Loveless, Softer, Cuter, and Longer

Title: Softer, Cuter, and Longer [Youji/Natsuo/Ritsuka]
Rating/Warnings: PG-13 for Zero.
Summary: Zero find something of interest in their bed yet again.
AN: Challenge: In the Middle. Seriously, what were these challenges for? Author’s notes fail.

Softer, Cuter, and Longer

“Nng?” Youji grumbled when he was poked awake. He blinked a few times in the early morning dark of Soubi’s apartment. “Wha? I jus’ got t’sleep!”

“Sh!” The fingers dug into Youji’s shoulder and rolled him over, and he found himself staring at Natsuo over Ritsuka’s shoulder. Ritsuka was curled up on his side, and Natsuo’s chin was resting on top of his arm, his other hand stroking one of Ritsuka’s cat ears. “So soft!”

“Mine are softer!” Youji retorted, nestling closer against Ritsuka so he could slide a hand over to pinch Natsuo.

“Hn.” Natsuo moved the hand that was on Youji’s shoulder to his ears and stroked both his and Ritsuka’s a few times. “Maybe. But Ritsuka’s are cuter!”

“Oi!” Youji bristled, giving Ritsuka a shove into Natsuo; Ritsuka barely stirred. “Are not!”

“Mmm-hmm,” Natsuo drawled, running hands lightly down Ritsuka’s sides and back until they reached his tail. He twined it around his fingers, the white bandages standing out against the black fur even in the dim light, and brought it over to compare it to Youji’s. “His tail is longer too.”

With a squawk, Youji scrambled over Ritsuka in a tangle of arms and legs and came crashing down on Natsuo, yanking his tail. Natsuo rolled so that Youji fell off to the side and teasingly rubbed up against Ritsuka’s back, letting one hand drift up behind to tweak Ritsuka’s ears some more.

“Ri-chan hasn’t got a Fighter you know…” Natsuo’s smile disappeared when Youji’s growl told him he’d gone too far, and Natsuo gave an “Eep!” and tried to climb back over Ritsuka to use him as a shield. Youji pounced, sinking fingers into Natsuo’s shoulders and sending them both tumbling to the other side of Ritsuka, Natsuo’s head banging on the floor through the futon.

“Say I’m cuter!” Youji demanded, grabbing Natsuo’s wrists and pinning them above his head. He was straddling Natsuo’s chest, pressing down so Natsuo was having a hard time getting a full breath. “Say it!”

“You-taaaan.” Natsuo bucked a little, and turned his head to nip Youji’s wrist. When Youji was distracted, Natsuo bucked again, harder, flipping them over and nearly crushing Ritsuka, then settled down against Youji’s chest, nuzzling his sternum.

The tension went out of Youji like a switch had been thrown, although he wrapped arms around Natsuo’s waist and shoulders and squeezed until his fingertips went numb.

“Just teasing, stupid,” Natsuo murmured, already falling back asleep, pinching Youji’s side. “He’s Loveless, after all. We’re Zero.”

“Stupid,” Youji repeated back, letting Natsuo’s warmth make his eyelids heavy.
******
Ritsuka blinked down at his bedmates for a moment, rubbing a bruise that was rising against his hip and straightening his tangled pajamas, then shuffled over to Soubi’s bed and clambered in.

“I thought my bed was objectionable,” said Soubi, who apparently was not as asleep as Ritsuka had hoped.

“At least I know what you do to me in my sleep,” Ritsuka grumbled, curling up with his back to Soubi.

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