Takeru Sasazuka didn’t get sick.
At least, that’s what he had adamantly explained to you one shared afternoon out in the city. Originally, you had believed him. Sasazuka had sneezed a few times earlier that day, but he had chalked the the cause up to being the plum blossoms now in full bloom. As their petals cascaded down from the trees around you, you could also feel a slight tickle in your nose. Despite how beautiful the sight was, you partly wished the cafe was located a bit further from the park. With the rise in pollen this year, you found yourself agreeing that this was probably just a simple irritation of his sinuses.
However, as the pair of you enjoyed your desserts, his symptoms appeared to have worsened. As you slowly picked at the food you had ordered, you thought you heard a sniffle across the table that was quickly followed up with an agitated sigh. Dipping your fork into the soft cake before you, you lifted your eyes from your plate to search Sasazuka’s face.
His countenance, normally a perfect example of carefully trained composure, was flushed and his expression even somewhat pained. Cyan brows pulled taut as he tugged at his tie uncomfortably, as if he was trying to vent the heat swelling up within his body. You heard him clear his throat a few times before eventually giving in to a dull cough. It was painfully obvious this was more than just typical allergies. A slow sigh exhaled from his lips as he caught your eye.
“I’m fine,” he said sternly before dipping his spoon back into his parfait. “Don’t look at me like that. You’ll just make me want to bully you.”
Even his threats seemed hollow, forced almost. It felt as though he was trying his best to keep your fretting to a minimum. Ignoring his protests, you observed quietly as he brought the spoon to his mouth. A grimace crossed his face as he swallowed.
“They must have changed the recipe,” you heard him utter under his breath as he set the spoon back down. “This is nowhere near as sweet as it used to be.” Crimson eyes locked onto your own as Sasazuka folded his arms across his chest. You felt a slight chill. You knew what that look meant.
“Poochie, tell them to make something else.”
Begrudgingly, you went to ask for a different dessert. You knew that this developing cold was messing up his sense of taste. But, you had no idea how could you tell him no without incurring a severe bullying later. You sighed. All you could do was wait until he came to terms that he got sick like everyone else.
As you set the new treat in front of Sasazuka, you eyed him carefully waiting to see if there was any change. But, after sampling that one as well, he merely clicked his tongue and pushed the plate toward you. It went just as you expected. In a huff, Sasazuka tossed his coat over his shoulder and turned toward the street.
“Let’s go. We’ll try somewhere else.”
And you did. That afternoon, you accompanied Sasazuka as he picked out new cafes and restaurants that boasted about having the best sweets around. However, each time, Sasazuka found himself refuting their claims. He grew increasingly more agitated with each locations you exited. It was difficult watching your boyfriend as he refused to come to terms with his illness. You had been so used to seeing Sasazuka’s calm demeanor. Seeing him unravel was equal parts exciting as it was worrisome.
Eventually, you found yourself attempting to take his hand in your own to give him some sort of solace. Being so focused on this new challenge he had appointed to himself, Sasazuka didn’t attempt to stop you from lacing your fingers between his own. A soft gasp escaped you.
His hand was like a self-sustaining furnace. After a few moments of prolonged contact, you had to pull back before your palms would start sweating. Eyes full of worry, you decided to stop him. Before Sasazuka could storm into the next targeted store, you darted in front of him. He stopped in his tracks, crimson eyes once angry with his current situation were now racked with confusion.
“Takeru,” you said firmly. “Stop. You’re sick. If you keep pushing yourself, you’ll just keep getting worse.” He opened his mouth about to speak when you cut him off. “And don’t say that you aren’t.” You pressed the back of your hand against his forehead to confirm your suspicions. “You’re burning up… Come on, you need to go home and rest. ”
Forcefully, you dragged Sasazuka back to his apartment with his protests falling on deaf ears along the way. After pushing open the door to his room, you attempted to drag him over to the bed.
“What are you, my mother?” he clucked his tongue when you tried to get him to lay down. “I can take care of myself. You look like a helpless little puppy lost without its master.” You merely rolled your eyes at his jaded response.
“I don’t want you overexerting yourself.”
You retrieved a washcloth from his bathroom and made sure to run it under warm water. As you placed it upon his head, you noticed that Sasazuka’s was no longer protesting. Rather, he just watched silently as you darted in and out of the rooms in his apartment. You prepared other home remedies for his cold with what little he had available. After setting a hot bowl of soup on the table and laying a few pain killers out for him to take later, you turned back to Sasazuka.
“Try and get some rest,” you said, your arms wrapping around him gently. “You always work so hard. I’m sure the department will understand if you need a day off tomorrow.”
You could feel him huff into your shirt in annoyance, but he remained quiet. As you pulled back, you took notice of the redness of his cheeks. They somehow seemed a bit darker even though his conditioned didn’t appear to have worsened. You wondered why that seemed to be. However, you could ask him about that later when he had already taken stronger medicine than what he had in his apartment. Before turning to leave, you gave Sasazuka a loving kiss to his cheek.
“I’m going out to get you some medicine,” you said with a smile. “The stuff you have here isn’t strong enough to treat what you have. I shouldn’t be gone long.”
Sasazuka nodded. For a moment, it seemed as though he wanted to say something, but chose to refrain from it instead. Shrugging it off, you made your way outside toward the nearby convenience store.
You returned with some pills that should help to clear up his condition along with a few snacks you were sure he would need seeing as he wasn’t in any shape to go out himself. As you pushed open his door, your eyes fell to his bed. The bowl of soup was now empty and where you left Sasazuka, he was now lying on his side facing towards you with his eyes closed. Sasazuka had fallen asleep while you were out. Wisps of cyan hair tickled his cheeks as he breathed in slowly. In that moment, he looked peaceful. You smiled. Careful not to wake him, you slowly sat down next to him on the mattress.
Seeing him like this warmed your heart. You took his hand in your own and gave a light squeeze. It was only at times like this that you could truly see the vulnerable side of him. It reminded you of the first time you had accidently fallen asleep in his arms. The way he had been looking at you when you opened your eyes helped you realize just how much you meant to him, even when he wouldn’t say it outright until much later.
You were special. He cared about your as a person not just as an assistant. Knowing that, it made the time you could spend with him like this all the more rewarding. With the smile never leaving your lips, you brought your face closer to his own. Gently, you pressed a kiss to his forehead.
You loved him. And despite all the quips and jabs, you knew he loved you too.
Suddenly, Sasazuka began to stir. You pulled away in time to see him open his eyes. Groggily, he took in your visage before slowly sitting up.
“You kept me waiting, Poochie,” he yawned. “I got so bored with sitting here I must have fallen asleep. Did you at least bring back what you went out for like a good girl?”
Yep. He was definitely feeling a bit better. You were suddenly grateful that you had thought to pick up the extra snacks.
The next day, you made sure to pick up ingredients for dinner right after work. Sasazuka hadn’t made it into the station. You could only assume that his cold might have worsened overnight again. Panic beginning to set in, you finished your purchase as quickly as you could before running to his apartment. Certain to see Sasazuka back in bed with a high fever, you crashed through the door.
“Takeru!” you exclaimed as your eyes searched the room. You eventually found Sasazuka sitting at his computer desk furiously typing away. He appeared to be completely fine.
The bag of groceries in your hand fell to the floor. Various vegetables rolled out from the plastic coming to stop in scattered positions across the apartment. You were flabbergasted. He turned his head to look at you over his shoulder. Mild annoyance decorated his face as he took in the newly created mess.
“Why are you screaming?” he rolled his eyes. “I’m right here, stupid cat.”
Sasazuka didn’t come into work and yet here he was working from home instead. Noticing that you weren’t moving, Sasazuka sighed. He rose from his desk chair and picked up the produce spread out along the floor. You watched in stunned silence as he tucked them back into the bag before bringing them to the kitchen. As he returned to his desk, he raised an eyebrow
“Did you forget how to speak, stupid?” He frowned slightly.
You shook yourself from your daze.
“I thought your cold had gotten worse,” you explained as you stepped closer. You raised a hand and placed it lightly against his forehead. “Your fever has gone down. Why didn’t you come into work today?”
Sasazuka clicked his tongue. He grabbed your wrist before lowering your hand back down.
“I woke up feeling like shit. I took the medicine you bought last night, but I didn’t start feeling better until a few hours ago.”
You weren’t sure if you felt relieved or mildly annoyed. Sasazuka could have at least texted you let you know that he was doing better. You had spent the majority of the day worrying about him.
Just as you were about to turn towards the kitchen, you noticed that you couldn’t move forward. Sasazuka had not released your arm from his grip. You looked to him curiously.
“What’s wrong?” you asked as you took in the conflicted expression he bore.
Sasazuka was quiet for a moment. He opened his mouth a few times, searching for words that always seemed to fail him. You could see him grimace from the internal struggle waging within himself. You didn’t understand. Sasazuka was the type to just say what was on his mind, not flounder like this. Perhaps you ought to leave him alone to gather his thoughts.
As you were about to turn and try to exit to the kitchen again, he pulled you back. Not expecting to be tugged so forcefully, you fell towards him coming to land softly against his chest. In an attempt to right yourself, you turned to face him while resting your hands against his torso as you searched his eyes. You opened your mouth to question his actions, but found yourself silenced by his lips.
The kiss broke you from the thoughts currently shrouding your mind. You felt your eyes flutter shut while your arms settled behind the nape of his neck and back of his head bringing him in closer. Electric sparks circuited through your frame as his tongue mingled with your own. It was then that you became grateful to be pressed so tightly against his body-- had you been standing, your legs may have given out beneath you.
A soft whimper escaped your lips. You could feel everything he had failed to vocalize pour into his every kiss. His unspoken appreciation and love flooded your senses until all you could feel was him.
When he finally broke away from the kiss, you could see how deeply his face was flushed. Sasazuka looked over you with half-lidded eyes before coming to rest at the kiss swollen lips he had just been partaking. A low grumble rumbled from the back of his throat. He leaned in again, stopping just short of capturing your mouth again. You could feel his every breath from his lips just barely brushing over your own as he spoke.
“You… You did a good job. I didn’t even have to ask you to do all of this for me this time. You’re getting better at this.”
He struggled to get the words out. But, you didn’t need him to speak to understand exactly what he meant. This must have been what he had been trying to get out the night before. He wanted to thank you, even if saying those words may have been difficult to do. You smiled gently as you leaned up and pecked his lips.
“I know,” you teased in a hushed voice. Seeing him so flustered awakened a newfound confidence in your form. You wanted to see just how much you could get away with while he was in this state. “You’d be a mess if I weren’t here to keep an eye on you. Maybe you should thank me, somehow?”
You could see something flare up behind his crimson eyes. He reacted just as you had expected. Sasazuka smirked sending an excited shiver through your body. Taking notice of this, he released a low chuckle.
“I think you’re getting a bit too overconfident, Poochie.” He emphasized the word only further fanning the flames in your currently warm body. Without giving you a chance to make a quip back, Sasazuka rose from his chair bringing you to a standing position before him. He guided you backwards, the fiendish smile never leaving his face, as he brought you down onto his bed. At this point, your breathing had become erratic. You watched as he hovered over you, his thumb lightly running over your bottom lip before taking your cheek into his hand.
“I’m going to reward you for treating me earlier,” he murmured bringing his lips down to your neck. You let out barely audible moan only inciting him further. Sasazuka’s lips smirked against the skin. He was definitely going to enjoy himself.
“But,” he gently nipped at your neck causing you to writhe under his touch. “I also need to punish you for forgetting your place, Poochie. I won’t hold myself back tonight.”
The groceries were left forgotten in the kitchen as you gave yourself in to his pleasure all throughout the night.