand on his skin caused a shiver to go down Shion's spine. He felt Nezumi's lips curl into a grin against his neck as Shion's body reacted in ways he could not control.

"I think this will be enough to satisfy my hunger," Nezumi muttered against Shion's throat.

The taller man ran his fingers up and down Shion's stomach, feeling the other boy's skin reacting to the touch. He hungered for Shion in ways he couldn't even understand. He had never felt this way towards anyone before and found himself wanting to claim every part of the man underneath him as his own. He lifted Shion's shirt off of him and threw it to the ground. He could feel Shion taking deep breaths to try to steady himself as Nezumi's fingers danced across the thin boy's skin.

Nezumi's lips traced Shion's jaw before sliding back down to his neck and across his collarbone. He glanced at Shion's face and the white haired boy's eyes were shut, a look of pure bliss across his face. Nezumi continued on his path, slowly claiming Shion with his lips. He followed the snake that curved across his chest, kissing it as he went. He boldly licked Shion's nipple and heard a sharp intake of breath.

Shion's eyes shot open and he looked down to see Nezumi. Grey eyes met red and Nezumi pushed himself back to Shion's face, catching his lips with his own. This time it was Shion's hands which roamed along Nezumi's body. When his hand reached Nezumi's shoulder, Nezumi cringed as Shion felt the scars from the other man's past underneath his fingers.

Nezumi tried to pull back from Shion slightly but the smaller man simply shook his head and brought their lips crashing together once more. Hands explored as their breathing became more labored than before, each of them needing to break for air more often. Soon, Nezumi's shirt was laying on the floor as well and he slowly lowered himself onto Shion so their chests were flush together. They pulled apart and looked into each others eyes.

Nezumi brought his hands together over Shion's chest and laid his chin on top of them. Shion smiled up at him before leaning towards Nezumi for another kiss. Nezumi pulled back, teasing Shion and forcing the smaller boy to lay his head back on his pillow.

"But Nezumi..." Shion whined.

"Let's not get too carried away now, your majesty," Nezumi replied, a smirk on his face.

He rolled off of Shion and sat up, truly taking in his surroundings for the first time since entering the bedroom. The room was small. It had a bed, a nightstand, a dresser, and a lamp. In one corner, Nezumi saw what looked like crates stacked on top of each other. Nezumi moved to the corner to investigate what was in these crates. When he looked down into the first one, his breath caught in his throat.

He turned back to the white haired boy, now sitting on the side of his bed with a sheepish grin.

"Are these my books?" Nezumi asked him.

"Uh, well, they're some of them.. I didn't know how long you were going to be gone for.. I just didn't want to lose them and, uh, I was in the middle of reading some of them too.." Shion trailed off, his hand reaching up to scratch the back of his head.

Nezumi was speechless. He knew Shion had taken a liking to his books but he never thought that the airheaded boy would actually take care of his stuff in such a way. He felt extremely thankful to Shion for thinking of his collection. He turned back to look through the crates, finding book after book that he considered to be his favorites.

He felt a presence beside him and found that Shion had moved off the bed. He still had a sheepish look on his face but there was also a hint of pride, knowing now that he had done something Nezumi had appreciated. The dark haired boy put the copy of Macbeth that he had loved so dearly back into the crate and tossed an arm around Shion, pulling him close.

"Thank you. Thank you for this, Shion. Thank you for saving my books," Nezumi whispered into the white hair as he planted kisses on top of Shion's head. He could never express his gratitude to the other man for all that he had done for him.

Shion didn't know what to say and remained in Nezumi's arms until he once again heard the sound of a grumble coming from the other man. After a quick peck on the lips, Shion took Nezumi's hand and lead him to the bakery where he could smell his mother's creations coming from the oven. When they reached the end of the hallway, Shion reached for the door but then jumped back, his face suddenly turning bright red. Nezumi turned to look at him, wondering what caused this reaction.

"Shion..?"

"We forgot our shirts! We can't go in there half naked, there might be customers or even worse, my mother!" Shion turned around quickly, pulling Nezumi along with him.

They were merely steps away from Shion's bedroom when the two men heard the bakery door open and froze in their tracks. Shion was going over explanation after explanation as to why he and Nezumi were both standing in the middle of the hallway, shirtless. Before he could even think of one plausible excuse, he remembered that there was also the fact that Nezumi was in his house and his mother didn't know.

The two men glanced at each other before turning back to the door. A teenaged girl was standing in the entryway, a look of surprise on her face as she stared at the two shirtless men in front of her. Shion shyly waved and turned even darker red than he was before. Nezumi merely cocked his head to the side and wondered who this girl was.

"Oh, hi there Lili!" Shion said brightly, crossing his arms over his bare chest.

Lili's eyes were as wide as saucers as she looked at the two men.

"Shion, who is this?" Lili questioned, pointing to Nezumi. "And where is your shirt?"

"Um, well, you see.." Shion stumbled over his words and avoided the girl's eyes.

"I'm Nezumi." the dark haired man said, stepping towards the small girl with his hand out.

Lili grasped his hand and her mouth fell open. She had heard this name before. She knew Nezumi was responsible for keeping Shion alive years ago after the boy disappeared from Lost Town. She had heard Karan speaking highly of this Nezumi character and couldn't believe that this person was now standing in front of her.

Coming out of her slight trance, Lili shook her head and stepped back from the man. She looked between Shion and Nezumi as a new expression came to her face. She suddenly understood why Shion had been so offhand with her whenever she tried to flirt with the white haired boy. A faint blush crept up her neck as she bowed her head and looked to the floor.

"Oh.. I get it now.." Lili said, more to herself than anyone else.

She quickly composed herself, forcing a smile onto her face and grinning at Shion.

"Happy birthday, Shion!" she said in a hurry before pushing past the two men and bounding down the hall.

Shion and Nezumi watched as she threw herself into the room across from Shion's and slammed the door. They heard a small sob and looked to each other. Shion shrugged his shoulders at the taller man as if to say he didn't know what was going on. Nezumi however felt a small tug at his heart as he realized that the shorter boy was still the same airhead he had always been.

They returned to Shion's room and gathered their shirts from the floor. As Nezumi pulled his over his head, he caught eyes with Shion and gave him a sly grin. The effect was automatic as Shion's face turned red and he broke eye contact, choosing instead to look at the floor.

Nezumi closed the distance between the two men and put his hand underneath Shion's chin, forcing him to look up. The dark haired man laughed at the reaction Shion had shown and bent his head to swiftly plant a kiss on the smaller man's lips.

"You still get flustered so easily, Shion," Nezumi chuckled, still holding Shion's face.

"It's okay though, I think it's quite charming when you blush," he added with a wink.

Shion's face became even darker and he couldn't keep eye contact with Nezumi. He pushed himself closer and buried his face against the other man's broad chest. Shion wrapped his arms around Nezumi's waist as Nezumi brought his own arms together across the shorter man's shoulders.

Shion mumbled something into the fabric of Nezumi's shirt.

"Hmm? What was that?" Nezumi asked, unable to hear what the other man had said.

Shion pulled away but kept a hold on Nezumi's waist. He looked into the face of the person who had saved his life more times than he could count but had also left him with a promise of return. Shion had waited patiently for this day to come and at times had felt like he was wasting his time on something that was impossible. The days when he felt the most alone, the days when he just wanted someone to talk to, the days when he woke up in a cold sweat from the night terrors that constantly plagued him, those were the times when he worried that Nezumi would never return to him.

Yet here he was, standing within Shion's arms. He took a moment and truly looked at the tall man who had given up so much to help Shion survive. His dark hair was still short, now even shorter than Shion's own. His face had filled out a small amount in the years he had been away. His eyes, however, remained the same. Shion found himself staring into the gray eyes he could recognize from across a crowded room and smiled up at the man.

"Nothing. It's nothing, Nezumi. I'm just glad you're here," Shion responded.

Once again, Nezumi's stomach growled in hunger and the two men laughed. Hand in hand, they made their way out of the small bedroom and toward the bakery door. Shion placed a hand on the knob but didn't turn it just yet. Instead, he tugged Nezumi to him for a short kiss, running his thumb across the top of the other man's hand and in that moment, felt as though everything was right in his world.