Hello! It's been forever since I updated this story, but school and whatnot have kept me busy. Plus, I want to explore interesting holidays for this series, not mainstream that most people know about. This story takes place in the weeks prior to Shunbun no Hi, which falls on Friday the 21st of March this year. I am posting early since the snippets don't fall on the actual holiday itself. An explanation of Shunbun no Hi follows the story, but from reading what is below, it's probably clear what is celebrated without the explanation.

I want to thank everyone who is reading and following this story. A special thanks to those who have told me what they think.

Cheers mates! Thanks for dropping by.


One Point in Time: Shunbun no Hi

Yokozawa Takafumi and Kirishima Zen

Breakfast was usually a lively time what with Hiyori chattering away like any tweenage girl did. Conversations usually involved talking about music, television shows, and lately…boys, much to her father's horror. Yokozawa recalled the night prior when Kirishima had all but had a nervous breakdown about his daughter starting to date and getting married and leaving the two of them. Sex hadn't even followed since Zen had his daughter on his mind and Yokozawa refused to have sex with someone else being on his lover's mind. Of course they went about their normal night routine and everything was better in the morning.

Until the little girl had brought up an important day. "Will you go with us to mommy's grave on Shunbun no Hi, Yokozawa onii-san?" she'd asked, causing the bear of a man to drop his chopsticks.

Kirishima smile and nodded his head. "It's a good idea, Takafumi, you should come with us when we go to clean her grave."

Takafumi lowered his head. "I wasn't someone who knew your mother, so I am not sure it would be appropriate." In truth it scared him, the idea of going to his lover's dead wife's grave. It was as if he was going to ask for permission from the late woman; permission to become part of the family.

"But you're part of the family, onii-san." Leave it to the kid to know what he was thinking, even when he himself wasn't one hundred percent sure.

"You'll have to let me think about it a little bit. I may end up going to my own family tomb." There, that was a logical way to get out of going to the Kirishima tomb, he also had grandparents he wanted to pay respects to.

"We can go to yours too, Takafumi," Kirishima offered.

This idea about caused his chest to implode. Not only was he going to be asking permission of the late Kirishima-san, but also introduce the man he loved and the kid who'd weaseled her way into his heart to his own family as well. What a fine kettle of fish this was turning out to be.

The look in Hiyori's eyes, plus the pouting face of his lover made it impossible to say no, so Yokozawa relented and sent his family a text message saying that he'd be visiting the grave on his own time due to being invited to the family tomb of another. Of course his mom wanted to know who the special man was, which caused the man's ears to burn. Leave it to the matron of the Yokozawa clan to know that Yokozawa was not only involved, but involved with a man.


Shinobu walked into the apartment and slammed the door. Eyes like daggers he stalked into the living room and dumped his bag onto the sofa, upsetting a pile of papers Miyagi had sitting on the cushions awaiting grading.

"Well, hello to you too, Shinobu," Miyagi stated. "You seem to be in a good mood."

"Like hell, old man," the boy snapped. "Does this look like the face of someone who is in a good mood to you?"

The professor groaned. "I was being sarcastic," he replied. "Why don't you take a load off and tell me what's got your panties in a twist?"

Shinobu scoffed. "Keep your smart-ass attitude up and I'll withhold sex."

Miyagi couldn't help but chortle. That was the most empty of empty threats. No way would the kid make it a day without sex. After all, pretty much every day they were intimate, sometimes more than once. Miyagi Yoh couldn't deny that he loved their physical relationship as much as their mental connections.

"Okay, Shinobu-chin, what's the matter."

The university student grumbled for a few moments before answering. "My parents told me that if I didn't go to the tomb this year I had to move back home until I gain some respect." He was not happy. "Can you write me a note to get me out of having to go?"

A loud laugh followed that remark. Miyagi couldn't help himself. What a question. "How old are you again, Shinobu?"

"Don't start with me, Miyagi. I am not going to leave you. This is just my parents trying to keep us apart!"

The professor sighed and put a hand on Shinobu's head, ruffling the blond hair beneath his fingers. God how he loved the kid. "Why don't you go to visit the grave with your parents in the morning and then afterward we can get together? It's rather a simple solution," the raven-haired man pointed out.

Shinobu paused and contemplated what he'd just heard. He could feel his heart pounding in his ears at the logic of it all. The boy'd be the first to admit that when he started to freak out he wasn't able think clearly.

"That could work," he admitted, sulking slightly to have not come up with the idea himself. It wouldn't take much more than a couple of hours to satisfy his family and then he could return to Miyagi. The prior years he'd gone to his lover's family's graves. "You promise you'll wait to visit your family plot until I get back in the afternoon?"

This time it was Miyagi's heart that beat loudly in his ears. He was sure his ears were as red as Shinobu's ended up whenever he was embarrassed…or excited. The man pulled his young lover into an embrace and kissed the top of his head. "I'll always wait for you, Shinobu-chin," he whispered, leaning down and capturing the terrorist's lips with his own.

The boy melted into the kiss and allowed himself to be led to the sofa. He was ready for whatever his lover had in store for him and he too would wait for Miyagi forever.

Yanase Yuu

Perplexed didn't even begin to describe how Yanase felt when he heard what the other man had asked. In fact, he could hardly respond without coughing.

"Are you sure your mother said that?" he asked, eyes wide. It was a huge step to be invited to the family tomb on Shunbun no Hi, especially for a person not part of the family.

"It was me who asked," the baritone voice resonated, causing Yuu to shiver slightly. "But my mom and dad both made a point to ask if you'd be free. After all, you were there when we found out my sister had died, and you followed me. That practically makes you a member of the family."

The manga artist was both honored and a little nervous at the request. Did this mean he'd been officially invited into the family?

"Would you be going to the Yanase tomb?"

Yuu shook his head slightly and went back to this prior project of getting dressed for work. He was set to meet with Chiaki a little later to assist with some difficult backgrounds, and then go to a different department all together and help a new artist learn how to draw realistic sex scenes between two males.

"The Yanase tomb isn't located around here, so I rarely go to visit, unless Chiaki needed to get away from his parents for the day." He then chuckled in disgust at himself. "I guess that doesn't make me a good son. I've gone to the Yoshino grave with Chiaki a couple of times, but never really felt like it was good for me." Now that it was clear he didn't have a chance, nor did he want one anymore, Yuu knew he'd not be going with his best friend anymore.

A hand was on his shoulder a few moments later. "Yanase," the voice belonging to the hand stated firmly. "You are not a bad son, just one who was lost. I think we should go to my parents the night before so we can visit my tomb early, then we can hop a plane and fly to your tomb, together."

The artist glared. "Neither of us is as made of money as you seem to think we are," he pointed out. "Let's go to yours this year, and mine the next. We can alternate."

His lover smiled and placed a kiss on his lips before returning to his own adornment of clothing. "I knew there was a reason I hired you back then. I needed someone to keep me grounded."

Yanase rolled his eyes. "It's a wonder you ever made it this far without me."

Onodera Ritsu and Takano Masamune

The incessant knocking on his door eventually caused the young editor to roll out of bed and make his way to stop the noise. Unfortunately his disgust grew tenfold when he saw Takano standing in his doorway.

"It's only been four hours since we last saw one another, Takano-san," Ritsu grumbled. "What do you want?"

"I want you to block off a few days around Shunbun no Hi for me," Masamune replied, pushing his way into the apartment, dragging Onodera along with him.

"What for?" And was it really necessary to talk about this when he'd barely gotten two hours of sleep?

Takano pulled his lover into the kitchen and started to look for ingredients in the cupboards.

"Takano-san, what are you doing?" Onodera demanded, fully awake thanks to all the noise.

"I'm looking for anything we can use to make food offerings at our respective family plots, but you never stock anything unless I bring it over. How old are you again?"

Ritsu glowered. "Like it matters," he mumbled under his breath. He joined in the search and found some rice and seaweed sheets. "We can make onogiri," he suggested. "It's easy and I know my grandparents liked it. But which set of grandparents are we planning to see?" he asked. "My two sets aren't exactly in the same county."

Takano found the salt and put it with the pitiful collection of ingredients. "We're going to visit all four, which is why we need a few days. We won't be able to hit all four in one day, but I want to say hi to your grandparents and I want to introduce you to mine."

The look in Takano's eyes caused Onodera to shiver slightly. An intense stare overtook his senses and he felt his walls crumbling down. How could the man do that to him? He didn't like it, but at the same time he'd miss it if it were gone.

"How are we going to find your biological father's plot though?" he asked, knowing full well that Takano had no clue where or who his biological father was.

"I am going to introduce you to my step-father's family. They may not have been biologically related to me, but his parents were decent to me when they were alive. I can't introduce you to people I've never met."

Ritsu wasn't sure how to react, but for a moment he felt as if it was the right thing to do. He'd not gone to his family plots in a number of years, and while it was a rather large step to introduce the person he was sleeping with to his grandparents, it might give them an opportunity to grow as a couple. So he relented.

"I'll introduce you, Takano-san," he said softly before narrowing his eyes, "but right now I am going back to bed until it's necessary for me to get up. We have weeks before we need to leave," he spat. The editor rolled his eyes and turned to walk away. "Let yourself out when you're done being ridiculous."

Less than a step later he was enveloped in a giant hug.

"Thank you, Ritsu," Takano whispered in his ear. "Now, let's go to bed."

Onodera's eyes bugged from their sockets as the elder drug him to the bedroom. "Takano-san!" he screeched.

Kanade Mino

"Daddy!" three voices shouted out in unison as Mino walked into the house after a long day at the office. He was promptly attacked by his trifecta of minions and he fell backward on the genkan without even removing his shoes.

"Well, I am happy to have such a greeting upon returning home, but why are you all so excited, and why are you up at eleven pm?" he asked his kids after giving each of them a quick rub on the head.

Three voices started talking at once and after years of practice he was able to distinguish what had happened. His spawn, along with his wife had spent hours making food to place on their respective family plots and the kids were too excited to go to sleep since they wanted to show him their creations.

"Okay, give me a minute to remove my shoes and you can show me what you cooked up," he laughed.

Mino watched his three hyperactive kids bound down the hallway to the kitchen where his wife was probably cleaning up one hell of a mess. He'd have to give his wife a good time later that night for having to put up with their kids and their cooking for a day. The last time he'd had that privilege he'd almost lost a finger, the kitchen had caught fire, and his wife lost four oven mitts.

Shoes removed, he padded down the hallway and walked into the kitchen. His wife was decked out like the perfect western 50's housewife, complete with a frilly apron. On the counter were two plates of food, perfectly arranged. Obviously she had done the bulk of the work, but he could see his kids' touches.

"The kids wanted to make something for our family's plots, so we spent the day cooking," Yuuri said, hugging each of their children in turn. Then she mouthed, "I'll remake the food closer to the day so it doesn't spoil."

The editor smiled and kissed his wife's cheek and then knelt down in front of his children, a smile on his face. "I am so proud of you," he said, "and I know our ancestors will be thrilled to have these plates offered for Shunbun no Hi this year."

"Yea!" Three sets of screeches were immediately followed by a second attack as Mino found himself on his back. There was no way to ward of the trifecta attack, so he just let it happen.



The elder Usami brother put down his paper and looked up into the eyes of the younger Takahashi brother, staring at him like he had drool dribbling down his face. Obviously it was a surprise for the lad to have run into him in such a strange place, or it would have been had he not been in charge of renovating the building across the way.

"Misaki," the man nodded, indicating a chair across from his. Usami-anni had come into the little coffee shop for a short reprieve before continuing with his job. The coffee was good with beans all the way from Colombia. The owner had married a Colombian man while on a trip and brought him back to Japan where they were raising their three children. She had beans from his family shipped specially. "Would you like to try a cup of java?" he asked, beckoning for the waiter.

"Java?" Misaki asked, not sure what the word meant.

"It's a western slang term for coffee. You might like the taste since it's not from around here," the older male responded, repositioning his glasses on his face to better see the youth.

Misaki watched as the waiter poured some of the hot beverage into his cup. He immediately liked the robust smell emanating from the container and he licked his lips in anticipation. As he brought the steaming mug to his lips he glanced at an itinerary next to the other man's elbow.

"Are you going on a trip, Haruhiko-san?" he asked, taking his first taste of genuine Colombian coffee and letting the taste melt in his mouth.

Usami elder cocked his brow, then remembered his trip plan was in front of him. "I'm going to my mother's plot for Shunbun no Hi this year. I haven't been there since I was a child."

The young man nodded, even though he couldn't begin to understand. Every year since his parents' deaths he and his brother had gone to his family plot and brought offerings. Having been gone for so many years, he wondered what the older man had to have been feeling. Usagi-san never talked about his mother or her family, then again he never really talked about his father's family either. In fact, he didn't even know if his lover even went to any graves on Shunbun no Hi.

"I know you're thinking about Akihiko, and no, he hadn't gone with father or I to the Usami plot. The last time my little brother accompanied us was when he was in high school and didn't really have the choice."

"What about you, Haruhiko-san," Misaki asked, taking another sip of the strong coffee. "Did you choose to visit your father's family plot or were you forced?" He realized how inappropriate the question was when he saw the other man's face react. "I'm sorry, it's none of my business," he babbled, putting the cup down and making to get up and leave.

Haruhiko reached over and grabbed the young man by the wrist. "It's okay, Misaki," he replied. "You can ask whatever you want."

"That was extremely rude of me, and I'm sorry for asking such a question," Misaki mumbled quietly; he still sat down again.

"I am sure you are aware that I went only because I felt it necessary. I didn't want to on many occasions, but I did because I am the good son. Father kind of put Akihiko and I against one another like Edgar and Edmund were forced by their father in King Lear."

Misaki didn't get the reference, but he knew that both the Usami boys were extremely smart, so he just nodded like he understood.

"I am choosing this year to visit the grave of my mother, despite my father's wishes, because I am trying to have my own life."

A swell of pride hit the university student in the head as he saw the other man grow up quickly before his eyes. Each step the elder Usami son made was a move to his own life. Misaki knew it was important for Usami-chichi to remain in both boys' lives, but he also knew that they needed to become individuals and he doubted that would happen if their father kept held on the leash.

"How's the coffee, Misaki?" Haruhiko asked.

"Very good, Haruhiko-san," Misaki replied, smiling.


"Ryuuichiro-san," Asahina stated, walking into the man in question's room, only to see he was still lying in bed like a lump. "You need to take these days off," he continued, thrusting a calendar into his lover's face.

Isaka opened his eyes slowly and let them focus on the dates in front of his face. He recognized the Equinox and knew exactly what days the secretary was demanding off.

"Pray tell me why we need to take those days off, Asahina?" he replied, rolling over and burying his head under a few pillows.

"Because this year we are traveling to my family plot and if you recall from the prior times we've been there, it's not an easy trip. I want to actually make it there in time this year, not two or three days later," he pointed out, matter-of-factly.

The president of Marukawa Publishing sat up and glared. "So you think we need to take a week off before Shunbun no Hi so we can make it to your family plot in time?"

"I don't think, I know," Asahina replied.

Isaka shook his head. "That's absurd, Asahina, and you know it. We can't take ten day off for one day's worth of cleaning. I'm sorry."

To say it felt as if he'd been slapped in the face would have been mild to how Asahina felt at his lover's words. He knew the man felt the same way about his family as he felt about his own, so it stung to hear what he'd heard. So he turned and walked out of the room to avoid showing the hurt that had etched on his face.

Ryuuichiro watched his lover exit his room and shook his head. There'd be hell to pay when he left the bedroom, so he got out of bed, walked to his chest of drawers, and armed himself. Once prepared he left the room and went to find the love of his life.

It wasn't all that hard to find the man, who was in the kitchen preparing breakfast. Asahina had put on a poker face, but Isaka could see right through that in an instant. He'd genuinely hurt the guy and it broke his heart. So without a word he walked over to his lover, put his head on the man's shoulder and held up the tickets for Asahina to see.

Isaka could feel his lover's body tense as his eyes looked at the plane tickets in hand. The secretary's hands stopped making breakfast and reached for the tickets. When he opened the folders he saw that the sneaky bastard had booked tickets to his family's home town two weeks before Shunbun no Hi, and they would return a week after the date.

"I don't know what to say, Ryuuichiro-san," Asahina replied.

"You could say thank you," came the snarky reply.

"You're an ass, Ryuuichiro-san."

Isaka howled with laughter. "And you wouldn't want me any other way, Kaoru."

Kisa Shouta and Yukina Kou

Was it too early? Yukina had no way of knowing since he'd never had the desire to take any of his prior girlfriends to his parent's place for Shunbun no Hi. But with Kisa-san it was completely different. He'd had nothing else on his mind for over a month. The editor was so important to him that the idea of not inviting him all but broke his heart into tiny shards of sadness.

Kisa-san was the most important person in his life and he wanted the man to accompany him to visit his family plot. It was just such a long way away and he was sure the elder had his own plans. Or did he? Kisa-san never talked about his family, which always made the art student feel as if he were not completely part of his lover's life. Still, he himself wasn't anywhere near the same age as his Kisa-san, which meant that maybe by the time someone reached thirty they didn't keep close ties with their family.

Maybe it was something else entirely. Yukina tended to think that there was something in the older man's life that kept him from wanting to talk about his family, making Kou want to invite his lover into his own family all the more. One of these days he was going to break all the barriers his Kisa-san had built up over the years, even if it took until they were old men walking together in the park under the cherry blossoms together. Yukina'd find a way.

That didn't solve the problem of inviting his lover to the northern part of Japan though. His family was expecting him and he'd mentioned a number of times that he wanted to bring someone special. Luckily for him his parents were rather modern (spending time in Canada for a number of years had opened their eyes) so they knew Kisa was male and was older than their baby boy. In fact his mother had been pestering him about what the editor liked to eat so she could make shopping and cooking plans.

There was nothing else he could do but just come out and ask. Yukina looked over at his lover, working tirelessly on a manuscript. Many a time that same visual had become the inspiration for a painting or a coal drawing of the younger man's.

"Kisa-san," Yukina whispered, tentatively. He waited for the older man to look up at him with big puppy-dog eyes.

"Yes?" the older man asked, orbs wide.

"Um…" He was having a hard time trying to spit his request out.

Kisa stood up from his work and walked across the room. It wasn't very often that the younger man was at a loss for words. Whenever the loss for words occurred it meant his lover had something huge on his mind. The baby-faced man gazed thoughtfully at his beautiful boyfriend, indicating that he was all ears and he was not going to let whatever it was go.

Yukina's mind was racing and he was mumbling slightly to himself. "I want to ask you something important," he managed to spit out, completely rushed.

"Clearly," the elder replied.

"Come with me to my parent's for Shunbun no Hi!" he all but shouted, turning redder than a raspberry and feeling as if a heart attack was imminent.

Well, that was rather unexpected and Shouta didn't know how to respond immediately. He'd stopped going to his family grave over a decade before when his parents had all but gone ballistic on his ass when they found him embraced in the arms of a neighbor…a male neighbor.

After a few rather uncomfortable seconds of silence where he could see the sweat starting to bead on Yukina's brow, he spoke. "Are you sure?" His self-esteem issues showing in full force.

Yukina bounded the remaining feet between the two of them and pulled Kisa into a hug, wrapping the younger man against his chest. "More than anything in the world, K-Shouta-san," he breathed, heart thumping in his chest.

Kisa could feel his heart speed up to match pace with his lover's. Together the hearts raced and then started to slow down as breathing steadied. Once the sound of drums in their respective chests evened out, the editor nodded his head in the taller man's chest. "I'll go with you, Kou," he whispered, feeling himself fall deeper in love by the second.

Yoshino Chiaki and Hatori Yoshiyuki

One tiny mangaka sat at the breakfast table, very much wanting to add to the story, but unsure how to proceed. He'd not wanted to make the chapter seem morbid, but after attending the funeral of Tori's grandfather, he wanted to add a little maturity to his storyline. The main character's mother wasn't ever mentioned in the arc, so Yoshino wanted to incorporate the mother having died years before. Thus, his newest chapter, which was set to be released just a few days prior to Shunbun no Hi, could incorporate the tomb cleaning ritual so often seen on the Equinox.

"Tori," he said, staring at his pages.

"Yes," the stoic man responded, turning the eggs with chopsticks.

"Do you remember that time we went to the Hatori family plot together when we were eight?"

"If I remember correctly, you ended up knocking down the alter of the family next to mine, and the two of us ended up spending the day cleaning not only theirs, but everyone else's in the vicinity due to your tomfoolery," Hatori stated evenly.

Chiaki gulped and nodded his head, remembering the embarrassment he'd caused his friend. He'd not been asked back after that until he'd graduated middle school, but by that time he'd started visiting Yuu's as well as his family's, so he'd not gone with Tori until he went with his lover after his grandfather's death.

"I do remember that, but I am thinking of how to incorporate Shunbun no Hi into my newest chapter and having the main character thwart such an issue from happening by a couple of kids running through the place."

"That's an interesting idea, Yoshino," Hatori commented, finishing with the eggs. "How do you plan on having so many different characters go to her family sight though? It's one thing for her to invite her boyfriend, but another thing entirely to have her friends show up out of the blue."

The mangaka nodded and started speaking before Hatori'd had a chance to take a breath. "But Tori, remember when we were cleaning the plot three down from yours and the family showed up? We found out it was Murakami Hitomi's family plot, my first grade girl friend!" he chattered excitedly. "It's such a small world sometimes, that her family would have a space so near yours."

Hatori nodded, recalling seeing the girl who took Chiaki's first kiss and her family showing up while they were sweeping the stones. At the time he'd been rather annoyed, but after so many years he'd gotten over the fact. "So you intend to have her family plot somewhere near her various friends' plots?" the editor asked, "and no one ever noticed?"

Yoshino jumped up and nodded, excitedly. "Only because she didn't know where her family plot was. I intend to have the bulk of the chapter dedicated to her search to find out where her mother was buried, and to throw in a slight plot twist, her father is the one who was keeping it from her so she never met her mother's family. I want to make them important, somehow, but that won't come up till the next chapter. I want to end this one with her standing in front of her mother's tomb, with her friends to the side, as her mother's family makes their way to the plot."

It was an interesting idea. Normally Chiaki was all about ending chapters on a sugary note, which his fans loved, but to throw out something different might very well earn him some new followers. "I like the idea, Yoshino. Let me see the manuscript when you want it edited." Hatori started to serve breakfast while his lover started to salivate over the smells coming from the kitchen.

"When are we taking a trip to your family plot?" Chiaki asked, picking up his chopsticks to dig in once the food was within reach.

Yoshiyuki placed the plate of eggs in the center of the table. "You want to come to mine this year?" he asked, eyes wide. Yoshino'd not come to his family plot in over two decades for the Equinox.

"I'd have thought that'd be obvious," the smaller man said, taking a bite of eggs. It took a few moments of stuffing food in his mouth to realize that his lover hadn't even sat down, let alone started eating himself. "Is something the matter, Tori?" he asked, confused.

"I'm just…happy," Tori responded, sitting across from the man. He watched as Chiaki grinned and continued eating. Then he felt a foot begin to rub against his. God, but how he loved that man.


Misaki yawned and rolled over onto his stomach. It didn't take long to realize that 1) he was naked when he hadn't been when he'd fallen asleep in his own bed, and 2) Usami Akihiko was in the bed with him, just as naked.

"Ghaaa, Usagi-san!" he yelped, rolling against the wall before repositioning himself so his dick was between his body and the bed so the perverted older man couldn't reach it.

"I'm surprised I was able to de-clothe you without you waking up, Misaki," Usami said, with a grin.

"What are you doing in my bed? You were not just passed out when I went to see you before I came here, you were in a coma," the green-eyed boy grumbled, rather pissed to wake up in such a compromising situation.

"I'm here to fill up on Misaki, since I've been a little busy the past two weeks," Akihiko replied, reaching over and placing a finger against the younger man's cheek.

"You couldn't wait till I was awake and let me undress myself?"

Usami's eyes went wide. "You mean you would have stripped yourself for me?"

Misaki blanched. "You know what I mean, don't be naughty," the boy spit, hotly, reaching for a blanket to cover himself.

"How can I contain myself with such a beautiful sight in front of me, though?" the author asked, cheekily, scooting closer. Misaki could feel the older man's hardened cock against his side, which caused him to bury his head in the pillow. He found he didn't want to move away as the older man started to rub his fingers up and down his arm. "By the way," Usami continued huskily, "I spoke with Takahiro and said you and I would take care of your parent's tomb so he could visit his wife's family plot this year."

Green eyes shot wide as Misaki sat up on his butt and stared at his older lover. "Really?" He'd never not gone to see his parents without his brother before.

"I want to tell your parents that I intend to take care of you for the rest of your life, Misaki," Akihiko replied, also sitting up and scooting closer to his boyfriend.

"But what about your family plot?" Misaki asked, vaguely recalling a conversation with Usami-anni from a few days prior.

"Your family is my family, too, Misaki," Akihiko purred into his lover's ear, causing the youth to shiver as fingers ghosted over the small of his naked back. "I want to spend it with you since we've never gone to visit your family together, just the two of us." The man's fingers started to move toward the front of his lover's body and Misaki knew it was all over after that.

"How can you turn such an important…" he hissed as a finger touched a nipple, "conversation into," and he clenched his teeth as his hand squeezed the other man's forearm, "something dirty?"

Usagi laughed, pulling the boy onto his lap, effectively plunging his need deep within the younger man's cavern, and making the youth whimper in protest. "I can turn anything into a way to fill up on Misaki," he breathed, getting ready to make love to the most important person in his life.


Nowaki could hardly believe he'd been together with Hiro-san for so long, yet had never visited the Kamijou family plot. Every year they'd separated for Shunbun no Hi because Hiro-san had been too embarrassed to invite Nowaki for fear of running into his parents; not to mention that the Usami plot was in the same vicinity. Nowaki understood, but at the same time he wanted to become closer to Hiro-san, which meant introducing him to the family Nowaki had and be introduced in turn. Those who had gone on to another plain of existence were probably more than open enough to accept their relationship.

The problem lie in the fact that Nowaki wasn't sure if he should ask Hiro-san to his family plot or ask to visit the Kamijou plot…or both. They could easily hit one tomb in the morning and the second in the afternoon. That would be the ideal day, hitting up both. Even if they ran into family, he'd still like to accompany Hiro-san on such an important day. Of course, he had a sinking suspicion that his love would end up turning the offer down since the professor preferred to keep his family life as separate from his love life as possible.

Such thoughts made the doctor sad as he finished climbing up the stairs and maneuvered toward the apartment. While their relationship seemed to be like any normal couple, there were still things that were separate and Nowaki wanted that to change. He wanted to be able to stand at the top of the bell tower and shout his love for his Hiro-san, even if the elder freaked out on him.

Nowaki shook his head and put the idea out of his mind. It was too much to expect so early in their relationship, so he would block it, again, and they'd go to their respective graves to pay respect. There was nothing he could do, so he opened the door and put a gigantic grin on his face so he could greet his lover after a long day of work.

"I'm home, Hiro-san!" he sing-songed, forcing the words out as close to normal as possible.

"What's the matter with you today?" came the gruff reply from Hiroki. The older male stood in the doorway as he watched his gentle giant eye him curiously.

"What do you mean, Hiro-san?" Nowaki asked, perplexed.

Hiroki suppressed a cough. "You seem a little choked up today, Nowaki." The doctor's eyes went wide. His lover was so perceptive. "By the way, my father is going with my mother to her family plot for Shunbun no Hi this year, would you be willing to accompany me to my father's family plot this year?"

All the blood in Nowaki's body pooled in his feet at the question asked with such ease. No way in hell would he have been able to ask with such a straight face; even being asked had caused his heart to stop mid-beat.

"We can go to yours in the afternoon, if you'd like me to come," Kamijou offered.

It was a dream, or at least seemed to be a dream. The raven wasn't even sure if his blue eyes had blinked in over a minute as they were starting to get scratchy and burn. A tear then started to slide down his face. It was a rare thing indeed to cry for him, and the professor noticed.

"Nowaki!" Hiroki shouted, alarmed. "What's the matter?"

Blue eyes finally blinked, releasing a barrage of tears. "I'm just so happy I couldn't contain my tears," the man replied.

Kamijou didn't know how to respond. He'd never been so happy he cried, at least not while he was awake, but during some of his lucid dreams, he recalled having the same feeling. "So, are we on for Shunbun no Hi?"

Nowaki nodded. "Yes, Hiro-san."

Aikawa Eri

For once she wasn't going to worry about whether or not Usami Akihiko had his manuscript in on time. Even Isaka was taking the time off to leave the area for Shunbun no Hi, so she was going to relax a little and visit her family plot in peace. After all, it was the first year after her grandmother had joined her grandfather in the afterlife, so it was more important to respect the two of them and their long lives together.

Aikawa's family plot, on her mother's side, was in Hiroshima. Both her grandmother and grandfather had survived the atomic bomb fallout, so her mother was considered a second generation survivor. What made the story all the more spectacular was the fact that her mother, and both her mother's parents, didn't show signs of cancers that plagued many survivors and their families. Yes, Aikawa was a survivor just like her mother and her grandparents, and people wondered where she got her spunk from.

"Are you sure you have everything ready, the trip via train isn't exactly an instant?" the voice of her lover asked from the bathroom.

"We can get food at the station," Eri stated. "I want to make this trip as simple as possible. If that means spending the money I make off of Usami, then I will happily do that," she chuckled. Aikawa wasn't rich by any means, but the money she made off Usami was double what she made off her other clients, combined, so it did seem as if Usami were her lifeblood.

"That ridiculous author of yours with his head in the clouds? Sometimes I think that man needs to go to war so he can grow up a little bit."

Another good point, but if the author grew up then the stories might stop. Usami was like a savant when it came to writing, and if the 'doctors' changed him, then the stories would probably stop. There'd be no growing up for Usami Akihiko as long as Aikawa Eri was in charge, even if Isaka liked to think he had a say in things. Then again, it was more likely Asahina had a good bit of input as well. Between the three of them, Usami-sensei always got done what needed to be finished.

"Let's just not talk about sensei for the duration. I think this trip should be about your family and us, no one else."

Aikawa agreed. She could put Usami behind her for a few days. After all, cleaning the tomb was a celebration that her family had survived.


Only a few more days and Usami Akihiko was going to present himself to his lover's parents as the one who was going to spend all of eternity with their son. Normally he was cool as a cucumber, but for some reason the idea of officially announcing it to the dead parents of Misaki had the author a little on the skittish side. He'd needed a break from writing and found himself wandering rather aimlessly around the university where his lover was being educated.

"The more we run into one another, Usami-sensei, the more I think it's fate telling us something."

The voice made Akihiko cringe a little. Of all the people he needed to run into, Sumi Keiichi was not someone high on his list. Sadly, he was too polite to just walk off when someone spoke to him, so he turned and glared.

"Don't give me that, sensei. I haven't done anything to deserve your distrust…yet," Sumi said, slyly.

"Your living is enough," Usami snapped, trying to assert some sort of authority. No way would he let this little shit get to him like he'd done in the past.

"Ouch, someone is a little tense," Keiichi chortled. Akihiko made no move to respond. He just nodded curtly and started walking off in the direction he'd come. "Are you going to visit Takahashi's grave this year, finally?"

The question made the older man pause. What did Sumi know about his lover's grave?

"I went with Takahashi and his brother a few years back."

Usami's eyes went wide. The little brat had met the parents before he had?

"I can see I'm getting to you. Are you jealous?"

Rather than continue the conversation, Akihiko didn't even bother turning around as he walked back toward Misaki. It was a mistake not having gone to visit the tomb earlier and he had every intention in rectifying that situation as soon as possible. Hell, they may not even wait for Shunbun no Hi anymore.

And Sumi Keiichi watched as the author walked off, completely irked. Showing his love in such a way was bound to snap back like a stretched rubber band, but if the only way to elicit any sort of emotions from Akihiko was to bait him, then he'd do what he could. Besides, he knew where the man would be during the Equinox, which meant he could easily drop by.


Shunbun no Hi, or Vernal Equinox Day, is the holiday in which folks generally spend time with family. Many return to their family home and visit the grave sites of family members to clean and pay homage to ancestors. The holiday happens twice a year, once in the spring the other time in the autumn.