Mission Romance

He had it all arranged. He’d bought flowers, he’d lit candles, he’d even sprayed the elevator with some air freshener, because nothing was more of a turnoff than the scent of day-old fish (damn 12B). Was he forgetting anything?

“Music,” Shinichirou muttered to himself, digging around his bedside table drawer for that mixed tape with all the swanky jazz songs and other audio conducive to a fantastic night in bed. Retrieving it from the mess of candybar wrappers and half-empty bottles of lube in varying scents, he jammed it into the tapedeck he’d painstakingly hauled in from the living room and pressed play. The sultry strains of a lone saxophone filled the room.

“Perfect,” Shinichirou pronounced. A frown. “Wait.” He adjusted the candles to throw shadows into the corner with the water stain. “Perfect,” he repeated.

Tonight, Minato Shinichirou was going to get laid.

You see, normally, Shinichirou would not have to go to such measures to take part in carnal pleasure with his partner of choice. However, Nanami was nearing the end of his schooling, and the subsequent workload coupled with the part-time job he worked every weekend to help with the bills, had left Shinichirou’s boyfriend tired, cranky, and generally not in the mood for lovemaking. Shinichirou was thus distressed on two fronts: one, Nanami was not happy, and two, Shinichirou wasn’t getting any. Neither of these contributed to the well being of their household, and so Shinichirou had decided to employ Romance, solution for any problem involving one’s Beloved. Remind Nanami that he’s wonderful and special and an all-around super person, Nanami feels better and more relaxed, Shinichirou gets laid. Problem solved.

“Really, Mr. Tanaka, I have to go back to my apartment, SHINICHIROU is waiting for me.”

Crap. New problem. Shinichirou rushed into the hallway. There was Tanaka, the muscular, 6’6″ giant of 9F, harassing his Nanami.

God, he hated tall people.

“Mr. Tanaka,” Shinichirou said, throwing his voice down a half octave to make himself sound authoritative, confident, and all sorts of other things that he really wasn’t but liked to pretend to be to make Nanami all swoony, “Nanami really should be getting back to the apartment; he has classes tomorrow morning.” He tried not to squee a little when Nanami latched onto his arm like he was some knight in shining whatever, it would’ve ruined the whole act.

Tanaka was obviously not pleased to have the shiny pretty boy taken away from him, but apparently didn’t feel like arguing with the tiny boyfriend tonight. “We’ll continue tomorrow then.”

Nanami made a non-committal noise in the back of his throat, strained smile remaining in place until Tanaka disappeared back into his own apartment, after which the frazzled nursing student buried his face in Shinichirou’s shoulder and sighed. “That guy scares me,” he mumbled.

Shinichirou tried once again not to let the squeal of excitement escape from the back of his mind. Right on. A frightened Nanami was a clingy Nanami, and a clingy Nanami was easy to prod into other activities, which was why Shinichirou wouldn’t let Nanami go to any horror movies with that rat bastard law student. Well, he was not in favor of Nanami going to ANY movies with that rat bastard law student. Alone together in a darkened theatre? Yeah. No.

“And what is up with the elevator?” Nanami went on, dragging his dazed boyfriend down the hall. “Now it smells like fish AND avocadoes. Nearly made me sick.”

Okay, so maybe he shouldn’t have bought that air freshener spray from the bargain bin at the local thrift store, but he was POOR, damnit. The rest of it was good, though. The flowers, the candles, the sex music, all good. He could afford to have one thing go wrong.

Nanami sniffed the air as Shinichirou fumbled for his keys before remembering duh, he hadn’t locked the door before he left because he was only going down the hall. “Do you smell something… burning?”

Shit. Shit shit shit. “Shit!”

“What?”

“Wait here a second.” No, Tanaka. Shit. He opened the door and bustled Nanami into the kitchen. “Wait here, for a second,” he amended, then rushed into the bedroom. Crap. Shit. Crapshit.

Shinichirou threw the door open and then thanked whatever gods listened to the prayers of horny teachers-in-training, because nothing was on fire. Then he realized that nothing was on fire because ALL of his candles had gone out, which wouldn’t have been a tragedy in and of itself, except that they were all out because his ceiling was leaking like a sonovabitch.

“Shit fuck son of a WHORE.”

“Shinichirou?”

Crap. Abort, abort! Nanami couldn’t know about his miserably failed attempt at a romantic surprise, otherwise he couldn’t re-attempt it later! Turn off the music! Wait, what happened to the music? Outlet shorted out. Crap crap stupid crappy apartment CRAP. One less thing to do but one more thing to try to get the stupid landlord to get the stupid super to fix, which would happen maybe by the time they both graduate. He picked up the flowers and debated over what to do with them.

“Leaking again, huh?” Shinichirou jumped at the sound of Nanami’s voice behind him. “We really need to make Mr. Kawashima get those pipes fixed. I’ll go get some bowls.” He turned to leave, but caught sight of the colorful bundle Shinichirou was holding. “Whatcha got there?”

Well, only one thing to do with them now.

“Here. Happy… Wednesday.”

Shinichirou expected one of those heart-stopping smiles, a sincere thank-you, and a cold shower. He was rather unprepared for awe, the breathless reply of “I love daffodils!” and an enthusiastic thank-you snog, because really, Nanami almost never did that, and he certainly wasn’t expecting to break the routine for daffodils bought on sale at the corner store. Not like he minded or anything. He wrapped an arm around that sexy little waist, god he loved the way Nanami felt all pressed up against him like this, brought the other hand up to play with his hair because he knew Nanami liked that.

“I was starting to think,” Nanami mumbled when they finally broke apart for a moment, “that you’d found someone else, or that you didn’t want me anymore.”

“What?!” Lost here.

Nanami looked at him as though it should be obvious. “Well, goodness, Shin, you’ve barely even looked at me the last two weeks. I come home tired and cranky and in evident need of comfort and all you do is say you left some soup on the stove for me and then go back to watching Neon Genesis Evangelion.”

Hey, it was a good show, and those were the coolest mechs he’d ever seen.

“I know you,” Nanami continued, “there’s no way you could hold out so long. I was sure you were going to leave me.”

“I barely could hold out! But you were busy and I didn’t want to disturb you so close to your exams, but then you just kept getting more miserable so I thought I’d be all romantic and stuff to make you feel special and pretty and all that.” Shinichirou gestured at the half-melted candles drowning on the dresser. “There was more stuff but it didn’t really work out.”

“I know.” Nanami stepped away and fished a crumpled note out of his pocket. “I found your list.”

“I wondered where that went.”

“Sorry the ceiling leaked and wrecked everything.”

“Yeah, well,” Shinichirou edged back towards his boyfriend, arm sneaking out to drape across what were unequivocally his favorite pair of shoulders, “do you feel special?”

“Mmhm.”

“And pretty.”

“Yeah.”

“And am I going to finally get some action?”

Nanami rolled his eyes, but he still leaned against Shinichirou and muttered “Yeah, I think so.”

Again, Shinichirou somehow managed to hold his squee of delight, but he couldn’t help the big, stupid grin that broke out as he replied, “Then it all worked out, didn’t it?”

They retired to the living room couch where they proceeded to make up for two weeks of miscommunication. Afterwards, Shinichirou forever made certain to molest his boyfriend several times a day to make sure he felt desired, and Nanami wondered if he shouldn’t have taught Shinichirou the concept of “moderation”. Oh well.

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