Part 23: House of Sweets ~un petit nid~ (23)
—–Translated by daydrop. Please read on the original site at daydrop.nowaki.net.
When Kase got back, Agi was already home.
“Welcome back, little sickness faker.”
Kase looked down, feeling awkward at the sudden greeting at the door. Agi stood with his arms crossed, not smiling. It had been wrong of him to leave in the middle of the party. As Kase panicked, he heard a sigh.
“Geez, seriously, you’re not a kid, but you sulk and storm off in a tantrum? You trying to kill me here?”
A large hand landed on top of his head and ruffled his hair. When Kase raised his head timidly, Agi was smiling in exasperation as their eyes met.
“You left without eating anything, yeah? I brought food back with me for you.”
Agi took Kase’s hand and led the way to the living room. Kase had done something that deserved more anger, but from the view of Agi’s back, it looked like he was excited about something. Containers of food covered the living room table. There was fried chicken, huge Hamburg steaks, macaroni gratin, and egg salad. They were all Rio’s favorite foods and more suited for children, but in the middle of everything, there was a large box with a ribbon on top.
“Alright, let’s redo the birthday party.”
Kase tilted his head in confusion.
“We missed your birthday in the summer, remember? I’ve been thinking about when we should have it, and when I talked to Chise about it, we decided to have it together with Rio’s. But you left before we could get to your cake.”
“Yup. Here we go, tadah~”
With the fanfare, Agi lifted the lid of the box with the ribbon on it.
His heart skipped a beat in an instant. There were cookie walls, a chocolate door, jelly windows, and a roof made out of wafers decorated in icing. It was a house of sweets right in front of him like the one he had seen in his dreams.
“Amazing, right? It was my idea, and Chise made it. Oh, but that’s not all there is to it.”
Agi told him to lift it up, and Kase gingerly lifted the candy house. The house was hollow inside and hidden underneath was square-shaped cake. It had pure white whipped cream and beautiful red strawberries. On a white chocolate display plate were the words Happy Birthday Hiro-kun.
“What do you think? It’s great, right? It’s a double surprise. I thought of it all myself.”
Kase stared at the candy house stunned and dazed. He remembered how he had thrown Chise and Rio into the fire of a hearth, and a flash of fear that maybe Agi had seen through his true feelings crossed through his mind. However, when Kase thought how Agi had done all of this for him, it made him happy. Uneasiness and joy—the scales swung back and forth between the two, and as he watched Agi’s triumphant smile, it gradually tipped over to joy.
“Yours is more elaborate than Rio’s, see? When I first told Chise about the idea, she wanted to do the same thing for Rio’s cake, but I came up with the idea for you, so I told her to wait until next year to do it. Since my oversized cat here gets sulky easily.”
Agi gave him a teasing look, and Kase’s cheeks burned.
“Y-You didn’t have to. Not for me anyway.”
“Liar. Little brats love to be treated special. And you’re the biggest one here.”
“Who’s the little brat?”
“You are, you little sickness faker.”
Agi pinched Kase’s nose, and Kase frowned.
“Hey, Hiroaki.” The tone in Agi’s voice suddenly became softer. “What’s gotten into you? You’ve been acting weird lately. You’ll distance yourself from me all of a sudden, and then you’ll come cling to me like a burr again. You won’t tell me what’s wrong, so all I can do is worry about you.”
Agi pulled his mouth into a frown. His attitude was playful, but it was clear that Agi was really worried about him. His hardened heart easily melted, and Kase could honestly give him an apology.
“I’m sorry. I caused you trouble.”
However, Agi pinched his nose again. This time even harder than before.
“You didn’t cause me trouble, you caused me worry. Don’t get it mixed up.”
Agi’s face was serious, and Kase nodded with his nose still pinched.
“Good. As long as you understand. Alright, let’s get the party started.”
From a bag on the table, Agi pulled out candles in the shapes of the numbers ‘3’ and ‘0’. He laughed and explained that unlike Rio, they couldn’t fit all those candles on the cake.
“…Oi.” Kase stared back at Agi with indignation. “I’m still only 29.”
“Eh, it’s all the same. Anyway, I didn’t know. I said you were 25, but Chise said you were 29. And Rio said you were 40. So I just went down the middle with 30.”
It was far too slapdash. Rio’s suggestion of 40 was harsh, but he was a child, so there was no helping it. Kase was more bothered that Agi still didn’t remember how old he was after all the time that they’d spent together. With a sidelong glance at Kase who was plainly hurt, Agi lit the candles and got up to turn off the lights.
“Come on, make a wish.”
“You’re supposed to make a wish when you blow out the candles of course.”
That was true. No one had ever celebrated his birthday with a cake before, and it hadn’t really occurred to him to do so. Kase stared at the cake lit up in the orange light.
I want to be with Agi-san forever.
That was what came to his mind right away. That was the only wish that Kase could make.
However, Rio’s smile flashed through the back of his mind as if to chase him. Along with Chise and Agi, singing happy birthday, with Rio sitting between them. Among the balloons and paper decorations that hung from the ceiling.
—Uncle Agi will be my daddy soon.
On the other side of the flickering candles, Agi was watching Kase. Kase wished that this man could be his and only his. However, no matter how hard he wished for it, there were some things that he could never obtain. It was something that he understood all too well. Kase took a deep breath and blew out the ‘3’ and the ‘0’ candles.
“Hey.” Agi widened his eyes.
The orange-colored flames disappeared and plunged the room into an indigo blue.
“You broke the golden rule of birthdays, you know.”
“I’m not a child anymore, I can’t make things like wishes.”
Agi laughed and called him stubborn, while Kase twisted up his face like he was about to cry. But it was fine. It was dark, and Agi couldn’t see whatever face he made. He wanted to be with Agi forever. But he couldn’t swallow down the wish that he couldn’t express out loud, and it kept irritating the back of his throat.
“Well, whatever. Anyway, happy birthday,” the low gentle voice said, in a room where only outlines could be seen. Agi was kind. If Kase wanted something, he would respond to his needs. That was why Kase had to be satisfied with this. He had to be satisfied and leave these arms.
A strange silence fell after Kase gave his thanks.
“What’s with this? It throws me for a loop when you’re too honest.”
Kase just laughed back at him and went to turn on the floor lamp in the corner of the room. When the room lit up with a soft glow, he heard the sound of crunching behind him. Kase turned around and widened his eyes. Agi was eating the house made of sweets. The wafers had been torn off, and now there was a huge hole in the roof.
“What are you doing!?” he shouted without thinking.
Agi was taken aback by Kase’s anger.
“I only ate a little of it.”
“Well you can’t eat it! You gave it to me! It’s mine now!”
Agi stared blankly at Kase who shielded the house with his hands to protect it. He knew how ridiculous it was to be so fixated with a candy house at his age. But it was the first time that anyone had celebrated his birthday, and this particularly was something that Agi had gifted him—it was too inconceivable for Kase to even think about eating it. It was just too precious. As Kase bit his lip, Agi came over to him from around the table.
“I’m sorry. I’ll have Chise fix it tomorrow.”
Agi hugged Kase from behind, and his cheeks burned at how immature he was acting.
“It’s fine. I’m sorry for getting mad over something like—”
“I’ll have it fixed.”
The arms tightened around Kase. The hold grew stronger and stronger, and it pained him.
After a long silence, a sigh brushed the back of his neck.
“God, it’s like I don’t know what to do anymore.”
Kase couldn’t tell if the voice was angry or troubled.
“When I look at you, I just get these feelings, and I don’t know what to do with any of it.”
“…Are you mad?”
“That’s not it at all.”
With a murmur that sounded at a loss, Agi turned Kase’s chin towards him and brought his face close. Their lips touched, parted, and touched again. The kiss wasn’t their usual light ones. It was a full-bodied kiss, with all of Agi’s weight, and Kase clenched his fists, enduring the heat that circulated to his core.
A hand sneaked under his shirt as they kissed, and fingertips reached his chest. His body trembled and shook when they touched a place that had shown no reaction before.
When he twisted his body in reflex, Agi pulled him down to the floor, and Kase was pinned underneath him. He wasn’t exactly sure what was happening, and when his shirt was rolled up, Agi directly kissed the skin there. Agi sucked at the little nub on his chest and made wet noises with his mouth. It was an unfamiliar stimulus, and a ticklish sensation, that made him want to cry, gradually spread through him.
“A-Agi-san, wait… ngh…”
“You don’t like it?” Agi pulled his body away.
“N-No. It’s not that—”
“Oh,” Agi murmured when Kase was at a loss for how to answer. “Is this your first time on the bottom?”
Kase nodded. When he had done it with his ex, he was always the top. He wasn’t sure what to do if he was to be on the receiving end. Kase looked up to implore at him and was surprised when Agi asked, “Then is it a no?”
There was a deep look of want in Agi’s eyes. Up until now, it had always been Kase who did the chasing and sought things from him, and Agi just responded to whatever he did.
“I-It’s fine. If it’s you.”
Kase wrapped his arms around Agi’s neck essentially in reflex. He didn’t know why Agi finally changed his mind when he had turned him down once before. But Kase didn’t care what the reason was. He was too preoccupied with other things to think.
—–Translated by daydrop. Please read on the original site at daydrop.nowaki.net.