More Like Two Days

 

Chapter One

 

Waking in Misaki’s apartment was starting to become normal. Fushimi recognized the different play of light behind his eyelids before even opening them, and when he did manage to do so, the sight of Misaki’s back on the futon next to his was familiar and comfortable.

It had been a little over a month since they’d started dating. In many ways it was still strange, but in this sense, things were good.

Better than good, if he was willing to stretch it.

I finished late last night, huh? There had been an emergency in a case he’d been partnered with Hidaka on, and the two of them had worked frantically – well, frantically on Hidaka’s part – until well past closing time for the café in order to follow up on a lead. A lead that had led to precisely nowhere in the end, and Fushimi was still thoroughly annoyed with himself for not seeing the easier solution earlier.

The look of almost comic relief on Hidaka’s face once they’d hit their target was a little bit gratifying, despite everything.

When he’d texted Misaki, he hadn’t really expected a reply. Misaki worked the second shift this morning, so it would have made more sense for him to have gone home by himself. It was nearing eleven, so if Misaki was smart, he’d have been sleeping already. Fushimi had resigned himself to sleeping alone in his own bed – something that hadn’t happened since they’d started dating – and so the reply, ‘waiting at homra’, had caught him off-guard.

The rush of warm relief was puzzling in a logical sense – they were probably going to sleep through most of the hours they’d have together anyway, so what did it matter? – but he’d gotten used to that. Emotions, it turned out, didn’t make a lot of sense.

Not that it matters. Falling asleep to the blurry sight of Misaki’s warm, sleepy smile made the illogical, flighty nature of these feelings worthwhile.

As he shifted into full wakefulness, Fushimi became aware of a more troublesome issue and bit back a sharp sigh. There was a tight, anxious tension and ache between his legs – the unmistakable and inconvenient feel of a morning erection.

Because we didn’t do anything about this yesterday, probably. There hadn’t exactly been time. They’d woken to the alarm, cleaned up and dressed, shared a quick breakfast and a few hasty kisses, and left for work. And then that disaster had happened, so there hadn’t been time or energy for more than some lazy kissing the night before, either.

He was feeling a little deprived, which was ridiculous but probably also couldn’t be helped. Less than a week ago, a deep kissing session had unexpectedly turned into grinding against each other. It had been clumsy and heated and rushed, but it had also felt good – right – in a way it hadn’t before. Timing, probably. That magical, seemingly arbitrary point in time when things stopped being overwhelming and became inevitable. Either way, the sensation of Misaki gasping against his mouth, body shivering and twitching against Fushimi’s in climax, had trigged a release that was more intense than expected. In the aftermath, they’d stared at each other, red-faced and stunned, coming down from what seemed like an impossible high, and the physical satisfaction had blended seamlessly into emotional gratification in Fushimi’s brain.

Endorphins, probably, but that didn’t change the fact that it had been amazing.

Since then, it was like a floodgate had opened. He craved that feeling. It was kind of like how he imagined being addicted to drugs felt. This wasn’t like perfunctorily releasing tension on his own or even when he’d had the remembered sight and feel of Misaki to keep him company. The truth of the matter was that since that single incident, he thought about doing it far more than he wanted to admit – and whenever he was around Misaki, the feeling intensified. It was as if his body was catching up with the years of never knowing what being a horny teenager was like. Which was inconvenient and just short of mortifying, for a number of reasons.

The one redeeming factor was that Misaki seemed to feel exactly the same. That helped enormously, in fact. After some awkward hesitance, Fushimi had quickly learned that he didn’t need to hold back when they were alone. Misaki certainly didn’t – once he’d learned that Fushimi welcomed the idea, he was enthusiastic to the point of being aggressive about it. There had been a couple of times they’d shut the door to one of their apartments only to immediately press up against it in a storm of heat and suppressed tension. They grappled on the futon at Misaki’s apartment – on the bed at Fushimi’s – moving from grinding to fumbled hand jobs on the third go at it. Once, they’d done it in the morning and then again that night and then again the following morning, without even seeming to lose momentum. It was like throwing gasoline on a fire – each occurrence seemed to make things that much more intense and addicting.

Yesterday, he’d caught himself briefly considering leaving work during lunch break to see if Misaki wanted to find someplace private for a half hour or so, and he’d had to firmly rein himself back, because that was just too much.

Enough was enough.

Still, there was nothing to hold back from now. Fushimi reached for his phone, squinting at it for a moment to confirm the time – it was still twenty minutes before Misaki’s alarm would go off, which was more than enough if they were quick about it.

If Misaki felt anything like he did, which was likely, it was going to be quick regardless.

Is it okay to wake him up for something like this? There had been a few times that Misaki had woken him with a kiss, nervously at first but with growing confidence when Fushimi had responded by kissing back sleepily. It had been nice. But then, there was a difference between waking someone with a kiss and waking someone for sex.

Of course, if Misaki felt the same, he’d probably be grateful…

I’ll kiss him awake, and see where things go. Misaki had done that to him, so it was fair game as far as Fushimi was concerned. He pushed himself up on his elbow, shrugged the covers off of his shoulders and squinted at Misaki’s back for a moment, considering.

Like him, Misaki preferred to sleep in a thin shirt and boxers, but last night he’d gone with a singlet rather than a T-shirt. On his side and with the covers down around his elbows, it left his bare arm and an expanse of neck exposed. His body moved sluggishly in the rhythm of deep sleep, expanding and contracting.

Sliding the covers the rest of the way off of him, Fushimi shifted forward onto the other futon. He could feel the warmth radiating from Misaki’s body as he drew closer; it was an intoxicating feeling.

Don’t get carried away, he admonished himself. It was the same thing he’d been telling himself on multiple occasions this past week, but it helped to keep that resolve firmly in mind. He was kissing Misaki awake, and that was it.

All the same, as he leaned in close enough to catch Misaki’s unique scent and the sight of his sleeping face from that short range, he could already feel the resolve weakening. When he pressed his lips tentatively to the soft patch of skin at the junction between Misaki’s ear and jaw, he felt the familiar almost-painful twinge from the hard lump between his legs, and his breath caught.

There wasn’t even a stir from his sleeping boyfriend.

Just a little more, then…

It was an awkward angle to try and capture Misaki’s lips from, so Fushimi indulged himself by continuing from his current spot, feathering light kisses to the corner of Misaki’s jaw. As he hit the line of neckline, Misaki made a little sound and shifted very slightly, but slept on. When Fushimi lifted up a bit to study his face, skin prickling, his eyelids were twitching.

Not enough, huh?

Maybe he needed to be more forward. Misaki was a deep sleeper; soft kisses might not be enough. It was kind of appealing in both a physical and mental sense, figuring out the right steps to take. Fushimi allowed himself a tiny smile, lowering again to kiss the lean side of neck. He pressed more firmly this time, parting his lips and darting his tongue out just briefly.

The faint hint of salt and bitterness in the taste seemed to flood his senses; at the same time, the sensation of skin beneath his tongue lit a fire in his belly. It was smooth but strong, and he wanted more – much more; everything. Every sensation that originated with Misaki seemed to engulf him, and he could barely breathe. A sweet suffocation.

Fushimi was vaguely aware that he’d braced a hand on Misaki’s bare shoulder when he felt the stirring beneath it. Misaki made another unconscious little sound, and the rushing in Fushimi’s ears seemed to overpower everything.

He parted briefly from his place on Misaki’s neck and shifted lower, allowing himself the luxury of running his tongue up along the line of taut skin, pausing near the top to plant his lips and suck. The shiver it generated in his own body in response was dangerously pleasant; his cock stirred and his hips shifted in the beginnings of an instinctive motion forward.

Don’t get… Don’t…

It was impossible. A few days ago, Fushimi had thought that, considering the current state of things between them, it would probably be a good idea to look into the specifics of what lay ahead. The last thing he wanted was to be caught unprepared if and when they decided to step things up.

He kind of regretted it now.

Originally, the results had been a bit daunting – leaning towards unappealing – but as he’d considered it, he’d found himself shifting to curiosity and then to a kind of hesitant desire. After spending one or two of their “sessions” with those thoughts on his mind, he was now having trouble keeping it to the back of his thoughts.

If he was being honest, he wanted to try it. Going “all the way” with Misaki.

How would it feel? What kind of reactions would Misaki show? Those were the thoughts fueling him, clouding his thoughts as he shifted his hips again, the tantalizing warmth of Misaki’s body just inches from his aching erection.

It was almost too much…

“Mmm.” The low hum emerging from Misaki’s mouth caused his throat to vibrate; he shifted consciously beneath Fushimi’s hand and mouth, sucking in a long breath and jarring Fushimi from his lust-fueled haze.

It was like a bucket of cold water. Fushimi pulled back, staring with foggy disbelief at the red mark forming on Misaki’s neck. A mark he had left. Without consciously meaning to.

I decided not to get carried away, didn’t I? But then this…

It was a little unsettling how powerful those urges could be. The loss of control almost frightened him.

There wasn’t really time to stew in it, though, because Misaki abruptly shifted, rolling lazily onto his back and then surging up to his other side as Fushimi made room for him, his arm snaking around Fushimi’s waist and his eyes narrow and heated.

“Saruhiko,” he growled, low and throaty, almost against Fushimi’s mouth as he leaned in for a sloppy but insistent kiss.

Well, I’ll worry about it later…

There wasn’t going to be any kind of finesse to this, Fushimi realized quickly, but he was too wound up to care much. He wound his arms around Misaki’s neck as they ground together, trading little moans and whimpers into the open-mouthed kiss as the slick pressure of tongues and lips increased the heat between them exponentially.

Misaki... Misaki… yes…

Their cocks rubbed together in frantic, unfocussed rhythm, the pressure in Fushimi’s lower belly increasing almost painfully. Misaki’s hold tightened around his waist as he thrust forward with aggressive need, moaning with unsuppressed abandon into Fushimi’s mouth.

This was the side of Misaki that drove him wild: all that uncontained passion. Fushimi groaned in response, long and low, thrusting back mindlessly. He couldn’t get enough.

Release came swift and hard, orgasm wracking through him in waves. A small, choked noise escaped him without warning as his body shook with pleasure and relief, helpless against the rush of sensation. A few more swift, hard motions later and Misaki was following, breaking apart from Fushimi’s lips to let out a moan as he shuddered violently.

Always so good… Fushimi’s dick gave a final tug at the feeling, body already cooling in the aftermath.

They lay there for another short moment, foreheads touching and heavy breaths mingling in the air between them as they came down. Misaki’s face was flushed, but the sleepy film had cleared from his eyes; they went lidded in a second, lips spreading into a wicked little smirk when he met Fushimi’s gaze.

“Damn, Saruhiko,” he murmured, tone fervent. “That was… wow.” He gave the tiniest shake of his head, forehead shifting just a bit, and let out a rush of breath. “Fucking awesome!”

The reaction soothed what remained of Fushimi’s anxiety. He smiled back, his own lids lowering. “I woke you up early, though.”

Misaki let out a small huff of a laugh, arm tightening briefly around his waist. “Yeah, you can wake me early like that any time.” He shut his eyes for a moment, smile widening with blissed-out contentment. “No complaints here.”

There was no way to see the mark from earlier at this angle, but it was probably starting to take on a hint of purple now. Fushimi felt a little surge of unwanted guilt and resisted the urge to click his tongue, momentarily jarred from his good mood.

I wonder if he’ll be so enthusiastic once he’s noticed it…

It was his fault for getting carried away despite his best efforts. Fushimi shut his eyes, torn between an edge of discomfort at his own lack of control and frustration over the direction his thoughts had taken.

Again. Regardless of how often he thought about it, the fact of the matter was that things weren’t going to go according to his own desires. He couldn’t imagine Misaki being anything but uncomfortable with the idea, so it wasn’t worth bringing up. Things were good between them. They didn’t need that kind of added complication.

Still, he couldn’t seem to shake that urge – the imagined sensation of pressing into Misaki’s body that his traitorous brain kept stubbornly summoning back up in response to the slightest provocation.

There’s no way that’ll happen.

It really was an impossible fantasy. If anything, the way Misaki moved against him, straightforward and demanding, should be a sign that he’d be far more interested in the reverse.

And it wasn’t that he minded that particularly, but it was a little frustrating.

Desire could be such a pain, honestly.

The arm that had been looped around his waist lifted; a second or two later, Misaki’s fingers brushed over his cheek. Fushimi opened his eyes to his boyfriend’s puzzled and slightly worried expression. “Hey,” Misaki said, voice low. “What’s up?”

At that, he did click his tongue. That was careless. “Nothing much.”

“Yeah, sure.” Misaki frowned in response, obviously not buying it. “Don’t bottle that shit up, huh? S’not good for ya.”

Fushimi couldn’t help a small, incredulous snort. “Speaking as the expert at bottling things up, right?”

The frown shifted to a scowl. “You know what I mean, asshole!” Something shifted in Misaki’s eyes, a kind of wary uncertainty. “I’m not good at reading moods and stuff, so you gotta tell me if something’s bugging you. I… y’know…” A tiny hint of desperation flickered in those amber depths. “I don’t wanna lose anything else because I don’t understand,” he finished thickly.

Something within him resounded strongly with that open plea. Fushimi swallowed, forcing himself not to turn away. He didn’t want to run from this – not when he knew exactly what was behind the storm in Misaki’s eyes. “It isn’t anything like that,” he mumbled and took in a breath. “… I’ll tell you sooner or later.”

I’m not sure how you’ll react, though… That was something he’d have to prepare himself for.

He got a rueful, lopsided smile in response, but that awful tension seemed to ease from Misaki’s expression. “Got it.” He shut his eyes again, pressing forward against Fushimi’s forehead a bit as his shoulders loosened with relief. “Thanks, Saruhiko.”

“There’s nothing to thank me for, stupid.” Fushimi clicked his tongue softly, but felt the corners of his mouth edge up a little all the same. The atmosphere between them had become comfortable again; in the wake of that moment, it really did feel like he could say anything and things would be okay.

Still, that didn’t mean he felt like blurting things out thoughtlessly. “I need to change,” he muttered instead, suddenly and uncomfortably aware of the damp, sticky mess he’d made of his shorts. There wouldn’t be time for a bath, unfortunately. “This’ll be the last pair of clean underwear I’ve got, so I’ll need to make a stop at my place sometime today if we’re coming back here.”

“Ah.” Misaki’s voice had a hesitant edge to it; his mouth twisted a little with something like anxiety. “Saruhiko, actually… Truth is, I kinda had something I wanted to talk about, too.” A hint of color was rising again on his cheeks; he lifted the hand on Fushimi’s face to scratch the back of his head, and muttered almost as if to himself, “Just… how to start…”

Misaki…? Fushimi’s breath stuck in his throat for a moment, skin prickling up.

Considering the subject, was it possible…?

“Just – just hear me out, okay?” Misaki’s gaze took on that determined look, his lips curling down in a stubborn frown against his own obvious embarrassment. “S’not like we need to do it right away, but it’s just… I was kinda thinking… maybe… it might be time – or something…”

Seriously. A little tendril of relief wound its way through Fushimi’s thoughts; he let out a short breath, faintly amused at the obvious fumbling. It turned out their thoughts really were in sync, after all – it was probably no surprise after the past week. Though he was still pretty certain they’d have different ideas about positioning… Well, we can figure that out later, I guess.

Still, if he waited for Misaki to get around to blurting it out, it might not even happen before the alarm went off. “Spit it out,” he drawled, raising an eyebrow slightly at the scowl he got back. “It’s not that big a deal, right?”

“You don’t even know what I’m gonna say!” Misaki shot him a disgruntled look. “Anyway, I could say the same to you, huh? Spit yours out too if it’s so easy!”

Fushimi clicked his tongue, slightly exasperated. It was too easy to get caught up in this pace. “Fine.” He frowned back, eyes narrowing. “I’ll follow your lead, so hurry it up.”

If anything, Misaki’s mouth curved even more into that stubborn downward arc. “At the same time then, asshole – c’mon.” He took in a breath, watching Fushimi’s face expectantly. “Ready?”

This is ridiculous. All the same, he didn’t feel like backing down now that it came to this. “Just get on with it.”

“Yeah, yeah, I got it!” Misaki shifted a bit, squaring his shoulders as best he could in their position. “So, on three – one… two…”

“Let’s have sex,” Fushimi said flatly, aiming to keep his voice matter-of-fact – at the same time as Misaki blurted, almost in a rush, “Let’s move in together!”

They stared at each other for what felt like a long, impossibly still moment.

Abruptly, the sound of Misaki’s alarm cut through the silence, obnoxious and loud. Misaki jolted, startled, and then let out a soft but fervent curse, breaking free of Fushimi’s hold to roll over and fumble for his phone. He sat up as he grabbed it, impatiently jabbing at the screen to shut the thing up.

Silence fell again, swiftly growing uncomfortable.

This really just happened, didn’t it? Fushimi sat up himself, reaching for his glasses for lack of something better to do. He was thoroughly irritated with himself for having once again been carried away in the moment, leaping to a flawed and erroneous assumption without bothering to think it through. What on earth was wrong with him lately?

You went and fell for someone like a complete idiot, that’s what, his brain supplied dryly as he slid the frames on over his ears.

He couldn’t exactly argue with that.

“So…” When he turned, Misaki was giving him a strangely tentative look. He shrugged, looking awkward about it. “You mean… s-sex, like… like more than what we just did. Right?”

Fushimi regarded him narrowly for a second. It didn’t seem like he was joking. He seriously never even thought about it. Somehow, that stung – he wasn’t sure if it was a harder hit to his pride or his feelings.

I’m the only one who wanted it, huh?

It was vaguely humiliating. “Never mind,” he muttered, turning sharply to avoid Misaki’s eyes. “Forget it.” He reached for his own phone, swiping it open and disabling the alarm he’d set for himself. “Anyway, we’re going to be late if we don’t – ”

Misaki’s hand grabbed his arm before he could push himself up, swift and hard. When Fushimi glanced back at him, startled, his expression was stubborn. “Don’t pull that bullshit!” he snapped, eyes flashing. “It’s not like I thought we’d never…” He grimaced, looking a bit uncomfortable, but plowed on anyway. “Anyway, whatever! It’s out there now, so let’s fucking talk about it! C’mon!”

Fushimi clicked his tongue, turning his gaze again. “There’s no point if we don’t both want to.”

“I-I never said I didn’t want to!” Misaki blurted, his fingers tightening almost painfully. Fushimi turned warily and caught sight of the flush spreading across the bridge of his nose again. “What the hell? Don’t put words in my mouth! Of course I wanna do it with you, dumbass!”

There was such fervent sincerity in those words that Fushimi was struck dumb for a moment, unable to do more than blink. He recovered quickly, frowning. “You have a funny way of showing it.”

“Wh-what the hell do you expect? You just brought it up out of nowhere!” Misaki glared back, embarrassment spread plainly across his face. It was quite a sight. “I was surprised, okay?”

Fushimi lowered his eyelids, regarding him flatly. “Because you never thought about it.”

“Yeah, so?” Misaki’s scowl deepened. “Just ‘cause I never thought of it doesn’t mean I don’t want to! I wanna do everything with you, jerk!” There was a brief pause after that impassioned declaration; he seemed to rethink the words and added hastily, “I mean, most things.” He cleared his throat, drawing himself up with obvious determination, and boldly added, “If you wanna do it, I’ll at least give it serious thought! So tell me what you want! All right?”

Fushimi shut his eyes. The fantasy was still there, hovering at the back of his mind. He felt both dread and relief at the notion of putting it out there. It was like he was baring his private thoughts too clearly, leaving himself vulnerable. He didn’t find that appealing in the slightest. But at the same time, he was tired of hiding it – tired of holding back. If Misaki knew…

Something like this wouldn’t cause us to break apart. He didn’t believe it truly, deep down, but until he did, he was going to keep repeating that. And pushing himself. It was the only way it would ever become true.

Still, it was hard to let go of the last tiny bit of defense. “You won’t like it,” he mumbled.

Misaki snorted in response. “Yeah, I’ll be the judge of that!” He shifted, obviously impatient. “Go head – hit me with your best shot!”

Seriously, what do you think this conversation is even about? Fushimi let out a sigh, opening his eyes and fixing his boyfriend with a narrow look. He reached up with his free hand to push his glasses up on his nose, forcing his voice into a flat, even tone. “Just remember that you’re the one who asked for it,” he said, and took in a breath.

 


 

 

“To put it bluntly, I want to fuck you.”

Hours later, and Yata could still hear those words in his head, delivered in that deliberately dull tone that Saruhiko used sometimes. The sharp, cautious look in those blue eyes felt like it was piercing right through him, even now.

Shit.

“You all right, Yata-san?” Kamamoto was giving him a slightly concerned look. “Seems like you’ve been spacing out all morning. Everything okay?”

“Yeah, I’m fine, already!” It came out more defensive than he would’ve liked. Yata scowled, reaching up to scratch at the back of his head, and added gruffly, “My bad. I got stuff on my mind, s’all.”

Well, one thing. One big thing. Unless he was talking physically, in which case, probably about average –

Fuck. Shut up already!

This whole stupid business had caught him off-guard. He was kicking himself for it now, but truthfully he hadn’t thought much about sex. Or at least, that kind of sex. His thoughts were full of the stuff they were already doing. He wanted to touch Saruhiko pretty much all the time, any time of day. He didn’t even have to be self-conscious about how much he wanted it, because Saruhiko seemed just as into it. That morning was just another example, and it had been fucking great – like everything else this past week. That feeling when they ground together, all hot and desperate and squirmy… it was like…

Right. Anyway. It was good.

Maybe that was why he hadn’t even thought about the next step. Next few steps. Whatever.

Yata let his hand drop to his neck, aiming his frown at the counter in front of him as he turned things over in his mind again. He wasn’t naïve or anything – he’d known he was bi since he was a teenager, so it wasn’t like he didn’t know how gay sex worked. Hell, he’d been curious about it back then. But he hadn’t thought about it like… something he and Saruhiko would actually do. There was a difference between ‘wonder what that feels like’ and ‘gonna find out exactly what that feels like’.

In short, he wasn’t mentally prepared. At all.

Saruhiko had taken his stunned silence as rejection too, adding an “It’s fine if you don’t want to” before Yata had a chance to let things sink in. That was kind of annoying. Reassuring in a way, but still annoying. What the hell did he expect, throwing that kind of shit out there all of a sudden? Yata was supposed to be totally chill about the sudden declaration of ‘I wanna stick my dick up your ass’?

At least give me some time to think it the fuck over, you prick!

For all that, he wasn’t really pissed at Saruhiko. Hell, he was trying – admitting something like that probably wasn’t easy for him. And even though they were kinda complete opposites in a lot of ways, Yata more or less got that aspect of Saruhiko’s personality. He was a pessimist in the worst way, always looking at the worst case scenario. Assuming a rejection was coming was pretty much his default. But he’d still managed to be open about what he wanted, even if it had taken some prying on Yata’s part, and he was quick to say it was fine if they didn’t end up doing it. There wasn’t a hell of a lot to complain about in all that.

Honestly, the thing that really pissed him off –

Homra’s front entrance jingled enthusiastically, snapping him out of those thoughts. “Yo,” Chitose greeted them casually, stepping inside. “Busy today?”

“Hey,” Kamamoto greeted him, before Yata could pull his thoughts into order. “S’not too bad, actually. Morning rush just ended.”

“Cool. I’ll just hang out then.” Chitose’s shift didn’t start for another hour. He lifted the counter to step beyond. “Want me to grab stock for you guys?”

“I did that earlier,” Eric responded quietly, without looking up from his book. He was on break, relaxing at one of the empty tables.

“Got it.” Chitose opened the door to the back. “Guess I’ll grab one of those cakes.”

“You’ll get in trouble with Kusanagi-san if he notices.”

“I didn’t say I wouldn’t pay for it, man – what d’you take me for?” Chitose shook his head, offering a rueful half-smirk before he could get an answer. “Actually, don’t answer that. I’m happier not knowing.”

The start of an idea was turning over in Yata’s head as his friends bantered in front of him. It wasn’t ideal – honestly, if Kusanagi or Totsuka were there, either one of them would’ve been a better choice – but he was feeling too antsy to bottle this up until they were around. Not like he had a time limit, but still…

I wanna figure this shit out soon and stop worrying about it!

“Be right back!” he announced hastily to Kamamoto and hurried after Chitose into the back room.

Chitose raised a questioning eyebrow over his shoulder as the door swung shut behind them. “What’s up?”

He hadn’t been expecting that – Yata froze up for a moment, caught by the awkward nature of his own question, and then steadied himself, clearing his throat a bit uncomfortably. “Kinda wanted to ask you something. Got a sec?”

“Yeah, sure.” Chitose shrugged in response, and then squinted at Yata, a little frown forming on his face. “Huh.”

The hell’s that s’posed to mean? Yata raised an eyebrow, caught between disgruntled and confused. “What?”

Chitose’s expression seemed to clear; he raised both eyebrows in response, the frown turning up into a tiny, almost sly smile. “Any chance your question’s got something to do with that hickey you got going there?”

Fuck. Yata immediately slapped a hand over his neck, feeling heat scrambling up in a rush to get to his face. He’d just about forgotten about that. “Th-that’s not…” Okay, maybe it kinda was – there had to be some connection if Saruhiko was putting marks on him now, at the same time as bringing up that other shit. Not that they’d ever talked about it, or had any rules about not doing it – it was embarrassing, but he couldn’t say he’d minded the feeling. Waking up to feel the damp, warm suction of his boyfriend’s mouth against his neck had been intense and gratifying. And then later on Saruhiko had apologized, mumbling something about getting carried away, and it was hard to be annoyed about it. Yata had made a comment that was only halfway joking about returning the favor and Saruhiko had given him that look, lashes lowered and eyes intent, and said he didn’t mind. His throat felt like it had suddenly gone dry with want in that second. Only half an hour after they’d already done something like that, too…

Goddamnit… Stop thinking already!

“J-just… never mind!” Yata scowled back at his friend, feeling defensive over it. At least the other two had been polite enough not to bring it up. “I’m looking for serious advice here, not smartass comments!”

Chitose shook his head, smile spreading into a grin. “Yeah, fair enough.” He turned to open the cooler that held the extra slices of the cakes they displayed up front. “What’s on your mind?”

Right. That. Now that it came down to it, Yata wasn’t totally sure how he was going to start. He shifted the hand on his neck a bit, scowl deepening. “You – you’ve done a lot of… y’know… that kinda stuff. Right?”

“Huh?” Chitose paused, and then turned to raise an eyebrow. “What, you mean sex?”

“Y-you don’t have to say it so – ” Fuck, this was embarrassing. Yata sucked in an agitated breath, cutting himself off. “Never mind. How’d you – ? I mean, the first time, d-did you ask or – ?” None of it was coming out right; he expelled that breath harshly and swore.

“The first time?” For a moment, Chitose actually looked openly startled. There was a faint edge of alarm in his eyes, there and gone so quickly that Yata wasn’t sure if he’d imagined it. Then he shook his head, that small easy smile sliding back onto his face as he pulled the cake he was after out of the fridge. “What’re you trying to get at here, Yata?”

“Goddamnit…” That came out as a low mutter. Yata drew in a frustrated breath and straightened, meeting his friend’s gaze with determination. “Saruhiko said he wants to fuck me, okay? That’s what I’m getting at!”

Chitose stared at him for an uncomfortable second, clearly taken aback. “Huh.” Then he abruptly grinned, reaching out unexpectedly to clap a hand heartily on Yata’s shoulder. “Hey, congrats, man!”

The hell? “Don’t just say ‘congrats’ without listening to the rest, jerk!”

“Oh… my bad.” Chitose shrugged, pulling back his hand easily and turning to grab a plate. “But hey, if you don’t wanna do it, you should just say so – your guy won’t mind, right?” That came with another raised eyebrow over his shoulder. “And by the way, if the answer’s not ‘right, he won’t mind’, then fuck him.” A pause. “Just not literally.”

This was not how he’d thought the conversation would go – hell, he wasn’t sure now what he’d expected, but it wasn’t this. Yata felt his eyebrow twitch. “Th-that’s not the issue here!” Curling his fingers against the back of his neck, he let out a soft ‘ch’ and dropped his gaze, muttering, “Never said I didn’t want to.”

He did want to – that was the truth. He wanted to go all the way with Saruhiko. Wanted to try a bunch of different things, probably – eventually. The way it felt when they touched each other was incredible. That chemistry he’d picked up on near the beginning of all this extended to doing this kind of stuff, too. And it was natural to want more. He got all of that.

Still…

“I’m missing something, then.” Chitose lifted a slice onto his newly acquired plate, frowning a bit as he did. “’Cause I don’t see the problem here.”

“I’m getting to it, okay?” Yata scowled, struggling to find a way to put this in the least embarrassing way possible. “Just… just gimme a minute!”

“No worries.” Chitose shrugged, turning to put the rest of the cake back into the cooler. “I’m not going anywhere – take your time.”

“Right. Yeah.” As if that made it less awkward. Yata let his hand drop, heaving a frustrated sigh. “It’s just… y’know. Feels weird.”

“What does?” Chitose kicked the cooler door shut, picking up his plate. “Sex?”

“How the fuck would I know? Not like I’ve tried it!” This wasn’t coming out right at all. Yata curled his lip. “Damnit, I dunno… All of it! He wants to fuck me – do you get that?” It came out in a rush, and somehow it was easier to keep going from there. “Not like I haven’t thought about it, but it’s weird, right? It’s not something most men do – right?”

Chitose blinked, then raised an eyebrow. “Wait… but… y’know, he’s a man too…”

“I know that!” He liked that too – the memory of Saruhiko’s erection grinding against his was still strong enough to make his ears burn. Yata struggled not to lose focus. “I know, it’s just… fuck!” He shook his head sharply, turning his gaze with another ‘ch’. “It’s a matter of – of pride, okay?” That came with a scowl. “He brought it up first, and I hadn’t even thought about it – it was so uncool, damnit!”

A second of stark silence, and then Chitose asked, in an even tone, “So… you’re okay with sex, but you don’t want him to do it to you? You’d rather do it to him then, or what?”

“Huh?” Yata’s head swung back up, a rush of nerves jolting through him at the frank question. “H-how’m I s’posed to know? That’s not the issue h – ”

“Okay, so what’s the issue?” Chitose raised both eyebrows that time, skeptically. “You say he wants sex like that’s a bad thing, but then you say you’re cool with it. You say he wants to fuck you like that’s the problem, but then you say it’s not the issue either.” He tilted his head to the side, frowning. “So what gives here?”

Ugh. Yata turned his gaze again, frustrated and feeling like his pride had taken a hit. His heart was hammering against his ribcage at that point, and his head felt like a swirling mass of confusion and embarrassment. “I-it’s…” He really wasn’t sure how to put words to the blend of complicated thoughts and emotions that he was bursting at the seams with. He actually wanted to do this, like… fuck, how long since he’d wondered if he’d ever get to try it for himself, either way? But when it came down to it… when he thought about this actual situation…

Goddamnit… “He fucking… he brought it up first,” Yata muttered finally, not quite meeting Chitose’s frank gaze. “I didn’t even think about it, and he’s bringing it up, and he wants to fuck me…” He grimaced, recognizing how stupid that sounded even as he said it. At his sides, his hands clenched into fists. “It’s uncool. I mean, what the hell? What kind of man am I?”

There was another moment of uncomfortably thick silence, and then Chitose said, in a dry tone, “Seriously?”

Yata jerked his head up to glare in response. “What’s that s’posed to mean?”

“It means ‘seriously, what the hell, Yata?’ – what d’you think it means?” Chitose raised an eyebrow at him again. “What’s the big deal about him asking first? I’ve dated girls who were pretty forward about it – doesn’t make me less of a man.”

That’s not the goddamn point! Yata’s fists tightened at his sides, almost painfully. “Easy for you to say!” He deepened his scowl, glowering back with all his might, and snapped back without thinking, “Not like you’ve ever taken it up the ass, have you?”

The door opened behind him almost as soon as the words were out, cutting into the mood with sharp precision. “I have,” Eric’s quiet voice announced, into the sudden silence. When Yata turned to gawk at him, he added flatly, “By the way, you’re standing right by the door – we can hear everything out there.”

“Hu… huh?” Yata stared at him, disbelieving at first and then with a steadily growing horror. Through the open door, he could see Kamamoto standing behind the counter, an awkward, apologetic smile on his face. “W-wait… you – you heard…?”

“S’not that big a deal, Yata-san!” Kamamoto offered, hastily. “Nobody else came in or anything!” After a split second of hesitation, he added, “And – y’know – my girlfriend was the one to bring up that stuff first, too…”

It felt like he was going to combust, with all the heat rushing to his face. Yata stuttered for a moment, caught in a moment of helpless humiliation. “I – b-but – you just – just – “ He managed to summon a desperate glare. “Th-that has nothing to do with this, okay? It’s totally different!”

“If you say so,” Eric responded blandly. He stepped into the room, letting the door shut behind him as he moved on. “Not like it’s my business, but don’t you think it’s more uncool to be threatened by something like this?”

“I-I’m not – ” The protest came out weak; Yata reached up with a frustrated jerky motion to scratch at the back of his head, agitated. It was true – he was totally feeling threatened. And if he was being honest with himself, it wasn’t about Saruhiko fucking him at all – even if that was kinda of nerve-wracking to think about. It was about the fact that he’d been caught off-guard. He hadn’t even thought about full-on sex, and Saruhiko was already making plans about positions. It was – it was intimidating. He felt so lame. It should’ve been on his mind already, and the fact that it wasn’t really made it feel like he was a failure of a boyfriend. Couldn’t even handle this kind of important shit at all.

Chitose’s hand clapped on his shoulder again, with less force and more of a steadying pressure this time. When he looked up, he got a crooked smile in return. “Hey, cheer up,” his friend said, with a tiny shrug. “We’ve all got hang-ups, y’know? Not that big a deal.”

“He’s right, Yata-san!” Kamamoto called out, muffled by the door.

Ugh. This was such a stupid situation. Yata stilled his hand, shutting his eyes and letting out his breath as he deflated. “Yeah.” Now that it was out there and he’d heard the others chime in, it really did feel like he was being too conscious of it. “I guess.”

Honestly, it wasn’t like Saruhiko minded, and wasn’t that the most important part of this? Yata opened his eyes and frowned, eyebrows furrowing a little as he turned it over again in his brain. They were a team, right? That – that was the whole point of dating. It didn’t always have to be both of them thinking about this stuff all the time. Sometimes one of them would have to kick something off.

Wasn’t that how it had worked before, too? He’d confessed, and Saruhiko had responded, without any resentment at all. As long as one of them was bringing the important things up, did it really matter who it was?

… It fucking doesn’t, does it?

“Well, you got time to think it over, right? What you’re gonna do, I mean.” Chitose leaned back, spreading his hands – the cake nearly sliding off the plate as he did. “Not like your guy expects an instant answer, so there’s no rush to – ”

“Right, thanks.” Yata hastily brushed past him, buoyed up enough by the sudden clarity that his mind was already zooming in on the next objective. “Yo, Eric – got a sec?”

Eric raised his gaze from where he was zipping up his bag at the coat hanger, eyeing him dubiously. “What?”

Behind them, Chitose muttered something about ‘that’s gratitude for ya’; Yata ignored him, focusing on Eric stubbornly. “You said you did it before, right?” He lowered his voice and added, “Y’know… t-taking it.”

“Yeah.” Eric finished with his bag, turning fully and straightening. “So?”

“So…” Yata lowered his voice further, hunching forward a bit instinctively as he did. “How – how was it?”

Eric stared at him without expression for what felt like a long moment, and then slowly raised an eyebrow. “It’s sex. What do you think?”

Yata shot him an irritated look in response. “I wouldn’t ask if I had any idea, smartass!”

That even, unimpressed face didn’t budge. “I wouldn’t do it if it didn’t feel good.”

That was… true. A little rush of something shivery ran through him at that, curbing the earlier annoyance. There was a reason people did this shit, after all. Yata swallowed the feeling back, shifting a bit on his feet and making an effort to curb his anxiety. “Oh. Right.” He cleared his throat a bit awkwardly. “It’s not painful or anything, huh?”

“It’s not bad.” Eric shrugged, and then frowned a little. “As long as your partner’s not an asshole.”

Oh, well, great. Guess I’m fucked.

“Just don’t do anything stupid like forget the lube,” Eric added dryly.

Yata frowned back at him, disgruntled. “I’m not that fucking dumb, okay?”

One of Eric’s slow, rare smiles came out at that. “If you say so.”

“Yeah, yeah, shut up.” The atmosphere was a lot easier to take now; Yata managed a part sheepish, part relieved smile in return. Despite the immediately reaction to that ‘asshole’ bit, this had gone a long way towards settling his nerves about the whole business. Eric had done it and obviously thought it was no big deal, so there was no reason he couldn’t handle it. And besides, he and Saruhiko were a team; they could make this work. “Anyway, thanks. That helps.”

Nothing wrong with trying it to see how it is, right?

Behind him, Chitose let out a derisive-sounding noise. “That’s more of a thank you than I got.”

“I totally said ‘thanks’ – what the hell are you talking about ?” Yata turned around and shot his friend a good-natured grin. He felt mentally refreshed after that conversation – relieved of the bulk of his worries and with some of the additional anxieties squashed. It was like a weight dropped off his back. “But still, I owe you guys! Appreciate the help!”

Chitose shrugged, offering a lazy smirk as he opened the door to head back to the front. “Hey, any time you need sex advice, I’m your guy.”

He shook his head, not dropping the grin. “Yeah, yeah.”

“Yata-san!” Kamamoto called out from the front. “Delivery orders just came in!”

“Got it!” Yata turned, meeting Eric’s gaze as he came up from the back. “You guys start making ‘em and I’ll grab my board!”

“Roger!”

“Sure thing.”

Shrugging the mostly-resolved thoughts to the back of his head, Yata turned his attention back to the daily routine. I’ll send Saruhiko a text later. Since it was all figured out, there was no point in waiting, after all.

He was actually kinda looking forward to it.

 


 

 

Considering how the morning had gone, Fushimi had more or less resigned himself to having that lingering doubt and frustration overlaying his thoughts as he worked. He wasn’t frustrated at anyone in particular – definitely not at Misaki, who had been unusually quiet on the trip to their workplaces but who had still kissed him lingeringly and repeatedly before they left the apartment and given him that warm, affectionate smile that continued to light a fire in Fushimi’s chest even after a month of dating. But on careful reflection, he’d found he wasn’t angry with himself, either.

To be honest, he didn’t have any regrets about the conversation. It was strange, given that he’d inadvertently confessed something he hadn’t planned to reveal at all. But then, being in a relationship was strange in general, and he was still making mental adjustments. This was one of those nebulous things: admitting something he wanted from Misaki, and having his desire accepted and considered. Even if he might not get what he wanted in the end (and he was still considering that prospect a likely one), having it out in the open between them was… a relief. It felt as if the air had cleared and he could breathe freely.

We’re still on good terms, at least.

Because of that, the anxious tension at the back of his head wasn’t exactly directed where he’d thought it would be. He didn’t have much left to dwell on regarding his admission. Misaki knew he wanted to, so there wasn’t anything further for him to do or say until he received a response.

A response he was ready to accept, either way. He didn’t feel particularly uneasy about it, considering his initial plan had been to not even bring it up. There was no loss in any sense, other than to his pride.

Seeing as how the request was already out, that damage was done. He was past the point where he cared. Much.

Unfortunately, there was still one remaining hitch…

“Fushimi-san,” Akiyama’s voice cut into that thought. “I’ve received a response from the minister regarding the Arakida case. The lieutenant mentioned you’d noticed a possible connection to one of yours – I’ll forward you the details now.”

The effectively brought his mind back to the workplace. “Right. Thanks.” Leaving his current report for the moment, he opened his email to bring up the details. “Let me know if he gives you anything else.”

“Of course.”

The tracing on that new piece of information kept him occupied for several hours – by the time he’d pieced things together to his satisfaction, it was well past noon. Fushimi stood slowly, picking up his phone – no new messages, not that he’d expected otherwise – and headed for the break room.

He was only planning to grab the meal replacement drink he’d stowed in the fridge to stave off any bothersome hunger pangs for the afternoon. If he kept working, he could avoid thinking about certain subjects that were weighing too heavily on his mind for his liking.

That plan, unfortunately, ended up being thwarted.

“ – and there wasn’t even a full month’s notice or anything,” Doumyouji was saying as Fushimi opened the door. He was talking animatedly with a thoughtful-looking Akiyama, while Kamo sat at the table eating a boxed lunch, watching them with mild interest. “I mean, the situation’s understandable, but that’s kind of rude, don’t you think?”

“That’s true,” Akiyama conceded.

“Right?” Doumyouji nodded with satisfied confidence and then looked up as Fushimi stepped into the room. His eyes brightened. “Oh! Fushimi-san! Hey, you live alone, right? Any chance you could put up with a roommate for a little while? It’d help a friend of mine out!”

That didn’t even require thought. “Hell no.” Who in their right mind would agree to that?

Doumyouji looked a little crestfallen, but recovered quickly. “Worth a try, I guess… Man!” He heaved a sigh, looking glum. “I’m not sure how he’s going to manage – his roommate’s got a girlfriend moving in, so he has to be out by the end of the month. That’s not a lot of time.”

Moving in. The words struck against a chord. Fushimi continued on to the fridge, trying to ignore the conversation.

“Maybe your friend could ask the roommate for more time,” Akiyama suggested, with a note of sympathy in his voice. “I don’t think that would be an unreasonable request, all things considered.”

“Yeah, true… Maybe.” Doumyouji seemed to brighten a little at that. “He’s dating a girl himself, you know, so I thought he could stay with her or something, but apparently it’s too soon for moving in together.”

That was enough to make him pause. Fushimi stopped with his hand on the fridge, weighing his options for a moment. Easiest would be to disregard the whole conversation – it wasn’t as if this unnamed friend had anything to do with him, and the situation was probably nothing like his – but on the other hand, there was potentially an opportunity here.

Sometimes, he still had trouble reminding himself that the people around him were allies. Fushimi shut his eyes, mentally giving himself a push. One step at a time, right? “About moving in,” he started, keeping his voice deliberately low and even. “How soon is ‘too soon’, exactly?”

There was a brief moment of startled silence. Fushimi busied himself with opening the fridge and retrieving his drink, frown deepening. It’s a simple enough question, right? When he straightened and turned, all three of his co-workers were staring at him. What’s with this reaction?

Akiyama recovered first, smiling back kindly. “Well, personally I think it would depend on the couple.”

“It’s something you should talk about with your partner,” Kamo added, quietly.

Doumyouji nodded with enthusiasm. “Oh, and the friend I mentioned has just been seeing this girl casually, too – that makes it kind of hard, I think.”

“I see.” It wasn’t as if he hadn’t thought of most of that already, but it was worth confirming if there might be some arbitrary dating etiquette he didn’t know about. Fushimi turned to leave the room again, vaguely frustrated. “Thanks.”

He could see where Misaki might have thought it was a good idea – they were constantly over at each other’s apartments, to the point where they kept spare clothing and other personal items there. Since they’d started dating, they hadn’t actually spent a night apart. With that in mind, it just made sense to move in. It was a practical solution that would resolve the current awkwardness and the need to make unnecessary bus trips to pick up articles of clothing at frequent intervals. They’d simply go home together, where all of their things were stored.

It had an appeal to it, and he couldn’t deny that part of him liked the idea. A lot. His heart gave a little squeeze when he thought of Misaki smiling at him across the breakfast table – of waking up to Misaki on the futon next to his – of the possibility of unlocking a door and stepping inside, saying “I’m home” and hearing the corresponding “welcome back”.

It was definitely a tempting prospect.

But at the same time… Well, he had a number of other, less pleasant reactions.

Sooner or later, this rush of endorphins and hormones and infatuation was going to settle. He’d looked into it once when he was feeling particularly overwhelmed, and it sounded as though that intensity would ease off with time and familiarity. He wasn’t sure what it would mean for them in general, but Fushimi had been living on his own for more than five years. He liked being by himself. It was easier to think – easier to breathe. The notion of giving that up – of having someone always there, always sharing the same living space as him – had his hackles raising in instinctive protest, even if he currently wanted to spend every spare moment with Misaki. Eventually, it was going to become a problem. He couldn’t let his clouded mind lead him into hasty decisions.

That would have been enough to make him hesitate, but beyond that…

Beyond even that much…

He had shared a home once. Only once, though for the larger portion of his life.

At the back of his head, despite all of the appealing things he’d experienced to this point while sharing space with Misaki, some small, irrational voice cried out in strident protest to the notion of living with someone else. It was an instinct he couldn’t quite silence.

That faint edge of fear was irritating, but he couldn’t seem to shake it entirely all the same.

“Fushimi-san?” When he turned his head, Akiyama was giving him a questioning look. “If you’ve got something on your mind, there’s no harm in bringing it up.” That kind smile spread on his face again. “We’ll hear you out.”

“That seems to be the theme in this break room most days,” Kamo added, with a small smile of his own.

That was true – everyone seemed to enjoy gossiping like teenagers whenever there were two or more of them in the break room. For that reason, Fushimi tended to take his breaks at irregular times or just worked through them altogether. Lately, though, he’d been in there more frequently. Since the incident with Jungle, it had… somehow not felt as irritating to listen to his co-workers chat carelessly around him. He’d been that close to never seeing them again.

On a few occasions, he’d been engaged himself, and while that was normally a pain, sometimes he didn’t mind it much.

If he was being honest, he didn’t exactly dislike his co-workers, after all.

Because of that, he hesitated for a moment, considering both the immediate urge to brush them off and continue to keep his problems to himself and the tiny thread of gratification that spun to life in response to the sincere interest.

This kind of stuff really is a pain to sort out.

That small moment was enough – Doumyouji abruptly snapped his fingers, smile widening with good-natured realization. “Aha, I got it! Yata asked you to move in, didn’t he, Fushimi-san?”

Fushimi’s skin prickled instinctively in reaction; he just stared for a moment, nonplussed.

Both Akiyama and Kamo were shooting expressions of apprehension and slight alarm at Doumyouji, who seemed oblivious to the tension caused by his confident assertion. “Ah,” Akiyama started, grimacing slightly as he glanced sideways at Fushimi. “That… might be a bit of a leap…”

Based on the reactions, it seemed like everyone had guessed it and only one had been impolite enough to blurt it out. Fushimi clicked his tongue. Well, it’s not like I should have to hide it. He hadn’t exactly taken great pains to cover anything up when he’d asked his question initially. “It’s fine.” After a moment of wrestling with himself mentally, he mumbled, “You’re not wrong.”

“There, see?” Doumyouji shot a satisfied grin at Akiyama. “I thought so!” He turned his bright gaze on Fushimi again. “Anyway, you two have only been together a month, right? Isn’t it normal to wonder if that’s too soon?”

Is it? That wasn’t exactly the concern, anyway. “I guess.”

“It really does depend on the feelings of the couple, though,” Kamo noted, straightening in his seat a bit. “Though, in my case, I waited until marriage to move in with her.”

Doumyouji hummed at that, and shot him a sympathetic look. “I guess that waiting doesn’t really help then, does it?” he noted, without any kind of attempt to skirt the subject. “Are you guys back on proper speaking terms yet?”

Kamo’s face noticeably fell. “Well… that’s…”

Akiyama cleared his throat. “Anyway, Fushimi-san,” he cut in with quiet delicacy. “I think the point is that you should consider your own feelings on the matter. The experiences of other people are going to vary too much, either way.”

I can already tell that without you saying so. It wasn’t like considering his own feelings was going to help him sort out what he wanted in the first place. Fushimi had already long-since recognized that he could be an unreliable source when it came to the subject of his own happiness. “I know. I’m thinking about it.”

“It’s probably fine, in that case.” Kamo shrugged.

Akiyama looked thoughtful. “You could also try talking with Yata about it if you’re having trouble making up your mind,” he suggested.

Somehow, that suggestion caught him off guard; Fushimi frowned in response. Talk with him? When Misaki was the one who’d thrown it out there so enthusiastically? Would he really be able to talk about Fushimi’s hesitance without bias?

As if noting his hesitance, Akiyama smiled faintly. “Even if he raised the subject, he probably doesn’t want you to worry about it by yourself.”

“Yeah!” Doumyouji was nodding along earnestly. “Besides, Yata’s a good guy! I’m sure he’d understand if you explain it to him properly!”

Explain it to him, huh? Those words struck a chord again. If he closed his eyes, Fushimi was sure he’d have a clear picture of Misaki from that morning in his mind, with the tiny edge of desperation in his expression that spoke of past trauma.

“You gotta tell me if something’s bugging you.”

I know that. I… know. It didn’t make things any easier.

But then, he’d explained himself to Misaki once already that day, and it had ended well, so why should he expect this to be any different? It had already been proven that they could talk about these kinds of difficult subjects without breaking apart. And besides, if he could suggest something and Misaki could say “I’ll think about it”, he surely had to expect the reverse to be fine.

Still, the idea of baring some of the ugly thoughts and feelings that crossed his mind was intimidating. Would Misaki take it as a rejection? There was a possibility he’d be hurt that Fushimi wasn’t entirely ready to commit himself to that kind of thing.

Would he really understand it? Honestly, Fushimi didn’t totally understand it himself. It seemed an impossible task to explain these indecipherable feelings to someone else.

Things were still new between them: new and fragile and uncertain. There was no way to predict anything.

“Well,” Akiyama said quietly, cutting into his thoughts yet again. His gaze was gentle when Fushimi looked up. “I think it’s also fine to take some time to sort out your thoughts and feelings before you talk with him.”

It was kind of irritating how transparent he was apparently being. Fushimi felt an uncomfortable warmth rising on his face, and clicked his tongue, turning away. “I’d do that without you telling me,” he mumbled, moving towards the door again. Still, before he went through it, he added a quick, “Anyway, thanks.”

“Any time, Fushimi-san!” Doumyouji called after him enthusiastically, as he pulled the door closed behind him.

What a pain. Still, there was a faint sense of satisfaction building in his chest. When it came down to it, he did feel slightly better having talked about even just that much. It was strange.

Well, whatever.

As he was making his way back to his seat, his phone buzzed. ‘New text message from Yata Misaki’ was displayed on the screen when he brought it up to look at it.

For the second time, Fushimi felt his skin prickle. He wasn’t sure if it was more dread or anticipation, but either way he increased his pace, waiting until he was seated at his desk again and had set down the drink before he swiped open his phone to look at the new message. By that point, he had two waiting.

‘hey so I wanna do the thing’

‘your place tonight?’

For what felt like a long moment, Fushimi could only stare at his phone, too stunned to even think straight. It felt like the world around him dropped out, leaving him in a void with just his phone in front of him displaying an impossible message. As he sat there, silent and still, the screen suddenly updated with a third text.

‘i mean you got a bed so it makes sense’

Somehow, that was enough to bring him to his senses. Fushimi blinked, and then frowned, eyebrows furrowing as he considered the message. Part of him wanted to be excited – there was a warm, pleasant rush of feeling that came with the knowledge that Misaki had accepted him, Misaki wanted him – but he couldn’t help the wariness that came along with it.

Isn’t this just a little too good to be true?

Thinking about it for a few seconds, Fushimi typed back, ‘Are you sure about this?’

Misaki’s response was almost instant: ‘yeah of course!’

Somehow the immediate confirmation threw him off. Fushimi clicked his tongue, vaguely annoyed without knowing why. ‘If you’re pitying me, I don’t want it,’ he typed back.

There was a short hesitation there. But when Misaki started to type, his responses came in rapid succession – as if he had to send each thought right away without waiting to type the others that followed first.

‘wtf???’

‘my ass isn’t a fucking charity ok’

‘if i pitied you i’d get you a goddamn card’

‘not screw you’

‘i thought about it i wanna do it’

‘get it through your head dumbass!!!’

It felt like each message struck an individual blow at the guarded caution that had formed a hasty barrier over Fushimi’s thoughts. By the end of the string, the warmth of those initial pleasant feelings seemed to settle over him; he couldn’t help but let out a soft huff of breath, relieved and wondering all at once.

He really wants to do it with me…

It was the unbelievable outcome he hadn’t expected. Fushimi’s fingers trembled a little over the screen of his phone, vaguely overwhelmed with the confusing emotions and the rapidly rising anticipation that came along with it.

He wants… to do it…

Somehow outside of the rushing in his ears, Fushimi managed to pull together enough presence of mind to type back, ‘You don’t need to say that much. I get it.’

There was a second or two of hesitation, and then he got back, ‘yeah well sometimes i gotta drill things into your stubborn skull’.

That blunt response had a little smile tipping up at the corners of his mouth. Fushimi felt his thoughts begin to clear. ‘Look who’s talking about being stubborn…’

‘hey i’m not the idiot in this case you gotta admit’

He really couldn’t deny that. Fushimi clicked his tongue, more out of habit than with any real feeling behind it. ‘Anyway, my place is fine for tonight. I’ll try to be done by seven or so.’

‘sounds good!’ he got back, and then, ‘i’ll be here’.

‘See you then,’ he responded, and set his phone down for a moment, absorbing the conversation.

Misaki wanted to do it with him.

It really needed to sink in properly. He’d specifically stated that he wanted to fuck Misaki, and Misaki had said he wanted it. Fushimi shut his eyes, giving himself a moment to process the confirmation of something he’d thought would be impossible. Misaki wanted him. Maybe that should’ve been clear with the intensity of their current activities, but the fact was still a mixture of unbelievable and incredibly gratifying to him right then.

They were really going to have sex, after all.

Through the pleasant haze of his emotions, one thought came through with clarity: I’ll need to do some more research.

That was true – what he’d looked into so far on the subject wasn’t much more than an introduction. Fushimi opened his eyes again, frowning at his monitor thoughtfully. Neither he nor Misaki had any practical experience, so the next best thing would be to take in as much information on the subject as he possibly could. There’d be more chance for a success with at least one of them knowing what they should be doing.

And then there was the fact that he was going to need things like lube and condoms…

Maybe I will take a proper break, after all.

Pushing his chair from his desk and retrieving his drink and phone, Fushimi stood again, this time heading for the exit from the office out into the café. If he remembered correctly – and he almost always did – there should be a pharmacy only a few blocks away.

He could do some more research on the way there.

 

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