Purl Two

When Yuuri was a baby, his mother took up knitting. She’d done the same thing when she was pregnant with Shouri; it just seemed like the sort of thing expectant young mothers did. Yuuri and his brother each had a hand-knit blanket, dropped stitches and knotted yarn ends scattered throughout. Put together they were barely big enough for a single infant, let alone the toddlers the two were when the blankets were finally done. It had been many years ago but Yuuri could imagine his mother’s hands, holding the needles at sharp angles, like she was attacking the yarn. He still had the blanket stashed away in the back of his closet.

“What are you making this time?” Yuuri asked. Gwendal’s hands were bigger than his mother’s but they held the needles much more gently, his fingers defter. “Is it a duck?”

“A pig,” Gwendal said, pink yarn wrapped around his fingers. “It’s not done yet.”

“Oh, I see it now.” Yuuri stretched out on the sofa and watched Gwendal working across the room, neat stitches appearing like magic under his fingers. “That’s the nose you’re working on, right?”

“The ear.”

“The ear,” Yuuri corrected himself, “That’s what I meant.”

The needles stopped and Gwendal glanced up. “You don’t have to stay here,” he said, “I’m sure you have other things to do.”

“I want to stay,” Yuuri said.

Gwendal sighed and went back to knitting. The needles clicked softly together. Yuuri closed his eyes and listened to them, like water on a rooftop, until he drifted off to sleep.

It was some time later that Yuuri felt something soft brush against his cheek. He opened his eyes. A soft, pink lump of yarn and cotton was resting by his head, and there was a hand. Yuuri reached out to grab it.

“Sorry,” Gwendal muttered, “I didn’t mean to wake you.”

Gwendal’s hand was rough and calloused on his fingertips. “It’s okay,” Yuuri said. Gwendal took his hand away and strode out of the room. The warmth still lingered on Yuuri’s palm.

The pig really was atrocious, Yuuri thought. He propped it up on his chest and stared at it until he drifted back to sleep, where he dreamt of rough, calloused hands warm on his skin.

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