“That should be the last of it…”
Tooru brushes his hands together, a lingering stickiness residing across his palms that stops him from wiping them off on his shirt. He glances down at them with disdain, a feeling of fatigue suddenly washing over him that makes a trip to the sink sound more like a chore than a good thing, but he still makes his way towards the kitchen so that he can wash them.
He couldn’t possibly cook his husband a wonderful dinner with nasty hands.
The water is warm against his naturally cool skin, it burns slightly at first but he’s fairly used to it seeing as his hands and feet always remained icy compared to everyone else around him. Hajime always complained how cold they were when he would press them against him, but never pushed them off or pulled away when he did it, usually incasing his hands in his own naturally warm hands or twining their feet together so that he could try and warm them up.
The thought makes him smile as he moves to dry his hands, ignoring the fact that his hands have begun to shake.
Everything is fine.
He looks around the kitchen and considers what to do next, but a sudden movement within him has him glancing down at his stomach—a big, round orb that currently carried two very precious pups. The omega smiles down at his belly, rubbing a hand over the swell, smile growing a little more when firm little kicks press against his palm.
“You two sure are restless, are you wanting daddy to come home soon too?”
Of course there is no reply, but Tooru likes the think the receiving kicks are answer enough. The two of them had been moving quite a bit all day why he was busy cleaning the house—a feat already complicated by the fact that he were the size of an inflated beach ball, which is why their insistent stirring hadn’t helped in the least.
But Tooru was nothing less than determined to have a spotless house and a hot meal on the table by the time his alpha returned home, it was the least he could do after last night.
His stomach lurches at the sudden thought, a rush of the previous evening flashing through his mind—the arguing, the yelling, a few things being thrown—
He squashes the thought down just as quickly as it appeared.
Everything is fine.
Tooru reminds himself of what he spent all day making up for—a sort of amends to his husband after sending him out to sleep on the couch.
He had tried to go apologize that morning, after waking up cold and lonely in their too-big-bed, but Hajime was already gone by then, his work shoes and briefcase missing from the entryway of the door. He probably was still wearing the same suit he’d worn the previous day seeing as Tooru pretty much exiled him from the bedroom.
He felt pretty awful about it too, because really, he was just as much in the wrong as Hajime had been and after spending all night internalizing it, he can see where his husband had been coming from when he said some of the things he did.
But everything is fine, Hajime would be home soon so they could apologize to each other and maybe then talk calmly about it over supper.
Which he really should be making right now…
Tooru fiddles with the apron in his hand, tying it around his round stomach, struggling a bit to try and make a bow with how bad his hands were quivering—
He ties a knot instead, moving to the counter to start chopping the few ingredients that went into making his alphas favorite dinner—Hajime deserved to be spoiled sometimes after all.
The knife drops out of his hands a few times and the omega has to pause for a second to take a deep breath, trying to force away a familiar, unwelcomed feeling clawing its way through him—
Another deep breath.
Everything is fine.
He sings while he sets the table, remembering something from one of the parenting articles he’d been reading earlier about how music was important to a developing child’s brain growth and he figures that even if most of that stuff was complete trash, singing wasn’t something that would hurt them in the end so he might as well give it a try. Hajime seemed to enjoy his singing too, always coming in and giving him a tighter hug and sometimes singing along too if he knew the song, so it didn’t hurt to try for that either.
Tooru serves the finished food onto their plates, being sure to give Hajime an extra proportion because he knew that his husband always ate more when it came to his favorite dish. He’d even gone as far as pulling out their best dishes, deciding that it was as good occasion as any to try and use them. He pulls back to approve of his work, looking over the table set and adjusting a few tiny things before smiling lightly at all of his effort.
Hajime should be home any minute now—he checks the time just to be sure, hoping that his boss didn’t keep him late again to watch over the new employees who only seemed to do right under the alphas instructions, much to Tooru’s annoyance.
After about five minutes of sitting and waiting, he heaves himself up from the chair (a little unused to doing it without his husbands help) so that he can distract himself from the silence that’s rung its way through the apartment. He waddles through each room, fixing little things as he walks by, adjusting the stack of magazines on the table and turning the toilet paper roll to the side his alpha prefers it on (even if he’s never out rightly said so).
Ten more minutes have passed by and he’s out of things to mess with so he moves his way into their bedroom, considering changing into nicer clothes that don’t smell like product cleaner and the soy sauce he’d accidently spilt onto his shirt while cooking.
There’s the idea for a quick shower, but he remembers Hajime freaking out over him showering once while he wasn’t there and instantly shoots down that option—it had taken him slipping in the shower before while they were in there together for his alpha to develop a fear of it.
He already feels like he’s walking on thin ice as it is, so he opts for changing his outfit instead, pulling his clothes out from their convenient spot at the top of the dresser (to keep him from bending over every time he needed a change clothes).
His maternity wear pretty much consisted of a variety of soft long sleeves and t-shirts—he had a few cute styled ones for when he wanted to look nice while out that he like to pair with patterned leggings, something that Sugawara (of whom he’d become very close with while he went through a pregnancy of his own) had recommended when he didn’t feel like being confined to sweats for the remaining duration of his pregnancy.
He pulls out his softest and most favorite pair—galaxy themed with an array of pretty purples and pinks, stars littered across them in a pretty, soothing pattern—and pairs them with one of his husbands plain black shirts out of the laundry bin, Tooru having the sudden need to be surrounded by the alphas comforting scent.
Fifteen minutes are killed with all the effort it took to get ready with how difficult it was to work around his massive stomach. (Not the mention the fact Hajime usually helped him put on his tights since he couldn’t really see his legs well past his belly).
He checks the time, the sinking feeling in the pit of his stomaching worsening when he realizes how much time has passed and Hajime still wasn’t home.
Tooru takes a chance of sending him a quick message, just asking if he’d be home soon, staring at his phone for the next couple of minutes until he realizes Hajime is probably busy at work and he needed to stop getting so anxious over it.
The foods probably cold by now, he thinks but he’d just go warm it up whenever the other did finally return home.
He sucks in another deep breath—he will not let that feeling overcome him again.
Everything is fine.
His hands are trembling.
Everything will be fine.
A knot lodges its way in his throat.
Everything will be fine when Hajime comes home…
He remains in the dimly lit bedroom, staring at his phone in a trance-like state, waiting for his husband to return home in absolute silence.
The fact that he can actually feel his heartbeat pulsating within his skull is the first inclination that Hajime’s woken with a killer hangover.
He rolls over, eyes firmly shut so he wasn’t force to face the cruelty of the sun already trying to burn its way against his closed eyelids. He reaches out, searching for his mate so that maybe he could convince the other to get up and shut the curtains—
His arm hits something hard and he pulls back with a hiss, realizing two things in that moment:
One, he definitely wasn’t in his bed.
And two, Tooru definitely wasn’t with him.
The alpha sits up groggily, peeling his eyes open slowly to try and adjust to the light in a way that won’t be painful to his already pounding head, but it’s a futile effort when he fully blinks awake, head picking up with a staccato of throbs that makes him consider knocking his hammering head against a wall just so he could at least be unconscious from this pain.
A thought sits at the back of his mind and it takes a minute of looking around blearily before it fully registers.
Guess Tooru was still mad enough to put me out on the couch again…
And then something clicks.
This isn’t his house.
And his omega wasn’t here.
Another figure jumps awake at the sudden exclamation and Hanamaki watches from his bed on the floor as his alpha friend starts tearing through the room like a maniac, flinging blankets and pillows aside until he finally comes into contact with what he’s looking for.
“Oh thank god…” Hajime murmurs when he finally digs his phone out from in between the couch cushions, thankful that he wasn’t inebriated enough to leave it behind at the bar last night—
A bar, I went to a bar—Hanamaki and Matsukawa went with me to the bar, bought me a couple of drink so I wouldn’t stay so uptight after our fight…
The memories come rushing back one by one and it is relieving to realize that he hadn’t intoxicated enough to lose all of his memories.
But that relief is short lived the second he clicks on his phone.
63 missed calls
41 new messages
His stomach plummets.
Quickly he stabs in his passcode, messing it up the first two times before it finally unlocks. He clicks into the call log, praying it’s not who he thinks it is—
And sure enough, as he thumbs down through the list the same name appears over and over and over again—
Shittykawa ( ˘ ³˘)♥ at 6:32
Shittykawa ( ˘ ³˘)♥ at 6:52
Shittykawa ( ˘ ³˘)♥ at 7:04
Shittykawa ( ˘ ³˘)♥ at 7:14
Shittykawa ( ˘ ³˘)♥ at 7:18
Shittykawa ( ˘ ³˘)♥ at 7:21
He scrolls through almost disbelievingly, quickly changing over to his text messages just to see, clicking the unread bar so it scrolls right to the top of the first message.
Shittykawa ( ˘ ³˘)♥
[Are you on your way home?]
Shittykawa ( ˘ ³˘)♥
[I made dinner btw, I hope you’re hungry! ヾ（〃＾∇＾）ﾉ♪ ]
Shittykawa ( ˘ ³˘)♥
[Hey, I know you’re probably busy rn but could you let me know if you’re on your way?]
Shittykawa ( ˘ ³˘)♥
[The foods getting cold, I’m going to put it up if you’re coming back late]
He skips down, a little stopping when he realizes that Tooru’s normally immaculate grammar and punctuation started getting worse.
Shittykawa ( ˘ ³˘)♥
[R u still mad at me?]
Shittykawa ( ˘ ³˘)♥
[Im rly sorry…]
Shittykawa ( ˘ ³˘)♥
[I love u so much]
Shittykawa ( ˘ ³˘)♥
[pls come homesoon]
He scrolls down to the very last one.
Shittykawa ( ˘ ³˘)♥
[hajme i cnt breath5]
“Dude, are you okay?”
Hajime isn’t sure if he even graces the beta with a response, lunging for his keys that he thankfully remembers were hidden in the safe spot to keep any of them from driving home after a night of drinking (which wasn’t all that safe considering all of them knew where it was, but he didn’t really have time to think about that—)
He flings open the front door, shoving his shoes on his feet without really putting them on—Hanamaki is shouting something else at him and he notices Matsukawa stumbling into the room, but he doesn’t have time for them, slamming the door behind him in is haste to get to his car.
The ride back to his shared home with the omega feels like being in a high speed chase—the amount of adrenaline pumping though his veins makes him want to vomit and nobody is moving out of his goddamn way!
When he finally parks outside their complex, he’s pretty sure he’s taken the neighbors spot by mistake but he just doesn’t have the time—
He takes the stairs, three at a time, tearing his way through the front door when he finally, finally reaches home.
Hajime does not expect to be greeted with an eerie silence when he arrives.
The house looks untouched, everything in its proper place and he gets the inkling that Tooru must have cleaned up with how good it smells. He slips off his shoes and bolts to the kitchen when he doesn’t see his husband in their living room, but he is nowhere to be found in the small galley of their kitchen either. He checks the dining room as he passes through and his heart jumps to his throat when he sees the arrangement of food, now spoiled, sitting perfectly on the table.
He can barely focus on anything with the blood rushing around his head and panic pumping through his body, but he does feel a burn of remorse at picture-perfect set up before him.
A quick promise crossed his mind that he would never drink again if he could just find Tooru—!
Every room he checks in the place after that is empty. The nursery becomes a beacon of hope because his omega adored spending most of his time in there now, reading to their pups and singing them silly songs—but that’s just as empty as everywhere else in the house and his panic is slowly morphing into full on terror.
“TOORU!” He cries, voice cracking and chest seizing when nothing but absolute silence greets his plead.
There is only one room left in the house to check and he almost kicks himself when he realizes that it’s their bedroom—he had to, Tooru had to be in there.
The door actually breaks off its hinges slightly with how quick Hajime bursts through the door.
A brief glance with no sign of Tooru and he’s actually sure he’s going to throw up this time—
And then he sees movement out of the corner of his eye.
He turns slowly, terrified that it won’t actually be him, that he’ll get his hopes up and his mate will still be missing—
But it is him.
It is him, it’s Tooru, Tooru’s okay, he and the pups are safe, he wasn’t too late—
And then he assesses the state his currently is omega in.
Backed into the corner of their bedroom is his husband, wedge in between the wall and the closet door—the door which has been forced open with something wedged between it—surrounded by a mound of blankets and pillows, probably all that they owned, with all of his clothes littered dispersing around in what only can be described as a nest.
It’s a really well-built nest Hajime has to admit, but he doesn’t give another thought to it when he focuses on a dripping substance sliding down to splotch the floor, the nest, and his precious omega in a sickening red.
The panic which had been slowly easing away at the sight of his found and safe mate slams its way back through his body, hitting him like a bullet train to the chest.
He can’t get over to him fast enough, dropping to his knees like a rag doll being thrown, lifting his arms so that he can reach for his husband,
the blood needs to stop heneedstomakeitstopplease ohgod please
But he freezes just before he touches him because he realizes one very crucial thing.
Tooru was…having and attack.
Tooru was having a panic attack.
The dawning realization makes him thank which ever deity out there that was watching over them, because this could’ve been horrible if he hadn’t noticed sooner.
Hajime drops his hands back down in his lap, accessing the situation again, trying to quash down the terror that he’d been fighting since he first turned on his phone—Tooru needs him to be calm now, or this will get even worse than it already was.
The alpha checks the physical damage already done, taking in the litany of purple, almost black, bite marks coating both of Tooru’s arms and hands, one hand rubbing anxious patterns across his swollen stomach and the other currently held tightly within his jaw, enough pressure being forced upon it that the skins actually been pierced.
A small stream of blood glides down his arms, and while it does look alarmingly bad, it isn’t nearly as scary as what Hajime originally assumed was happening.
But he needs to fix what was currently happening immediately.
The very important factor here is that he cannot touch his husband right now, even with as badly as he wants to drag the other into his hold. He’s experienced a few too many of Tooru’s attacks to know that touching him would only make the omega a thousand times worse.
So he scoots as close as possible, shifting so that Tooru’s direct line of vision was of him and him only, even though there was no way he could tell it was him in his current zoned out state.
“Tooru…” He says it so softly, as if the word itself might break the other.
There isn’t any response so he tries it again, saying it a bit louder but keeping the softness of tone so he wouldn’t startle him. “Tooru.”
There is a pinky twitch at that and Hajime slowly begins the process of talking him out of his trance.
Everyone handled panic attacks differently—Tooru’s attacks in comparison to the omega in cubicle B that he worked with experienced the same terrifying panic in two completely different ways. He’d walked in on the commotion once before of the little, blonde woman in absolute hysterics, tears streaming down her face like an endless river and nobody being able to calm her down until her wife was finally was called—a rather stunning beta—who easily soothed her with a series of gentle, practiced touches.
He remembers trying to mimic those very same motions on his omega the next time he had an attack only to almost have his hand bitten off in the process.
That’s when he really learned how different people dealt with anxiety…well, differently.
When Tooru went into an attack, he literally went into it, closing his eyes and ears off to anything around him, losing himself in the waves of anxiety that tried to consume him. That’s why touching was a big no, because the omega didn’t have any clue to who could be touching him in that moment and was prone to volatile actions in response.
The biting was a form of grounding, to try and bring himself back to the real world so that he didn’t immerse himself too fully in the panic. But even that would quit working if he got to a certain point and this had probably been the worse he’s ever seen his husband get to.
He wants to cut of his damn foot for letting it get this bad.
And for being the cause of it to begin with.
But he ignores that for now knowing that beating himself up wasn’t going to help his mate get better any time soon.
He tries to focus solely on his omega. “Tooru? Tooru can you hear me? I’m here now—I’m right here, baby and I’m not going anywhere. I love you, everything’s going to be okay—I love you so much, Tooru.”
He talks to him lightly, asking him a lengthy amount of questions, switching to telling him about his day at work and night out with the guys when he runs out of things to ask. It’s important to keep an incessant flow of chatter so that Tooru has something to focus on instead of the deafening quietness of the room, something gentle to pull him back to so that he didn’t freak out even more.
Seconds, minutes, hours—he isn’t sure how much time passes, the lighting of the sun outside has shifted, pouring in through the slightly ajar curtains and brightening up the room more, highlighting the pale, marred skin that Hajime has to keep himself from focusing on—he already feels like a big enough piece of shit as it is.
So he just talk, and talks, commenting on the most random and unrelated of things when he runs out of stories to tell, not pausing a single time even as his throat begins to sting with over use.
As long as Tooru is okay, nothing else matters.
And ever so slowly does Tooru start to unwind, body twitching, eyes flickering, the haziness gradually clearing until he finally blinks out of his reverie and he can see—actually see what is going on around him. Hajime can tell the second the other recognizes him, nose scrunching and chewed hand falling away from his lips, lips that move to mouth at words with a voice that isn’t present.
It takes him a few tries, but after what feels like an eternity, Tooru finally speaks. “Ha…jime…?”
His name sounds rough, like gravel on a dirt road, croaked out in an almost pitiful manner. It’s nothing like his normal voice—soft like warm honey—and Hajime feels his heart shatter even more.
He sucks it up, forcing a smile to his face. “Hey babe…”
Tooru blinks once, then again—like he sees him but not really seeing him for a moment.
And when he finally recognizes it is him, the relief that crashes over the omega is palpable.
He reaches out of the other, like a child would to a mother, and Hajime doesn’t hesitate to pull him into his hold.
He doesn’t care that that his husband is getting snot and blood all over his good suit, it’s just a relief like no other to have him cradled in his lap, face pushed into the crook of his neck, rocking the crying omega back and forth to try and ease his tears.
The waterworks are expected, Tooru always coming down from the height of his panic in whirlwind of emotions and Hajime doesn’t dare try to hush him, content on holding him securely in his arms, and pressing whispers of an apology to his skin with every chaste kiss placed on his trembling frame. He strokes through unruly tuffs of brown hair, burying his own face into Tooru’s hair when he feels like crying himself.
And after every last drop of moisture has been wrung from his pitiful state is when Tooru finally speaks. “I…again—I couldn’t…!” He breathes it against the skin of his neck, voice small and weak, anxiety bleeding through every syllable.
Tooru doesn’t even have to finish his sentence, Hajime already knows what he’s getting at. He hugs him tighter if possible, an incredible amount of guilt filling in the pit of his stomach. “Tooru, no. You did fine and were strong! You did exactly what you were supposed to do.”
“B-b-but it got me again, a-and my arms…!”
He holds said appendages up, eyes flickering over them and then to his lap when he drops them back down uselessly. Hajime reaches to card back through his hair once more, trying to force his scent to be relaxing and soothing to counteract the dread rolling of his husbands in waves.
“It was really bad this time, baby…” As painful as that is it admit. “You can’t blame yourself when you were fighting it for so long.”
Hajime presses another kiss to his temple.
Tooru’s goes quiet and Hajime can tell that he’s internalizing it, because no matter how many times they’ve established that it’s definitely not Tooru’s fault for going into an attack, the omega still couldn’t help but blame himself for it. Tooru likes to think of it as an irrational fear, something that was ridiculous to get uptight over and something he could just beat if he willed his mind to, and honestly it very well could be completely irrational, but even if his anxiety was that sometimes, it didn’t change the fact that it affected him in a mental and physical attack—it hurt him and wasn’t something that could just be ignored or overcome like a fear of spiders or getting on an airplane.
And it’s hard to convince Tooru otherwise when he really has his mind set to something, his biased with his anxiety being no different. His deep rooted hatred for it goes back for as long as he’s suffered with it and Hajime has made little progress in trying to change his views about it.
“Can I tell you why I’m so proud of you right now?” He tries instead, because he may not be able to convince him to change his mind, but he can definitely make him feel better in other ways.
Tooru shakes his head, knowing already of what his alpha is trying to do and he finds himself in no way deserving of his husbands kind words. Hajime doesn’t let that dissuade him; he just presses another kiss against his head and continues anyways.
“I’m proud of you because you remembered to let me know this time.” He bites his tongue when he wants to add, ‘even though I fucked it up’ because dogging himself now wasn’t going to make this situation any better.
He keeps pressing forward.
“You called me and when I didn’t answer, you did the second best thing. You put yourself in a place that you couldn’t seriously hurt yourself or our pups.”
Hajime drags a hand across his stomach, grinning when he feels the two stirring beneath his fingertips. “You feel them, don’t you Tooru? They are okay—they are okay because they have a very strong-willed mommy who did his very best to put himself in a safe place just in case things got worse.”
Tooru stares at his swollen middle with something akin to awe, following the invisible path of his hand to rub a line down his middle before Hajime seizes it from where his own hand had been resting atop the orb.
“You built a nest and put yourself in a soft, safe spot until I could get here. I know that I was late and I can’t begin to tell you how awful I feel about doing that to you, but I’m so proud of how strong you kept all by yourself. I’m so glad that you are okay and that I can be holding you just like this.”
Hajime squeezes slightly for emphasis and relishes in the small smile it brings out of his mate.
It isn’t anywhere near his normal smile, but it’s a start.
The omega drops his head suddenly, looking down at his lap with a mild form of disdain. “I, um forgot to take my medicine though…”
Hajime shakes his head. “You did what you could, babe. There wasn’t any guarantee that was going to keep you from having one anyways. You should probably take one now though, maybe it will help you feel a little better.”
Tooru still fidgets a little, still struggling with the idea that all of this is okay, and that he’d actually done good, but he nods his head at the suggestion. “Yeah, I’ll take it.”
He shakes his head. “Later, just…hold me for a bit longer?”
Hajime does so without a word, shifting his husband slightly so that his big belly doesn’t hinder him in trying to wrap his arms around the alpha’s neck.
The come down from something like this is never easy; recovery can take several hours to an entire day sometimes with the weak and weary state it leaves Tooru in as he tries to trudge his way back to his normal self.
The guilt is still eating away at him, making him feel like the scum of the earth and a terrible husband for being the cause of all this panic for his mate. Hajime won’t let himself wallow in it though, reminding himself that he can’t go back and change the fact that it’s happened now.
He swears to himself then to never let it happen again, fully intending to make it up to his husband.
The room is quiet for a while, but not in the unnerving way it had been before. This silence is more comfortable now that it’s shared between them and it’s a long while before either of them breaks it.
Tooru surprisingly is the one to do it.
“Are you still mad at me?” He sounds tiny and afraid, like it physically pained him to ask the question.
It stuns Hajime for a moment, brain not being able to work past what was currently going on to even consider what had carried over days prior. But when he does think about it, he almost laughs at the thought of being upset with his omega still. Honestly, in light of everything that’s happened today, that little argument wasn’t even worth the waste of anger.
So in response to the question, Hajime takes his free hand not currently wrapped around the omega’s shapely waist and cups his jaw with it, leaning down so that he can press a small kiss to the tip of his nose before resting their foreheads together and keep his eyes locked firmly to Tooru’s.
“I love you.” He says it with as much sincerity and adoration as he can muster.
And Tooru smiles, still not his favorite one, this one being slightly weary around the edges, but it’s a smile from his omega and it’s beautiful, shinning even brighter when Tooru responds honestly with a, “I love you too.”
There’s a sudden movement against his stomach and he watches as Tooru brings a hand to rest over his stomach, letting out a small oof at what must be the pups moving around inside him. Tooru glances back up at him, smile still there when he adds, “I think they love their daddy too.”
“Or they’re just hungry.” He jokes, liking the way that the color is slowly returning to the others face.
It makes Tooru snort as he rests one hand over the restless children. “You know them too well.”
“Well, they are part mine and I always think food is a good idea.”
“Gods help us if they turn out to be just like you then.”
It’s the perfect moment for him to add another clever quip, but something about the roller-coaster of emotions he’s been through today makes him admit instead, “I really hope they turn out to be like their wonderful mama instead.”
And Tooru flushes immediately, totally caught off guard by the sudden admission. He buries his face into the alphas chest, murmuring a quiet, “You’re so embarrassing…”
“I know.” He grins, “Let me make it up to you? How does breakfast and a sci-fi marathon in bed sound?”
Tooru’s perks up instantly at that. “Can we bring the big TV in here?”
“Consider it done.”
The omega leans up so he can fully wrap his alpha into a tight hug, stomach pushing into him so that there is a slight gap in between them, but neither seems to mind. “You are the best alpha ever.”
Hajime certainly doesn’t feel like it with all that he’s put them both through, but Tooru’s tight hold around him tells him otherwise and the feeling of his warm stomach carrying their two precious pups reminds him that even with his mistakes, he still has the potential to be the very best one.
Because every little thing would be alright.