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Potted Plants

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„Hajime, what…“
„I can explain.“

Indeed, Hajime could explain why there was a baby reindeer in the kitchen. Its head was dunked in the trash container, where it apparently found something edible. Hajime wore nothing but shorts and his hair looked a bit messed up. He stood next to the reindeer, phone in his hand, eyes narrowed and frowning. When Tadashi entered the kitchen, he looked up and sighed. Tadashi looked from the baby reindeer to Hajime and back, and a big question mark appeared on his face.

 “Look, do you know what reindeers eat?”
 “Uhm… grass, I guess- Hajime, what the hell does it do here!?”

Tadashi dropped his bag next to his feet as he sat down at the kitchen table.
 “Oh, you see, it’s a… story.” Tadashi had never seen Hajime in this state. His lover usually was a neat and ordered person, a bit stoic even. The messed-up look didn’t suit him at all, even though he apparently tried to collect his thoughts as well as he could.
  “Well, I’ll listen.”
Hajime sighed a second time and pulled the tiny reindeer out of the trash can with a quick move.


The day had begun just like all the other days of the last few years. The alarm would go off and Tadashi would be startled and shriek, which would wake Hajime up. Tadashi would get out of bed and be gone for twenty minutes, coming back showered, smelling like flowers, in fresh clothes and with a cup of tea for Hajime. Then they’d sit on the bed, legs intertwined and enjoying the silence, only whispering every now and then, when one of them remembered what he had dreamed about. And then, Tadashi would get up.

  “It’ll be late today, we got practice.”
  “I’ll make dinner.”

And they’d kiss each other goodbye, smiling and Hajime would be alone, just like every other Saturday of the last few years.

It was around noon, when the doorbell rang and made Hajime put his book down. It couldn’t be Tadashi, it couldn’t be any kind of delivery, Hajime did not expect any visitors.
As he opened the doors, Hajime’s hint of curiosity dropped immediately.
  “What do you want?”
  “Way to greet a friend, Iwa-chan!” Oikawa shouted overexcitedly and threw his arms around Hajime’s neck. “Where is Yama-chan?”
  “Ah, yes.”

Oikawa nodded as he loosened his grip. Then he looked down next to his leg, and Hajime followed his gaze. His eyes widened. A little reindeer was eating his favourite potted plant. Hajime didn’t know what part of this sentence he found the most upsetting. However, the person who this reindeer was with was his best friend and if he knew something about Oikawa it was the fact that all of his actions were upsetting in one way or another. Hajime sighed and rolled with his eyes, when Oikawa looked at him, clearly waiting for him to ask.

“Okay, fine. Why do you have a reindeer?” Oikawa’s eyes sparkled. “This is Leon. He is my friend. I found him today and I am sure he belongs to Santa Claus and got lost. And now he needs someone to take care of him. But I have some very important duties to attend and therefore can’t do that, but I know that you, are free on Saturdays, Iwa-chan. So…” Hajime held up his hands.

  “No way.”
  “Pleaaase, Iwaaaaaa…” Oikawa pouted and stretched the a for about half a minute.
  “No, no fucking way. Get the reindeer away from me.”
  “Iwa, please. Look at him!”
  “No. Go away.”
  “Leave me alone, Shittykawa.”
  “I’m gonna close the door.”
  “Look in his eyes!”

Hajime had made a mistake. The giant, dark eyes of the baby reindeer made him speechless. He looked at it for a very long time. Then he opened the door a little. Oikawa squealed.
  “You’re the best!”
  “I hate you.”


“So… You couldn’t resist taking care of the baby-reindeer… because it looked cute?”, Tadashi said and a grin appeared on his face. “That is so cute, Hajime!” He got up from his chair to look at the reindeer as well. “I understand you.” Leon’s eyes were really big and looking up to him as if to say “Love me, please” and Tadashi couldn’t resist but follow this silent plea.

Trying to find food for Leon wasn’t an easy task.
  “We don’t have moss, we don’t have leaves, we don’t have lichens, we don’t have anything.” Hajime said, showing Tadashi the screen of his smartphone, showing him a list of reindeer-food. Tadashi scrolled down the google results of ‘What do reindeers eat?’.
  “Oh look!” he turned around to stand next to Hajime and be able to show him the screen. ““What do Santa’s reindeers eat?” There you go! When Oikawa says, this is one of Santa’s reindeers, we can also feed it…” he came a bit closer to the screen to read the answers, “Cookies!”
Hajime looked at Tadashi’s bright face.
  “You are kidding, right?”
  “It’s the only thing we actually have in the house, Haji.”
  “If it dies, because we feed it cookies, I will blame you.” But Tadashi didn’t listen.

After the reindeer was fed, there was the next issue occurring. For a while, Leon had been lying on the carpet in the living room and Tadashi and Hajime had decided to leave him be and both took a long shower, trying to at least temporarily get rid of all the stress and tension that had built up throughout the day. Afterwards, they wanted to get to bed. However, Hajime went to pick up his book from the living room. When he entered, Leon was nowhere to be seen. But the carpet was not empty.

  “Tadashi!” Tadashi was next to him in no time.
  “Oh no.”

Leon had used his former bed as a toilet. It smelled worse than Tadashi and Iwaizumi after a volleyball match, Oikawa’s socks and the spoiled milk they had found two years after its expiration-date, together.
For a little while, they considered cleaning the carpet but eventually came to the conclusion that it’d be much easier and much cheaper to simply get rid of it. Tadashi found Leon in the kitchen, eating another one of Hajime’s potted plants. They built a nest for him made out of towels and Leon happily lay down and closed his eyes. Tadashi and Hajime observed him for a while, before they looked at each other, recognising the need for rest in the other’s eyes, smiled and returned to their bedroom.

“I kinda feel like a parent.” Tadashi whispered, when they light was out and they both faced each other, holding hands. Hajime made a humming sound.
  “I mean, I constantly think about Leon, and wonder if we forgot to give him anything, or…” Tadashi trailed off, staring in the dark.
  “You got very attached to him, very fast.”
For a while, they both listened into the night, picking up each other’s slow breathes or the wind outside.
  “I think, I want children, at some point”, Tadashi whispered, even quieter and Hajime was barely able to hear it. He squeezed Tadashi’s hand, when suddenly a loud sound from the bathroom occurred. Hajime sighed and got up.
  “We’ll talk about it, some day.” Tadashi smiled.
  “Some day?”
  “When I feel ready to sacrifice all of my plants to another destructive toddler, besides Oikawa.” Hajime opened the door to the hallway and made his way to the living room. The door closed behind him and Tadashi smiled into the darkness.