Uta no Prince-sama
They both were lucky enough to have such understanding bosses - in Ranmaru’s case, he’d been more than just lucky, though perhaps that amounted to the fact both worked nonstop, efficiently and were almost never absent. Unless it was a bad case of exhaustion or getting sick (which, thankfully, didn’t happen that often to neither of them). Despite the preparation time being abruptly cut short by the bartender’s sudden and unplanned arrival, the brunette was quite happy knowing they’d be able to spend more time together celebrating a special day like this! Could they ask for more?
"Aaaah, good~! I need to call him and say thanks!" He cooed in response, smiling brightly when the kiss was given to him. His lover (excuse the word) was gentle and affectionate when it truly counted and, even if Reiji overdid it most times, it was special - the most cherished - when the elder was on the receiving end of the kisses, hugs, and other open expressions of — ah, love.
While the other left to do his business, having ignored the little detail of Ran not paying much (if any) attention to his words from before, Reiji finished up with the food, plating everything minus the meat - ribs, spicy chicken wings and baked ham - which remained in the oven to avoid going cold before they cold enjoy it. He’d cooked some ribs, too! By the time his companion rejoined him - and the brunette jumped, still catching the beer, when it was tossed at him - the teacher resumed his task from moments prior. “Food’s ready, I’m just finishing the cake and the cupcakes are cooling off,” responded merrily, sipping at his beer as he turned his head a bit to kiss the birthday guy’s cheek. “I’ll go shower real quick, okay?”
He’d been about to move but noticed his hand’s digits tangled in his outfit, causing him to avert his gaze in a minor act of embarrassment; it was the unexpected things that he did! His heart went wild. “You can hold and stuff later~” grinned, pecking the corner of his lips before carefully stepping back and hurrying (literally running) towards the bathroom to shower. It took a bit longer than expected what with washing his hair and then brushing it, he trotted back in comfortable clothes; it felt home-like to do that. “Mmmkay! You didn’t start eating without me, did you!?” Hopefully not!
He thought that a call to say thanks might have been just a bit much. Yes, his boss and co-workers were more than familiar with Reiji, given how often he called in during Ranmaru’s shifts, though to call just to say thanks seemed a little too much. “Don’t, I’ll let him know you said it,” — he wouldn’t, but still — “Besides, it wasn’t that busy so they didn’t need me there, standing around doing nothing,” he remarked, trying to play it off as no big deal.
As he stood gawking over the brunette’s shoulder, lowering his chin down a couple of inches to rest against the top of Reiji’s shoulder, he was moments away from salivating as his eyes scanned all the food laid out before them and taking in the delicious scent of the meal. Ah— Cake and cupcakes, he must have done something right in a past life.
Turning his cheek into the quick peck that was pressed against it, he hummed absently in agreement when the other said he’d be heading off for a quick shower, only brought back down to earth when Reiji added in another comment; this one more teasing that the last. “Eh..?” It took a moment for him to comprehend what he meant, his brow furrowing when it finally hit him before untangling his hands from the cords, willing away the faint pigmentation that began rising in his cheeks. “—Just shut up and be quick,” he answered, though his tone lacked the bite that it needed to sound in anyway threatening; he wasn’t in the mood for yelling or arguing.
The wait for Reiji to return, however, felt much longer than it probably was. Maybe it’s because he was already hungry, or maybe he was just generally impatient, or perhaps the fact there was a spread of delicious food just begging to be tucked in to — or it could have been a combination of all three — well, whatever the reason, Ranmaru began growing unsettled. He sipped over his beer until the can was empty, contemplating another before deciding to until they were eating, flicking the TV next and finding himself unable to focus and trying so hard not to think about what awaited him in the kitchen until his resolve frayed so much that it broke completely.
One bite wouldn’t hurt, right…? No-one would know. It was Reiji’s fault for taking so long, anyway — at least, that’s what he told himself.
Hopping back to his feet, he made a b-line back into the kitchen and hovered over the food, trying to decide on what he wanted to quickly sample. He ended up settling on the spicy chicken, picking up a piece of the meat that Reiji had cubed into small chunks and popping it into his mouth at, lo and behold as fate would have it, the exact moment that Reiji decided to finally reappear.
"—It was just this one bit, I swear." He realised the likelihood of that being believed, having used that exact line as an excuse multiple times before, though this time it was actually the truth. It was his birthday, he could get away with it. "It’s really good, though," he admitted, offering a compliment to distract the blame from himself, voice muffled slightly as he was still chewing the piece in his mouth that was still just a touch too hot. Reaching out with his free hand, he grabbed on to the front of the brunette’s t-shirt and tugged until he was standing next to him, while reaching with his chopsticks for another chunk of the chicken and offering it to him to try.
In order to make this a pleasant gift for Ranmaru, the brunette had decided to cook his favorite dishes! That, plus baked goods, should be good enough for them to celebrate; he’d also bought beers, of course. Things couldn’t be any better in his opinion! Everything was looking good, promising, for the other’s return to their apartment - to the place they both called home. Even Ramone seemed eager (according to his active imagination).
As he cooked, the natural urge to hum while getting things done took over and he didn’t fight it; he enjoyed what he did! Besides, when a person does something for the important ones in their lives, they feel that much happier! Reiji could easily talk about that for ages with whoever questioned him. He always felt incredibly happy when he did things with and or for Ranmaru. Hair tied up into a ponytail to keep it away from his face (and the food), he’d worn a blue apron over his baggy sweatpants and long-sleeved shirt, comfy enough like this. Rei had been sure that the bithday boy wouldn’t be home for another few hours so he’d have time to shower and wear something more apropriate.
However, as he finished decorating the cake and putting it away for later, he set about checking on the food when a familiar voice reached him and brown orbs watched Ramone quickly make its way towards Ran — eh!? “Wah—!?” Surprised, the shock on his face was evident and he felt cheeks warm up, wondering if that was due to the fact he’d been caught by sheer surprise! Soon, a pout replaced that expression and he made a soft whining sound. “Ran~raaan… why are you heere?” Asked as he made his way closer to the silvette, the whining stopped completely and he offered a genuine smile. “Aah— seriously though… Welcome home, Ran.” Features brightened and he inched closer to press a kiss to the bartender’s lips. “Happy birthday~” cooed.
This was all supposed to be a huge surprise but it made him chuckle that Ranmaru had ruined it; he didn’t like surprises much to begin with. “Sorry it’s messy, I kinda slacked all day since I thought you’d be here later~” admitted in a hum, gently pushing at him. “Go shower and change into whatever while I finish here, okay?” The meat was almost done so he’d be able to go shower after Ran, put something on and they could get to celebrating! If Ran did as told anyway.
The tiny, faint smile that was etched on to his lips widens into an amused grin once Reiji turns in surprise, grey optics taking in the shocked expression before it was replaced with a sulky pout. Regarding the other’s question, Ranmaru hitched one of his shoulders up in a lazy shrug, before lightly slipping his arms around Reiji’s waist once he stepped closer to press a small kiss to the barman’s cheek. Reiji was always so warm and familiar and that’s how he knew he was home. “Boss let me off early,” he eventually supplied in a simple response, voice tired but calm.
The rest of what Reiji said registered in bits and pieces with it’s intended recipient, too distracted by the cat circling around his leg and eyeing the array of dishes that were almost finished cooking, trying to make out what was on the menu, though there was too much going on for him to recognise any single dish. It wasn’t until he was given a small push to his chest that he realised Reiji had finished speaking and he caught practically none of what he had just said. “Ah.. yeah, sure.” The badly covered-up uncertainty in his voice probably made sure that it obvious that he hadn’t been listening, but before anything could be said about it, he slipped his arms from around Reiji and escaped into their bedroom.
Plucking some comfortable casual wear from his side of their wardrobe, he headed to the bathroom for a quick shower to freshen up. He didn’t bother much with his hair once he was finished, towelling it until most of the access water had been soaked up and using his fingers to roughly part it in the way he usually wore it; leaving it still damp as he re-emerged from the bathroom with a towel draped around his neck to catch the last run drops that still clung to his hair.
When he reached the kitchen, Ranmaru shuffled to the fridge and tugged it open to peer inside at what they had, inwardly delighted when he saw the cans of beer tucked away at the back of the bottom shelf. Reaching in and retrieving two of the chilled drinks, he tossed one to Reiji before cracking his own open and shutting the fridge again, moving to stand behind Reiji at the stove and peering over his shoulder, tangling his fingers in the chords at the back of the brunette’s apron. “How long ‘til it’s ready?” It smelt good and he was starving.
It had taken a ridiculous amount of begging and attempts to convince the principal of his school to grant Reiji a day off - it meant he’d had to work more than usual the couple of months before that was granted to him so he’d barely seen his companion. In all honesty, it wasn’t uncommon for them to miss the chance of speaking or just spending time together like a couple should, considering their jobs and the schedules each had to fulfill the requirements to earn enough money to sustain themselves. However, the past two months or so had been worse; Reiji would come home later than normally, to an empty apartment since Ranmaru had left by that time. He’d be fast asleep once the other got home, too; and in the mornings? The brunette simply didn’t have the heart to wake the other up just because he missed him. Just seeing him there, sleeping in their bed, was more than good for the elder.
He left notes with ‘Have a good shift tonight! x’ or ‘I made you lunch!’ and at times, they were simple ones, ‘Take care!’ if he hadn’t enough time to write longer messages.
But! Everything had paid off! Or was about to at least! Having no idea that his lover would be home sooner than usual, he’d spent his day off at home, baking cupcakes and a birthday cake to celebrate his partner’s 25th birthday! Truth be told, the cake was a bit too big for two people but that was fine, wasn’t it? 'Fwuaa! He'll love it~!' Grinning down at their cat, he pet the top of Ramone’s head until he purred before resuming his activities of cooking dinner.
It wasn’t much but he hoped it made Ranmaru happy! Rei used up all of his savings for this after all~!
Unlike his brunette counterpart, Ranmaru had been granted an early leave from work without having to ask; a birthday present of sorts. Knowing that it was the silvette’s birthday, his boss gave him the go ahead to finish his shift a few hours earlier than he was supposed to without deducting from his wages. Already in lifted spirits at this alone, he gave his thanks and appreciation before leaving and making the short journey home; deciding not to tell Reiji he’d be home earlier than usual.
By the time he reached back home, he knew that Reiji should have been home already, maybe an hour or so beforehand, completely oblivious that he’d spent the day in their moderate apartment baking on his behalf. It struck him as a little odd that an unusually inviting smell greeted him as he entered the main hall on their floor, growing stronger as he neared their front door. As he rummaged for his keys in his pockets, Ranmaru caught on to a faint humming of some unknown tune coming from behind the door, knowing that this meant Rei was cooking something and the pronounced rumble that reminded him that he was actually quite hungry seemed to quicken his pace with getting the door open.
Dumping his bag on the floor after toeing the door shut again and hanging up his outer jacket (it was cold and coming into the rainy seasons), the bar tender slipped into the kitchen, apparently unnoticed by the resident chef who was too distracted by his own humming and focused on icing what seemed to be a birthday cake.
Watching him work for a few seconds, a small trace of a smile spread across tired, pale features as he crossed his arms over his chest and leaned against the doorframe that lead into the kitchen before making his presence known. “Oi.”
"He is." Ai confirmed confidently, not that he had any reason to know of course but he’d caught a glimpse in any case. "Do you think Tomochika will find him attractive still?" As if Ranmaru was aware of the relationship. Was he? Who knows; it wasn’t as if Camus was being particularly that good at being secretive. The grey haired senpai might not have noticed though…
He’d elected to only get a drink that day, after all he wasn’t obliged to eat and in fact although he ate now and then he was fairly dissillusioned from the idea of such a thing. It wasn’t interesting.
He could at least afford the curt snort of amusement he gave after Ai confirmed that little nugget of information, now looking forward to seeing what sort of outfit he was landed with. “—Eh?” He withdrew from his thoughts eventually after the other’s question registered with him, quirking a thin brow as little pieces of the puzzle began to slip into place, making a small ‘o’ shape with his mouth before answering with a nonchalant shrug; so they were a thing? “Beats me.” They say love is blind, after all.
He’d grown used to Ai not eating, if at all, during mealtimes like this and stopped questioning it, even finishing some of whatever he might have left on his plate on the occasions that he did opt for a meal. When he was just about finished with what was on his plate, he sat back a little and gave his stomach a chance to settle for a moment. “How’d you know about Shibuya, anyways?” Curiosity piqued.