"GET OUT!" Misaki screamed and Ritsuka ducked, trying to avoid the plate that was flying towards his head.
"Mum, please! It's me, it's Ritsuka!"
"LIAR!" She screamed, her face looked devastated and Ritsuka realised she wasn't there anymore. He scrambled out of the room as fast as he could, the tears smudging his vision as they fell. He ran up the stairs, tripping once he reached the top and hurting his knees as they slid across the carpet.
"Not today, mum please!" He begged quietly, praying to anyone who would listen, he could hear her tearing up the stairs after him. He slammed his door shut and hurriedly pushed his bed in front of it and then fell backwards onto the floor, using his feet to push himself back to the wall. Within seconds she was banging on the door.
"You're not Ritsuka! What have you done with my baby?" Her voice was shrill as she made the door buckle with her force. He sobbed and pulled his knees up to his chest, burying his face into his arms.
It was Christmas morning, he could still smell breakfast cooking downstairs and he could still feel her embrace from when he had thanked her for his gifts. He was wearing a smart new set of pyjamas, his favourite present but he would give them back if it meant his mum would be here.
He watched his phone vibrate across the dresser; he had forgotten he had left it up here on charge. He ignored it for a while, listening to the sound of his mum scratching at the wood. The sound died down. He sniffled and wiped his eyes on the back on his hand before shakily standing up to retrieve it, he flipped it open. It was a text message.
"Merry Christmas, Ritsuka, I love you."
It was Soubi, he had sent it hours ago so the phone must have been repeating the notification since early morning. He sniffled again but this time he was smiling too, he used his thumb to wipe some smudges off the screen and took comfort in the butterfly on the screen. He glanced to the door, he could hear her crying on the other side, he felt bad but he deserved better than this on Christmas Day. Soubi had taught him happiness and worth and the man would be angry to know he spend his Christmas crying in his room.
He tried to call him but it sent him to the pay-and-go top up service and he sighed, he didn't have any money and no shops would be open to get some credit anyway. He looked around himself, thinking.
He could smell burning, he knew she wasn't going to move from the door for a while but he found he didn't care. Making a decision he closed his phone and grabbed his school bag and stuffed it with his things, his phone charger, clean underwear and such. He pulled on some warm socks and a pair of wellington boots and a jacket, his coat was downstairs. Ritsuka took one last look at the door and then pulled open his french window.
Now he wasn't usually the type of kid who would do something so dangerous and as he climbed over the rail, balanced himself on the other side and peered down, he thought he might have gone mad. It was a long way down and he was rubbish in gym class and but he still had his tail for balance so he was hopeful, he was never so happy to be a virgin. He dropped his bag onto the floor, took a deep breath before closing his eyes and jumped, he landed hard on his feet and steadied himself with his hands, tail poised elegantly in the air. He stood up with a grin and wiped the dirt of his hands.
The streets were empty and it was cold, his cheeks burned with it because he had been crying and hadn't dried them properly, he hurried, hoping the man was home. He didn't take too long to get there and he knocked on the door. As he waited he suddenly thought this was a terrible idea, he couldn't show up at Soubi's house on Christmas Day without an invitation, no gift and dressed in his pyjamas. He shook the thoughts off. Well there was no going back because the door was pulled open and Soubi stood there with a cigarette hanging from his mouth looking really confused.
"Merry Christmas." Ritsuka said, voice shaking from the cold and breath visible in the air. The man's face lit up and he flicked the cigarette outside, no longer interested. He grabbed the boy's hands and dragged him inside, he took his bag and dropped it by the front door and then guided him into the kitchen. It was warm and inviting.
"What are you doing here?" He asked, pleasantly surprised. "Are you okay? Here sit down, I'll make some cocoa." He forced Ritsuka onto a comfy chair. He went down onto one knee, gently pulling off the boys boots and taking his coat.
"I- It was my mum. Can I stay here tonight?" He stuttered, the emotion coming back and overwhelming him for a second. Soubi laid his head on the boy's lap and wrapped his arms around his tiny knees.
"I'm sorry, I should have came to see you. Of course you can stay, I don't have much food but we can share and I'll keep you warm and safe." His voice was muffled by his legs. Ritsuka hesitantly laid a hand on the man's head, stroking his way through the long hair before letting it drop to his side. He didn't know what to say, he understood that Soubi could not always save him and it wasn't his job to either. So why did he do all of these nice things? He really wished he had a gift but he was sure the man wouldn't accept anything anyway. The only thing he ever wanted was - "You're freezing." He said, standing up and smiling down at Ritsuka before disappearing from the room. "I'll turn up the heat!" His voice floated from down the corridor.
Ritsuka looked around, there were no decorations or any sign of Christmas cheer but he felt grateful, glad he could spend time here. He looked down at his hands and rubbed them together trying to get them warm. He man was gone for a while, Ritsuka wondered what he was doing but then shut those thoughts out because he was here uninvited.
When Soubi came back he was holding an arm full of blankets, he wrapped him up lovingly. "There, but Ritsuka, next time you call me, okay?" He said, placing a comforting hand on his shoulder. Ristuka nodded, he didn't know how to say he didn't have any money for his phone; Soubi was so nice to him, he didn't want him to worry. "Right, I'll make that cocoa." He smiled, pulling some cream and milk out of the refrigerator and chocolate powder and cinnamon from the cupboard, he watched him with interest. As the man waited for the milk to heat through, he turned back to the boy and handed him his phone which was in his back pocket.
"Thanks?" Ritsuka said, confused as to why he had took it out of his bag. "But no-one's gonna call me." He placed it on the table next to him.
"I put money on it using my debit card, you should be good for a while. Did you think I wouldn't check? You can ask me for things, Ritsuka, it's okay." He reassured. At that moment Ritsuka's heart felt like it was melting and he knew what he could give his friend for Christmas.
"Thank you for taking me in, Soubi." He said, standing, still wrapped in his blankets and coming to lean against the man, pulling him into the blankets too.
"Hey, are you okay? Do you want to talk about it?" Ritsuka shook his head no, his head still pressed against the large mans chest.
"I love you." He said and then shyly looked up. Soubi hugged him back so hard that his feet lifted off the floor and then held him up. Ritsuka smiled and snuggled in further, wrapping his legs and arms around him, letting himself be carried.
"What's bought this on? You're not always this affectionate." Soubi sounded confused again though he didn't complain. He looked truly happy.
"I know," he whispered, leaning their foreheads together. Butterflies were fluttering through his stomach and he swallowed thickly and then licked his lips, his eyes glancing to his friends', staring at the perfect stretch of a smile. Soubi stared up at him looking dazed. "Will you kiss me?" Ritsuka whispered, hardly believing the words coming out of his mouth.
"But there's no mistletoe? Why do you want to kiss me, you never want to—" Soubi's eyes went wide as Ritsuka leant down and pressed their lips together and kissed him deeply, hands coming up to cup his face. His eyes fluttered closed after a few seconds, unable to resist the soft caress. When they pulled away Ritsuka made it clear he wanted to be put back on the ground and Soubi did so reluctantly.
"You don't need mistletoe for Christmas kisses." He said. "Just love." Soubi nodded and smiled down at him.
"Merry Christmas, Ritsuka."
"Merry Christmas, Soubi."