It had been a hard journey for Tachibana Kippei to reach this place. To be able to stand up to society, forsake his parents, betray what he'd been taught was "normal," and admit he was in love with another man. Relationships were hard enough, so having the added burden of his being of the homosexual variety had made the commitment difficult to accept. And he still didn't know if he would label himself as gay or if it was simply that the person he ended up with was also male, and under different circumstances he'd have a wife and family by this time. He hadn't thought about it because that wasn't the circumstance, so there was no point contemplating it too much. He loved Yanagi Renji and that was that, and when he finally realized that wasn't going to change he gave up and accepted it and left it at that.

But that was all a long time ago.

He was beyond worrying how people would react to him when they found out his lover was a man. Now he found himself thinking more and more about the two of them...perhaps moving in together. Cohabiting. It was a step closer to spending the rest of their lives together - a big step - and he wondered if they were ready for that. Were they ready to go from "you and I" to "us?" Ready to see the same face every morning, put up with each other's habits every day, fight over the covers every night?

Tachibana decided he was.



"Hey...ya know..."

Yanagi looked over at his lover. They were sitting together on the couch at his apartment; he was sitting forward, reading Homer's Odyssee, with Tachibana sitting sideways, back propped up against the armrest and legs laying out over the seat and across Yanagi's lap. He had been staring thoughtfully out the window at the pouring rain, so his eventual speaking up didn't come as a surprise. Rain tended to make the blond man think, and he was prone to sharing his thoughts.


He was still a moment more, then turned and gave his lover a smile. A charming smile that even after all these years Yanagi still found so beautiful. "Lets live together."

With a tilt of the head the brunet thought this over, and for a minute Tachibana was almost afraid he'd say no. That he wasn't ready. But that fear was acquitted when Yanagi nodded and said "I'd like that."

Tachibana's smile widened, and he moved closer to seal the deal with a kiss, then rested his head on the other's shoulder. He felt...warm. Happiness and contentment was spreading through him, and he sat still and basked in it comfortably while Yanagi went back to reading.

He looked forward to having nights like this for the rest of their life.



"You know, this means you'll have to put up with my long showers forever now," Tachibana said after a quiet length of time.

"Oh no," Yanagi didn't even look away from his book as he replied. "Whatever shall I do?"

A smirk-attached chuckle. "Well, I'll cook to make up for it."

"How will that make up for anything?"

"...Excuse me?"

"I've tasted your cooking."

"My cooking is fine..."



Oh yes, the future would be delightful indeed.