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The other ran in just like Hunter had and Mark smiled as he went to the kitchen and looked at the food on the table. Coming in after him he couldn’t help but smile in return to the grin Natsuo was wearing, having seen the snow and everything else. “Dig in then.” He said looking to Hunter who was shaking the melted snow off his coat then panting his tongue hanging out of his mouth happily. Mark pet the dogs head making him close his mouth before sitting down and taking a crepe for himself and putting some of the toppings in. they were fun to make, sweeter and much thinner than pancakes they were easy to make and you could make a lot of them with a small amount of batter since each was pretty much paper thin.
Taking a bite of his own, his smile became smaller, he was just thinking now. It was almost December and that would mean Christmas season. It was one of his favorite times of year because there was always little to no crime which meant little to no work for him. Looking up to Natsuo he wondered if the boy celebrated or if he did in the past celebrate Christmas. He would guess he did. And with that he smiled and continued eating his thoughts still going round I circles about different things.
Natsuo was so busy staring around himself, turning around and around as he watched the snow flakes fall. The ground already had a light coating on top of it, like icing sugar on a pastry, and as he watched, he could feel the flakes sticking in his hair, and even a couple on his eyelashes. He loved winter. It had always been his favourite season. He remembered he used to go out skating with friends all of the time, sometimes even with whatever foster family he was with. He loved snowball fights and snow angels, snow forts and snowmen. He loved the way that all of the moisture clung onto whatever it could, then froze there, creating a beautiful layer of ice on whatever it touched; trees, fences, bushes, grass, cars... And then there was Christmas. The beautiful decorations everywhere, the lights, the accessories, the home cooked family meals, the tree! Oh, the tree. How it's clean, fresh scent made it's way all throughout the house, lightening the mood of anyone who smelt it. Even after it had been thrown away, it's smell lasted.
When he heard someone laughing, he turned around to find Mark watching him. He shook his head at the question, looking down over the sweater he was still wearing. Not with this on, no. he thought to himself. "Okay!" he called when Mark told him breakfast was ready, though his eyes had focused on Hunter as he made a fool of himself, dashing back and forth in the snow. Natsuo couldn't help laughing at the pup, then followed him back inside of the apartment. When he got back in, he watched as Hunter wiped his paws off on the entry mat, then sped off toward the kitchen. Natsuo did the same, wiping his feet before going into the kitchen. When he saw Mark, and the food on the table, he smiled. "Looks delicious!"
Before Mark could answer the question he saw Nat turn back and run to the door, undoing the lock in a flash and then going outside. Turning the stove down so that the food didn’t burn, and it would easily, he followed the boy and looked out. Everything was being dusted in a thicker layer of white. It was beautiful to say the least. He smiled and looked as the boy was out in the snow. He laughed at him. “Aren’t you cold?” the man asked leaning on the door as he did, arms crossed on his chest. After a minute, having to return to the kitchen a chill ran down his spine when he entered the more warm part of the house. Seeing the door open though, Hunter jogged up a little bit then sprinted out running around like the crazy pup he was. The animal ran around Natsuo a couple times then tripped and rolled over sitting on the ground as if he didn’t know what just happened.
Mark was finishing up breakfast and then when it was done, the toppings having been pretty simple he put crepes on the table with some wiped cream and chocolate mouse. Really good toppings for these, he really liked them and made them when people came over because most people liked them. Going back to the door he found Hunter running around still though when he whistled the dog came back into the house in a hurry. “Breakfast is ready.” He told the boy closing the door after he was inside. Noticing for a second time that the boy was in the sweater he had been wearing the day he was going to leave. Though he didn’t know if the night before had been because he had seen Sean, or he actually didn’t want him sleeping on the couch… Either way the boy seemed in a better mood today.
The next morning, Natsuo awake to Hunter's tail thumping on the bed, heating his feet beneath the blankets. He slowly sat up, the room still dimly lit as he looked around. Mark was gone, but he could faintly smell food cooking. So he hasn't left yet...? he thought. When the older male walked into the room, Hunter hopped off of the bed and galloped to the kitchen where he guessed his food was set up. Natsuo looked up, yawning as he rubbed the sleep dirt out of his eyes with the back of Mark's sweater's sleeve. "Goomornin'." he said sleepily, his words slurred together. When he took his hand away from his eyes, he watched the male across from him lazily. When he received a smile, he arched a brow, though returned a small one.
After a moment, he pushed the blankets that had pooled around his waist away from him, then slid his legs over the edge of the bed and planted them on the cool floor before standing. He turned around, finding Mark had already left the room. He followed after him into the kitchen. "What's for breakfast?" he asked after a second yawn. He pushed his bangs out of his face, glancing into the living room. When his eyes crossed over the window, he had to do a double take to make sure he'd seen correctly, but- Yes! He was right!
Turning away, Natsuo jogged to the front door of the apartment, hastily unlocked it and threw the door open. He stepped out onto the pavement, past the balcony above so the sky opened up above him. He looked around, finding he hadn't been mistaken; it was snowing! Finally! It was finally snowing!
The next morning he couldn’t remember anything from the night, no dreams or anything like that. He found Natsuo closer than when he’d fallen asleep before, he found himself on his stomach laying beside the boy, he looked calm, and content with where he was, the warmth between them, comforting to the older male. Mark had only felt the comfort before with Hunter sleeping with them. No surprise to him did he see Hunter laying on the bottom of the bed, curled up on the end of the bed near the boy’s feet. He smiled sitting up and swinging his legs to the floor letting the boy sleep in.
He took out a pair of jeans and then a nicer long sleeved shirt and went to the bathroom to change. When he’d gotten dressed, he pulled his hair back into a thin pony tail and then went to the kitchen, pouring Hunter’s bowl for when he came in he made himself some breakfast, planning on making Nat’s after he’d waken up. While the food was cooking Mark went back to the bedroom seeing Hunter and Natsuo awake. “Morning.” he said calmly taking a few more steps into the room as he had greeted them. Hunter’s tail wagged as he jumped down and ran past him to the kitchen going for the food that was already there. Looking back over to Nat he smiled at him…
Natsuo paused when he heard Mark's words, not really sure what to say to that. However, it was becoming apparent that Mark really did care about the raven haired male, and that he wanted them to be closer...though Natsuo wasn't exactly sure how close. He couldn't exactly see them becoming "best friends", or anything like that, really. At the moment, he wasn't even sure what he considered Mark then. He wasn't sure if the older male could be classified as a friend...maybe he was closer to family? But when he thought of family, Mark's face didn't appear. Actually, the only face that appeared in his mind was Hunter's. He nearly laughed to himself. So I consider the dog my only family? he chuckled inside of his head, then glanced over at the male beside him. What is he to me, then? he asked himself. When no answers came - though he hadn't been sure where he'd expected one to come from - he rolled over onto his other side.
He stared at the wall for another moment, before letting his eyes fall closed. He could feel Mark's warmth behind him, and hear his breathing; the soft, consistent sound practically lulling him to sleep. Soon, his own breathing regulated, to the same pace as the male's beside him. Slowly, gradually, images started to flow behind his eyelids, but slower than before. They weren't rushed, weren't hasty. He could see them, though he still didn't know what they were. Probably places he'd seen in movies or read about in books. The sounds he heard in his ears were soft, instead of harsh like they had been before. Having Mark beside him...seemed to calm everything about him.
Once they were both under the blankets, Natsuo confessed that he wasn’t really asleep and that it wasn’t easy for him to fall asleep. His vice was getting quiet but how was he at ease with a detective, it was a bit hard to believe at first but then again it wasn’t him who was not at ease beside him… he smiled lightly looking back at the ceiling, laying flat on his back. At the apology he looked back over to the boy. “You don’t need to apologize about it.” he said quietly. When their eyes met and Nat thanked him, he smiled back. “No problem.” he said his voice a whisper, not as quiet as Natuso’s had been.
Mark watched the boy for a minute. “If you’re worried about something, whenever it comes up, you can tell me. Alright?” Mark paused for a couple seconds. “Don’t think you have to be on your own because you’re brother thinks you should be.” With that Mark looked back up and closed his eyes, ready for sleep. Though it wasn’t that late, there was still that feeling that today had been longer than most, things had happened one after the other, and now there was that new woman working at his department who seemed to think way too much. And he would often get questions from her about different things until he allowed her to help him even on one case. One after another, thoughts passed by until the darkness of sleep overcame those thoughts. Ten to fifteen minutes later Mark had drifted off even though the time seemed to pass so quickly.
Natsuo looked back over his shoulder when he heard Mark speak, his voice quiet, sounding a bit groggy. I hadn't actually woken him up, had I? he thought, though didn't say anything. With a shrug, he turned back to look ahead as he led them and Hunter back into the bedroom. He let go of the older male's wrist as he walked over to the opposite side of the room from the door, crawling onto the bed. Reaching over, he grabbed the blankets, then pulled them over him as he slipped under them. "I wasn't really asleep." he confessed, looking up to meet the others' eyes when he had lain down as well. "My mind was too cluttered...but you put me at ease, it seems." he whispered, bringing his legs up closer to him under the blankets. He was still wearing Mark's sweater, but even under the blankets, he wasn't too hot. He was comfortable.
When he looked to the male beside him, he watched him curiously. "Sorry for yelling at you before." he finally whispered, dropping his eyes to the blankets. "I know I should understand that it's your job and everything..." he sighed, closing his eyes. When he opened them again, he met the others' eyes, and gave a soft smile. "Thank you...for caring about me." he said, his voice a softer whisper now than before.
The couch wasn’t like his bed, it wasn’t as comfortable as the mattress or as warm as the blankets, the pillows weren’t the best but it wasn’t bad. He’d slept on the couch before and it had been fine, he was just giving himself a headache thinking too much. Mark had gotten to a state where thinking came easy and he would forget most thoughts in a matter of seconds, stories played out without him trying to think of them, ideals came to mind as he lay there. Things about Natsuo that he didn’t know. Things about Sean he had no idea about. The things that happened between them that he could tell scared Nat. It was a reason why the boy never told anyone some things about what happened.
Feeling someone poking his cheek a few times he opened his eyes, seeing the ceiling at first he looked over to the side and saw Natsuo sitting there. The boy smiled, he looked more awake than he had seen him earlier. Wasn’t he asleep then? He shrugged it off and then let the boy pull him up and to his feet. Mark didn’t know why he seemed so comfortable compared to before. He followed without saying anything for a moment. “I thought you were asleep.” He said quietly, passing the office and going into the bedroom, he heard Hunter’s tail thumping softly at the side of the bed where he had gone and laid when Mark had shut everything off.
Going over to the side he had been on the night before he sat on the edge as Nat climbed in on the other side. He shook his head, smiling lightly still not sure why the other had come and gotten him. Laying down he let out a breath slowly. Why was he so comfortable next to Natsuo?
Natsuo had been watching the doorway for a while, slowly drifting off. But every time he got close to sleep, his mind seemed to wake up; thoughts racing out of control, images flashing by behind his eyelids every time he closed them. He could never make out what they were. He could vaguely hear sounds, but couldn't exactly make them out. Traffic noises? Something like engines revving, or tires screeching. Someone screamed, it sounded like. Or maybe it was someone slamming on breaks? His eyes flicked open when he felt pressure on his forehead, and glanced up through his bangs to find Mark standing over him. He was pushing his hair out of his face, his touch tender. As the older male walked away, Natsuo realized that Mark didn't know he was awake. After he'd gone, closing the door most of the way, Natsuo reached up and touched the strands of hair Mark had pushed out of his face. He's always playing with my hair. he thought to himself.
Slowly, Natsuo shifted and sat up, swinging his feet over the side. He touched the cool floor, the cool hard wood sending a shiver up his spine. When he reached the other side of the room, he pulled the bedroom door open slowly, finding there were no lights on. He must have turned everything off... With his hands on both walls to either side of him, guiding him along, Natsuo walked until he reached the living room, dimly lit by an open window. When he looked down, he found Mark lying on the couch. Though, it didn't look very comfortable to sleep on. He shook his head, walking over to the couch. He crouched down in front of it, poking the other's cheek lightly until he opened his eyes. When he did, Natsuo smiled at him. "You shouldn't sleep here." he whispered to him. "Come on...come to bed." he grabbed onto his wrist, slowly pulling him to his feet.
Mark leaned back in the chair he had been sitting in for the past hour, if he stayed in the chair much longer he felt his lower half would go numb with the lack of movement. He looked at the clock in the bottom of the computer screen. 8:15. He sighed, he’d been working on the cases and such for about an hour now and was getting tired of just sitting. Getting up he left his little home office and went to the kitchen grabbing a glass and filling it halfway with water. Taking small sips at a time he was still thinking about the last case he’d read. Everything had fallen into place except for the fact there looked like no struggle with the man’s dead, almost as if he wanted to die and let the other person tie the wire around his neck almost cutting off his head.
He sighed, disgusted by the thoughts of that. Shaking his head as he put the empty glass in the sink. The dishwasher hummed quietly as it did as programmed, he smiled lightly at that, Natsuo had done as asked even though he had offended him earlier. Noticing that he hadn’t been in the living room he walked back to the bedroom and looked in seeing him curled up in the bed. Taking a few steps into the room standing beside the side he was sleeping or he thought he was sleeping on, he pushed the boy’s hair out of his face and smiled lightly. He had become family to Hunter and to him...
Walking back out of the room he closed the door most of the way leaving it a crack open as he went back into his office where Hunter was sleeping in his own bed. Mark tapped him gently and Hunter’s eyes flicked up to him, his tail started wagging, he smiled and sat on the floor next to the big pup. “Yeah... good boy...” he said quietly making the dog wag his tail more, he smiled being licked by him then stood up again to shut down the rest of the house. The door already locked he turned off the lights in the living room, then the kitchen and then his office. Back in the living room he laid down on the couch, not wanting to wake the boy up or anything he closed his eyes and relaxed on the couch…
Natsuo nodded at Marks' request, and watched his back as he left the room. Compared to Sean, Mark's back was smaller, but still broad, his shoulders weren't as wide, neither were his arms and his legs. His face wasn't as chiseled as Sean's...it was more soft, and pleasant to look at. His hair was longer, but it suited him. His eyes were dark, unlike Sean's bright ones, but they were calming. His personality, too, was a lot better than Sean's. Natsuo sighed to himself. He didn't know why he kept comparing Mark to Sean. Before he'd been adopted by his brother, he'd lived a relatively normal life with a decent family. He'd gone to school, and had friends. He had a cell phone, good grades, and even a few girlfriends throughout the years. Everyone said he had a promising future because he was smart and bright, even though he was a little bit shy. It wasn't like he hadn't been exposed to outside life. He'd known a lot of people. But all he could do was compare Mark to Sean.
With a sigh, he stood from the table and tossed the rest of his burger into the trash bin, then rinsed it in the sink and set it in the dishwasher. After he'd set the machine up, he let it do it's thing to clean the dishes inside of it. Natsuo left it, going back into the living room. When he looked at the clock, he found it was quarter to eight at night. Time had gone so quickly...probably because he'd spent most of it in his own head, with his own thoughts. He turned away, going into the bedroom. He found the sweater he'd borrowed a few days ago, lying on one side of the bed, untouched. It was the one he'd worn when he intended to leave this place; the one Mark had said looked better on him than himself. After a moment of staring, Natsuo took off the shirt he was wearing and slipped back into the sweater, then laid down on the bed in the dark. He curled up, facing the open doorway that dim light poured through. Mark isn't anything like Sean... he thought to himself. He's so much better.
Mark had finished by the time Natsuo seemed to slow and stop eating, staring at the table as if it was a huge puzzle that he couldn’t put together. With a gentle sigh he ruffled the boy’s hair after putting his plate in the dishwasher and putting the little tablet that cleaned the dishes into the little compartment where it went. “Once your done, could you start that?” He asked nodding to the machine. When he got a response he walked down to his office and sat down. Sean had found the boy yet again huh?
He sighed, more heavily this time and looked at the case on his desk. Reading it over for the two hundredth time… This kid had just disappeared off the charts but the woman was always in a rush to hang up after questioning if he’d found the boy yet. That brought up his own questions, he’d probably fall asleep thinking too hard again and that always gave him a headache when he woke up. Pulling open a drawer he put the file away in one of the folders before pulling the papers from his bag and reading through the information he’d printed at the office and the information given in the case itself. There were so many people who died or had an issue with another, people who were in holding cells because of the things they had done and no one knew what to think of them.
Everything just seemed to complicated at the moment. Leaning back in his chair for a moment a case still in hand laying open on his lap, he found Hunter padding in and laying by him in his bed. With a smile, Mark reached down and scratched his head before leaning back and going back to reading the case over. It clicked after a couple seconds. The man in the holding cell had been found in an area with drugs as well as a number of men, he hadn’t been going through a withdrawal so without that and the blood sample taken showing only a drug for a cold and the right amount the man must have been in the wrong neighborhood or something like that. Writing it off, and putting it to the side for the next day, he leaned back again thinking of what he was going to do now that he had an idea that Nat’s brother had found him and, that he was the person in the missing case…
[haha nice. Sorry its so long]
[I think I'm actually starting to smell hamburgers xD]
Natsuo wasn't sure exactly how Mark would react to his words, but he hadn't expected him to be so calm about it. Though he knew the older male was level headed and thought things through, he expected him to be at least a little worried. Of coarse, Mark saying that he wasn't going to give him up to his older brother was reassuring, but what happened if one day, while Mark was out at work and Natsuo was home by himself? Or even with Hunter? What happened if Sean decided to shop up then, knowing his younger brother was alone? What if he took him back...and Mark wouldn't know where to look?
He could feel his stomach tying into knots as he ate, and by the time he'd gotten half way through his own burger, he didn't feel like he could eat anymore. He wasn't hungry, he wasn't...anything. Just nervous. His nerves had been on edge since he'd left Sean's apartment, or rather, since the very moment everything went wrong on the second day he'd gone to live with his older brother. Though being there with Mark and Hunter helped decrease it, seeing Sean actually there, in front of the apartment building...it brought everything back up. He knew where he was staying now, who he was staying with. If anything, he'd been watching the apartment for a while, checking schedules of when Mark left, what time he came home. There was no doubt in Natsuo's mind that his older brother was keeping tabs on them.
Nat came into the kitchen and got out a few things to put on his own burger. Mark could have done the same but, one he was tired, and two he didn’t mind just having simple things. Watching the boy he continued eating, slowly as he was thinking too. He’d made a mistake jumping to conclusions like that, laughing when he’d figured something out that wasn’t the case or didn’t seem to be. Though the boy had lied to him about the first. Once the boy was sitting across from him, and they were both eating, he let his eyes fall to something else, knowing that things were only getting more complex as they went along, he hoped that the sight of the case and how it related to Natsuo even a little bit, he hoped it wouldn’t change the ‘friendship’ they already shared. If that was what you could call it.
Looking up when the boy started talking he paused. Putting the burger down that he’d been eating he leaned back in the chair. And nodded. He didn’t know if there was anything he could say at the moment. “Alright…” He said calmly even though the boy seemed a bit thrown off. Mark knew what that meant to Nat. “You’re not going back with him. Trust me on that.” He said his voice unwavering. “Unless you decide it.” The older brother could have the legality papers on him and such, but it was his word against Marks and Nats. And put that together and in the end, he wouldn’t be able to win. Unless he decided to come up with something crazy.
Mark’s eyes locked with the other’s for a moment before that broke and he picked up his food and continued eating. If he could find one reason that was good enough to get the boy out of his custody, then the case would close, the missing person’s, if it was Natsuo, would close as a fraud and everything would end the way it should.
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