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Cold Afternoon

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Becoming part of the Phantom Thieves hadn’t been the only thing to change in Yuuki’s life during that year.

For starters, after months of playful flirting and barely-concealed mutual interest, Ryuji had finally asked him out during their trip to Hawaii; then, a few weeks later, they both gathered their courage and asked Yusuke out as well, who accepted it without a moment of hesitation. Their unusual relationship had been a surprise for both their friends and themselves, but—unlike Yuuki feared—no one in their group was against it, not even Ryuji’s mother, who made it clear that Ryuji’s happiness was everything that mattered to her.

Thanks to that, Yuuki and Yusuke were constantly at Ryuji’s place. Yusuke lived alone in his room at the Kosei dormitory, and Yuuki had a strict—and suffocating—family, so it didn’t take long for the Sakamoto residence to become like a second home to both of them. It was small, sure, but Ryuji and his mother made them feel welcomed and loved whenever they paid a visit. Not only that, but for people like them, who never received much affection from their family and parental figure, that place felt much more like a home than anywhere else.

A common sight when the three were together was them doing different things while in the same ambient—usually Ryuji’s bedroom. Since they had different ways to pass the time, they soon learned to enjoy each other’s presence without the need to actually do something together. Maybe it didn’t sound like a romantic thing for boyfriends to do, but to them, it was perfect like that, which, at the end of the day, was the only thing that mattered.

And they were doing just that during that cold afternoon, after school. Yuuki and Ryuji were sitting side by side on Ryuji’s bed, playing on their respective portable video game consoles, while Yusuke drew on his sketchbook by Ryuji’s desk. Regardless of those different activities, they chatted and made frequent comments about what they were doing, so it still felt like they were doing it together. For Yuuki, who spent years trying to act like a perfect son and student, it was difficult to imagine anything better than that: doing his favorite things while close to his two favorite people, being able to let go of his worries and just be himself.

He smiled to himself, leaning in Ryuji’s direction until their shoulders bumped.

“Ryuji… I’m cold,” he complained.

“Use the blanket,” answered Ryuji.

Yuuki glanced at the blanket beside him, then stared at Ryuji, making sure to look as unhappy as he could.

“No… I’m cold.”

Ryuji let out a long sigh. He knew what Yuuki meant, and that he wouldn’t stop until he got what he wanted.

“Fine…” he said, gesturing at the wardrobe’s direction. “Go ahead and grab one.”

Yuuki closed his 3DS, smiling satisfied as he got out of the bed and took a look inside Ryuji’s wardrobe, trying to decide which jacket he was going to steal that time.

“Please, take one for me too,” asked Yusuke.

“Alright,” said Yuuki, glancing at him over his shoulder. “Do you have any preference?”

“The red one,” Yusuke showed a slight smile. “I like the contrast of wearing warm colors on cold days.”

Yuuki gave Yusuke the hoodie that he asked, then chose his favorite—the purple one—for himself. It was big and comfortable, like most of Ryuji’s clothes, and it made him feel small, warm, and happy. Ryuji watched them with his brow furrowed, but also barely able to hold back a smile.

“Why don’t you guys use your own clothes?” he asked.

“Because yours are comfy,” said Yuuki.

A brief chuckle left Yusuke’s lips.

“Precisely,” he said. “And they smell quite nicely as well.”

“Yeah, I know…” agreed Ryuji. “The fabric softener my mom bought last time is pretty nice. Smells like a magic garden, or somethin’…”

His comment made Yuuki laugh, covering his mouth with a hand.

“I don’t think that’s what he meant,” he said.

Ryuji looked at him for a moment, and only then seemed to understand it. He looked at Yusuke, who had an amused grin on his face.

“Oh, c’mon…”

Saying that, Ryuji lied on his stomach, puffing his cheeks and staring at the screen of his old PSP, a light flush quickly taking his face.

“Look what you’ve done, Yusu…” said Yuuki, getting back on the bed, sitting between Ryuji’s legs and grabbing his 3DS again. “Now he’s embarrassed.”

“I won’t take back my words,” said Yusuke.

“Shuddup…” grumbled Ryuji. “Is this what I get for lettin’ you guys borrow my stuff?”

“You get our love too,” answered Yuuki.

“Funny, ‘cause I feel more used than loved.”

“Don’t say that!”

Yuuki gave the back of Ryuji’s thigh a light slap, then lied on the mattress with his knees bent, leaning back and using Ryuji’s butt as a pillow.

“This is what I meant,” said Ryuji.

“You do the same thing,” retorted Yuuki.

“Yeah, okay… but I don’t steal your clothes.”

“Only because they’re too small for you.”

Ryuji seemed about to retort, but considered it for a second.

“Maybe…” he admitted.

“See?” said Yuuki. “And your clothes are more comfortable, anyway. One day I’ll steal your whole wardrobe and make a pile of hoodies and jackets to sleep on.”

“Yuuki… I need my clothes.”

“You don’t need all of them.”

“I don’t wanna walk around naked,” Ryuji sighed. “I’ll probably get arrested.”

“For being too attractive?” asked Yusuke.

“No!” Ryuji stared at him with an annoyed expression. “Stop doin’ this!”

“I must deny your request,” answered Yusuke. “Your reactions are too amusing to watch.”

“Fuckin’ asshole…”

Yuuki giggled at that exchange, then turned his attention back to the game. Some time passed, and now that he was so warm and comfortable, he started to doze off, only awaking again when the game started to make a high-pitched and repetitive noise to warn him that his health bar was at its end. After dying twice in the same part, he came to the conclusion that he wouldn’t progress any further that day.

“I’m so sleepy…” he said.

“Go ahead and take a nap,” answered Ryuji.

“I will.”

Yuuki placed his 3DS on Ryuji’s nightstand, then crawled over the bed until he was lying on top of Ryuji’s back.

“What are you doin’?” asked Ryuji with a laugh.

“It’s warm here…”

“C’mon, Yuuki… Find a better place to sleep. I’m pretty sure you ain’t comfortable there, I’m all bones and muscles.”

“It’s worth the pain.”

Ryuji groaned, glancing at him over his shoulder.

“You didn’t ask me if I’m fine with bein’ a mattress,” he said.

“You are…” Yuuki yawned, shifting his body a little to find a better position. “It’s for me.”

“Whaddya think I am?”

“In love with me.”

“That’s not what I meant!”

Yuuki ignored his protests, sticking to Ryuji like a sloth. He started to doze off again when Ryuji’s voice brought him back.

“Yusu… You’re not drawin’ us, are you?”

Yuuki looked at their boyfriend, who was now facing them with his sketchbook in hand.

“No,” said Yusuke.

“Liar!”

Yusuke smiled to himself as he sketched, raising his eyes to them from time to time.

“Don’t move for a moment,” he asked. “That’s quite an interesting pose…”

“See?” muttered Yuuki. “I’m helping him do art.”

“You’re just lazy,” retorted Ryuji.

“And you complain too much…”

Ryuji sighed, placing his PSP beside him on the bed.

“I can’t even play like this…” he said. “It feels like I always get the short end of the stick with you two…”

“You don’t…” answered Yuuki. “You have us.”

“And that’s worth my sufferin’?”

“Of course it is.”

His answer made Ryuji grumble in protest.

“I wish I could bite your forehead right now,” he muttered.

“No…” That silly threat made Yuuki laugh. “Don’t do that.”

Saying that, he yawned again, and by the moment he was finished, Yusuke had already placed his sketchbook over the desk, sitting on the bed beside them.

“Did you finish the sketch already?” asked Yuuki.

“Yes. Now, if you’ll excuse me…”

Yusuke moved closer to their legs, then lied down over Yuuki without a single care for his own weight.

“Don’t get on me too!” protested Ryuji. “My back’s gonna break!”

“I doubt that you’re that fragile, Skull,” answered Yusuke.

“That ain’t no excuse to treat me like a couch!”

Yusuke moved a little, making a low, suffering moan escape Yuuki’s lips.

“You’re squishing me…” he whimpered.

“Yusu, get up!” said Ryuji. “You’re killin’ us!”

Yusuke did as he asked with an amused laugh, which made clear that he didn’t regret any of his actions.

“Why are you like this?” asked Ryuji.

“I don’t get what you mean.”

“You do! You fuckin’ asshole!”

While those two playfully argued, Yuuki made an enormous effort to get up, sitting beside Yusuke on the bed.

“I thought I was going to die…” He pouted at Yusuke. “I’m not even sleepy anymore.”

“My apologies,” said Yusuke, not sounding sorry at all.

Yusuke placed a hand on Yuuki’s chin, lifting it to briefly kiss his lips. Ryuji got up from the bed, stretching his back and neck.

“Come back to bed,” asked Yuuki.

“It feels too spacious without you here,” agreed Yusuke.

Ryuji looked at them, forcing a tired sigh.

“Damn… ain’t you two clingy?” he said.

“And you say that with a dorky smile on your face,” answered Yuuki.

“C’mon… I never said that’s a bad thing.”

Saying that, Ryuji joined them again, sitting beside Yuuki. Soon, however, they changed their positions, lying down close to each other. Ryuji’s bed was definitely too small for the three of them, but they managed to find a way to fit together on it, with Yuuki—the smallest one—between the two others. Ryuji took the blanket, covering them with it, until they were nothing but a warm ball of cuddles and laziness.

“I’ll fall asleep like this…” muttered Yuuki.

“Take a nap,” suggested Ryuji again, caressing his hair.

Part of Yuuki wanted to stay awake and enjoy the moment for longer, but he was so warm and comfortable…

“Alright…” he said, closing his eyes. “Wake me in fifteen minutes.”

“Okay.”

Yuuki relaxed, allowing the sleepiness to take him whole and his mind to drift away. He was already half-asleep when he heard his boyfriends whispering to each other.

“What are you grinnin’ for, nerd?” asked Ryuji.

“Nothing,” answered Yusuke. “I’m simply enamored with my beautiful lovers.”

Ryuji groaned in response.

“You’ll make me get embarrassed again…” he said.

“That’s exactly the point.”

Yuuki smiled to himself. Those low, playful voices, alongside the feeling of being safe and loved, only confirmed once again that no, he couldn’t ask for anything better than what he already had.