Happy White Day!

Honestly, so much time passes between every update on here. I’m ashamed.

Anyway, to make up for the extremely slow process of getting Love Addict prepped for release, namely due to my cramped schedule, I promised on Facebook yesterday to share a little something with you instead.
This was originally something I thought of a while back, and never wrote. When I sat down to get it done yesterday, I remembered what day it is today, and added a little extra to the original idea.

For those unfamiliar with White Day: In Japan, it’s custom that the girls give chocolate to the boys on Valentine’s Day. The following month, on March 14th, the boys return the favor by giving something to the girls – traditionally something white, like a ribbon, thus the name. It’s getting more and more common to give sweets and other presents as well, but the name remains.

In my case, I write BL, so naturally the pattern of the Valentine/White Day exchanges is kind of skewered, and up to my own mind how to solve.
In this drabble, I decided to take advantage of Yuuki’s career path.
The title comes from a song by GReeeeN, which I strongly associate with Yuuki’s character (though Aki would argue vehemently).

Spoiler Warning.
If you haven’t read Jaded yet, you might want to avoid this drabble. It’s not entirely cannonical, but can be assumed to take place somewhere in the latter part of Jaded, or shortly after the end.
No huge spoilers plotwise – but if you don’t know who Yuuki is, you shouldn’t read on.

The rest of you. Enjoy~

Cooking 彼氏

Arguably, the most positive aspect of being a pastry chef in training was the fact that one could bring all kinds of sweets and goodies home after a day at school. In Sasaki Yuuki’s case, the negatives of this fact outweighed the positives: being surrounded by sweets and cakes all day didn’t necessarily make him feel like eating them at home as well – certainly not after taste-testing everything. The main negative was unquestionably, being with someone who absolutely hated sweets. Alright, so they weren’t really together. Their relation was something vague and fragile. In any case, they were living together – sort of. At some point it had just become a given that they should spend most of their time together at Aki’s apartment in Higashinada. Yuuki was uncertain of whether this was actually a voluntary choice for either of them, but regardless, this was his life for the time being.
And so, he had resigned when his teacher at the culinary school he was attending, had announced that they’d be making sweets on account of the season – this season being every lovey-dovey couple’s favorite, and to him, something completely indifferent, with a slightly bitter aftertaste.

 

He was feeling apprehensive, but somehow ready to fight when he came home that day.
The apartment however, was deserted. Aki could easily be anywhere. Yuuki was used to this, and paid it no mind as he slipped the box he’d brought back from school, onto the kitchen counter, and proceeded to dig through the fridge for something to eat.

When Aki returned later that afternoon, his glance immediately fell on the box on the counter. He jerked his head towards it. “What’s this?” He demanded.
Yuuki shrugged, standing up. “For you.”
Their gazes met. Aki’s eyes were narrowing slightly, focusing on the calendar on the wall behind Yuuki.
“Valentine’s chocolates?”
“They might just be.”
“I hate sweets, Precious.”
“As if I don’t know that?” Yuuki countered elegantly, stepping up to the other man. “You could at least open the box.”
Half-heartedly, Aki tugged on the string tied around the box, and knocked the lid off, exposing neatly lined heart-shaped chocolates, decorated with swirls of melted, white chocolate.
His nose twitched, in the same way kids would react to something they didn’t like.
“What exactly am I supposed to do with these?”
“You’re gonna accept them,” Yuuki replied, his tone calm, lips curving into a smirk.
“Yeah?”
They were face to face, gazes locked. A storm was brewing between them.
“You might not like it,” Yuuki pressed on. “But I poured all my pathetic one-sided love for you into them, and you will eat them.”
Aki clicked his tongue, in the kind of condescending fashion only he was able to express.
Yuuki reached into the box, picking up one of the heart-shaped sweets, holding it up to Aki’s face, touching it to his lips, which remained tightly shut.
Aki seemed intrigued though. He probably enjoyed it; having the upper hand, like always, but also this tense, somewhat aggressive mood. His hand closed around Yuuki’s wrist, holding it tightly, but without trying to pull the hand from his lips.
“And also,” Yuuki allowed himself to crack another smile. “I filled them.”
“With?” Aki’s lips brushed against the candy as he spoke, one eyebrow arched in a quizzical manner.
“Liquor.”
Without meeting resistance from the hand clasping his wrist, Yuuki pushed the heart-shaped candy, which was starting to melt between his fingertips, harder against the other man’s lips, which gave way, parting and allowing Yuuki to pop the chocolate into his mouth. At the same time, he caught the tips of his fingers. Slight chills travelled down Yuuki’s spine at the sensation of Aki’s tongue softly brushing over his fingertips, his lips closing around them, sucking gently, before releasing them again.
“Well played.” Aki cocked his head to the side, smiling ever so slightly. He was in a good mood then. Yuuki felt relieved. He had been worried he’d gone too far earlier, even if it was meant as a half-hearted joke…There was some truth to what he had said, and that notion was more than enough to send them spiraling, he knew that.

He watched Aki chew and swallow the candy without expressing too much disgust.
“What?”
“Nothing.” He shook his head.
He couldn’t very well tell that he was glad to see Aki somewhat accepting his feelings for once.
“They’re not awful, if that’s what you want to hear.”
That was the closest thing to an approval he’d ever hear.
“Thanks. I’m glad.”
“As long as you don’t expect me to get all fluffy on you and return the favor on White’s Day or whatever.”  The words were cool, rolling icily off of Aki’s tongue.
The younger of the two shook his head again. He put his hand on Aki’s shoulder, leaning closer to him and whispered into his ear:
“In the west, I believe they refer to it as the steak and blowjob day.”
He allowed his lips to gently caress the shell of Aki’s metal-adorned ear, before he was pulled back by a strong, slim hand. Aki was smirking at him, he noted, before the other man had leaned close, and caught his lips with his own. He tasted of sweet chocolate and bitter liquor.
When they broke apart, Aki spoke again: “Now we’re talking.”

 

~終~

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Advent Calendar, Part 12

 

12

“Alright, I’ll see you later!” Mizuki had called out as he tied his shoes, before dashing out the front door, just in time to hear Settia’s velvet voice coming from the other room; “Have a good day!”
It was December 12th, and surprisingly not too cold. Compared to yesterday, it was fairly alright – his lungs didn’t hurt when he walked for one, and it was snowing. Large, feathery flakes fell from the dark morning sky, fluttering through the air and landing softly on his shoulders.
Mizuki walked briskly, with long steps, looking around at the town that was coming to life. Some school children were throwing snowballs at each other, hooting and exclaiming loudly, a dog barked somewhere down the street, and someone was shuffling snow in a nearby yard.
It was a good morning, he thought. It had been a while since he last felt so good so early in the day.
And his classmates made sure to point that out.
“Hey, le Miz!”
This was the newest addition to his friend Noel’s long list of nicknames for Mizuki.
“Morning.” Mizuki dropped down on the seat next to him, untangling himself from his coat and scarf.
“You’re looking happier than usual?”
“Am I?” Mizuki was unable to suppress a smile.
“No seriously, you’re different. What happened to Scrooge?”
“Trust me,” Mizuki got out his laptop and text book, “Scrooge is still very much present. Can’t a guy be happy even though it’s December?”
“Normally, people would be happy because it’s December.” Noel reminded him, not quite willing to let his shallow perception of the world slip just yet. “But you’ve got a different reason to be happy I presume?”
He was fishing, Mizuki let him, but didn’t give him the pleasure of catching anything. He turned on his laptop, waiting for the lecture to start.

Soon after, the professor walked in, rescuing him from the prying questions and knowing glances courtesy of his friend. The professor, who was an eccentric gentleman to say the least, came into the lecture hall, carrying something under his arm.
“Is that….” Mizuki gaped at the professor. Noel looked confused, his gaze shifting from Mizuki to the teacher.
“Poinsettia!” the teacher exclaimed. “The Christmas Flower, or Christmas Star, if you wish!”
“Uh, professor?” one of the more distressed students raised his hand. “What does this have to do with the lecture?”
“Nothing in the slightest!” the teacher boomed, a wide grin spreading on his face. “I just happen to be a bit of a botanist in my spare time. You see, I was walking past the mall this morning, and a man gave it to me – it seems that in the US, today is Poinsettia Day. Naturally, I accepted-“
He droned on, talking about how the plant had been discovered in the 1700s and how it had gradually become a symbol of Christmas after people started cultivating it, Mizuki failed to pay attention.
He had a hunch where his professor’s plant had come from.
I’d be careful, he thought to himself; you never know….
Of course that was silly. Wasn’t it?
“The botanical name for the Christmas Flower is Euphorbia pulcherrima, which fittingly means very beautiful.”
A faint smile crossed Mizuki’s lips. “Yeah, indeed.”
“Huh?” Noel looked over at him.
Mizuki shook his head, chuckling softly. “Nothing.”
He tapped the desk with his fingertips. “If it’s Poinsettia Day, doesn’t that mean it’s some kind of birthday?”
“What are you mumbling about?” Noel nudged him in the side. “Are you losing it over there? You’re sounding just as crazy as the old man.”
“Don’t mind me,” Mizuki shook his head. “I’ve got…a friend who really likes those.” He nodded towards the plant the professor was still holding up.
“Professor!” another student groaned. “I thought we were in the middle of British history?”
“Ah yes, right you are. British and European actually. And I’ll have you know that both of the proper names for this plant were given by well-acknowledged European botanists who-“
“Oh boy, here we go…” Noel rolled his eyes.
Mizuki barely paid attention, to his friend as well as the professor’s ramblings for the rest of the lesson.

On his way home, he casually went by a small bakery, and picked up their least flashy sponge cake – free of seasonal decorations and writing, just a small marzipan flower adorning the frosting.
He felt silly, and kind of awkward. Settia hadn’t said anything, so this was probably stupid, and it wasn’t like he owed him anything, seeing as Settia was currently staying cost-free at his house. And still… He felt a certain determination when he went home, carrying a plastic bag with the boxed cake, swinging at his side. The weather was still nice for a December afternoon.

“I’m home!” he called out, surprised at the familiarity.
“Welcome back,” Settia replied from the main room, where he would always sit, as if he hardly moved while Mizuki was out. He wondered what the other man did all day, since it didn’t seem like he watched TV or read or anything.
“So, this is probably weird but…” Mizuki placed the plastic bag on the table. “My professor ran into that friend of yours today – “ it was a stab in the dark, but spot on it seemed. “It appears he got a present. And proceeded to tell the whole class that today’s Poinsettia Day. Anyway…happy birthday..?”
“You brought me a present?”
“Like I said…” he felt a bit sheepish.
Settia unwrapped the box, and lit up. “It’s so pretty!”
“It’s not…you’re supposed to eat it.” He felt even sillier. He’d yet to see Settia eat anything. “Uh…Do you like cake?”
“I…don’t know?”
“You don’t know?”
“There’s only one way to find out!” Settia stood, and got two spoons out of the nearest drawer. “Let’s try.”
“You first.” Mizuki insisted, pushing the cake over towards the redhead, who hesitantly dug his spoon into the cake and shoved it into his mouth, chewing slowly. His expression was hard to read as he chewed thoroughly, and finally swallowed.
“Well?”
“Better than expected.” Settia smiled at him, pushing the cake back to the center of the table. “You taste.”
They ate cake in silence, except from the vague sound of music coming from the neighboring apartment. It sounded like a carol. He tuned it out, looking across the table, at Settia, who was licking his spoon absentmindedly. He caught Mizuki’s gaze, and stopped mid-lick, cracking a smile; “Thank you, Mizuki.”
He didn’t know what to say. The carols from next door filled the silence that crept in over them.

 

**TBC**

 

Advent Calendar: Poinsettia, part 3

3

By the following morning, Mizuki had convinced himself that unlike him as it might have been, he must’ve presented himself to the old man somehow. He didn’t understand why he would have done anything like that, but silently accepted it as a fact. He had been under a lot of stress lately after all, with a thesis of the Roman Empires expansion to Britain hanging over him like some kind of doomsday cloud.
He sighed, putting his feet on the floor. It was icy cold. For some reason it never did heat up properly, and because he was on the ground floor, it was especially freezing in the morning.
He yawned, regarding the Christmas Star on the table.
It was pretty. He’d agree to that. And it gave off a vague but pleasant scent.  Even if it was a Christmas plant, it didn’t mean he couldn’t enjoy it, although it hardly looked like it belonged in his house.
It did give a kind of homely feel though – his mother had always loved gardening and would keep all kinds of fresh flowers and potted plants all over the house. But he still knew fairly little about them, never having paid much attention to his mother’s preening of the plants and greenery.

He opened the laptop and worked on a paragraph for his thesis. It moved along slowly, and he sat with his legs crossed, a duvet draped over his shoulders like a cape, on his bed, fighting the word count with all his might. It was all waffle though. It was too early in the day to write about the Roman invasion of the British Isles – especially in English. Giving up on getting anywhere close to a conclusion before school, Mizuki closed the laptop again and went into the bathroom to shower and get dressed.
It was a typical routine morning. He was already in danger of being late having slept too long as usual. The cold made him sluggish and unwilling to leave his bed, no matter how much his alarm howled.

Emerging from the bathroom some minutes later, he didn’t bother having breakfast. He figured he’d grab something from the school cafeteria when he got there.
He looked towards the plant. “I suppose I should water you first though,” he said out loud. His mom always spoke out loud to her flowers too.  He didn’t really know how much water to give though, and just poured a third of the smallest glass in the kitchen into the pot. As he did, the plant seemed to sparkle even more, and its red color deepening somehow. He blinked slightly. Was it really such a big difference, just from some water?
On the other hand, he was surprised the walk in the cold hadn’t killed it the night before, and perhaps the water perked it up somehow?
He caught a glance of his alarm clock and bit down on his lip; “Crap, I’m gonna be late.”
Throwing on his shoes, and grabbing his bag and laptop, attempting to stuff it inside while wrapping himself in his coat, Mizuki turned the lights off, and left the apartment.

It seemed like it had snowed over the course of the night. The layer of white cotton on the ground was thicker than before, with only some fresh tracks defiling the smooth surface.
He heard someone swearing, and looked to see his neighbor from across the street desperately trying to remove the ice on his windshield – he was dressed in a suit, and looked anything but happy. In the middle of the street he could see the slanty tracks from a car that had skidded along, narrowly avoiding the pedestrian crossing sign ahead.
Mizuki sighed, pulling his coat tighter around himself. Winter indeed! He didn’t see what the big deal was. All these near-accidents, the cold and the time wasted on shuffling snow, scraping ice, taking baby steps down the street not to break your neck… And still people walked around all jolly as they called it, in the midst of all the stress.
One of his professors kept whistling carols as he walked the hallways and entered the classroom, and a girl in his class was wearing a red santa hat every day, on the note that it was already December.

Though, he liked the lights. Here in the north, the darkness came creeping in early in the afternoon, and lasted a good while of the morning as well, so he found it rather depressing to spend the hours of actual daylight in the classroom or library. In December however, everything was illuminated by various decorations and chains of lights, even the gates at their university were adorned with a string of round, golden lights. They blinked towards him from afar as he approached the school.
He supposed that was one of the better aspects of this season.

**TBC**

Advent Calendar: Part 2

Alright, so one of the quirks about this year’s calendar, is that it doesn’t follow the days of Advent to a tee; some drag on for chapters, others are spot on, and some installment might span over several days. Time will show.
Enjoy part 2!

 

2

Mizuki unlocked his door and stumbled inside, his body shivering with cold. His modest student apartment had central heating, but as he’d found out, it did take a while to defrost after spending hours outside in the frost. Moreover, he wasn’t used to this kind of below-zero blistering cold and the arctic air that swept the European continent. Where he came from winters were cold too, but not like this. It was even snowing. Luckily, he lived pretty close to the university, so he didn’t need to rely on trains or any kind of public transportation, which always seemed to be having trouble with the weather.

You’d think they’d gotten used to snowy winters by now. He thought, stamping his feet to rid himself of the snow on his shoes, before carefully stepping out of them and dodging a puddle on the floor.
He was also grateful that having no connection with Christmas meant he didn’t have to deal with the flight chaos that came with the season. Many of his classmates were fretting about how expensive airfare was before Christmas, and how the weather could make flying conditions difficult. At worst, they’d be stuck spending Christmas at the airport.

Mizuki removed his thick winter coat, and stepped into the one-room apartment. It was small, but at least he didn’t have to share it with anyone. The on-campus accommodation often included housemates, something he was glad to be free of. He enjoyed his own company, and not having to deal with others and their invading his privacy.

The plant he’d received from the old man in the Santa suit caught his eye. He’d placed it on the shoe shelf while removing his coat.
Why did I bring this home with me.
Honestly, what was he to do with a plant? He should have just left it for the old man to collect. But he’d disappeared so fast… On the other hand, he had been raised to be polite; chances were he wouldn’t have had the guts to give it back.
He picked it up, and placed it on the small coffee table at the center of the room. It was a plain IKEA table, and not at all aesthetical or anything else. He missed his family’s kotatsu.
The plant looked out of place between all his books on history and historical figures, and the bowls that needed washing, not to mention the lack of decoration. Not only Christmas decorations either – but in general. His apartment was almost clinical: no paintings, no posters, no ornaments or knick-knacks. And now he had a plant in the middle of the room; a bright red plant with deep green leaves, in a ceramic pot with heart and star carvings, and glitter. The plant itself seemed to be full of glitter as well.
“Bah,” he groaned. He cleared some books out of the way, to make the table seem less crowded.

What had the man called the plant?
Point-something. And “Christmas star”. The flower appeared to be star shaped, even he could see that.
He opened up his laptop, and googled it: Christmas star. Flower.
From this, he gathered that it wasn’t a flower, but a plant, or rather, a kind of small tree-like shrub. Its name was Poinsettia, and it was related to the biblical Star of Bethlehem.  Apparently, it was rumored to be poisonous.

Well, wasn’t that something.

“I guess you capture the bittersweet feeling of Christmas pretty well then.” He said, feeling like a dolt for talking to a plant.

It was only when he went to bed that night that he realized something.
…How had the man in the Santa costume known his name?

 

***TBC***

Advent Calendar 2013 is go!

Happy first of Advent everyone!
To be honest, I’ve been in a state of frenzy all weekend. I’m frantically cramming for my final exam of the year (only 8 more remain… siiiigh), but I had to take some hours off today to get the apartment in order so I could start decorating for Christmas. Two hours in – and keep in mind that this year I’m doing a really sloppy job; not cleaning the bathroom walls and nerdy haven at all – and I am already fed up. There’s stuff everywhere, and a poster fell down because one of the fasteners fell off and well… I just really hate cleaning. Especially when I’m in the middle of it, and should be cramming, and have 45 minutes until I need to be at my dad’s birthday celebration….
So forgive me for not posting this earlier.

This year’s calendar is named “Poinsettia”, and as of yet, I’m not done with it, so it’s going to be interesting and see exactly where it leads. I’ve been wanting to do a story like this one for a while, but never quite dared to. A fair warning that this might be a strange story – and it’s meant to be. Please take it for what it is, and roll with the Christmas magic, alright?

Also! Like I said on Facebook earlier; today is Jaded’s 1 year anniversary! I can’t believe it’s been a year since I had it published already!
It’s been a great year, with lots of sweet feedback from you guys, fanart, meetings, and of course the panel at Kaplah. I just wanna thank you all SO MUCH for being so awesome, and for having picked it up and loved it.
Please, don’t hesitate to drop me a line or two now and then, it really does make my day. 💕
I can’t wait to share my next project with you, and hope you’ll be as excited for that one.

And now, the first candle is lit, and I’m about to sit down and watch my favorite Advent Calendar on DVD.

Without further ado; Here’s Poinsettia.

1

 

As a Japanese, Mizuki had no connection with Christmas. He didn’t have any fond memories of frolicking with siblings on Christmas Morning underneath the Christmas tree, wading in a sea of colorful wrapping while competing over who could open the most presents the fastest, or the exhilaration of getting precisely what you wanted – or the disappointment of opening yet another pair of knitted socks from Grandma.

To a certain extent, he was glad.
Glad that he didn’t have to deal with the hustle and bustle of the pre-Christmas shopping centers, and that he wasn’t bitten by the bug that had infected everyone else this season. He was glad he hadn’t been brought up to such consumerism and high-maintenance lifestyle. His family was a composed, well-mannered one, spending only what they had to, and little to nothing on unneeded luxury.
For that precise reason, his parents had yet to install an internet connection at home, and still used the same bulky television set they’d had in the 90s. He was used to shopping at bargain stores, and looking for the most reasonable – that meant cheap, alternative at all times.
It wasn’t that they were greedy, not at all, they were just opposed to the senseless spending and the trend of needing this and that at all times.

Mizuki was glad about that too; that his parents had always been so careful with money. How else would he have gotten the opportunity to study abroad?
He now found himself in Europe of all places, studying history. Europe of course, was more than ready for Christmas, even though it was weeks away.
He should probably have been used to it by now, seeing as how Japan had also adopted the tradition of putting up decorations and playing Jingle bells even before Halloween season started – another adopted holiday he didn’t care for.
He was a historian, perhaps not on paper, but in spirit, and he thought there were far more important things in life than consumer holidays that had long since lost their purpose, particularly in countries where it had no roots to begin with.
This had earned him the nickname Scrooge by his friends at university, and he had only halfway understood the joke before catching tidbits of a Christmas movie on tv one night.

As he hurried through the streets full of slush, longing to get back to his modest student accommodation, he almost crashed into a man who was standing in the middle of the street.
“Ah! Excuse me!” he stuttered – still not used to the language. He looked up, and realized he was looking at a rather short, plump man with a white beard, a red suit, and kind, smiling eyes behind a pair of round spectacles.
He’d crashed into Santa Claus.  Or someone pretending to be him anyway. Sighing, he pulled himself together and bowed slightly, wishing to get on with his life. His boots were starting to soak through from the slush, and he was cold.
“No problem at all,” the man chuckled heartily. “It’s easy to get ahead of oneself in the Christmas season, isn’t it?”
“I wouldn’t know.”
“Are you saying you don’t have any Christmas spirit?” the man almost looked sad.
Mizuki shrugged. “Excuse me but I’d just like to-“
“Wait a moment;” the man in the Santa costume waddled back to a table where there was a big cauldron for some kind of donation, and a big jug full of candy canes. Mizuki considered running off before he was presented with sticky sweets, but didn’t get the time before Santa was back with a package wrapped in cellophane with a big red and glittery bow tied to the top.
“Poinsettia,” he said, “or the Christmas Star if you will.”
“Huh?”
“Christmas spirit in a pot! Merry Christmas, Mizuki!” he chuckled again, in that fabricated Ho-ho-ho that all Santa figures were always fronted. Mizuki looked at the package in his hand – it seemed to contain a plant of sorts. It was heavier than expected.
“I don’t ne-“ he looked up, but the man was nowhere to be seen.

 

***TBC****

World Aids Day

On December 1st 1988, the first World Aids Day took place.
It’s been commemorated annually for 25 years.
Since the first outbreaks in 1981 over 25 million people have lost their lives due to Aids. Currently, there are about 33.4 million people living with the disease.
During the Aids epidemic in the 1980s and 90s, panic reigned due to lack of understanding and knowledge on what caused the virus, how it spread. It was synonymous with death. And for the majority, it was synonymous with gay sex. They called it “the gay plague” among other things. Newspapers wrote about the cancer killing gay people, some breaking the objective view and proclaiming it a punishment for the immoral lifestyle.

Today, we know better. Today we know that it can’t spread through kissing, touching or hugging. We know that anyone can get infected – not just gay people. We know better.
But we owe to the lives lost to commemorate the day. And we owe it to the people living with the virus.
We also owe it to all of these people, and to ourselves and our loved ones to be careful and take responsibility.
Safe sex is hot sex. Alright? It doesn’t matter which orientation you have – you’re not immune! Please take care of yourself.

I hope that many of you will commemorate World Aids Day tomorrow. Light a candle for the lives lost.
Or, if you live in Trondheim, why not attend the Light mass? I most likely can’t attend myself, although I really wanted to. But I’m celebrating my dad’s birthday tomorrow, so I probably can’t make it.

Because I’m starting the first installment of the Advent Calendar tomorrow, this year’s Aids Awareness drabble will be posted today.
Stay safe guys. ♡

 

Aids Awareness Drabble 2013:
Waiting.

It’s the first of December, one icy, blustery morning. The calendar on the sterile, white waiting room wall hasn’t been flipped, but reads November 30th, 1988 – Wednesday.
It irks one of the two men sitting on the hard, wooden chairs immensely. He wants to stand up and rip the leaf off, or flip the calendar to the right page, but he doesn’t budge. Getting up would mean letting go of the hand clutching his with such force. They’re the only couple in the room. The other patients are all by themselves, all men, seated with at least a couple of chairs between themselves. Nobody’s looking at one another, nobody’s exchanging glances. The atmosphere is tense and heavy.
He looks at the message board across the hall, at the information posters pinned up on it, full of advice and telephone numbers for support groups and circles. Apparently there’s a commemoration tonight. He doesn’t other reading on.

They’re lucky to be there together. He knows that. They’re lucky to have one another. Most go through the fear and shame alone.
He glances over at his lover, squeezing his hand gently, attempting a smile, which twists into a grimace instead. The other man didn’t really want to come here. Didn’t want to know.
He said he’d rather not know if he had it. It. Is there a worse word?
There are so many words for it, so many names. All of them sickening, unfamiliar and frightening, some of them hostile.
The dread is worse than the disease, he says. The disease is synonymous with death. Knowledge to him seems like a fate worse than dying.
But then they lost a dear friend. It came all too quickly, and yet it was so slow. This friend, the same friend who introduced them to one another, begged them to get tested.
“It’s worse not knowing.” He’d said.

So here they are. And the weight of their former lifestyle, their former lovers is heavy on their shoulders. Neither of them are very old, barely in their thirties, but it feels like it’s been a million years since it felt safe to be near another person, to hug, kiss or dance with someone. The spots where they used to go to dance, flirt and hook up are deserted. The news are hanging them out as perverse, murderous freaks.
Between them, the number of lovers is high. They could be lucky, but it’s likely they won’t be. Not both of them.
His palms are sweaty, gut swiveling with nausea. His lover’s face is ashen, his dark eyes keeping a close eye on the clock on the wall above the reception.
The grip on his hand tightens. The other man is shaking slightly. He is too.

A door opens, and a man comes out from the room where they perform the tests. He’s pale, looking uneasy as he takes his coat from the hanger by the side of the door. He puts it on and proceeds towards them with quiet steps. His gaze lingers slightly on the silent couple.
Reaching out a hand, he hesitates and lets it fall to his side before he speaks so quietly it’s hard to make out the words.
“Good luck,” the stranger says, his voice thick. “I hope you will be fine.”
They look up, hesitantly smiling back at the strange man. He exits the waiting room, disappearing into the freezing December morning.

Another door opens, and a nurse signals for them to come into the room. They stand, and support each other as they stagger towards the door, hearts in their throats. Both know what the other is thinking. Their hands continue to be tightly clasped as they walk into the next room.

***

Read more about World Aids Day.
Statistics and useful facts.

Once upon a time #EventyrKampanje

[First blogpost in ages, and it’s in Norwegian. Sorry guys, translation will come later!]

De som følger meg på twitter har muligens lagt merke til at jeg har blitt en del mer politisk engasjert enn vanlig den siste uka – hvertfall basert på aktivitetsnivå og rant-statistikk. Dette skyldes flere faktorer bla. at jeg drukner i eksamenspensum, og ikke har tid til å se serier og utsette verden for påfølgende feels og fangirling, men hovedsaklig fordi jeg er sint.
Sint fordi den nye regjeringa har sittet ei knapp uke, og allerede våkner vi så og si hver dag til nye utrolige uttalelser fra våre nye ministere. Verst av alt er likevel Likestillingsminister Solveig Horne, som tidligere har spurt seg selv om det er greit å lese “homoeventyr” i barnehagen. Samme minister forsøker å gjøre opp for seg ved å si at hun skal være Likestillingsminister for både hetero- og homofile (dermed undergraver hun andre legninger, men det er en annen sak), og klarer å uttale seg om “heterofili og andre legninger”. Hun ser det kanskje ikke selv, men nettopp ved å ordlegge seg på denne måten, har Horne støtt i fra seg svært mange av oss, fordi hun tydligvis ikke evner å se at dette ikke er likestilling, men å sammenligne og påpeke at det slett ikke er det samme om man elsker en mann eller en dame, eller hvem man måtte finne seg seksuelt tiltrukket av.
Dette er bare en brøkdel av grunnen til at twitter har kokt den siste uka, men det er også hovedgrunnen til dette innlegget.

Mange har reagert på Hornes uttalelser om hvorvidt barn burde vite om homofili, og om det er greit å lese såkalte “homoeventyr” for barn. Debatten raser, og i Fredags “Ukeslutt”, leste Bjarte Hjelmeland og Eskil Pedersen sitt hjemmesnekrede eventyr om Eskil Askeladd og Prinsen som ikke ville gifte seg(gå inn og lytt, alle burde høre denne perlen).
Jeg elsker dette eventyret – med referanser fra dets parodiske trekk, referanser til min kjære Øystein Sunde, skjeve politiske blikk, og diverse verbale spillopper og virkemidler. Problemet, slik jeg ser det er bare det at dette er et eventyr for voksne – og det er jo klart; her snakker vi om et politisk utspill, og et direkte svar til vår nye Likestillingsminister.
Og det er jo vel og bra, men selv om karikaturen av ministeren selv utbryter at “vi selvfølgelig kan lese dette i barnehagene!” i eventyret, ville det nok ikke vært noen kjempesuksess. Barna ville naturlig nok ikke skjønt hverken samfunnskritikken eller referanser til Grand Prix for 30 år siden. Derfor har jeg skrevet mitt eget eventyr.
Litt for eksperimentasjons skyld, mest fordi vi trenger eventyr hvor det er helt naturlig at Prinsens utkårede er en annen prins, eller at Prinsessa kun kan vekkes av sin elskedes kyss – og denne elskede er en annen prinsesse – eller en kvinnelig ridder for den del.

Jeg skal ikke påstå at jeg er flink til å skrive eventyr. Dette ble i tillegg skrevet mellom klokka ett og tre i natt, og det kan godt være at merkes. Likevel, selv om det kanskje er litt mye dialog, og litt lite klassiske eventyrtrekk, kan vi kalle det et eventyr; med prinser, konger, Det var en gang, osv. Skulle noen få lyst til å lese det for barna sine, skal jeg ikke stoppe dem, snarere tvert imot.
Senest i går luftet jeg idèen om Eventyrkampanje for Marielle, og vi var enige om at dette er en kjempeidè! Har du et lite “homoeventyr” som ikke har annen politisk agenda enn å vise Likestillingsminister Solveig Horne at selv om det utfordrer heteronormen, så er det ikke sånn at det automatisk er smut og sex i full ufoldelse (Om jeg, som stort sett kun skriver innen homoerotikken, klarer å holde meg på matta, tror jeg de fleste vil greie det!), så oppfordrer jeg til at du legger det ut på nett; del det på bloggen din! La oss skrive mange, og vakre eventyr om prinser og prinsesser som forelsker seg i likekjønnede!
Det er snakk om noe så enkelt og vakkert som kjærlighet – det burde både voksne å barn kunne se med det blotte øyet.

Sånn. Da skal jeg dele mitt eget eventyr med dere:

Prinsen som gikk seg bort

Det var en gang, for ikke så alt for lenge siden, i et Kongerike som ikke var spesielt annerledes enn andre kongeriker, en ung, vakker Prins. Han hadde alt en Prins kunne ønske seg; tjenere som ikke visste hva godt de kunne gjøre for ham, både hester, hunder og store skoger han kunne jakte i. Hans foreldre, Kongen og Dronningen hadde ingen andre barn, og visste ikke hva godt de kunne gjøre for Prinsen, og enda var han hverken bortskjemt eller tverr, men snill som dagen var lang, og like vakker i sinn som i skinn. Til og med tjenerne på slottet var han alltid blid mot, og behandlet dem som om de var hans beste venner – det var de jo også, mange av dem hadde vært der hele hans liv; og både stallgutt og gjetere var ofte med på jakt i skogene, eller på skitur om vinteren.

Kongen og Dronningen var så stolte av Prinsen, som hadde vokst opp til å bli en slik snill og hjelpsom ung mann, og nå nærmet det seg Prinsens tyveårsdag.
De ville invitere til gjestebud og ball, så alle fikk komme og hedre Prinsen på den store dagen. I all hemmelighet håpet de nok også at Prinsen skulle finne en å gifte seg med på ballet. I flere av kongerikene rundt hadde det stått bryllup for de unge prinsene og prinsessene, og de ønsket gjerne å se sin eneste sønn godt gift. Han var slik en god gutt mente de, at det var da vel underlig om ingen ville ha ham? Alle lo når Kongen kom med slike påstander. Klart det var noen som ville ha ham! Flere av de eldre i riket begynte forresten å bli utålmodige, fordi de var av det gammeldagse slaget, og mente tyve år var på høy tid for en prins å bli gift. Når han var den eneste prinsen i hele Riket i tillegg, skulle det vel bare mangle at det snart måtte stå bryllup på Kongsgården, mente de.

Prinsen tok det hele med ro. Han sa til sine foreldre: “Hold bursdagsfest for meg dere. Det er nok. Når jeg finner den rette, så blir det bryllup.”
Kongen og Dronningen slo seg til rette med dette svaret, stolte over at Prinsen var såpass klok at han ville vente på den rette. Det kunne jo både vare og rekke det, men de tenkte at det fikk stå sin prøve, og gikk i gang med å forberede bursdagsfest. Invitasjoner ble sendt ut; til alle storfolk og adelige i riket, til Hertuger, Hertuginner og kongelige fra nær og fjern. De beste kokker og bakere ble ført til slottet for å lage en storslått meny som fikk tennene til å løpe i vann, bare ved å lese kladden. Skreddere og skomakere ble sendt bud på, for å kle opp alle som bodde på slottet i de vakreste plagg. I alle kriker og kroker ble det vasket, pusset og polert. Det ble til og med sendt bud på håndverkere som skulle komme og fikse alle småtingene som skulle blitt ordnet for lenge siden. Ingenting skulle mangle når Prinsens tyveårsdag var på trappene!

Selv om det ikke var snakk om noen overraskelsesfest, hadde Dronningen sine planer; hun likte hemmelighetskremmeri, og siden slottet snart ville komme til å bugne av gaver, ville hun ikke ha Prinsen i huset, uansett hvor mye presanger og gjester skulle smugles inn bakveien. Derfor sendte hun ham på dør – med beskjed om å dra ut i skogen på jakt, eller for å fiske, og ikke komme tilbake før til kvelds, to dager senere. Prinsen var ikke dum, og Dronningen hadde vel ikke vært særlig opptatt av å skjule hvorfor hun ville ha ham ut, men like fullt tok han med seg en ryggsekk full av niste, teltet, og fiskestanga, og red til skogs. Han likte seg i naturen, og hadde ikke noe imot å tilbringe et par dager i friluft. Ikke var han alene heller – han hadde jo sin trofaste hest, og han møtte alltids noen å prate med langs veien, og la derfor ut med godt humør.

Han red lengre inn i skogen enn han pleide – men været var vakkert, sola skinte høyt oppe på himmelen, og lufta var klar og varm. Fuglene sagt og lekte mellom trærne, og han visste det skulle være et vann lengre inne i skogen hvor det var lett å få fisk. Resolutt drev han hesten fremover mellom trærne. Han hadde det ikke travelt, og lot den ta seg tid til å smake på både gress og busker før de endelig kom fram til vannet han hadde hørt snakk om: Det lå vakkert til, i en lysning mellom trærne, i ly av en fjellknaus. Vannet var speilblankt, og klart, nesten så han fikk lyst til å hoppe uti og ta seg en dukkert – men han ville ikke skremme fisken, som det var så mye av, at de kom opp til overflaten både titt og tett. Han hoppet av hesten, salte av og lot den beite i nærheten mens han slo opp teltet, og smått om senn gav seg til å fiske.
Mens han satt der, og så på duppen som fløt i vannskorpa, tok han av seg støvler og strømper og lot beina dingle over vannet. Av og til tegnet han små ringer i vannet med beina, og lo når fiskene kom opp til overflaten og kilte ham under beina.

Plutselig ble idyllen brutt. Det kom et skudd, langt borte fra. Ikke at det var noe rart med det; skogene var store, og den som ville kunne jakte der, selv om det var på Kongens land. Men hesten, som hadde gresset så fredelig under en stor eik, skvatt til – og før Prinsen visste ordet av det, hadde den galoppert inn mellom trærne, og blitt borte.
Prinsen skvatt opp, og kastet fra seg fiskestanga. Han begynte å løpe i samme retning som hesten hadde forsvunnet i. Han ropte på den – men uten hell.
Snart var det umulig å se hovavtrykk på bakken, og han forstod at han hadde gått seg bort. Frustrert, vandret han rundt i skogen, som virket som den ble tettere og tettere, i håp om å finne enten hesten eller veien tilbake til vannet hvor han hadde slått leir, uten å finne noen av delene.
Til slutt satte han seg ned på en stein, og sukket tungt. Han var sulten, og noen regndråper hadde begynt å falle innimellom trærne, som stod så tett her, at han ikke hadde lagt merke til at det skyet over.
Tenk om han virkelig ikke fant veien ut? Vel var han snart tyve år, men tanken på å være alene i en helt ny del av skogen, og kanskje til og med gå glipp av sin egen bursdagsfest fordi han ikke fant veien hjem fikk ham til å miste motet.
Snart plasket regnet ned, og selv om han satt under et digert tre, begynte han å bli våt. Han visste at man ikke burde røre for mye på seg om man gikk seg bort, men på den annen side; ingen visste at han hadde gått seg bort, og derfor var det ingen som lette etter ham heller. Derfor begynte han snart å bevege på seg igjen, for å få tilbake varmen. Og best som han gikk der og hutret, hørte han en lyd: Det knaket mellom trærne, som om det var noe stort som bevegde på seg. Et dyr. Eller kanskje… Han følte seg litt dum, men det kunne jo være et troll.
Noen busker ble skjøvet til side, og en ung mann kom ut i lysningen hvor prisen stod  – han leide på en hest.
“Der er du jo!” utbrøt Prinsen.
Den unge mannen så på ham, med forvirring i det brune blikket.
“Hesten!” sa Prinsen, og fikk tatt seg litt sammen. “Den er min. Han ble skremt, og stakk av.”
“Så bra!” sa den andre, “Ja, at han er din altså. Han dukket plutselig opp utenfor stua hvor jeg bor, men han lot seg ikke fange inn så lett. Jeg måtte følge etter ham helt hit før han lot meg feste leietauet.”
“Tusen takk for at du fant ham,” sa Prinsen med et lettelsens sukk. “Jeg begynte å bli litt redd. Uten ham kommer jeg meg ikke hjem.”
“Helt i orden,” sa den unge mannen. “Hvor kommer du fra?”
“Et stykke utenfor skogen,” svarte Prinsen, “Men akkurat nå er jeg på fisketur. Jeg har slått leir ved et vann, men jeg har visst gått meg bort.”
“Er det et lite rundt vann, med masse fisk?”
Prinsen nikket. “Vet du hvor det er?”
“Jeg kan vise deg,” sa han, “Følg etter meg.”
“Jeg har en bedre idè,” sa Prinsen, som hadde fått nok av å gå for en stund; han hadde ikke rukket å ta på seg støvlene, da hesten sprang i veg, og det gjorde vondt i beina. Han nikket mot hesten. “Han er sterk nok til å bære oss begge, bare du styrer ham i riktig retning. Han er snill som et lam, så det går fint.”
De hjalp hverandre opp på hesteryggen, og la iveg.

Ganske riktig, de hadde snakket om det samme vannet, og til hest tok det ikke lang tid før de nådde leirplassen. Det hadde sluttet å regne, men begge to var våte, og tok derfor til å gjøre opp bål. Prinsen sløyet også fisken han hadde fanget tidligere.
“Vil du bli til middag?” smilte han.
“Gjerne!”
Det glimret i blikket til den andre, og Prinsen kjente at han ble litt rød. Han var ikke vant til å lage middag til andre, og kjente seg plutselig litt flau, særlig fordi han faktisk hadde gått seg bort, og til og med trodd det kunne vært et troll i skogen et øyeblikk. Han snudde seg vekk, og trædde fisken på to pinner.

Snart etter spraket det i flammer, og en liflig duft av stekt fisk steg opp mellom trærne. De to unge spiste med god appetitt mens de småpratet om både det ene og det andre. Han fikk vite at den unge mannen het Lysander – et passende navn syntes han. Lysander hadde blek hud, og tykt, gyllenbrunt hår som strittet til alle kanter, selv om det så ut som han hadde forsøkt å gre det. Han hadde på seg enkle klær, noe som ble forklart med at faren hans var skogvokter.
Derfor visste Lysander både det ene og det andre om skogen og områdene rundt; legender og sagn kunne han også. Det ble en riktig hyggelig kveld, før Lysander sa at han måtte skynde seg hjem før det ble mørkt.
“Men om det går greit, vil jeg gjerne komme tilbake i morgen,” sa han, “For å fiske.”
“Bare kom du!” sa Prinsen. “Det er bare artig med litt selskap. Man vet jo aldri når han der stikker av igjen.” Han nikket mot hesten som sto bundet lenger borte.
Lysander lo, og reiste seg. “Da ses vi i morgen,” smilte han.
Prinsen takket så mye for hjelpen nok en gang, og vinket.

Neste dag, møttes de to et stykke bortenfor vannet, da Prinsen samlet ved til å lage nytt bål – han hilste, og fortsatte å plukke tørre kvister, mens de pratet om løst og fast. Han fortalte Lysander at han hadde bursdag dagen etter, og at moren hans derfor ikke ville ha ham i huset. Lysander lo den trillende latteren sin, og ristet på hodet. Selv hadde han ingen mor, hun døde da han var liten, men det gjorde ingenting sa han, for faren var en god mann. Dessuten hadde han giftet seg igjen, med en kvinne som var både mild og vakker.
Prinsen syntes synd på ham likevel, men visste ikke hvordan han skulle si det, og klappet derfor Lysander oppmuntrende på skulderen idet de fant veien tilbake til leirplassen.

Hele dagen fisket og pratet de, med føttene plaskende i det kalde vannet. Prinsen foreslo at de skulle bade, men Lysander trodde det var for kaldt. Isteden pekte han mot fjellknausen, og fortalte at mange trodde den hadde vært et troll engang. Prinsen frøs på ryggen mens Lysander pekte ut hvor både ører og nese satt, og sa at et sånt troll sikkert kunne spist ti menn til frokost.

Da mørket begynte å falle på, var det tid for å skilles for dagen. Det føltes tungt, for de hadde blitt gode venner, og Prinsen følte seg trist ved tanken på at an skulle ri hjem morgenen etter. Men så spurte han: “Lysander, vil du bli med meg hjem, og være med å feire tyveårsdagen min i morgen kveld?”
Det ville Lysander mer enn gjerne, men han var usikker på om det var helt greit – han var jo ikke invitert.
“Står jeg ikke her og inviterer deg kanskje?” spurte Prinsen lattermildt. “Du hjalp meg finne veien tilbake til teltet; du fant hesten min; og du er en god venn. Jeg ville blitt meget glad om du takket ja.”
Lysander lo mot ham; vakker og livlig var han. “Da får jeg vel takke ja, da!”

Og slik ble det.
Dagen etter red de begge på Prinsens hest gjennom skogene, og over markene som ledet til Kongsgården. Forfjamset, utbrøt Lysander; “Men! Vi er jo på slottet!”
“Ja? Jeg bor jo her.” Sa Prinsen rolig.
“Er du Prinsen?”
“Ja. En Prins uten støvler.” Lo Prinsen, og hoppet av hesten. De ble møtt av både tjenere og hoffdamer som kom for å gratulere ham med dagen, og som skottet nysgjerrig bort på Lysander.
Til slutt kom også Kongen og Dronningen ut, allerede kledd i finstasen, klare for å ta imot gjester som kom kortveis fra, og for å overøse sønnen med gratulasjoner.
“Og hvem har vi her?” undret Kongen, og strakk ut en arm for å hilse på Lysander, som så rent forskrekket ut.
“Han er sønnen til skogvokteren,” sa Prinsen. “Han hjalp meg da hesten rømte og jeg gikk meg bort i skogen. Derfor ville jeg invitere ham til feiringen.”
“Men det er klart han skal delta på feiringen!” utbrøt Kongen. “Men slik kan han jo ikke gå kledt. Kall på skredderen!”
Forfjamset, ble den unge mannen skjøvet foran idet hele flokken toget inn på slottet. Han ble kledt opp i de gildeste klær, og takket både støtt og stadig for at han hadde hjulpet Prinsen. Det var rent umulig for de to å veksle et ord hele dagen, fram til det var tid for å toge inn i ballsalen.
Først da fikk de snakket sammen, hvorpå Prinsen ba om unnskyldning for at Kongen og Dronningen var så voldsomme. Men Lysander bare lo nå som han var på trygg grunn igjen.
Han var så annerledes, kledd i kongeblått og sort, at Prinsen knapt visste hvor han skulle se. Han kjente han ble rød. “Du skulle sagt hvem du var.” Sa Lysander, og dultet ham i siden. “Jeg kjenner meg rent dum, som ikke kjente igjen selveste Prinsen.”
Han svarte ikke, ble for opptatt for å takke for gratulasjoner i øst og vest. Men da det ble tid for ball og dans var han lei av å kurtisere og bli kurtisert. Han skjønte jo at bak alle presangene og gratulasjonene var det mange som håpet at han skulle forlove seg denne kvelden.
Vel var det mange vakre unge piker som hadde bedt ham opp til dans – men han takket pent nei, for han syntes ikke det føltes riktig. Isteden befant han seg til en hver tid i nærheten av den eneste gjesten han selv hadde invitert.
“Dette er visst reneste forlovelsesfesten,” spøkte Lysander. “Er du sikker på at du ikke skal gifte deg?”
Prinsen ristet på hodet. “Ikke med noen av dem hvertfall.”
“Nå kommer de til å tro du er sta,” sa Lysander.
“La dem tro det.”
Blikkene deres møttes. “Hva med deg? Skal ikke du danse?”
Lysander svarte som sant var, at det var ingen som hadde spurt ham.
“Vil du ikke danse med meg da?” spurte Prinsen lett.
Lysander ristet på hodet. “Om jeg hadde en God Fe, så kanskje. Det er vel bare Prinsesser som kan danse med Prinsen.”
“Hvem har sagt det?” sa Prinsen, og rakte fram hånden.

Så danset de, den ene dansen etter den andre, med hoffet som spente tilskuere. Og Kongen lente seg mot Dronningen og visket: “Jeg tror sannelig han er forelsket!”
De tok hverandres hender og steg ned på dansegulvet, til de to unge. Musikken hadde stoppet, og alles blikk hvilte på dem.
“Nå,” sa Kongen.
“Ser man det,” sa Dronningen.
Prinsen bare smilte, og smilte, glad i blikket, og med røde kinn. “Han er hverken prinsesse eller prins, men…”
Kongen snøftet høyt. “Vi er da ikke i urtiden gutt!” utbrøt han. “Her trengs hverken Gode Feer eller magiske gresskar. Er det ham du vil ha, så er det ham du skal få. Og vil han ha deg, så skal han få både halve kongeriket og mere til.”
“Og da blir han jo en prins, han også!” stemte noen i.
Og det var alle enige i. Og alle var enige i at et vakrere par hadde ingen sett.
Så danset de enda mere, glade og lette, og da klokken slo tolv, kysset de hverandre, mens alle jublet og gratulerte dem – Dronningen måtte til og med tørke noen tårer, så vakkert var det.

Snart gikk det bud om at det ville bli bryllup på slottet, og at festen ville vare tre dager til ende.
Også levde de to prinsene lykkelig alle sine dager.

***
(21.10-13, Caroline Olsen)

Og nå er det deres tur! Hiv dere på #Eventyrkampanje, og vis skeptikerne at “homoeventyr” ikke er synonymt med “homosex”.

Drabble: End of Summer

The school year has already started, and I hope you’re all getting back into your routines nicely. The truth is that I always dreaded going back to school, and so I shared some experiences with my tumblr followers. As a result, I ended up writing this little bit.

I intended to post it earlier, but stuff got in the way. It also got more melancholic than I aimed for, but please enjoy it still.
[Aki and Maaya are copyrighted, please do not repost or alter this text in any way]

End of Summer

The trees are still green, but soon the lush, vivid color will give way to hues of orange, yellow and red. Autumn is approaching, and although the heat is still sweltering, the winds blowing inland are steadily turning chillier, and the evenings are back to being cool and comfortable.

The days of going to the beach with friends, or hanging out at the mall just to be somewhere with proper air conditioning and easy access to ice cream, days of listening to the cicadas while reading on the porch or playing in the refreshing rain from a gardening hose are soon over.

The final day of summer break has come to pass. Night has fallen, and soon an alarm clock will ring and announce the start of a new semester. Two sets of school uniforms are already prepared, on their hangers, casting their shadows on the walls inside the dim room.

The two boys currently occupying the room should have gone to sleep already, but they’re still awake, sitting quietly on the bed. Neither of them want summer to end, but one of them in particular seems down.

“Aki..?”  Maaya reaches out, touching his hand to the younger boy’s shoulder.  He’s noticed the way the other boy’s mood has steadily dropped over the course of the day, and it’s not hard for him to guess why. For the past month, all throughout summer vacation, Aki has been staying with Maaya’s family; eating with them, gone out with them and helped out with the chores. At nights the two of them have slept together in Maaya’s room. He’s barely seen or heard from his mother at all throughout summer, not even a couple of days ago when he went home to pick up his uniform – by request, as Maaya’s mom wanted to iron it for him. His own mother was nowhere to be found, and frankly he was relieved.
Sometimes, Maaya thinks it’s wrong to just accept that this is how things are, but at the same time there is nothing he wants more than to have Aki with him, and to know that he is okay.
That’s probably why he can’t sleep either.
Now that school is starting again, he can’t be sure that Aki is okay, and perhaps they’ll slip into the pattern of him not sharing his thoughts once more.
“It’s-“
“Don’t tell me it’s nothing,” Maaya bites him off. “I’m not stupid.”
It frustrates him, being pushed away whenever he tries to support his boyfriend. And it worries him that while he is in his senior year, Aki has only just started high school, and it doesn’t seem to be working out too well for him.
Aki sighs, looking away.
“You’re worried about tomorrow, aren’t you?” the elder of the two asks, his voice mild once more.
Aki shrugs. He holds back.
Maaya patiently waits, watching the way the other boy pulls his legs even closer to his body; pressing his knees against his chest, hiding his face between his knees, and then exhales slowly.
“I was the only one unaccompanied to the first day of school,” he mutters. His voice is unbearably raw, despite how quiet it is. “Didn’t know where to go or anything. So I was late, for the first day.”
Maaya doesn’t say anything, but he knows that his hand is reflexively squeezing Aki’s shoulder a little harder.
“Got used to it though. It happened every year.”  His voice is emotionless now, just as his face undoubtedly; hidden between his knees.
Maaya shifts on the bed, rising to his knees and clumsily crawls over to the other boy, crawling up behind him and enveloping him from behind; wrapping his arms and legs alike around Aki’s thin frame.
A light shiver runs through the younger of the two. Maaya kisses him on top of the head, nuzzling close to him, continuing to hold him silently.
“D’you want me to come with you tomorrow?” he asks, quietly.
“Don’t be stupid.” Aki’s voice is muffled. He looks up, turns around and allow their gazes to meet at last; his dark eyes are quivering slightly. “Besides, you start tomorrow as well. President.”
“I’m sure they’d cut me some slack.”
“On the first day?” Aki’s voice is dripping with sarcasm.
“If you want me to.”
The younger boy turns around fully now, and sits facing Maaya. He shakes his head. “I can go on my own. Don’t be silly.”
He looks down on the sheets again, at the space between their bodies. Then he leans forward slightly, resting his forehead against Maaya’s shoulder.
“I’m not afraid of tomorrow,” he says, earnestly. “It’s just…”
His lips feel dry against the elder boy’s bare shoulder. “I just…don’t want to go.”
He’s most definitely anxious .
Maaya pulls him close, pressing their bodies together, and wishes that he could protect him from whatever it is that’s making him seem this different from his usual self. After all, he knows so little about Aki’s school life, and yet he knows enough based on the occasional bruises, the scowls he’s witnessed when he’s been to pick the younger boy up, and the remarks he’s heard. It can’t be easy.
He doesn’t want to lie, but he feels like he is; “You’ll be fine…” he whispers against dark tresses, his hands running lovingly over the small of Aki’s back. The boy is strong. He can hold his own, but that doesn’t mean he’s not hurting.
“I’m not…It’s not what you think.” He attempts to defend himself.
Maaya lets him. It’s okay if he doesn’t want to show it all.
“I just wish I could stay with you instead…” he mumbles. He’s reddening. Even though Maaya can’t see it from this angle, he is sure of it, as he feels Aki’s skin flushing beneath his touch.
He kisses the boy’s neck, touching his lips gently to his hot skin over and over, and whispers; “But you can.” He pulls away slightly, so they can see each other’s faces again.
“Your uniform is already here, right? It’s not like you have to go back home just because school starts again. Just stay here for as long as you want to.”
He smiles, bringing their lips together, gently. “I’ll always be here for you.”

He half expects some kind of snarky remark in response, but Aki ‘s lips are sealed. A brief smile crosses his tired face. And then he finally speaks; “We should sleep.”
He pulls Maaya down with him, and soon after falls into restless sleep, with his head resting on the elder’s shoulder.

~終~

Drabble; “Snap”

Hey guys, it’s been a while! As usual I should say.

Well, for those who follow me on Tumblr, you might know that I recently bought a new laptop after my loyal old one decided to retire itself. It was a bit emotional, considering I wrote two novels on that thing, but it was necessary, and now I’m the proud owner of a shiny new toy! The point of this rant was that well, it takes some time to get used to a new laptop and a new keyboard, so I asked on Tumblr if anyone had any prompts for me.

I had an Anon request some MaAki fluff, and after procrastinating a little, I jotted down something last night. I hope you’ll enjoy it Anon ♡
Feel free to let me know what you think~
Wordcount: 521

Snap

Click, snap!
Aki stirred, turning his head towards the sound, attempting to fend off the overwhelming tiredness as he cracked his eyes open and tried to focus on the form sitting above him.
Maaya was nothing but a blurry silhouette blocking the lamplight, he clenched his eyes shut again and yawned.
“What are you doing?” he ground out in a hoarse, sleepy voice.
The room was already too hot, despite the whirr of the air-conditioning. It was far too early. It didn’t matter what day it was. It was summer vacation, and way too early to be up after having been awake way too long the night before.
The room felt even hotter. His lip twitched weakly, before the smile dissolved into another yawn.
“Are you gonna sleep all day?” Maaya’s soft voice traveled down towards him as he leaned closer. Strands of pink came to brush against Aki’s cheek, and the tip of his nose.
“Problem?”
“Not at all…” warm breath ghosted over his cheeks, right before warm lips rested on his temple and fingers found his hair, running through the wiry, ebony mess in a loving motion. “I could watch you sleep all day.”
“I could sleep all day,” Aki muttered in response, his lip curving upwards. His mouth felt dry. Opening one eye halfway, he peered over at his boyfriend. “What are you doing with your phone?”
“Like I said, I could watch you sleep all d-”
“Did you take my picture just now?”
His eyelids, which had felt so heavy up until that point, flew open.
“Maybe.” Maaya smirked, tilting his head to the side.
“What do you mean maybe?” Aki’s hand grabbed the elder boy’s wrist.
“You’re just so adorable when you’re asleep,” the boy’s grin widened, “So innocent and-”
“Shut up! Delete it!”
“Not on your life.”
Ignoring the dazzling smile, Aki tightened his grip around Maaya’s slim wrist, squeezing it hard, pulling him closer. “Yes, you will.”
“Never,” Maaya lowered himself on top of him, pinning him down with the weight of his body. He rested his forehead on Aki’s, touched his lips to the tip of his nose, and finally rolled over on his side, landing next to him on the mattress. Aki’s hand was still clasping his wrist, but since Maaya now lay on his free arm, he had no way of getting to the phone holding the embarrassing photo.
“I’m gonna use it as my background photo,” the elder of the two teased, prodding him in the side with his elbow.
“You wouldn’t dare.”
Their eyes met. The covers rustled. Maaya’s lip quirked, he laughed softly, stroking his fingertips along the younger boy’s cheek. Such a gentle touch, like the first spring breeze.
Lips that found his own, catching them in light, loving kisses.
“Then at least take a new one…” Aki finally murmured, pulling away slightly.
They lay side by side, cramped on the bed that was really only meant for one person, their faces only a slight inch apart.

Click, snap!

Their lips met again, followed by a clattering sound as the cell phone was dropped to the floor.

 

Happy consumer’s day!

Despite my rant yetserday on Twitter, I don’t mind Valentine’s day. But I don’t care about it either. I think it’s a good reminder if you’re in a relationship to show appreciation for your lover – but you should never forget to do that the rest of the year, and it’s not supposed to be an obligation. On the other hand, being single isn’t the worst thing in the world, so please don’t let it get you down that you don’t have a Valentine. After all, this holiday was created for the consumers to throw their money at corporations.For me, it’s just another excuse to order in Chinese and flop on the couch with a movie – which indeed makes this a good “holiday”. Ahah~

With that said, I did write something for today.  I keep thinking that I don’t want to share too much on this blog, as I don’t want to overdo anything, but in the end, Maaya and Aki are too cute, and I couldn’t resist.
I wrote this last week. Please enjoy this tidbit:

Note:
In Japan, girls give chocolate to the boys they like on Valentine’s day – the boys return the favor on March 14th (White’s day). There are two types of Valentine’s chocolate in Japan: Giri-choco which is basically “obligation chocolate” – you give this to your close male friends, brothers etc. And Honmei-choco, the real deal, given to someone you like.
100¥ = ca.$1.07

Sweets

“Hey you,” Maaya grinned, not bothering to hide his surprise at finding Aki waiting for him outside the school gates.  If Aki was waiting for him at this hour, then that meant that he must’ve skipped out of school early again. He didn’t want to dwell on it though.  Or, for that matter, display any kind of concern.
“Hey, where’s Atsushi?” the raven haired teen replied flatly, looking around.
“Basket ball practice. There’s a game this weekend, so they’ll be camping at the gym all week.”
“Good.”
He chose to ignore the reply, brushing off the younger teen’s tendency to claim he disliked Maaya’s best friend. The truth was that the two of them got along fairly well.
“So, how’s the loot?” the younger asked.
“Loot?”
“Don’t you usually rake in the sweets on this day?” Aki sent him a scrutinizing glare-
It was February 14th; Valentine’s day, and even now that he was out, Maaya would always receive all kinds of chocolate and sweets from the girls in class, and even from some of his kohais.
“And I did,” Maaya flashed him a happy grin. “Can’t wait to get home.”
“Of course you did”
Maaya listened for any kind of jealous tinge in Aki’s voice, his lip quirking.
They walked down the street together, Aki a couple of steps ahead, his hands stuffed into his pockets.
“So anyway,” Aki’s steps came to a halt, he slowly turned around, a light pink gracing his pale cheeks. “Here.”
He handed over a small package, completely anonymous in shape. No ribbons or heart-patterned wrappings or anything.
“For me?” Maaya accepted it, smiling. He pulled the younger boy closer. “You’re so sweet.”
“Oh shut up,” Aki averted his gaze, threatening to pull away. “It’s giri-choco okay?”
“No it isn’t, we’re a couple!” Maaya held him in place, nudging the boy’s ribcage with his elbow.
“Exactly. We’re a couple, so I’m obliged to give you something.”
By this time, the boy’s cheeks were a healthy crimson. Maaya laughed.
“Fine.”
“It cost like a hundred yen at the conbini!”
The younger boy seemed completely reluctant towards showing any kind of emotion.
Maaya took his hand, and brought it up to his lips, placing a soft kiss on the boy’s fingers.
With a huff, Aki tore himself loose and strode back down the street. Laughing softly, Maaya followed suit, stuffing the little packet inside the pocket of his uniform.

He would save the best for last.