They were lying under the covers together that night. Their legs were tangled under the blanket, and Nezumi's arm was draped over Shions side. He felt his slow, even breathing on the nape of his neck.

A bed big enough for two, a warm room, under soft clean blankets, after a good meal. Next to you. It's everything I could wish for. But I never know if it's what you were looking for too. Nezumi, I really meant what I said today. I didn't lie. Will that be enough?

"Hm? Shion, did you say something?" Nezumi murmured.

Shion held his breath a while. He hadn't meant to wake him. But the question still burned in the back of his mind and would probably keep him up all night. If only to not wake up in an empty bed again. Suppressing it wouldn't do any good.

"Nezumi... can we stop being 'the wanderer' and 'the stationary one'?"

Nezumi didn't reply, but Shion could tell he was awake. He wriggled around in Nezumi's arms so he could face him. Face nestled into the dip of above his collarbone, Shion asked what had been on the tip of his tongue all day. "Will it be enough? Can you stay?"

He felt Nezumi take in a sharp breath and draw up his shoulders.
"Those are some loaded questions to ask someone you just woke up in the dead of night."

"I'm serious."

"You're ridiculous."

"So it's not? It's not enough?"

"No, no, hold up, don't make a leap like that!"

"When I wake up tomorrow, will I think this day was a dream?"

"Only if you're really stupid. Shion, I'll be there tomorrow."

"I wish we could punch each other about it again."

"What? You want to be punched right now?"

"No! I... it was just... effective. 'If you break your promise, I'll let you feel it too. I'll put my whole body behind it'. Something like that."

"Don't you think you're romanticizing that scene a bit?"

"I think I'm downplaying the romantic angle, actually."

Nezumi laughed quietly and then tilted Shion's face up to his own.

"I promise I'll be here tomorrow, and the day after tomorrow, and the next. I won't leave without giving you time to think about what you want to do." He gazed at Shion with his fascinating gray eyes. There was a velvety gentleness in them that reminded Shion of a placid lake right after sunset. Soft, warm water all around him... maybe, Shion wondered, maybe he could get used to it.

"Hey, did you listen? Are you sleeping with open eyes?" Nezumi asked, flicking Shion's nose. "I won't say it again."

Shion gave a short nod, still mesmerized. Nezumi drew him into a deep kiss. It was warm, sweet and reassuring. Then Nezumi's tongue slipped between his lips and Shion felt all his blood rush to his face. Breathless, he broke the kiss and quickly hid his dizzy head in the pillow. Nezumi rolled onto his back and started laughing, pinching the bridge of his nose.

"No way, no way! Don't tell me that was your first french kiss, damn it! I told you it would be dangerous if you didn't get any more experience."

"I was... busy with work. And that, that wasn't the first, just so you know!" Shion muffled into his pillow.

"Bullshit. Did you save yourself for me, idiot? You're impossible. Completely unbelievable."

Shion was getting a little angry. He hadn't, but... it really must look like that from Nezumi's point of view. Shion felt Nezumi shift back to his side and he lifted his head to look at the outline of his face in the dark.

"I didn't save anything for you, Shion. I met a lot of people and I had some pretty serious relationships. There are all sorts of amazing, attractive people out there."

"I know. I tried dating, too, you know? But it wasn't... I mean, I guess I wasn't fun to be around."

It was too dark to see well, but Shion felt a flash of that old anger in Nezumi's eyes. "Don't give me that 'You're the only one for me' crap now."

"But I -" Shion knew he sounded like a child throwing a tantrum. Could he even counter that? He gulped. "I can't help it. You keep asking me all the time, if I wouldn't rather be with someone else. What am I supposed to say? The answer is always no. You're the one I feel drawn to above anyone else. I don't regret it. I'm not lying."

Nezumi didn't answer for a while. Shion didn't dare look at him.

When Nezumi answered, his voice carried a heaviness. "We're not kids anymore, we're not the same people. Get to know me before you commit to it like that." They were his own words. The things Nezumi had been afraid of. "I'm not your lifeline, Shion. Don't cling to me. Don't wait for me until you die. You need to know that, if this is going anywhere."

I get it already, Nezumi. I know there's other people who love me, and they keep catching me when I fall. But I haven't gone through hell with them like I have with you. Nothing's even coming close, right now. I don't want anything to come close. We might have changed, but we're not strangers.

"Nezumi, you always knew if there was a chance you were coming back one day, didn't you? But I didn't know anything. I had a lot of doubts and fears. Every day I had to fight the thought that you were never going to come back, that you were wrong about our paths crossing again or you died out there and I would never get to see you again. So I get it. I get it with every second I managed to live since that day. If you were gone... if some day, there was no way you would ever come back to me... I would find a way to live another second." A little sob escaped him, and Shion tasted salty tears on his lips. "I'd hate it more than anything else in the world. But I would keep going."

He had to take another big breath and wiped his tears on his shirtsleeve.

"So don't worry about me." Shion whispered. "But take me seriously."

Nezumi's hand was running through his hair.

"Alright." he sounded choked up as well.

A silence fell over the room, and Shion could hear the pitter-patter of rain against his window, which was closed for the night for the first time in years.

Nezumi drew Shion close to his chest, and he felt a kiss being pressed onto his hair.
His heart, which had been beating out of his chest with defiance and longing, finally calmed a bit.

"I'd... like to hear about all these great people you met."

"I'll tell you tomorrow."

"So that was a promise kiss, before?"

"What else would it be?"

"It was different than the last one."

"Well, it was a different kind of promise. Don't be dense."

"I can never tell. But I'll memorize it."

"Make a promise to me and try it out."

"Maybe I'll make a different kind of promise too."

"Surprise me."