Building Bridges

 

Sick and Tired

 

There was a headache pounding at the inside of Fushimi's skull.

It had been building since around lunchtime, but he'd mostly ignored it through his afternoon classes. Before coming to work, he'd taken two painkillers with some water, but it actually felt like it was getting worse now, as he struggled through the lab exercises he'd been asked to design.

It's fine. It was Friday, so he could sleep in tomorrow. He didn't have class over the weekend, and there was only that bothersome security team meeting - but that was on Sunday, so it wouldn't be an issue. The small amount of class work he'd been assigned that week had already been done, so there wasn't anything pressing to take care of.

Still, he had another hour of work to do before he could leave. Fushimi clicked his tongue - the simple movement felt sluggish, somehow. In front of him, the numbers he'd laid out seemed to blur and mix together; even when he pushed his glasses up to rub his index finger and thumb over his eyes, they didn't seem to clear.

His head hurt...

"Are you feeling all right?" When he looked up, Munakata was eyeing him with mild concern. "You're looking a bit unwell, Fushimi-kun."

"I'm fine." The response came out sharper than he'd intended; Fushimi frowned, turning his gaze back to the paper in front of him.

He just needed to focus. It shouldn't be that difficult, anyway, and once he was done with this, he could head to the cafeteria and have dinner while goading Yata into angry tirades. That had been the routine for his evenings this past week, although he didn't do office work on Tuesdays and Thursdays. But Yata worked every night, so he was easy to find, and even easier to provoke. It was so easy that Fushimi thought it almost shouldn't have been that interesting - but somehow, it always was.

Misaki's reactions are the best...

Unfortunately, Yata's co-worker was always there, with his knowing eyes and warm smiles, which was the only downside. Totsuka made Fushimi uncomfortable, although he couldn't say exactly why. It didn't help that he'd taken to addressing him so personally.

I'll just ignore it. Fushimi tried to shift his attention back to the work at hand, but it was surprisingly difficult. The room was stifling somehow; it was like the heat had drained him, and his head was still throbbing away. Even the prospect of Yata's angry face and burning gaze didn't seem to be worth expending energy on.

"Fushimi-kun." Munakata's cool, smooth voice cut through his thoughts cleanly, somehow acting as a grounding force. "Why don't you leave early today?"

He raised his eyes, meeting his boss's calm, even gaze. It was impossible to read that expression, but it was obvious he was being analyzed. "There's no reason to," he responded, not even bothering to keep the edge of irritation out of his voice. "I told you I'm fine."

"Still, it's not good to linger on a Friday." Munakata leaned back in his chair, threading his fingers together in front of him. "As a matter of fact, I have plans myself, so the office will be closed early, regardless." He smiled, confident and unassuming. "Please indulge my selfishness, and take the rest of the evening off."

Fushimi frowned. It felt like he was being manipulated, but there wasn't much for him to argue with in there. "Why do I feel like indulging your selfishness is going to become a theme?" he muttered instead, and pushed himself up. It took more effort than it should've to get himself to his feet, and the sudden rush of dizziness was unexpected. He steadied himself on the desk for a brief second, and then deliberately straightened. "I'm going, then."

"Take care."

The words had an obvious emphasis on them. Fushimi clicked his tongue, without bothering to respond. He should mind his own business.

It was cooler outside, which only made the contrast between his heated skin and the crisp air around him much more stark and apparent. Fushimi pulled out his cell phone, trying to tune out the dull, insistent ache in his head. His vision had cleared a little, though, so he unlocked the screen and brought up his last text messages as he walked.

Misaki: ur so annoying srsly y the fuck do u keep buggin me? 1

You: You're the one who keeps answering. I can't help but think you enjoy it, Misaki.

Misaki: stfu asshole i dont like it im just not losing to ur sorrry ass 2

You: So it's a game to you, then? That only proves my point further.

Misaki: wtf u make no sense shut up alrdy 3

The last one had come in while he'd been working, so he hadn't managed to answer yet. Fushimi shut his eyes briefly and managed a faint smile, picturing that angry, flushed face with its fierce glare and perpetual scowl. Yata asked him at least twice a day why he kept sending messages, and yet he always took the bait. If you stopped replying, I probably wouldn't send so many.

He would never say that, though. If Yata stopped responding, his days would become long and boring again.

It was lucky for him that the cafeteria had updated their supposedly private staff contact page to include his roommate's cell phone number. He doubted that Yata remembered it existed; he'd probably been told about it when he started, but hadn't cared enough to even bother to look at it.

Well, I'm not going to tell him if he can't figure it out for himself.

Somehow, though, even the effort required to type back a response seemed beyond him. Fushimi's whole body was feeling hot and weak, and it was difficult to focus. Just the idea of food made his stomach feel like it was curling in on itself, too.

So, the cafeteria was out.

Fushimi sighed, locking his phone's screen and sliding it back into his pocket. It was fine - he'd go back to his room. He needed some peace and quiet, that was all. It was all the annoying people around him who were aggravating his headache and sapping his strength. Once he was back in his own private space, the heat and the pain and the weakness would go away on its own.

I just need to be alone. Always, always better to be alone.

The walk back to the dorms felt like it took about five times longer than usual. By the time he reached the front entrance, he was breathing erratically, his knees felt shaky, and there was a gross sheen of sweat building up on his skin. Annoying. Annoying. So annoying.

At least there was no one waiting for the elevator, although he passed a few of the other residents leaving. The doors opened immediately. Fushimi indulged the urge to lean against the wall inside of it as it moved upwards, gaining a small amount of relief from the feel of cool metal against his heated shoulder.

It was only for a few seconds, anyway.

When he opened his eyes at the ding of the elevator reaching his floor, his vision wavered again alarmingly and it was difficult to straighten up. He forced himself to keep moving down the hallway, reaching into his pocket with unusually clumsy fingers to fumble for his key. With his head pounding away and the lock swimming in front of his eyes, it took several agonizingly long minutes to finally wrench the door to his room open.

Once it was done and he was standing inside with the lights off and the door closed, everything seemed to grow still.

Fushimi had been entertaining the notion of opening his laptop to surf the internet - or play a game, or possibly even start a new project, since the data collection device was nearly done - but that suddenly felt like far too much effort. He shrugged off his jacket and let it fall without caring, eyeing the ladder that led up to his bunk with weary distaste.

His head hurt, and he was hot and tired and drained, and he just wanted to sleep.

Yata's bed wasn't made, but it didn't matter. It was close, and it was convenient. Fushimi's last semi-rational thought before he slumped down into it, clumsily sliding his glasses off and rolling over into a miserable curl, was that he probably couldn't catch terminal stupidity from a used pillowcase anyway.


The cafeteria was shutting down for the night, and Fushimi hadn't shown up.

It was kind of weird, considering how the rest of the week had gone. Yata frowned down at his phone, unsettled. He'd been checking it all the way through his shift, and still the last message on it was the same.

Shithead Saru: So it's a game to you, then? That only proves my point further.

It was from almost five hours ago, and he'd responded right away, so what was the deal?

Not that I want to talk to that bastard. But still, it was weird.

"Saru-kun isn't responding?" Totsuka asked, joining him just outside his till.

Yata hastily shoved his phone away into his pocket. "Like I care what he's doing."

"Hmm... it is kind of worrying, though, isn't it?" His friend raised a hand to his face, looking thoughtful. "He showed up here every day this week, and now he's not even sending messages... I wonder if something happened."

Something about that notion settled down into a small, uncomfortable knot at the pit of Yata's stomach. He turned to snatch up his skateboard from where he'd leaned it against the wall of the building, in an attempt to push that feeling down. "The fuck does it matter what happened to that asshole?"

"Well, if something did happen, I'm sure it's nothing serious," Totsuka continued, without answering him. "I mean, it's not very likely that he'd be mugged or beaten up on campus... and getting into an accident is pretty rare..." He shrugged, meeting Yata's frown with a bright smile. "I'm sure everything's fine!"

"Y-Yeah..." That stuff... wasn't likely. Right?

Whatever - it's not like I care!

Still...

Fuck. "I'll meet you at Homra, okay?" He threw down his skateboard onto the sidewalk.

Totsuka looked mildly startled. "Aren't you coming now?"

"I need to stop by my room." It was hard to meet his friend's eyes; Yata scowled down at his feet as he stepped one up onto his board. "I'm not gonna be long."

"Okay, sure." Totsuka accepted that easily, and even without looking it was possible to feel that warm gaze. "See you soon."

"Right, see you." He hastily kicked off before it got more embarrassing.

I'll just quickly check and then leave. If Fushimi was there, then whatever, problem solved - not that it was a problem or anything. He was just being a responsible roommate, that's all. It was normal to look into this kind of thing, even if you didn't like the person much. Just... something anyone would do, really. He wasn't worried.

And if Fushimi wasn't there...

Then he's probably out with friends. Except that Yata hadn't seen him with anyone else since Monday, and even that had seemed kind of strained. Or, I dunno, working in the computer labs. Except that Fushimi always seemed to do his classwork at the dorm on his laptop. Maybe he's just working late. Except that he worked as a TA, and the buildings with offices were all locked down at nine. Maybe he just went somewhere else, who knows. Except...

Shut up! Yata clenched his teeth, propelling himself faster down the sidewalk to ease his own frustration. He'll be at the stupid room, as annoying as ever, and if he's not, then it's not my fucking problem, so - so whatever!

By the time he arrived at the dorm, he was too agitated to stand still, so he ended up pacing while waiting for the elevator to come down, obviously making the dorm supervisor nervous, if the glances she darted in his direction were any indication. Even the short trip inside the elevator had him shifting his skateboard from one hand to the other with a nervous tension he didn't entirely want to admit to feeling.

Seriously, if you're not dead or something, I'm kicking your ass!

When he finally opened the door to his room and found the lights out and Fushimi curled up on his bed, he wasn't really sure what to do with the rush of mixed relief and irritation.

"Oi, what the hell, Saru?" He flipped the light on, leaning his skateboard against the wall before stalking across the room. "Don't just sleep in my bed!"

Fushimi shifted minutely on the bed as if to curl in on himself more, and made a low, pathetic sound.

He's that tired? It kind of made sense. Over the five days they'd been rooming together, Yata had noticed that Fushimi's sleeping habits were at least as awful as his eating habits (which were pretty damn bad). He was still at his desk every night by the time Yata fell asleep, and based on the shifting above him in the morning - and late at night if he happened to wake up - he was a restless sleeper, too. It was no wonder he got so tired by the end of the week that he completely passed out.

He didn't have to do it on my bed, though! Feeling affronted, Yata bent over his sleeping roommate, reaching out without thinking to tug at his shoulder. "Come on, you asshole, just go up to your own - "

The heat against his fingers was enough to bring that thought to a halt.

Wait, wait, wait... is he...? Yata gave another tug, less aggressive this time, and managed to shift Fushimi onto his back. His roommate's face was alarmingly red, and his breathing sounded harsh. When he slid a palm against that flushed forehead, it was hot to the touch.

"Shit..." Yata pulled back his hand, staring down at Fushimi's face with a kind of stunned dismay. He was definitely sick, and it looked pretty bad.

Now what?

Fushimi shifted again, his eyes sliding about halfway open to gaze up at Yata with hazy confusion. "... Misaki...?" he mumbled, almost too quietly to catch, and then squinted, fumbling with one hand in an instinctive search for his glasses.

Somehow, that weak, baffled-sounding whisper tugged at him. "Yeah, it's me, jerk." The words came out too soft to be effective, but it didn't matter much right then. "And you're sick, so just stay right there, okay?"

He started to lean back away from the bed, but Fushimi's hand caught his wrist before he could. When he glanced down, startled, that fever-bright gaze was on him, muddled and desperate behind his clumsily placed glasses.

"Wh-What?" Yata felt his skin prickle, an unsettled feeling stirring in his stomach. It wasn't like he couldn't have pulled free - he was pretty sure he was stronger even without Fushimi being sick - but something about the way those thin, hot fingers clung to him made him feel strange and unsure. "I-I'm not going anywhere, dumbass," he managed, trying to fall back into his comfort zone somehow. "I just - you need covers on you, and something cold for your head, and probably some water and medicine or something..." He let that trail off, then cleared his throat, embarrassed. "Anyway, I'll be here, so just let me take care of all that stuff!"

Fushimi's gaze flickered from Yata's face to his own clenched hand with a kind of sleep-addled bafflement, as if he didn't understand his own actions. "'Take care'..." he mumbled, like he was trying the words out for the first time. His eyes were lidded when they looked up again, but they seemed to be packed full of feelings that Yata didn't understand. He could feel his own face growing hot under that stare, and fought the urge to squirm and look away.

What the hell is this, anyway?

Yata swallowed hard, and tried again. "R-Right. I'll take care of you, okay?" He reached over with his free hand and awkwardly patted Fushimi's fingers. "I'll be here, so you don't need to hold onto me like that. All right?"

He didn't know if the reassurance was enough or if Fushimi was just too exhausted to continue, but either way his roommate seemed to sink back down against the pillow, eyes fluttering shut and grip going slack.

Yata shut his own eyes and let out a long breath - then opened them again, determined. All right... He peeled off the fingers on his wrist carefully, and set Fushimi's arm down on the bed, reaching down to pull the covers up and over him. I can do this! I've got two siblings, right? At least by now, I can manage to take care of one sick person by myself. He marched over to his side of the room, purposefully. Just watch me!

There was a first aid kit that had been a going away present from his mother and step-father in his top drawer, so he snatched that up first and left it beside the bed. There wasn't any ice, but he could get a bowl of cold water and soak some clean washcloths instead. And it'd be a good idea to grab a glass of water for drinking too, while he was at it.

With that plan in mind, he hurried out of the room, stopping only long enough to shut the light off again.

Fushimi didn't even seem to have stirred when he came back, which was probably for the best. Yata dampened one of the washcloths, folded it like his mother had done once for his siblings, and laid it across his roommate's forehead. Fushimi flinched, and his eyelids flickered behind the glasses, but he didn't wake up.

Good. Yata nodded to himself, sitting back on his heels for a moment. He had some fever-reduction medicine in the first aid kit, but he'd have to wake Fushimi up to get him to take it. He wasn't really sure about the best timing to do that.

I wonder when he last ate... Probably a long time ago. The only meal Yata knew for sure that Fushimi ate every day was dinner, and that was because he came to the cafeteria to pester him during his shift. For all he knew, the idiot skipped breakfast and lunch. It seemed like the kind of thing he'd do.

That was kind of worrying, but it couldn't be helped. All right! I'll make rice porridge, and he can take the medicine with that. It'd help, right? Yata studied his roommate's face a bit anxiously while he thought about it. The flush was stark against Fushimi's pale skin, even in the dim light provided by his cell phone. Lying in bed with his eyes closed, face slack and the rhythm of his breathing erratic, he seemed oddly vulnerable.

The warmth that built up fast in Yata's chest at that thought had him clenching his hands into fists in sudden, fierce embarrassment. "I-It's almost like you need some kind of caretaker or something," he muttered, hastily pushing himself to his feet as he tried to recover himself. "Stupid asshole. At least learn to eat properly."

His phone buzzed as he was leaving the room again; when he checked, there was a message from Totsuka.

Totsuka Tatara: everything all right?

Fuck. He'd forgotten about going out to Homra tonight. Yata grimaced, hastily typing back as he made his way to the kitchen again.

You: ya fien but i wont maek it tonite soryr 4

He was pulling out some of the ingredients Totsuka had bought for him when the response came.

Totsuka Tatara: did something happen?

Yata scowled at his phone for a moment. He didn't really like the idea of admitting that he was taking care of the guy he'd been complaining about all week, but it wasn't like he was going to lie to Totsuka. After a brief moment of hesitation, he typed back.

You: stupid saru is sick im stayin so he dosnt die or somthn 5

He busied himself with digging through the pots in the cupboards until his phone buzzed again.

Totsuka Tatara: ok, let me know if you need anything. and take good care of saru-kun

Somehow, that last bit got heat rising on his cheeks again. "I'd do that with you telling me," he grumbled, and turned back to his task.

This time, when he came back into the room with the bowl of food, Fushimi stirred and opened his eyes, blinking at Yata blurrily as he approached the bed. "... what're you doing...?" he mumbled, weakly.

"Heh, perfect timing." Yata grinned back at him, satisfied with how nicely that had worked out. "I made rice porridge, so eat what you can. Oh, and there's water and medicine for you, so take those, too." He set the bowl down carefully beside the bed. "You probably need help sitting up, right? I'll grab your pillow from the top bunk."

Fushimi stared at him as he started for the ladder. His brow had furrowed with a kind of wary confusion. "... why?"

"Eh?" Yata stilled with one foot up, blinking at his roommate. "What do you mean 'why'? You want to get better, right? Eat and take your medicine, dumbass." He hefted himself up and reached for the pillow, just managing to snag it without having to go the rest of the way.

When he came back down, Fushimi was watching him with hooded eyes. "Why... are you doing this?"

"Hah? Why shouldn't I?" Honestly, it was kind of embarrassing; Yata scratched awkwardly at his cheek, and turned his gaze somewhere off to the side. "Today, it was kind of like... I guess... I might've been - you know - a little worried about you. Or something."

Silence answered him; when he risked a glance back, somehow it became hard to breathe. There was a sort of starved look in Fushimi's eyes - hazy and only partly self-aware, but probably more honest than he'd ever been fully conscious.

Yata swallowed, and tried to ignore the way his heart thundered against his chest. He didn't really get what that look meant, but something inside him squirmed a little with pleasure at being the focus of it. "A-Anyway, you need to eat, so sit up!"

It was obviously a struggle for Fushimi to push himself up, so Yata wedged the pillow in behind him quickly, the way his mother had done for him, back in the day. He could feel the heat radiating from his roommate's body; once they were done and he was propped up in a semi-reclined pose, his face was still flushed and his eyes were clouded.

I'll take care of you, got that? The thought surprised him a little with its fierceness; he had to force back the confusing blend of emotion rising at the back of his throat in order to focus on what he was supposed to be doing. "Right. So. Medicine first."

Fushimi was alert enough to swallow back the pills and down the entire glass of water without help; he took the offered bowl afterwards with hands that only shook a little, and raised the spoon to his mouth. The first bite had him blinking with some surprise. "... pineapple?"

"It's how my mom always made it," Yata responded, a bit defensively. "Anyway, you don't eat vegetables, so there wasn't much else I could put in there. Pineapple's good for you, so eat it."

Fushimi's gaze slid from him to the bowl, almost warily; he seemed to consider his options. "Tastes weird..."

Yata scowled at him. "I didn't ask for your opinion!" He let out his breath in a quick huff, crossing his arms. "Anyway, I went out of my way to make it for you, so don't waste it."

The edges of Fushimi's mouth inched up in a small smile; he shut his eyes for a moment, as if content, and then lifted the spoon again.

They didn't talk at all as he struggled to finish off the porridge. Yata sat at the side of the bed and made some show of fussing with his phone while darting glances in that direction until Fushimi finally lowered the bowl, leaving the spoon resting against the last dregs of rice inside. He didn't say anything when Yata took it from him, and made no protest when he was told to lean forward and the pillow was pulled out so that he could lie down flat again.

"Just sleep it off now, okay?" Yata moved to dampen another washcloth. "I'll be here if you need anything, so don't worry."

"... not worried." Fushimi reached up to slide his glasses off, setting them off to the side of the bed that pressed against the wall, and shut his eyes, letting out a small, weary-sounding sigh. "Idiot..."

Yata frowned at him, a bit disgruntled. "Who's the one who got himself sick, huh?"

There was no answer; Fushimi's breathing had deepened again.

What, already? Yata sighed, letting go of the remains of his irritation and managing a small, rueful smile. If you could fall asleep like this when you're healthy, you probably wouldn't get sick in the first place.

He folded the cloth in his hands and laid it against Fushimi's forehead again, earning himself another little twitch. The temperature of his skin seemed to have gone down a little - or maybe that was just wishful thinking. Yata stared at his face for a moment, unsure if the feelings that caused his stomach to flutter and his chest to tighten were good or not.

Hell, he wasn't even sure what he was feeling. It was... weird. Fushimi was still the same asshole as before, but...

He's also that cool guy from the party I wanted to know. The thought snuck into his head without warning, and Yata jerked his gaze away from his roommate's face, feeling flustered. Whatever - anyway! I'm sure as hell not sitting here staring at him all night!

With that decided, he pushed himself up and went to find his portable game console.


It was light in the room when Fushimi woke up - there was enough sun filtering in through the window that it had to be at least mid-morning. He was groggy and weak, his throat was dry, and he felt sticky and gross from sweating.

But his head didn't hurt as much, and the burning feeling from before had faded out to a mildly uncomfortable warmth.

Even with his limited vision, he could make out the unfamiliar shape of the top bunk looming above him. I'm in Misaki's bed. Fushimi groped for his glasses, trying to piece together the previous night as he found them and slid the frame over his nose. He'd come back to the dorm after Munakata had essentially kicked him out of the office, and then passed out on Yata's bed rather than trying to get up to his own. Then Yata had come back, and -

And.

Beside him, someone was breathing evenly. Fushimi turned his head on the pillow and took in Yata's peacefully sleeping face from less than a foot away. The unexpected discovery had his skin prickling up, heart rate increasing noticeably. Yata fit awkwardly into the small amount of space left between Fushimi and the edge, lying on his side with the pillow from the top bunk under his head. Barely half of the pillow fit on the bed, the rest hanging precariously off the side just behind him.

Why would he stay here?

The question had only just entered his mind when the answer became clear. There was something warm clutched in his hand - warm and alive; he could just barely feel the thrum of a pulse at the base of Yata's wrist where his thumb was pressed over it. And he thought he remembered something... Sitting up for a drink of water late into the night, having the cup taken from him and Yata's warmth start to withdraw, hearing some half-muttered plan of going up to sleep in Fushimi's bed.

Don't go. He'd reached out without even thinking - the second time that night, even. Despite a lifetime of irrefutable proof that reaching for things was foolish, his body had once again reacted without his conscious mind's consent.

And, somehow, against all odds, it had worked - Yata had stayed. He'd been flustered and stuttering and maybe a little outraged, but he hadn't pulled away in the end. He was still there.

Something stirred at the pit of Fushimi's stomach, small and uncertain but with a potency that took his breath away. "I'll take care of you, okay?" the memory of Yata's voice declared, clear as ever at the back of his head.

Take care...

It had always seemed like a strange, unfathomable concept to him - this idea of 'taking care' of another person - but Yata had done it. He'd given up his bed, brought water and food - food he'd made himself, entirely for Fushimi's sake - and stayed there all night. For a person he claimed to hate.

Really, it didn't make any sense at all, but somehow the idea of it settled within him, comfortable and soothing, and he didn't want to reject it. Fushimi allowed himself to relax again, studying Yata's face and feeling the warm weight of Yata's wrist under his fingers. There was something undeniably pleasant about being allowed to look, and be close, and feel.

He didn't know what that made Yata to him, now. The idea of trying to classify it felt bothersome.

It doesn't matter, anyway. If he could just stay like this for a little while longer, it didn't matter at all.

Fushimi was just on the verge of dozing off again when Yata stirred, nose wrinkling a bit as he shifted into wakefulness, and then his eyes slid open slowly. For a moment, he stared hazily at Fushimi as if not sure where he was or what was happening, and then they abruptly went wide. He gave a full-body jerk and promptly fell backwards off the bed.

The sudden, sharp tug against the grip Fushimi had on his wrist pulled his arm sideways and had his hand slipping down along the palm of Yata's hand instead.

"Ow, fuck!" Yata abruptly sat up, rolling the shoulder he'd probably just strained with a surly expression. "What the hell?"

"Good morning to you too," Fushimi drawled, and raised his eyebrows when he got a glare in return. "What? I didn't push you off the bed, so don't look at me like it's my fault."

"Yeah, yeah," Yata grumbled, brushing himself off in an obvious attempt to reclaim some of his dignity. "Obviously you're feeling better, since you're back to being annoying as hell." He paused then, seeming to notice their joined hands for the first time, and blinked several times in rapid succession, a slow blush creeping onto his cheeks.

The sight somehow sent a little wave of hot embarrassment to Fushimi's face as well; he clicked his tongue, hoping the flush wasn't noticeable under the remains of his fever, and withdrew his hand. It immediately felt cold, and he curled his fingers into a ball to cover it.

Stupid...

Yata cleared his throat awkwardly. "Right, so." There was still some red on his face, but he pushed himself to his feet as if determined to push past it. "You're probably still kind of sick, right? I'll go get some water, then make something for breakfast, so stay there and rest up." He started for the door.

"Misaki." The name escaped him before he fully thought it through; Fushimi frowned to himself even as he watched Yata pause with his hand on the doorknob, turning back with a questioning look. He clicked his tongue again. "... Never mind."

"You're still calling me that..." Yata sighed and shut his eyes, scratching his head, and then turned away abruptly. "I-I'm gonna use your first name, too," he muttered, glancing back over his shoulder with a scowl that was more embarrassed than annoyed, "so - so be prepared!"

He was already yanking the door open and bolting out into the hallway before Fushimi could think of a possible response.

For a moment after the door slammed shut, all he could do was blink at it, unsure what to think. Then he let out a soft 'heh' and relaxed his head against the pillow, feeling the beginning of a smile tug at the corners of his mouth. So you're saying it's okay to call you that? Somehow, the idea was even better than using it to piss him off. "Misaki," he murmured, testing it out again. The name only I'm allowed to use.

It was a heady feeling, having an entire aspect of another person all to himself.

The door opened again less than two minutes later, and Misaki returned to the bed with a glass of water in his hand. He frowned skeptically at Fushimi. "Do you still need a pillow or can you sit up on your own?"

"It's fine." Most of the weakness from the previous night had gone; what was left was probably the last dregs of whatever virus he'd had being systematically killed off by his body's natural defenses. Fushimi pushed himself upright, shifting to lean against the headboard, and took the offered glass. "... thank you."

The words tasted awkward, somehow.

"Heh. That sounds weird coming from you." Misaki sank down to a seat on the side of the bed, leaning back on his hands and turning his head towards Fushimi. "But, yeah, you're welcome." He smiled, eyes softening almost imperceptibly.

There was something inexplicably warm in that smile. Fushimi watched it through his lashes as he raised the glass to his mouth, once again feeling the stirring of something small and undefinable within him - a tiny light, flickering and unsure, but so vibrant it took his breath away.

Maybe Misaki's angry face wasn't his best expression, after all.


Yata texting translations for those who can't read through the typos:

1 You're so annoying, seriously; why the fuck do you keep bugging me?
2 Shut the fuck up, asshole. I don't like it - I'm just not losing to your sorry ass
3 What the fuck? You make no sense - shut up already
4 Yeah, fine, but I won't make it tonight, sorry
5 Stupid Saru is sick. I'm staying so he doesn't die or something

 

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