Goro is melting.
Which by all means should be impossible, but Akira is watching him slowly melt onto the counter of Leblanc. His head in his gloved hands, locks of chestnut hair bouncing as his head bobs up and down in a futile attempt to stay awake.
And it takes every ounce of Akira’s willpower to not start screaming there and then because what the fuck the enemy of the Phantom Thieves of Heart is not supposed to be cute and melty and soft and squeezing at poor, poor Akira’s heart.
“What time did you sleep last night?” Akira is softly asking. Goro’s answer is a groggy and slurred, ‘bleventeen’ which is of no help at all because ‘bleventeen’ is not an actual number and doesn’t sound close to any number on a clock. He sounds so drunk and so endearing at the same time, why exactly was he not on their side?
“Psst. Goro. Gorooo…” Akira tries, but Goro finishes melting onto the counter and leaves Akira to stir the soup of his lovestruck thoughts. Is there a law about Detectives not being allowed to melt into his seat and be cute? Someone should make a law of that. His face has to be illegal.
Maybe the universe is being nice today, because the sunset is shimmering through the windows and casting this nice warm orange glow onto Goro’s sleeping form and if he wasn’t already smitten then he’s so much deeper now. You could fill up an entire room full of how much Akira could go on and on about how much he likes the other boy and his stupid endearing sweet tooth and his stupid chess skills and his stupid cute nose.
Of course, the other thieves know. Ryuji was a little confused, Ann knew the whole damn time because apparently Akira doesn’t know how to hide his feelings? Damn. Yusuke just didn’t care about Akira’s apparent crush on the detective, apparently being too busy to win over the oblivious Ryuji. Makoto called him an idiot. Futaba also called him an idiot but then she turns around and gives him all sorts of places he could take Goro out on a date and calls him a disaster gay. Haru gave her blessings but added a casual threat to cut off his head in case Goro hurt him and sweet Haru I love you but please.
Goro has solidified, but he’s in the process of melting again.
“Sorry, what did you say?” He mumbles sleepily, rubbing at his eyes. “Nothing. You’re cute when you’re sleepy.” Akira says softly. “Thanks. You’re cute too.” Goro melts again and Akira’s heart soars. He thinks I’m cute. End me. Is this pillow talk? Technically pillow talk that doesn’t have any pillows but the barstools are cushioned so maybe it counts?
Akira wonders if he can pet his hair. It has to be soft. So Akira does the thing and wants to never wash his hands again but he probably should because that’s gross but still Goro’s hair is soft like clouds. He’s never touched a cloud before but still.
Goro solidifies again.
“Did you know otters hold hands while they sleep so they don’t float away from each other? Otters are nice. I like otters.” He’s rambling and his eyes aren’t even open. He’s just saying words and not even having a single clue over what he’s saying.
“Would you like me to hold your hand so you don’t float away, Goro?”
“Otters also have a pouch for their favourite rock.”
And so Akira holds his hands as Goro melts onto the counter and floats away again. Why did he start talking about otters. Akira didn’t care. He could listen to Goro go on and on about otters for a long time and just not get bored of it. Goro’s hands are soft. They feel like paws. Cute toe beans for hands. What was he thinking about again?
It takes a little less than five minutes for Goro to solidify and Akira asks him before he melts, “Am I your favourite rock, Goro?” Goro squints a little without opening his eyes and says questioningly, “Am I a favourite rock?” Akira laughs softly. “No, Am I your favourite rock.” He clarifies.
“Oh.” Is all Goro says and melts.
Goro keeps drifting in and out of the realm of consciousness and it’s so cute. He keeps melting onto the counter. Akira feels like he’s taking care of a puppy that can’t stay awake after playing for such a long time. Or a cute little crow. Birdie that fluffs up every time he’s mad and squawks like crazy when he’s extra mad. Cute crow that brings him all sort of shiny things that have no meaning whatsoever but Akira keeps it in a little secret treasure box because he’s been blessed with Goro’s nonsensical gifts.
Last time Goro gave him a pen that didn't have any ink in it and Akira looks at it every time he misses Goro. Which used to be sometimes. Then most times. Then all the time. He misses Goro because he’s not awake and paying attention to the cute barista who’s holding his infuriatingly soft hands. He doesn’t have the heart to keep him awake, because him drifting away and back and just looking so lost and so soft and it’s too much for the Leader of the Phantom Thieves, he might have to step down from this position because he can’t handle this anymore.
Goro solidifies ten minutes later and bless whatever deity is out there right now because he just used Akira’s hands to wipe at his eyes. It’s gross but when you’re so in love with a cute detective you couldn’t care less. “Debatable.” Goro whispers and leans against Akira’s hands.
“Should I convince you to call me your favourite rock, Goro?”
Goro is yawning and he yawns like a kitten. There’s this huge garden that’s blooming in his chest because goddamn. “If you want.” He says afterwards. Akira’s internally counting down the seconds to Goro’s next melting episode. “I’m listening.” Goro yawns and melts away and doesn’t actually listen but that’s okay because this time he melted upright against Akira’s hands. That’s a hundred and sixteen seconds. Akira counts the seconds to Goro solidifying.
One thousand and seventeen seconds go by and Goro is back up. “Sorry. I’m listening.” He repeats. “I’m cute.” Akira offers.
“Also debatable. Next case.”
“I like your nose.”
“Thank you. It’s called ‘nez’ in french. Next case.”
“Fascinating. I also like your sweaters. You look cute in them.”
“Your hands are warm.” Goro nuzzles against his hands and Akira wants to turn into a puddle because he’s so close to combusting. “Soft.” Goro mumbles. Akira can’t help this big goofy grin on his face from spreading. “Warm. Smells like coffee. S’nice.” Akira has to hold the boy’s face with both hands to keep him upright. “Honey, you’re melting.” He says softly, sweetly, warmly.
“Put me in a jar with the rest of the honey…” And Goro just melts into his hands a little. “When you press me to your heart, I’m in a world apart…” Goro’s singing La Vie en Rose. Please sing more. Don’t just melt again, I wanna hear you. Akira’s begging internally. “Dont je connais la cause…”
“English or French, Goro.” Akira scolds gently. “And when you speak, angels sing from above. Everyday words seem… to turn into love songs…” Sticking with English then. Goro gets about a third of the way through the song before he’s melting away again. “Don’t leave me so soon, Goro.” Akira whispers. “M’sorry…” Goro mutters.
“It’s okay. Will you sing to me again when you wake up?”
“Pinky promise.” Akira leans over, pressing a short, sweet, loving kiss to the other boy’s forehead. “Sweet dreams, Goro.”
Goro melts for the final time, and Akira gently helps the boy get into a more comfortable position. He steps away, hanging his apron up. Sojiro won’t be back for a few more hours, he’ll deal with the coffee cups later. He’s bringing the sleeping boy upstairs and placing him onto his bed, covering him with the comforter and laying down next to him, a now loving smile taking place on Akira’s lips.
“Goodnight, sweet prince.” Akira whispers lovingly.