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After getting changed the next morning, Yosuke found Yu watching the morning news on the couch. He joined his friend there and together they watched the weather report, which said that it would be a beautiful day. It'd be perfect for going to the park with Kichirou when the boy woke up.
While the broadcast changed to sports news, Yosuke suddenly felt Yu's hand creep into his.
Before he could think about it, Yosuke flinched and pulled his hand away. He regretted it immediately, because the surprise on Yu's face quickly gave way to hurt.
Determined to fix that, Yosuke grabbed Yu's hand and held it tight. "I-I'm sorry. I'm new to this."
Now Yu was frowning in puzzlement. "New to this? You were married!"
"Y-yeah, but..." Yosuke sighed, then leaned his head against the couch's back. "...I guess I see now why Michiko left me. Our life was never... never... this." He held up their joined hands to indicate them.
"You were sort of a mess when I got here," Yu admitted. A half-smile played on his features. "I wondered how you'd managed all these years."
"Thanks for not letting it show, partner," Yosuke said flatly, though the man wasn't wrong.
Yu extricated his hand from his grip, and then gently began to run his finger's over Yosuke's palm. "You know, Michiko-san is a kind person."
"I don't think she'd have left Kicchan with you if she didn't think you could handle it. And... anyone else would think you couldn't, but she trusted you."
"She still trusts me..." Yosuke murmured. "Ki-kun probably gives her reports every week about how we're doing."
"I don't know about that, but he sure as heck gave me reports," Yu said with a grin. "He's a good boy, and I wonder sometimes how he's your son."
"That's harsh, partner..."
Yu chuckled lightly. He stopped playing with Yosuke's hand to entwine their fingers together. For a while after that, the only sound was the TV still tuned into the news.
"Yu, I..." Yosuke said, breaking the silence that had come between them. "Are you really okay with this? I'm still married to Michiko. I don't know if we'll even get divorced at this rate."
"I don't mind that, Yosuke," Yu told him. "All I want... All I want is to be here with you, to be a part of your life and Kicchan's."
Feeling lightheaded, Yosuke wrapped his arm behind Yu's back and pulled him close.
"In fact I... I might have always wanted this," Yu confessed against his shoulder. "You always were my most important friend."
Yosuke shook his head. "Keep that up and you're gonna make me cry again. I can't be this lucky."
"Yosuke." Yu sighed. He planted a warm kiss on Yosuke's cheek. "I love you," he said in a low whisper.
"Yu—" Yosuke began, but the man pulled away and stood up.
"Do you want to make breakfast today, or should I? Kicchan will be waking up soon."
"You do it, please," Yosuke answered weakly. "B-but what about Ki-kun...? Do we tell him about... us? How do we tell him? I, I mean... I don't know what he'd think..."
"He'd be happy that you're happy," Yu told him, his smile reassuring. "But let's not tell him. Not until we know what's going on with this divorce. I'll keep the spare futon out here and... pretend to use it."
"Okay," said Yosuke. They'd have to be careful not to be too obvious, which might be difficult considering how much Yosuke wanted to cling to Yu and not let him go.
Yu had pulled out his phone and was now aiming the camera at him. "Smile for me, Yosuke."
Yosuke blinked. "What?"
"I need new pictures. Smile for me, loverboy."
"D-don't call me that," Yosuke stammered, feeling his face warm up.
Yu lowered the phone, a contemplative look on his face. Then he brought it back up. "Smile for me... partner."
Yosuke swayed, a wave of dizziness coming over him. Though 'partner' was his nickname for Yu, the man rarely called him that in return. To hear him use it in that low tone of voice... it was like a dream come true.
Yu was by his side in a flash, steadying him on the couch. "I'm sorry," he said. "I didn't mean to make you melt! I just wanted a nice big smile... Yes, like that one!" The man threw his arm around Yosuke and then pointed the camera phone towards them and snapped a photo. "There. Our first day together."
"I love you," Yosuke told him.
Yu kissed him. "Now keep that dreamy smile on and wake up your boy!" He pushed Yosuke off the couch and in the direction of the hallway, his hands lingering maybe a bit longer than necessary on the small of his back, the realization of this turning Yosuke's smile into a big grin.
It was going to be a great day.
And it was a great morning, at least. The two adults were watching Kichirou go down the slide at the park when Yu announced that he wanted to make a trip to Inaba to gather his things from home. The train ride there and back again would take up most of the afternoon. If he left now, he could be back in time for dinner.
"W-wait, Uncle Narukami... is going to stay with us again?" Kichirou asked. He was sitting at the bottom of the slide.
"Th-that's right," Yosuke told him, smiling at the hopeful grin on his face. He turned to Yu. "Though you don't have go right this minute. You can borrow some of my clothes, you know."
Yu was, in fact, wearing the same clothes he'd had on yesterday when he'd found Kichirou. "I could have Nanako-chan send everything over," Yu admitted, "but... I would like to tell her and my uncle about all this in person. She might have wondered why I didn't come home last night. I don't want to disappear on them, like a certain little boy did!"
Kichirou hunched his shoulders down. "I'm s-sorry," he mumbled.
"It's all right, Kicchan. You know better now, and we know it won't happen again."
"Umm..." Yosuke began uncertainly. "Do you want us to see you off at the station?" Part of him didn't want to; it'd remind him too much of when he'd asked Yu to leave all those months ago.
"Actually," Yu said, "I was thinking of taking Kichirou with me. If that's okay. Because... there's something you need to do."
Yosuke blinked at him in confusion.
"You need to deal with his grandparents," Yu explained. "The last thing we need is for them to show up at your house and cause drama. You can confront them while we're at Inaba. Well... unless you'd like me to be there for backup. I don't mind being there for you."
Yosuke opened his mouth, almost ready to say that yes, he did need backup, but he realized in that moment that it didn't have to be Yu. "Yeah, all right." He went up to his son still sitting on the end of the slide, knelt down to his height, and put a hand on his shoulder. "Be good for your uncle on the trip, Ki-kun, all right? Make sure he packs enough underwear."
After seeing them off, Yosuke returned home. He went into Kichirou's room and picked up the boy's cell phone from the desk. He navigated to the contact marked 'Mom' and called it.
When the phone picked up, he said, "Hey, Michiko, it's me, Yosuke. We need to talk. It's about our son."
"Yes?" Michiko answered. "Is he doing all right?"
"Your parents tried to kidnap him!"
Michiko was waiting for him outside of her parents' place. There was little ceremony involved in their meeting; simple 'hellos' were exchanged and then she gave him a once over, taking a moment to straighten his collar for him. "Let's get this over with, huh?" she said, stepping away after that. He nodded, and they went inside.
The Furusawas stiffly invited them into their tatami room. Yosuke and Michiko sat at what had once been their regular seats at the tea table and waited for the tea to be served.
Michiko broke the ensuing awkward silence. Her hands were curled on the table. "How dare you try to steal my son away from his father."
Her anger had always been a quiet wrath. She rarely raised her voice, but the quality of outrage in it now was unmistakable.
"Micchan," Mr. Furusawa said, "we hadn't seen the boy in months—"
"So call up Yosuke and ask for a visit!" Michiko interrupted. "How hard is that to do?"
"We would have visited you ourselves," Yosuke said. "It's just been a little hard for us... I'm sorry we haven't, but..."
Michiko shot him a look that clearly said, 'Don't apologize.'
"It was difficult for us, too," Mr. Furusawa tried to defend. "We don't know if he wants to cut ties from us! You have to understand, we were afraid of losing our grandson with this divorce!"
"And that gives you the right to snatch him from his home?" Michiko countered. "Listen to me. I left Kichirou in Yosuke's care. That's where he belongs."
"A boy can't be raised by a man alone!"
Michiko smacked the table, causing the teacups to rattle in their saucers. "If I didn't think Yosuke could handle it, I wouldn't have left Kichirou there with him!" she growled. "And he won't be completely alone—I have been visiting him. You had absolutely no right to butt in on their lives together, and after this, we would be justified in not letting you see the boy at all!"
"I'd like to bring up another concern," Yosuke said mildly. "The reason Ki-kun ran away was because he overheard you two talking about us. Gossip about his parents... He doesn't want to hear that."
Mrs. Furusawa face was now ashen. She at least accepted her responsibility in the event. Her husband seemed chastised, too. "We're sorry," he said. "Please don't... Please don't take our grandson away from us."
Michiko looked at Yosuke. This was his decision.
After a long pause, he said, "I think you've learned your lesson. But if you ever do something like this again..." And when we do visit, I'm not letting Ki-kun out of my sight, he vowed.
The Furusawas sighed as one in relief, and went on to apologize further, but Michiko cut it short. She'd likely had enough of her parents for one day.
Yosuke followed her out of the house. "Michiko, thank you."
"There's nothing to thank me for, Yosuke. The nerve of those people..." Michiko shook her head. "If they ever give you problems again, call me immediately."
She told him to get out his phone and proceeded to give him her new number. "Immediately," she repeated with a hard smile.
She began to walk away. Yosuke watched her leave and thought to himself that maybe, just maybe, if she was still Ki-kun's mom... then it didn't really matter why she'd left him.
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