The sun was just finished painting the skies in a reddish – orange hue, gracing the Earth with its radiant rays.
A few of them successfully reached your apartment’s window and illuminated your humble adobe. This scenery would have been perfect to enjoy with a cup of coffee or tea and a substantial breakfast, if it wasn’t for the fact that you were currently pouring your heart out to a certain green – eyed male.
No better way to start off the morning, right?
Makoto and you were up all night. You, telling him all the things that happened to you and all the things that troubled you, and him, listening ever so carefully. There were a few times, when you started crying again and then frantically apologizing; blowing and wiping your nose, to which he took both of your hands in his, and started to comfort you in a low whisper.
And you didn’t mind this action. At all.
His big hands enveloped yours, squeezing them in an encouraging manner; his thumb, occasionally swept over your knuckles on your shaking, dainty hands. You didn’t know if this was selfish, but it felt so good, that he was here with you, listening to you, consoling you, his attention only focused on you. ...No wonder why he was nicknamed as the ’Gentle Giant’ by your classmates.
However, he seemed to tense up at the part, where you told him all about Katsuo. You could swear his jaw was clenched quite uncomfortably, his expression changing from worried to neutral. He didn’t look you in the eye either; his gaze rather observing your kitchen and the floor, his brows furrowing from time to time. You guessed it made him quite angry that a male co – worker is harassing a female one at work.
But then again...maybe you were imagining all this, given how your eyes were hardly open from exhaustion.
Well... you were right. He was angry about that, no doubt.
...What you kinda missed, was the fact, that this certain, harassed female happened to be you, and that’s what made him this cross as two sticks.
But Makoto being himself, suppressed this anger for now, deciding that listening to you was more important.
”...So, as you can see, I’m really under the weather.” You said, drawing imaginary patterns on your coffee table’s surface with your pointer finger.
”I was never this lost before...”
Ending your sentence with a quiet sigh, you continued with your fidgeting; your sentence hanging over both of your heads.
The silence that followed afterwards gave him time to let this all sink in. Makoto watched your finger’s movements, looking grim and gloomy at the same time. Meanwhile, you were trying to somehow make the suffocating dryness vanish from your mouth and throat, by taking long gulps. Your voice was already throaty from speaking so much, and not to mention gruff from all the crying and sobbing. Taking in a shaky breath, you were glad that you managed to finish all this before losing your voice or passing out.
But to say that you were glad, would have been an understatement. Words could not describe the relief you felt, after you told him everything. You literally felt your chest heave with much less effort, your lungs embracing oxygen as they were supposed to do. And to think, that for a moment, you thought this was a bad idea... You don’t know where you’d be now mentally, if nobody consoled you. Even though you were far from being through everything, you somehow felt, that you took a first step on solving your problems, by telling your worries to Makoto.
Well, okay...but. What’s the next step? It did help you immensely, that you didn’t bottle up everything, but your main problems were still unsolved. Not just that. You didn’t even have any clues how to solve them. It was difficult to think up something, anyway, when your anxieties about your current situation didn’t want to leave your mind.
Considering asking Makoto for any proposition he might have, you opened your mouth,...but quickly shut it.
Were you asking too much now? Maybe he didn’t want to meddle in your business. Maybe he was just only here, to hear you out, but nothing else; fulfilling his duties as a caring human being. Who knows, once he’s done comforting you, he’ll roll his eyes and mutter ’finally’, before leaving.
'Or...what if he was only here, because he thought, doing this is a good thing to do, and not because he was genuinely concerned about me?' You wondered, feeling your heart sink. You certainly didn’t want him to feel as if you hurled all your problems at him; to make him feel as if your issues were his responsibilities.
You peeked a glance at him, from under your eyelashes, all the while making sure that your head was still lowered. Makoto was still watching your fingers, absentmindedly resting his lower arms on your table. His eyes were a bit darker, the somber topic stealing its glint from them. His back was facing the window, so the sun shining through, managed to illuminate his form from behind, making him look like he was radiating a golden aura. He looked angelic like this; the specks of dust were dancing around him in the ray of sun.
Looking back to your lap, you shaked your head. He wasn’t like this. He never was. One could argue that your relationship with him, wasn’t that close back in high school, so maybe you didn’t know him that well. And this was true, no arguments against that. But even though you didn’t know him like the back of your hand, you were absolutely sure, that he was truly, a caring lad.
Why would he go to such lenghts, such as coming over in the middle of the night and staying up all night, in a crappy apartment, just to listen to you? If he wasn’t truthfully concerned, then what other reasons would he have to fake it? It’s too much of a bother, for a false façade...You doubted anyone would be so desperate.
Also... it would be enough to just look at his eyes and smile, to tell that he doesn’t mean any harm. His expressions were too sincere, they held too much feeling. You had to smile.
’I guess, that’s the way he really is. Always concerned about others. Caring and helping, without expecting something back in exchange.’
A picture of a certain someone’s grin flashed in your mind, making you frown again.
’...Not like some other people...’
But let’s not ruin your line of thought, by interjecting a jackass in them. Let’s just concentrate on Makoto. And, well, you know; your persistent dillema’s. Speaking about Makoto.
By the time you looked up from your lap, you catched him ...looking at you.
...And to your surprise, he didn’t look away. Inwardly, you furrowed your brows.
’Was I so absorbed in my thoughts, that I didn’t even realize, that he was looking at me? Huh. Strange...’
You usually sensed it somehow, when he looked at you...
...but now you were wondering, if this ability of yours was also efficient, when you were deep in thought. This made you slightly curious. You were a daydreamer, after all, meaning that you opted to be in your own wonderland, then to live in the harsh reality. In your inattentive state, you usually wore a hollow expression; eyelids slightly lowered, looking in to the far distance, your lips partly opened, your head resting on your arm, occasionally. Of course, it didn’t take too long for your environment to notice this, and you were often scolded by your family and friends, - even teachers – because of your absent – minded nature.
Does that mean, that Makoto was perhaps always wathcing you, if not often...? And you just didn’t notice it..? But, why though? Does he do this with others too? If only you could remember what he was like back in high school...
’Damn, I really should be more aware of others.’
However, the silence combined with his gaze on you, were starting to become a bit uncomfortable. He seemed to notice your restlessness, so he took it upon himself, to start a new conversation. Quietly clearing his throat, he asked the next thing that came to his mind.
”What about your parents? Can’t you go back to their house and live there til you find another place to live...?" It may go without saying, but he was a bit hesitant to ask this. Since your encounter, you didn’t mention your parents or the relationship you had with them. One can never know if something happened between them and you, and it wasn’t uncommon between parents and their child to be cross with each other. This is something he never really understood, given how dearly he loved his family.
A sigh of frustration left your lips. ”Believe me, I thought about that. But...” You looked down at your lap. How does one explain that you’re simply too proud to go back to them? Getting an own apartment was part of your plan to prove that you were a responsible adult, that your were able to stand on your own two feet.
”...I’m afraid they would lose respect for me.” You admitted, blushing a bit. This awkward topic kinda made you uneasy and you had to chew your lips, in order to think of something else than this solution. Or rather, thinking about some other dénoument, because moving back to your parents was not an option! You already cringed just imagining all the judging looks you would get. You doubted that explaining your situation would get you some empathy, either.
Completely absorbed in your own thoughts, again, you continued to assault your under lip with your teeth, oblivious to the look Makoto was currently giving you.
Oh damn. Please don’t do that. Not here, not now.
Taking in a deep breath, he tried to calm himself and it took every ounce of willpower to just stop staring at your lips. This wasn’t fair! But he couldn’t look away. Why did you have to tease him like this? He was supposed to be concentrating, to help you think of something, to come up with a brilliant idea. But how was he supposed to do that, when you were chewing your lips like that...? Your full, delicious lips...!
He shut his eyes and lowered his head. Furrowing his brows, he desperately tried to erase this enticing picture of you (for now, of course) and instead tried to think of a solution.
Well...he already had one. Since the moment you told him about your difficulties with your apartment, to be honest. All this time he wasn’t really thinking about an idea, but rather tried to get his courage together to tell you his plan. Only... he was afraid of your reaction. It was kind of a bold suggestion, to say the least. Maybe too forward. And he didn’t know how much you trusted him... What if you started thinking of him as a pervert or something the like? Your opinion of himself was crucial, after all. He didn’t want to risk this.
...But on the other hand, you would get a place to live and you wouldn’t have to break your head over this anymore. He wouldn’t have to see you live every second of your current life full of anxiety and worry. No wonder you looked so pale and fatigued. If this continues, you would get seriously sick, and he was having none of that.
Well, maybe it wouldn’t hurt to suggest, right? It’s not like he was ordering you to follow his proposition.
...And hopefully, you wouldn’t get his idea the wrong way.
Deciding, that perhaps his idea wasn’t that creepy as he thought it to be, Makoto opened his eyes and was already about to open his mouth, when a sudden sound prevented him.
Your stomach, loudly growling.
For a good moment nobody said anything; both of you staring at each other with wide eyes. After blinking twice, you quickly hugged your stomach with both arms.
’Shoot! I didn’t eat anything since yesterday!!’ Oh, Hell. This was embarrassing. All this series of events made you forget about your stomach. Blushing and sheepishly apologizing, you proceeded to stand up and make your way to the kitchen counter, Makoto all the while reassuring you that it was all right, but not before silently snickering to himself.
You’re so adorable
You took out the Ramen from your bag, and were about to put it in your microwave, when you all of a sudden realized something. Something, that made you a bit ashamed. Hesitating, you traced the edges of the cup with your index finger.
”Makoto...I don’t mean to be rude, but I really don’t have anything else to eat. I’m so sorry, I can’t offer you anything. I hope you don’t mind.” You uttered quietly, warily looking back at him.
”You...don’t have anything else to eat?” He echoed your sentence astounded.
”Well, no...I don’t.”
He looked at you, brows drawn together in worry. This is worse then he thought it to be. You have hardly anything to eat, you have no heating, your stressed. At this rate, you’ll definitely get sick.
The sound of his chair scraping against your floor made you jump a little. Makoto stood up and with a few steps, promptly got to his jacket, the zipper on it loudly rattling from his movements, as he took it on. You were suddenly paralyzed with fear, as you watched him.
”W – wait! Where are you leaving?!” You asked, agitation evident in your voice. What is he doing? Did he had enough of you? Did he realize, that you were too bothersome?
Is he going to leave me?
He abruptly stopped and looked at you, eyes wide with compassion. Hearing your voice like this – calling for him like a lost kitten – made his heart churn a little. The look on your face didn’t help either. Standing there, in your sickly form, eyes wide and
...were you trembling?
He quickly got back to the counter, where you were still standing, and rested both of his hands on your shoulders, in a reassuring manner.
”(Name). Don’t worry. I won’t leave you too long. I’m just going to buy you something proper to eat. If you keep eating that,” he pointed with his head to the still unopened Ramen standing on your counter, ” you’ll get seriously sick.” He quietly murmured, fixing his paternal gaze back on your face.
Looking at him with a somewhat hollow expression, your mouth slightly opened. You had the urge to cry. Someone was taking care of you, when you couldn’t do it yourself. When was the last time someone did something nice to you? Probably, when you were with your friends and family...? Who were all far away from you...And at the time when you were with Mrs. Tanaka. Who passed away...
But you wanted desperately to prove, that you could take care of yourself, that despite what happened, you could still stand up. That’s why you rarely accepted help, since you moved out from Mrs. Tanaka’s apartment, falsely thinking that getting help equals weakness and dependance. Like someone decided to lend you a hand, when you stumbled and fell in the middle of a marathon. But, alas, you were unlucky; getting an apartment which was unnecessarily big for one person, (not to mention shitty), and you didn’t find anything better. Apparently, people didn’t really move in the colder seasons. Who’d have thought that? Well, look where your pride got you.
As mentioned before, you didn’t want to bother your family and friends, either, since they had their own problems to cope with, anyway. ...But given your current state, you had to swallow your bruised ego and accept the fact, that you needed help. So either that, or you’ll end up on the streets. Yuck.
Well, no wonder you felt so helpless, when nobody was there for you. Even though, it was partly your fault...
And then he came along
Feeling touched, you only managed to take in a gulp of air, and nod your head shakily.
”Though, are you sure it’s all right? I swear, I’ll pay it back someday - ”
”It’s all right, (Name). I don’t mind the least.”
”Well, then...Just wait here, okay? I’ll be right back for my coat and - ”
But try as you might, you couldn’t move away from him. His hands on your shoulders, which were tightened to hold you in place, didn’t let you move. Raising a brow, you looked at him questionably, to which he only gave you another one of his smiles.
”It’s best if you stay here. You didn’t sleep the whole night, and you’re about to pass out. As I said, don’t worry. I’ll be right back to cook you something. You, in the meantime, should rest. Better yet; sleep.”
Your lips parted, in an attempt to protest, but then they quickly closed. He was right. Your body was too weak. Though, a nagging feeling in your heart scolded you, saying that it would be so rude, to let him go alone, but your rational side was quicker to decide.
”Thank you so much, Mako.” You whispered, tears already glazing over your eyes; not noticing, that you called him by his nickname. Again. Makoto didn’t mind, if anything. A radiant smile adorned his face at your affectionate calling.
After all, giving him a nickname was an indication, that you already felt comfortable with him.
You fished out your keys from your bag, and handed it to him. He squeezed your shoulders in a reassuring way, and after giving you one last, dazzling smile, went to your door and left your apartment; your door shutting with a soft ’click’.
For a while you stood there at your counter, thinking about how this really was happening, how this really wasn’t a dream. Resting your bum against the counter, you looked down at your feet, and held your head with both arms, as if to shield your face.
...Because the realization only dawned upon you now, how close he really was to you just a few seconds ago. While it made you extremely uneasy, if Katsuo decided to lean in your face, you didn’t even notice Makoto doing the same thing earlier.
This made your cheeks redden in embarrassment.
Well. At least you weren’t cold anymore.
Half an hour later, Makoto finished buying everything he deemed to be good for you. A bit uncertain, he took the items in the shopping cart, sincerely hoping that he didn’t pick something you didn’t like. Estimating, that these would last for a week and half, he proceeded to walk to the cashier.
The sky was turning a grayish – white color, the clouds enfolding its blue hue. The wind picked up in strength, and the temperature slowly started to decrease.
A visible change since the crack of dawn, when the sun shined ever so radiant. People were scattering around, the cold air ushering them to pick up their pace, Makoto joining them after he left the shop.
A shiver went trough his body, making him pull his scarf a bit higher and tighter around his neck. His warm breath made itself visible in the chilly air, and although he was wearing winter gloves, he put one of his hands in the pocket of his coat, holding the bag with the other; switching the position of his hands now and then, whenever he felt the numbness overtake one of them.
It somehow felt like winter was sending its greetings from somewhere far away east, to remind people of it’s soon arrival. And while he had nothing against the cold, and winter in general, all he could think about how this was not only a greeting, but a warning too.
A warning, that it’s probably going to be really cold and frigid, meaning that you would freeze to death in your heating less apartment. And by the feel of it, winter isn’t that far away.
A sigh of apprehension escaped his lips.
He already failed two times before to tell you about his plan, and the courage he used to collect, in order to actually utter them to you, seemed to dissipate in no time. Sparing one more glance at the sky, he decided that he’ll tell you today.
He tried to be as quiet as he could be, while entering your front door; afraid that you might be sleeping, and he didn’t want to wake you up.
Upon entering your kitchen, he didn’t see any sign of you, the Ramen still standing on the kitchen counter, completely untouched. He took the plastic bag, and placed it rather gently on your counter, while attentively listening, if he could maybe hear where you were.
But after a while of not hearing or seeing any sign of you, he decided to look for you, hoping that you wouldn’t mind or get angry at him, for walking around your apartment. After all, he didn’t mean to snoop around, he was just curios (and a bit worried) where you might be.
The atmosphere in your apartment was starting to get a bit eery, the weather outside not helping at all to ease this feeling. Not to mention, it was quite cold and your place still looked really crammed and messy. The fact it was also a bit dark, (there has to be some other lamps here, beside the kitchen one, right?) made it also seem like this place was abandoned.
At this observation, he became more watchfull, the scenery strangely reminding him of that of a horror movie’s one.
His steps quietly echoed throughout your apartment, his hawk like gaze searching in every corner.
...But it didn’t take him too long to find you.
His heart missed its usual, rhythmic pace, as his eyes landed on your peacefully sleeping form, wrapped in blankets from head to toe. He found you in your bedroom, his hand still resting on the knob, as he watched you behind the half – opened door.
Your lips were slightly parted, eyes were closed shut, and a few locks of your hair decided to rebel, by escaping their usual form and instead framed your face. He could even hear your soft snoring from where he was standing.
Slowly resting his head against the frame of your door, his gaze never leaved your figure. A small smile appeared on his lips, as he observed the rise and fall of your chest.
You looked so fragile. So delicate. Lovely.
Like a little bird, who’s wings have been damaged, and was now finally able to rest from all the hardship she had to endure. He never saw you sleeping, so he took the time to memorize this idyllic scenery of you. For a moment, he wondered what it would like to be waking up to this every morning, but quickly shook his head, once he comprehended what his brain just whispered to him.
And as much as he loved to just get closer to you, to take a better look, to lie down beside you and hug your form to his...
... he instead opted to slowly walk back to the kitchen, leaving the door ajar, as it was. He wanted to start cooking as soon as possible, so you could eat something healthy.
...Though, he couldn’t stop smiling as he was preparing lunch.
The scent of something delicious caressed your nose, making you wake up from your short slumber.
While you tried to open your eyes to see what it was, you briefly wondered if you were home. Only your family could make something that smelled so good. Looks like your parents came home...?
Or was it Mrs. Tanaka? Maybe she had some spare time to cook, before she went to tend to her little garden on the balcony. It would be the right time to tell her, that winter is on the corner, and that her plants will freeze if she doesn’t take them back indoor. You wondered if she perhaps needs help with something. Better go and see...
...she always had problems carrying heavy things, since she had problems with her ba –
But you weren’t home nor at Mrs. Tanaka’s apartment.
You only realized this after you fully opened your eyes, and recognized the furnitures in your small room. There were the distinctive cracks on the wall your were currently facing, the window beside your bed creaking as the wind hurriedly passed it, and of course, a few unopened boxes were still lying on the ground, some completely disorganized, some unopened.
You surely would have shed a few tears, if you remembered that your family was far away in Iwatobi, and that Mrs. Tanaka wasn’t alive, if it wasn’t for the sudden realization, that someone was in your kitchen. Slowly propping yourself up from your bed, you owlishly glanced at your half opened door.
The sounds of tableware clinking againts each other could be heard from your kitchen, the distance making them sound a bit muffled.
Oh. That’s right.
You carefully stood up, and after making sure that you wouldn’t fall, made your way out of your room and in to the kitchen. Openig your door with a little creak, you momentarily shut your eyes, the sudden light assaulting them. With slow, careful steps you managed to reach your kitchen’s door frame and after your eyes got used to the brightness, you opened them fully.
At your counter was Makoto, his back facing you, and was currently vey busy with something you couldn’t see, but figured was food. The whole place smelled heavenly, and you could swear it was much more warmer now. In fact, your whole kitchen seemed to transform in to some welcoming place, and you briefly wondered if you two were really in your apartment...or were you dreaming again? This picture of him, standing there cooking, wasn’t absurd, either. If anything, it looked...natural. It even felt natural. Like it already was a habit for him, to cook for you, while you slept.
’Just what am I thinking?!’
Embarrassed with yourself, you looked down, and took a few steps backwards, trying to soundlessly make your way back to your room. With little success.
Halfway there, you accidentally hit your foot against a chair, a sudden hiss escaping your lips. At this sound, Makoto abruptly turned around, a surprised expression on his face.
” (Name) – chan? Oh, you’re awake...,” he said, more like stated it to himself. Sheepishly smiling, you turned around in order to face him, and brought your hand behind your ear, fidgeting with a few locks of your hair.
”Y – yeah. I just woke up... and heard movements from the kitchen...so, I came to see and...,” Your slight stuttering was more like mumbled, and you realized that you were wording your thoughts a bit incoherently. Blame it on the sleepyness.
” A – anyway. What are you cooking?” You asked, your neck craining a bit as to see what he was busying himself with. He chuckled and slightly moved over, so you could see for yourself, but not before adding:
”Noodle soup, Omurice and Mirukurepu.”
Your mouth was watering just from hearing him listing these dishes, but it practically transformed in to a waterfall when you saw that he was actually preparing them on your counter. You had the urge to pinch yourself, not remembering the last time you ate these.
”These are all my favorite...! How did you know?” You asked, still not believing that you’d get to eat something other than Ramen.
”You told me back in highschool, remember?” he asked, happy that he could make you revive a bit from your depressed state.
You only looked at him, mouth slightly open. ”I did...?” It was like ages, and he remembered what you told him back then? Woah... You begun to wonder what else he remembered, if he knew little details like this about you. Or did he maybe remember things like this about other people as well...?
”Yes, you did,” he answered, while turning back to the half – finished meal. ”We were on the roof eating lunch, when Nagisa started asking us what we enjoyed eating the most. I remembered how you told us that you really like noodle soup, because it always warms you up. How you enjoy eating Omurice, and you could eat yourself sick from it. How much you love Mirukurepu, because you have a very sweet tooth...”
His voice drifted off, and you didn’t see, but he was softly smiling to himself at this memory. He remembered how it was a very nice spring day. How you wore your hair free, and how the wind eagerly played with it. How you were in a good mood, for getting a really high score on your biology test, so you were always smiling, your eyes were constantly shining...
The sound of the refrigerator opening startled him out of his train of thoughts.
Turning his head to the side, he saw how you were currently leaning in your refrigerator, eyes and mouth wide.
”Holy Goodness, Makoto! You bought so much food!” you said, marveling the content of your cooler. It was packed with milk, joghurt, cheese, butter, some vegetables... and was that rice pudding?! It was awhile since you last ate rice pudding! You never saw your fridge this full! Oh, and the smell...! Your fridge never smelt this good! The urge to just stuck your head in there forever was becoming stronger and stronger, but your logical side managed to suppress it. Meanwhile, Makoto had to chuckle at your actions. He was glad, that the old you was slowly showing itself underneath all that layer of anxiety.
Closing the door of your fridge, you straightened yourself up and looked at him, sincere gratitude reflecting in your eyes.
”I...don’t know how to thank you! Words can not describe how thankful I am. If only I knew how to repay this all...” You said, lightly blushing and looking down at your feet.
Makoto looked at you, the gentle smile never faltering from his face.
”I don’t mind, really. This is the least I can do for you. After all...what are friends for? ” He asked, his eyes intently locked on yours.
...You were pretty sure that it was only because it was a bit dark, that you believed to see a courious emotion pass behind his eyes....something reassuring? As if he knew something you didn’t...
He tore his gaze away from you, and continued to stir up some egg yolk, the enigmatic smile not faltering from his handsome visage. You, all the while, were still standing before your fridge, and tried to read his expression.
’Huh? What’s with that smile?’
It wasn’t scarry, or intimidating – you doubted Makoto could even smile like that – but somehow, it was different from his usual smiles. This wasn’t the first time he shot you those, either. They usually accompanied his intense gazes, like they did last week, and in high school...
You couldn’t shake off the feeling, that they held a deeper meaning.
... Or did he smile like that at others, too? Is this a normal behavior of him...? Damn, now you really wished that you payed more attention to him while you had time. Maybe next time try observing his eyes, instead of looking away flustered. They were practically open books! Surely you could read something out of them...
However, you realized all too late, that he noticed you staring at him and all of a sudden turned his head towards you, his face holding mild surprise. This startled you, not anticipating him to look at you, while you were deep in thought.
”Is something the matter, (Name) – chan?”
’Damn it, I should have looked down at the floor or somewhere else but not him! I forgot to look away!’
Quickly pulling yourself together, you managed to come up with something to save your skin.
”I ah...! I was just thinking that it’s not fair to let you cook everything on your own, since you already went out to buy everything. ...Let me help you?” You half asked – half stated, your voice wavering a bit from uncertainty.
’Gosh, now he must think I’m bonkers.’ You thought begrudgingly.
But to your surprise, he just smiled at you and stepped one step away in the opposite direction from you, as if to give you place at the counter.
Blinking twice, you stepped right beside him, while trying to hide your reddening cheeks with your hair.
However, his soft chuckle made you look up at his face in shock.
”W – what? What is it?” You asked confused.
He just shook his head, still grinning and said nothing, turning back to his cooking. You continued looking at him with a baffled expression, just to look back to the counter, softly huffing.
Little did you know, that he saw your blush.
Sometimes you’re just too adorable.
Your small kitchen was filled with heartful laughter and giggles, making it look quite lively.
The atmosphere was anything but tense. You two were having a grand time cooking and talking, and just all in all having fun. Oh, it felt just like you were home at your family or at Mrs. Tanaka’s place. Incredible, how he could make you feel so much better. Your stomach and face already started hurting from all the laughter, your cheeks were still colored rosy and your eyes were twinkling.
And Makoto could have hugged you and kissed you then and there, for seeing you like this.
Yes! This is the (Name) he knew. You weren’t lost, you were still yourself. All the hardships didn’t succeed in taking away your personality; they didn’t crush you. And he was more than happy to know, that it was him who could cheer you up like this.
There were times, when he shortly closed his eyes, when you weren’t looking, and enjoyed your laughter, reliving the times when you two were younger. Like sweet bells, your giggles echoed in his ears.
He only realized it now, how much he missed your laughter.
Lunch was just about ready, and you two were currently setting the table, albeit you had to sometimes watch your hands, so as they wouldn’t drop anything, because they were shaking so hard from your chuckling.
” - And remember how in 3rd grade, Hideki fell asleep in class and you drew a little heart on his cheek, when the teacher wasn’t looking?” Makoto asked, grinning widely at the memory. You, on the other hand, errupted in to yet another laugh attack, briefly grabbing on to your stomach to ease the pain.
”Hahaha, yes! Of course! How could I forget that?”
”Poor boy didn’t know what hit him when he woke up,” he said still smiling, while laying the plates on the table.
”Poor boy?! He had it coming!” You returned, jokingly huffing. ”He was teasing me the whole week!”
”He was?” Makoto asked a bit surprised, looking you in the eyes. ”Yeah, pff. I got a lower grade then he on our chemistry test, and he tought it would be funny to rub it in my face, since he never got a higher grade then me. He was practically acting like he won some kind of competition against me.” You finished with a little smile, while helping Makoto serving the food. He didn’t reply nor look at you, just continued laying down the silwervare beside the plates.
Your kitchen fell silent again; only the sounds of yours and his movements could be heard. The weather outside remained windy and cold and the clouds were still suspiciously grey. You promptly got to your stove, to get the saucepan filled with noodle soup, but you didn’t even arrive at your table when you noticed something odd.
How Makoto grew quiet.
He seemed to be in deep thought, sitting down at your table and looking down on its surface.
He was just grinning and laughing a few seconds ago with you. Did he remember something? Or did you say something wrong? Is he not feeling well? Argh, he is full of secrets...
Deciding to ask him about this, you slowly got to your table, saucepan in your hand and then abruptly stopped, looking at him worriedly.
At first he didn’t look up, only locked his eyes on yours; his expression was strangely serious. ...And a bit weary?
You slightly cocked an eyebrow at him, not understanding his sudden change in behavior, to which he slowly straightened his head, eyes never leaving yours. The noodle soup in your hands was still warm, but you were currently too focused on Makoto, so that you forgot to put it on the table.
Meanwhile, his heart was beating erratically, despite his calm facade, and after a while took a shaky breath, hoping that his voice wont fail him now, of all times. After mulling over how he should forms his question, he parted his lips.
”(Name) – chan... I was thinking, that ...if everything fails you in order to somehow get rid of your problems with your apartment...”
He paused and gulped, while you slowly put the saucepan on your table, your gaze intently locked on his, and carefully listening as to what he had in mind. His voice was quiet and uncertain, almost mumbly, so you made sure that you heard everything. But just in case you would hear something that would shatter you, again, you steadily sat down, facing him from across the table.
He sighed, before continuing.
It’s now or never
”... Maybe you could...move in with me?”
The little trail of steam leisurely made its way upwards from your still closed saucepan, the interaction between you two not blocking its path at all. Other than that, nothing really moved after he managed to utter those words to you.
You two didn’t even dare to breath, only succeeding in looking at each other; him, sporting an expression that was a mix of nervousness and earnest, and you, wearing a dumbfounded one.
If only you knew how much courage it took him to suggest this. Even now he was really afraid what you would answer. His heart sank at the thought of you rejecting his idea, and maybe start thinking of him as a pervert. Oh, hell. What if you will start shouting at him, or worse; laughing at him for such a stupid idea? Maybe he should’ve kept his mouth shut!
You, only sitting there and not reacting, didn’t help him either. You were still staring at him, as if he told you something unbelievable.
Wait. Was this proposition that unimaginable...?
Just as he was about to regret this choice, your quiet voice interrupted him.
”...Moving in with you?” you echoed breathlessly, lowering your hollow gaze on your table.
It’s not that the idea abhorred you or something. It’s just that it was kinda...unexpected. From your part, at least. Sudden and...huh. This is something you had to think through. Like, really think through. Not that you had anything against Makoto, oh no. In fact... it sounded like a very great idea, and you could imagine that living with Makoto would be anything but unpleasant...
You felt a bit uncomfortable. Wouldn’t you bother him...? Well, ...you guessed he wouldn’t suggested it, if you did, right? But, does he really mean this? You sure hoped he didn’t say this only because he pitied you or thought this to be the good thi –
You’re doing this again! There’s no way the Makoto would propose this idea and not mean it. You should seriously start trusting him a bit more. I mean, when did he ever let you down? ...or anyone, for that matter? And to be honest, this idea was the most realistic and best one yet. You could just move in with him, til you find a better place to live. You’re not a bad roommate, anyway. You were responsible and managed to keep your place relatively clean.
Your eyes briefly swept through your kitchen.
...Your current apartment doesn’t count,of course, because it’s crap. And even this crappy apartment, one could give you some credit for keeping it in tact, despite it being...well, crap.
You looked back at an anxious Makoto, and tried to say something that would somehow reassure him, that you weren’t creeped out by his idea. Because the poor boy looked like he was on the edge of having a panic attack; fidgeting with his fingers, looking nervous and tapping his foot.
Clearing your throat, you looked him in the eyes.
”Makoto... I’m really touched and I appreciate your offer...but - ”
Ah, yes. There it was again. Your pride.
”...I think, I’m going to try to solve this all firstly, by gathering enough money or searching for another roommate.”
He frowned a bit, completely misunderstanding your answer as a kindly put rejection, and was about to apologize, when you interrupted him, knowing all too well what he was going to say next.
”No, don’t apologize. I’m immensely thankful for everything you already did for me. But I don’t want to come off as someone who doesn’t know how to stand on their own two feet. Let me at least try...”
You looked down at your empty plate.
”...I can do this. I have to do this.” You murmured melancholically.
Makoto only looked at you, a worried expression on his face.
”You do not come off as someone who is unresponsible, (Name) – chan. Please don’t think that just because I want to help you, you’re automatically deemed as incapable of living. Things like these happen to everyone; It’s how life works. I’m just merely trying to help you. You can’t live your whole life rejecting help, thinking that you’re going to manage coping with your problems alone. There were countless examples of individuals who acted like you, and they all ended up either going mad or commiting - ”
His voice died down, not finishing his sentence, but he didn’t need to finish it, because you know what he meant.
Sheepishly, you lifted your head a bit, but not straightening your upper body fully, and looked at him from under your eyelashes.
”Won’t I bother you if I move in with you...?” you asked with a meek voice.
Makoto had to blink twice to comprehend what you just asked, only to start softly chuckling. So cute...
”What are you talking about, (Name) – chan? You were never a nuisance to me...,” he said softly, while longingly gazing at you, the slight trace of a smile visible on his mouth.
Meanwhile, you were trying to even out your breathing, eyes widening a bit.
’He seriously doesn’t notice himself.’ You thought confused, wondering how many people misunderstood his actions as something romantic. Still, his gazes were slowly getting to you, and you had to blush.
”Are you sure?”
He grinned at you, and firmly nodded.
”My house is actually really empty and quiet. I have two guest rooms, so I figured we could transform one of them in to your own. And anyway...”
He looked down at his plate, his eyes suddenly reflecting something sad.
”...I wouldn’t mind some company, either,” he whispered sorrowful, a sad smile gracing his lips.
You felt your heart churn, brows furrowed in worry and sympathy. You remembered again, how he told you about his friends and family one week ago, when you two first rejoined, suddenly realizing something.
The weather seemed to match both of your current moods; the wind still stiffly blowing, rattling the glass in your windows, the sky turning a darker shade of grey.
You would have loved to rest your hand on his, figuring that it would make him feel better or even just stand up and hug him, but instead you just dared to break the silence with your words.
This sentence was unequivocally stated, not asked, in a somewhat quite whisper that hanged over both of your heads. It seemed that he nodded at your statement, but you weren’t really sure, since it was quite an uncertain move of his head. But regardless of that...you knew that this silence equaled consent.
A sad little sigh escaped your lips.
”Let me think about it, okay?”
He looked at you, smiling gently and nodded – more firmly than the last time; you, mirroring his action. A few seconds passed with only you two gazing at each other, before you broke the moment by glancing down at the saucepan.
”Oh, we should probably start eating before the food goes cold,” you said with a little giggle, already reaching for the soup – ladle.
He also chuckled quietly, before adding:
”Yeah... you’re right.”
Lunch lasted approximately one hour, given how you two were not just eating but also talking from time to time.
The food you two prepared not only smelled heavenly, but it also tasted like that. Your eyes were practically shining as you devoured everything on your plate, occasionally giving little ’hmm’ noises as you shoved the spoon in your mouth, indicating how much you enjoyed your dish; all the while Makoto quietly snickering at your adorable antics. You couldn’t stop praising him and thanking him at the same time, to which he only reassured you that you were welcome.
Oh, if only you know how very
However, it seemed that eating all this at once after a long while of not eating anything else but instant soup, your stomach begun to, for lack of a better word, warn you.
In other words: you were full.
Leaning back in your chair, a content little sigh escaped your lips and you closed your eyes, while rubbing your tummy.
”Oh, this was so delicious! I almost forgot what it feels like to eat a lot, heh,” you finished with a little giggle.
Parallel to you, Makoto was also finished, however he seemed fine, his stomach handling the dish way better than yours. He stood up and begun to clean the table, taking the table wares and empty plates to your sink.
You would have stood up too, to help him, but you were too full to even blink. And you kinda figured, that he wouldn’t take it to heart.
And he didn’t.
Whenever he passed your table, he observed you from head to toe using this opportunity, given how your eyes were currently shut. You were softly smiling, your face was relaxed and the expression you wore clearly gave away how satisfied you were. It warmed his heart.
After taking everything to the sink, he thought that it wouldn’t hurt, if he did the washing up. It certainly wouldn’t anger you, he figured. You were so comfortably sitting there... he was sure you wouldn’t mind. So, he took the sponge and got to work, hoping that it would take his mind of off a certain someone for now, but not before casting one more glance at your form...
Let me think about it, okay?
He sighed, feeling a bit frustrated.
He was worried about you, and also a bit sad that you declined his offer. It somehow brought him little solace, that your decision was for now, and not for all eternity.
...Then again, that would’ve been too nice to be true; you living with him. He could’ve seen you everyday, talk to you everyday...Just all in all, could’ve made sure that you were all right. But you were too proud, and he had to smile a smile of bitterness. Your pride is going to be your demise one day.
But alas, he certainly couldn’t force you to live with him. And on the other hand... you weren’t repulsed by his idea and you didn’t think of him badly. You even thanked him! That counts as good, so...
He groaned a bit, and shook his head, opting to just finish washing up the dishes.
Briefly looking out the window, he noted how it begun to be darker and darker.
Then, he glanced one more time at you...
Was he acting selfish now?
15 minutes later, he finished cleaning up everything.
Taking a kitchen cloth in his hands he proceeded to wipe his wet hands, absentmindedly looking out the window, only to see that nothing really changed. The weather was still as windy and cold as ever, the winter air not holding itself back at all.
Though, the weather wasn’t the only thing that didn’t change.
Turning around, he laid his eyes on your figure, only to notice how you didn’t change your position on your chair for a while and your breathing seemed to get deeper; your chest peacefully rising up and down. Come to think of it...it was quite silent. He didn’t hear anything from you, while he was busy with washin up. Maybe the water sloshing around in your sink prevented his ears to hear anything.
Suddenly putting two and two together, he couldn’t help himself but smile, not even bothering to fight down the blush that accompanied aforementioned smile. Your cuteness didn’t know any boundaries, did it? He quietly chuckled, admiring you. But even though you looked lovely like this...
...he couldn’t let you sleep on your chair, right? What if you fell down and hurt yourself? It would also become quite uncomfortable in the long run, not to mention that i’ts not really good for your spine and back. Well, there’s that.
But he didn’t want to wake you up, either. You seemed to have a really nice nap, one you didn’t have for a long time. Standing at the counter, he rested one of his hands on his hip, and started to ponder as to what he should do, while gazing at your slumbering form.
And that’s when it hit him.
He could maybe......take you in his arms and carry you to your bed...
At this he became more flustered, lifting his hand to rest it on the back of his neck, while letting out a quiet, deep breath.
That...seemed to be the only logical solution, if he didn’t want to wake you up. Well, yes. ...But there’s the possibility that you would wake up, and than he would have a really, really hard time explaining why he was carrying you in his arms, and most importantly: where.
His blush only darkened when he imagined how it would feel like holding you in his arms. It would feel really good, he was sure of that, thinking back how it felt to hold you, when he was walking you home one week ago. How your hip and shoulder was pressed against his...And how at one time, you rested your head against his shoulder...
Unbeknownst to him, thinking about this succeeded to gather his courage and motivate him to carry out his plan, wanting to experience that proximity again.
He stepped closer to you and observed you, making absolutely sure, that you were indeed sleeping.
After sighing in nervousness and anticipation, he carefully, very carefully slipped his left hand under your head, and his right hand under your knee pit, his eyes never leaving your face, and watching for any sign that gave away if you were starting to wake up. But after he saw that you didn’t even twitch from his touch, he sighed a sigh of relief, and closed his eyes, gathering the nerve to actually lift up your body.
He began saying a quick prayer and then ...slowly started to lift you up...very carefully...
...making sure your legs didn’t hit the table...and that your head was securely laid on his muscular arm...and that the chair didn’t make any sound...and that his heart wouldn’t jump out of his chest...
Just a little bit more...!
...aaaaaaand he did it.
Sighing once more from pure relief, he thanked whatever the dink is out there for not failing his luck. He made sure not to move too hastily, so the movements wouldn’t wake you up. ...But he didn’t actually make his way to your room just yet, despite his better judgement.
He took the risiko and just observed you from up close, enjoying the sight of you in his arms. He was kinda surprised how light you weighed, not taking him any effort to just hold you like this. You looked so beautiful and vulnerable like this. And you were so close...he could faintly feel your cool breath on his neck, making him shiver a bit. Your soft sighs resonated in his ears, and for the second time this day, his gaze got stuck on your slightly parted lips....your elegant, petal shaped lips...your full and soft lips...
....If he just stooped down his head a bit he could actually –
Wait a second!
What is he doing?! You would wake up, and than he would die of humiliation! What was he thinking? You could’ve opened your eyes and ...! Speaking about humiliation. Why isn’t he taking you to your bedroom already? If you catch him like this...! Oh Hell!
Panicking a little, he tried to clear his head with a little shake, and proceeded to walk to your bedroom, at the same time watching that his hands and arms didn’t shake too much from his walking. Pushing against your door with his shoulder, he managed to enter your bedroom.
Carefully walking to your bed, he briefly wondered how he should lay your figure down on your bed.
He took a few seconds mulling this over, biting the inside of his cheek, but then decided to just get over with it. ...Carefully, get over with it.
His arms shook a bit, as they cautiously lowered your slumbering form on your bed, still panicking about the possibility of you waking up at any moment.
...Then, he carefully took his hands away, but still being ever so observant of your face. After seeing that you were still pretty much passed out, he sighed for the hundredth time this day, and straightened himself up, already on his way to leave your room.
And he would’ve successfully carried through this action...
...if it weren’t for the fact that he heard you shiver.
Turning around, he saw how you were slowly curling up like a cat, trembling all the while; teeth chattering, your muscles trying to contract and relax, in hopes of producing some kind of warmth.
Huh. No wonder.
Looking around your room, he saw how dark and small it was; the windows didn’t seemed to be properly shut, given how they rattled every time when the wind was blowing. It probably didn’t help at all, that the cracks on your wall were letting through the icy air from outside. What made him more worried was the fact, that he didn’t really see any blankets lying around...
So then, with what should he cover you up...? He couldn’t leave you like this. You would surely get sick...
How about...he lies down next to you...and wraps you in his arms...?
...And with that, he’s blush pretty much came back. Shaking his head, he quickly tried to perish this idea. There’s no way he would do that and you wouldn’t wake up. You surely weren’t sleeping that deeply...
He looked back at you.
...or were you?
He bit his lips, while thinking about what he should do next. As tempting as it sounded to lay down next to you, it was too risky. Would you believe him, if you – on the off chance – would suddenly wake up and find him next to you...?
But there weren’t any other choices...There weren’t any blankets around here, and he was afraid of snooping around, searching for them. Searching for blankets would mean opening wardrobes and drawers, which pretty much equals making a lot of noise. There were also some boxes laying around, their contents completely unknown to him. They might have blankets or something warm to tuck you in.
But...there was also the possibility that he might find something completely different...something that would embarrass him, or just something you wouldn’t want anyone to know.
And besides...if you did have any other blankets in your apartment, wouldn’t that mean that you already took them out, especially given how you didn’t have any heating? He was pretty sure that there were already icicles forming on your ceiling. It looks like the blankets on your bed were the only ones you had...
A deep breath escaped his mouth.
So, it’s either him playing blanket or you freezing to death. He would love to, honest to God, he would love to lay there behind your form and warming you up with his body heat...but only with your consent. He was afraid, that what he was about to do could be considered ’taking use of the opportunity’ while you were out. He trembled in disgust.
He didn’t plan on kissing you or doing something the like (not yet, that is, and certainly not without your agreement). But if he’d just leave you here...
Lingering a few seconds in the middle of you room, he observed your shivering form for what seemed to be hours, before slowly going around your bed. You were still sleeping, your breathing was deep...
Well, if it means keeping you warm...then he would do it. He already felt his hands shake just from thinking about it.
He was going to lay down, next to you.
...maybe he could really do it.
Sighing once more, he firstly sat down on your bed, very, very slowly, still praying that you won’t suddenly turn around. But you gave no reaction.
Then, he took his arm and carefully lowered his body beside yours. ...Still no reaction from you.
Good. So far so good.
But now comes maybe the hardest part: wrapping his arm around you.
He was happy, and nervous and afraid at the same time, his hand shaking from anticipation. He was really doing this. Holding back his breath, he carefully rested his hand on your waist...
...and then slowly let it slide to your stomach, his fingers brushing against your curves...
He did it. Unbelievable, but he did it. He already felt a grin blossoming on his face from successfully carrying out this mission. Come to think of it... he was fantasizing about this when he saw you sleeping this morning. ...And now he is actually here, enveloping your form...
This euphoria was, however, short lived.
His heart stopped beating when he felt how your body started stirring, a few whimpers escaping your lips. His eyes widened and he felt his body going tense from fear.
Uh – oh! Where you going to wake up?!
His first instinct would have been to recoil from your form, but he suddenly forgot to even breath, not to mention move. Not knowing what to do, he quickly shut his eyes and buried his face in your soft hair. He didn’t think he could take to see your confused and shocked expression after you discovered him beside you. If you didn’t think of him as some sort of creep this afternoon at lunch, then you would surely think that now, seeing him like this, his arm on your stomach.
But just as he was about to regret sharing his warmth with you ...you stopped stirring.
Not just that.
He took his face away from your locks and opened his eyes, not really believing what he saw, and most importantly; felt. Not only did you stop stirring, but he only realized it now, that you actually snuggled up to him, your back firmly pressing against his stomach, even breathing out a hum of satisfaction. Your shivering also stopped, and the satisfied expression came back to your face.
He blinked a few times, completely in awe and then rested his head close to yours, burying his nose in your hair to breathe in your scent. His heart was still thumping crazy, and he felt his whole body shiver from feeling your body being pressed against his, so nicely.
This made him feel a bit bolder, and so he pulled you to his chest more firmly, sighing contently. Closing his eyes, he concentrated on the parts where your body touched his (that, being the whole upper body) and just all in all enjoying this spooning position with you. Hearing your soft breathing made him also sleepy, and he already felt his eyelids slowly closing shut. If only you knew how happy he was right now...
Meanwhile the weather outside seemed to calm down a bit.
Glancing one last time out your window, he briefly noted how it began to snow.