Bonenkai

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by nekojita

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Disclaimer: I don’t own Weiß, but if someone would like to give me the lovely boys for winter solstice/Christmas, I truly wouldn’t complain!!!

This fic deals a bit with Japanese holidays and traditions. I’m not an expert on the culture, just studied it for several years and am using an event that a Japanese friend told me about; so don’t take my word for the gospel truth. Hopefully I didn’t screw things up too much.

Tons of thanks to Kato-chan, Whiskers, Yumi and Barbara for catching my many mistakes.

*******

"Oi, you home already, Omi?"

Putting some beer into the fridge, Yohji yelled back to his roommate that Omi was still out with Aya. Then he asked why the other man had wanted the teenager.

Ken appeared in the kitchen doorway, a bemused expression on his face. "I was hoping to drag him out shopping with me. I just realized that I forgot to pick up a few things when I went yesterday, and I’m not about to brave those crowds on my own again. It’s scary out there."

"Puh-lease, it’s not like you’re telling me something that I don’t know. I nearly had to strangle someone to get the last couple six-packs of my favorite beer, and the worst part was, it was some little old lady. I swear, more people than ever are celebrating this year." Yohji dropped his lanky frame onto a chair and rested his chin on a palm, debating whether or not to chug one of the beers he’d just brought home. Nah. Aya should be back soon, he’d wait until the two of them went out to eat and have a drink then.

Walking over to the fridge, Ken shoved aside the cans of alcohol and grabbed a sports drink. "Wow, you certainly stocked up for the holidays. I think it’s so crazy because everyone is trying to forget their worries. No sense reflecting on how bad the economy is and everything else, especially when one is supposed to put all their troubles behind them for the new year. Not that we have much to be depressed about, considering how many sales we’ve made the past couple of days, and that’s not even counting all the special orders for the holidays next week."

‘Hm." Yohji closed his eyes as he thought of all the work they would be doing in the upcoming days, what with the number of arrangements ordered for the New Year’s parties. One good thing about the situation, Aya should be in a decent mood when he did the books later on. The Koneko was raking in money hand over fist, and being so busy hadn’t given his lover much time to brood over his missing sister.

"I don’t want to think about how busy we’re going to be. We really will need a couple of days off to recover, besides taking Christmas off as an official holiday. Though with our luck, another mission will come up, and we’ll spend New Year’s Eve out in the cold, killing some bastard. Now that would- ow! What the hell was that for?" Rubbing his sore head, Yohji glared at his teammate.

Who glared right back at him. "Don’t jinx things, Kudoh. If we do get a mission, it’ll be all your fault now. You can go off and kill some people while the rest of us stay here and party."

About to get out of the chair and repay Ken back for the smack, Yohji stopped when he heard the garage door open and then close. It was only a matter of moments before Omi burst into the kitchen, cheeks flushed from the cold and hair tousled. "We’re back. Did you unpatriotic reprobates miss us?"

"It was sheer hell without you, chibi. Ken and I wouldn’t have lasted much longer by ourselves." Well, at least Ken wouldn’t have.

The older blond only paid his friend a few seconds attention as he waited for Aya to come upstairs. A moment later, the pale man quietly walked in, shivering as he huddled in his coat for warmth. Violet eyes sought Yohji out and Aya hurried over to him, as if to confirm the fact that the man was really there and safe. Wrapping his arms around his slender lover, Yohji hugged him tight, trying to warm Aya up by sliding his hands underneath the coat and rubbing them along Aya’s back. Aya was suffering from the cold this season, and was grateful for any amount of warmth. Not that he objected to any excuse that let him touch and hold Aya. "How was the shrine?"

"Crowded." Omi and Aya had gone to a Shinto shrine to wish the Emperor a happy birthday, and to pick up some shimekazari to decorate the house and shop. Being a bit more on the untraditional side, Ken and Yohji had remained behind and manned the store instead. Yohji tilted the smaller man’s face up for a kiss, lingering over it for a few minutes until he heard Ken start to gag and Omi laughed. He looked up and scowled at the younger men as Aya tucked a cold nose against his neck, snuggling close. "You guys are just jealous. Well, we’re off to dinner, you two stay out of trouble or Santa won’t bring you any presents." Forcing his protesting boyfriend back into the cold, Yohji waved goodbye, eager to get something to eat.

*******

"Something wrong with the food, love?" Aya looked up from his meal, which had been left untouched for the past several minutes. Yohji and he were sharing a pot of oden; Aya had barely dipped into the bowl of soup in front of him the whole time they had been here. They had picked a small, quiet restaurant, a bit on the traditional side, with low tables and tatami floors. Yohji couldn’t stop staring at the smaller man, who appeared to be glowing in the dim light, thanks to the clingy, black sweater he was wearing. Just the sight of the man was starting to make his leather pants feel a bit tight, so he gulped down some sake as a means of distraction.

"No, it’s delicious, I’m just not very hungry."

"Is it too much to hope that you and Omi stopped for a bite to eat when you were out?" As the redhead shook his head, Yohji sighed. It was so hard to get the man to eat anymore, considering everything that had happened over the past couple of months. Yohji was grateful that Aya had talked him out of going to a more expensive restaurant like he’d wanted to, or else he’d be paying a fortune to watch Aya starve himself. This was supposed to be their night out; they’d decided to have a nice evening to themselves a day early, since the party was tomorrow night. "You know, I don’t think you need to make losing weight a part of your New Year’s resolution. Though gaining it might be a good idea: get any thinner and it’ll be a bitch to sleep with you. Like snuggling up to a skeleton."

Wonder of all wonders, instead of snapping at him for that remark, Aya actually smiled for a second and made another attempt to eat something. For his part, Yohji kept the conversation light; prodding his lover to eat a little more every now and then, talking about how Ken would react to the Christmas present that everyone had pitched in to buy the athlete, going on about how he loved this time of year. The meal turned out to be a pleasant one, not quite as romantic as he had hoped, but that smile from Aya made the whole evening worthwhile. The man barely smiled anymore. Now if only he could prevent himself from starting a fight, Yohji thought that things would be perfect. When they were finished with dinner and outside on the crowded sidewalk, Yohji was surprised to find himself yanked over to a wall and soundly kissed. Several people stopped to stare at the couple, most frowning before they resumed walking, though a few called out encouragement. When the blond pulled away, gasping for air, Aya started tugging him back to his car. "Not that I’m complaining, but what was that for?" Yohji inquired. The reserved man was not one for public displays of affection, and certainly not on a crowded street.

"For dinner. Mainly."

"Okay, I’ll buy that." Realizing that they were forgetting something, Yohji came to a sudden halt, forcing the smaller man to stop as well. "What about the movie?" It was supposed to be a date with all the works; a nice dinner, good movie, then dessert and coffee. A typical Christmas Eve, only a night early. He’d been looking forward to spending some quality time with his lover all week, especially the part that had him bringing a content and relaxed Aya back home, hopefully in the mood for a little fun.

Once more, Yohji found himself pulled over to the side of the walkway, only this time the kiss was a bit shorter, though no less passionate than the last one. It was a bit difficult to be amorous when people kept banging into you. When he stared in wonder at the swordsman, Aya lifted an elegant eyebrow and offered a suggestion. "Why don’t we just skip the rest of the plans and head back to the Koneko?"

To say that he was stunned at the moment was a bit of an understatement. It must be one of those Christmas miracles the Americans went on and on about, Yohji thought. A willing, slightly smiling Aya who had kissed him in public, and who was now whispering in his ear what would happen when they got back home. Barely resisting the urge to pick up the man and carry him to his car, Yohji started to hurry down the street to his Seven, dragging Aya through the crowd behind him.

*******

"Hmm, love, shut that damn thing off," Yohji slurred, burying his head under his pillow. When the alarm continued to beep, he stretched out an arm, feeling about for Aya, since the clock was on his side of the bed and hence his responsibility. Only to find his boyfriend’s spot empty and cold. Grumbling under his breath, the playboy sat up and slammed a hand down on the clock rather violently. The resulting creak of plastic hinted that he’d have to buy a new one soon; the damn things never lasted for long, especially with the abuse they took. Giving the offending object a glower, Yohji tucked back his hair and reached for his cigarettes, grumpy and miserable. His days never started off right when Aya snuck away without waking him up first.

For a moment the blond reflected back on how well everything had gone the night before. Upon coming home, they had locked themselves in their room and enjoyed each other to the fullest; it had almost been like it was before Aya-chan’s kidnapping. His kitten had been the most relaxed he’d been in months. In fact, almost playful. Yohji felt his lips tugging up into a smile at the thought of how much fun they’d had until finally falling to sleep, thoroughly exhausted. Only for him to wake up and find the bed empty. He hated when that happened, and had been spoiled by the fact that Aya didn’t normally stray very far from his side anymore. This had to be the first time in weeks that he’d woken up alone.

Well, nothing to do but go downstairs and see what the man was up to, maybe get an explanation if he could. Hopefully, Yohji thought, it was something other than Aya retreating back into his shell, like he had when his sister first disappeared. It had been exhausting enough to get his lover to be even remotely sociable again, and lately all that effort had seemed to be paying off. But the holidays were always tricky; even normal people could become depressed, not to mention sullen, quiet bastards who lived to brood.

Not liking the direction that his thoughts were taking, Yohji quickly got out of bed and got ready for work, barely pausing to stop in the kitchen to fill a cup of coffee on his way into the flower shop. Half running down the steps to the Koneko no Sumu Ie, he wasn’t sure what he was expecting to find there. It definitely wasn’t catching Aya quietly arranging a display of poinsettias, the shop already set up. "Hey, kitten, been a little busy this morning?"

"Hn." Aya stopped his fussing and crossed over to where he stood, setting his coffee mug aside on the counter before standing on tiptoes to kiss him on the lips. "It’s going to be a hectic day, thought I’d get a jump on things." When the redhead made to move away, Yohji wrapped his arms around the man’s waist and held him close. He resumed the kiss, not willing to stop until he was dizzy with the lack of oxygen and the taste of Aya.

"Don’t take this the wrong way, Aya, but are you feeling alright?" Maybe Mastermind had been messing with his boyfriend’s head; this calm, affectionate creature couldn’t be his kitten. Receiving a frown for his troubles, Yohji explained, "I’m not complaining, really, but you’ve smiled a couple times in the past two days, kissed me not once but twice in public, and actually cut short our evening last night to come back here and have sex. Which, incidentally, when it’s my suggestion to come back home and have some fun, I damn near get my ribs broken. And on top of all that, this is the first time in weeks that you’ve worn something other than black." He couldn’t believe how many black sweaters the pale man had, and was even more shocked to discover that half of the ones Aya wore were his. At the moment, Aya was dressed in an emerald green merino wool sweater, Yohji’s naturally, over a pair of faded blue jeans. The man made a very festive picture: a too big sweater slipping down a white shoulder, topped by that impossibly red hair. Yohji looked tame by comparison, with his brown leather pants and gold knit top.

With a sigh, the smaller man twisted in his arms until he faced away from Yohji, violet eyes scanning the decorated shop for anything left undone. After a minute or two of silence, Aya spoke in a hushed tone. "Bonenkai."

"Huh? What was that love?"

"Bonenkai."

Nose buried in cherry scented crimson hair, it took a moment for the older assassin to try and figure out what his lover was talking about. "You mean the party tonight?"

That earned him another sigh. "Yes and no. I’ve decided to try and forget about my worries, even if just for a few days, since it’s that time of year." Aya’s voice became even quieter. "I’d like for the pain to go away, even if it’s just for a short while."

The sadness in Aya’s voice tore at his heart. "It will, love. I know it seems bad, but we’ll get her back someday. My word on that." Yohji kissed the smaller man on the top of the head. "I think it’s a great idea, you putting aside your troubles for a few days. Promise to do my best to help distract you." There was a weak jab to his ribs, causing Yohji to smile and kiss Aya again, on the back of his neck this time. For a moment he glanced about at all the holiday decorations that Omi and Ken had set up; there was even a pine tree over in the corner, gaily festooned with lights and the origami cranes that Ken’s brats had made. "You know, I used to always love this time of year. I’d get these presents from my dad’s relatives that I’d never even met, and he’d be in a good mood for once. My mom would bake all these American dishes for him, and we’d feel like a family for a few days. It was nice."

Aya leaned back against him, hugging his arms about him tighter. Yohji threaded their fingers together and placed another kiss on his neck. After a moment, the smaller man started talking. "The house would have a few foreign decorations for the Christian customers who my father would invite over for various reasons, but we never celebrated the holiday. No presents, no special meals, nothing. Aya-chan and I would have to wait for New Year’s to come. We always found it strange whenever one of the clients would give us a little gift; we knew so little about the holiday."

That had explained why Aya had been so silent and withdrawn last Christmas. Yohji could still recall the stunned look on the swordsman’s face when the rest of Weiß had given him some presents, and how he had quietly explained that he hadn’t bought them anything. With a guilty flush, he remembered how he and Ken had complained it was just Aya being cheap; it had never occurred to them that maybe the man hadn’t been expecting to celebrate the holiday. Not everyone did, after all. So understandably, he and Omi had been shocked this year when Aya had volunteered to pitch in for Ken’s present. "You don’t have to celebrate it, you know. Well, besides tonight. I hope we didn’t force you to buy anything."

The slim figure in his embrace turned around, a pair of arms coming up to encircle his neck. "No one’s forcing me to do anything. Though I can always take return your presents if you don’t want them." Yohji frantically shook his head back and forth. "Besides, it’s your favorite holiday. Can’t miss out on that."

"No, we can’t." Smiling, Yohji bent his head and kissed Aya softly. Soon the kiss deepened as they held onto each other tightly, lost in pleasure and the other’s presence, until they heard a knock at the door. Glad that they had been hidden from sight by a display of wreaths, Yohji cursed under his breath as he went to open the shop. An eager customer smiled at him apologetically, explaining that he was there to pick up an arrangement while on a break from work. Ushering the man inside, the blond paused for a moment to stare at his lover, whose attention had returned to the poinsettias, before he retrieved the customer’s flowers.

*******

Walking to his bedroom, Yohji called out to his lover. "Hey Aya, where’d you disappear to? The party is going to start soon." Opening his door, the blond literally felt his jaw drop. In front of the closet stood Aya, formally dressed in a kimono. The silk robe, in a traditional dark color as befitted a man, was so deep a purple as to appear black, contrasted with the pale violet nagajubon. But instead of one of the usual masculine patterns, it was covered all over with orchids the exact same shade as the under robe. A silvery grey kaku obi held the garment closed, and a matching haori was lying across the bed. Aya looked as if he had stepped right off an ukiyo-e, so painfully exotic and slender and beautiful. "Gods, Aya, you look... you look beautiful. Where the hell did you get that thing?"

The pale man turned to face him, tabi covered feet making no sound as he crossed the floor. "I’ve had it since I turned eighteen. Aya-chan designed it for me; it’s one of the few things I was allowed to keep after…" Aya’s voice faded away as he fingered the coat lying on the bed. "I thought I would wear it for New Year’s."

Almost afraid to touch the rich material, Yohji ran a hand lightly over the beautiful kimono. The silk was heavy and thick, he could only imagine how expensive the whole outfit was. He certainly had never owned anything like it in his life. Hell he’d been lucky to possess a few yukatas to wear to the summer festivals when he was a kid. And those had been hand me downs. He knew that Aya owned several of the cotton robes; the one he wore around the house and a couple that he saved for festivals, but this was the first kimono he’d seen. "I didn’t think that you had anything like this." Which was silly of him, considering how traditional the man’s family had been.

"I have another one, with clan symbols, which I wore last year and the years before." At Yohji’s perplexed look, the redhead elaborated. "You were in bed, hung-over, when I went to the temple back then. Still there when I came back as well." Aya glanced down at the floor for a moment, clearly torn about something. Yohji stroked a hand through crimson locks, waiting for his lover to speak. The pale face lifted up, expression carefully shuttered as if expecting the worst. "Would you like to go with me this year?"

"I’d love to, kitten." Which was a flat out lie on his part, the last thing he wanted to do on the first day of the year was get out of bed after a night of serious partying and go to a crowded temple. Yohji had never been very observant about traditional holidays, since his father hadn’t liked his mother and him participating in what he considered heathen ceremonies. Yet the hypocritical bastard had never married the woman.

Shaking his head at the painful memories, the lanky man tilted Aya’s chin up. "Promise me you’ll wear that, and I won’t leave your side the whole damn day." It would be worth it though, to suffer through the holiday with a major hangover and being dragged all over Tokyo, just to see Aya dressed like this. Besides, the man was celebrating his holiday, it was the least he could do to return the favor. He kissed Aya, threading his fingers through the man’s silky hair.

When Omi’s voice drifted upstairs, reminding them that their company would be showing up soon, they broke apart. "I have to get out of this. Just tried it on to make sure that the kimono was all right." Aya unwound the obi, carefully folding it and laying it in the cardboard box that held the ensemble. Yohji watched as he removed each article of clothing, including a pair of light grey hakama that had been hidden under the heavy robe, and meticulously put them away. The large box then went on top of the cedar chest, awaiting next week, when the outfit would be worn in earnest. The pale man then pulled on a pair of supple grey leather pants that Yohji adored because of their softness, and reached into the closet for another of the older man’s sweaters to wear. It was a rich, wine colored cashmere; reminiscent of the kimono.

As his boyfriend dressed Yohji pulled off his gold top and replaced it with the soft, green sweater that Aya had been wearing earlier. It matched his eyes perfectly, and smelled like Aya: an intoxicating blend of musk and roses. It fit rather snugly across his broader chest, showing off his upper body. He should now be dressed festively enough to appease Omi, the holiday nazi. "Well, if you’re ready, we better get downstairs before the chibi drags us out of here." He reached out a hand to rub it along Aya’s cheek, smiling when the smaller man held it against his face for a moment before they walked out the door. Yohji wanted nothing more than to make Aya put the kimono back on and to then take his time unwrapping the man from the rich fabric, but the chibi would kill the both of them. Omi had been planning this party for weeks, and had become downright dictatorial and overbearing about the matter.

It had been decided that Weiß would blend the traditional bonenkai party with Christmas Eve. Normally, the Japanese party would be held in a restaurant, attended by coworkers and friends, but considering the fact that they were assassins, it was a little risky to hold the party in a public place. Kritiker had offered to cater the celebration for them; if anyone needed to try and put the year’s troubles behind them, it was a team of assassins. Weiß had taken their employers up on the offer, and invited a few friends over as well. Manx and Birman would stop by at some point during the evening, Mickey and Teddy Stout had been invited, along with Masato and Honjyou from Crashers. A small group, but more than what had attended last year; only Manx and Birman had attended.

Coming down the steps, the two men cautiously peeked inside the kitchen. It was free of Omi, who had spent the day terrorizing his roommates as he had run around preparing things for tonight. The other three members of Weiß had gladly given him the day off from the Koneko, even though they had been rushed by a mob of amorous men seeking flowers for their dates that evening.

"Coast is clear, how ‘bout a drink to start the night off?" Aya nodded his head and shoved Yohji into the room, warning him to be quick before Tsukiyono returned. The older man poured the both of them a stiff shot of vodka, and once that was done, started to nibble on one of the appetizer trays lying on the counter. Aya spied some motion out of the corner of his eye and hissed at his boyfriend. Shoving the crab cake into his mouth, Yohji turned around in time to see Omi storm up to him. The teenager was wearing a Santa cap on his head, complete with a bell dangling from the pompom end, and a blue sweater decorated with dozens of tiny snowmen and snowflakes made out of some fluffy white material. Yohji silently thought that he’d have to be dead before he personally wore such a thing.

"Yotan, you’re not helping yourself to the food before our guests come, are you?"

Disturbed by the amount of menace that question contained, Yohji held up the bottle of vodka as he swallowed quickly. "Nope, kiddo. Aya and I were just starting the night off with a toast. You want one as well?"

The fury contained within the blue eyes slowly faded away. "No thanks." Omi snatched the bottle away. "You can wait ‘til everyone arrives to get wasted. I want you sober enough to taste the food. Now get out of here, and if you see Ken, ask him to please come to the dining room." That said, the older men were roughly shooed out of the kitchen. Grateful for his escape from a painful death, Yohji headed straight for the living room, feeling the need to sit down before his shaky legs gave out. Aya trailed after him, not liking the way Omi had been staring at his outfit. Nor the matching cap he’d been holding in his hand.

"Aya, come here and sit down, before he decides to put us to work. I don’t know why the chibi goes through all this effort." Yohji sat down in the recliner and hauled his lover onto his lap. After a brief struggle, Aya gave in and curled up beside him, resting his head against the older man’s chest. "Ah, I can already tell this’ll be a great party. Gorgeous man on my lap, lots of alcohol and delicious food, all courtesy of Kritiker, that we better be able to consume at some point, and some good friends stopping by."

Overhearing the comment as he slunk into the room, Ken let out a snort and flopped down on the couch, eyeing the couple wistfully for a moment. "Don’t forget that Teddy is coming over. I can’t wait to see the both of you get trashed and start another stupid bet."

Yohji glared over at his teammate, but the expression swiftly changed to one of abject horror. "Hidaka, what the _hell_ are you wearing?" It was a sweatshirt an even brighter red than Aya’s hair, covered with gaudy tinsel and what looked to be a set of blinking lights. Aya looked over as well, and after a couple of seconds, hid his face in Yohji’s neck. The lanky man couldn’t blame him, for it was a frightening image. Was that bit of green mean supposed to be a Christmas tree on the shirt?

Ken growled softly as he tugged on the monstrosity’s hem. "It’s something that Omi picked up for me. I thought it would be better to wear it for just a few hours tonight, when everyone will be drinking, instead of all day tomorrow, when we’ll be hung-over." Yohji shuddered in horror at the thought of having to stare at that eyesore with a hangover, then leveled a pitying glance at his friend. "You are so whipped, and the shame of it is that you aren’t even getting any at the moment." That earned him a scowl and a few muttered insults. "By the by, Omi is looking for you." Ken shut up in a hurry, as he tried to crawl under the sofa’s cushions and hide.

For the next few minutes, Yohji just enjoyed the feel of Aya in his arms, snaking a hand up the back of the soft sweater the man was wearing. He loved touching all the smooth skin underneath the clothes, and after massaging Aya’s back for a minute he got a purr in response. The younger man suddenly straddled his lap, giving him better access to all that skin, not to mention presenting him with a set of lips to kiss. Figuring that Hidaka had pretty much seen everything by now, considering how often the soccer fanatic walked in on them in the middle of something, Yohji gave in to temptation, not to mention a couple of baser impulses.

"Uhm, guys, I’m lying here, you know," Ken called out plaintively. Aya wrapped his arms around Yohji’s neck as he sucked Yohji’s tongue into his mouth. "Ah, don’t do this, I came in here to hide from Omi. I step foot out of this room, he’s going to descend upon me. I swear I saw him holding a hat, with bells of all things on it, when I ducked out of the kitchen." Yohji let out a growl as he shifted his mouth to Aya’s neck, pulling the redhead’s hips closer to his. "Please guys, I’m _begging_ you. Stop."

"Why the hell do you want them to stop? More, more! Show us some skin, baby. Either one of you."

Letting out a moan, Yohji felt his hands curl up into fists as a couple of flashes went off. "Teddy, I have two questions for you. First off, are you suicidal by nature or just stupid? Secondly, are you psychic? You have to be, considering how often you walk in on us in the middle of something. Not even Ken interrupts us as often as you do." He loosened his hold on a squirming Aya long enough to settle the man back beside him. "Don’t kill him or Omi will be after your head; nothing kills the partying mood like a homicide." The hushed threat worked, calming Aya down before he could murder the American.

"Considering how often you have your hands on Red, it’s a simple law of averages, Kudoh. If you ever stopped trying to molest him at some point during the day, I wouldn’t catch you in the act so often." Teddy hmphed as he hid his camera away, then turned around to face the hallway. "It’s okay, they’re decent now. You two can come in."

Mickey and Koyu walked into the room, and Teddy hurried over to his blind lover’s side. "Couch is over here, Koyu." Ken sat up, leaving space for the two men to sit. "Hey, Brown Eyes, Omi is looking for you. Love the sweatshirt." Teddy chuckled evilly and whispered into his boyfriend’s ear. Judging from the look of horror on Koyu’s face, the longhaired man had to be describing the shirt. Koyu turned in what he rightly assumed was Ken’s direction, and told the athlete that he had his deepest sympathies.

For his part, Mickey, after dropping off a bag of presents underneath the decorated tree in the room’s corner, just leaned against a wall and lifted up a hand. Which held a bottle of whiskey. Yohji’s eyes sparked at the sight. "Mickey, I can’t see how you are related to the pest. Please tell me you brought that to share."

"Of course." The burly man handed it over to Yohji, smirking as the blond took a hit straight from the bottle before handing it to Aya. The smaller man accepted it and had a taste as well, and soon everyone had their turn. Ken practically gulped down a third of the alcohol, then slowly rose to his feet. With an air of doom surrounding him, the brunet made his way to the kitchen while the rest of the room hummed a funeral march. Mickey took his spot on the couch. "So why are we in here, when I smell something delicious the next room over?"

"Because it’s worth your life to touch anything before Omi gives the okay." Reaching for the bottle again, Yohji glanced over at Koyu. "You know, Saito, if you go ask Omi real nicely if we can start on the hors d’oeuvres, he most likely would let us. I can’t see him turning down a blind man."

Koyu smiled and stood up as he accepted the dangerous mission. "Well, I always did want a quick death. Anyone going to back me up? TB?"

The longhaired man shook his head. "I’m not that suicidal, no matter what Kudoh says. It’s been nice knowing you, sweetheart. We’ll toast your memory and sacrifice after they haul Omi away for murder."

Aya squirmed out of Yohji’s reach and went over to his friend’s side. "Let’s go."

Koyu put a hand on the redhead’s arm and smiled even wider. "Okay, you wusses. We’ll be back, or we won’t. Just so you know, Yohji, if the both of us fall to the wrath of Omi, I’m counting on you to take care of Teddy. I think you’d make such a cute couple." As Aya dragged the chuckling man out of the room, both Yohji and Teddy took to yelling at the top of their lungs that they’d become celibate before even considering dating each other, causing Mickey to choke as he tried to swallow some more whiskey.

"I’d start liking women before I’d consider you as a boyfriend, Kudoh."

"Wouldn’t be that hard, since you’re half a one anyway. Girls don’t like it when a guy wears a skirt more often than they do." Mickey wisely got off the couch and resumed leaning against the wall, a safe distance away from the other men.

Getting off the sofa as well, Teddy grabbed a pillow and starting smacking Yohji on the head with it. "It’s a kilt, you ignorant Japanese prick. Kay. Eye. Ell. Tee. Kilt. I hear you call it a skirt one more time and Aya is going to need a new boyfriend." With one arm raised to fend off the pillow, Yohji snuck his other hand under Teddy’s black and green plaid kilt and started to pinch his behind. "Ack! Stop that, you pervert. Mickey, come over here and punch this guy, he’s assaulting me! Ow, dammit, take that." Teddy started to seriously pummel Yohji, causing the Japanese man to shout out over the damage being done to his hair. All the older American did while this was going on was to start sliding down the wall as he wheezed for breath, laughing so hard that tears were streaming down his face. "Mickey, help!"

"I hope we aren’t interrupting something." At the frosty tone, both of the men stopped fighting, only to see Omi standing in the middle of the living room, his hands on his hips. Behind him were Aya and Koyu, each with a platter in their hands, a smiling Ken, adorned with a Santa cap, and a stunned Masato and Yuushi.

"If the two of you are done acting like _children_, you can help entertain our new guests." Teddy very quietly straightened his kilt and slinked back to the couch, while Yohji tried gazing back at the irate youth with as much of an innocent expression as he could muster. "As soon as Manx arrives, we’ll eat; Birman will not be able to make it ‘til later. I’ll be back in a minute with some glasses. Any more roughhousing when I return, and I will have to _calm_ you down." With a disdainful sniff, Omi spun around and returned to the kitchen.

Shaking his head, Masato held out a bottle of sake. "I don’t even want to know what the hell we walked in on. All that I am certain of is after that sight, I really need a drink. Who wants to join me?" Everyone in the room raised their hand.

*******

Several hours later, Teddy and Ken lay on the floor, drunkenly singing Christmas carols in English, as Koyu kept handing them beers in an attempt to make them pass out from the alcohol and shut up. Mickey was sitting next to Manx on the couch, talking about the Japanese penal system, while Omi was fast asleep, his head resting in the woman’s lap. Yohji was back in the recliner, Aya curled up once more on his lap, playing a drinking game with Yuushi and beating the man’s ass shamelessly. It didn’t help that he was cheating, but it was being done for a good cause. Masato had to support his inebriated teammate, a huge grin on his face and a suspicious sparkle in his eyes, while Birman kept taking their photos and telling the four men what cute couples they made. Most of the comments were going over the drunken Crasher’s head, as he was having some difficulty making sure the sake cup reached his lips. Yuushi frowned as half of the liquor ran down the side of his face.

Taking pity on his friend, Masato finally took the bottle of sake away from the man. "Well, I am stuffed, buzzed, and generally happy at the moment, so it’s time I get on out of here and get Hotspur into bed. Uh, I mean to bed." Everyone still awake and semi-conscious smiled at the slip. "I think someone is going to be a right grouchy bastard in the morning."

"Then you better take advantage of him before he wakes up," Yohji suggested as he flicked an eartail along Aya’s cheek, loving to hear the short tempered man growl at him, and drunk enough not to care that he was seriously pissing his lover off. "Night Masato, Honjyou. See you for New Year’s."

"Night, guys. We’ll see you then, if we’ve recovered by next week." Masato hauled Yuushi to his feet, an arm around the man’s waist to keep him vertical, and swayed a little under the blond’s weight.

"We not leavin’ already," Yuushi slurred.

"Indeed we are, Hotspur. Tell these nice people goodbye." As the two Crashers made their way to the hallway, Yuushi drunkenly spied the mistletoe that Omi had hung over the doorway and hauled Masato’s face down for a sloppy kiss. Yohji, Teddy and Birman started to holler and whistle at the spectacle, waking Omi up in the process. It took a good four minutes before Masato could reluctantly peel the drunk blond off of him, and he did so with an even bigger grin on his face than before. "Oh yeah, definitely getting you into bed."

"You can thank me for your present later, Masato. Sorry that I didn’t have any ribbons on hand," Yohji yelled out as the two men made their exit. Omi stumbled after them, to ensure that they remembered their jackets and presents, and that Masato didn’t need a cab.

With a wistful sigh, Mickey was the next to stand up. "I think that’s our cue to leave. It will be nice for once for Teddy to exit a party while the place is still standing." That said, the tall man reached down and picked up his much smaller sibling, draping him over his shoulder. He then held out a hand for Koyu as well, helping the blind man to his feet. "Thanks for inviting us, and have a Merry Christmas." Koyu offered his thanks as well, while all Teddy managed to do was more or less wave his hand in the general vicinity of everyone.

When Omi returned from seeing the three men out, Manx and Birman also rose to their feet. "Are you two leaving already? Can I talk you into taking anything home, since we still have quite a bit of food left over. Please tell our employers that they were very generous this year." The boy stepped over to hug Manx before she left, and when he tried to wish the women a happy holiday, found himself covering a huge yawn.

Patting Omi on the shoulder, Manx offered him a smile. "Why don’t you go to bed, Omi. Birman and I decided that our present to Weiß this year would be to clean this mess up."

"Really, Manx, Birman, you don’t have to do that. You were our guests, after all."

"No, we don’t, and you might never get the offer again, so enjoy it while it lasts, Omi." Birman smiled at the youth, who looked torn between thanking them for the offer and dashing off to his bed that second. She then glanced around the room at the couple on the chair and at Ken, who was passed out on the floor. "Any objections?"

Yohji stood up and started to pull Aya in the direction of the stairs. "Hell no. Have fun ladies, thanks for stopping by and even more for taking care of the clean up." He paused to kiss both women on their cheeks, earning a wicked grin from Birman and a finger waved in front of his face for his insolence from Manx. "Merry Christmas, ladies, and good night."

With the women’s response echoing behind him, Yohji led Aya to their room, making sure to lock the door behind them. Upon turning around, he gathered his lover close, leisurely taking his time to ravish Aya’s mouth, tasting the sweet sake on the man’s tongue. "Hm, delicious. You ready for bed, love?"

"What do you think, Kudoh?" Aya pulled his head down for another kiss, this one more intense than the previous one.

Yohji started to nibble his way along Aya’s neck, his lips brushing against the pale skin as he spoke. "I was hoping you’d say that."

*******

 

In the middle of a dream where he was licking chocolate sauce off of Aya’s skin, Yohji was startled awake when the redhead jerked about in his arms. "Mmm, you ‘kay love?" Before his boyfriend could answer, the mattress sank downward, courtesy of Omi jumping onto the bed.

"Merry Christmas! Come on and wake up, guys. I made you breakfast, then we get to open presents!" Unaware of the danger to his health, the youth started to tug on Aya’s wrist, trying to get the scowling man out of bed. Yohji wrapped his arms about Aya’s waist, holding him close and setting off a tug of war over the swordsman. Dammit, the chibi knew that where Aya went he followed, and Yohji wasn’t ready to get out of bed just yet. "Come on, breakfast is getting cold, and I still have to wake Ken up."

"Omi, in the proper spirit of the holiday, go to hell. We’re sleeping in. What’s the sense of closing the shop for the day if we don’t get to stay in bed til noon?"

"But Yotan, it _is_ noon. Now come on, I’ve waited long enough to open my presents."

Yanking back on his lover, Yohji sent the younger blond a dirty look. "Keep this up and I’m taking your present back. Still got the receipt."

Omi started to pout as he got a better hold on Aya’s arms. "Yohji, don’t be mea-"

"Let. Go. Now." Both blonds immediately released the snarling man, instantly quiet in the face of Aya’s wrath. The pale man rubbed his sore arms, equally dividing a shi-ne glare between the two of them. After a minute, a pair of blue eyes started to fill with tears, becoming impossibly large as Omi sniffled. "I’m sorry, Aya-kun. I just wanted you to come down for breakfast, I spent a lot of time making stuff everyone likes."

Mentally snarling as well, Yohji knew that the battle had been decided, and in the chibi’s favor. No one stood a chance against a crying Omi. "Alright, Omittchi. Give us a few minutes to get decent, and we’ll be right down." Instantly the waterworks were shut off as Omi bounced off of the bed, happy once again. Yohji spared a moment’s sympathy for Ken, who was about to be roused out of bed and forced to eat breakfast while suffering what had to be a major hangover, considering how much alcohol he’d consumed last night. Nuzzling Aya’s neck, he planted a kiss on a white shoulder before the smaller man could crawl out of bed. "Merry Christmas, kitten."

"Merry Christmas, Yohji." Aya stretched as he stood up, working the kinks out of his body. Green eyes were riveted on the slender form, as their owner started cursing Omi with a passion. The genki bastard would break down the door if he tried to entice Aya back into bed. Not feeling very much in the Christmas mood at the moment, Yohji climbed out of bed as well, busy calculating just how soon he could haul Aya back up here or into the greenhouse.

*******

Yohji felt more like a farm animal than a feared assassin after Omi herded him and the others into the living room, after having been herded into the kitchen in the first place and stuffed with food until he groaned. The chibi hadn’t been kidding about breakfast; for Aya, there had been miso soup, rice, grilled eel and tamago-gohan, along with pickled vegetables. For Ken and him, there had been waffles, bacon and omelettes. All in all, there was enough food to feed an army. Hidaka had earned his admiration by actually trying a bite of all the Western dishes, even though he had appeared in the kitchen quite green in the face. The man was most definitely suffering one hell of a hangover.

"Okay, everybody, gather around the tree." The pine tree set up in the living quarters was decorated much like the one in the shop, though the origami ornaments were of a much better quality, having been made by Omi and Aya. The blond reflected on how foreign his two teammates could make him feel at times, what with their more traditional backgrounds. Well, discounting Omi being raised as an assassin, and Aya being forced to study so much that he hadn’t had the chance to learn trivial matters such as social niceties and how to act like a human.

The lanky man sank to the floor in front of the tree, smiling when Aya curled up beside him. Snaking an arm about the redhead’s waist, Yohji surveyed all of the gaudily wrapped presents nestled under the tree. "I think Santa was busy this year."

"Huhn." Ken leaned his back against the couch, looking as if he was going to throw up at any moment. "Can we please get this over with?"

Omi frowned at the sick man for a moment, his cheerful mood slipping the slightest bit. Then his face brightened, as if something had occurred to him. The youth leaned forward and snatched a medium sized box that lacked a nametag. "Here you go, Ken-kun. Why don’t you open this first? It’s from all three of us."

Yohji looked on with interest as the athlete stared at his present, appearing upset that all he got was one thing from the rest of his team. He sniggered softly, reaching into the pocket of his denim shirt to pull out his pack of cigarettes, and placed a stick between his lips. The loving elbow jabbed into his ribs warned him to not even think of lighting the thing. Clamping his teeth on the filter, Yohji hugged Aya closer to him and watched Ken turn the wrapping paper into tiny bits of confetti.

As soon as brown eyes spied the revealed box there was a loud yell of joy. "A camcorder! You guys bought me a camcorder. Now I can tape the kids’ games. Thank you so much!" One could never tell that the man had been seriously hung-over just moments before, not with the way Ken bounced up and down on the floor and ripped the box apart, eager to get at his new toy.

"It’s the latest model, and we got you a tripod, some blank tapes and a bag to carry everything in." Omi rummaged under the tree for another minute, before pulling the rest of the gift out of its hiding place. "We know you’ve been wanting one for the longest time, and figured for once we’d get you something a little more inventive than odd coloured soccer balls and sports jerseys." Ken grabbed the younger boy and hugged him tight, planting a quick kiss on Omi’s mouth in his excitement. Yohji bit back a chuckle as Ken resumed fiddling with the camcorder, unaware that Omi was sitting next to him, a dumbfounded look on the chibi’s face as he touched a hand to his lips. Watching Omi shake off his amazement, he paid close attention as the computer expert explained all of the camera’s functions. He was hoping to ‘borrow’ the gadget at some point; Yohji was dying to get some footage of Aya and him in bed together. The only thing that he was still undecided about was whether or not to mention the fact that he was taping them to his lover when it happened.

"All right, who’s next?" The older members of Weiß decided that they should open their presents according to age, and let Omi at his first. Which was only fair, considering all the work the teenager had put into the holiday yesterday and this morning, not to mention the fact that he was currently cooking a whole chicken and all the trimmings for dinner. Omi let out a squeal with each present he received; a bunch of computer games from Ken, a leather jacket from Yohji and a beautiful print from Aya. It featured a samurai bearing the markings of the Tokugawa clan. The box from Teddy, Mickey and Koyu contained a wide assortment of American sweets that would have the chibi bouncing off the walls ‘til New Year’s Eve. Yohji reminded himself to properly thank the trio the next time he saw them. There was a present from Manx as well, which turned out to be a new laptop.

Ken’s box from the terrible trio contained a note hoping that the presents would help him with his English lessons. The soccer fanatic pulled back the tissue paper and immediately shoved the wrapping back into place, closing the box back up as he turned a bright red color. Yohji made it a mission to find out what was in the box, but was distracted at the moment by the fact that it was Aya’s turn to open his gifts.

Omi had bought him several books of English poetry and a collection of Noh plays. Aya solemnly thanked the youth after assuring him that he didn’t have any of them, and looked forward to reading the books. Ken had a grin on his face as he handed over a box filled with an assortment of teas and a huge mug decorated with an Abyssinian kitten. Yohji wisely swallowed his laugh, not wanting to remember this Christmas as the one when his ribs had been broken. As it was, he was willing to bet that Kenken was going to be stuck with the worst jobs in the Koneko for the gag gift for the next few weeks. Aya then started on the presents that he had given him, revealing several cashmere sweaters: a rich cream one, one that matched the man’s violet eyes, and a silvery grey. "Yohji, you got the wrong size."

"No I didn’t, kitten. Trust me on that." He couldn’t wait to see Aya in them, with the light colors and the soft fabric sliding down those pale shoulders, revealing that slender neck for him to ravage with ease. Not to mention showing off the resulting bruises, so everyone would know that Aya was taken. Yohji tried not to drool at the mental image.

"Hn." Aya set the boxes aside and nuzzled Yohji’s jaw. "Thank you."

Yohji tugged on an eartail and whispered in the smaller man’s ear. "I have something for you upstairs, wanted to give it to you when we’re alone." He received a nod in response and a whispered ‘me too’.

"Here’s a present from the Stouts, for the both of you." Omi held out the package as if afraid it would explode. Gingerly taking it from the youth, Yohji set about opening the heavy box. Right underneath their names was a short note. ‘Mickey and I had nothing to do with this, but hope you enjoy it anyway. Saito’. Now that was reassuring. Peeling open the lid, Aya and he stared at a wide assortment of flavored lubes and edible body paints and glitter. After a moment, Aya hissed at him to stop drooling and put the box away, emphasizing the request with an elbow to his diaphragm.

Finally it was his turn. Ken’s present turned out to be several cartons of his favorite brand of cigarettes and a bottle of tequila. "Thanks a lot, Hidaka. You go all the way down to the corner store for these?" Omi’s gift was a bit more personal; several cds by his favorite artists that he hadn’t managed to get to the store and buy yet, a couple of American movies on video, and a sweatshirt ‘to replace the one that Aya-kun has taken possession of’. All in all, not a bad haul; he could use everything that he got, but what he really wanted to see was what Aya had gotten him. Which turned out to be a killer pair of aviator sunglasses that put his current ones to shame, a pair of gloves made of the supplest, thickest leather he’d ever come across, and a velvet jacket he’d been eying at this one store for the past few weeks but had been unwilling to spend that much money on himself before the holidays. He’d been upset when he’d strolled past the store two weeks ago and found it gone, assuming that someone else had beaten him to it. It had never occurred to Yohji that someone might be his lover. The first two gifts were practical, the third personal, but each one showed how well Aya knew him and watched out for him. "Thanks, kitten." After tossing aside the mangled cigarette, he kissed the younger man as a token of appreciation, holding him tight against his chest as he fell back onto the floor. Their lips never broke apart for even an instant as Aya settled on top of Yohji, showing his appreciation as well with the intimate gesture.

"Hold on, I think I’ve got this working now. Am I filming my first porno here or what?" The older men turned to glare at Ken, who had his camera out and was recording the kiss. "How much do you think I can sell this footage to Teddy for?"

"In that case, Kenken, let’s really make it worth the man’s money." Yohji grabbed Aya’s chin and commenced to thoroughly kiss him, his hands busy roaming under the navy blue sweater the smaller man was wearing, and eventually elsewhere. Omi started to laugh, and announced that he was timing the couple and wanted the footage for his science class, as proof that humans could go without oxygen for more than just a few minutes. In the meantime, Ken started to call out directions, telling Yohji that he needed to be more of a sexy beast and that he had more than enough footage of him groping Aya’s ass.

Unable to keep from laughing at the younger assassins’ antics, as well as the growling sounds his lover was making in anger, Yohji shifted Aya aside and charged after Hidaka. This led to a chase all over the first floor of their apartment, with the playboy shouting out that if he got a hold of Ken and his camera, it would soon become a snuff flick. Around they went until Omi played referee and reminded them that if the camera got broken during a scuffle, no one got to play with it.

"Always the sensible one, chibi." Yohji leaned against the railing as he tried to catch his breath and glanced around, suddenly realizing that Aya had disappeared during the chase. Omi, who was being used as a human shield by a cowardly Ken, pointed up the steps. "Thanks." Panting a little, Yohji made his way upstairs, wondering why his lover had gone off on his own.

Walking into his bedroom, he found the pale man lighting all the candles scattered about. With the drapes closed, the room held a twilight quality of light, not quite dark but cast in to shadows by the flickering flames. "Hey, love, why’d you run up here?"

"To finish exchanging our presents." Aya sat down on the bed as Yohji stared at him for a moment, then crossed over to his dresser. Opening a drawer, the lanky man pulled out a small gift box, and then joined his boyfriend on the bed.

Yohji held out the present, an apprehensive look on his face. "I, well, here." With an arched eyebrow, Aya took the gift and opened it, revealing a jewelry box. Inside was a gold ring with a channel of emeralds the exact shade of Yohji’s eyes running around the circumference of it. The stones were set flush with the heavy gold, presenting a smooth, simple and beautiful ring. Also in the box was a gold chain, just long enough that he could tuck it underneath a shirt collar. Trying the ring on his right hand, the redhead noticed that it fit his ring finger, being just the tiniest bit loose. He raised his eyes from the jewelry to stare at his lover. "I saw one like it and thought of you. The chain is so you can wear it around your neck. I know you can’t wear it all the time, or you don’t even have to hang it at all. It’s up to you, I know you don’t often go for a lot of jew-" Yohji found himself cut off as Aya pressed his mouth against his. Groaning at the passion the smaller man was expressing with the gesture, he buried his hands in the crimson strands of hair and kissed back with an equal intensity.

"So, I take it you liked it?" Yohji panted after they had pulled apart. Aya merely nodded his head. "Oh, good." Trying to catch his breath, he asked where his present was.

"Right here." At the blond’s puzzled expression, Aya leaned in close, his arms encircling Yohji’s neck. "I’m the present. For the rest of the day I’m all yours, whatever you want to do."

It took a few seconds for the importance of those words to sink in. "All mine? What- whatever I want?" Aya nodded again. Stroking a hand along a delicate cheek, Yohji asked his lover if he was absolutely sure, and received another nod. It stunned him, to put it mildly, what Aya was offering him. After everything they had been through since their relationship had started. The fights, various people trying to break them up, the rape. Especially the lattermost event. Aya, while perfectly willing to experiment during sex, had at first been rather inexperienced, with Yohji being his first lover. Then after that night… Aya had recovered, but it had taken time, and lots of little steps. They were limited in how rough or kinky they could play. Yohji could tie the man’s hands if he went about it right, as long as he didn’t do it too tightly. Handcuffs were fine, but one hand was always to be left free with the key in plain sight. "Anything at all?"

"Yes, Kudoh." The answer came out as a sigh. Yohji sensed it wouldn’t be wise to press the issue, or the gift might be snatched back in annoyance. Which was the last thing that he wanted. It took his breath away, how much Aya was trusting him, and the way he was letting him know this.

"Thank you." Yohji kissed his lover gently, and then quickly got off the bed. Thoughts were whirling about in his head; what fantasies that he could cram in the next dozen hours or so, which ones he had the appropriate materials on hand... For a moment he thought of going downstairs to grab that gift box that Teddy had given them, but figured he’d save that for another day. Those things were rather tame, if tasty, and wouldn’t require much more than promising Aya a long, hot shower afterwards to get him to play along. Right now he wanted something that the stubborn man had been denying him for months. Running to the room next door, the blond soon returned with a long leather coat. "Here, I want you to wear this. Only this." Aya had refused to wear the coat that had been a part of his Crasher’s uniform, unable to understand what was so sexy about it.

 

For a moment a pair of violet eyes regarded him with cool amusement, then a deep voice told him to turn around. Part of him still disbelieving that this was actually happening, Yohji did as he was told. He heard Aya remove his clothes, then the creak of leather and the sounds of several zippers being worked. "Kudoh."

Spinning around, Yohji’s breath caught in his throat. Aya stood before him, dressed in the black leather coat that was completely zipped up and belted closed. The supple leather clung to him much more than his current coat did, highlighting his slender frame and pale skin. "Oh gods." He crossed over to the younger man, lifting a hand to tuck back the long crimson bangs that covered Aya’s face. "You look so utterly fuckable." The damn coat was never leaving the room, if he had any say in the matter, and would be getting a lot more wear than it had lately.

Unable to hold back any longer, he started to kiss Aya, pulling the thin body harshly against his, grinding their pelvises together. His lover responded back with a similar heat, taking his tongue into that delicious mouth, gripping his hair rather tightly, as if to never let him go. "Gods, Aya, want you too much right now," Yohji panted into the man’s ear as he rocked his pelvis forward, showing proof of his desire. Applying pressure to Aya’s shoulder, he let out a groan as the swordsman sank to his knees and tugged at the fly of his jeans. He had to have some relief right now, to calm down his inflamed senses so he could then properly enjoy his present.

Yohji moaned loudly as Aya freed his hardened cock and started to teasingly nibble on it. "Not now, love." That could wait til later, he had all day after all. This was the best damn Christmas present he’d ever received. Threading his fingers through crimson strands, Yohji urged his lover to take all of him, then let out a loud yell when the redhead did just that. Aya expertly sucked him off as he pumped in and out of the talented orifice, rougher than usual and reveling in being able to let loose like this. In a matter of minutes his body tensed as he poured himself into the waiting mouth. Sight growing dim for a few seconds, the only thing that kept Yohji upright were Aya’s arms about his waist. When he felt strong enough to stand on his own, he tugged Aya back onto his feet, delving into his mouth to taste himself within. "Thank you."

With his immediate need taken care of, Yohji set about tormenting his lover. His mouth moved down Aya’s chin, licking and sucking all of the pale skin that was exposed. Then he slowly undid the high collar, lavishing attention on the neck that he adored. Aya gasped and mewled under the assault, tilting his head back so Yohji had better access to all that luscious skin. When the smaller man’s neck was covered with red patches, darkening by the moment, Yohji turned his attention to the zippered shoulders. Tugging one of the zippers open, he repeated his actions on the now revealed left shoulder. Minutes later, he moved on to the right one as Aya started to writhe against him, making him hard once more.

"Come on, over to the bed." He tugged his willing lover over to the bed, watching as the slender man laid down on his back and then covered him with his body. One by one, he opened each zipper, ravishing the bit of exposed skin for several minutes. When one of his hands crept under the jacket, inching up the inside of Aya’s thighs, he felt a silk scarf tied around one of them and remembered that each Crasher wore a scarf with the team’s logo embroidered on it. Guess that was where the kitten had worn his. Yohji’d have to be sure to carefully set the scarf aside, since he had plans for it later. A wicked grin on his face, the blond returned his attention back to the matter at hand.

*******

Aya breathed a mewl, the soft sound so at odds with his normally deep voice but somehow it seemed so natural to hear it from him now. Yohji drank it in and promptly wrung another one from the quiet man as he sucked on one of Aya’s hipbones. The redhead had both of his wrists tied to the headboard with silk scarves long enough so he could twist about on the bed and be allowed some movement, but not long enough for him to reach down and stop the teasing caresses that were being rained down on him. The white Crasher’s scarf was tied over his eyes, rendering him blind and completely at Yohji’s mercy.

The older man had always wanted to have his lover like this, exposed for his pleasure, and tortured as much from wondering where his hands and mouth would next settle, as from what he did with them when they did. Aya’s skin was luminous in the candlelight; it was early evening by now, and the room was entirely dark but for the small dancing flames. Yohji would have killed to have Ken’s camera for the day, but figured his birthday wasn’t that far off and he could wait ‘til then; he was resolved to make sure that Aya never regretted this gift and would want to present him with this opportunity again. So far he’d been very successful; neither of them had any complaints other than the fact that the redhead, what with his delicate skin, would be stuck wearing turtlenecks for quite a while.

Sliding his tongue along a flat stomach to a chiming navel ring, Yohji smiled again at the gasp he received in response. No doubt Aya had been hoping he’d go down and not up, but he didn’t feel that the man had been pleading with him enough just yet. Stabbing his tongue into the navel, Yohji groaned when there was a knock on the door. "Go away."

"Uhm, guys, it’s me, Omi." Of course it was, no one else they knew that lived here had that high of a voice. Recalling how the chibi had unlocked their door earlier in the day, Yohji had made sure to prop a chair against the door to keep the brat out during one of their breaks.

"Don’t care, go away. We’re busy." Aya had taken to undulating beneath him, making him burn desperately to bury himself inside the man’s body. Yohji grabbed the rocking hips and stilled them, earning another mewl from his kitten.

"But dinner’s ready. I came up here to invite you down." The older man didn’t say anything as he reached for the much depleted bottle of lube, deciding to indulge himself now as he still had a few hours left to enjoy Aya like this. It soon became clear that Omi had been expecting an answer of some sort. "You two are coming down, aren’t you? I spent all day cooking, don’t tell me you’re blowing me off just so you can, uhm, play."

Quickly losing the ability to form coherent sentences as he pushed inside his lover’s tight body, Yohji started to chant the man’s name over and over. Aya arched up to take him in even deeper, wrapping long legs about his waist oh so tightly and growled in his ear. "Make him go away." Not sure why it was his responsibility at the moment, especially when Omi was much more terrified of the swordsman than of him, Yohji muttered a curse. "Listen, kiddo, we are not coming out any time soon. Think of it as an extra present from us, oh gods, not now love, ah what the hell was I saying?"

"Yotan." The doorknob was rattled threateningly.

"…Oh yeah, consider it a present from us. You now have an excuse to… *groan*… to ha-ave Ken all to yourself tonight. Romantic… ah dinner and all that shit. Drag his ass over to the mistletoe and ravish him." Yohji wanted to stop thinking and just lose himself to thrusting in and out of the perfect body beneath him. "Now go the fuck away."

For a few moments all he heard was Aya’s mewls and gasps as he pounded into the man, his own groans and the mumbled nonsense that he always spouted during sex. Then Omi’s voice rang out again. "All right, but don’t for one moment think that I believe you guys are doing this for me. I should have bought Aya a gift certificate for a vet so he could get you neutered instead of the books. I’ll make sure that there are leftovers for you guys, though. And I’m warning you now, there is no way you are getting out of New Year’s dinner, even if I have to keep hosing you down, Yotan." With that, the annoyance finally took the hint and left.

Burying his face against Aya’s neck, Yohji let out a moan of pleasure and thanks that he could now focus on what really mattered. Tilting his lover’s hips up some more, a smile tugged at his mouth when that deep voice strangled out his name, the long legs tightening painfully about his waist in an effort to keep him from shifting away. It wasn’t much longer before pleasure overwhelmed the both of them, leaving them drained, sated and short of breath. As Yohji nuzzled Aya’s temple, he thought about the kimono the man planned on wearing for New Year’s Day, and Omi’s threat. He’d have to bribe Ken somehow to keep the chibi occupied while he hauled his boyfriend somewhere secluded and pounced on him. It seemed for each fantasy he fulfilled, at least two more popped up, and the next on his list was ravishing Aya while he was wearing the kimono. It paid to have something to look forward to.

Brushing back the sweat soaked bangs clinging to his love’s face, Yohji lowered his head and kissed Aya tenderly. "You’ve made me so happy, kitten, and I don’t just mean today. Though I can’t thank you enough for the presents, especially this one. I love you. Forever." Debating for a moment, he loosened the white scarf enough so he could push it upwards and gaze into the most beautiful eyes he’d ever seen, filled with love and passion for him.

"Hn. Love you too." Oh, that was a gift in and of itself, hearing those words from the reserved man. Even after all this time, Yohji still felt a tingle of pleasure when Aya told him that. One of Aya’s hands managed to shift down enough so he could toy with a lock of Yohji’s hair. "Sure you want to miss dinner? I know this is your favorite holiday."

"It sure the hell is, just for this day alone. I’ve never had a better Christmas in my whole entire life, and I’m not going to let this opportunity slip away. Besides, leftovers always taste better the next day, learned that years ago." Yohji kissed Aya on the nose and slid the scarf back over the violet eyes. "Now I wanna play some more." Checking the clock once more, the blond set about making a few more of his fantasies come true. After all, wasn’t that what this time of year was about?

*******

Some rather simple explanations:

Bonenkai – A party held around the end of the year, when you are supposed to forget your past worries and focus on the new year ahead. Usually celebrated with friends and co-workers.

Shimekazari – A decoration made of straw rope, and decorated with good luck charms such as bitter oranges, ferns and lobster, and then hung around entrances and various other places to purify the area.

Oden – A Japanese hotpot dish. A kelp-based broth with daikon radish, fish cakes, boiled eggs, and konnyaku (yam cake), among other things, and served with a hot mustard (karashi). A dish that really warms you up, and is very popular.

Nagajubon – a robe worn under a kimono.

Haori – a traditional overcoat.

Kaku obi – a thin obi or belt worn over a kimono, only a few centimeters wide.

Ukiyo-e – Japanese woodblock prints.

Hakama – traditional pants.

Tamago-gohan – an egg rice dish. Take a bowl of rice and add a raw quail or chicken egg, mix together. Pretty tasty, but I find it to be a bit messy.

The Japanese do not celebrate Christmas as a national holiday (not being Christian), so as a rule they don’t have the day off. Since the boys run the shop, and were partying the night before, I let them have it off though. However, New Year’s is a major holiday in Japan, most people will have at least three days off, most likely the whole week. Christmas Eve is a night when couples tend to go out, and I’ve known a Japanese friend or two to be proposed to on that night. Christmas gift exchanges, when they do occur, usually happen more between friends than family members.

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