The beanie had never been decorative. It kept people from bothering him, just as the loose sweatshirt served its own purposes to hide some of Yata’s less common features. He’d never liked leaving his tail out in public where anyone could grab it and pull and he’d only ever let one person give him scritches behind his ears, and that was a long time ago.
Which is why he practically shot out of his blankets when he felt knowing fingers behind his ears.
“What the hell, Saru?” He flattened his ears and glared at Saruhiko. “You can’t just do that!”
It was the first time they’d ever had a sleepover after destroying the Slates, mending their friendship, and there hadn’t been any casual touching between then and now. Video games, food, laughter, soda, but not touching.
Saruhiko gave him that small smile that bordered contentment and sadism, as far as Yata was concerned. “All right, Misaki,” he answered, drawing out the name enough to make Yata’s tail twitch. Saruhiko gave the tail a gentle tug in reply.
“You!” Yata tackled Saruhiko off the couch only to be tackled back as Saruhiko laughed, as if they were just the tussling friends from before they’d separated.
Back then, it was fifty fifty who was going to win, but in only moments, Saruhiko had Yata pinned down with his body, breathing hard, and the proximity felt electrifying. Yata stiffened, heat rising to his face. “Let me up,” he demanded.
“You’re terribly skittish, Misaki,” Saruhiko said in a low, flat voice, his fingers seeming to twitch at Misaki’s hip where the shirt had ridden up in their fight.
It only made him blush worse. “Let me up.”
A few more breaths, soft and warm puffing against his cheek. His own sounded too heavy for their play fight. Saruhiko’s fingers left his hip—Yata’s skin uncomfortably cool in their absence—and rose ever so slowly toward Yata’s face. He watched Saruhiko’s hand, chest tight, limbs tense, until he slowly, slowly dropped it close enough to warm Yata’s face in the captured air between them. He should object, pull back, flash his teeth, something but he didn’t do any of those things. He waited for Saruhiko to look softly pleased and settle his hand gently into Yata’s hair to stroke those warm fingers through it, rubbing then outright petting.
Still, Yata didn’t stop him. He should want to, but he couldn’t find it in himself to break the tentative peace filling him the way it used to.
Then Saruhiko grinned altogether too brightly. “You still purr.”
Yata’s widened his eyes, startled as he realized Saruhiko was right. He was purring. He strangled it down with a noise of frustration. “Fuck you too!”
Saruhiko just smiled down at him, still petting. This time it didn’t border contentment. It went right in.0