Okay - it's day seven - a full week and I've managed to stay on schedule (I know, a minor miracle). I'm still alternating, so it's a Ripples day. Something a bit more upbeat today, though - it isn't all gloom and doom, I promise!
In the world of the ninja only one thing is certain, death. Whether it be swift or slow, peaceful or filled with pain, few could escape its clutches and make it to thirty. To reach the age of forty, as both Yoshi and Makoto had, was nearly impossible.
The corollary to this, of course, is how rarely shinobi, even retired ones, have a chance to relax and just enjoy a little normalcy. Yoshi was determined to enjoy the opportunity while he had it. After all, their official honeymoon ended tomorrow. He was sure the Shuhan was chomping at the bit to have Makoto back in his office taking a bit of the workload. Tonight was a rare chance to socialize without work getting in the way. The press of a warm body against his back distracted him from his train of thought. He leaned back into the interrogator and tilted his head for a kiss. “I missed you,” the shadow wolf admitted.
“You know Souta's going to freak out when he sees that, don't you?” Makoto deftly changed the subject as he watched his husband touch his tattoo for the thousandth time.
“Better here in our house than out in public somewhere,” Yoshi decided. “Everyone's going to see it eventually.”
“I may have to quit my job and spend my days guarding you from your legion of stalkers.” The interrogator leaned in to release a warm breath against the kanji standing out in stark contrast to the pale skin it decorated.
“I have no idea what you're talking about.” The shadow wolf pulled away to continue cooking. “Be useful and set the table.”
“You must have noticed them. You are a ninja after all, and they're hardly subtle.” Makoto shook his head. “Don't play innocent with me.” He grabbed plates and chopsticks and carried them into the lounge and dropped them on the kotatsu.
“You could at least spread them around. The Shuhan is coming for dinner, after all.”
“Don't change the subject. Daisuke won't care and you know it," Makoto retorted. "We were talking about the small army of fans stalking you around town.”
“You're imagining things. It's just the novelty of our marriage. You'll see, it will all die down in a week or two.”
“I seriously doubt that anyone who sees you is going to forget you, sweetheart.” The interrogator wrapped strong arms around his husband, pulling him back into a broad chest so his tongue could trace the inky marks proudly displayed at the juncture of neck and shoulder. “Has anyone mentioned this?”
“Mayu, of course,” Yoshi replied with a chuckle. “She waffles between it being sweet and disturbing.”
“A mark of ownership, like branding a cow. It's alright,” Yoshi hastened to add when the look on the interrogator's face became ever more stricken. “I reminded her it was my choice and told her to butt out.”
“Sweetheart, if it's a problem you could cover it.” Sharp teeth nervously worried Makoto's lower lip. “The last thing I want is for people to think you're my property.”
“You don't want people to know I belong to you?” Yoshi's brows knitted together as his smiling face grew solemn. “If that pleases you.” He traced some kanji in the air and touched two fingers to the mark so it faded into his skin, leaving no indication it was ever there.
“That's not what I meant.” Makoto formed the kanji to dispel the concealment. “I just don't want you to feel uncomfortable. People can be so rude.”
“Why would I care what they say?” The shadow wolf gave an eloquent shrug. “What could they possibly come up with that would be worse than the truth? I'm sure more than one person has made a snide comment about you being my bitch . . . hmm, Takahashi-san?”
“Who in the hell do you think would actually say something like that to me? You do remember what I do, don't you?”
“Don't be an idiot.” Yoshi swatted the torture master aside to get to the oven. “There are plenty of people who aren't fooled by your bad ass routine. In fact, there's two of them now,” he continued blithely when the bell rang. “Go let our guests in.”
“We aren't done talking about this,” Makoto warned as he opened the door.