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Yasaka Hiroto had entered Subaru's house through the back door – as per usual – and opened his fridge – also as per usual. He wasn't surprised to see that it was virtually empty, though he appreciated the sight of his favourite sausages. Munching on one of them absent-mindedly, he began unloading the contents of his backpack into the refrigerator.

He had brought multiple containers of food, mostly things that were easy to prepare. Subaru himself never remembered to eat, let alone buy ingredients and prepare proper meals. Sometimes, Hiroto even wondered if he actually eats what he brings. He had to believe so, since the food was gone everytime he came, and yet...Subaru still seemed to be regularly starving.

Hiroto sometimes wished that he could permanently stay with Subaru. Not only to make sure that he was eating every day, but also to keep him company. He wouldn't have to worry so much. The only problem with that was simple – Subaru had to grow to want it, too.

At least now he had Haru-chan to help with the loneliness, Hiroto mused, his lips curving into a smile.

Ah, that's right. Where was Haru-chan? It was the middle of the day. She should have been out and about by now. He looked around until he noticed a shadow watching him from behind the wall. A red eye following his every move and waiting for something.

That was definitely her. She still hadn't fully warmed up to him, and she was especially suspicious of his presence in the kitchen. Maybe she was hoping that he would share food with her?

Swallowing the last piece of the sausage, he approached her slowly with a friendly smile.

'Heeeeey, Haru-chan! Hungry? Sorry, I only have food for Subaru,' he said playfully, but she had already ran away. He raised his eyebrows. Was he really that scary, or was she trying to show him something? Come to think of it, he couldn't help but wonder what Subaru was doing. It wouldn't hurt to check, especially as Haru-chan was sitting in front of his bedroom door. As soon as Hiroto followed her into the hall, she slipped inside.

With little to no hesitation, he opened the door and stepped inside.

Subaru was lying in his futon with his eyes closed. Hiroto suddenly felt uneasy. He knelt next to the futon to check on his friend. Haru-chan was lying beside him, cuddled up against his hand. I guess we were both worried about him, Hiroto thought.

Subaru's eyes opened slightly. He knit his eyebrows and blinked a few times, until his eyes lit up with recognition of the face in front of him.

'Hiroto...?' he said weakly.

'The one and only,' Hiroto confirmed with a relieved smile. 'Are you okay?'

Subaru hesitated. 'My head hurts,' he admitted finally. 'What are you doing here?' he then asked cautiously.

Hiroto chuckled. 'I brought you food. I was worried that you're not eating well enough. I think Haru-chan was worried too. She called me over here.'

'Haru...?' Subaru whispered, looking at her. She was still cuddled up to him, watching carefully. He gently stroked her head with a soft smile on his face.

'I think I know why your head hurts. You need to eat, right now! I'll bring you something, alright? Wait here for me!' Hiroto insisted, getting up from his knees. He didn't want to give Subaru a chance to stop him. He wasn't going to be able to relax until he was sure that he wouldn't faint again. He had heard from Kawase that it was a common occurence, and it was making him progressively more worried.

He opened the fridge and grabbed the first thing that he saw. All that mattered now was to feed Subaru as soon as possible.

About fifteen minutes later, the meal was ready. It should be good enough, he figured, grabbing another sausage for himself.

He found Subaru in basically the same position he left him in, except he was now petting Haru with one hand and holding a book in the other. Hiroto had no idea if he had the book under his pillow or if he got up to grab it only to then lie back down, but he decided not to question it.

'Food's ready!' he exclaimed cheerfully, setting the plate down next to him. He sat back, cross-legged, and waited for Subaru to sit and pick it up before biting into his own sausage.

Subaru ate slowly. He chewed every piece thoroughly, staring at the wall as if his mind was wandering somewhere else entirely. Hiroto was relieved to see that at least the food seemed to be breathing some life into him. He wasn't as pale as when he first opened his eyes. Slowly but surely, colour returned to his face.

'This is really good,' he remarked suddenly, just as he was about to finish. As if he had forgotten to say that until just then. His eyes focused on Hiroto – who could have sworn that he was blushing. It must have just been the food warming him up from the inside. Right?

'I'd hope it would be good! You really need to stop forgetting to eat,' Hiroto scolded gently. 'Do I have to check on you more often?' he teased. He would absolutely be willing to visit every day. He would be willing to move in. His family lived close by, anyway, it wouldn't make much of a difference. 'Anyway, I should put the plate away...'

'No...I'll do that,' Subaru insisted. 'I feel better already, so I can do it. Don't bother.'

'I guess my job is done, then!' Hiroto said with a chuckle. 'I'll come again. Call me if you need me, alright?' he said, looking Subaru in the eyes. Unwittingly, he leaned forward and kissed his forehead before getting up, on a friendly, playful impulse.

Something grabbed his wrist, holding him down. Subaru's hand. Now his face was definitely flushed, and his eyes looked into Hiroto's with a silent request.

'Don't go,' he said finally. 'If you don't have to go,' he corrected himself, having cleared his throat, 'you could stay a bit longer.'

Hiroto's heart was beating like crazy as he looked down at Subaru, startled. He wanted nothing more than to stay, truthfully. And he happened to be free. 'Of course, I'll stay!' he said quickly before Subaru could change his mind and take back his invitation. 'I had no idea you were so clingy,' he teased, looking down at the wrist Subaru had grabbed. He snickered, seeing the other's flustered expression.

It was an adorable pout.

***

Mikazuki Subaru woke up. He felt disoriented. Firstly, because it seemed that it was evening. Secondly, because somebody was sleeping next to him.

Hiroto. His arm was wrapped around Subaru's chest. His face was right next to his own, his nose poking his temple, his warm breath tickling his cheek. He was sleeping peacefully – but why was he here? And why was he so...close?

Subaru closed his eyes and tried to remember. Hiroto had come to his house unannounced, as always. He woke him up and made him food to cure his headache – which it did, admittedly. Everything up till that point was clear, but then...

Subaru's face started burning. Now he remembered everything. After they ate, Hiroto kissed his forehead. And he, Subaru, asked him to stay. They washed the dishes and gave Haru her food. Afterwards, he felt tired again, but in a different way than usually. He didn't feel tired, he just felt...full. That hardly ever happened to him. Another thing that hardly happened...

He touched his forehead with the hand Hiroto wasn't lying on.

To say he was inexperienced with physical affection would be an understatement. Of course, his mother must have hugged him and maybe even kissed his forehead, but that was different. He had never gotten close enough to anybody his age to experience, say, his first kiss. In fact, Hiroto was the only person he was ever truly close to – and he was a rather forward person, but limited himself to things like high fives and other small gestures. Not for lack of the will to do more. It was Subaru himself who always put up a barrier even Hiroto couldn't break through.

Until now, Subaru thought. And now he felt like he didn't want the barrier to exist between them anymore. Not when the kiss was still making him feel this way, not when Hiroto's body felt so warm against his.

But how could he ever express that sentiment? He was already embarrassed enough about having asked Hiroto to stay with him. As if he's a child...

He tilted his head slightly. Hiroto's hair was tickling his skin, but he didn't mind. All he wanted was to take a look at his lips. They were a bit chapped. His tan cheeks were covered in light freckles.

Subaru had never cared about kissing or anything like that. It seemed like a pain in the neck, more than anything. Romance in general was utterly unappealing to him. All he needed in life until recently were books. Not some person he had to go on dates with – assuming he would even find someone he didn't hate, and who, by some miracle, found him attractive.

Then again, Hiroto was always here already. Subaru couldn't say he hated him, not sincerely. He was a handful, but...he genuinely cared. He made sure that Subaru ate, and that he wasn't lonely. Both he and Kawase were always ready to help him. And Hiroto had been patiently putting up with him for over ten years.

'I see you're up already, huh? You really need to stop passing out, but I can't say this wasn't a nice nap,' Hiroto said suddenly. Subaru looked away from his lips and into his eyes.

'This wasn't like my usual nap,' he informed, feeling himself blush again. 'It felt more...warm.'

Hiroto chuckled against his cheek. 'That's because you ate for once. You don't have a fever, do you?' he asked, and immediately touched his forehead. Subaru gasped softly.

'You don't have a fever,' was Hiroto's verdict, 'but you do feel warm. Is it because of me? I didn't want to make you overheat,' he remarked jokingly.

Subaru took a deep breath. 'I don't mind,' he said sincerely. 'Haru is warm too. It feels good.' It feels even better with you, he thought, but couldn't say.

Hiroto looked at him carefully and wrapped his arm around him again. He had previously used it to check Subaru's temperature. 'Should I stay like this?' he asked.

Subaru looked down at his arm. He put his hand over Hiroto's and looked back at him with a smile.

Hiroto chuckled. 'I guess that's a yes. I don't have to go anywhere, and I like this too,' he said, resting his head against Subaru's shoulder – and sending a pleasant shiver down his spine. Subaru rubbed his cheek against the top of his head. Hiroto's soft hair tickled his chin, his lips, his cheek.

He wanted to stay like that forever, but he also wanted to experience a kiss again. Was that wrong?

'You know, I'm surprised,' Hiroto mused. 'You've never liked being touched, but now you seem fine with it. Is it because you got used to it with Haru-chan?'

'Maybe,' Subaru murmured into Hiroto's soft hair. It smelled like food, and like the sun. 'I want more,' he said subconsciously, and bit his tongue the instant he realised it.

'Oh?' Hiroto grinned, looking up at him. 'You have to tell me what you want to do, though.'

'Y-you know it's not going to be easy for me to just say!' Subaru protested, blushing furiously.

Hiroto chuckled. 'That's the Subaru I know! I guess we'll have to work around that. You haven't had your first kiss yet, right?'

Subaru rolled his eyes. 'What do you think? You know me well enough to know that.'

'Then we can start there. I can't believe how much you've changed lately!' he teased before leaning towards him until their lips met. With his other hand, he cupped Subaru's cheek.

Subaru felt warmth spread from his lips through his entire body. He wasn't sure what he expected a kiss to feel like, but it was much...more. Hiroto's toned arms embraced him, and he couldn't help but cling onto the feeling of safety they provided.

'I take it that you want more,' Hiroto said cheerfully, having pulled away. His thumb was stroking Subaru's cheek lovingly as he looked at his face from up close.

'Mmmm...' he hummed. 'More,' he whispered with a nod.

'Where?' Hiroto asked, amused by his short but desperate answer.

'Everywhere,' Subaru said simply. He just craved more touch, more warmth.

Hiroto blushed, blinking a few times. 'Whoa, that's more forward than I ever expected!'

'You know what I mean...' Subaru murmured, flustered. 'Will you stay with me like this?'

Hiroto smiled before kissing his cheek, and his nose, and his lips again. 'I'll stay forever if you want,' he said, and started kissing his temple, and his cheek, moving onto his neck...

'Forever...' Subaru whispered, closing his eyes. 'I do.'