y_c_reverse (y_c_reverse) wrote in yaoi_challenge,
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yaoi_challenge

Match-Maker (Antique Bakery, Chikage/Ono)

Title: Match-Maker
Author: nemurihime (hieronymousmosh)
Recipient: hanbob (peroxidepest17)
Fandom: Antique Bakery
Pairing: Chikage/Ono
Warnings: none
Summary: Chikage decides to make a move for Ono, but needs help. Post-series.



Tachibana's phone was ringing. Or at least this is what he'd decided after repeated bashings of his alarm clock didn't make the noise stop.

Groggily, he fished the receiver from its cradle.

"Yes, this is Tachibana speaking."

"My Lord?"

"Chikage?" Tachibana righted his alarm clock from where it had fallen, "It's three a.m.!"

"Well... my Lord. I."

Tachibana could picture dithering going on on the other end of the line fairly well and chose to cut in to spare his own sanity, "Chikage! Just tell me if you're in jail."

"No, my Lord!"

"Are you injured? Gotten someone pregnant?" Tachibana flopped back down on his mattress, unable to think of anything else at the moment. Part of him was worried, but most of him wanted to go back to sleep.

"Oh, no. No. My Lord, I need your help. I don't have the money to hire a matchmaker – "

"Eh!?" Tachibana sat back up.

"Though that's probably not the right way to go about this, anyway. I think I need a go-between of some kind, my Lord and you at least have experience with relationships."

"Chikage, have you met a woman?"

"What? No my Lord, what would that have to do with anything?"

Tachibana rubbed his face and managed to refrain from smacking himself with the phone like he wanted to. "Chikage. Tell me right now why you're calling me at three a.m."

The answer was a rush of "I need you to negotiate a date with Mr. Ono for me, my Lord."

"Negotiate a – " Tachibana boggled at the phone, "You don't need a negotiator! You just need to stand in front of him and breathe."

There was silence on the other end and Tachibana was fairly certain it was the sound of Chikage trying to figure out what that had meant. "Look, forget it. We'll talk about this tomorrow, all right?"

"All right, my Lord. Goodnight."

"Goodnight, Chikage." Tachibana hung up the phone and hoped that Chikage would have forgotten either his own pursuit or Tachibana's promise by morning.

****


Tachibana spent Monday morning avoiding Chikage as best he could and being glad the man's sunglasses kept him from getting the full effect of the mournful, dateless puppy dog looks he kept throwing his master's way. By the afternoon, a rain storm was keeping customers away and Tachibana was running out of reasons to not be in the same part of the shop as his employees.

When Kanda had announced that he was acting weirder than usual, Tachibana decided it was no use to avoid Chikage any longer and dragged him away from the silverware he was sorting and into the back hallway. He'd keep it quick and simple and hope to any god listening that Chikage caught even half of what he'd say.

Questioning Chikage only revealed that yes, he was serious about pursuing Ono and no, he couldn't ask anyone else for help. He'd tried borrowing a book on dating from Miss Sakurako, but it had turned out to be specifically for women and then when she caught him flipping through it, she'd explained the book had been a gag gift and kicked him out.

Tachibana sighed and resignedly described some of the dating moments that had actually gone well for him during his relationships. The effort was only somewhat horribly depressing, he decided.

In the end, he told Chikage that the only advice he could really give was to figure out what he personally knew about Ono and work from there.

"Well, then." A bit awkwardly, Tachibana patted him on the shoulder, "I'm sorry, but it feels odd to wish you luck with this."

Chikage just smiled agreeably in return.

****


On Tuesday morning, there was a deliveryman waiting outside the Antique when Tachibana arrived. As the man unloaded five large floral arrangements – all marked for Ono – Tachibana could only hope that Chikage wasn't paying for this with his garçon's wages. Tachibana didn't think he could really live down being the one who had made this display possible.

When Ono arrived at work, Tachibana refused to discuss the flower arrangements in the kitchen.

Chikage later gave a confusing explanation that involved the roses Jean-Baptiste had brought Ono months ago and something about fields. Ono had smiled and explained that he and Kanda couldn't work if the flowers remained in the kitchen, and then he and Chikage had spent the next half hour breaking the bouquets down into smaller pieces and arranging them on the shop's tables.

Tachibana managed to avoid helping, but still kept a close eye on Chikage. He seemed to be chatting happily and eventually Tachibana wandered into the kitchen to check after Kanda, not having seen any sign that Chi was disappointed with where his gifts ended up.

****


Wednesday brought Belgian chocolates that had to be hidden from Kanda - though by the next evening, Kanda found himself enjoying a candle-lit dinner for three. Chikage had apparently panicked and blindly asked the entire kitchen to join him for dinner. Tachibana declined, but Kanda had heard very good things about the restaurant's Pithviers aux Cerises and jumped at the chance to join them. The conversation was awkward, but neither Chikage nor Ono stopped him from having double desserts.

Chikage was slightly depressed on Friday, explaining to Tachibana that the evening had been cut short when Ono had complained of feeling a bit tired. He'd asked if Chikage would see him home, but Chi had felt it made more sense for Kanda to accompany him since they lived closer to one another.

"We didn't even get to have drinks together, my Lord."

Tachibana smiled weakly and escaped to the customer window.

Chi had moped for the rest of the day and though it was causing the female customers to stick around longer and order at the least another cup of tea – many probably thinking this was their chance to mother the young man and win his heart – it was still annoying Tachibana.

While Chikage was morosely explaining the shop's Bavarois au Cassis et aux Framboises to a young woman who wouldn't stop patting his hand, Tachibana stomped into the kitchen.

"He thinks he's courting you and it's disrupting my business!"

Kanda's eyebrows flew up. With a quick look at Ono, he wiped some of the flour from his hands and announced he was taking a break. Ono just nodded at him. Tachibana continued ranting.

"It's disrupting my sleep. He called me at three a.m. on Sunday to ask if I'd match-make you two!"

Ono smiled at the dough he was rolling out, "Tell him if he brings me those new Prada seatbelt slip-ons, he can do anything he wants with me."

"Ono!"

"Yes, yes! All right. I'll talk to him."

"Good." Tachinaba paused, "talk. Got that?"

Ono sighed and turned to look at his employer, "Are you trying to get me to acknowledge him or are you warning me off?"

"I have no idea!" Tachibana snapped and headed off to drag Kanda back inside.

When Chikage came in with the last customer's dishes and the current customers' orders, Ono set aside his work and went to help Chi make room at the sink. Chikage startled when Ono went to take the last cup from him, almost dropping it. "Mr. Ono," he began earnestly, gripping both Ono's hands and the tea cup in them.

Ono cut him off silently, extricating his hands and setting the cup down on the counter. With a gentle smile, he took Chikage's hands back in his own, and started his own request. "Mr. Chikage, I've been thinking. If you're not doing anything tonight, would you like to join me for dinner? Perhaps we can go back to Michel Troisgrois' – without Kanda, this time."

Across the room, Kanda made a 'harrumph'ing noise, though Ono doubted Chikage had noticed; he was currently looking positively rapturous and happily agreeing over and over to Ono's offer.

"Wonderful," Ono squeezed Chikage's hands and sent him back out to the front of the shop, desserts in hand.

Tachibana watched Chi serve the now-very confused young woman who had been consoling him earlier and sighed. He supposed he trusted Ono at this point to not simply use Chikage and throw him away. He supposed. He quickly clasped his hands together in front of him so he wouldn't bury his face in them in the middle of shop. Visions of lover's quarrels and Ono leaving yet another shop in disgrace flitted through his head.

"My Lord!" Chikage was in front of him, beaming even through his sunglasses. "My Lord, it's worked. I'm going on a real date with Mr. Ono tonight." Chi beamed even harder and Tachibana had to relent. He was so damn happy.

"Congratulations, Chikage."

"Thank you, my Lord." Chi paused, "My Lord, do you suppose sex with a man is much different than with a woman?"

Tachibana watched the eyes of customer behind Chikage grow wide and gave up on the whole not burying his face in his hands thing.

"My Lord?"

In a voice muffled by his hands, Tachibana promised him they'd talk about it later.

Tags: antique bakery, nemurihime, rare fandom challenge, recipient: hanbob
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