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Always With You

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“Hey.” Haibara says suddenly, dropping the magazine he's reading to fix Inohara with a curious stare.

 

“Hm?” The larger man replies, knitting needles never faltering. Haibara bats at a ball of yarn sticking out from under the bed lazily.

 

“Why haven't you ever knitted anything for me?” He asks. Inohara pauses, lowering his half knitted scarf and turns to give Haibara his full attention.

 

“What?” Haibara purses his lips and shifts his position on Inohara's bed. Inohara squints at the smaller male because are his cheeks pink?

 

“I just- I overheard a few girls in class talking about learning to knit or crochet so they can make stuff for their boyfriends and I just thought…” Haibara shrugs, “you know.”

 

“You thought..?” Inohara prompts because no, he doesn't ..? Haibara glares over the edge of the bed, clearly not wanting to elaborate further, so Inohara sighs and continues working on the deep blue scarf. “You realize I'm not a girl, right?”

 

“Of course I realize that.” Haibara snaps. “It's three years too late for that question.”

 

Inohara grins, fingers working quickly and precisely. He loves remembering the way Haibara had confessed to him- had been forceful and demanding, even while his hands trembled with nerves. It made Inohara's heart flutter.

 

“So are you asking me to make something for you, Jirou?”

 

“I'm not.” Haibara says, throwing himself across Inohara's bed once more. “If you have to ask for it, it makes it less special.” He states, matter-of-fact, before roughly turning to the next page in his magazine and pretending to be absorbed in the skin care routine of some blond bombshell whose name he didn't know. Inohara is still smiling at his craft.

 

“But you would like for me to make something, just for you?” He probes. Haibara it's silent for a while, lips pursed and Inohara is sure he's not going to respond, so he continues on working, enjoying the quiet togetherness.

 

“I wouldn't not like it.” Haibara mumbles quietly, the sound of a page turning nearly drowning it the words but Inohara hears them. He huffs a laugh and smiles.

 

“Alright.”

 

---

 

Haibara forgets about the entire conversation in the hustle and bustle of soccer practice and exams. And especially after the summer tournament. Hinting to his boyfriend that he may or may not enjoy having a scarf/hat/mittens/whatever the hell Inohara felt like making him because it's not like he actually needs anything is the last thing on his mind.

 

After a night of tears, he throws himself into practice alongside his teammates and pours over the game recordings, trying to perfect everything he can. They won't lose next time. He swears it.

 

So when Thursday, October 13th rolls around, Haibara isn't expecting much. He gets a few hearty happy birthdays from his friends in class and the soccer team, and a cute little handmade charm from Tsukamoto, because of course he had made notes on all of his teammates birthdays. Practice goes on without a hitch, and that's gift enough for Haibara. He really isn't expecting much more than simply walking home with his boyfriend, maybe having a quiet dinner together with Inohara and his grandmother before returning to the whirlwind that is his household, so he's surprised when Inohara tugs a black knit cap over his shower damp hair and wraps a thick black scarf around his neck.

 

He blinks up at the taller man for a moment under the street light before dumbly mumbling “It's still 75° outside.”

 

Inohara laughs as he drops an arm around Haibara's shoulders and guides them down the darkened streets. “Happy Birthday, Jirou.” He says, cheek pressed against the top of the cap, and Haibara realizes what this is. He hides the smile he can’t get rid of behind the thick black scarf and blames the heat he feels in his cheeks and chest on being too tightly bundled.

 

That night, after his older sister has gone to bed and the twins have finally fallen asleep, Haibara lays on his futon, the black scarf beside him. His lips are curled into a smile as he runs his fingers over the stitching with his eyes closed, but his eyebrows draw down as he feels an odd stitch. A few odd stitches?

 

He opens his eyes and squints in the dark, but it's too dark to see well enough. He stretches out to pull his cell phone closer and uses the backlight to illuminate the small area and what he finds makes him laugh. He drops back against his pillow and pulls the scarf closer, arms winding tightly around it like a security blanket.

 

Inohara was so cute sometimes- it's so unfair.

 

---

 

Haibara wears the scarf the next day, but forgoes the hat. Every one looks at him like he's insane for wearing a scarf in this weather, but Haibara doesn't care. The pink flush on Inohara's cheeks is well worth it.

 

No one notices anything unusual about the scarf until they're packing up to leave, and honestly, he should have known it would be Tsukamoto. That kid notices everything. Read: why Haibara is careful about where he allows hickeys now.

 

“Haibara-senpai, is that scarf handmade?” He asks, eyes bright. Haibara grins.

 

“It is. It was a birthday present." his chest feels warm again, and he grins when he sees the pink tips of his boyfriend's ears. Tsukamoto 'ohhh!'s softly.

 

“I thought so! It's so well made! Especially the little cat on the bottom edge!” He smiles and leans in closer to see the carefully stitched black cat head.

 

“Ohh, there is a little cat there.” Usui comments as he looks over Tsukamoto's head. “It blends right in when you're not looking for it.”

 

“It does,” Tsukamoto agrees, “but isn't it kind of a “You can't see me, but I'm always with you” kind of thing? Haibara-senpai, did your girlfriend make this for you??’

 

“I'm out.” Inohara says before rushing out the club room door. Haibara grins and quickly grabs the rest of his stuff.

 

“Something like that.” He laughs before rushing after the goalie.