Yu sighed as he checked the time. 30 minutes until he had to be at work, and Yosuke still wasn't up. He was starting to worry.
Sick, maybe? He was fine last night, though…
“Yosuke?” He slowly opened the bedroom door.
“Hey, Yu.” The brunette was still lying in bed, completely still.
“Yosuke, your shift is in 15 minutes. Are you okay?” Yu asked. He walked up to the bed to check on his boyfriend.
“What do you think?” Yosuke let out a shaky laugh, then grimaced, clenching his stomach. “Fuck, that hurts. I can't remember cramps this bad since middle school.”
Cramps. So that's it. “Ah, um, you've got a pad on, right?” That's how periods work, right?
“Yeesh, Yu. Of course I do. And it's not like that gets rid of the pain.” He rolled his eyes.
“Sorry, I just-I don't know how to deal with these.”
How would he? Beyond shy mumbles of what products he needed, this wasn't something Yosuke ever really mentioned.
“S’okay. I mean, I didn't expect to ever get this cramped up again. And it’s not exactly something I like talking about.”
Yu shook his head. “No, no, I understand. Do you need anything?”
“Yeah, actually...could you grab a heating pad?”
“Of course.” He planted a kiss on the other boy’s forehead.
“Thanks, partner.” Yosuke grinned.
“No problem. Holler if you need me!”
After calling Yosuke in sick, Yu dug through the storage closet. “Where is it…here it is!” He waved the heating pad in the air.
At least I got one thing right.
Even if he seemed calm, internally his anxiety was getting the better of him. He didn't know how to help Yosuke. Poor guy was already miserable, and bringing up the topic of “getting a period” would surely make it worse.
The doorbell rang. Opening the door, Yu faced a familiar blue cap.
“Naoto? Why are you-”
“Yosuke-senpai texted me. He told me what's going on.” Naoto tilted their head, squinting at Yu. “Senpai, you seem awfully nervous.”
Yu sighed. “It's just, I don't know what to do! Yosuke and I don't talk about these kinds of things. I don't want to bring them up, either.”
“You're afraid of upsetting him, aren't you?”
“Senpai, can I tell you a story?”
Naoto cleared their throat. “You know, Yosuke-senpai was my support back in Inaba. He came out to me shortly after I was saved from the TV World. He knew I didn't want to be seen as a girl, and though I presented masculine, I wasn't quite a boy, either. He made sure I was binding properly, and helped me find clothes that made me feel comfortable in my identity.
“When I realized I was non-binary, he was the first person I told. He smiled and said, ‘Do you want me to use ‘they,’ then?’ It was nice, knowing I had someone who understood, someone I could trust.
“You need to support him the way he supported me. Listen to him, and help him cope when his dysphoria is especially bad. Make sure he feels masculine during moments like these. Just simple things like that can be more comforting than you think. You can do that, right?”
“Then I've told you all I can.” Naoto rose off the sofa and headed to the front door. “You two take care, alright? Tell Yosuke-senpai I hope he feels better.”
“Naoto-kun?” They paused, hand hovering over the door handle.
Yosuke awoke to the sound of a gentle voice. “How’re you doing?”
Yu was sitting on his bedside, plugging in a heating pad and placing it on the brunette’s stomach. There was a soft smile on his face that made Yosuke feel all fuzzy inside. He wrapped his arms around his partner’s waist.
“Better, now that you're here.”
“And you say I'm the corny one.” Yu laughed, sliding himself under the covers and hugging Yosuke back.
“Really, though. You're alright? Comfy?”
He rested his head on Yu’s chest. “Very. You make a good pillow.”
“Well, someone's cuddly today.” He paused.
“You know I love you, right?”
“Of course I do, dork.” Yosuke reached up and poked Yu’s cheek.
“No matter what, I'll love you. You're an amazing guy, perfect just the way you are.”
“Thanks.” He pulled the silver-haired boy closer. “But can I ask where all this is coming from?”
“...I’ve been worried about you, is all. I know you're going through a lot right now, and I didn't want to make it worse. I want you to know that I don't see you differently because of something that's out of your control. To me, you'll always be the same Yosuke who confessed to me at the riverbank on a cold December afternoon. My partner.”
Turning a rosy color, there was only one thing Yosuke could say in response.
“Can I kiss you?”
“I'd like that.”
It was a gentle kiss, one that conveyed all his thoughts and feelings towards Yu in one simple gesture.
As soon as they pulled away, Yosuke smiled. “I'm glad you're by my side, Yu. Thank you.”