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Rintarou slogs up the five flights of stairs to his apartment. The air is muggy, drenching his post-practice, freshly showered body in a blanket of humidity he despises - made infinitely worse by the elevator being out of order. 

 

But as he arrives at his doorstep, noting the still-damp imprints of shoe soles against the welcome mat with a giant NO written on it, a smile touches his mouth. It curls his lips up as he slides the key into familiar grooves, turning it as his hand twists the doorknob. 

 

The light in the genkan is off, but the lamp in the living room is on, stretching warm gold over wooden floorboards. Rintarou's EJP duffel hits the floor with a thump, muffled by a makeshift rug - an old towel, folded over itself into precisely the shape of the bottom of the sports bag. 

 

He leaves his sneakers askew, steps up with quiet feet and treads over to the kitchen, socks silent against the floor as he creeps towards the music. The aromas of rice and fish are confirmed as Rintarou's eyes land on Osamu, who's made himself at home before the stove. The rice cooker chirps on the counter, and Osamu shushes the beeps as he bobs his head to the beat of the music. 

 

His feet shuffle along the floor, shifting his weight heel to toe as he stirs a pot of soup, soothing the simmering liquid in a way that reminds Rintarou of how Osamu cards fingers through his hair, smooths kisses to his forehead, mouth in methodical tenderness. 

 

There's nothing particularly methodical about the way he wears one of Rintarou's shirts, one of the "obscure band" ones that's slightly too big on him, the hem lingering below his waist - barely leaving a hint of black briefs on display. 

 

Rintarou's smile stretches into a grin. Osamu has long made a home between Rintarou's ribs, growing ginger roots inside - turning over the earth, planting a harvest that he tends to, day after day, all year round. 

 

Osamu sings along to the song, diving into the drawer next to the stove for one of those utensils Rintarou doesn't know the name of, and juts his hip against the drawer to slide it shut. He sways, pivoting on his heel to smirk over at Rintarou, baring a hint of teeth as his lips dip into a smile. "Enjoyin' the show?"

 

"Always." Rintarou slinks closer, wraps his arms around Osamu's waist and thumbs over the skin above his waistband. "Not wearing shoes or pants in the kitchen, blaring music so you can't hear the soup bubbling - what would your instructors say?"

 

Osamu chuckles, purposefully stepping on Rintarou's foot. "Nothin' good, surely. But m'not cookin' for them." He stirs the wooden spoon in the soup, releasing the handle to let it spin as he turns to Rintarou, sinking his teeth into Rintarou's bottom lip and tugging it into his mouth. Licking over the skin, he leaves spring onions, garlic, and tomato in his wake - the flavors of the soup fold over his tongue, and fade beneath Osamu's distinct tang of sweet, summer pineapple. 

 

"Oh? Who are you cooking for, then?" Rintarou murmurs into Osamu's mouth, fingers trailing up the skin beneath the too-loose T-shirt. "Should I be concerned?"

 

"Only if yer name doesn' start with Rin an' end in Miya."

 

"Another Miya?" Rintarou grins so wide it almost hurts. "Aren't there too many of those jerks?"

 

"Maybe." Osamu extracts a hand from behind Rintarou's neck, drifting it blindly into the utensils drawer - and withdraws a small, black box. "What's one more?"

 

There's a lump in Rintarou's throat, but it doesn't stop him from choking out a laugh and hugging Osamu even tighter. "Yes."