Yata was frowning when he got the door to Saruhiko’s dorm open. He had Saruhiko practically slung over his shoulder and back, and there was an audible hiss of pain between Saruhiko’s teeth as Yata carefully maneuvered him through the door.
Honestly, Yata’s heart couldn’t quite decide between worried and furious. “I was fine.”
Proof that Yata loves Saruhiko: he’s making pudding without any fruit or vegetables for the third time in a row, while muttering about immature picky eaters.
“Oh?” Saruhiko asks, with his most annoying, sideways smile and glittering eyes. “I’m the immature one?”
Yata just glares at him. “You can’t go shopping right now because you did in your leg,” he reminds Saruhiko, pointing with the stirring spoon.
“Because you were reckless. And that’s the only reason I’m cooking for you.” Yata huffs.
Lying. He’d cook for Saruhiko anyway, does cook for him. He just adds fruits and vegetables.
Scepter 4 was responsible for all kinds of supernatural activities and cleanup. It was perhaps forgivable that in the course of one of these cleanups, Fushimi Saruhiko packed up into the van a particular bundle of odd-looking feathers and scales that reeked of magic, noted it on his report, and thought little more about it. (more…)
Why did you leave me? Yata’s heart demanded. Weren’t you there when my friends turned against me? Weren’t you there when my family no longer needed me?
Wind whipped through his hair.
He couldn’t quite believe the feeling, flames burning on Saruhiko’s chest. He didn’t need Yata anymore and could not have made it more clear.
Yata slipped and lost his grip on the skateboard, flying into a wall. It hurt, it hurt, but that was good. He could focus on the pain in his knee, his arm, and pull himself upright.
It hurt so much less than his heart.
Quiet fills the space, and Yata bounces one foot as he turns the food in the wok. He’s alone and no one’s here.
He never knew how much noise Saruhiko used to make until there was no clack of typing keys or those quiet sounds when he clicked his tongue in displeasure or disgust, no rustling of clothing or blanket, no quiet footfalls on the threadbare carpet. The toilet doesn’t flush in the background, no clank against the bunk bed railing. The door doesn’t open or click shut. No thunk of small objects tossed.
He turns off breakfast, eats—alone.
He hadn’t meant to stay a cat long enough for this to happen. By the time Saruhiko had an opportunity to change back (after a harrowing long time trying to leave the group he’d been spying on inconspicuously; he hadn’t planned on being found and adopted), he’d almost forgotten how to human.
He was still curled up, catlike, when he heard a loud, very familiar voice, “What did you do to him?!”
He tried to say Misaki. What came out was a meow.
Misaki swore and settled in beside him, soothing hand on his back. “C’mon, let’s get you up.”
He didn’t know how to get up, his paws not working right, and Misaki wanted him on only two. He buried his face in Misaki’s neck and scratched the arm supporting him.
“Stop that,” Misaki said sharply, but he reached up and scratched just so, much gentler, on Saruhiko’s neck.
Saruhiko found himself melting with a loud exhale. Misaki knew just how to do it.
“Good,” Misaki said. He helped Saruhiko sit upright. “Now say my name.”
It took a minute, a few tries, but finally he got out a low, human rasp. “Misaki.”
Fushimi Saruhiko wasn’t exactly hiding his heart, so much as he’d shelved it a long time ago as not particularly useful to him. There was always far too much pain involved with feeling things for as long as he could remember.
Then Misaki came, poking and prodding and asking a million stupid questions with that glowing look on his face as he pronounced Saruhiko amazing.
It was stupid how it made his heart beat, how every time Misaki came around, Saruhiko felt so much, he was practically vibrating with it.
Without stealth or skill, Misaki stole his heart.
Saruhiko still had access to his money but found himself easily drawn into Misaki’s way of life and all the moneysaving tricks his mother had taught him. Sharing shower water was certainly no hardship. Turning off lights when they didn’t need them was only annoying when Misaki started nagging. Leaving the heat off at night sounded good in theory, since they both had a pile of blankets.
It was not good in practice.
Saruhiko didn’t realize he was cold until after he was shivering. He hunched his shoulders and gritted his teeth and plotted in the back of his mind how to tell Misaki they were never doing this again in a way that would actually forestall Misaki’s numerous good reasons why he knew better than Saruhiko how to save money. (He did, in fact.)
All that fled Saruhiko’s mind when a sleepy, tousled Misaki pulled himself onto the top bunk and burrowed into Saruhiko’s covers like that made any kind of sense. His arms wrapped around Saruhiko, his warm breath suddenly heating the back of Saruhiko’s neck, and suddenly Saruhiko couldn’t even feel the cold—just every single place their bodies touched.
He swallowed and permanently retired his objections.
“Why did I ever fall in love with you?” Misaki demanded in sheer exasperation, right in the middle of their third angry, almost shouting match in a week.
Saruhiko paused, frozen before he could trip out his next retort to the predicted insult. Misaki was usually exactly that, predictable, and should be pointing out right about now that Saruhiko had no actual high ground when it came to putting things away where the other thought they belonged.
Instead, he’d gone and said that.
“Really,” Saruhiko finally said with a small huff under his breath and a smile he couldn’t help.