catching a star @chime
take it easy posted march 10 2017

They were filing in for lunch after training in the courtyard when Takaharu calls Kinji over to talk.

“Is something wrong?” Kinji asks.

Takaharu swings an arm around his shoulders, pulling him in close. He should be used to this by now, but the closeness still gets to him, makes him flush. He’d never known someone so touchy-feely.

“If you want,” Takaharu says, voice low, “You can come to my room tonight.”

Kinji’s eyes go wide. “That’s, uh.”

Takaharu smiles. “No pressure.” He pats him on the back and pulls away, going to follow the others.

Kinji takes a minute to pull himself together.

The invitation wasn’t out of the blue, exactly. They’d been sneaking around for a while, stealing kisses when nobody was looking, going out together more often. It made him feel like a kid, all this hiding and giddiness. But that wasn’t so bad.

This, though. This felt like something different, and he wasn’t even sure why Takaharu wanted him to come.

It was going to be a very long day.

Kinji’s been standing in front of Takaharu’s room for what feels like an hour, trying to muster up the courage to knock.

Takaharu had asked him to come, it shouldn’t even be a problem, but. It’s the middle of the night. What if he’s asleep already? What if he knocks too hard and he wakes someone up?

What if someone finds out?

He didn’t want to lose this, whatever it was.

He’s standing there thinking of the ten million ways this could go wrong when the door slides open, and there’s Takaharu.

Kinji nearly screams, and his hand flies to his mouth to stop it. Takaharu does the same, which is a bit of a relief. If he had known Kinji was standing there that whole time then he doesn’t know what he’d do. Leave the country, probably.

“Kin!” Takaharu whispers, breaking him out of that line of thought. He looks around the empty hallway, and pulls Kinji inside by the hand.

“I thought I heard something, but you really surprised me,” Takaharu continues, a bit louder than Kinji is comfortable with. Kinji doesn’t say anything, not trusting his own voice. Takaharu’s still holding his hand.

Takaharu doesn’t really seem to expect an answer, at least. When they get to his futon, Takaharu lets him go, settling back in.

Kinji lowers himself to the floor. He wasn’t sure what to expect when Takaharu had invited him over. He still doesn’t really know what he’s here for.

He has some guesses, though.

He’s looking around the room determinedly not thinking about it when Takaharu says, “Hey, come here.”

Takaharu’s lying with the blanket lifted, patting the other side of the futon, smiling.

“I - What,” Kinji splutters, trying to keep his voice level, and low, two things made very difficult by the Last Ninja’s grandson inviting him into his bed.

Takaharu tilts his head into the pillow, which really only serves to mess his hair up. “Aren’t you tired?”


“You seemed off, today. I figured you weren’t sleeping well, so I thought I could help.” Takaharu says, easily.

Oh, Kinji thinks, caught off-guard. (Not disappointed.) “Uh.”

“Maybe Kasumi keeps you up with her late-night experimenting? She can get kind of noisy, I hear her all the way over here.” Takaharu continues, ignorant of Kinji’s plight.

“That’s,” Kinji tries, “That’s mighty kind of you, Takaharu, but -”

Takaharu sits up. “If you don’t want to, that’s okay, but…” He shrugs. “I want you to know I’m here for you.”

Kinji isn’t sure what to say.

He isn’t used to being around people so much, is the thing. It gets tiring after a while. And he’s definitely not used to this.

People worrying about him.

“I… I suppose I have been a little off,” Kinji says. “But, I couldn’t -”

“You can!” Takaharu says, at regular volume. Regular Takaharu volume.

They both freeze, looking at each other wide-eyed. After a minute, when nothing happens, they both laugh. Quietly.

“I want you to.” Takaharu says. He takes Kinji’s hand in his, which isn’t playing fair, but Kinji doesn’t hold it against him.

“When you put it like that,” Kinji says, and Takaharu grins.

He pulls Kinji down with him, laughing softly. Happy Kinji’s here, in his room, in the middle of the night. Kinji kisses him because he can. He meant to be quick, but Takaharu keeps him there with a hand on his back.

Kinji finds he doesn’t really mind.

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