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Blizzards and Hot Chocolate

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Fluffy snow blew wildly around Binan as a freezing blizzard stormed through. It had come out of no where and the town was completely unprepared. Schools and businesses all over had shut down for the day.

However, even if school was closed, the student council still had duties to attend to. Student budgets needed going over, club applications needed approval, plenty of work to keep them busy. Akoya had argued that a snow day was the perfect excuse for a day off, but Kinshirou didn’t want them to fall behind, lest they make a habit of it. As always, Arima was on his side and the secretary was outvoted.

So that was how the student council found themselves at Akoya’s mansion, per his insistence, finishing up their paperwork just as it was getting dark outside.

“Ugh, finally,” Akoya groaned as he signed off on his last form.

“We could have finished sooner if someone hadn’t insisted on taking so many breaks,” Kinshirou said, packing all of their work neatly into his bag.

“If we work for too long it’ll leave hideous callouses on my hands!”

“Well, tomorrow is Saturday, so your hands will have the weekend to recover,” Arima said.

“Mm, I suppose.”

Looking out the window, Arima could see how bad the storm had become. Trees shook violently, branches breaking off as he snowfall grew heavier. Even more alarming was that the street and sidewalk were no longer visible under the thick blanket of white. It would be a miracle if they could see their own hands in front of their faces out there.

“The roads haven’t been cleared yet,” he told the others, pointing outside. “I’m not sure if they will be anytime soon, it’s coming down too fast.”

“Of course it is,” Kinshirou sighed. There was no way they could walk home in this and he wasn’t going to risk his drivers safety by calling home for a ride.

“You’re both welcome to stay the night,” Akoya so gracefully offered. “I’ll have the guests rooms prepared.”

He left to do so while the others called their families, letting them know what was going on and asking to be picked up as soon as possible the next morning.

“What a bother,” Kinshirou mumbled, rubbing his temples as he felt a headache coming on. He was a creature of habit and deviating from his routine was beyond irritating.

“It’s not so bad,” Arima shrugged, “This is the first time we’ve all gotten to hang out together. Outside of student council duties I mean.”

Kinshirou thought about it and realized that Arima was right. Student council met four days a week after school and they usually went straight home afterwords. At least Kinshirou did. It wasn’t that he didn’t like Arima and Akoya, he wouldn’t be on the council with them otherwise, but he hadn’t hung out with any of his classmates since Atsushi. Honestly, he had a hard time with “friends” in general ever since.

“Yes, I suppose it could be worse,” he conceded.

Arima smiled softly as Akoya returned.

“Everything will be ready soon,” he said. “Shall we take a bath?”

“Is your bath big enough for all of us?” Arima asked.

Akoya scoffed, offended by the mere insinuation that he had anything but the absolute best, and led them to the obscenely large marble bathroom with an infinity fountain at the base of the tub. Kinshirou thought it was a little… extra, then again, so was Akoya, but he appreciated the luxury and figured a bath would help him relax. Perhaps he might really be able to enjoy himself.

He still declined Arima’s offer to help wash his hair, instead watching him go through the tedious and numerous steps of help Akoya wash his. Shampoo, conditioner, volumizer, leave in conditioner, it was amazing how dedicated he was to his grooming. It honestly blew Kinshirou’s mind that he did this every night.

Their soak in the tub was spent in blissful silence, the dripping faucet beat like a calming metronome against the stone floor. After the bath came the real work in the form of Akoya’s ten step skincare routine.

“Care to try it?” he asked as he sat down at his vanity. “It’s great for your pores.”

“I think I’ll pass,” Kinshirou said, but in the blink of an eye, he found himself sat with him at the vanity, already on step four.

“Trust me, you’ll thank me for this later.”

Akoya worked on rubbing some sort of moisturizer under his eyes, but paused every so often to brush his hair back out of his face.

Kinshirou groaned, they’d be at this forever at this rate. He stood, gently pushing Akoya’s hands away, and turned him around.

“Senpai? What’re you-”

“Just hold still.”

Carefully, Kinshirou gathered Akoya’s pink locks into his hands and wove it into a loose braid.

“There, now lets get this over with.”

Arima couldn’t recall Kinshirou being to gently before. There friend may be rigid, but he was never unkind or rude, yet it was still so strange to see him this calm. Well, his version of calm.

“Not bad, Senpai,” Akoya said, admiring himself in the mirror.

“Where did you learn how to do that?” Arima asked.

Kinshirou merely shrugged and told Akoya to get on with steps five through ten so they could go to sleep. He didn’t want to recount that he and Atsushi had done that countless times for his friend’s older sister. Every now and then he wondered how she was doing these days. How they were both doing.

To his dismay, they did not go to bed after finishing the hour long facial. Neither Akoya or Arima were tired enough to sleep yet, so Akoya escorted them to the home’s screening room. They didn’t want to waste time arguing over what to watch, so they just let Akoya pick while Arima made a trip to the kitchen.

“Have you seen this one?” Akoya asked, holding up a dvd of some foreign romance film.

“Can’t say I have,” Kinshirou grumbled, fussing with his pajamas. They had to borrow their kohai’s sleep ware, which was as pink and fluffy as he was, and Kinshirou was forced to remember how small he was compared to his companions.

The movie was set to play just as Arima arrived with a tray of mugs and a plate of macarons. He handed Kinshirou a steaming mug of what he assumed was milk tea, until he smelled the sweet scent of wafting off of it.

“It’s hot chocolate,” Arima said, picking up on his friends confusion, “I thought we deserved a treat.”

Kinshirou tentatively took a sip as he reclined on an oversized plush sofa beneath the projector and couldn’t suppress a sigh of contentment that escaped him. He was very picky when it came to sweets, but he trusted Arima’s taste and it hadn’t failed him yet. The hot chocolate was truly delightful and as he drank, he felt his eyelids grow heavier and heavier. All of the work they had done, the warmth enveloping him and the dim light of the screening room had him asleep before the opening credits finished.

 

 

When Kinshirou woke the next morning, it was to the quiet music of the dvd’s menu screen. Groggily, he pushed himself up from the couch and stretched his stiff muscles. He’d fallen asleep with his head pillowed on the armrest and other side of the couch, Arima slept sitting up against the back with Akoya’s head resting in his lap. Apparently none of them had made it to the guest rooms.

Soft morning sunlight peeked through the bottom of the door, the storm from last night had finally passed and hopefully the roads were cleared as well.

As tempted as he was to get up and call his ride, Kinshirou wasn’t ready to leave just yet. He wanted to savor this moment for a little while longer. Last night hadn’t been bad, he’d even go so far as to say he actually enjoyed it. Maybe they could do this again someday. Arima mentioned wanting to take a summer trip that year, perhaps to the beach. He supposed they didn’t really need an excuse to do this again, but those were thoughts for another time. For now, he turned off the projector and laid back down, dozing off with the comforting presence of his friends beside him.