Hatori first saw the silver whirlwind running about the yard while chatting up a storm and immediately asked, "Can you make it stop?"
The Snake thought the other boy was like ice, but when he shivered a small jacket was suddenly wrapped around.
Looking back, Ayame decided that his Hatori had always been as mature as he himself was regal.
When everything finally slowed down-for that hair's breath moment of time-and lips pressed up against his own, Hatori felt like it could last forever.
"Sensei, you're obviously mistaken in every conceivable way, for it is entirely impossibly that one with the brilliance of Hatori-san-a brilliance to rival my own shimmering vestige-would come to a conclusion that was anything other than perfect?!"
When skilled hands traced down his back, detached at first but swiftly changing, Ayame could feel his breath escape him.
"Just this once, Aaya, will you simply sit with me?"
Pale and perfect and waiting on sheets too course for such fair skin, Hatori took a snapshot in his mind and read all the words it held.
"Tori-san, truly I would be nothing more than a simple prince if not for your presence beside me," Aaya told him and looked up with eyes that begged.
When Hatori finally figured out that Ayame actually listened to everything he said, he couldn't help but take advantage of it at times; luckily, the Snake didn't seem to mind.
Face buried in strands of silver, hands pressed against porcelain hipbones, everything plain shifted to heaven.
Fingertips brushing the back of his thighs, words murmured against his neck, it was easier to be patient with life.
Ayame noticed that his friend smiled more, with eyes like youth, when she was around and for once cursed his intimate and extraordinary relationship with romance's ways.
"Really, Tori-san, I'm allowing you to merely sit back and let me do all the work this time-with all the wonderful benefits of seeing my perfect self above you, lucky lucky you-so you will stop with these silly explanations about her until after I bring us to unrivaled, mind-blowing bliss, yes?"
"Freeze," Hatori said when he heard running steps behind him, yet fashionably covered arms wrapped around him anyway a moment later.
Hatori tried to leave but found himself turning into one more kiss; it was only to stop the drama queen's rambling, really.
It was unnerving, that the sight of Aaya in a wedding dress became less and less shocking over a very short period of time.
"Go visit Shigure while I'm working, if you're feeling deprived," Hatori said without looking up but frowned at black and white files when the door opened and closed.
They'd all lost a part of themselves, some vital human part through hurt and disdain and a sharp poison voice, but fit together it was just enough.
The Snake stared stubbornly at the photo on the desk, thinking it remarkable that a woman so unlike himself could make a home there.
"To commiserate this moment, the moment that I, Ayame, have chosen to embark on a journey-no, a mission-of romantic fantasy, I shall create for us the first set of inspiring costumes with myself as king, of course, and Tori-san can be a knight while Gure-san...ah, I suppose we'll need a court jester, no?"
When Ayame threw one of his rare tantrums it was truly always a wonder to behold; when Ayame threw a tantrum about a certain doctor, Shigure took it as a sign to duck, cover, and let his books use him as a shield.
"Perhaps you should spend more time with your brother to keep yourself occupied," Hatori suggested, sighing at the confused look in gold eyes; not a care in the world besides the one standing in front of them.
There had been yesterday and years ago and maybe there would be an eventually too, so in the end Ayame offered to make another wedding dress for free.
"It's what you wanted, isn't it, for them to be apart," Akito shot at him, black mingling with silver in a terrible way that blocked all light, "and now you owe me, you selfish fool."
When dull eyes looked up, a dozen paths ended and began.
Desperate thrusting, scrabbling, no words except half-choked names and furious moans and it felt as if he was trying to scratch his way beneath his friend's skin for a simple moment of peace.
He was miserable and numb but never alone with his thoughts, and the quiet man wondered what he'd done to deserve any of it.
When Ayame cracked open his hidden myriad of toys, Hatori decided that maybe a safe word was in order.
Sometimes he could be silent, wispy strands of mercury and pride gliding through this world on passing fancy, but that image would vanish in the blink of an eye.
"Haa-san, you'll never who the characters of my new-and most popular-romance novel are based on," Shigure chuckled from behind the safety of his fan.
They looked the same, a tame brown color, but Ayame could tell where the damage had been done.
"To think that anyone would create such a tale, a boy that will stay young forever and never know the firm kiss of romance and never bite into that ever forbidden but so welcoming fruits called carnal desire; as if such a thing could even be plausible," Ayame ranted with a toss of his hair, every bit of him offended and appalled.
When a soft mouth spoke his name in even softer pleas, no song or poem could be quite as sweet.
It seemed that one moment Hatori was dozing and the next he was yelling as a clever tongue snaked its way around him.
Whenever he started to think of /her/-pastel spring and wishful flowers-that quick flash of silk and laughter would draw his mind away.
"I really should get out of bed," Hatori protested but Ayame was a force more unstoppable than time.
Eventually it came to stand that laundry day meant a day off in a general.
"Ah, Tori-san, there's a tear in your usually pristine lab coat that I, the most talented of embroiders to exist in this century," at this the silver-haired man managed to pose as well as pull a needle and thread from his sleeve, "simply must mend, nay, improve with a simple message of undying love for your personal Adonis!"
When any one of them looked back, it became more obvious that they were inevitable.
"I could end all of this, couldn't I, with merely a word or two," the shadow crowed with eyes like pins and needles.
Sometimes Yuki wondered how the older men could seem to truly like his ever-loud and ever-moving brother so much, then realized the details were probably the last thing he wanted to know.
"I can't believe, can't believe, no...can't even conceive of how you could dare continue this relationship, how you can turn a blind eye to my caring advice," Akito snapped, an angry God facing the a servants that dared to rebel.
There was something there, blocking the way for not just the two of them but all of the damned, but bit by bit it was being chipped away.
"You're beautiful," Ayame murmured, and Hatori thought that maybe things were reversed but the other man worshipped him all the same.
"Ohohohohoho," Ayame laughed as pedal met floor and Hatori regretted his latest bout of insanity, "I'm clearly a natural at handling not only fabric and dreams, but metal and speed as well!"
Hatori started to think that maybe there really was no harm in believing.
Perfect gold and silver, with sets of diamonds or sometimes-ruby threads, worn on hands and hearts and lips with a grace that made them belong there.
He was a fickle creature at best, the Snake was, but there was one thing-one /person/-he always desired, no matter the feasts that were set before him.
"And they lived happily ever after," Aaya concluded with a flair that just dared anyone to contradict him.
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