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Routine By Now

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Reigen wakes up instantly to his alarm at 6:30am every morning, and he does so today as well. He sits up instantly once the alarm goes off. He feels drool crusted on the corner of his left lip. He’s long stopped being embarrassed by it when Serizawa is over. He swings his legs over the edge of his bed. He thinks about what day it is. It’s Wednes- no, it’s Thursday.

Reigen often doesn’t need to use the snooze function on his phone. However, Serizawa almost always does. In fact, he hears Serizawa behind him stirring at the alarm currently going off, but he doesn’t wake up right away. Reigen turns his alarm off knowing Serizawa’s phone alarm will go off in about 15 minutes. He turns around and looks at Serizawa. Serizawa’s back is facing him, and Reigen, through a hazy view, watches for several seconds the rise and fall of Serizawa’s back. Finally, his body stands up in response to the realization that he could sit here watching Serizawa all morning until he’s late for work if he doesn’t get up now.

Reigen takes this time to get showered. It’s the first thing he does each morning. It’s robotic and routine for him. He just knows his body is going to take him to the bathroom. However, his body does not have perfect memory of the floor plan of his apartment this early in the morning, and Reigen bumps his shoulder on the door frame to the bathroom.


He hisses out in pain quietly (somehow), but the sound from the collision causes Serizawa to nearly shoot up from his place on the bed, albeit groggily.

“Don’t worry, it’s nothing. Go back to sleep,” Reigen reassures him.

Reigen hears Serizawa mumble something, he just doesn’t hear what.

He steps into the bathroom and runs the water to the shower with his eyes closed. For a minute, he touches the running water a few times until it’s finally warm before he finally steps into the shower.

Reigen lets the water hit him for a bit until he’s ready to soap himself up. Usually uses the brand of soap with the cow on the wrapper. He doesn’t know if it’s one of the better brands of soap out there or not, but it doesn’t dry out his skin and that’s all he cares about. Truth be told, he also likes the cow on the wrapper so that motivates him to buy it. When he puts the soap back, it’s next to the body wash bottle Serizawa brought and left here (“The bottle takes up less room than another bar of soap” “It doesn’t, but it’s whatever you want”). He lathers up his body, scrubbing roughly and making sure he’s cleaned up everywhere he can.

Reigen shampoos his hair. He recently changed shampoo and conditioner brands. He likes how his hair feels and looks with this brand. He swears he’s noticed an uptick in the satisfaction of customers since the change. Every time he’s voiced this conclusion at work, Serizawa hasn’t argued, while Dimple will take every chance he gets to point out that Reigen’s information isn’t provable. Serizawa also uses his own brand when he’s over here, but Reigen suspects sometimes Serizawa tries his shampoo and conditioner to test out his theory.

When Reigen’s done in the shower, he towels himself dry. He used to air out the bathroom by opening up the door and letting the steam out but with Serizawa coming over more and more, things have gotten a little tighter around here. Since the door opens out into the “hallway”, he doesn’t. He knows Serizawa probably isn’t up, not just yet, but it still feels courteous not to do it anyway. Reigen used to reassure Serizawa that he was not a nuisance for being over even though the place was small. Serizawa has since stopped apologizing for it and Reigen is happy about that.

Reigen would be lying if the thought about a bigger apartment hasn’t crossed his mind. It’s currently floating around in his head right now, but he doesn’t focus on it all the way because of the implication of what drives the thought to appear in the first place. He’s not scared of the idea, he’s scared someone else might be. In this instance, he successfully leaves the thought alone once again, but he was dangerously close to having it get stuck in his head.

Reigen, fresh and dry, out the shower, is having more coherent thoughts in his head, and he doesn’t feel as hazy. Morning showers always wake him up. They’re integral to his preparation for the day. He doesn’t think he’d be as alert if he showered in the evenings.

He wraps a towel around his waist, and he steps in front of the bathroom mirror. He grabs his toothbrush and toothpaste. He has to be more attentive because since Serizawa’s been coming over more, he left a spare toothbrush here, and several times, Reigen has almost grabbed Serizawa’s by mistake.

After confirming he’s got his toothbrush, Reigen squeezes toothpaste onto his brush and starts brushing. He saw a dentist recently who reminded him that he needed to reach back and really brush the back teeth. Those tended to get neglected by people and the dentist stressed how important it was not to.

The floorboards creak outside. Serizawa is finally getting up, probably to make breakfast. Serizawa doesn’t shower in the morning, he likes to shower at night. He says it makes him feel fresh going into bed.

One night, while cuddling, Reigen had remarked that Serizawa’s hair was still wet. Serizawa apologized. Reigen nearly made a joke about himself being wet, but was more concerned about his sheets getting wet.

“What’s the point of showering now if you’re not clean for the day tomorrow?” he asked.

“I am, though. It’s not like I’m not getting dirty in bed.”

Reigen snickered. “Guess we’re cancelling my plans for tonight.” He was proud he got a joke in after all.

There was a paused before Serizawa responded.“You know what I mean. When we don’t do that. But I dunno, it gets me ready for bed, helps me sleep. I don’t know how to explain it.”

Reigen always remembers that exchange when he thinks about the fact. He still doesn’t get Serizawa’s preference for showering at night, but he’s not complaining, especially since Serizawa promised to dry his hair before getting in bed after that interaction. It works out for Reigen’s morning routine: he doesn’t need to rush out of the bathroom in the mornings, and Serizawa can make breakfast. Reigen thinks about how that’s been a major change in his morning routine.

Serizawa told Reigen his mom taught him to cook once he moved out into his own place. Serizawa makes them breakfast every morning. Serizawa thinks it’s the least he can do when he’s staying over nothing special, but Reigen genuinely appreciates the gesture.

Usually while he’s shaving each morning, he’ll smell whatever Serizawa is making that day. Today is no exception, and Reigen is halfway through shaving, he can smell the miso soup Serizawa is making.

Serizawa cracks open the bathroom door open.

“Are you almost done?”

Serizawa needs to brush his teeth.

“Yeah, yeah, I’m just about done.” Reigen only has a few swipes to go.

Serizawa lets the door shut. A few minutes later, Reigen’s rinsed his face and steps out of the bathroom, carefully since his studio is so tight that the stovetop is right next the bathroom door. Serizawa is standing at stovetop in his work pants and a tank top. Reigen sees his neckline and collarbones and doesn’t want to go into work today. He doesn’t say that.

Instead he asks a question.

“What time is it?”

“Oh,” the question seems to catch Serizawa off-guard. “Um, 7:15? I think?”

“Ah okay. Well, bathroom’s all yours.”

“Good. I just finished making the miso, the rice should be done soon,” Serizawa tells him. Reigen looks at the rice cooker. He wishes it was done now.

Reigen moves to let Serizawa by into the bathroom. As Serizawa slides by, he kisses Reigen on the forehead. Reigen hums at the contact and indulges in it, but he regrets the indulgence because makes him want to stay home ever more. Resisting the urge to follow Serizawa into the bathroom, Reigen quickly grabs a bowl and pours himself some miso.

When he nearly finishes with his miso, the rice is done. He makes a bowl of rice and cracks a raw egg over it. He makes a bowl of rice and egg and a bowl of miso for Serizawa as well. It’s the least he can do. He sits on his bed and eats up the rice and egg. He’s got a few bites left before Serizawa comes out.

“I left you some food on the counter.”

“Ah, thank you, Arataka!”

Reigen, now wide awake and full of food, is struck by how handsome Serizawa looks. He looks handsome every morning, but Reigen might be in a mood this particular morning. Reigen decides to comment on it, but goes with something less charged: “You clean up nice.”

Serizawa chuckles and grabs his breakfast off of the counter.

Reigen pushes the last of the rice into his mouth and gets up to put the bowl on the counter to wash later. He crosses the apartment and goes outside to his balcony to grabs his button down from clothesline where he left it to dry. When he comes back inside, he puts it on and grabs his suit jacket from his closet.

“I hope today isn’t as crazy as yesterday was. Can’t believe every single person came in with actual spirits stuck to them,” Reigen remarks.

Serizawa snickers. “Maybe every single person that comes in today will just need a massage.”

“I hope.”

Reigen checks where he had his suit jacket but can’t find what he’s missing. Shit. He can’t remember where he put his tie.

“Fuck, my tie…”

“Oh, I think you left it on the door handle coming in.” Serizawa immediately answers.

Sure enough, Reigen looks towards and sees the tie on the door handle. Before he can grab it, the tie floats over from the door until it’s in front of his face. He grabs it from the air, and he ties it around his neck.

“Thanks.” Reigen sits down onto the mattress, but not before pulling out his phone. When he’s sitting, he looks at his phone. It’s 7:42am. When Serizawa isn’t here, around this time, he’d already be out of the apartment. He’d be strolling through a convenience store looking for breakfast, and maybe a lunch for later. When Serizawa is over, he waits for Serizawa to finish getting dressed so they can walk to work together. He likes it better when Serizawa is here in the morning.

Serizawa finally finishes his food and puts on his work shirt and jacket.

Reigen can resist Serizawa’s looks some mornings, but today is not on of those days, and he’s feeling especially appreciative of his partner’s presence here. And god damn, Serizawa really does clean up nice.

He walks over while Serizawa starts doing his tie, and grabs the tie and finishes tying it for him. When he tightens the knot, he pulls on it to drag Serizawa’s mouth down towards his. He plants a a slightly opened mouth kiss on Serizawa’s lips.

Serizawa is careful with his hands. Reigen knows it’s because Serizawa doesn’t want to ruin Reigen’s suit. Reigen wishes he would anyway.

He pulls away. “Katsuya, you look great, as always. You ready to head out then?”

Serizawa nods.

Reigen smiles right before his eyes pop up in remembrance. “Oh wait, let me-“ he cuts himself off with a smack of his front right pocket. “Keys.” He smacks the other pocket and hears the jingle of metal he was hoping to hear. “Let’s head out.”

Reigen lets Serizawa walk out first. As he walks behind Serizawa, he really thinks about how he likes this, and how he misses having Serizawa over in the mornings, and not just because he makes him breakfast. Reigen wants this to be daily. He’s already used to it and doesn’t like the days where Serizawa isn’t there, even if his own routine doesn’t change much otherwise.

When Reigen’s out the door, he turns around and locks the door and shoves the keys back in his pocket. He turns around to find Serizawa looking at him, patient as ever, eager to move on with their day together. Reigen wants to know how to keep this.