Snow lies in a smooth layer across the backyard, glittering in the fading sun. Kantarou sits seiza-style and holds onto his teacup more for warmth than anything else, watching the steam plumes of his breath drift up and fade.

Behind him the door opens.

“Aren’t you cold?” Haruka says. He sounds irritated, but winter does that to him — tengu are used to mountains and cold year-round, but if they get acclimated to warmer places (like the flatlands), they don’t like to go back. “You’ll catch your death of cold, idiot master.”

“It’s not so bad,” says Kantarou. His tea has gone lukewarm, but he drinks it anyway. “It’s pretty.”

The porch creaks: Haruka’s weight, coming forward. Like Kantarou, he’s still dressed in nemaki, with an extra robe over that. His hair is sleep-tousled and his eyes are squinted against the sun.

“What’s so pretty about it?” he asks, deeply unimpressed. “It’s snow.”

“So it is,” Kantarou agrees. He watches as Haruka walks to the very edge of the porch, barefoot, and stands there scowling at the snow like it’s an insult. “Is there something wrong, Haruka?”

“It’s cold,” Haruka says, and gives him a look like he’s stupid.

Kantarou hides his smile and opens his eyes wide. “It is,” he agrees. “Is Haruka saying he wants to be warmed up?”

Haruka stares, and it’s funny, because he always looks so human when he gets propositioned by Kantarou (though he’d never admit it, and Kantarou would never say as much), wide-eyed and a little red in the cheeks.

“… It’s too cold outside,” he says finally. “You’ll catch a cold and die.”

–Which means yes, so Kantarou gets to his feet and goes inside, listening as Haruka follows him through the hallway and up the stairs.

Compared to outside, the bedroom isn’t that much warmer (“heating costs money!” Youko has fumed; “we can’t be warm if you don’t work!”), but Kantarou shrugs out of all his clothes easily enough, letting them fall to the floor by his feet. He turns when he hears the bedroom shouji slide closed and burrows into Haruka’s arms, pressing his cold palms to Haruka’s warm back.

“You are cold,” Haruka mutters. “I told you.”

Kantarou just laughs: “Harukaaaaaa,” he drawls. “Hey, Haruka–”

“Idiot,” Haruka says again, flatly, and lets Kantarou yank him down. It’s a little bit of a stagger to the futon, but then they go down and they’re rolling, and Haruka’s growling something — possibly about Kantarou’s cold toes — and they end with Kantarou sitting on top, beaming.

“Haruka,” he croons, and runs his cool fingers down Haruka’s chest. “Caught you.”

Haruka snorts and just raises an eyebrow.

Kantarou laughs again and leans to kiss him, which is nice even when Haruka makes an irritated noise and bites Kantarou’s lower lip hard enough he tastes blood. They roll again, this time so that Kantarou is trapped under Haruka’s greater weight and even when Haruka snaps at him to stop laughing, he still does, wrapping his arms around Haruka’s back and holding on.

“You are so irritating,” Haruka tells him. “I’ve never met a man as annoying as you.”

Kantarou hiccups a little, then bites Haruka’s chin. “Good,” he says. “Good, maybe I’ll last longer in your memory this way.”

“… Did you want this or not?” Haruka pauses, leaning over him and frowning, his brows drawn together.

Kantarou whines a little, then leans his head back, so that all his throat is exposed and maybe two, three inches from Haruka’s mouth. He doesn’t want to let go, since Haruka’s warm, but he makes his posture as inviting as possible, though he thinks he won with the throat thing because Haruka leans down and bites hard at the junction of neck and shoulder, pins his hands and moves down hard between Kantarou’s thighs.

“Ow,” he says mildly, just as a reminder — Haruka’s fangs are sharp, and there will be a bruise at least later — and then he laughs again, lower this time, moving first with Haruka and then against him as long elegant fingers work low between his legs, doesn’t bother to be quiet because Youko’s already awake and downstairs, it’s fine, it’s fine–

His hips get tugged up, Haruka growling his name low in his ear and he cries out as Haruka rocks into him, pins his shoulders down, and Kantarou can’t keep still (doesn’t want to stay still), claws at Haruka’s arms and yowls plaintively for more, more, Ha-ru-ka


Later, after, Haruka lies with his face pressed right up against Kantarou’s throat and says, muffled, “You’re so loud. What are you, a cat?”

He giggles — though he’d never admit the sound as much, he’s still a man! — and rubs his hand across Haruka’s sweat-damp back. Right now the bedroom is hot enough that lying with Haruka feels like being too close to the furnace, but Kantarou is too pleased to complain. “Maybe,” he says. “Ah, maybe! It’s better than being a dog.”

“… Dogs are nice …”

“I hate dogs,” Kantarou says. “They’re nasty smelly animals.”

“Dogs are–”


Haruka snorts, but relaxes a little when Kantarou doesn’t finish the implied threat of name-command. “… idiot …”



Kantarou makes a face at the ceiling and imagines it somehow getting reflected off to hit Haruka’s back. But at least Haruka sounds less grumpy than before, and he’s comfortable even if he’s heavy and hot, so Kantarou closes his eyes and goes to sleep.

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