The surprised Kichirō looked back and caught sight of Ryū’s handsome visage in the dark of the night. His eyes glimmered as the fireworks reflected on his big radiant eyes. Ryū smirked as he tightened his embrace: “Ki-tan, happy birthday.”
Kichirō could not respond. He was speechless. He did not know whether he should laugh or cry, but deep down in his heart, he knew that he was really happy seeing his boyfriend on this special day. In the end, he smiled and softly said: “Thank you, Ryū.”
“Onīsan, see? I told you I have a gift for you, he he,” Shūichirō chuckled. All along, he knew what was going on between his big brother and Ryū. Before this event, Ryū and the others already contacted Shūichirō about their surprise for Kichirō. Although Naoki and the others were not around to celebrate with Kichirō, they sent Ryū as their willing representative.
Kichirō was even more shocked: “What do you mean?” he played dumb.
“Onīsan, I knew you were dating Giri no Ani . It’s quite obvious even if you won’t tell me,” Shūichirō sighed.
Ryū reached out for Shūichirō’s head and ruffled his hair: “Good boy, thanks for helping me out in luring this little guy here.”
Kichirō blushed at the thought of his brother knowing his current relationship status with Ryū, but what even made him more flustered was Ryū calling him a little guy: “Who’re you calling little? I’m a big man,” he huffed.
Ryū sneered then rapped Kichirō’s head with his other arm that he used to embrace Kichirō: “Yeah, a big man. A big man, with a little—” Ryū was not even finished with what he was saying when Kichirō immediately covered his mouth.
“Ano~ Let’s go. It’s getting late and cold out here,” Kichirō changed the topic and as soon as he looked back to the sky, the fireworks display had already ended. “Uwaa~ we’re pretty lucky that we were able to watch that wonderful fireworks display,” Kichirō said with a smile on his face.
Ryū stood up and helped Kichirō stand up. He faced Kichirō and drew close to the other boy’s ear, then he whispered: “Did you like my first gift?”
“Eh? You prepared those fireworks yourself?!?” Kichirō was dumbfounded. At first, he did find it pretty odd that those fireworks started right at the moment when they sat on the big rock and looked up at the sky. He just thought that it was a mere coincidence. Now, it was all clear. It was because of Ryū.
“I liked it so much, Ryū. What’s more important is that you’re here. But what about your family? Wasn’t it that you needed to do something back at your own place? How did you get up here?” Kichirō immediately bombarded Ryū with all of these questions.
“Let’s talk about that later,” Ryū said with a smile on his face.
“Hey, I’m still here. Can’t you guys see that your cute otōto is still here?” Shūichirō was still young, but he already knew that he was like a third wheel at the moment.
Kichirō and Ryū laughed heartily.
Kichirō walked ahead of them. He looked back and beckoned: “Okay, let’s go then. The food will get cold and Otōsan’s alone in the house, too.”
When the trio reached the Ishikawa residence, it was already around eleven in the evening. Akihiko was wide awake, listening to Christmas songs being played on the radio as he danced to the beat. “By the Time of Christmas Carols” by Junichi Inagaki  was currently playing. It somehow made Kichirō reminisce of his childhood. He could clearly recall those days when he was a young boy. He, together with his parents, happily celebrated his birthday and Christmas eve. His father was always the goofy type. He would always dance to the music, while his mother giggled to her heart’s content on the side, as she watched Akihiko. Those were the happy days that he vowed to keep in his heart for as long as he lived.
( It’s the video above.)
“Otōsan, we have a visitor,” Kichirō called out.
Akihiko, who was still goofing around, looked back and laughed: “Ho ho ho, look who’s here! It’s good to see friends around my son.” Akihiko approached them and nodded at Ryū.
Ryū flashed his golden smile and greeted Akihiko: “Otōsan, konbanwa. Merry Christmas. It’s good to be here with you all.”
Kichirō’s big eyes opened wide when he heard Ryū calling his father, Otōsan. He hastily slapped Ryū’s arm then wryly smiled at his father: “Otōsan, please forgive this idiot. I think he’s hallucinating.”
Ryū knitted his brows and looked at Kichirō with a frown. Then he decided to fight back: “What’s wrong? Eventually, he’ll be my father-in—” Again, before he was able to finish what he was about to say, Kichirō immediately covered the other boy’s big mouth.
Shūichirō, who was watching them from the side, just chuckled. He then interrupted: “Onīsan is such a party pooper, ha ha.”
“I am not. Now, go and help me prepare the food,” Kichirō was blushing all over. His ears were red as an apple.
Ryū also interrupted: “Do you even know how to prepare food? Do me a favor and just get the Christmas cake I bought inside my car.”
Kichirō’s blush vanished without a trace. He was now elated when he heard there was a Christmas cake. Without hesitation, he dashed out of the house: “I’ll be back,” he said before walking out of the door.
As soon as he was about to take a step out of the house, Ryū immediately grabbed his wrist: “Wear this,” he said with a warm tone. He wrapped Kichirō’s scarf around his neck and made him wear his coat. The careless and overjoyed Kichirō forgot that it was cold outside!
Kichirō’s heart skipped a bit. He could feel four other eyes looking at him apart from Ryū’s. He awkwardly laughed and thanked Ryū: “Eto~ thanks, bro, he he.”
“Bro?” Ryū asked then immediately frowned.
“Ah.. Ha ha, I better get going. The cake’s waiting for me,” Kichirō said as he tried to release himself from Ryū’s grip.
Ryū did not let him go. Instead, he pulled him back and whispered: “What kind of a brother would fuck his own brother?”
Kichirō felt like his ear where Ryū whispered was itchy and, at the same time, he felt a frosty chill that was even colder than the world outside run down his spine, so that he immediately shuddered. “… Ha ha,” he could not say anything else, instead just run for his life.
When he got outside, snow started falling from the sky. He shook off the chill he felt from the threat that he felt behind Ryū’s words. He figured that he should be careful about what he would say next. He knew very well that he would suffer tremendously if ever he would say anything wrong to Ryū again. A ‘punishment’ would surely be waiting for him if something like this would happen in the future. It was a good thing that he was in their house. He felt that he was safe knowing his father and brother were around. This made him subconsciously rub his butt. In the end, he shook these thoughts out of his mind and continued walking toward Ryū’s car.
He opened the car’s door and immediately saw a box of cake in the seat behind the driver’s seat. “This could be it.” He took the box and when he was about to close the door, he heard something unusual — it was the sound of a cat meowing. He looked around him and could not find any stray cat lurking anywhere near him. He suddenly realized that the sound was coming from inside the car. He placed the cake on top of the car then looked everywhere inside the car. In the end, he saw another box on top of the passenger’s seat. He walked around the car and opened the door adjacent the passenger’s seat.
As soon as he opened the door, the meowing noise suddenly stopped. He then heard something purring. His curiosity was piqued so he hurriedly opened the box. Though it was dark outside, there were a few streetlights that somehow brought light to his surroundings. He could vaguely see the outlines of a small furry animal that was scratching its ear with one of its hind legs. It was obviously a kitten!
Kichirō felt pity for the small kitten as it was left inside the car in this cold season. The car heater was not even switched on. “Oh, that Ryū. He didn’t even think about this poor little kitty,” he cursed Ryū in his mind. He picked up the kitten and put it in his embrace. He closed the door and picked up the cake box that he placed on top of the car earlier with his right hand, as the other embraced the kitten.
The snow did not last for too long. It stopped the moment that Kichirō was able to get the cake and the kitten from the car. There weren’t even any traces of snow left on the ground, but the winter breeze was still freezing cold. Kichirō wanted to rub his cheeks when he felt this cold breeze caress his face, but he could not do so because his hands were full. All of a sudden, the kitten in his bosom crawled up to his neck and snuggled itself as it latched onto Kichirō’s shoulder. Kichirō felt a little ticklish because of this. His warmth apparently attracted the kitten who was initially left out in the cold. Having found a safe and warm haven, it felt secured in his embrace.
Kichirō walked back toward their house, only to see Ryū waiting for him outside the door. He narrowed his eyes as he looked at Ryū in dismay: “You left this poor kitty in your car. You know it’s cold. How could you.”
Ryū chuckled after he heard Kichirō scolding him. He rapped Kichirō’s head: “Dummy, that’s a Russian Blue. It loves winter, snow, and cold weather.”
Kichirō let out an ‘oh’ then took a glance at the kitten in his bosom. The kitten, who was silently observing the two, also looked at Kichirō with its emerald green eyes. When the light from inside the house shone upon it, Kichirō was able to see that its short fur was a mixture of blue and gray. Kichirō could not help but hug the kitten: “It’s so kawaii! Are you going to bring this back to Tokyo?”
“No,” Ryū indifferently responded.
“Eh? What will you do with it?”
Kichirō pondered over it for a while, but he then came up to a conclusion: “Is it mine?”
“No, it’s for your father. Who else silly?” Ryū sarcastically responded. “That’s your second gift. His name’s Kuro.”
“Waa~ I love him Ryū. He will be like our son,” Kichirō’s eyes were glistening. This was the second surprise for this day.
Most of the cake was eaten by Kichirō. There was even a point wherein he bickered with his younger brother just because of the last slice of strawberry. It just so happened that they shared the same favorite fruit. Akihiko caught sight of this so that he scolded the two for fighting over such a small thing. In the end, the last slice of strawberry ended up in Shūichirō’s mouth. Kichirō witnessed this. He saw every action that Shūichirō made — from the moment he picked the strawberry up with his hand up until it was dropped in Shūichirō’s mouth. He even counted how many times the other chewed it!
Ryū’s felt an itch in his heart seeing Kichirō looking like a hungry puppy with his big puppy eyes. He just whispered to his beloved: “Don’t worry. I’ll buy you all the strawberries you want tomorrow.”
From being listless, Kichirō became overjoyed: “Really?”
“No. Not really. I was just kidding,” Ryū sneered.
Kichirō’s heart sunk, but Ryū took back what he said: “Of course, really.”
“You love to tease me, don’t you?”
After everyone had their own fill, they sang Christmas carols along with the ones singing on TV. Ryū was especially happy in his heart. He never experienced this kind of warmth in his own family, most especially after his own mother passed away.
Around half past one in the morning, everyone went to sleep. Ryū stayed in Kichirō’s room since their guest room was currently filled with a lot of old stuff that they did not use anymore. The two laid side to side in their own respective futons.
Ryū was facing the other way. Kichirō did not know if the other was already asleep. “Ryū,” he whispered. Ryū did not budge so he called out the other’s name again, “Ryū, are you sleeping?”
After a few seconds, Ryū sluggishly responded: “Yes.”
“If you’re asleep, how come you can respond to me?”
“This is just me dreaming.”
“…” Kichirō was speechless. In the end, he asked again: “What will we do with Kuro. My Okāsan doesn’t like animals. We can’t bring him to the dormitory, too. Waa~~ what to do.”
Ryū hummed in response. In a few moments, he sat back up. “Come with me.”
“Where are you taking me?” Kichirō was puzzled. “Are you going to rape me?!? No, please don’t.”
Ryū sneered. “There you are again with your weird fantasies. Just follow me and bring Kuro.”
Kichirō’s curiosity streak was back: “Where are we going?”
“No asking questions. Just follow me.”
The two put on their winter outfits then left the Ishikawa residence. They took off in the car and Kichirō continued asking: “So, where to?”
“Ken’s place,” Ryū was already irritated so he finally answered him.
Instead of stopping, Kichirō asked another question: “What are we going to do there?”
Ryū unconsciously did a face-palm. “Be quiet first and I’ll tell you once we get there. If you won’t be quiet, you know what will happen.”
Kichirō suddenly thought about his butt. Why did this part of his body immediately pop up in his mind? Afraid for his own life, Kichirō decided to play with Kuro instead, rather than asking too many questions to Ryū.
In a few minutes, they arrived at Ken’s vacation house. While Kichirō was about to get out of the car, Ryū unexpectedly threw something to Kichirō. Kichirō reflexively tried to catch it but it fell to his lap instead. It was a key. “What’s this?” He asked.
“What do you think?”
“A key,” Kichirō narrowed his eyes at Ryū. “I mean, I know it’s a key, but what will I do with this?”
Ryū was already at the verge of his patience because of Kichirō’s curiosity streaks. He hurriedly got out of the car and walked all the way to the other side. He opened the door to the passenger’s seat, right where Kichirō was seated. “What’s wrong?” Kichirō asked again.
“The last surprise was supposed to be this house. I bought it from Ken, but I changed my mind. My ‘key’ is your last surprise tonight,” just like a demon awakened from its deep sleep, Ryū dragged Kichirō out of the car and carried him, princess style.
“Hey, put me down,” Kichirō was furious as of the moment because of Ryū’s rashness, but he felt an impending doom as soon as he noticed the devious grin on Ryū’s face.
“You decided that…?”
“My ‘key’ will unlock your ‘padlock’ tonight.”
Kichirō’s eyes opened wide. He was astonished. He tried tapping Ryū’s arm multiple times but Ryū continued carrying him toward the house.
Kuro, who was left in the car, watched as his two masters’ figures disappear. “Is this still considered birthday sex?” he thought to himself.