by Mina Lightstar

Leorio fidgets in his chair. He is supposed to be reviewing a list of patients he saw today and may need to see in the future, since he is going on vacation for two weeks. Of course, he is only half-paying attention, because it is Friday, and Kurapika has been gone all week but he is coming back tonight.

Leorio thinks they've been married the whole time and just didn't realize it. At this thought, his brain immediately asks, How could you be gay and not know it? and Leorio explains, Well, because it's not being gay, you know? and then his brain replies, Do you even know what you're talking about? and Leorio admits, No.

That's okay, though, because Kurapika tends to do the talking. Leorio isn't stupid, or anything, but he doesn't like breaking things down and analyzing them if they're working. Thinking too hard can be unhealthy -- not that Kurapika ever listens to him, except that sometimes he does, which puts a whole new spin on Leorio's perspective of their relationship. Because, really, Kurapika doesn't listen to anyone unless he knows he has to, or he thinks they're right. Or he wants to, which means that when Leorio tells Kurapika to do something, he's got a fifty-fifty shot at acquiescence. Or maybe it's seventy-thirty, because Leorio is sure Kurapika likes giving him a hard time almost as much as he likes suddenly saying "Of course, Leorio, you're right, we'll do that," to keep Leorio on his toes. It's like Kurapika has taken classes to master the art of driving men insane in addition to the classes he took to perfect the Disapproving Look. The thought makes Leorio laugh, because honestly, only Kurapika can pull off alternating between mild-mannered young man and clever housewife -- with a dash of crime-fighter mixed in for flavor. He's like a comic book character.

Kurapika is really, really weird. Then again, he turns Leorio on, which means Leorio must be really weird, too.

Which comes right back to the whole marriage thing.

"I should phone the neighbors," he mutters to himself, "and ask them how they knew before we did."

Kurapika never really talks to the neighbors; he comes and goes like the wind. Currently working as some rich guy's bodyguard and getting paid way too much for it, Kurapika is frequently away being a pretty accessory at parties and on business trips.

The first time Leorio brought woman back to the apartment, he supposes her screams had woken the Ishida family. The next day, the husband had the nerve to ask if he cheated on Kurapika. Leorio chuckles, remembering how he laughed at the time.

"No, he said, "we're just friends, him and I."

And Ishida gave him a look that said he didn't believe a word of it. In all subsequent chats with any neighbor after that, well, the general opinion was that only Kurapika was gay, the poor, closeted boy.

Except that Kurapika isn't gay even now. He's just Kurapika.

Which means that Leorio probably isn't gay, either. Because he still appreciates a fine woman and doesn't think anyone shouldn't. Leorio used to say that he loved women but was not in love with them: He likes the chase, the flirting, the being romantic and the dinners. If it leads to sex, then that's wonderful; if it doesn't, he still enjoyed the chase. If it leads to romance... well, that only happened once.

But these days he finds he has no desire for chasing, a sure sign that he is more than comfortable with Kurapika. If he goes home after work he will find the best catch he ever caught, because there really wasn't any chasing involved.

He supposes he understands why the whole thing is still somewhat confusing for Kurapika. It did, after all, just happen. Leorio isn't sure who to blame: Himself, because he marched right on over and kissed the blond, or Kurapika, because he practically dared Leorio to do so.

But then he thinks, well, it's not like any blame has to be laid. It's not like the first kiss was a bad thing; it was an eye-opener.

What was that they said about being blind to the most obvious?

This is why he thinks they've been a couple before they even knew it. They were partners in almost everything -- except in bed. That last came suddenly, unexpectedly, and since then Leorio is proud to say they have been making up for years of lost time. It was like, one kiss, and suddenly their bodies had stood up and said, "By the way, you guys," and that was that.

It's not like Leorio never knew Kurapika was pretty. He did, and acknowledged it regularly. That didn't count, though, because everyone thinks Kurapika is pretty. The whole city thinks Kurapika is pretty -- but unattainable, don't even try.

Leorio smirks, looks up at the clock again. Eight minutes past seven. Kurapika's flight should be on the ground. He should be home in a couple of hours, at most. He offered, on Sunday, to pick the blond up at the mansion, after he is finished helping escort his charges home. But Kurapika declined; one of the other bodyguards will take over, and Kurapika will get himself home.

It's lonely in the apartment without Kurapika, he reaffirms. Leorio supposes he's just never noticed before. This is the first time he hasn't been bringing a girl home every night. This will be the first time that Kurapika will have nothing to say about the state of the bathroom.


Leorio doesn't plan on falling asleep but does, anyway. He wakes up when he hears keys jingle and the door open. He sets his papers on the table by the lamp and goes to greet his lover.

An embrace is in order, he knows. A warm embrace, a deep kiss, and inquires about how their weeks have been and how are they feeling and how they really should just go to bed as soon as possible.

But Leorio also knows that he and Kurapika are not like most other couples; they are Leorio and Kurapika and they like being Leorio and Kurapika.

So Leorio sighs, "I guess I'm not important enough to call, huh?" He knows what this will start.

As expected, Kurapika is instantly indignant. "Well," he snaps, "most people who have cellular phones ensure that they are turned on."

"Well, obviously someone can't seem to remember we do have a land-line." Leorio folds his arms, gives the blond an exasperated look. "You're, what, twenty-three? Too young to be losing your memory. Such a shame."

The deadpan stare makes the comment worth it. "Land-lines work best in conjunction with an answering machine, which we do have, and perhaps you ought to check it every now and then." Kurapika pauses, hesitates, and then frowns and says, "And anyway, what kind of greeting is that?" Then he gives Leorio a look saying he was expecting something better.

Leorio laughs, diffusing the argument. "It was a hello. Or something like it."

"That was not a hello." Kurapika looks like he wants nothing more than to put his suitcase away, take a shower, punch Leorio in the stomach, and go to bed. Nonetheless, he draws himself up in his best lecturing mode and elaborates, "That was an accusation, because you assumed I did not call you to tell you if my arrival time changed, which I did, and so, your accusation is pointless, because you can't even manage to check an answering machine. So."

"It was," Leorio agrees, smiling. "Though that scolding was a tad more lazy and broken up than I get," he adds disapprovingly.

"I'm tired," Kurapika stresses. "And the strings of corporate board meetings were boring."

Leorio snickers. He likes knowing that he is the only one who ever gets to see Kurapika whine. "Here," he takes the blond's suitcase, "go take a shower." As an afterthought he adds, "Let's use my room? The bed's unmade; it'll be like coming home."

"I just did come home," Kurapika points out, but he is smiling when he walks by Leorio. "I might fall asleep in the shower," he says over his shoulder. "If I'm not out in twenty minutes, come check on me."

"Will do." Leorio wants to check on him right away, and maybe just stay in there with him, but refrains. He's waited a whole week, he can wait fifteen minutes. Kurapika's exhausted, anyway, so a mattress is preferable to the tub.

Besides, they might bend the curtain rod again.

So Leorio goes to his bedroom and cleans up a little, and then sits on the bed and waits, listening to the running water in the bathroom. His lover joins him seventeen minutes later, with flushed skin and damp hair.

Kurapika yields like water, but is sure to sweep Leorio along his current.