My sweet ones, I'm throwing together a bit of holiday fluff for you before I get lost in an original piece for nanowrimo. I'll likely still update a bit, as I'll need some "break writing," but I expect it will be slower than usual for the duration of November.


Hiroki gave up on grading. Why on earth did Akihiko have to show up at the most inconvenient times? It had been ages since he'd seen this much of the novelist, but lately he'd been invading Hiroki's office, under the pretense of borrowing this book or that, and then spent long, silent minutes starting out the window. His writing had been a bit different lately, too. I am certainly not worried about him, but I should just maybe find out what's going on in case he tries to drag me any further into his craziness.

"Akihiko, why are you here?"

"Weren't you the one who threatened to castrate me if I didn't return this." He casually laid a small leather bound volume on Hiroki's desk. "I'll have you know I'd prefer to have certain parts of my anatomy remain intact, thank you very much."

"And yet such threats have never made you heed me at all in the past. So you'd better cut the crap and tell me what exactly it is you're up to these days."

"Ah, Hiroki," Akihiko shoved a hand through his hair and sat down. "I wish I knew."

"Well, you've been weird since Takahashi announced his wedding, and even weirder since he took his lovely bride and moved away. And you've been showing up here an awful lot. That mansion of yours feeling a little too empty these days?"

Akihiko barked out a laugh and shook his head. That wasn't the response Hiroki had been expecting. He was even more shocked at the idiotic smile and the light flush that colored his friend's pale cheeks. "Definitely not, Hiroki. I've got a roommate, now."

"You!?" And more than a roommate, too, it seems. "You could never tolerate anyone in your space. And whoever it is must be a saint, given that he hasn't yet murdered you in your sleep."

"You wound me, old boy. Am I really that insufferable?"

"Yes. Didn't I tell you I didn't have time for this today, and yet here you are."

"Oh, trying to get out early for a hot Halloween date with the handsome young doctor?" Akihiko leered. "You know you two are my readers' favorite couple. What's your costume?"

Hiroki hated the way his face burned. "I am not wearing a costume, nor am I participating in this idiotic holiday." He deftly plucked the stapler from his desk and launched it at Akihiko's silver head. Akihiko's reflexes had developed with Hiroki's assaults for years, though. He caught the object in one hand without changing his gaze.

Truth be told, he did have a Halloween date with Nowaki. He'd drawn the line at wearing a costume, though.

"Shame." Akihiko said. "Kusama-san seems like the type who'd enjoy seeing you dressed up."

Hiroki did think his friend managed to characterize their relationship with a fair degree of accuracy in those revolting smut books. He'd certainly never let Akihiko know, that, though. His eyes widened when he felt Akihiko's hand in his pocket. "Just what the hell do you think you are doing right now?" Hiroki twisted and flipped Akihiko to the ground in one smooth motion.

"Ow." Akihiko rubbed at the back of his head, but he was smirking at the object in his hand. Too late, Hiroki realized it was his cell phone. "Relax, Hiroki. I'm going to do something nice for your boyfriend."

This definitely was not leading anywhere good. Hiroki tried to wrestle the phone from his friend's grip, but Akihiko fended him off and slipped into the hallway. Hiroki wasn't about to make a public scene so he could only listen, horrified.

"Ah, no. Sorry to disappoint, Kusama-san. It's Usami."

"Listen, you know, the wonder of fiction is that you can have things that are unattainable in real life. So, if I were to do an Egoist short for the holiday, what should Hiroki's costume be?" Akihiko's eyes were taking on a terrifying brightness. "Oh yes. That's perfect. It's just a little something for the fan club, but I'll send you a copy, shall I?" Akihiko looked surprised. "You are? I didn't know you enjoyed them that much. Well, perhaps we should go out for a drink sometime. I have been known to take requests."

Hiroki was too horrified to speak. It was bad enough that Akihiko wrote that trash. Worse that Nowaki enjoyed it. And he didn't doubt that Nowaki, given the opportunity, would volunteer his fictional ass for lord only knew what perversions.

"Cheer up, old boy." Akihiko said, slipping the phone back into Hiroki's pocket. "You really are a favorite. Do you have any idea how much the fangirls love you? You should be flattered."

"You'd better get out of here, Akihiko. If I see that smug face of yours for one more minute, I really might kill you." Hiroki gritted through clenched teeth.

"Yes. Yes." Akihiko gave a little wave and sauntered off, leaving Hiroki to fume alone. "It's about time for me to be going in any event."