pairing: Kato Shigeaki x Kusano Hironori
word count: 1,855
author's note: Happy belated birthday, Shige! ♥
summary: Shige can't help but think, sappy as it is, that having Kusano here with him is really the best birthday present he could ever ask for.
Shige can't help but smile warmly to himself as he lies beside Kusano in his futon late into the evening of July eleventh. It's been a full day, but as usual, Shige's mind and heart are too full of thoughts and feelings to rest just yet, and so he plays the events of the day back over in his mind as he runs his fingers idly over Kusano's hand, resting gently against Shige's body, Kusano's arm draped over Shige's waist. It's hard to believe that this is where they've arrived after (give or take) ten years of July elevenths spent together; it's hard to believe that the person whose idea of a great birthday plan used to be "let's ditch rehearsal and have celebratory sex in the closet!" when they were kids had called him a little while ago to ask what his plans were and, upon hearing that Shige had a writing deadline unfortunately set for ten am on Monday morning, hadn't pushed him to change his plans or whined about how inconvenient it was, but simply replied, "Is it okay if I come take care of you afterward?"
Considering that Kusano's idea of taking care of things in his life usually involved more mishaps than necessary, Shige had been a little concerned about the practicality of the plan, but just the offer was enough to make him a little teary-eyed with love and appreciation, and so he had accepted despite the possibility of disaster (and the feeling of dismay that he got when, a few days later, he'd found out indirectly that Kusano had managed to total his phone yet again and was unreachable until he got a new one). It was comforting, as he spent the few days prior to his birthday slaving over his manuscript, to know that at the very least, someone would be there to feed him and make sure he didn't pass out after these few chapters were finally submitted, but in the long ten hours or so of the final stretch before the deadline, Shige barely had time to snatch a two-hour nap, much less spend time thinking about his birthday plans, and so after he'd finally clicked the submit button at nine fifty-eight on the morning of July eleventh, hearing the doorbell ring ten minutes later nearly made him jump out of his chair in surprise. But sure enough, it was Kusano in the little monitor by his door when he checked to see who the hell might be bothering him so early in the day when he didn't have rehearsal or filming or anything like that scheduled, and he couldn't help but smile as their plans came back to him. Because even if Kusano destroyed his kitchen or managed to break Shige's phone this time, Shige couldn't bring himself to care. Kusano had gone out of his way to be here for Shige on his birthday, and that was what mattered.
"Happy birthday!" Kusano had shouted on the doorstep when Shige had let him in; sure as ever, he didn't seem to have any other volume setting besides yelling, but it's something Shige has come to love about him. "I brought takeout!" he added, holding up a plastic bag for Shige to see, and Shige couldn't help but grin, already feeling the stress from earlier begin to melt away. Somehow, despite the fact that his irresponsible behavior and characteristic stupidity really ought to be the cause of more stress, somehow, he's always had this effect on Shige, ever since they were kids, and even though maybe he really should, Shige doesn't mind in the slightest.
They had eaten together while Kusano asked him about how his book is going and what plans he has for the rest of the week, but once he had food in his system, Shige had felt himself beginning to fade, and so when Kusano had suggested a nap, he hadn't protested much. "I feel bad sleeping when you came over just for me," he'd pointed out, but, "Are you kidding?? I love sleeping together!!" Kusano had assured him far too enthusiastically to be lying, and so Shige had been able to rest without feeling like he really oughtn't have been-- he supposes that's part of the magic Kusano has always seemed to have; he's always supported Shige no matter what he wants, no matter what he needs, unequivocally.
And so they'd slept, and then when they'd woken up, now with a clearer mind, Shige had suddenly realized that he couldn't really recall when the last time he'd showered or shaved was. Not that Kusano had ever been one to care about personal grooming, but when Shige suggested they take a bath together, he had been enthusiastic, and so they'd relaxed in the tub together for a while before reconvening in the living room and unwinding by playing music together. Somehow, despite the fact that Kusano is a genius at music with an amazing voice and all sorts of talent, he still always wants to hang out and casually play together with Shige, whose complete lack of musical ability continues to embarrass him to this day, anyway. It makes Shige happy, and the feeling of being able to create things together, even if those things are just melodies that they won't bother to write down or record or preserve at all, is more refreshing to his heart than sleeping or relaxing in a bath could ever be.
They had played popular Western music, and oldies, and some NEWS songs, as well, laughing when Kusano went for the harmony and totally dragged Shige's singing off-key or when one of them decided to change up the lyrics to something more amusing or relevant to their lives, and it had felt good and natural to be together this way. Shige often feels as if he can read Kusano's mind at times like these, can predict what notes he'll play and what songs he'll sing and react accordingly, just like Kusano seems to be able to do the same and harmonize with him no matter what song Shige goes into, but nothing could have prepared Shige for Kusano to suddenly break into the opening bars of NEWS's Happy Birthday with the biggest grin on his face that Shige had ever seen. "Thank you for being by my side right now," Kusano had sung, and no, thank you, Shige had wanted to say in return, but he had a feeling Kusano already knows just how Shige feels about him, and so he had simply grinned and looked away in embarrassment when Kusano had gotten really into it and pressed up against Shige's side for the final chorus.
But then Kusano had surprised him yet again by handing him two wrapped packages, the first of which had turned out to be a hand-carved wooden box for pens and writing implements that Kusano had custom-ordered just for him. Shige had been touched by how much thought had clearly gone into the gift and couldn't imagine what else Kusano had gotten him on top of that, but when he peeled back the wrapping paper on the second gift, he had uncovered a small jewelry box, inside which there was a silver ring with some of Shige's own lyrics engraved on the inside, and Shige had felt as if all the breath was knocked out of him as Kusano mumbled that maybe it might be nice if they could be together forever, or something, and then the next thing he knew, he was on his back on the sofa with Kusano pulled close above him, their mouths fitted together as if they were meant to be that way.
Eventually, Shige had come down at least somewhat off the high of affection, and he'd let Kusano slide the ring onto his finger before they'd pulled themselves together and headed into the kitchen for dinner. Kusano had insisted that he was going to cook, but expectedly, that had ended in disaster and takeout Indian food, and then a surprise cake that Kusano had picked up while he was out getting dinner. "I don't think you've surprised me this many times before in the entire eight years we've been dating," Shige had pointed out with laugh, trying to hide just how giddy he was, even at twenty-nine years old, that Kusano was so intent to go out of his way to give Shige a happy birthday, and "What about the two years before we broke up that one time?" Kusano had teased back, and then they'd fooled around and put cake on one another's faces as if they were still teenagers excited to debut together and not adults who'd made their relationship work despite all odds. It's a little embarrassing, but it's also comforting to know that he can be immature and silly around Kusano when he wants to be, and so he'd stolen bites from Kusano's cake and wiped whipped cream on his nose to his heart's content.
And then after they'd eaten their cake, somehow or other, they'd ended up in bed together again, and now here they are, Kusano's breath even and comforting against the back of Shige's neck, his body pressed close against Shige's back. Shige has a feeling he's thrown off his entire sleep schedule over the course of today, but he can't bring himself to care right now. Usually, insomnia is lonely and defined by anxiety and worries; his brain being unable to shut off keeps him awake as he thinks over all of his shortcomings or all the things that could go wrong until daybreak, but right now, he really couldn't care less whether he sleeps at all. Just having Kusano here with him is enough to make him happy, no matter what happens.
He rests his eyes for a bit, but after a few minutes, Kusano stirs, tightening his arm around Shige's middle and resting his head against Shige's shoulder. "What's up?" Shige asks quietly, unsure if Kusano is awake or not, but sure enough, "…Happy birthday," Kusano mumbles in response, seemingly only partly conscious.
"It's already past midnight," Shige replies quietly, smiling to himself at the easy comfort of being together this way.
Kusano is quiet for a moment, and Shige is beginning to think that he fell back asleep when quietly, muffled into the skin of his own shoulder, he hears, "Thanks for being here with me…" and, as stupid as it is, he has to bite his lip and blink back tears, because if that's what Kusano thinks even when he's not really awake or aware of what he's saying, Shige feels like his heart is going to explode.
"It's already July twelfth, like I said," he replies teasingly once he gets himself under control, even though he has a feeling Kusano has already fallen back asleep. He doesn't know what he did to get so lucky as to have someone as wonderful as Kusano love him, but, he can't help but think, sappy as it is, that having Kusano here with him is really the best birthday present he could ever ask for.