Author's Notes:Rose put up a challenge: to write a fic in 90 minutes about a confession of love from someone to their significant other saying just how deeply they feel. The catch - you are not in any way to use the word 'love'. OF course, this has to be used for my darling S&S. Very short, but I love the ending.
There was a certain restaurant Seishirou liked enough not to tell anyone about or bring up in any conversation. It was five star, yes, but more than that, outside the select circles of society, it was remarkably unknown. This meant that the clientele was equally select; cultured, intelligent people who respected privacy and took very good care of themselves. More often than not they were attractive, and dressed two or three levels above the minimum dress code, which meant that every time Seishirou cared to look around there was always something or someone pleasing to the eye. Seishirou had found the restaurant one evening when when the wealthy and powerful target his shikigami had been following had gone there for dinner. He had been mildly intrigued by the understated, classical decor, and afterwards when the hunt was finished and he went there for his own late dinner, he discovered that the food was one of the best he had eaten. Since then, Seishirou had become a regular patron, and ate there at least twice every few months.
It was a wonderful discovery. Seishirou usually kept his discoveries to himself.
Almost always, Seishirou ate there alone. Sometimes if he were in the mood and there was a particularly lovely lady he would go to the bar and allow himself to be drawn into conversation, perhaps buy that person a drink. This happened but rarely; as a rule this restaurant was a place that Seishirou went to by himself to indulge in some of the finest food and wine in the city. He was perhaps one of the few -- if not the only -- patron to have such a viewpoint. All the other diners came there in groups, mostly small groups though some parties numbered over a dozen. There were a lot of couples as well; lovers on dates, husbands and wives celebrating anniversaries, young men proposing to girlfriends, seductions over red wine. Everyone ate there with someone, as if to dine at such a place was an experience too wonderful for one and had to be shared.
Seishirou liked to keep his experiences to himself.
Recently, the menu had been changed slightly. Some dishes had been removed, some added. Seishirou tried one of the new ones on offer. The change had been for the better.
That same night, Seishirou saw a young lady. Judging by the way she kept looking at her watch and the crestfallen expression on her face over an hour later, her companion had stood her up. On impulse Seishirou ordered her a specialty cocktail, and put it on his bill. She had cheered up immensely, and when she asked to join Seishirou at his table, he agreed. She was pretty, with dark brown hair and hazel eyes, and a rather skilled conversationalist. Seishirou had found her boring. That was the last time he went to the restaurant for several months.
One late afternoon, much like any other, Seishirou was walking the city streets. It had been a while since he had eaten out, and before long he decided that a little indulgence was called for and rang up the restaurant to book a table for that evening. It would be pleasant, he decided, to sit there with good food and watch the cream of the city's society talk and flirt, perfect case studies of all of the human foibles. Still, he had to admit such a past-time there was growing perhaps a little mundane. After all, it was the same people who went there all the time. Oh well, he could always hope that the menu had changed again--
A flash of white across the street woke a familiar burning in his mind, like wand of smouldering incense being pressed into his skin. Seishirou stopped and looked.
Subaru stared back at him.
The decision was instantaneous. Ignoring the incoming traffic, Seishirou stepped off the path and crossed to the other side of the road. Subaru tensed as he approached, brilliant green eyes narrowed and wary. It made Seishirou think of the first leaves at the end of winter, when the snow began to melt. What a lovely picture.
The young man's eyes darted from side to side as if looking for a way to escape. Seishirou smiled. "It's been a while, hasn't it. How have you been?"
The reply, when it finally came, was short. "Fine."
"Come now, surely you can be more detailed than that." Subaru bit his lip as if holding back something. It was quite adorable. "Did you have a job today?"
"I'm going to get dinner." The reply was a little forced, probably because Subaru realised that having been trapped into conversation, Seishirou wasn't going to let him go so easily.
"Dinner?" Seishirou smiled. "What a coincidence! I was about to go for dinner myself. Would you like to join me?"
The glorious green eyes blinked in surprise. "What?"
"I'm serious!" Seishirou favoured Subaru with his most relentless smile. "I have a table booked already at a wonderful restaurant, you'll love it."
"Subaru-kun," here Seishirou leaned closer and fixed Subaru in a mismatched gaze. "I insist."
Subaru stared at him, uncertain and ever so slightly defiant. Seishirou didn't waver. Finally, inevitably, Subaru sighed in acquiesence. "Wonderful!" Seishirou moved away, freeing the younger man. "Let's go, then."
Subaru sighed again and began to walk. Seishirou fell into step beside him, and did his best to loosen the younger man's conversation. By the time they got there, he had managed to get Subaru to actually talk properly to him.
It was rather late when they arrived, but it was worth it. Subaru's response on seeing the place was a wonderful mix of astonishment and embarrassment; astonishment at the quality of the place, embarrassment that he would not fit in. Seishirou dismissed such notions with determined optimism, and got them seated. He helped Subaru order something he knew the younger man would like, and chuckled at the expression on Subaru's face when he first tasted it. Their conversation, continuing from its incipience on the journey, grew by slow, small degrees, until at last (with a little wine) Subaru had gone so far as to laugh at Seishirou's jokes. It was a most enjoyable evening.
"Why did you bring me here?" asked Subaru when it was nearly over.
Seishirou glanced at the young man. There was the shyest of smiles on Subaru's face; there really was no one more beautiful than he. Seishirou's own smile grew.
"It's special," he said.
And that was all.
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