Fandom: Hikaru no Go.
Tags: Domestic, Fluff, Established Relationship
Summary: Hikaru, a fever, and Akira’s cabbage porridge. Pure fluff.
Note: This is not a PWP but there’s no actual plot either. Just dweebs being dweebs.
And my headcanon is that Akira’s really good at making obscure dishes that you probably didn’t know existed or you did but never thought of making.
It was December when Hikaru, for the first time in his entire life, fell so horribly sick that he had been lying quite dead on the bed for the past three days. The doctor assured both him and Akira that it was only an ordinary fever, but since Hikaru was a reckless adult and almost always ignored Akira’s reminder of wearing more layers, his immune system would take a while to fight off the illness.
After sending the doctor off, Akira returned to their bedroom and glared at Hikaru, fighting the urge to shout, “What did I tell you, you utter moron?”
Hikaru held a wavering gaze at Akira as if having a hard time telling him apart from the rest of the room. Akira softened up, part out of affection, part out of sheer pity for this idiotic boyfriend of his.
“What did I tell you, you utter moron.” Akira said in a low tune. Even in his subconscious state Hikaru could recognize the tenderness in Akira’s voice.
“You should’ve tried harder.” Normally, such a reply should have gotten on all of Akira’s nerves; today, however, wasn’t one of those days.
“I see your mouth is still capable of running wild even though your body isn’t.” Akira found himself enjoying this subdued version of their usual bickering.
Hikaru laughed weakly. “Of course. If I can’t play go with you, the least I can do to keep you company is this.”
Hikaru shivered, and not due to the fever. Akira had called out to him before. Quite often, actually. On the phone, in the bed, across the goban, from inside the Go Institute. It wasn’t like they just switched to using each other’s first name, either. Still, Hikaru never thought Akira was capable of saying his name with such intimate gentleness. If Hikaru weren’t paralyzed by sickness, he would’ve brought his hand up to his chest and clutched it in hopes of stopping the mad beating of his heart. He was twenty-two now, too old for that adolescent heart-racing sensation and yet here he was, deafened by his pounding heart and having no idea what Akira said.
Standing next to the bed, Akira waited for Hikaru’s reply. The fatigued look on Hikaru’s face seemed to have excused him for not answering, because Akira turned away, noting that he’d be back with dinner. As fancy as “dinner” sounded, it was only porridge. As plain as “porridge” sounded, it was Akira’s homemade cabbage porridge; hence, to Hikaru, it was as fancy as any dinner at a five-star restaurant. They rarely cooked thanks to their tight schedules and the money they made could afford eating out every day, so why bother?
But Akira came back with a bowl of steaming porridge, and Hikaru decided that if getting sick meant an opportunity to savor Akira’s meals, he wouldn’t mind a fever every once in a while. Hikaru got up, with great difficulty.
Akira hurried and set the bowl on the bedside table. He slid a hand under Hikaru’s back to help him sit up.
“Take it easy. You still have a fever, remember?”
After making sure Hikaru was comfortable, Akira began to feed him. He took a spoonful, blew on it, and held it in front of Hikaru. Hikaru leaned forward and ate the porridge.
“How is it?” Akira asked, searching for any sight of discomfort on Hikaru’s face, which was a rather fruitless task since Hikaru was sick and in constant pain. “Do you want it saltier?”
“Nah, this is good. Delicious. Wonderful. Exquisite. Perfection. Heavenly. A solid 10 out of 10.”
They repeated the scooping up porridge, blowing on porridge, and eating porridge cycle for a while before Hikaru finished and Akira gave him a glass of water. Hikaru emptied the glass in one gulp and handed it back to Akira. Akira took it and stood up, gathering the bowl and the spoon. Hikaru’s eyes lingered on Akira’s hair and, all of a sudden, he wished he was strong enough to reach out and run his fingers through it. Strong enough to touch Akira. To embrace Akira.
How strange was that, yearning for somebody who was always around.
Akira must’ve noticed something odd about the way Hikaru watched him, for he turned to Hikaru and raised an eyebrow in question.
“Is something the matter?”
“Can you, um,” Hikaru struggled to find the words, “sleep with me tonight?” Again, he was a twenty-two-year-old adult who had his own money and did his own taxes, wasn’t he? And he had been with Akira for some good five years, hadn’t he? Why was he feeling mortified asking his lover for something so basic like lying on the same bed with him?
Akira eyed him, puzzled. “Well, I don’t think it’d be wise for me to do so. If I get sick, that’ll cause much inconvenience for both of us.” Hikaru dropped his head. Akira cleared his throat. “Although if we keep distance, I guess it’ll be all right. We do have a rather spacious bed.”
Hikaru glanced up at Akira, eyes sparkling beneath the haze.
“But first,” Akira walked to the door. “I have to put these in the dishwasher and get changed. It won’t take long. You can remain as you are and let your body digest the food. Do you need anything else?”
Hikaru mumbled a no. Akira exited the room, followed by some faint clanking of bowls hitting one another in the dishwasher. He turned on the machine, and Hikaru could hear his almost muted footsteps approaching the bathroom. Then there was the sound of water running, of the toothpaste tube being popped open, and of Akira leisurely brushing his teeth. Hikaru didn’t know having your body numbed by sickness could lead to some serious heightening of your other senses. Some sound similar to a vague humming was coming from the bathroom. The image of Akira brushing his teeth and humming to whatever old school 80s music he listened to was really not something Hikaru needed right now. Sure, Akira gave him a couple of pecks on the cheek every night, but go stones weren’t the only thing Hikaru’s fingers missed during these past days. He just finished dinner, and still he craved, for Akira – his skin, his warmth, his everything.
Akira returned to the room and opened the wardrobe opposite the bed to get his sleepwear. Hikaru wondered if Akira knew despite the fact that Hikaru was dead sick, he wasn’t that dead sick he couldn’t tell what was in front of him. And what was in front of him was Akira casually removing his belt, unbuttoning and taking off his shirt, sliding off his pants, putting on a set of plain pajamas, and leaving briefly to add his worn clothes to the pile of laundry. It was beyond Hikaru, how a mere action of changing clothes could be that elegant and, somehow, calming to watch.
Hikaru moved to the side to make room for Akira, who climbed into the bed like a feather. They kept their distance, shoulders some good inches apart, layers of blankets covering both. Akira remained silent, his face facing the ceiling, his breathing even, relaxed. Some hair tickled his neck. Akira pushed it away. As he rested his hand back on the bed, his fingers brushed past Hikaru’s. Hastily he retreated and whispered a quick apology, but Hikaru, using surprising strength, clutched at Akira’s hand. Akira made a questioning face neither were able to see. His ever so lightly tightening of fingers around Hikaru’s own seemed to speak for him, though, for Hikaru answered in a hoarse voice.
“Do you know how much I love you?”
Akira’s laugh escaped his mouth in the form of a huff. “What now? I know my cabbage porridge is good. You don’t have to be creative with complimenting it.”
“That’s not what I mean, but your porridge is crazy good too, ok! I need to find new ways to say how good it is, or else I’ll sound insincere!” He ended with a smile, his eyes, too, looking up at the ceiling. His grip on Akira’s hand loosened somewhat. “Like how many times I’ve said ‘I love you.’ You just brush it off now. I remember when I first confessed you were hilariously confused.” Fond memories rushed back to Hikaru. A wave of nostalgia surged up within him. And Akira as well.
“Because you confessed literally out of nowhere.”
“Hey, it wasn’t out of nowhere! You were just too dense to take the hints. I should’ve taken a picture of you back then, to be honest. Your face was like, ‘What on earth is he talking about? Am I missing something? Can somebody translate please? Did no one tell this idiot that I only speak the language of go and not that of common people? I can’t process what he said.'”
If Hikaru weren’t sick right now, Akira would’ve stuffed an entire pillow in his mouth.
“And even after we started dating, you’d still glare at me confusedly whenever I said ‘I love you.’ You were the cutest thing!” Hikaru growled. “Look at you now! Making light of my love like that! Oh God of go, where has my innocent precious Akira gone?”
“More like where has your insanity gone. I think you’re a bit delirious from the fever, Hikaru.”
“Am I now?” Hikaru chuckled, which ended in an exhausted sigh. “Really though. Will it happen? When I say ‘I love you’ and it will mean nothing to you?”
“If you commit homicide and say that hoping I’ll somehow bail you out of jail then yes. It will happen.”
“Akira! Please read the mood over here. You aren’t helping.” Hikaru groaned, despite having snorted at Akira’s tasteless humor.
“You can never tell the future, Hikaru. But considering the fact that I’ve stuck with go for the past twenty-two years of my life and never get bored of it, I guarantee you I’m relatively consistent about my passions. I expect our relationship to last at least that long. We can worry about not loving each other anymore when we reach the forties.”
“Hum. You do have a poin- wait, Akira, did you just compare me with a board game?” Hikaru gaped in realization, then disbelief, then understanding. Too bad Akira couldn’t witness all the emotions he’d been displaying. Akira would’ve had quite a laugh.
“I feel it’s a bit degrading to call go a mere board game.”
“Oh my God, Touya Akira, you’re embarrassing.”
Of course Akira would use his relationship with go as an analogy to his relationship with Hikaru. To be frank, Hikaru expected as much. Meanwhile, he kind of felt a sense of pride in having the honor of being as important as go in Akira’s life. On the other hand, being compared to a board game, though. Was it possible to be simultaneously pleased and insulted? Surely Akira had a talent at making Hikaru want to punch him and hug him at the same time.
Hikaru squeezed Akira’s hand again. “Man, I love you so much.”
Akira went silent before he answered. “I love you too?” said Akira, doubtfully.
“Hey! What’s with that uncertainty?”
“You told me I was embarrassing then said you love me!” Akira hissed. “I don’t know if I should take offense or not!”
“God! You’re honestly so embarrassing. Just know that I love you a lot, all right? Now sleep!”
Akira wanted to argue, but the immediate silence hushed him. He closed his eyes and listened to Hikaru’s steady, though a little rough, breathing, their entangled hands quiet like the hovering moon. Maybe Akira should look up what being embarrassing really meant tomorrow.