"Cute for who exactly?" Iwamoto asked with a raised eyebrow. The headband with the springy hearts bobbed on his head every time he so much as breathed.
"I think we know the answer to that," Miyadate said, resigned. Iwamoto followed his gaze over to where Watanabe and Sakuma were hugging each other happily, hearts sproinging this way and that above their matching blond perms. "Anyway, isn't it early for the Valentine's Day shoot? I swear this thing gets earlier every year."
"Ohoho," Iwamoto teased, elbowing Miyadate. "You're just mad it's Christmas Eve and you're stuck at work for ages yet. Got a romantic date planned?"
"Super romantic, yeah." Miyadate rolled his eyes. "I'm going to force Shota to eat enough food that he won't die and then we'll fall asleep in front of the same movie we've tried to watch three times already."
"You two are the worst," Iwamoto laughed. "Come out and have ice cream with me and Daisuke first, at least."
"Ice cream?" Miyadate wrinkled his nose, because it was freezing outside and the sun hadn't even gone down yet. Just then a weight flopped down on his shoulders hard enough that his headband hearts thwacked him in the forehead. "Oof."
"I heard you say ice cream," Watanabe said, and Miyadate didn't have to look up to know he was grinning. Miyadate reached up to rub Watanabe's arm where it was curled loosely around his neck, knowing a lost cause when he heard one.
"Food first, FIRST," was all he insisted. At least Sakuma would probably back him up on that one, even if Iwamoto was having a stupid phase again. They even invited Fukazawa and Abe along, but Abe demurred, saying he had a paper to finish, and Fukazawa had already promised to take Iwahashi and Jinguji out.
Truthfully Miyadate didn't mind being with the others, and he hadn't exactly been lying about the pathetic nature of their plans. But on the other hand Miyadate had a gift sitting in his pocket for Watanabe that seemed to get heavier and heavier the longer he had to wait.
Usually gifts were no big deal between them. They'd been together so long that they'd even made rules a few years ago to keep things painless during busy times of the year, although they left birthdays restriction-free. For anniversaries they went somewhere together, even if it was just a day trip. For couples holidays like Christmas or White Day they went out to eat someplace nice. Any actual gift had to be something handmade, which kept the scale of the presents under control.
Miyadate made it through dinner and ice cream and walking through the park to see the lights, but once they were on the long train ride home, his patience ran out. Trains were kind of romantic, right? The two of them sure spent enough time on them. And there was barely anybody else on theirs, this time of night. No one was paying them any attention or even sitting nearby.
"Here," Miyadate said, pulling the small box out of his pocket and pushing it into Watanabe's mittened hand.
"Eh?" Watanabe blinked at him. "What's this?" He huffed when Miyadate told him to open it and find out, trying to peel off his mittens without dropping it. It was clearly a jewelry box, but inside was only a folded square of newspaper. Watanabe wrinkled his nose in annoyance. "What even is this, you?"
"Read it," Miyadate said, wanting to add hurry up, but swallowing it. Watanabe's eyes scanned the small article, and Miyadate saw the moment he got it, eyes going wide. It was an article from their local paper about how their ward was talking about accepting same-sex marriages done in other prefectures. "It's not for sure, and it'll take ages. But heads-up?"
"You're a tease," Watanabe complained as he folded the paper back up and closed the box around it, but the corners of his mouth were turned up softly. "Giving me a little velvet box on Christmas Eve and I don't even get any jewelry."
"I wouldn't say that." Miyata reached under his shirt collar to pull out the chain around his neck. It was his usual feather necklace, so Watanabe hadn't taken a notice to it even when they changed, but strung on it with the other pieces was a pair of silver rings. Unclipping the necklace, he carefully slid them off to offer Watanabe his, palm open. "They're stainless steel, so water, sweat, whatever can't hurt them."
"You're breaking the present rules," Watanabe scolded. He picked up the slightly smaller ring, closing it tight in his fist. "We can't both wear them."
"We can at least until we're home." Miyadate slid his on, and Watanabe did as well, making an exasperated noise. He wanted desperately to hold Watanabe's hand, but managed to restrain himself that much, barely. "It's only a promise anyway, for now. Unless you're ready to surrender and move into that Shibuya apartment with me."
"Hmm, not quite yet," Watanabe said, slouching against Miyadate on the train seat so that his face was tucked comfortably against Miyadate's shoulder. His eyes were down, focused on his hands in his lap. He was rubbing his thumb gently back and forth the steel band.
Even though neither one of them said it, the maybe soon hung in the air.
alchemicink is up next!