Relationship: Cho Hakkai/Sha Gojyo
Tags:Pre-Slash, Fluff, Warm and Fuzzy Feelings
After the first time, Gojyo vowed he would make damned sure it happened again, as frequently as possible.
It had started off simply enough. After Hakkai moved in for good, Gojyo began having the odd feeling that he wanted to spend more time with Hakkai. Hakkai kept normal hours, and Gojyo usually stayed up so late that he was lucky if he was up by three in the afternoon. It was easier than he would have thought. He just cut back on the empty sex and went straight home after closing, so he could be up by about noon. After a while, he started leaving even before last call. After all, once he'd made enough money, what was the point in staying?
"You don't need to cut your evening short on my account," Hakkai mentioned one evening, when Gojyo returned from the bar around midnight just as Hakkai was heading to bed.
"I'm not doing it out of some sense of obligation, if that's what you're worried about. I'm here now because I want to be," Gojyo replied.
The next night, one of the guys from the bar had a cousin visiting, and wanted to take the guy out on a bar crawl for the occasion. Even knew of an after-hours place that was pretty wild. Gojyo ended up crashing at his place, waking up at about four in the afternoon, grabbing some fast food with the guys, and doing it all again. By the time Gojyo got back three days later, Hakkai was halfway down the street, on his way to a tutoring session with the monkey. When he spotted Gojyo, he stopped dead in his tracks and called out to him, but Gojyo was too hung over to register what the man was saying, let alone respond. The sun was too bright and his head was throbbing. He brushed off Hakkai and went to collapse in bed. He was still hung over when he woke up, so he headed back to the usual bar for a little of the 'hair of the dog' treatment. After the first drink, though, he found he couldn't stomach the thought of more alcohol. Secretly, he asked the bartender to send over coke in a short glass, so at least it'd look like a rum and coke. He'd never hear the end of it if the guys knew he only had one drink all night.
It took all night, but he finally managed to win back all he'd spent over the past few nights. It wasn't until he'd made it home that he realised how badly he'd messed up. There was no dinner when he got home. Hakkai'd left dinner out for him every night for as long as he'd been Hakkai. And now, for the first time, nothing. He must really be pissed. Gojyo got himself a large glass of water and collapsed into a chair in front of the empty table. What could it have been? He hadn't even seen the man in almost four days. Hell, the last time they even spoke had to have been when . . .
Fuck. No wonder he was pissed. The last time Gojyo had seen Hakkai, he'd told him he wasn't hanging out with him out of obligation. And then he'd avoided him and ignored him for four whole days. He must look like such a hypocrite. Gojyo downed half of his water to give himself time to think. He had to come up with something to prove he wasn't full of shit. If only he wasn't so hungry, he'd be able to think of something. Wait, that was it. Food. He'd apologise by having a meal ready for Hakkai for a change. After all, the way to a man's heart was through his stomach. From what he'd learned the other morning, Hakkai was usually out the door in the morning by nine. Allowing time to get up in the morning, that meant he had about four hours to teach himself how to cook something more involved than cereal.
Three hours and thirty minutes later, he was running low on options. He'd used up just about every pot and pan he owned a few times over trying for something nice and had a garbage can full of inedible, burnt lumps to show for it. In the end he was forced to settle for a collection of simple things. Pancakes, and omelettes and stuff were out. Boiled eggs, he could handle. And toast. And bacon, assuming you liked it extra-crispy. The last thing on his list of things to try, heaven help him, was tea. The boil-water part was easy. Next, pour water into a mug and dump in a tea bag. It wasn't Hakkai's fancy loose-leaf stuff, but it was less likely he'd screw it up. Gojyo sat and stared at it for what felt like ages until it took on the colour of Hakkai's tea, he hoped, and fished out the bag with a spoon. Lastly, Hakkai sometimes added a touch of honey, just so. He had a kind of artful technique to it. Gojyo could hear Hakkai getting ready upstairs. He'd only have one shot. Concentrating harder on a damned drop of honey than on anything else in his life, he tried to duplicate Hakkai's technique. It was awkward, but it'd have to do. Wiping the sweat off his brow, he set the tea on the table next to the meal just as Hakkai came downstairs.
"If you've quite finished all your banging around...." Hakkai stopped and stared at the scene once he was two paces into the kitchen. "What's all this?"
"Breakfast." Gojyo pulled out the chair at the kitchen table. Hakkai sat down slowly and poked at the bacon with a fork.
"I can see that. What's all this for?"
"Well, I, uh, wanted to make up for disappearing on you like that for the past few days. I know how it must look, but I'm not avoiding you and I'm not regretting letting you move in."
He cracked the top of one egg, salted it, and began eating. He wasn't gagging or spitting it out into a napkin. That had to be a good sign, right?
"I should have told you I'd be late. I should have told you I was crashing at a friend's. I should have invited you to come along. " Gojyo knew he was babbling, but at this point, he didn't care.
"I doubt I'd have been interested," Hakkai said quietly.
"I know, but I should have asked anyway. The last thing I want is for you to feel uncomfortable." Gojyo wiped his brow with the tea towel he'd tucked into his waistband.
Hakkai cupped both hands around the tea mug without looking at it and brought it to his lips. He looked into Gojyo's eyes, a neutral expression on his face instead of the usual passive-aggressive smile.
"Hell, you're the best thing that's ever happened to me." Fuck. Gojyo forced himself to stop talking, before he said anything even more embarrassing. Hakkai closed his eyes and took a long sip of tea.
"Thank you," he said softly, setting down the tea and looking up at Gojyo again. That was when it happened. Gojyo could have sworn his heart stood still for a full minute.
Hakkai smiled at him.
And meant it.