closing time
by cimorene

The door slid back while Takashi was making some practise sushi with the leftover rice from the last batch. "Sorry, we're closed - " he started to say, and then he looked up and saw it was Fuji. " - Fujiko!"

"Yeah, it's me," Fuji smiled. "You're closing now? Do you want me to lock the door?"

"Oh - okay, thank you," Takashi said. "I didn't think you were coming today."

"Nnn," Fuji said, setting his tennis bag on the floor and turning to smile over his shoulder at Takashi. "Well, I got a little ahead in my reading." Then he went back to pulling the rest of the curtains, and Takashi put some wasabi in the sushi roll he was shaping.

By the time Fuji had closed all the curtains and come over to the counter, Takashi had used up all the rice from the tray. "Here," Takashi said, setting the tray on the counter, "I put some wasabi in."

Fuji still always smiled as if he were surprised at that kind of thing, even though Takashi knew he wasn't. "Ah - thank you," he said, and reached out to the tray. He took the piece with shrimp first, just like Takashi had thought. Salmon was his favourite, so he always saved it for a while.

Takashi went into the kitchen for the last of the day's rice and when he came back, Fuji was behind the counter making a pot of tea. "More sushi, is it, Taka-san?" he said, raising his eyebrows at the rice.

Takashi couldn't help blushing at that look, when Fuji smiled so warmly at him. He chuckled nervously. "Just a little. I'm almost done."

"Mmmm," said Fuji. He stepped back a few steps, far enough that he wasn't filling Takashi's peripheral vision, and leaned one hip on the counter to watch.

"Do you want more?" Takashi asked belatedly, after he'd already finished two more and set them out for Fuji. Out of the corner of his eye he could see Fuji grinning.

"It's delicious, but you should have some."

Takashi nodded. He actually was a little hungry. He could eat sushi with as much wasabi as Fuji liked, actually - he'd eaten his practise efforts so often that he'd actually come to enjoy it, but he'd never said as much to Fuji. When the tea was brewed - Fuji always brewed it perfectly and never forgot and steeped it for too long, which was somehow just like him - Fuji poured him a cup and put it down next to the cutting board. Then he leaned against the counter again, a little closer this time.

It wasn't that he wanted Takashi to pay attention to him, Takashi knew, so much as that he didn't want Takashi to forget he was waiting. Or in this case, that his tea was waiting.

Takashi made another roll.

Fuji made that soft amused noise in his chest, not really a chuckle, the one that always made Takashi want to kiss him. "Taka-san, you're really amazing, ne," he murmured. "Your tea is getting cold."

Takashi looked up at him sheepishly. "I almost forgot about that." He set down the knife and picked up his teacup.

"Mmmmmm," said Fuji, long and throaty, and Takashi made the mistake of looking up at him and almost dropped his tea. Sometime he'd shed his sweater, and he was wearing one of Takashi's dress shirts, the buttons undone at the neck. "You know, I think if it was possible to make sushi until your hands bled, you would do it."

"I - that doesn't sound very sanitary," said Takashi irrelevantly. He was lucky it didn't just come out is that my shirt? or do you want to go up to my room and fool around, even though it's late?

That made Fuji laugh. "If your hands bled, I think you'd have to stop," he said, and reached out and lightly touched Takashi's wrist. "I suppose in sushi, just like in tennis, it's possible to overstrain yourself."

"Do you think I work too hard?" Takashi asked, tearing his eyes up from the hollow of Fuji's throat.

Fuji opened his eyes and wrapped his hand the rest of the way around Takashi's wrist. "No," he said, as if he'd considered it carefully. Of course he had - it was Fuji. "Don't worry. I won't let you."

"I - " Takashi just looked at him, and Fuji looked back. He was smiling gently. "All right."

He couldn't drink his tea if Fuji didn't let go of his wrist, but he decided he wouldn't say anything. He didn't mind drinking it cold.

"Did you just come from the tennis court?" It was rare for Fuji to come over this late at night, if he had lectures the next day, because of how long it took to get back to the university by the trains.

Fuji seemed startled by his question. "Hm?" Then his eyes flew to the other side of the counter and his tennis bag. "Ah. No, actually." He let go of Takashi's wrist, almost casually, and picked up the last piece of wasabi sushi.

"You didn't come here to make me play tennis at night again, did you?" Takashi smiled.

Fuji was relaxed again, leaning against the counter with his eyes closed, eating the sushi with that special face he saved just for wasabi. "No," he said, sounding a little amused, "that's not it either. The bag isn't full of tennis things."

Takashi looked at him curiously. "It's not?"

Fuji shook his head, and his eyes slitted open over the rim of his teacup as he drank the last of his tea. "Just clothes and some things," he said, almost casually, but his voice was clear and careful. "I thought I'd stay here tonight," he continued. "If that's all right with you."

Takashi was lucky that he wasn't trying to drink anything. Fuji was looking a little away from him, he noticed. He reached out to put his tea down - on the other side of Fuji's hip. "Fujiko," he said quietly, and bent his head until the fine hair of Fuji's bangs brushed his nose. He left his hand there.

Fuji's sigh was so quiet that he wouldn't have heard it if he'd been any further away. He'd still have felt Fuji melting into his arms, though. Fuji almost always relaxed all at once, as if he'd made a conscious decision and ordered all his muscles into compliance. He tilted his head back and kissed Takashi slowly and lazily, until Takashi broke away and moved his mouth down his neck, just to taste the hollow of his throat a little, in the open collar of the shirt.

"Ahhhh," Fuji breathed, fingers threading into Takashi's hair. "So it's okay."

"It's okay," Takashi said, and glanced up into Fuji's eyes to make sure Fuji knew that he meant it.

Fuji did. His eyelids were heavy, but his eyes were open and intent, his pupils wide. "Then, unless you'd like me to give your shirt back right now on the counter," he said, "I suggest we go up to our room."


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