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Hot Afternoon

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Hot Afternoon

Ryoutarou Doujima is exhausted.

It’s a steaming hot day in Inaba, and our detective has returned home from work early for a much-needed break. Deciding that he wasn’t going to get a lot done at the station this afternoon, he drove himself home and cautiously entered his the house.

It’s still early, he thinks to himself, trying not to get his hopes up for a peaceful start to the evening—Those have been hard for him to find these days. It’s summer and his daughter and nephew love playing around on the weekends.

“Yuu?” Ryoutarou calls out. No response.

“Nanako?” he tries the other name, listening intently for any sounds from the upper floor. Silence still.

I’m alone!!

Ryoutarou loosens his tie as he barrels for the couch, yanking it off right before lying down. He undoes a few buttons and takes a seat, still seeming unsure if he’s actually got a little alone time.

After a few more minutes of silence, a lazy smile crawls onto the man’s face as Ryoutarou flops down on his back and closes his eyes for a nap. He sighs heavily and allows his body to go limp. He’s out within minutes.

Unfortunately for Detective Doujima, Nanako’s school has let her out early today because of the unseasonably unreasonable heat. She is through the door no more than a half hour after he’s fallen asleep.

“Daddy?!” she excitedly squeals when she catches sight of her father taking an uncharacteristic nap on the couch.

Ryoutarou cracks his eyes open, humming a questioning sound. “What is it?” he mumbles.

She doesn’t care for his words though, scampering over to him without answering. Ryoutarou doesn’t bother to question her enthusiasm, just grunts while she rearranges his arms so she can cuddle up next to him.

“Nanako, it’s to hot for this,” he hopelessly tries.

The small girl presses her back into her father’s side and stays silent, so Ryoutarou sighs and lets her be. At least she’s quiet.

Nanako is asleep and Ryoutarou is sweating through his shirt, by the time Yuu arrives at the house. Uncomfortable from the extra heat, Ryoutarou has been unable to drift off again.

“Aww,” Yuu breathily giggles when he sees his family. He respectfully takes off his shoes and then moves towards the duo on the couch.

Ryoutarou opens his eyes, frowning up at his nephew. “No,” he mouths, stern.

Yuu grins goofily and sits by his uncle’s feet. “I said ‘no’, dammit!” Ryoutarou harshly whispers, trying to kick him away without waking his precious daughter.

The boy pays him no mind, tossing the older man’s feet to the floor so that he can squirm in behind the other two. Ryoutarou groans in disgust, too tired to move away.

“Uncle, you’re sweating alot!” Yuu comments.

“Why do you think I’m sweating?” is the grumbled response. Please move away. It’s so hot,” Ryoutarou complains.

Yuu smiles and hugs both of his relatives, sandwiching his distressed and exhausted uncle in the middle. “I don’t mind.”

“I mind.”

“You’re like a box and we’re the cats,” Yuu laughs.

“Please never speak again.”

Yuu chuckles at that, hugging Ryoutarou even tighter. Said detective is very close to throwing everyone to the floor and heading back to the station, where at least it’s air-conditioned.

“No more cat metaphors,” Ryoutarou grouses. “At least give me that...”

“It was a simile, Uncle,” Yuu quietly replies.

“I regret taking you in,” is Ryoutarou’s response.

“I love you,” Yuu murmurs smushing his face into his uncle’s back and, starting to feel sleepy himself.

“You’re still speaking,” Ryoutarou tiredly heaves a breath, reaching around to pat Yuu’s head. He’s still in that heavy gakuran, but completely dry. Is he magic?

Ryoutarou hesitates before tacking on a command to his last comment. “And we agreed not to talk about that.”

Yuu nods and mumbles something unintelligible. Ryoutarou can hear him sighing happily at his touch, and the man relaxes; if just a little.

Soon all that can be heard is the sound of even breathing as all three share a quiet summer afternoon curled up together.