Summary: Tea and home and Lan have merged into one meaningfull feeling for Gingetsu
A/N:This is unbeated as it is a comment_fic. It's spell-checked though, so I hope it won't be too bad.
When Gingetsu thinks about tea he also always thinks about Lan these days. It is like the words ‘tea’ and ‘Lan’ have merged into one in his mind. Not only because Lan always drinks tea, but also because he smells and tastes like it all the time. Perhaps that is the reason why, when Gingetsu smells tea, he thinks of home, which is odd because before Lan moved in Gingetsu never associated the word ‘home’ with something and hadn’t particularly cared for it either. Now he likes to go home when he has the possibility. He also likes to think about it especially on days which are filled with lots and lots of boredom and paperwork.
He calls Lan a quarter hour before he comes home to give him enough time to prepare the tea, set up the dishes and whatever else Lan does when he is alone at home. He doesn’t exactly know how Lan makes the tea because he never watches him doing it but every time he comes through the door he can smell the tea already. The flat always smells like tea these days, or maybe it smells like tea because Lan smells like tea and Lan is always there.
When Gingetsu opens the door Lan is there and takes his coat. Then he sits down on the couch while Lan brings the tea. The first sip always makes him relax. It is like a switch is flipped off. Lan sits down next to him and drinks his own tea. They never talk which Gingetsu appreciates.
Later, in the evening over dinner Lan will begin to chat about whatever happened during the day: a movie he saw, a book he read, one of his experiments, what the latest fight between their neighbours was about or that he suspects that the inhabitant of flat two on the other side of street cheats on her husband with the daughter of the family that lives in flat 23.
Gingetsu never drinks tea when he’s not home. Not since Lan moved in. There’s no reason to pretend that he’s home, with Lan, when he’s really not so he generally avoids tea.
It was not only the tea itself that reminded Gingetsu of home, it was also the kind of tea, which had changed over the last three years. It’s three years already and the Sorcerer’s Council’s words about Lan’s reduced lifespan are still fresh in Gingetsu’s mind.
Back then he thought that five years were a lot of time or at least enough time but now it runs through their fingers like sand through an hourglass. It nearly seems like someone substituted years with weeks and that he’s almost never home doesn’t help.
During their first year when Lan aged from a shy and wide-eyed kid to a teenager, he made herbal tea with lots of sugar in it. Sometimes Gingetsu even had the feeling that Lan didn’t make tea with sugar but sugar with some tea in it. The sugar overdose first disturbed his concentration but he got used to it. Lan had tried every possible tea-mix then: strawberry- rhubarb, cherry-vanilla, apple-grapefruit, raspberry-cinnamon, name it and Gingetsu had probably drunk it. Lan had always asked him how he had liked it and Gingetsu had always answered with “It’s good.” It had taken some time until Lan had been able to read his true opinion from those words and took to changing the mixes accordingly. Sometimes the ones he had tried after the last one Gingetsu hadn’t liked had been even more disgusting but Gingetsu had always drunk them anyway.
During their second year, when Oruha had died and Lan had matured from an often depressed, sad-looking teenager to a young adult with soft eyes and a sarcastic streak which Gingetsu had no idea where he had picked it up (certainly not from him, Kazuhiko was mildly ironic but never sarcastic and Oruha, who had only met with him once had possessed a very girlish kind of humour).
During that year Lan had made black tea, pure black tea without even a hint of sweetness and never any milk or trying different mixes. He had taken the tea he had found in Gingetsu’s kitchen and stuck with through the whole year. Gingetsu supposed that the blackness reflected how Lan had been feeling that year and to certain degree he could sympathise. Lan had gone through an emotional and physical development in a year that usually took a decade to complete and he had been far away from his family (no matter how hard he wished for A to stay away, he was still his brother) and imprisoned with a man who barely said ‘yes’ and ‘no’ or was home to be heard by Lan in the first place.
The third year had started with Kazuhiko who had showed up with Sue and everything that had happened afterwards. When they had visited Lan had served green tea for the first time and marked the beginning of a new year. Now Lan knew him well enough to tell whether Gingetsu would linger outside for a smoke before tea or when he needed a drop of honey in it. He never smokes in the flat because he won’t risk Lan’s health for something as trivial as his nicotine addiction.
Kazuhiko told him once that he suspected Lan of being a mind-reader. “Because it’s creepy how he knows what you want before you even know you want it.” But Gingetsu told him that’s nonsense and that Lan simply knew him very well since they were living together.
“Isn’t he getting too old for your tastes?” Kazuhiko teased him and Gingetsu had simply told him to shut up.
He’s on his way home now and he has already called Lan. Even though he has rarely seen him make tea, he can imagine well enough: how Lan fills the water kettle and puts in on the stove, how he takes the cups from the cupboard and carefully measures and fills tea in both of them. In his mind he sees Lan leaning against a counter while he waits for the water to reach the right temperature, staring out of the kitchen window in the meantime, sees La taking the kettle and fill the cups with hot water and watches the tea leaves swirl in it.
Gingetsu opens the door and Lan is there to greet him with a smile and once the door is closed with his arms around Gingetsu’s shoulders and a kiss.
Gingetsu can smell the tea on Lan and he can taste it on his lips and he knows that he’s home.