Katie’s little hand looked tiny within Kato’s. Her happy smile lit up the world around them, coaxing any who took note to smile in return. In the window they walked past, his eyes caught sight of their reflection. If Noah’s much younger sister wasn’t holding so tightly, he would have cringed at the image staring back at him. In Kato’s hair, Katie’s butterfly clips added sparkle in purple and pink hues. He’d have taken them out before this excursion, but just the suggestion of doing so had brought tears to her eyes. The battle was lost before it could start.
Beyond his worried reflection, a black jacket hanging on a mannequin came into focus. Long sleeves, weighted material, no adornments; just his style. Acute was the weight of the hoodie he wore.
The sound of a cellphone camera mimicking a camera shutter came across loudly to Kato’s ears. He froze! Maybe if he just pretended not to notice…
Slowly, and in poor judgement, Kato turned to look. The moment his face was in view, giving a great angle for the butterfly clips, a second image was captured.
“Noah!” Katie’s excited voiced called for her brother.
Kato demanded, “did you just take a picture of me?”
“Sure did,” Noah was grinning. “You have no idea how hot you are right now. Letting a little kid pick out your clothes, her butterfly clips in your hair.”
“I’m not a little kid anymore,” she stuck her tongue out at her brother.
He returned the gesture.
“Kato likes the sweater too,” she defended her choice, “cuz we match!”
“Oh yah?” Noah played along.
Kato tried not to groan when Katie pulled him around to give highlight to his new look. Adorning the back of his black hoodie was a bright, bold and big purple, metallic bunny rabbit. Next to him, Katie pulled up the hood on her purple sweater. It was a match for the purple of his rabbit. The bunny ears atop her hood completed the compliment.
There was a snicker from behind, and another photo was taken.
“Noah,” Kato scolded!
“Do you not like it?” Katie’s tiny voice reached him. She was looking up at him in great worry that he was mad about the matching sweaters.
It would ruin her perfect day, and Kato couldn’t do that to her! Quickly, he knelt next to her, his hands picking up hers, “I love these! Noah just shouldn’t take photos of people without their permission. That’s all.”
That seemed to work for Katie’s big smile came out again, “but it’s okay cuz you’re boyfriends.”
Katie thought of something, “you should give Noah his present!”
“Maybe not now,” his grin was sheepish.
But Katie wasn’t listening. She was pulling it out of his hoodie pocket. The place where she’d seen him put it. Kato had a lot to learn about little kids like Katie, it seemed.
From Katie’s fingers a chibi-inspired figure dangled from a keychain. A bright smile upon the dark-haired figure expressed pure joy as tiny drumsticks were poised to strike the little drum he carried. This she proudly held up to Noah.
“It’s Kato,” she cheered! “He says it’s okay that he’s playing the drums ‘cuz he can play them too.”
Noah’s eyes sparkled at the memory this brought up, “yah, he does! Very well.”
Kato nervously ran his hand through the hair by his ear.
“Thank you,” Noah took the keychain. His free hand replaced Kato’s fingers in his hair. The kiss they shared was light and slow.
“Eww, gross!” Katie turned away.
“Oh, you want one too?” Noah played dumb. He moved to capture his sister.
Katie squealed with laughter as she ran towards Kato for protection! He was pulled into their play; sandwiched between the two. Katie held the waistline of his pants, her fingers biting through the hoodie to do so. Noah reached around Kato, looking to take a hold of her arm while also pulling Kato closer to him. Kato saw through it.
In Kato’s ear, Noah whispered, “I can’t believe you finally gave me little Kato.”
He blushed because the insinuation was not lost on him!
“Shush,” he whispered back, refusing to use any stronger language in case Katie overheard.
“But I just wanna kiss you,” Noah taunted. That taunt hit both of them.
“Kissing’s gross!” Katie laughed, moving around Kato so that she couldn’t be caught. Noah followed after. Kato held a hand over Noah’s mouth when he came in for that kiss.
Behind Kato’s hand, “mmIm gongma mmummuu.”
Kato pressed hard to suppress those words. Deep was the blush coloring his cheeks. Noah pulled him close, delight shining in his eyes.
“What’s going on here?” Laura’s voice interrupted them.
“By that blush, gotta say Noah’s being suggestive again,” Jesse smirked.
“Muys,” Noah’s eyes smiled.
Slowly Kato lowered his hands from Noah’s mouth, “hey.”
“Kato, what happened to you?” Jesse looked pained for him.
Katie jumped forward, her hood coming up once again, “we’re matching!”
“Oh my gawd, Katie you are too precious,” Laura held her cheeks in her hands. “Let’s go get something to eat. I gotta take this all in!”
Noah pulled Kato close, “great idea!”
“I can’t believe you’re doing this to me,” Kato groaned softly.
“Mm,” Noah ran a hand over Kato’s hip, “punish me later.”
Jesse laughed at Kato’s expense.