Kazahaya still wakes sometimes, remembering. It isn’t a comfortable feeling, and it makes him irritable. Sometimes, he throws the window open and takes gulps of sharp, frigid air. Sometimes the shock to his system helps. Sometimes it doesn’t.
He ends up on the roof of the store, staring out at the lights of the city and wondering. He doesn’t know where he is or why he’s here or how anything works; he thinks he knows who he is, anyway, but sometimes even that isn’t as obvious as it should be.
He doesn’t realize he’s shivering until he feels a weight settle over his shoulders. Looking up, he sees his roommate and co-worker scowling down at him, wearing the white t-shirt he sleeps in; his jacket is heavy and warm over Kazahaya’s back, smelling faintly of something spicy – aftershave, maybe.
“Don’t freeze to death after I went to the trouble of rescuing you,” Rikuou says.
“Like you care,” Kazahaya retorts. They fought again this evening; Kazahaya managed to burn instant soup, which Rikuou assured him was impossible.
“If you die, more work for me,” Rikuou says with a shrug. He sits down next to Kazahaya and looks out at the lights. “Looking for something?”
“Nothing you could see,” Kazahaya murmurs.
“Oh well, excuse me,” Rikuou says, but his voice is mellow.
“Can’t sleep. It’s too stuffy in there.”
“You could open a window,” Rikuou points out. “You’re the princess who’s always whining about being cold, which is why we keep the heat on tropical.”
“I AM NOT A - ”
Rikuou puts a hand over his mouth, cutting him off mid-rant. “You’ll wake the neighbors. That’s generally frowned on in polite society. What were you raised by, wolves?”
Almost, Kazahaya thinks. Maybe cats, or something so like them that it doesn’t make a difference. “At least I don’t grab people without permission,” he grumbles when Rikuou retracts his hand.
“You like it,” Rikuou says, then stands up. “Keep the jacket, try not to die.”
Kazahaya looks at him shrewdly, trying to figure out what the insult is meant to be. He finally has to admit there really isn’t one, so he grudgingly says, “Thanks, I guess.”
Rikuou nods and heads back to the fire escape. His last words are so soft, Kazahaya almost thinks he has imagined them: “If you find it, let me know.”