Winter Maze - part 2

 Kirito stayed at the door, hand pressed against the smooth surface, leaning against it to listen to his brother's voice converse with another familiar male's voice.  He thought very hard about who the person was that owned the voice.  For a brief moment, he closed his eyes and slightly furrowed his brow as if in a vain attempt to force his brain to remember something it didn't want to.  Giving up, he sighed and turned his back to the door.  He closed his eyes and leaned against it and slid downwards till he was crouching above the floor, I guess it really doesn't matter," he thought to himself as he sighed again,"Damn, I really should be getting some more sleep... I think it's starting to affect me."  Standing up, he walked over to throw himself on the couch. 

 The black-haired man picked up a book that was sitting on a nearby coffee table and opened it up.  As he started to read, he could feel his eyelids slowly drooping until, finally, they were closed over his eyes and Kirito was fast asleep.


 Time seemed to pass quickly and, before anyone knew it, Christmas Day had arrived.  Kirito was not one to go and set up a flamboyant manger scene with bright lights, but he didn't just leave his apartment bare like some Japanese version of Scrooge.  He had decorated a small artificial evergreen tree and placed it on the coffee table to show off its tinsel and miniature Christmas bulbs.  Around each doorway there was a twist of red and green garland.  And, to accent the main door, a mistletoe which hung in wait for unsuspecting visitors. 

 Though Kirito knew it would have been nice to bake some cookies or holiday treats for this day- since he knew his brother would be visiting and expecting such things- he knew well if he make them himself, poor Kohta would soon be carted off to the hospital after eating one.  So he choose the safe method of buying some cookies and candies from a nearby store.

 Everything for the vocalist's two-man party was set up and ready, so Kirito wandered over to the couch with a cup of hot cocoa in one hand, a lit cigarette in the other.  He sat down only for a brief moment before there was a familiar knock at the door.

 Putting the cocoa on the coffee table, Kirito walked over to the door and opened it,"Hey Kohta! What's- He noticed that, standing beside the blonde was another man which he knew,"Hey Jun, didn't know you were coming?"  He smiled.

 "Ah, well, neither did I!" said Jun with a laugh.

 "Oh?  What'd you do to him, Kohta?" Kirito said with a mock scolding look on his face.

 "Nothing, I swear."

 "He said I should come, started Jun,"Because he figured that it'd be more fun with three at the party than two."

 "Ah, see, I would have invited you but... didn't you say you were going to go someplace with Aiji and Takeo before Aiji headed out to visit his family?" asked Kirito as he let the two men into the apartment.

 "Yeah, but things changed because Aiji's mom wanted him to be there for the whole of Christmas Day."

 "Ha ha, and Takeo had too much to drink at a Christmas party last night so he called Jun up and told him..."

 "Kohta, let me tell me story, ne," said Jun with a fake pout.

 "Okay then..."

 "So he said 'unless you want me to puke all over you as your Christmas present, you don't want to hang out with me today.'  So I just dropped off his present and all."

 "Then, I saw him walking back to his apartment and asked him if he wanted to come with me," said Kohta.

 "Okay you two, let's get this party started!" Kirito said cheerfully as he clapped his hands together with a smile that spread across his face, And no eating all the cookies, Kohta."

 "Aww.... oniichan.... no fair."


 Many glasses of cocoa and cookies later, they were all sitting on the couch talking.  Kirito was sitting next to his brother and Jun was next to him, resting his head on the blonde's shoulder and looking rather tired.  The darker-haired Murata brother looked up from his cocoa and his eyes shifted to notice the how close the two next to him were sitting.  He tried to ignore a feeling inside him that made him feel slightly angered that he wasn't the bouncy brunette,"Ah, so... Jun, you look kinda tired..." he managed to get out, hoping talking would get his mind off the previous feeling.

 The brunette looked up through sleepily lidded eyes,"Yeah... I didn't get much sleep last night because I was up talking on the phone to you, ne."

 Kirito laughed,"Ah, yeah..."

 "Oniichan, you didn't keep Jun up till three A.M. again, did you?" said Kohta as he patted Jun's hair lightly.

 "Only one A.M. this time," Jun managed to say through a yawn.

 "Maybe you should head back home now, Junjun," said Kohta to the guitarist who started to nod his head as soon as the words has made their way out of the blonde's mouth.

 "Yeah, sorry about having to leave now..."

 "It's okay, I kept you up pretty late anyway... " said Kirito as he stood up and hugged Jun,"Merry Christmas, ne~"

 "Merry Christmas to you too~ Jun smiled and withed both the brothers a "Merry Christmas" again, and walked out from the apartment.


 "Kohta..." said Kirito as the two of them sat near a window and looked out at the lights and decorations that covered the city," What's Christmas mean to you?"  The blonde smiled and looked at his older brother for a moment before he spoke.

 "It's family and friends, all the people you care about."

 Kirito laughed, With the occasional present, you forgot to add."

 "Yeah," he laughed, That is part of my idea isn't it?  But... really, I like spending the time of year with you a lot, ne."

 "Ah, I like spending it with you too."

 "Reminds me of when we were kids."

 "Yeah...  You used to love Christmas to much...  you used to ask me to give Santa all these letters."

 "What ever happened to those anyway?"

 "I felt really bad that you'd never get a reply....  because when I was that same age, I wrote letters and got upset when no replies came for me.  So I wrote you replies and made sure you got some gift you wanted."

 Kohta looked at Kirito for a moment- silent.  Then his face lit up with a smile as he hugged the other man tightly,"Oniichan, I never knew..."

 "It was always nice to see you so happy to read those letters..."

 //Oniichan, oniichan!//

 //Kohta?  What is it?//

 //I got's a letter from Santa!//

 //Well, let's open it up and see what he said.  Maybe he'll tell you something special.//



//WOW!  Oniichan!  Santa says I've been good so he's gonna get me something really special this year.  And he says he said 'hi' to Rudolph for me!//

"Yeah...  it made me feel special."

"Kohta, you don't need a letter from an elf to make you special."

Kohta smiled, Thanks Oniichan..."


Soon, though, the time came for Kohta to leave.  Kirito didn't want him to go even thought he knew that if he kept him any longer he'd miss meeting someone he promised to meet up with near Shibuya.  As the blonde walked toward the door with his coat wrapped tightly around himself, the elder to the two men scooted over,"Kohta!"

The bassist turned to face his brother,"Ah, what it is, Oniichan?"

Kirito walked up to his brother and looked him in the eyes, You know..." he said as he took the other man's hand in his own, When I saw you and Jun so close today... I got kinda jealous..."

"What?  Why?"

"I wished I could be him."

"I'm not getting what you're trying to say..."

"We've always been really close, you know that.  And being near you makes me feel really happy," he said with a smile, I just wanted it to be a brother-thing today and-"

"Did you not want me to invite Jun?"

"No no no...  I just wanted to tell you this because I don't like not telling you things just like you feel the same way about not telling me things.  I enjoyed having you both over today, I just didn't want to keep any secrets."

"So...  you just wanted some brother-bonding time today?  Ah, I'm sorry, ne...  I didn't mean to upset you, Oniichan..."

"I'm fine, ne, said Kirito as he opened the door for Kohta.

Kohta, as he walked through the door, stopped for a moment and looked up,"Ah... oniichan?"


Kohta motioned up toward the mistletoe, which caused the black-haired vocalist to laugh.

"Merry Christmas, Oniichan," said Kohta as he kissed Kirito's cheek.