Akihiko was sat on Haruki’s sofa, his arm loosely around his boyfriend’s shoulders. Full from the homecooked meal he’d made; a variation of fried rice that he hadn’t made before. A recipe he’d learned since he’d gotten his own home, had spent time practising to make perfect before offering it to Haruki. Still a bit embarrassed that that was the only kind of food he could cook with any confidence, but not willing to try and make anything else just yet. Not wanting to subject his boyfriend to any of the other things he’d tried to learn, still not as comfortable with those dishes as he’d like to be.
Though it was more of the same, at least Akihiko knew he could make a good fried rice – having something tasty was more important than trying to show off right now. He wanted things to go well, didn’t fancy the idea of fucking it up and ending up with ordering takeout or having Haruki cook for him again. The whole point of coming into his house and meeting him when he got in from work was so that Haruki could relax a bit, not make him laugh and have to tidy up after his messes.
Why was it so important? Well… Tonight was their first proper date since they’d gotten together. Too busy with band stuff, working and studies to have one before; ending up eating at family restaurants and tumbling into bed when they got home. That was nice in its own way; an enjoyable sort of domesticity that Akihiko was happy to get used to but not really appropriate for the stage of their relationship they were at.
It wasn’t like they were the type to go fine dining or dancing, to go clubbing or whatever. Their schedules didn’t really line up for things like that even if they were; always one thing or another that got in the way of them doing something extravagant like that. Either he’d have class in the morning or Haruki would have to go to work, putting a damper on activities like going out and drinking all night long. Besides, it wasn’t like they needed to do such introductory dates anyway; they already knew each other quite well.
They’d discussed going to the cinema, but Akihiko had wanted a more intimate setting to watch a film. Haruki’s house, where they could snuggle up together on the sofa or hold hands without having to be cautious of where they were and who could see them.
Though he personally didn’t care about such things – people loved who they loved – he knew the rest of Japan was not so easy-going about it. If they went to Nichoume then it wouldn’t be a problem, but Akihiko wasn’t really in the mood for the hustle and bustle of Shinjuku right now. He’d been incredibly excited about having Haruki to himself, not wanting to share even a glimpse of him with random people who would pass them on the street.
Perhaps it was weird to say but Haruki had only seemed to get cuter as time passed by. Without a doubt, he missed his longer hair but now that it was short Haruki seemed younger again; as if time had rewound a bit to when they’d first met. Like this Akihiko could pretend the past few years hadn’t happened; could try and forget what he’d put him through whilst he’d been figuring out his own feelings. Could see his expressions more clearly now that Haruki couldn’t hide behind his hair, got to enjoy the way it freely fanned around his face every time he moved his head.
Not that he was worried Haruki would leave him for someone else or anything – a compliment on the street wouldn’t be enough to sway him like that – but Akihiko was feeling oddly possessive. He’d overreacted when Haruki had mentioned helping out another band; didn’t really want to know what he’d be capable of if he let it get the better of him again. Logically, he knew he had nothing to worry about and had been working on his temper but it was easier to avoid it for now. Better to wait til he found his feet in this relationship more, could push past his insecurities and forget about them.
Akihiko shook his head to himself to clear those thoughts away. What he had with Haruki was different from what he’d had with Ugetsu; what was the point on dwelling on the past?
Instead, he turned his attention properly to the film playing on Haruki’s tv; a horror one he’d picked just for the occasion. One he knew neither of them had seen but had good ratings and was supposed to be good. He’d been looking forward to seeing it and was a little disappointed in himself for not being able to focus, though he couldn’t really blame himself for that.
As a zombie jumped out in front of the screen, Haruki let out a scream and gripped onto Akihiko’s arm, half-hiding his face behind his shoulder. His fingertips digging almost painfully into his arm from his panic, chin pressed into his shoulder blade as he used him as a shield. Akihiko couldn’t help a snigger, trying to hide it unsuccessfully and drawing Haruki’s attention to him instead.
There were a few seconds where they just stared at each other, then Haruki frowned.
“Wait… did you pick this film because you thought I’d react like this?”
Akihiko grinned wryly. Oops, was it that obvious now?
Haruki scowled as he pushed away from his boyfriend, shifting over to the other end of the sofa that was closer to the tv and pulling his knees to his chest. Stubborn, clearly trying not to give him what he wanted. His body illuminated by the flashes of light on the screen, twitching every time something scary happened.
Instead of being put off, Akihiko rested his chin in his hand and kept looking over at him. Ignoring the film entirely now, far more focused on Haruki. The resistance was cute, not a let-down at all. Being clung to had been fun but watching the emotions flashing over his face was fun as well – Haruki always reacted so nicely to his teases that it was difficult to stop trying to wind him up. A bad habit that Akihiko wasn’t entirely sure he wanted to get rid of just yet; knowing Haruki would eventually get used to him and be able to shrug it off anyway. Why not enjoy it whilst it lasted?
Haruki turned his face away to stare into his flat instead, the obvious signs of a blush across his cheeks. His hair on this side not able to hide his expression at all, showing Akihiko the mix of frustration and embarrassment written into it. Probably equally as annoyed with himself for getting scared as he was at him for trying to get that outcome. The sight just made Akihiko more amused, more fond of him than ever before.
But the time the film ended, neither of them had moved. Haruki was still looking into the room whilst the credits played, seemingly not noticing that it was over. As Akihiko shifted down the sofa and leaned over to stroke his hand though Haruki’s hair, the older man stood up and gestured awkwardly at the door.
“D-Date night’s over. You should head home.”
“Yeah, yeah.” Smirking to himself, Akihiko got up and stretched. He should have expected this embarrassment, to be kicked out straight after. Though Haruki had many moments of being loving and sexy, this was just as much a part of him as well. Easily embarrassed, not sure what to do with himself when he knew he was being messed with. Akihiko just found it adorable.
He picked up his jacket and motorcycle helmet off the coat rack at the doorway, knowing Haruki was behind him to lock the door like usual. Despite the fact that he still had a key of his own and would have used it if he’d needed to. As he opened the door and stepped out, he couldn’t help turning around on the spot and grabbing hold of him.
“Wha— Akihiko—” Haruki was almost breathless from surprise, his eyes widening from being touched out of nowhere. Probably expecting him to just go like he’d been told, though Akihiko didn’t want to leave things like this.
Feeling cheeky and confident, Akihiko pressed a kiss to Haruki’s mouth. Just a light one, not with any sexual intentions behind it. Rare for him, probably just as rare to Haruki as well.
“See ya later.”
Haruki was looking at him with a mix of surprise and frustration. Clearly still mad at him for teasing him with a scary film but stunned by the kiss, reacting in that cute way that Akihiko still couldn’t get enough of. He could see the tenseness in Haruki’s hands as he fiddled with them for a moment and then Haruki was grabbing onto his shirt, kissing him hard on the mouth.
Akihiko grinned against Haruki’s lips before he started kissing him back, reaching up a hand into the back of his hair, feeling it’s silkiness between his fingers. Reminding him of all the times he used to play with it before, fiddling with the ends to watch Haruki get flustered.
When Haruki pulled back from him, his whole face was red. His gaze ever-so-slightly averted, like he was unable to meet his gaze.
“…Next time I’m picking the film.” It came out in a sulky tone, making Akihiko almost burst into laughter. He could feel his body trembling as he tried to hold it back, knowing that right now wasn’t the time. The problem was, he was always so bad at this; knew Haruki would notice even if he managed to refrain.
Haruki’s eyes snapped back to him at his response, a frown covering the older man’s face. Reading him like a book, disgruntled by the fact that he was amused by that. There was a sigh and then Haruki pushed him away properly, away from the door where he could close it without hitting him. Thoughtful in that way even when he was mad, Akihiko unsurprised when the door suddenly shut in his face.
He couldn’t hold back his laughter anymore, covering his mouth with his hand as he hurriedly rushed down the stairs that led out of the apartment building. Trying to make sure Haruki didn’t hear it, though he knew it was far too late for that. Haruki really was too cute.
As he climbed onto his bike and put his helmet on, Akihiko grinned to himself. He could make out Haruki’s silhouette on his balcony, knowing he was being watched but not minding at all. This had all started from Haruki observing him from a distance, after all.
He was going to do everything right from now on, treat Haruki exactly how he deserved. Tease him a little but mainly with respect; do everything in his power to keep a smile on the older man’s face. He’d always found it so strange how quick Haruki was to put himself down, how he’d compare himself to others in ways that weren’t favourable. In time he was going to change that, give Haruki the ability to recognise just how amazing he really was. Build him up with love until those thoughts never happened again, allow Haruki to have the confidence in himself that he should have already.
Before he put down his visor, Akihiko looked up at Haruki properly. Saw him jerk in surprise at having been seen, chuckling to himself as he blew a kiss from the bottom of his helmet and started his engine. Hearing a noise but not paying attention to it, driving off without sparing another glance.
He could feel his phone vibrate in his pocket as he biked his way home, likely texts from Haruki. Almost certainly complaining at him for being so rude tonight, flustered by his blatant affections since he wasn’t used to them yet.
Another thing that would change with time, and he had all the time in the world to get to see that transformation. They’d overcome hell to get as far as they were now; Akihiko was going to enjoy every damn second.