“You have a job, Kyoutani? I didn’t exactly take you for a functioning member of society.”
“Fuck off. Go home.” But Yahaba doesn’t, instead running forward to grab his boyfriend’s hand.
“There,” he says as Kyoutani tries to shake him off. “When does your shift start?”
“Four-thirty. So if you don’t shut up, I’m going to be late.”
They’re walking in the direction of Kyoutani’s house, Yahaba notices, and wonders which one of the shops he remembers passing by Kyoutani might work at. A hardware store, maybe? Against his palm, Kyoutani’s is cool, rough, firm; dotted with scars and calluses that suggest some sort of labour. Surrounded by power tools and appliances, it’s certainly feasible for Kyoutani’s hands to end up like this. And Yahaba can’t really imagine him working anywhere else, really. He chuckles at the image of Kyoutani working in a flower shop, visualizes his permanently malcontented expression- but with a flower-print apron.
“What?” Kyoutani snaps in response to his small fit of giggles.
“It’s nothing; just imagining you in a flowery apron is all.”
“Whatever,” he says, rolling his eyes. “And we’re here.”
As if on cue, a delectable scent fills Yahaba’s nose and he looks up not to find a hardware store like predicted, but a bakery. It’s one he’s thought about visiting several times, but never had the time.
“You work here?” he says as they walk through the door, noting the pleasant jingle of a bell as they walk in, hands still entwined.
Kyoutani glares at him instead. “My family owns the place. I’ve been working here since I could walk.”
“That’s cool,” Yahaba replies, inspecting the detailed mural decorating the walls. “Hey, why are we the only ones here?”
“Business is slow around this time.”
“Then could you make something for me, Kyoutani-kun?” Yahaba takes care to add the drop of saccharine sweetness that he knows Kyoutani hates.
“Fuck off and sit down. My shift’s starting.”
As Kyoutani disappears into the back, Yahaba finds himself mesmerized by the atmosphere: the intricate depictions of foggy mountains and green valleys, the age-worn corners of the wooden tables and chairs, the scent of bread and desserts and sugar but at the same time so much more.
This is definitely a place he’ll be frequenting; the fact that his boyfriend works here is just one more reason to.
Five minutes have passed since Kyoutani went back, and though he hears the sounds of liquid sloshing and cupboards opening and closing, he lacks any actual knowledge of what is going on back there. And there aren’t any customers, either.
“Kyoutani,” he calls, leaning over the counter, “what’re you doing back there?” Taking the silence as an answer, he lets himself in through entryway in the front counter.
It’s exactly as he’d expected any bakery to be, with metal racks and sinks and ovens; Yahaba finds Kyoutani bent over a counter top, cradling a bowl in one hand and mixing furiously a batter of some sort with the other. He doesn’t seem to notice Yahaba until the latter is standing right behind him, pressing a smiling kiss to the back of his neck, at which he freezes up. The liquid in his bowl sloshes around and he catches whatever drips down the side with his finger.
“Can I watch you?”
Kyoutani grunts and continues whisking, even though Yahaba is pretty sure whatever he’s mixing is already evenly combined. Of course, he’s not complaining, considering it gives him a pretty good view of Kyoutani’s arms, muscles tensed and working, and his hands, gripping firmly his utensils. And of course, he doesn’t neglect to notice the enduring flush around Kyoutani’s ears.
A while passes before Kyoutani finally puts the bowl down, shuffling around and collecting a knife and a bowl of strawberries, which he washes. Yahaba watches him deftly cut off the stems and chop each one in half, and combination of affection and poor judgment prompts him to lean forward to press another kiss to Kyoutani’s cheek.
”Fuck!” Kyoutani hisses, and Yahaba looks down to see a small line of red on his finger.
“Are you okay?” he asks. “Here, let me see.” Gently taking the injured digit in his hand, Yahaba presses a small kiss – not unlike the one that had caused it in the first place – to it and smirks satisfactorily.
“There,” he says. “All better.”
“Fuck off,” Kyoutani replies, though there’s no bite to it, and washes his hands in the nearby sink. “Go sit.”
Yahaba does, and a few minutes later Kyoutani comes out with a scowl on his face and plate in his hands, dwarfed by the size of his palm. But it’s the cupcake that makes Yahaba smile: simple but detailed, with a cut strawberry on top.
With a grunt, Kyoutani shoves it toward Yahaba, shoulders hunched and face pinker than the frosting on the cupcake.
“Aww,” Yahaba croons, “you made this for me?”
Kyoutani glares at him. “We had extra batter taking up space in the fridge. Don’t read into it.”
“We’re dating now, if you needed a reminder. It’s perfectly alright to show your adoration for me, Kyoutani-kun.”
“Shut up or I’ll shove your face into that cupcake.”
“Is your hand okay?”
“Why all the fuss over my hands?” Kyoutani retorts, this time being the one to make Yahaba flush and recoil.
“They’re nice,” he says unabashedly, to Kyoutani’s chagrin. “I like them.”
“I said I like yours too! Shut up.”
Yahaba reaches over, smiling, and interlaces their fingers. “You know what else we could do with our hands?”
Kyoutani hits him.