Red is the Color of You
While some may shame a twenty-seven year old man for still living with his mother, at the least he can still boast about the beauty of having a pre-made breakfast accompanied by the most alluring scent almost every morning, and today was no exception. The only difference in his morning, however, was the presence of his love beside him, who unsurprisingly was fast asleep. Although they only slept together– in the literal sense– on a few occasions, as far as Izumi could tell, Wraith was the type to wake up late in the day for whatever the reason. He never seemed to stay up late or really exhaust himself. If anything, Wraith was more on the lazy side if not for the rare times where he had territorial fights. Still, nothing set Izumi’s heart more at ease than the smell of his mother’s morning meal with a silently and solemnly sleeping Wraith next to him. It almost felt like a crime to wake him up, but Izumi knew that with Wraith’s perception, just him leaving the bed would be enough to get him awake.
Lightly, he shook Wraith and whispered his name, “Wraith? I have to leave for work soon.”
The specter mumbled as he sloppily tried to find his partner’s hand, still in the whims of sleep. “Ugh, what time is it?”
“Eight. I have to be there by nine.”
Wraith sat up and combed his hair back with his hands before Izumi could laugh at his bed hair. “Give it thirty minutes.”
“You must still be asleep because only in your dreams would I wait that long. I really can’t be late, you know that.”
Trying to work his charm, Wraith nuzzled his cheek in Izumi’s palm and smiled a smile that was both sinister and sweet. “And you know that I could get you there in under a minute.”
“Hmm, let me think.” Izumi sarcastically stated before standing. Giving Wraith a quick peck, he delivered an unexpected answer in a devilish yet flirtatious fashion. “No.”
“Don’t tease me like that.” Wraith sat on the bed as he watched Izumi fumble for his clothes.
“After you’ve teased me since…always? Yea not a chance. You know, there’s some beauty in doing the mundane walk to work rather than having my superpowered ghost boyfriend leap through the air taking me there. With all that’s happened since I’ve met you, I feel like I’ve rarely had a chance to enjoy the mundane.”
“I’ll take that as a compliment, because that means I made your life exciting.” Following after Izumi, Wraith got dressed as well, as reluctant as he was.
“Well, yes, but–”
“Nice to be human, I get it. I’ll come with you so I can step down from my title for once.”
There was a hint of exhaustion in his statement, and before Izumi could question it, Wraith continued. “Meeting you really helped me feel normal, like on an even playing field I guess? Who knows, maybe I’d still be a cocky ass-hat without you.”
“Who said you aren’t anymore?” Izumi playfully smirked, wrapping his arms around Wraith’s neck as he held his waist.
“Yea, yea, but I wouldn’t be me entirely without at least some ego. Look at you talking back now, it’s almost hot.”
“What can I say, I learned from the best–”
A sudden knock against the wooden door jolted the pair and their moment. Kanae’s voice followed soon after. “Whatever you two are doing in there, wrap it up and come have breakfast before it gets cold! And Izumi honey, if you’re going to have fun with your boyfriend on my couch at least do me the favor of picking up your clothes afterwards.”
“Ah-” Rapidly Izumi felt his ears burn in embarrassment.
Feeling the scapegoat coming, Wraith already prepared an excuse. “Hey, you can’t even blame me this time because you tied me up, that’s on you.”
“I–you–! Fine!” Quickly he felt defeated and sighed. There was no denying his actions and their consequences, as much as he wanted to.
As per usual, Wraith didn’t eat breakfast with them, but it was at least a pleasant surprise for Kanae to prepare liquor for Wraith, knowing he can’t eat and his preference for alcohol. Sitting at the dining table felt more natural because of it, and for a moment, he felt the same comfort that he experienced when he’d sit with Neio and the others; and that meant worlds to the man who felt nothing like a man, let alone a friend or boyfriend, and especially to everyday human people.
Just as Izumi described, the walk to work was quite mundane, but it was a nice change of pace for the both of them, mainly Wraith who couldn’t remember the last time he did what others would consider normal things before meeting Izumi. What one would consider boring and almost repetitive to an almost insane extent, he believed to be peaceful. And even more so with Izumi beside him.
But just as that peace came, it soon left with the emergence of Takeda, one of Wraith’s many headache incarnates. The glasses-wearing talkative fiend was waiting outside the office complex, clearly for Izumi, as he waved frantically upon his arrival in his line of sight. Before Wraith could say his farewells and make a break for it, Takeda already encroached upon the couple.
“HEY! Ten to nine, you’re almost late Izumi!” Although Takeda meant it as a joke, anything that spilled out of his seemingly permanently agape mouth would get under any person’s skin eventually.
“Yeppp!” A fake smile adorned his face, which he intended to send a message to both parties but only the smarter of the two understood, as he avoided eye contact with his beloved.
“So, you gonna tell me who this tall-yet-incredibly-intimidating guy is or are you going to make me ask?”
Wraith’s eyes finally came back to the present moment yet in confusion, so he turned to Izumi who tried to tell him with his glare that he’ll explain later.
“Just a friend of mine, I’ll go in a second.”
The three exchanged glances as Takeda continued to remain still.
“Oh, you want me to go, sorry yea got it, I willll see you inside!”
“Yep.” Izumi maintained his plastic smile until he vanished behind the automatic doors.
“I met with Vahan.”
“WHAT–” Remembering they’re in public, Wraith lowered his voice immediately but maintained his reasonably shocked tone, “I mean sorry, what?!!”
“Well I kind of followed Takeda don’t be mad at me and just one thing led to another and yea, I ended up talking to him and he sort of erased Takeda’s memory of us so he won’t be involved in this whole thing anymore? Yea.”
“You say it so casually! Why didn’t you tell me before?! When was this?!”
“Like…..a month ago. I honestly meant to tell you before but never had the chance to.”
“I suppose I should just count my blessings and take it as a good sign honestly, you’re fine and he didn’t do anything, but Vahan isn’t usually slimy like that anyways. Then, I guess he probably just talked to you then? I can see that.”
“Yea, he just asked me somethings about us, you, me, you know.”
“I don’t know but I suppose I can imagine.” Sighing out his worries, Wraith recollected himself and tried to brush it aside. “Well if you’re pretty calm about it, I’m sure it’s fine. I honestly can’t tell what he’s thinking at this point. I was originally under the impression he was causing all these problems we’re having right now but…I don’t know. At the least, thank you for telling me eventually. I’ll try and figure something out if I can, but promise me you won’t do little investigations on your own like that again. If it was anyone else they wouldn’t have just had a ‘chat’.”
“Fiine, I promise, but you know I’m smarter than that.”
“I do but at least hearing that will make me a little less worried.” Giving Izumi a kiss, he ruffled his hair and smiled. “Try not to lose your head at work.”
“And you try not to get yourself killed with all the people you piss off.”
“Sure.” With his usual cocky smirk, he finally let Izumi go about what’s left of his mundane life.
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