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the light in me will guide you home

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Eichi arrives home to the sight of Chiaki asleep on the kotatsu, Gokaiger reruns playing softly on the television. Eichi sets his school bag down as gently as he can, stepping into his room with all the quiet movements he can muster, and he’s rewarded when Chiaki’s canine ears twitch only once at the noise.

Chiaki’s glasses are pressed half off of his face where he has his forehead pressed into his arms, lower half of his body mostly hidden under the blanket of the kotatsu.

“Chiaki,” Eichi says, quiet enough to lure Chiaki into wakefulness with a gentle pull instead of a jolt. He reaches down, dropping a hand to the soft fur of Chiaki’s ears and rubbing his thumb along the base.

Chiaki’s tail starts thumping even before his eyes open, an automatic reaction as intrinsic to his being as anything else is, these days.

“Eichi!” Chiaki’s voice is still thick with sleep, but he rights himself, leaning into Eichi’s touch. “You’re ho—o—“ The word is cut off by a yawn, and he raises a hand to cover his mouth and then rub at his eyes. He adjusts his glasses, placing them back over the human set of ears and pushing them up in place on his nose. There’s wrinkles on his cheek where it was mashed into the sleeve of his sweater. Eichi’s sweater, technically, but he’d bought it with the distinct intention of having Chiaki wear it. He likes how Chiaki looks in green.

“—early,” Chiaki finishes without bothering to finish the word “home”.

“It was cold enough that Keito wouldn’t allow me to stay and do any of my student council duties,” Eichi says. He’d tried, but the first time he’d sneezed Keito had immediately shooed him out to his car with a threat that he’d call his parents if he didn’t go home.

Chiaki pauses in his attempts to meld his head into Eichi’s palm, twisting to peer at Eichi with concern.

“Here,” Chiaki says, lifting the blanket of the kotatsu. “It’s warmer under here! You won’t get sick, will you? If there’s even a chance of it, you should take every measure to prevent it.”

Eichi slides under the kotatsu obligingly. He’s still in his school uniform, but that doesn’t matter as much when the close proximity means he can slip his cold fingers underneath Chiaki’s sweater and press his face into the junction of Chiaki’s neck when he barks in surprise. The leather of Chiaki’s collar presses into Eichi’s cheek, tags jingling as Chiaki shivers.

“E—ichi!” Chiaki doesn’t wiggle away, he wiggles closer, plastering himself to Eichi’s body. He fits there, warm and soft in all the right places, tail still moving in a steady rhythm. He slides his hands up, encompassing Eichi’s in his own. “You’re freezing—“

“You’ll warm me up,” Eichi says.

Chiaki’s cheeks turn faintly pink, but Eichi knows it doesn’t take much to get him going. That’s the side effect of being a hybrid, after all – stamina in all the right ways for what Eichi wants, a warm body, the cute obedience…

“I’m feeling warmer already,” Eichi says, into the junction of Chiaki’s neck, warm breath slipping across the exposed skin. Chiaki makes a noise that’s very much like a whine, trying to move closer to Eichi when there isn’t any more room. His thumbs drag across Eichi’s hands like it’ll convey more heat into Eichi’s skin with the motion.

“I’ll keep you from getting sick again,” Chiaki says, and it’s cute, even if it’s hardly something that he has any control over. Eichi can only imagine how hard it is for Chiaki when he has to stay in the hospital, full of the smell of antiseptic and all the things that Eichi’s human nose can’t pick up. It’s probably even worse when Chiaki is forced to stay at home, of course, but Eichi hasn’t been in the ICU in at least half a year.

It might be a new record.

“Good,” Eichi says. He glances back at the screen, watching the heroes on screen with minute interest. “Are they pirates?”

“Space pirates!” Chiaki says, like it’s just about the most interesting thing in the entire world. It isn’t, but his interest in it makes Eichi feel less hatred towards sentai as a franchise, so it’s acceptable. “That’s Captain Marvelous!”

“That’s,” Eichi says, raising a brow as Chiaki twists in his grip to get a better look at his face, “a ridiculous name.”

“It’s—“ Chiaki starts, but Eichi cuts him off, pressing their lips together.

“Are you going to be that sort of hero?” Eichi asks, threading his fingers up through Chiaki’s.

“I want to be,” Chiaki says in a slow exhalation. His eyes are bright behind his glasses, and he’s already come so far, Eichi thinks, from the timid creature he was when Eichi took him in. A hybrid as sickly as Chiaki was in the beginning was never going to be an attack dog like Eichi’s father would have liked, was never going to be a show creature or a stud like his mother would have wanted, but he’s everything that Eichi could have desired – warm and devoted and full of so much love that Eichi thinks it might be able to bring him back from the brink of death.

That might be a bit too heroic. Eichi would never admit he’s thought about it before, in long lonely nights and moments of extreme self-disgust. He doesn’t much enjoy being the villain, but being able to come home to Chiaki helps offset some of it, releases the tension that Eichi barely realizes he’s carrying until the

“Are you going to be Gosei Red?” Eichi asks.

“Gokai,” Chiaki corrects him, automatically.

“You’ll make up your own series,” Eichi says. “That’s better than being in whatever they’re in.”

“I’m going to be,” Chiaki says, his voice pitched a little louder, a little more confident, even if he looks uncertain. Eichi can see the threads of frayed confidence inside Chiaki, and he’s been steadily bringing it out, fascinated by the slow transformation. “A hero that can save anyone.

The way he says anyone, it’s very clear that he’s thinking about Eichi.

“Can heroes fix frail bodies?” Eichi asks.

“I can,” Chiaki says. “I’ll be the kind of hero that can fix every ailment that troubles mankind! Sickness, poverty, loneliness -- I’ll find a way to fix it all.”

Chiaki sets his mouth in a line, blinking slowly behind his glasses. One of his hands curls into a fist where he holds onto Eichi’s school shirt, and he nods.

“You,” Chiaki says, tentative and careful, “fixed me.”

Eichi isn’t a hero. He isn’t anything of the sort. He knows that Chiaki likes to pretend that Eichi took him in for heroic reasons, but the truth of the matter is that Eichi wanted a pet to stay with him in the hospital. It was pure selfishness, childhood loneliness, and Chiaki’s fragile personality and body was the perfect combination. He was obedient and loving, and Eichi could feel the energy under his skin, crackling to be let out if only he had the confidence to do it.

Eichi isn’t helping Chiaki for altruistic reasons, but he doesn’t mind too much if Chiaki thinks so.

“Did I?” Eichi asks, but he doesn’t let Chiaki answer. He turns in Chiaki’s grasp, presses him back until Chiaki is on the ground, watches the way Chiaki automatically lifts his hips until they brush against the kotatsu so that he can make sure his tail is out of the way. It’s such a movement of habit that Chiaki likely doesn’t even realize how lewd it looks.

Eichi doesn’t think that he’s worth saving, at the end of the day; the list of sins and war crimes he’s committed is longer than he ever thought it would be, when he started working his way to the top. The greater good feels like a well-rehearsed lie he tells himself to sleep better at night, but it’s so easy to slip his fingers into Chiaki’s hair, to lean back down and kiss him.

Chiaki is pliant and warm, moving his hands up automatically to wrap around Eichi. Chiaki has always been affectionate, even when he was just a shivering slip of a hybrid that flinched at loud noises -- he’d wrap himself around Eichi, whine if anyone told him he couldn’t sleep in the bed, nuzzle in closer every time Eichi coughed.

Eichi should have found it stifling. He never has.

“Your uniform is going to get wrinkled,” Chiaki murmurs when the part for breath, Eichi’s lungs still not quite capable of mastering the skill of breathing while making out.

“That’s fine,” Eichi says.

“You shouldn’t make more work for people!” Chiaki chastises, and Eichi sits back, straddling Chiaki’s hips so that he can use his hand to cover his mouth as he laughs.

“Are you the hero of justice for maids, too?” Eichi murmurs, but he slips off his blazer, folding it delicately next to the pile of senbei wrappers that look like they’re the product of Chiaki’s day.

“I’m the hero of justice for everyone!” Chiaki promises, and there’s a fire in his eyes that’s always been there, that Eichi’s been slowly fanning. Eichi is waiting for the day when it’ll be strong enough to burn him alive.

Chiaki’s fingers move up with hesitating confidence, eyes seeking Eichi’s behind the lenses of his glasses as he moves to unbutton Eichi’s shirt. He’s allowed, and he knows it, but the fact that he isn’t asking for permission … well. It’s certainly a step in the right direction.

Eichi allows it with the grace expected of someone as high status as he is, but even Eichi isn’t immovable, and the fact is that he’s still a teenager being undressed by someone that he regularly sleeps with. He’d like to be able to contextualize it as being undressed by a servant, but he can’t, not when Chiaki’s hands are warm when they splay across his chest, drag down his ribcage.

“I know,” Eichi says, before Chiaki can say a word. “I’m still too thin.”

“You need to eat more, so you don’t get sick,” Chiaki murmurs, focus on the way the muscles in Eichi’s stomach quiver under his touch.

“I’ll eat if you’re the one feeding me,” Eichi replies, letting his eyes fall half-lidded. When he shivers, it’s as much from the shock of cold across his bared skin as it is from the way his body automatically responds.

He hadn’t bought Chiaki as a pleasure pet, not as anything more than a lonely child’s loyal friend, but he’s hardly going to complain about how well things have worked out.

He leans down to kiss Chiaki again before Chiaki can reply, which is a habit he should probably try to break himself of, but it’s so gratifying when Chiaki makes little noises into the kiss, shifts automatically so his glasses aren’t in the way. Chiaki’s tail is pinned underneath both of them, but Eichi can still feel his muscles jerk with the fact that it wants to be wagging.

When they part again, Eichi isn’t the only one breathless; there’s pink high on Chiaki’s cheeks, and he swallows, ears twitching with how alert he is. Eichi can feel the fact that Chiaki is aroused; they’re both aroused, because they’re both teenagers, and even if Chiaki is a hybrid, there are some things that genetics can’t overcome. The teenage libido is one of them.

“Switch places with me,” Chiaki says, pressing his palms into the sharp edges of Eichi’s hips. “It’s too cold up there for you.”

“The bedroom is warm,” Eichi notes, but only mildly, because he’s hardly opposed to Chiaki being the one to straddle his hips. The Tenshouin family is more than affluent enough to have modern heating and air conditioning in every room, which renders the kotatsu, honestly, superfluous, but Eichi is a doting owner who is hardly going to tell Chiaki he can’t have it when Chiaki looks so cute falling asleep against the surface.

Chiaki looks at Eichi for a solid two seconds, which is all it takes for Eichi to relent. Puppy dog eyes is definitely a good term for it, and the glasses really only magnify Chiaki’s expression instead of detracting from it. Eichi can be strong-willed when he needs to be, stubborn and imperious, but he can’t think of a single reason not to let bend to Chiaki’s will. If Chiaki was capable of using his powers for evil, Eichi would be in dire straits.

He swings his leg off, over Chiaki; takes the opportunity to shove his pants down off his hips and fold them, neatly, next to his blazer. Chiaki sits up, scooting over to the side until he can make room for Eichi and immediately tuck him under the kotatsu from mid-thigh down. The warmth of the kotatsu heater only adds to the way Eichi’s body feels like it’s running fever hot, and it’s a good thing he’s grown familiar with the feeling of arousal, or he might be worried.

Chiaki straddles Eichi, slowly, still fully clothed. It makes an odd picture, because Eichi is only in his underwear, chest moving with his quickened breathing and nipples peaked with the feeling of the air on them.

“Warm me up,” Eichi demands, sounds like the little master he was when he first got Chiaki.

Chiaki has rarely told Eichi ‘no’ before, and he isn’t going to start now. He peels off his shirt with exactly the amount of shame you’d expect from a dog hybrid -- which is to say, absolutely none -- and then leans back down, arms framing Eichi’s head like a cage and chests pressing together.

It is warmer this way. Almost too warm, but Eichi doesn’t protest, just wraps his arms around Chiaki and strokes down his spine until he meets the point at which Chiaki’s tail emerges from his pants.

“Ah -- if you do that --” Chiaki says, voice rising to a pitch that it hasn’t since his voice first cracked when he was younger.

“I won’t do anything,” Eichi promises, and he doesn’t do much of anything, because it’s much more fun to push Chiaki to his limits than it is to cause things to end prematurely..

“Eichi,” Chiaki whines, plaintive and adorable, and Eichi removes his hand, starts to trail it back up Chiaki’s spine only to drag it back down and slip under the hem of his pants.

“Take these off, too,” Eichi says. Chiaki shifts himself up onto his knees, and then jumps to his feet with a lithe sort of athleticism that Eichi finds equal parts attractive and enviable.

“While you’re up,” Eichi begins, dropping his eyes to Chiaki’s hips as the pants come off and making absolutely no effort to hide his gaze. “Would you grab everything we’ll need?”

Chiaki has no shame about nudity, but that doesn’t quite extend to having no shame about sex. He stumbles when he goes to the bedside drawer, palming the lube so he doesn’t have to look at it. The second he’s back in range, Eichi sits up and reaches forward, draws him back down into a kiss that gets a little messier than Eichi meant for it to -- the angle is all wrong, Chiaki’s glasses digging into his skin, but Eichi doesn’t care.

The kiss calms Chiaki down enough that he can blink, heavy lashes behind his glasses, and smile at Eichi.

“Lay back,” Chiaki says, tentatively, brushing warm fingers down Eichi’s chest with a slow, loving reverency. “You need to stay warm, so I’ll do it.”

Eichi isn’t going to say no to that, when Chiaki slips a knee onto either side of Eichi, leans until his back is braced against the kotatsu. He spreads lube onto his fingers until they’re slick, spreading his legs wider until he can slip a finger inside of himself, biting his own lower lip at the action.

It’s a show that Eichi has seen before from almost every angle imaginable, and he thinks he prefers it this way, where he can see Chiaki’s face, watch the high dusting of pink across his cheekbones. Eichi reaches up, brushes his hands across Chiaki’s thighs, across the muscle of his abdomen, watches the way Chiaki’s body quakes under the strain of the touches, of his position, of fingering himself open.

Eichi leans up, presses a kiss to Chiaki’s stomach, trails his lips down to the junction of his thigh and his hip.

“Ah,” Chiaki says, eyelids fluttering. His hips jerk automatically, and Eichi narrowly avoids being hit in the face with his cock. Not that Eichi would mind, but Chiaki would likely be too embarrassed to function, and Eichi has no desire to see this end in any way except both of them having a happy ending.

“S-- sorry,” Chiaki manages, and Eichi presses a kiss to the side of Chiaki’s cock like a reassurance. Chiaki makes a noise, drawn out consonants and vowels that don’t quite make a word, raised on the end like a yip.

“You don’t need to apologize,” Eichi murmurs, and he looks up at Chiaki. Chiaki is all flushed skin and wide eyes, lip swollen from where he keeps biting it, and the sight of it all makes Eichi’s cock throb with the desire to be buried inside of Chiaki.

“I’m,” Chiaki starts, then stops trying to reground himself. He reaches down to grasp at Eichi’s cock, instead, the words ready dying on his tongue before he can get them out, and Eichi isn’t going to complain about something like that with the sticky embrace of Chiaki’s hand wrapping around him.

“I’ve got you,” Eichi murmurs, and shifts his position. Laying back against the floor isn’t exactly the way that Eichi normally likes to fuck Chiaki. There’s less room for Eichi to move, and it’s harder to thrust his hips to get his own rhythm going, but at the same time… it’s undeniably erotic to watch the way Chiaki slides himself down on Eichi’s cock in a slow, stuttering motion, expression on his face changing at the feeling. It’s the same tight, hot heat that it always is, overwhelming and sweet, and Eichi groans as Chiaki settles. Chiaki’s hips twitch in minute movements as he adjusts to the feeling. Eichi isn’t exactly small, but Chiaki has had countless times to get used to the feeling of it. He doesn’t think it’ll take Chiaki very long.

Eichi can feel the fur of Chiaki’s tail brushing against his leg, moving in little jerks, aborted gestures of Chiaki’s pleasure as he tries to gain control back over his reactions.

“You feel amazing,” Eichi murmurs, appreciative and low, squeezing Chiaki’s hips and watching the way Chiaki’s eyelids flutter. “You’re doing this all for me.”

“Because,” Chiaki says, and his voice is high, breathy, coming apart at all the seams. “Because I love you -- “

Eichi’s grip tightens, the words washing over him with almost as much warm pleasure as the feeling of himself buried inside Chiaki.

“You’re supposed to save words like that for the climax,” Eichi says, but he can’t bring himself to mind. Declarations of love are just how Chiaki is, overflowing with affection at all times. Even when Chiaki is unsure of himself, faltering in the face of something bigger than he is, it seems like he’s always capable of falling back on his love for Eichi. Eichi doesn’t understand it, not really, doesn’t think he could rearrange himself to be that good of a person, but being in Chiaki’s presence is almost like basking in a small sun, and it’s the closest Eichi thinks he could get without burning.

Chiaki can’t reply, not with words. His hands scrabble across Eichi’s stomach, trying to find a safe place to grab, and Eichi grabs them, directing them up to his shoulders. Chiaki locks his arms around Eichi’s neck as Eichi sits up, pressing Chiaki’s back into the kotatsu with enough force that it skids a half inch backwards. Chiaki lets out a ragged noise, half yip and half moan, fingertips pressing into Eichi’s skin. Even now, holding onto Eichi, he’s careful not to use his nails.

“I’m not cold anymore,” Eichi promises, because even if Chiaki can’t quite get the words out, it’s the sort of thing that Chiaki would worry about. Really, though, it’d be impossible to feel cold when Chiaki’s arms are around him, when Eichi is buried so deep inside of him that it feels like he was made to be there.

“I’m,” Chiaki says, his voice shaking and breaking off before he can finish the thought. He swallows, closing his eyes, ten points of pressure on Eichi’s back where he’s gripping so hard with his fingertips that his knuckles must be turning white. When he opens his eyes again, there’s that steel in them -- a hero’s resolve, or something like that…? It feels filthy to be making comparisons like that when Chiaki is riding his cock, but Eichi likes the idea of being the one to filthy a hero. “I’m ready--”

“Then move.” It’s a command falling from the lips of the Tenshouin heir, so accustomed to getting his way that the idea of not being obeyed doesn’t even occur to him. Not for nothing, because Chiaki raises up on trembling thighs, knees pressed against the floor, starting up a rhythm that leaves him gasping.

“Chiaki,” Eichi murmurs, pressing his lips to Chiaki’s collarbone and tasting the sharp tang of salt on Chiaki’s skin. Chiaki whines, desperate and needy, and Eichi can feel something starting to come undone inside of him. Chiaki might be a dog, might have the proof of it in his tail and his ears and the collar around his throat and the microchip just under the skin of his shoulder, but it’s time like this that Eichi thinks there isn’t so very much separating them.

Eichi presses Chiaki further back, reaching down to lift his legs until they wrap around Eichi’s waist. Chiaki cries out, high and loud enough that Eichi is certain the servants can hear -- but it wouldn’t be the first time, and they know better than to enter Eichi’s rooms without permission. The change in position makes Chiaki squirm until he’s flat against the surface of the kotatsu, Eichi refusing to fully pull out, and Chiaki chokes on a moan when Eichi leans down to kiss him, trapping Chiaki’s cock between the two of them.

“Eichi,” Chiaki moans, and there’s the faint touch of nails against Eichi’s skin when Chiaki moves his hands, tangling his fingers into Eichi’s hair without pulling on a single strand. Eichi doesn’t mind pain, thinks he could even enjoy it, if it was from someone he loved, but he knows with certainty that Chiaki would never cause him harm even if Eichi wanted him to. It’s one of the more endearing things about Chiaki.

The way that Eichi presses into Chiaki is almost animalistic, thrusting into him with a pattern that’s erratic at best. Chiaki is beautiful, spread out on the table, a flush all the way from his cheeks down his chest. His ears twitch with every thrust Eichi makes, and his tail is nearly trapped by the table, saved from being uncomfortable only because of the grip that Eichi has on his hips. There’s going to be bruises later, on Chiaki’s hips, something for Eichi to trace over when they go to sleep and feel Chiaki shiver with memory at.

Chiaki is repeating Eichi’s name, each one caught at the end as he groans with the feeling of it. Eichi doesn’t touch Chiaki’s cock, not yet, not when he knows that Chiaki’s stamina can well outperform him, these days. They’re both teenagers, and Chiaki has the benefit of being healthier. Eichi doesn’t like being at a disadvantage for anything, but something like this he finds more easy to tolerate.

Reaching up, Eichi presses his fingers to the side of Chiaki’s collar. It isn’t based in a desire to choke him, just feel the reassuring weight of the leather, feel the metal of the tags that’s been heated by Chiaki’s skin, remind himself that Chiaki could take it off any time but doesn’t, doesn’t have a single thought about abandoning Eichi. Chiaki turns his head into Eichi’s hand, automatically seeking his touch, rubbing his cheek against Eichi’s skin as his eyes flutter closed.

It pushes Eichi over the edge, and he leans down to bury himself into Chiaki as deeply as he can manage, pulling a strangled noise from Chiaki underneath him. It isn’t fireworks or lightning or any of the thousand ways that Eichi has seen orgasm described -- it’s just the overwhelming feeling that this is right, that this is where they both belong, that so long as Eichi has Chiaki, nothing can hurt him. For a moment, Eichi is immortal: timeless and transcendent, existing in a place with only the warmth of Chiaki’s body and the smell of sex in the air. His body tingles like it isn’t really his.

It’s something like autopilot when Eichi moves his hand, reaching around to wrap his fingers tight around Chiaki’s dick. He doesn’t bother to pull out, knows that the feeling of himself still inside Chiaki is going to help matters.

Chiaki isn’t managing words anymore, can’t manage much more than the first syllable of Eichi’s name, panted over and over again while his fingers jerk. One hand comes out of Eichi’s hair to smack against the wood of the kotatsu, and his nails finally scrape against something, dragging along the varnish without doing any damage.

“Ei-- Ei--”

“Chiaki,” Eichi murmurs, pressing his lips to Chiaki’s collar, to his chin, to his lips. “I love you.”

There’s a reason that Eichi thinks words like that should be saved for the right moment, and it’s because it makes Chiaki come, loud and keening, spilling over Eichi’s palm and arching his back. He squeezes around Eichi’s cock, and Eichi bites lightly at the junction of Chiaki’s jaw to distract himself from the fact that it feels a little more uncomfortable than he’d like, overstimulating when his nerves feel so raw.

They lay there for longer than they should, probably. Eichi knows better than to let the sweat cool on his skin, than to let things dry, than to let his muscles start to stiffen, but it’s so hard to convince himself to move when he can feel every breath Chiaki takes underneath him, when Chiaki’s thumb is rubbing into the base of Eichi’s neck in an absent minded gesture of comfort.

Chiaki breaks the silence, finally, letting his gaze fall onto Eichi’s. “There’s a bath,” he says, reaching up and taking off his glasses, cleaning them off with an edge of the kotatsu blanket. “You can’t get cold.”

“Mm, it’ll still be hot, if you thought I was going to be late,” Eichi says, and summons every remaining bit of willpower he has to push himself up off of Chiaki and pull out properly. They’ve certainly made a mess of the kotatsu, but it isn’t for the first time, and Chiaki is good at diligently cleaning, insistent that they not make things harder on the hired help.

Eichi offers a hand to Chiaki, who carefully pulls himself up without actually putting any weight on Eichi, getting to his feet in an enviable fluid motion.

Sometimes, Eichi finds it absolutely astounding how much sheer energy Chiaki can have.

“Aren’t you sore after all that?” Eichi asks, and there’s a hint of worry in his voice. He reaches up to brush his bangs back out of his face, getting to his feet with a much less graceful maneuver and allowing Chiaki to link their fingers together once they’re both standing.

“If it’s from someone you love, then this sort of discomfort isn’t anything!” Chiaki replies, and the smile that he gives Eichi makes Eichi’s stomach drop in a way that isn’t wholly unexpected, but still surprising. “It’s like leaving your impression on me to entwine our fates!”

“Is it like that?” Eichi asks, even as he steps towards the bathroom with Chiaki’s hand in his.

Chiaki looks at him with an expression so cutely put-out that Eichi can’t help but want to bully him more, to tease him, to see what happens when Chiaki can’t think of a good comeback.

“I think our fates have been entwined for more than just that,” Eichi offers, before Chiaki can start in on a tangent about fate. Eichi is already tired. The fact that he exerted himself after a full school day is unavoidable, and even if it wouldn’t hurt someone normal, it’s certainly enough to wear him out.

“You’re the one who gives me the strength to keep going, so of course it’s fate that we met,” Chiaki says. The bathroom is warm when they step inside of it, the water still steaming, and Eichi finds himself thankful, not for the first time, that he’s wealthy enough to afford a bath that will keep itself at a steady temperature. “If it had been anyone else, I would certainly have given up and let myself crumble -- but because you found me, I can become a hero worthy of saving you!”

Eichi lowers himself into the bath, sitting carefully and letting the heat of the water immediately start to work on his muscles. He holds his hands out for Chiaki, who hesitates.

“I should clean up--”

“A hero who burns as hot as you,” Eichi replies, calmly, reaching back up to take Chiaki’s fogging glasses off so he can look into his eyes, “should definitely be in the bath with me, just to make certain that I’m warm.”

Chiaki relents almost immediately, letting Eichi take him by both hands and pull him into the bath.

“I’ll stay close to you,” Chiaki says, moving into place next to Eichi until their shoulders are touching. “And keep you warm enough that not even sickness can touch you.”

“My hero,” Eichi offers, and quietly delights in the way Chiaki’s cheeks immediately turn pink.