Winter Maze - part 1

 A soft cloud of steam twisted in the air above his mug and danced atop the green tea inside. Closing his eyes, he took a sip of the tea and held the mug at his lips for a brief moment- letting the heat from the steaming liquid warm his face. He took a deep breathe of the steamy air before he placed the mug on the windowsill next to where he sat.

The tea managed to steam up part of the window with its heat, but the man who had drank from it seemed only to notice the parts of the glass that could be seen through. His deep brown eyes watched the soft bits of cold snow tumble down from the clouds above, only to
land on the many things below. One landed on an old woman who rushed across the street with an enormous bag of groceries in her tiny arms. Another's goal was the cold concrete sidewalks that wove throughout Tokyo.

The man sat back into his seat that made a groaned from the shift in weight. He leaned his head back and closed his eyes. He could hear the sounds of the people and cars that rushed back and forth outside his apartment and even inside the building itself. His whole life recently was like those people and their speeding Hondas- always rushing around from place to place. One time, for a TV appearance, the next, a live performance. So when he had these rare moments where he could simply slow life down and relax, he enjoyed them greatly.

He opened his eyes and leaned forward his chair as he ran his fingers through his messy black hair. His eyes looked out the window again to take one last peek at the falling snow, which seemed to help him to relax. The man noticed a familiar pair walking down the sidewalk.

They walked side-by-side and held their already buttoned coats closer to their chest to use all the warmth it could offer. "I wonder where they're headed?" thought the watching man. The wind blew and bits of cold snow rustled through the one man's short blonde hair as he
headed to the door of his watcher's apartment building. 

Soon, a buzzing sound flew through the black-haired man's apartment. He grumbled slightly about having to get out of his chair, but he shuffled over to the speaker that was fixed on a wall by the door.  He pushed the button," Hello?"

For a moment, all that could be heard was the shrill winds outside.  But a reply soon came, "Hey, Oniichan, can I come up? It's damn cold out here."

"Sure, I'll buzz you in."

It was only a few short minutes before a familiar knock came at the door. The man peeked out the peephole to double-check that it wasn't someone else other than who'd buzzed his apartment, then unlocked the door and swung it open, "Hey, Kohta! What're you doing here?"

The blonde man shivered a bit from the residual cold from the outside weather," Less talk, more warm," he said as he slipped off his snow- covered shoes and scooted into the apartment.

The other man laughed a little," You never could pick out the right jacket for the weather."

Kohta stuck his tongue out and sat down on the black couch in the middle of the room," So, you got any plans for Christmas, Oniichan?"  The other man sat down next to the blonde.

"Not really. Just though I'd call Mom and Dad and say, 'Hi! Merry Christmas!' and listen to Mom go on about what they're doing. You?"

"Nothing much."

"Well, since neither of us seems to be doing much of anything, why don't you come and have Christmas with me."

" 'Christmas With Kirito' - on next weeks show," said Kohta with a laugh, "Yeah, I'll come over."

"If you come for Christmas Eve, we can wait for Santa," said Kirito as he poked his brother's arm teasingly, "Like you used to do." He laughed a little.

Kohta stuck his tongue out again.

"So, what brings you here?"

"Well, I went out to go shopping for Christmas presents for the guys and that stupid storm picked up," he said as he looked in the direction of the window that now had flurries of snow flying past it.

"You should have worn a warmer jacket..."

"Ah, stop mothering me, Oniichan."

"Well, someone's got to make sure you're not going around hurting yourself," Kirito said with a laugh.

"Ha ha ha, very funny. If you haven't noticed, I'm grown up now."

"Wow! Really?"

Kohta hit his brother's arm.

"You're so mean to your older brother."

"Well, it's not so bad abusing the elderly."

"Ah! Now you'll get it!"

Kohta jumped up from the couch and ran off in the direction toward the bedroom. But he didn't get too far with his brother in hot pursuit. The black-haired man, as soon as the other had entered the bedroom, jumped on him, "Gotcha! Now you're gonna regret calling
me 'elderly'!"

"Oh? Really? You know, I know self defense too!"

"Oh ho? We'll just see how well!"

The two of them rolled on the ground like two puppies playing. At first it looked as if Kirito would be the one to win the match, but then Kohta the tables turned and it looked like Kohta might have been the winner. Yet, neither of them one this competition because they
both ended up lying on their backs and laughing heartily.

"I guess it's a tie," said Kirito as he laughed.

"And I guess you're no Jackie Chan," said Kohta as he laughed harder.

"Well, I don't have my own movies."

"That's true."

"Or am internationally known."

"Yeah, but that's okay, Oniichan."


"You don't have to be internationally known to be special."

Kirito smiled, "That was sweet of you..."

"Yeah, I'm that sort of guy," said Kohta with a cocky smile.

"So," said Kirito as he sat up, "You mentioned that you got presents?"

Kohta laughed," You want me to say I got you something, don't you?"

Kirito nodded his head.

"I got you something."


"My undying brotherly love," said Kohta in a sarcastic tone before he broke out laughing. The other man hit his arm and joined in.

"Well, it's a secret then, right?"


"Oh, so what I got you is a secret too."

"Aww, common, that's no fair."

"Sure it is," said Kirito with a smile. He stood up and walked over to the bedroom window, "Looks like the snow's letting up."

"You wanna get rid of me so soon?"

"No, but weren't you busy getting presents?"

"Yes, Okaasan-oniichan," said Kohta as he stood up and walked over next to his brother.

The two were silent for some time as they both watched the world outside the window. But the silence was broken, "Feels almost like looking into one of those snow globes," said Kirito.


"Kind of relaxing though..."

"Yeah. It's hard to relax recently with all the lives and stuff."

Kirito nodded his head and sighed.

"Something bothering you, Oniichan?"

"Not really. I just get a little tired once in a while."

"Common, don't go sounding like an old man on me."

"Yeah, I know," said Kirito as he sat down in the chair by the window.

"Look, we're all tired with the heavy schedule recently, but we'll make it through, okay?" said Kohta as he placed a reassuring hand on the other man's shoulder.

Kirito looked up at his brother and smiled, "Yeah, you're right. I don't mean to say that I don't enjoy all this-"

"I didn't think you meant that."

"Good," said Kirito with another smile.

"I understand, don't worry. But, hey, you're the older brother, shouldn't you be comforting me?"

"Yeah, I was wondering that too," said the dark-haired man with a laugh.

"But, you gonna be okay, Oniichan?"

"Yeah, I'll be fine. I'll make sure to get some extra rest tonight."


"Now," said Kirito as he stood up next to Kohta, "Time for you to go out and finish your errands. Common, out you go- don't want a repeat of last year." He gave the other man a little shove in the direct of the door.

"I couldn't believe Aiji didn't like the video, I picked it out especially for him."

"Well, I doubt Aiji thought he needed another porn video from you," said Kirito with a laugh as the two of them reached the door, "Well, give me a call if we're still on for Christmas Eve, okay?"

"Okay, bye!" said Kohta as he slipped out the door.

"Bye," said Kirito as he waved good-bye and locked the door. He stood holding the handle for a moment, listening to his brother's footsteps as they made their way down the hallways outside. But, they stopped for a moment and he could hear Kohta's voice joining with another man's.

Part 2