Disclaimer: These characters belong to K. Minekura, and I am just borrowing them for fun.
Summary: Gojyo can't figure out the reason for Hakkai's celebration.
He had known something was different from the moment he woke up. The air smelled like hot cinnamon, and his alarm, which he had forgotten to switch off the evening before, had been conveniently removed. It was, if he were to guess by the sun's position, around nine. And Hakkai never made breakfast at nine, and if he were to, it was never cinnamon bread. If Gojyo ever requested it, he would cluck and remind him it was a dessert and took too much time for a morning meal.
Counting himself lucky, Gojyo stumbled into his boxers and jeans, only bothering with a shirt because it was nippy out, and their heat had been tempered for the sake of lower gas bills. It was not until he stubbed his toe on the door that he realized Hakkai didn't act at random; that was him he was thinking of.
Shit. It was their anniversary. Of something. Hakkai celebrated little milestones all the time, but he had always told Gojyo of it in advance, before. They had gone out to dinner on the anniversary of the day they met, dancing to commemorate the end of their four year journey West, and spent the night tangled in bed in recognition of their first kiss. The anniversary of their mating, Gojyo was almost certain, didn't come until March. What was this then?
"Good morning Gojyo." His feet had carried him toward the scent of food before his mind had a chance to warn him against it. Dammit if he wasn't turning into the monkey.
"Mornin'." He offered a smile, glancing about the kitchen as though he expected to find some sort of clue. "Smells good."
"Still your favorite, isn't it?"
"Oh yeah," Gojyo promised, taking his usual seat, the worn, mismatched chair near the corner. It was the only piece of furniture original to their first shoebox apartment. Hakkai had gradually replaced everything else over the years.
What's the occasion what's the occasion? Gojyo forced the wheels in his mind to turn more quickly than they might otherwise have at such an hour. "So you uh, pulled my alarm?"
"We were up late." Hakkai said simply, sitting across from him with a cup of steaming tea that smelled faintly of cloves. "I thought you might want to sleep in today. I called your boss and told him you were a bit sick, and would be in behind schedule."
"Hey thanks." He ate faster than he might have liked, desperate to escape before he was cued to reference whatever symbolic day it was and slipped up. "We've got a big order at the shop—I really should go."
"I'm sorry. He didn't mention that you--"
"No, no, it's fine. I—I'll see you later. To celebrate." Gojyo added vaguely, pressing a firm kiss over Hakkai's mouth before snatching a final slice of cinnamon and raisin bread from the pan and heading out the door. He turned to see his lover wave to him from the window, a slightly baffled expression on his face despite the smile. Quickly the kappa turned around again, watching his boots snap holes in the frozen snow, wishing he could do the same to the clouds about his memory. Hakkai always told him he ought to write things down. Now he had set himself up for a fall.
Every day of the week, work dragged by, and Gojyo griped about it. It just figures, he mused inwardly, the one day he needed that minute hand to stall, it would fly around the hub before the first order was out.
He strained his memory and searched for dates as he worked, trying to eliminate possibilities and hoping to stumble across some mnemonic clue.
He stained his hands and shirt with varnish recalling that the day they had met was in September, rainy and cold enough to sting.
Repairing the loose leg of a coffee table, he numbed his thumb with the hammer recollecting that their journey ended in late July, when the heat was scathing and heavy with humidity.
While remembering their first kiss was February, just around the celebratory day of some western saint, he ran a splinter up under his nail and cursed.
The memory that they had moved into their first house together in winter came to mind and gave him hope until he remembered that it had been January. He nicked his pinkie with a sander and swore.
Pete looked at him funny when he cut the side of his arm on a compass saw while remembering the first night they made love. It had been mid-may, warm enough outside that they could spend the long night naked in the grass and not regret it in the morning.
What, then, had happened in November? He raked a hand through his hair in frustration, wanting to comb out the tangles of his mind. Hakkai had looked happy, teasing, like he was expecting something. Gojyo was already anxious at the prospect of having to admit he had forgotten and that, despite the generous span of time for consideration, he still couldn't figure out what the significance of the day was.
It's not like I can fake knowing. In all honesty, he very much doubted Hakkai was fooled when he left. The man was too sharp to deceive, even for a short time. After helplessness passed, guilt sank in.
It was pathetic, really. If it was so important to Hakkai, it ought to be to him too. And the worst of all, the redhead found himself moaning silently, was that Hakkai would brush it off, call it nothing, and nurse his wound in secret until he was ready to take it out in some passive aggressive manner on his partner. Gojyo was not looking forward to cold breakfasts and hearing Hakkai's bedroom banter being reduced to "I have a headache."
Gojyo was easy going, and he didn't make it a habit to criticize himself. But this was worth his time; he was an ass.
"You're really beating yourself up there Gojyo." Pete smirked, flipping his mass of blonde hair back with a stained hand.
"Huh?" He wondered if he had been muttering aloud until his coworker pointed at the white bandage on his arm and thumb.
"Somethin' on your mind?"
Pete shrugged, turning back to a bed frame, and hummed through the last measly twenty minutes of their day. Gojyo punched out on his timecard and began the icy trek home. Just as his fingers were beginning to grow numb, hope sprang to his heart and brought a flood of warmth down the lengths of his limbs. Maybe it wasn't something major at all—perhaps Hakkai hadn't even intended him to remember, and the small sign of celebration had been purely for his own benefit. The first time he vacuumed their bedroom, the first meal he made, the first time Gojyo had to climb up on the roof to fix a shingle—
"There you are. I was worried." Hakkai pinned him to the wall before he could get his coat off, mouth pressing like a brand over his own. Despite the sudden influx of heat, his insides shuddered as though he were still out in the wind. Hakkai was wearing his green robe. Only his green robe. This was supposed to be special.
"Mmn come with me," he murmured, drawing the kappa towards their bedroom by his wrists, frowning at the bandage. "Are you alright?"
"Fine," Gojyo managed between kisses, hands slipping up through his dark hair, fingering the neat little W of hair at his nape as a warm tongue slid down his throat. He could taste cloves.
"You're shivering," Hakkai purred, working his jacket and shirt off of his shoulders with ease, following with the leather strip of his belt when they crossed the threshold to the bedroom. "Lie back, and I'll remedy that." His voice was wrapped in a whisper.
Gojyo put aside his confession for later—at least five, maybe ten minutes later. It wouldn't be fair to stop him in the middle of things, after all. Not when he was using that Voice.
Somewhere in the back of his mind, well-muffled beneath the suffocating pleasure of Hakkai's mouth, he felt guilty. Hakkai would be angry, and worse, pretend not to be.
Spreading his legs, he threw his head back in a low groan and felt Hakkai's throat vibrate along his length as he climaxed, twice, without dislodging his persistent lover. Shortly, he felt a familiar warmth at his side, an arm draped about his waist, and an upturned mouth pressing reverent kisses down his shoulder.
"Hey." Gojyo said eloquently.
"Good?" Hakkai was still smiling, stroking his cheek and nipping his throat.
"You have to ask? I think I woke everyone within a ten mile radius." Gojyo felt the vibrations of his laughter.
"If you're not too tired, I have dinner in the oven. Roast beef and scalloped potatoes." His favorite.
"And," Hakkai added quite nonchalantly, almost shrugging despite their position, "If you want, afterwards, you can fuck me on the table."
Gojyo moaned as his manhood sprung to life a second time. Hakkai was playing with him now; he knew what talk like that did to his mate.
"Yeah?" Gojyo kissed him, briefly considering playing it out as best he could. His lover was so hesitant to leave the bedroom—he'd only ever seen him naked outside of it a handful of times, and it had never been planned. Or on the table.
"Yes," Hakkai promised, fingertips warm against the muscles of his torso.
Hakkai was retying his robe and adjusting his monocle. "Hm?"
"I have a confession." Gojyo had the good sense to scramble for his jeans before continuing. There was no point in making himself more vulnerable than he already was under that knowing gaze.
"What is it?"
"Don't get me wrong—this was great, everything was…but I'm not exactly sure…what the occasion is." He ended the statement with upward inflection, red eyes glancing guiltily into green.
"What?" Hakkai looked utterly baffled. "What do you mean you don't know? That's absurd."
"Look—I'm sorry. Really," Gojyo breathed, hands out in the universal gesture of supplication. "I tried real hard to remember. But I can't figure it out. It's not when we met—that was September—or when we finished traveling—July—and I know it wasn't our first kiss because that was on that Saint—Valentine's—Day, and we bought the house in January. And, well, you know I didn't forget the first time we did it." He looked up at him helplessly, hoping desperately for pathos points.
A small smile was spreading over Hakkai's lips, and Gojyo took it as a good sign. And then suddenly he was laughing, a slender hand covering his mouth as his shoulders shook.
"Oh Gojyo." He breathed between chuckles, "You don't give yourself enough credit," he coughed, trying to still the sound. "This isn't something for me."
"How's that?" The kappa murmured, rising up onto one knee at the end of the bed as Hakkai leaned over him.
"Well it's your birthday."
Hakkai paused, mouth just above his, still broken out into a bright smile. Gojyo met dancing green eyes through the dim light of the room. "Oh," he breathed, letting Hakkai bestow his kiss upon him like a gift.
They made love again, twice. Dinner got cold, but it still tasted perfect. Hakkai was smiling sweetly at him over the wine glass, hair mussed every which way, the top of his robe hanging open.
"I can't believe you forgot your own birthday."
"Yeah, well." Gojyo shrugged a little bashfully. "Never had cause to celebrate it."
Hakkai's face became appropriately somber; he nodded. "I understand. It was not a happy occasion for you, then. But I would like to make it so now, and in the future."
Gojyo smiled, "Then I'd say you've done a pretty fucking good job."
"I appreciate the pun."
"The what?" Gojyo grinned, pushing his chair back and moving to draw Hakkai into his embrace. After a kiss that left them both a little shaken, Gojyo threw a meaningful glance at living room, notably the sofa.
"So was all that noise back there part of the present too?"
Hakkai blushed, looking appalled. "That was genuine. Why would you think otherwise?"
Gojyo blanched, "It's just that you never…you don't usually…you're a little more…reserved," he said carefully, walking the narrow line between truth and offense.
"Oh." Hakkai seemed unfazed. "Yes."
"So what brought that about? And how can I get it again?" Already he was loosing the silk knot at the front of his lover's robe, nipping the side of his throat.
"I kept thinking about how much you remembered—the first time we met, when we kissed…I didn't think you kept track."
"I don't so well," he admitted, smoothing dark hair back with a rough palm. "But I remember important moments, like they just happened. It's like some weird snapshot in my brain—I can see everything."
"You've only blocked out what you don't need," Hakkai reasoned with a little nod, guiding Gojyo to the couch. "Well. I can't have you going through all that confusion again over your birthday. I suppose I had better make sure this snapshot doesn't fade."
"How're you gonna do that?"
Hakkai laid his monocle on the end table with a tiny clink. "By giving you something to remember."
Green silk hit the polished floorboards and Gojyo followed seconds behind.