“I want to do to you what spring does to the cherry trees.” — Pablo Neruda
The spring Kuroo buys small plants to cultivate in his apartment, Tsukki spends the night.
And then, the whole weekend.
The both of them are struggling with the start of a new term, but they find the time to see each other twice a month. It’s always in Kuroo’s new apartment in Tokyo, because it’s more private and it’s a novelty, the first time Kuroo gets to live alone.
He buys four flowerpots with four different plants, all of them weird-looking or poisonous-looking, and that’s what he likes about them, the fact that they’re different.
When Tsukki visits him for the first time, he looks at them with a curious expression.
“What? I like plants.”
“I didn’t say anything.” He shrugs, walking over to the windowsill in Kuroo’s living room. “Is it safe for them to be here?”
“What do you mean?”
“They say that, when it comes to nature, the brightest colors mean poisonous or dangerous.”
Kuroo squints his eyes, looks at the reddish-and-yellowish leaves and at the polka-dot plant, and then says, “I think this is about snakes only.”
“I’m pretty sure it’s not,” he mumbles, carefully touching the small cactus.
Kuroo takes hold of Tsukki’s wrist and pulls him. “The florist said it was safe, so stop questioning, will you?”
They stare at each other, Kuroo defiant and Tsukki deadpan, and when the latter is about to reply, Kuroo interrupts him and says, “Goddamn, you’re taller than the last time we talked.”
Tsukki’s cheeky laughter dissolves into a smug grin. “I told you I was still growing, didn’t I?”
Kuroo shakes his head, but he’s biting his lips to stop the smile that is threatening to become a grin.
“Yeah, you did,” he says, running his hand through the hair at Tsukki’s nape, bringing their mouths together.
In the morning, Kuroo finds Tsukki in the kitchen in front of the stove, wearing jeans and an oversized t-shirt that looks too loose on him.
“What’s this?” He asks, peering over a bony shoulder, and then tugs at the shirt. “And is this mine?”
“Cimarrón,” Tsukki says, stirring the dark water with soaked dried leaves. “And yes. Couldn’t find mine and I wanted to buy tea.”
Kuroo hums and lays his hand on the small of Tsukki’s back. His skin is warm and smooth, and he can feel the dimples under the tip of his fingers.
“Is it any good?”
“If you know how to brew it.” He reaches his hand to grab a teacup, and then says, “The first time I made it, it tasted like cigarette tea.”
Kuroo wrinkled his nose in disgust. “Why the hell are you making this then?”
“Well, it’s not supposed to taste like cigarette.” He takes a sip and hums appreciatively. “Wanna taste?”
He eyes the drink with a sneering curl of his lips.
“I’ll add honey, if you’re such a pissbaby.” Tsukki smirks.
Kuroo takes it as a challenge.
“I’ll take it without the honey.”
Tsukki’s smirk widens into a full grin. He offers the mug and Kuroo brings the straw to his lips. It tastes utterly bitter, and the moment it touches his tongue, he makes a face and almost retches. The drink slides distastefully down his throat, leaving a sharp taste on his tongue that he can only describe as cigarette ashes.
“This is awful.”
Tsukki’s snort sounds too much like laughter. “It’s an acquired taste.”
When Sunday rolls around, Tsukki prepares to leave, hair still damp and skin still flushed from the shower, dressed entirely in Kuroo’s clothes. Kuroo, who’s watching him in silence, hands Tsukki a clean pair of socks and then sits down on the bed, playing with the hem of his shirt. He worries his lips and averts his eyes.
“Y’know,” he says tentatively, scratching the back of his neck. “You could spend the weekend next time.”
Tsukki turns and stares at him, fidgeting with his hands as if he didn’t know what to do with them. They look too pale and delicate in the bright room, and Kuroo thinks Tsukki should bathe in the sun to get some color.
“If you want, of course.” He adds, standing up.
“Yeah,” Tsukki says, heedlessly, trailing off.
Neither of them is looking at the other, and Kuroo doesn’t know if that’s a yes or a no, so he decides to go to the living room. He feels like watering the plants is better than awkwardly standing by Tsukki right now.
Kuroo loves Tsukki. He wouldn’t trade him for anything or anyone, but sometimes it’s complicated. Sometimes he doesn’t know Tsukki’s motivations at all, and it feels like walking on eggs. Like he’s blind and Tsukki is an unknown place he has to travel through.
He sighs, shakes his head, and then waters the Polka Dot, the Maranta and the Flame Nettle plants, but skips the cactus.
“Sorry; no water for you,” he says, stroking the flowerpot in sympathy. “But don’t let the other guys tease you about it.”
He rests the watering can on the windowsill and stares at the still budding plants. They don’t blossom into flowers, but Kuroo considers buying some that does.
“I should name you guys, shouldn’t—”
“Are you talking to the plants?”
Kuroo yelps. He turns to Tsukki, but there’s nothing he can say in his defense.
“You are talking to the plants. My god, you’re such a grandma.”
“Shut up! You still play with your dinosaur figurines.”
“I don’t play with them, I collect them.”
Kuroo crosses his arms in front of his chest and says, “Same here.”
Tsukki smiles smugly.
“Yeah, but you still talk to your plants. And wanna name them.” He chuckles.
Kuroo grimaces, turns his back on Tsukki and mumbles a feeble, “Shut up.”
“Who would’ve thought,” he says, walking over towards the other to pat Kuroo sympathetically on the back.
When Tsukki is about to leave and Kuroo is standing at the threshold, arms around Tsukki’s waist and mouth laying soft kisses under his jaw, the blond leans back and smiles at Kuroo, a half smile curving his lips upwards.
“You were calling them guys, but I think that reddish one is a lady. So, you know, give her a proper name.”
Kuroo looks over his shoulder at the windowsill where the flowerpots sit.
“Yeah, I guess I didn’t really consider their gender,” he says sheepishly, scratching the back of his neck.
“You should, next time,” he says solemnly. “We all should respect Mother Nature.”
Kuroo frowns. “I’m not sure if you’re kidding or not.”
“I’m not.” Tsukki adjusts the strap of his bag and turns. “Anyway, I’ll bring you a plant next time.”
But he never actually does.
Months go by and when summer nears, neither of them has the time to spend the weekend doing anything other than studying. They haven’t seen each other in five weeks, and even though Kuroo misses Tsukki, he forces himself not to take the train and visit him in the middle of the night, simply saying, if questioned, that he just really missed being near him.
It’s midnight and Kuroo is studying calculus when his mobile buzzes on the nightstand. When he sees that it’s a text from Tsukki, he drops his pencil, forgets his homework and focus on the message.
Are you awake?
He considers saying the truth; that he has an exam coming up, that he needs revising and that the ever-growing list of homework he has to do never ends. He weighs the pros and the cons, and decides that he’ll go crazy if he doesn’t take a small break.
He lies down on his bed and waits for the text, but a second later, it’s not a message he receives, but a call.
“Hi,” Tsukki says, voice quiet, hesitant, but Kuroo thinks it’s due to the fact that it’s the first time they’re talking on the phone.
“Tsukki,” he sighs, unable to help the smile that spreads across his face. “Missed me? Missed me so much that you couldn’t wait till next day?” He teases.
The line goes silent except for the sound of Tsukki’s breathing, and Kuroo frowns.
“I’m here.” He clears his throat, and after a second asks, “What are you doing?”
“Nothing much. Aren’t you supposed to be sleeping?”
“You want me to sing some lullaby?”
Tsukki hesitates and then, “Do you know one?”
He chuckles. “No, sorry. I could google it, though.”
“It’s fine. Just keep talking, I guess.”
Kuroo bites his bottom lip, brows drawing together in worry. There’s something off, but he can’t pinpoint what.
“Hey, is something wrong?” Tsukki hesitates again, and Kuroo starts to fear something bad happened. “Tsukki, are you okay? You can tell me, you can tell me anything. You know that, right?” He says, because he knows Tsukki builds a barrier between him and other people, dismisses his own feelings and pretends they’re not real, they don’t matter.
There’s a long sigh coming from the other end of the line and when silence descends, Kuroo starts fidgeting.
“I don’t want to talk about it,” he finally says. “Just wanted to hear your voice.”
“Kuroo,” Tsukki interrupts in an unwavering tone.
“I’m sorry, I’ll—sure. Okay.” He worries his lips when neither of them speaks for a long time. “Where would you go if you could go anywhere right now?”
Tsukki stays quiet for a couple of seconds, and then, in a breathy murmur, mumbles, “Your side.”
Kuroo clutches the mobile tightly in his hands, breathes in shakily and sighs the other’s name as if it were a prayer. “I… I meant a country or a city, but. But I’d rather go to wherever you are too.”
There’s a moment of hesitance, of shuffling on the other side of the line, and then, “I know,” he says quietly. “Where would you travel to?”
He hums in contemplation. “I think it’d be Salar de Uyuni. It’s, like, a salt flat in Bolivia, but whenever the surface is covered in water, it looks kinda like a mirror? And it reflects everything. When you look at the horizon, you can’t see where the ground ends and the sky begins. It’s.... It’s amazing, kinda mystical and dreamlike. I think you’d like being there.”
“I think that too,” Tsukki says, and Kuroo can hear the soft smile in his voice.
“We could just lie there and watch the sunset reflected on the surface. And then the starry sky.”
“I just googled it. It looks…”
When the silence draws out, Kuroo offers. “Amazing?”
“Yeah.” He chuckles. “I’d like to go there with you.”
Kuroo smiles. “Me too.”
“He was pointing at the moon, but I was looking at his hand.” — Richard Siken
Tsukki’s body is cold against his. Kuroo can feel him shiver when a cold breeze blows across the street, making the hair on their arms stand on end. It’s a summer night; the full moon is bright and alone in the sky, half-covered by clouds that look considerably less dark after the downpour.
They’re soaked to the bone, but neither of them minds the discomfort. Kuroo has always loved summer rain, and Tsukki… well, Tsukki once told him that he didn’t mind the nature, whatever the hell that meant. He found the statement funny and outright chuckled, but when Tsukki showed him a leaf insect resting peacefully in the center of his palm, Kuroo jolted.
“What the fuck is that?”
“A leaf insect.”
“That’s—” He made a disgusted face, at a loss for words. “Stop caressing it!”
Tsukki shrugged in a deadpan way, walking towards the nearest tree to set the insect there with care.
“I can teach you how to catch a caterpillar.”
A chuckle bubbles up Kuroo’s throat at the memory and he can’t help but snicker. He feels Tsukki shift in his arms and with a confused voice, he asks, “What are you laughing at?”
“Just something I remembered. You wanting to teach me how to catch caterpillar, like I’d ever want to raise one.”
“They’re nice to the touch.”
Kuroo shakes his head, knowing it’s useless to argue with Tsukki about Mother Nature.
“Yeah, yeah, right. Let’s go back home.”
“I’m just saying, Kuroo. Because there are people who crush them by mistake. They’re extremely fragile.”
He stares at Tsukki for a long moment.
“I thought you were into dinosaurs.”
“My likes and dislikes are not mutually exclusive.”
Kuroo silently watches Tsukki dry his hair with a fluffy towel. He knows it’s not a secret and that certainly everyone has noticed already, but Kuroo loves to look at Tsukki.
He likes waking up early and watching him when he’s still asleep, face slack and relaxed, looking so much younger. Likes staring at him in those moments where Tsukki is unaware of his gaze on him, appearing so lost and so real, full of depths and corners Kuroo wants to travel through, if Tsukki allows him. Likes catching glimpses of his honest, short-lived smiles. Likes to commit to memory every single part of his boyfriend, be them corporeal or not.
Kuroo smiles his lopsided smile and steps closer to Tsukki, who’s shirtless, warm and fresh out of the shower.
“But I love staring at you,” he says, shrugging. He likes honesty. Honesty is the quickest way to make Tsukki disconcerted.
“I know what you’re doing.” Tsukki scowls, leaning down towards the bed to pick up his shirt. “And it’s not gonna work.”
Kuroo snatches the tee from Tsukki’s hand and stares at him. It kind of pisses him off that the other is still getting taller, and he has to look up a little.
“I was being honest, though,” he mumbles, kissing Tsukki’s chin. “I love staring at you. Next time remind me to say congrats to your parents.”
Tsukki snorts, but remains silent, only puts his arms around Kuroo’s waist.
He knows that the other will never admit it, but he’s a cuddler. It was obvious from the first time he visited Tsukki’s bedroom and saw the amount of shabby pillows in his bed. But it only became a fact after the first time they slept together.
Tsukki drew a virtual line between their bodies and said, “Your side; my side,” but the next day, Kuroo woke up with a warm weight on top of his chest, and long legs intertwined with his own.
“So much for appearances,” he mumbled, going back to sleep.
Listening to the bands Tsukki likes is always a pleasant surprise. They’re overall bands Kuroo has never heard of or bands that are famous in some countries, but not in others. He doesn’t do it on purpose, liking indie, underground music, that is, it’s just that he listens to everything. From Mozart to Yann Tiersen to HIM to Nicki Minaj, which is, admittedly, quite odd, because when his iPod's on shuffle it’ll go from Ólafur Arnalds to Maná.
“I’ve never heard this one before,” he says, when a masculine, hoarse voice starts singing to melancholic chords. They’re lying down on his bed, Tsukki’s back to his chest, sharing body heat and a thick duvet.
“I found them recently. They’re cool.”
“What’s the name?” He asks, burying his face in Tsukki’s nape.
He likes Tsukki’s scent, something that is undeniably and solely his. Kuroo never really believed in such a thing, in people having a natural, unique smell, but there’s an old shirt in the bottom of his drawer that says otherwise.
It was brand new when Tsukki wore it for the first time, and then it just became a habit of his to wear it to sleep whenever he spent the night in Kuroo’s home. And, admittedly, it’s embarrassing, but whenever he misses Tsukki, he sleeps in that tee. Tsukki’s scent is comforting and it makes him feel at peace.
“Cícero.” He says as he intertwines their fingers.
“Like the Roman philosopher?”
“Mm. You like it?”
“S’nice,” Kuroo says, voice sluggish with sleepiness. “You’ve good taste.”
He closes his eyes and keeps listening to the music, waiting for unconsciousness, but despite being tired, he doesn’t seem to fall asleep.
Kuroo sighs, gives Tsukki a peck on the back of his neck and tightens the hold around the thin frame.
Kuroo hums noncommittally, but a minute later, Tsukki is turning off his iPod. The room plunges into darkness and silence.
“You didn’t need to turn it off.”
“I didn’t do it for you.”
He chuckles, shaking his head a little. “Of course, of course.”
The morning sunlight flickers through the venetian blinds and paints Tsukki’s body with thin, parallel stripes. Kuroo glides his hands across the pale expanse of the other’s back, and wonders how come someone could be so beautiful.
He counts the many moles on Tsukki’s unblemished skin and kisses the ones on his back. He’s always joking about them composing a constellation.
“This one looks like Scorpius’,” he lied once, tracing a random pattern between Tsukki’s shoulder blades.
“How do you know that?”
“Because it’s my constellation,” he said, like it was the most obvious thing on earth. “Do you know what that means?”
“Please, don’t say—”
“We were meant to be.”
There’s a hidden fragility in Tsukki that makes him all the more lovely. A delicate side that he tries to bury deep within himself. Kuroo thinks it’s silly. Silly to hide a fundamental part of who one is, to put on a mask and feign indifference. But he’s not a teenager anymore. Kuroo knows people wear all kinds of masks in order not to get hurt.
He presses his fingers down on each knob of Tsukki’s spine, feeling the bones and coolness of his skin. He’s impossibly skinny, but Kuroo has lost hope that he’ll eventually convince Tsukki to eat more and gain weight. That doesn’t stop him from always buying the other strawberry shortcakes, though. It’s not as healthy, but at least it serves its purpose.
He leans in, rests his cheek on the center of the other’s back, feeling it contract and expand with each breath. Kuroo’s hands travel smoothly across Tsukki’s side, exploring the ripples of his ribs, the texture of his skin and its softness. He thinks he’ll never have enough of looking at Tsukki, of touching him and kissing him.
It feels like every time they meet, Kuroo finds something new about him. Something that charms and enthralls him wholeheartedly. If he were to describe Tsukki, he’d choose the word fascinating, because that’s how being near him feels like. Like he’ll miss him the moment they part ways, like all the news he waited the whole week to tell Tsukki are forgotten in the blink of an eye, because what’s truly important is the present, the both of them together, their bodies against each other’s.
Kuroo grimaces, hides his face behind his hand, and feels the warmth on his cheeks. Sometimes, it’s embarrassing how fond he is of Tsukki. How much he likes to hear his voice, just listening to anything he has to say. How much the sight of the other blushing at Kuroo’s words warms his core, makes his heart skip a beat and then pulsate in an unrhythmical manner.
Tsukki stirs under his ministrations, blinks his eyes open slowly, and then closes them again. He mutters something that sounds like, You’re heavy, but his voice is so hoarse and groggy that Kuroo’s not so sure.
He only smiles, mumbles something noncommittally in return and kisses the first knob of Tsukki’s spine, kissing all the way down his back. It’s chaste and sluggish, as though they had the whole morning just for them. And they do, Kuroo thinks, kissing the dimples on his lower back, mouthing at the endearing indentations.
“C’mup ‘ere an’ stop that,” Tsukki grumbles.
“Why?” He asks, making his way upwards.
“Too early in the mornin’ to be that gross.”
Kuroo snickers, nuzzling Tsukki’s bony shoulder with fondness. “You’re such a morning person, Kei.”
He sighs and lies halfway on top of Tsukki again. Their legs are tangled together, and the other’s back is cool against his chest. Kuroo gives one last peck on Tsukki’s shoulder and with a halfhearted smile, murmurs, Charming, before going back to sleep.
“I wait for you like a lonely house till you will see me again and live in me. Till then my windows ache.” — Pablo Neruda
Kuroo gets out of the shower and puts on loose sweater pants and a shabby shirt, not really bothering to brush his hair. He looks for Tsukki and finds him in front of the window, wearing only boxer briefs and looking outside, tapping his fingers against the windowsill to the rhythm of a song Kuroo doesn’t recognize. He finds it endearing that now Tsukki is comfortable enough in his presence to walk around the apartment only in his underwear.
Tsukki’s trust means a lot to him, means more than he could put into words. Knowing that he trusts Kuroo to respect his boundaries, to respect him as a person, without judgments and preconceptions, makes him feel like he’s loved in return.
He knows Tsukki loves him in his own way, but sometimes it’s hard. Sometimes it feels like Kuroo is deluding himself, because maybe Tsukki can’t love him the way Kuroo wishes he would, in a way that would leave him breathless and hopeless and astonished, but feeling like he’s finally, finally home. Sometimes, it feels like their relationship is a one-way street, like maybe it isn’t enough.
During these moments, he forces himself to remember all the small gestures, the feeling of Tsukki’s hands in his, the softness of his lips, how his body always seeks Kuroo’s, the way Tsukki’s smiles grow fond and childlike when Kuroo kisses him for the first time after a week without seeing each other.
He sits down on the sofa, right in front of the window and stares at the other’s back. The sun is finally setting, turning the sky a reddish hue of orange, and the room and Tsukki’s hair are tinged by the last rays of sunlight.
Tsukki turns and starts, surprised at seeing him there.
“Just as noiseless as a cat,” he says, smiling a little. Kuroo shrugs, looking anywhere but at him. “What’s wrong?”
A new song starts playing, and this time, Kuroo recognizes the music. He forces himself to stare at amber eyes.
“Nothing,” but Tsukki sees right through him.
“Liar. Tell me what’s wrong.”
“Tsukki,” he sighs, getting up and crossing the room to stand in front of the other. “I’m telling you, there’s nothing wrong. Let’s start again, shall we?” He asks, giving a quick peck on thin lips. “Hi.”
Tsukki frowns at him, still not buying it. But he only sighs a resigned, Hi.
“Did you miss me while I was in the shower?”
His frown deepens and Tsukki looks away. “You—”
Kuroo doesn’t let him finish. He raises his hands to the other’s face and guides it towards his own. It isn’t forceful or invasive, he leaves it up to Tsukki to decide whether or not he wants the kiss, but Tsukki always does, he always kisses him back, melts in his arms, making small, appreciative sounds that pour directly into Kuroo’s mouth.
His hands slide across skinny arms and rests on bony shoulders. He wants to tell Tsukki so many things, tell him about his insecurities and how difficult it is to bottle up his feelings and how scared he is of driving Tsukki away.
Tsukki sucks his bottom lip in between his and worries it just a bit, making it sting a little before breaking apart. Kuroo really loves the fixation the other has with his lips. They’re plump; I like them, he said once, watching his mouth with hooded eyes.
“I like this song,” he says offhandedly, burying his face on Kuroo’s neck. He’s about to say, I know, when Tsukki continues, “This line, too. The end is unknown, but I think I'm ready,” he sings. “As long as you're with me.”
Kuroo wraps his arms around Tsukki’s body and snuggles closer.
“Hi,” he murmurs against Tsukki’s nape, body halfway draped over his back.
Tsukki turns his head and kisses Kuroo, licking at a plump, bottom lip and sucking it into his mouth.
“Hi.” He smiles, kind of sleepy and genuine and honest, and it makes Kuroo’s heart beat faster.
He bites his lips for a moment, stares at amber eyes and tries not to blunder something nonsensical.
“I wanna ask you something.”
Tsukki turns towards him, touches Kuroo’s cheek, his thumb caressing the rim of his lips, and says, “Don’t. Kiss me again.”
He can’t help but oblige. He likes kissing him. Likes the way their bodies fit together, as if they were made to seek each other and only feel complete when side by side. Likes how it is through touch that Tsukki knows how to communicate, to show his feelings.
To show his love.
He flinches. “I’m sorry.”
Tsukki sighs. He brushes his fingers through Kuroo’s hair, feeling the texture, stroking the scalp in a soothing manner, as if Kuroo had just woken up from a nightmare.
“Tetsurou,” he says, voice low, quiet. “Stop overthinking.”
He wants to say, I’m sorry for doubting you, for being inconsiderate, for wanting so much. But his throat refuses to work and Tsukki isn’t looking at him like he’s a disappointment, like he has been demanding and asking for too much.
Like Kuroo doesn’t deserve him.
“I’m sorry,” he says again, at a loss for words.
“Stop.” He frowns, and it feels like an admonishment. “I like this. What we have.”
Kuroo smiles, leans down to kiss Tsukki again and against his mouth, he whispers, “Me too.”
They had been together for four months, when Tsukki told him he was aromantic.
It was late at night and they were lying in bed together. His face was buried in the back of Tsukki’s neck, the fine hair at his nape tickling his nose, but Kuroo didn’t mind, because his heater was broken and the weather had been rainy and cold for the past days, and Tsukki was incredibly warm and cozy.
“You’re quiet,” he stated, seeking Tsukki’s hand to intertwine their fingers. He’d always liked the feel of the other’s skin against his own, always marveling at how well they fit together.
“I am quiet.”
“But you’ve been awfully quiet as of late.”
Tsukki sighed, tightened the hold on his hand and curled up, drawing his knees in.
“There’s something I need to tell you.”
Something in Kuroo’s stomach clenched in anxiety. He forced himself to remain silent and just wait. He gnawed at his bottom lip, worry amplifying with Tsukki’s prolonged hesitation, but he seemed incapable of saying anything further, and after several minutes, Kuroo started panicking.
He thought about how much he’d teased and taunted and riled up the other, and that maybe, Tsukki never really liked that side of him. Or that he’d grown tired of him or wasn’t looking for something serious. Maybe, he was just experimenting and figur—
Tsukki let go of his hand and curled up even more, looking vulnerable and so much smaller.
Kuroo didn’t know what to say, mostly because Tsukki looked as though he had just walked the plank and was about to jut out over the sea. He knew it wasn’t a frivolous subject, but he also didn’t think it was a big deal. Some people were born that way, and that was just as normal as the alternative.
“Thank you for confiding in me,” he said, in the end, seeking Tsukki’s hand to intertwine their fingers again.
There was a poignant silent filled with tension and then, “Is that all you have to say?”
Kuroo cringed, disentangling his limbs from Tsukki’s when the latter sat up. He opened his mouth to speak, but everything that crossed his mind seemed inappropriate, like, Okay, you’re still the same Tsukki, or, Okay, it’s cool, which was even more ridiculous, considering.
“I didn’t mean aromantic as in I don’t like romance, I meant—”
“Wow, thank you for thinking I’m dense, Tsukki, you’re an asshole.” Kuroo sat up, tucking his feet under his buttocks. “Kenma is also aro. I didn’t really understand it at first, but he explained to me the basics... Then I googled it to know more about it.”
Tsukki looked sideways, a hint of a blush creeping up on his cheeks.
“Sorry, I didn’t mean…” He shook his head, as though frustrated at himself.
Kuroo touched his face, made him look up, and smiled. “Can I kiss you?”
Tsukki rolled his eyes. “Idiot,” he said, but leaned forward, expectant.
It was soft and chaste, and there was something in the way Tsukki kissed him back that spoke volumes about how much he’d been meaning to tell him about that private matter. It was genuine and carefree and affectionate, as though he was saying thank you, and when he hugged Kuroo after they broke apart, buried his nose in the junction between his shoulder and neck, and just stayed there, Kuroo fell in love with him just a little bit more.
“I don’t know how you feel, but I know it’s not black and white. And this,” he gestured to the both of them, “doesn’t have to be anything you don’t want it to.”
“You don’t have a problem with it?”
“I’ve never dated an aro, but...” he trailed off, deep in thought. “I mean, it might be challenging, but it also might not. It hasn’t so far. And why the hell should we have a problem with the kind of love a person feels or doesn’t feel, anyway?”
“If I didn’t know any better, I’d say you’re too guileless for your own good.”
Tsukki laughed, his breathing warming Kuroo’s shoulder and the side of his neck, even tickling a little, and Kuroo stroked the blond, short hair in a soothing motion.
“It’s worth a shot, is all I’m saying.”
“I think it’s not gonna bloom,” Kuroo says, pouting, a sad downward curl of his lips.
Tsukki eyes critically the plant he bought him weeks ago. There are a couple of small buds here and there, but they haven’t developed into a flower.
“I can get you another one.”
“No. I want this one,” he says, defensively, and then waters the plant a little bit more before resting the watering can on the windowsill. “Besides, if it doesn’t open up, I’m calling it Tsukki.”
He stares at Kuroo in a deadpan way, then shakes his head. “You’re ridiculous. You’re not calling it that.”
Kuroo laughs, walking towards Tsukki with a fond smile on his face. He puts his arms around the thin waist and snuggles closer.
“Why not? Jealous?” He grins a toothy smile, watching the other glare at him.
“Of a plant?”
“Well, it does seem like someone wants to be the only Tsukki around.”
Tsukki breathes in deeply, looking irritated. There’s a light blush coloring his cheeks, and Kuroo absolutely loves it. Can’t help but lean in and kiss his lips softly.
“What’s its name anyway?”
Tsukki shrugs, eyes shiny and cheeks still rosy.
“If it doesn’t bloom it won’t matter.”
“But I wanna know.”
“It’s a surprise.”
“Honestly.” He huffs. “You’re impossible.”
“I do believe his mouth is heaven, his kisses falling over me like stars.” — Richard Siken
The bedroom is immersed in silence and outside, the last rays of sunshine start to die down, leaving them in semi darkness. Kuroo is sitting between Tsukki’s legs, and Tsukki has just put down his book. He looks up, questioning, but Kuroo just smiles, a small, lopsided curve of his lips.
“What’re you reading?”
Tsukki raises the book and turns its cover towards Kuroo so he can see the title, Crush.
“Is it about dinosaurs?” Tsukki looks at him blankly. Then, he tries to glare, but his lips are tugging upwards. “I know you wanna laugh.” He grins.
“Shut up,” he says, kicking him halfheartedly. “Who the hell writes poetry about dinosaurs, anyway?”
Kuroo rests his hands on both of Tsukki’s knees and rests his face on one of them.
“So, what is it about?”
“Love,” he replies, looking down at the book. “Tragic love. Everyone’s either struggling with the love they feel or what kind of monster it turns them into.”
Kuroo huffs, kisses the side of his knee and against his skin, murmurs. “Sounds like the kind of book you’d be into.”
He draws random patterns across Tsukki’s knee, feeling the shape of his bones and the texture of his skin, there’s warmth radiating from his body, and Kuroo wants nothing more than to get closer to him until they share body heat, until they fall asleep in each other’s arms.
Tsukki raises his hand and runs his fingers through the other’s fringe, making him look up. “So,” he says, voice quiet, almost soft, “what did you want?”
Kuroo closes his eyes and lets out a sigh, his other hand slides down Tsukki’s leg, strokes his calf with the tip of his fingers and then rests on his ankle.
“You.” He opens up his eyes, but they’re fixed downwards, on the spot of skin he had been kissing.
There’s silence afterwards, tranquil and indolent, like waves unfurling on the shore. Neither of them is willing to disrupt the moment, the frail ephemerality, but Kuroo trails kisses down Tsukki’s thigh, leans forward with remarkable flexibility and nuzzles the fine, blond hair on the inner side.
Kuroo looks upwards, and there’s something in the way Tsukki stares back at him that makes the hair on his nape stand on end, arms prickling all over with goose bumps. He smiles, licks at his skin and blows on it, watching as the damp mark slowly dries and then disappears.
When he reaches the hem of the boxer briefs, he pushes it upwards, towards Tsukki’s crotch, baring more of his pale skin, kissing the newly unveiled spot open-mouthed. He can see the other’s chest rising unrhythmically, his breathing becoming irregular and breathy, his hand fastening its hold on Kuroo’s hair, a silent plea, desire making itself known through touch.
He hovers over the other’s clothed erection, lips almost touching, lingering, and he stares at Tsukki, whose amber eyes are fixed on his. He mouths the rounded head through the cloth, watching as Tsukki’s eyes flutter shut, as his hips undulates under his ministration and his back arches.
He kisses the V of his lower abdomen, tracing the indentation of his hipbones with his tongue, and then makes his way up Tsukki’s torso.
“Tsukki,” he murmurs directly over his heart, lips hovering over the center of his chest. “I want you so much.”
Kuroo licks at Tsukki’s collarbone, the hollow of his throat and then trails kisses up his neck, biting at his pulse point, listening to the quiet gasp that escapes thin lips.
“So much that,” he says against Tsukki’s ear, breath warm and damp, “sometimes I think…”
Tsukki pulls at his dark hair, making Kuroo unfasten his mouth from his skin and look at him.
“Kiss me,” he says, voice hoarse and broken, and Kuroo knows that’s his way of telling him to shut up.
He fights the urge to kiss Tsukki’s pink, swollen lips, so inviting they make Kuroo bite down hard at his own to fight the urge.
Tsukki growls, wraps his legs around Kuroo’s waist and rolls them over, looming over him, with his pupils blown wide and a hungry expression.
“You talk too much, Tetsurou.”
He opens his mouth to reply, Do I?, but Tsukki is kissing him, leaving him breathless. He licks his way inside, without rushing, committing to memory all the sounds Kuroo makes, the way his hands travels down Tsukki’s back and settle on his buttocks, sliding his hands beneath the fabric of his underwear before slipping it off.
Tsukki breaks the kiss to get his boxer briefs off and Kuroo takes the opportunity to undress himself. He sits up, throwing his clothing across the floor, and stares at Tsukki, who looks ravishing, enticing, with his tousled hair and swollen lips, pale skin blushing an endearing shade of pink.
He feels as though he could stare at him and never have enough of the sight, never lose interest in it, no matter how many times he witnesses it.
Kuroo thinks he is so lucky. So lucky to have met Tsukki, to have him in his arms, to know that Tsukki trusts him, accepts him, welcomes his touch and his love. Kuroo rests his hand on the junction between Tsukki’s neck and shoulder, and the other on the center of his chest. He feels the heartbeats, so alive and strong, fast. Arrhythmic.
He looks at Tsukki as though—
“Stop looking at me that way.”
As though he would never have enough of looking at him, would never stop loving him.
Kuroo smiles, a fond, soft curve of his lips; it feels out of place and yet oddly natural, genuine, as if he were supposed to have met Tsukki and have Tsukki do those things to him, make him smile that way and feel like his skin is too tight and he needs to get out of his body. As if it were decided a long time ago that they were supposed to be together despite all odds.
“You’re so shy,” he murmurs when Tsukki looks away, a flush of red coloring his cheeks.
“Shut up,” he grumbles, flicking his hand off. “I need to find a better way to keep your trap shut.”
“Be my guest, Kei.” He smiles, this time lopsided, teasing.
Kuroo finds Tsukki on the couch, drinking hot cocoa with his legs pulled up and hair still messy from sleep. He bends down and kisses his forehead.
“Had a good night’s sleep?”
“You kept turning over. No wonder you have such a terrible case of bedhead.” He sniffs before taking a small sip of his beverage, ignoring Kuroo’s shocked look.
“You’re so mean,” he mumbles weakly. “You know my hair defies gravity and that I can’t fix it.”
Tsukki looks up at him and sees the pout puckering his lips. He sighs; his breath undulating the surface of his drink.
“I know, I’m sorry. I…” he averts his eyes and looks sideways. “I like it. It looks… good on you, somehow.”
“Tsukki,” Kuroo whispers, touched, a fond smile gracing his face. “You’re so cute, so adorable.”
Tsukki immediately turns red, choking on his hot cocoa and sputtering, “Sh—shut up!”
He laughs, messing the blonde hair, and having his hand batted away, before going to check on the plants. The earth in the flowerpots looks humid and he can see some water drops on the leaves.
“Did you water them?”
“Yeah,” he grumbles.
“Thanks,” he says, flopping down on the sofa. Then, a moment later, “You didn’t water Kyo, did you?”
“No. I know you only water the cactus on Mondays.”
Kuroo leans against Tsukki and kisses the corner of his lips. He intertwines their fingers together and rests his head on a bony shoulder. “I worry about them… especially about Tsukki.” He mumbles, ignoring Tsukki’s snort. “Not that I love the others less. Or the other Tsukki less,” he adds.
“Tetsurou, I swear to god.”
Kuroo downright laughs.
Kuroo is fresh out of the shower and exhausted; his limbs feel heavy and his eyes keep closing on their own accord. He hasn’t felt this sleepy in a while and when Tsukki crawls across the bed, he wonders why he’s been sleeping so much lately.
He feels Tsukki’s fingers roam over his back, following the indentation of his spine with light touches that linger and make his skin warmer. Kuroo hums, too tired to do anything else but appreciate the caress.
Tsukki straddles his hips and bends down to kiss the back of his neck, makes his way slowly down Kuroo’s back, kissing his shoulder blades and the knobs along his spine. He mouths at his dimples and Kuroo groans when Tsukki runs his warm tongue over them.
“‘sukki, no,” he slurs sluggish, voice small and feeble.
Tsukki chuckles, plants a lingering kiss on each of his butt cheeks and then makes his way up again. He drapes his body over the sturdy back and kisses the underside of Kuroo’s jaw.
“Can I sleep on top of you?” He asks in a quiet tone.
Kuroo smiles, a breathy laugh escaping his lips. “What… what’ryou talkin’ a—” he pauses. “You’va hard-on.”
Tsukki buries his face on the other’s nape.
“Yeah,” he mumbles. “It’ll go away, though.”
“I can giv’ya hand.”
He snorts softly, a hint of fondness in it. “You can barely keep your eyes open.”
Tsukki kisses the back of his neck and snuggles closer to him, laying his head in between Kuroo’s shoulder blades.
“You weigh almos’ nothin’ so I gueshyou can.”
Kuroo has just brushed his teeth and is heading towards the kitchen when Tsukki calls his name, motioning Kuroo to join him by the windowsill.
“I think Tsu—the plant is blossoming.”
Kuroo frowns, his mind still numb and slow as he scratches his belly. He runs a hand through his hair and mutters, “What?”
“Kuroo,” Tsukki pauses, speaking slowly. “The plant. Is blossoming.”
He makes a confused face that makes Tsukki chuckle and slap his own forehead, but then Kuroo gasps and exclaims, Tsukki, before dashing to the other’s side.
He leans forward and stares at the small buds that are finally blooming, pale petals enlaced together in a small flower bud, looking so fragile and delicate that Kuroo can’t help but smile fondly.
“Finally,” he murmurs, “I’m so happy.”
“You’re such a grandma,” Tsukki mumbles, but there’s no bite. There’s only a soft smile curling his lips upwards.
Kuroo looks up at him and just stares. They gaze at each other for a long time, both of them smiling unconsciously, unintentionally. He chuckles quietly, breaking the contact to look at the small buds.
“Welcome to the family.”
Tsukki shakes his head, murmuring something that sounds too much like sappy boyfriend, but Kuroo doesn’t seem to mind, only grins in response.
“What’re you gonna name it?”
He frowns. “What do you mean? I’m not gonna stop calling it Tsukki.”
Tsukki stares at him blankly. “You said—” He scowls, and then breathes in deeply. “Whatever.”
Kuroo puts his arms around his waist and looks up, a lopsided smile curling his lips.
“Speaking of names,” he says, peppering Tsukki’s jawline with lingering kisses. “What is it? A rose? Lily?”
Tsukki shrugs. “Carnation. I like how they look.”
“Thank you,” Kuroo says, turning to look at the tiny, blooming buds. “For giving me this. I’ll cherish it like I cherish you.”
Tsukki lays his head abruptly on Kuroo’s shoulder, and Kuroo turns quizzically, his cheek pressing against the soft, blond hair. “Tsukki?”
He can feel Tsukki’s chest expand and contract against his own, their heartbeats synchronizing with the same rhythm. Tsukki raises his head and stares at Kuroo with a faint blush on his cheeks, lips almost pouting.
“Just kiss me,” he says timidly, sullenly.
And Kuroo does.