Sweet and Spicy

Touya keeps trying to draw Yue out, and Yue wrestles with his fear of losing again. Drama with Romance, I-4

Pairing(s): Touya/Yukito/Yue

Touya was enjoying a very nice afternoon, lying on the couch with a book in one hand and Yuki dozing against his chest. Yuki had finished his writing for the day, making three chapters of his second novel to send along to his agent tomorrow. The day was just cool enough to make Yuki’s warm weight feel extra nice. In fact, it was just about a perfect afternoon.

So of course it was interrupted.

Not by the rush of light and feathers that abruptly filled Touya’s arms; that wasn’t an interruption. No, it was when Yue opened his eyes and said, "The Master needs me."

Touya grunted; of course Yue wouldn’t have come out just to chat. He smoothed back Yue’s hair, as he’d been stroking Yuki’s. "Think you’ll be back for dinner?" Food was starting to be a good way to get Yue to spend some time acting like a normal person.

Yue started, seeming to notice for the first time that he was lying against Touya. "I… I don’t…" He set his hands against Touya’s chest, pushing himself back, eyes wide.

"Oof," Touya complained, and pulled Yue back down so he could breathe. "Legs off the couch first," he directed. "You really need to get more used to this."

Yue lay still for a moment before he tried to sit up again, more slowly this time. "I… wouldn’t wish to interrupt more than I do." He looked away, color sneaking over his cheeks.

"You aren’t interrupting," Touya told him firmly. How many times was he going to have to say this before both of them understood? "Whichever shape you are, whichever you you are, it’s still you. You belong here." Yue was starting to look alarmed, and Touya sighed, going back to the less intimidating questions. "Do you think you’ll be back for dinner?"

"I… I’ll try," Yue said softly.


Touya sat at the kitchen table, triangulating between a medical text, a cookbook, and a book of magic.

Cooking for Yue was more difficult than your average menu planning.

"Apricot ginger glaze for the chicken," he muttered, scribbling notes, "bean salad maybe? Yeah that should be okay since it’s fall. Not too much rice, though. Hm. Lemon ice for dessert?" He chewed the end of his pencil for a minute. "Better make it green tea ice—better balance."

He did more homework to cook food for his boyfriend and his boyfriend’s other self than he’d done for his chemistry degree, he swore. Well, at least now he know why Yuki was so fond of wheat breads.

Yue got back just as dinner was sizzling and chilling nicely; Touya decided it was a good omen. "Set the table," he directed, handing Yue the plates. The more prosaic he could make Yue’s life, the better, he figured. "See if you like the chicken, tonight."

Yue set the table, but he did it slowly, with a lot of little glances at Touya. He hesitated before sitting down. "I shouldn’t," he said, low. "Yukito…"

"I made dinner for you," Touya told him firmly, hanging up his apron and grabbing his own chair. "You should eat it."

Yue finally sat. Touya kept him busy through dinner by asking what Sakura had been up to. Apparently what should have been a tame consultation with a wizard from up north had turned into a ghost hunt through the whole town and half the next. Yue actually smiled faintly over the bean salad, though that might just have been satisfaction at recounting how Keroberos got himself stuck trying to slide underneath someone’s porch. After dinner, Touya handed Yue a dish towel without asking and recounted his hours lecturing that day as they washed the dishes, just as normal and domestic as he was capable of making things.

Yue seemed puzzled by the whole thing, which made him want to bang his head against the wall.

When they were done and Yue just nodded quietly to him, wings starting to open, Touya decided he had had enough. "Yue." He reached out and gathered Yue into his arms, wings and all. Yue stiffed and Touya sighed; was it always going to be like this? He touched Yue’s jaw gently, meeting wide, ice-colored eyes. "Is this really so hard to understand?" he asked quietly.

"I don’t… I… yes," Yue stammered, and Touya’s mouth quirked; for all his reserve, Yue was very straightforward.

"I’ll try to make it easier, then," he said, and leaned in and kissed Yue’s forehead softly. "How’s this: I want to be with you. All of you."

Yue stared at him, shivering, lips parted, and Touya wished he could think that was invitation and not just shock. When Yue clung abruptly close he felt a flash of hope, but the next instant he was holding only light, and then Yukito was leaning against him, shaking his head.

"What on earth?" Yuki murmured.

Touya sighed, letting his head drop to Yuki’s shoulder. "Argh."

"Ah. I see." Yuki stroked his hair. "Don’t worry, Touya. We’ll get there. Is there leftover ice cream?" he added hopefully.

Touya laughed, which he thought was probably the point. "I made cookies for you. Come on. There’s tea ready too."

Yue stood at the furthest edge of the Cards’ Place and tried to be calm. The memory of Touya’s lips on his made it hard. Other memories kept slipping through his mind, even here—of Mirror blushing when the others admired her new hair ribbons, of even Watery allowing that the Master’s brother was very kind, of Dark looking at him from the corner of her eye.

He couldn’t think about these things!


He looked up, startled, to see Dark standing by him, brows drawn down in worry. "Yue-sama, are you… are you well?"

"I’m fine," he told her flatly, folding his arms tighter.

She tipped her head and smiled at him softly. "It’s the Master’s brother again, isn’t it?"

Yue drew himself up; he wasn’t going to have any backtalk from the Cards, not even one of the highest. Dark sobered and bowed to him in apology. "Forgive me, Yue-sama. It’s only that I wish you could be happier."

"He’s mortal." Yue looked aside. "There’s no happiness in that, not for me." That had been abundantly demonstrated once already; Yue didn’t feel any need to learn it again.

Dark hesitated a moment and came to stand before him, taking up one of his hands in hers. "Yue-sama, happiness and sadness are like Light and Dark. They are not separate." She looked up at him gravely. "You are trying to separate them, to deny happiness so you won’t risk sadness. But in doing so, have you left yourself anything but the old pain?"

Yue started to pull away, not wanting to hear this or think about what it meant, and Light stepped from behind Dark. She bowed deeper than her sister, cautious as all the Sun-ruled Cards were with him, and held out her hands entreatingly. "Please, Yue-sama." Softly, she added, "You rule half the cards, under our Master. Your pain troubles us, as well."

Yue stilled, and looked back at Dark, startled. Dark didn’t quite meet his eyes, which was confirmation enough. "I see," he said. "I have neglected my duty to guard you, then."

"It’s not that!" Dark looked up at him, hands tightening on his. "It’s only… until now there was nothing to be done. But now there’s him."

Light set her hands on Dark’s shoulders, pressing close to comfort her. She looked past Dark at Yue with a soft smile. "As we are not separate, as joy and sadness are not separate, you and your other self are not separate either." She bent her head, diffident, but there was no yielding in her words. "Don’t you love him already?"

Yue closed his eyes. "Leave me," he said quietly. When the soft rustle of them had faded, he took a slow breath and let it out. Light could be as artlessly direct as the ruler of her half of the cards. Was she also right?

Would he be fighting it this hard, if she weren’t?

Yue sighed. He could almost hear those words in Clow’s voice.

Or was it Touya’s?

Yukito was being patient. Possibly a bit elaborately patient, but if that provoked Yue to stop lurking just past the edge of clear perception and actually communicate what had him on edge, Yukito thought it would have been in a good cause.

The front door clacked and Touya called, "I’m home!"

"Welcome back!" Yukito called back, tossing his notebook onto the table and starting to rise. Touya was there before he got all the way up, leaning down to kiss him lightly, and Yukito laughed. "Long day?" he guessed. Touya wasn’t usually quite that eager.

Touya flopped down onto the couch beside him with a groan. "I have got to get a lab job soon, the kids are going to drive me nuts."

Yukito was going to tease Touya about how he always said that and somehow always kept signing up to lecture again the next term when Yue stirred inside him and pressed a little—not rising to the surface, not yet, just asking. That was rare enough that Yukito smiled. "Someone else wants to talk to you," he murmured, and let himself sink down past the rise of Yue’s coolness, until it was Yue sitting on the couch, stiff and tense. Touya smiled at him anyway.


"Touya," Yue returned, hesitantly. He glanced at Touya and away, swallowing. "Did… did your day go well?" he finally asked, low.

Touya blinked at him for a moment, and then the smile was back, softer. "Pretty well. There are a few students I could do without, but most of them are good kids." He rested an arm casually along the couch, behind Yue’s shoulders, hand curved down just enough to make Yue feel welcome. "Thanks for asking." There was more than surface meaning in his words, and Yue had to bite back the panic that would normally have sent him fleeing down under Yukito. "I’m glad," he managed.

"Yue." Touya drew him closer, gently. "What’s wrong?"

The answer to that was so large that Yue could only shake his head at first. Touya just waited, though, patient with him and finally he said, "Clow left us." It was the first piece of the answer, at least.

"I won’t leave you," Touya answered immediately, too fast to have really even thought about it, and Yue looked directly at him, frowning.

"You will when you…" he bit off the last word. He didn’t want to say it out loud. Every creature of magic knew words had power.

"When I… oh." Touya’s snort startled Yue. "Death is no excuse, just look at my mother." He grinned as Yue stared, thoroughly taken aback. "No, not even then." He drew Yue closer, smile sliding away into seriousness. "I won’t leave you. Yukito. Yue. You. Not ever."

Yue found his fingers clenched tight in Touya’s shirt. It hurt. It hurt knowing that Touya was right, and this was something Clow could have given them and hadn’t.

But Touya did.

Touya’s fingers stroked his hair back, and his voice was quiet and sure. "I promise you."

Clow had never given his word. Touya did. It wouldn’t be the same, after he died, it wouldn’t be enough, but he promised even so. Maybe Yue wouldn’t be completely alone, after.

He leaned slowly against Touya, breathing as unsteady as if he’d just run a race against time, and a small, husky sound escaped him as Touya gathered him up close and warm. It was so warm, so good, it had been so long since Yue had felt that. Out of the warmth he finally found the courage to lift his head and touch his lips to Touya’s, for all he shivered when Touya’s arms tightened. It wasn’t with chill. Nor was it him alone; in that warmth, Yukito was there also, feeling with him, and Yue could feel the joy and pleasure of his other self’s response.

He could feel it too much, in fact, and without quite meaning to he slid under the rising brightness of Yukito’s open love until it was Yukito sliding his arms around Touya’s shoulders and kissing him slow and sure.

Yukito broke off with a soft laugh. "We’ll have to get better at that."

Touya was looking down at him, worried. "Is Yue all right?"

"Of course! He just isn’t used to this." Wasn’t used to being happy, that was; but he wasn’t sure it was time to tell Touya that yet.

Touya took a long breath, relief lightening his eyes. "I see. Well, you’re right then. We’ll have to get better at it."

Yukito laid a hand against his cheek. "Don’t worry, To-ya," he said, quietly. "We will."