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Yomi stood behind Hitsugi as he waited for his friend to unlock the door to his apartment, feeling tired but accomplished after the night’s performance. He watched the guitarist as he fumbled with the keys, seeing that he, too, looked to be feeling the strain of the night’s activities. Still, the gentle smile covering his lips showed that he, too, was pleased with their performance.

Hitsugi had to shift through his keys before finding the correct one, sliding it into the lock to allow them into the apartment. He held the door for Yomi to grab before walking inside, making his way to the kitchen and placing his keys atop the counter with a loud clink. He glanced over his shoulder at the vocalist, who was closing the door behind him.

“You want anything to eat or to drink?” he inquired as he made his way to the fridge.

“Water’s fine,” Yomi told him.

Hitsugi grabbed two bottles of water—because in a profession such as theirs, it was always prudent to have a few water bottles handy at all times—and made his way back to Yomi, handing the other man one. Yomi smiled and nodded this thanks before opening the bottle and taking a long sip. After he had swallowed, he regarded Hitsugi thoughtfully.

“So…what do you want to do?” Yomi asked, glancing around the apartment. One of the cats was already walking around the floor, winding itself in and out of Hitsugi’s legs. The guitarist shrugged.

“I don’t know. I’m kind of tired. I was thinking of sleeping,” Hitsugi admitted, looking a bit sheepish. Yomi just laughed.

“Well we can, you know. This is your apartment.”

Hitsugi chuckled uneasily. “Yeah, but I did invite you over,” he conceded. “I don’t want to be a bad host.”

Yomi smiled, clapping a hand against Hitsugi’s back. “Nonsense,” he dismissed, subtly beginning to lead the other man toward his bedroom. “If you’re tired, you should go to sleep. I won’t be angry with you for being human.”

Hitsugi smiled, before yawning widely. “Thanks, Yomi. You’re a great friend,” Hitsugi said as they walked into his bedroom. A few feet from his bed, Hitsugi stopped, shuffling his feet nervously as he turned to face Yomi. He was blushing furiously, more pronouncedly than even usual embarrassment typically made him.

“Erm…Yomi…can I ask you a favor?” Hitsugi asked, his voice a little shaky. Yomi looked at his friend, recognizing the obvious signs of nervousness that his friend was giving off, before nodding gently.

“Of course. You can always ask me anything,” Yomi said, adding the second part as a way to, hopefully, make Hitsugi more comfortable. He still didn’t understand, after having known Hitsugi so long, how the other man could still be made so nervous around him, could still be afraid to speak his mind most of the time.

Hitsugi’s flush deepened and his eyes dropped to the ground. “Could you…uh…” Hitsugi trailed off, voice quiet. “Could you stay with me and stroke my hair again? It helped me fall asleep.”

Yomi grinned widely. “Yes,” he replied, without hesitation. “You don’t have to be nervous to ask me anything, Hitsu-chan. You’re my best friend.”

Hitsugi looked rather embarrassed, still, by the declaration, but there was a gentle smile on his lips. “Thanks,” he whispered, before glancing over at the bed again. He looked uneasy, as if unsure what his next move should be. Yomi smiled.

“Change for bed or whatever you need to do, and just wait for me. I need to go to the bathroom first,” Yomi said, trying to afford the other man a moment in which he didn’t feel he was under the vocalist’s scrutiny. Hitsugi nodded and Yomi walked out of the room and to the bathroom.

While he was gone, Hitsugi changed into something more comfortable to sleep in—a pair of drawstring pants and a t-shirt—and slid under the covers of the bed. He laid there for a second, waiting for Yomi to get back.

When Yomi did re-enter the room, he walked over to the other side of the bed and slid under the covers without hesitation, wanting to prove to his friend that he didn’t find any awkwardness in the request. Hitsugi looked a bit calmer, which bolstered Yomi’s spirits a little. He turned on his side, propping his head up on one elbow and reaching over to Hitsugi, running his hand gently through the threads of his hair. Hitsugi relaxed immediately into the touch, letting his eyes fall closed.

There was still some product in Hitsugi’s hair from the show earlier, though the guitarist had managed to get rid of most of it. Yomi worked with his fingers to get the rest of it out, sliding the digits through locks of hair to separate the ones that still had a bit of gel in them. It didn’t take long before Hitsugi started making that familiar purring sound, that familiar exhalation of relaxation and contentment. Yomi couldn’t seem to banish the gentle smile from his lips as Hitsugi leaned into his touch, tilting his head just the way he wanted to be touched, catlike again.

Yomi couldn’t bring himself to stop watching the other man; Hitsugi, completely at ease, was an entrancing sight. The tiny purring sound that the other man made Yomi’s heart ache, but in absolute love and endearment rather than sadness. He tried to ignore the way that same sound went straight to his groin, was immeasurably erotic and beautiful in the way that Hitsugi would never have realized.

Yomi’s fingers brushed along the back of Hitsugi’s neck, and the guitarist suddenly arched into the hand slightly, the sound he was making in the back of his throat changing pitch marginally. Yomi repeated the movement, with a certain scientific interest as well as a personal one, to gain the same reaction. Grinning to himself, he began petting the hair just above Hitsugi’s neck, remaining enraptured by the look of happiness settled comfortably on Hitsugi’s face.

Yomi, then, felt the sudden urge to kiss the other man, though his brain told him quickly not to act on it. The last thing he wanted to do was scare Hitsugi away, especially considering the fact that they were already nearly pressed together on Hitsugi’s bed; the smallest thing could possibly drive the other man away, chase that contentment from his face.

He wasn’t sure where the urge came from; he had always harbored a deep affection for Hitsugi, and in the back of his mind, he had always craved the possibility just slightly, but usually it didn’t creep up on him like that, so suddenly, leaving him feeling twitchy and unfulfilled, as if he should be doing something he was somehow neglecting to do.

“You’re so beautiful, Hitsugi-kun,” Yomi found himself breathing out, almost without thinking about it. Hitsugi’s eyes slid open then, but Yomi could tell how groggy the other man was, though he was still aware of himself. Normally, he would have blushed at a comment like that, but his tiredness seemed to render him incapable; instead, he just smiled gently, and snuggled himself into Yomi’s side. That almost killed Yomi right then and there.

“You are too; you should see it better than you do,” Hitsugi replied, his voice husky with fatigue. There was a quality of his voice that made it apparent that his brain didn’t seem to be filtering his words before he spoke them, and Yomi knew, without doubt, that everything Hitsugi could say from then on would be complete, unadulterated truth. He could ask Hitsugi anything at that moment and get a truthful answer; but Yomi would never abuse that privilege, never betray his friend’s trust like that.

Yomi didn’t respond to Hitsugi’s comment, just kept running his fingers through Hitsugi’s hair, the guitarist’s suddenly closer proximity making it a bit more difficult. He watched Hitsugi for a moment, the man’s quiet innocence, and was once again struck by it.

“Being around you sometimes makes me feel like a better man,” Yomi admitted, his voice nearly a whisper. It was only then that Yomi began to consider the fact that though Hitsugi didn’t seem to be thinking his words through fully, neither was he.

Hitsugi snuggled closer. “You are a good man,” Hitsugi insisted, face half buried in Yomi’s shirt. “Don’t sell yourself short.”

Yomi smiled indulgently, letting his hand fall from Hitsugi’s hair down the other man’s back, stroking gently along the guitarist’s spine. Groggily, thoughtlessly, Yomi opened his mouth again. “Can I kiss you?” he asked suddenly.

Hitsugi looked up, his eyes wide with surprise. He suddenly looked more awake, if even a little frightened, and Yomi regretted the words immediately, afraid he had scared the guitarist off. But Hitsugi’s features calmed after a moment, though he was blushing again, and unexpectedly, he nodded gently.

Yomi was so shocked by the guitarist’s assent that he wasn’t sure what to do for a moment; he sat there, frozen, before realizing what had just happened, that he had just gained Hitsugi’s permission to do what had been plaguing him for so long, though he had sublimated the urge.

After a few long seconds, he finally leaned forward, pressing his lips against Hitsugi’s, surprised at the newness of the feeling. He wasn’t used to the piercings; though he had kissed Ni~ya before, jokingly, Hitsugi’s piercings were much more numerous, more pronounced. But though the feeling was new, it wasn’t unwelcome.

Yomi kept the kiss chaste, not wanting to scare Hitsugi off after gaining this unexpected consent. Hitsugi didn’t take initiative with the kiss, clearly nervous about it, but he did let his lips move back against Yomi’s, following the movements of the other man’s lips.

When Yomi finally pulled away, he couldn’t possibly have removed the wide grin from his face, not being able to remember a single moment that had made him as happy as the one he had just experienced. Hitsugi’s eyes were filled with deep affection, making Yomi’s heart melt further.

But Hitsugi suddenly yawned again, breaking the moment. Yomi laughed nervously, running his hand down Hitsugi’s back once again. “Go to sleep,” he whispered, once again feeling that familiar endearment toward the guitarist. Hitsugi suddenly looked confused, fearful.

“But…” he trailed off, as if unsure of how to articulate what he was thinking.

Yomi sensed the sudden insecurity from the guitarist, and he leaned forward, placing a gentle kiss on Hitsugi’s forehead. “You’re tired,” he explained, keeping his voice gentle. “We can talk about it in the morning.”

Hitsugi nodded mutely, seeming a bit less tense upon realizing that Yomi’s words were not a rejection. He snuggled back into Yomi’s chest, closing his eyes. “Mmm…love you,” Hitsugi whispered as his body relaxed against the smaller man’s. Yomi felt his heart swell yet again; he had always known that Hitsugi loved him, as a friend if nothing else, but what had just happened gave his words a new meaning—a deeper, more profound meaning.

“I love you too,” Yomi breathed out after a moment, happy tears brimming in his eyes as Hitsugi began to fall asleep next to him.