Kuroo wakes up to a searing amount of pain in his arm and leg. His whole body feels stiff and bruised; almost like he’d gotten the shit beat out of him. It wasn’t unlikely, considering his personality, but he didn’t remember pissing anyone off in at least the last two hours, which was pretty good for him considering he’d been having a shit day.
Ugh. Did I fall asleep studying again?
He gives a small groan and tries to move, but his left arm and right leg don’t feel right. They feel heavy and they’re not moving quite like they should be.
Ugh. Slept too hard on them. Moving is going to be a bitch.
A body plops down on his, arms wrapped around his neck, and face sobbing against his. Pain shoots through Kuroo’s body and he lets out a grunt followed by a whine.
Wait. Was I home? I thought I was on my way to practice. I was running late. Shit.
Confusion helps him push back the urge to cry from the pain.
“You’ll finish the job if you hang on him like that.”
Kenma? Why is she here? No way she’d be interested in watching practice. She’d say watching us is too exhausting or that she rather be playing games. Wait. Did I get hit in the head by one of Bo’s spikes again? My body hurts more, though.
“Ack! Don’t say that!” Bokuto whines back. “If you say it, it might really happen!”
“It’s not that serious.” Kenma flatly replies. “His body will be fine. It’s his head we have to worry about.”
“My head is perfectly fine, thank you.” Kuroo blandly replies even though his head was not fine. It was, in fact, pounding and one of his ears felt like Bokuto had placed a binder clip on it again. Then he finally opens his eyes for the first time. He looks around him briefly before closing his eyes and shaking his head. “This is a prank, right? This isn’t really the hospital?”
“Uhhh.” Kuroo opens his eyes to see Bokuto scratching his cheek. “Surprise?”
“It’s not a prank, idiot.” Kenma scoffs and shakes her head. “Your dumb ass got hit by a car on the way to practice. And you broke your arm and leg.”
Kuroo huffs and looks at his body. The right leg and left arm that had felt so heavy? Wrapped in bright hot pink casts. A pretty color, but not a pretty sight. Less so for a professional athlete and busy student.
“You said I got hit by a car, right?”
Bokuto sniffles and Kenma nods.
“How’d I break a limb on different sides?”
Kenma closes her eyes, but Kuroo knows it’s just to hide the fact that she’s rolling them. “We don’t know. My theory is you got hit by the car on your right leg initially and then your gangly ass fell on something hard when you hit the ground, breaking your left arm.”
“Wow. Thanks.” Kuroo grimaces as he imagines it. “And my head?”
“What?” Kuroo shouts, frantic. “Don’t tell me my beautiful face has been ruined!”
Bokuto pouts at Kenma. “Be nice!”
“What?” She shrugs. “Stupidity is incurable. What kind of athlete lets themselves get hit by a car?”
A chuckle comes from the doorway where Akaashi had materialized with a tray of food. Kuroo’s heart drops the way he’d like to drop onto one knee for Akaashi. He briefly thanks god that there wasn’t a heart monitor hooked up to him.
“Now, Kenma.” Akaashi hums as he pulls out the table tray attached to the bed and puts the tray of food on it. He gives her a small smile before messing up her hair. “We have to be nice to the sick.”
“Are you calling me an idiot too?” Kuroo grumbles.
“Yup. That’s his way of calling you an idiot.” Bokuto hums in agreement.
“On the contrary, I just looked at the results from your head scan and your brain is functioning as normal.”
“So, stupid.” Kenma mutters.
Kuroo shoots Kenma an ugly face. “I know you’re just being mean because you were worried sick about me.”
“Bro.” Bokuto shakes Kuroo’s shoulder. “I’m gonna go let coach know you’re okay.”
“Oh.” Kuroo deflates. “I guess I’ll be out for a while.”
“Six to eight weeks, minimum.” Akaashi supplies. “Assuming you rest like you’re supposed to and don’t get yourself hurt again.”
“Ouch.” Kuroo hisses before turning back to Bokuto. That was way too long. Not to mention, it was going to be hell getting back into shape after two months. “Tell him I’ll call him tomorrow, yeah?”
“Sure thing!” Bokuto cheers before bouncing out of the room.
Akaashi sits on the edge of the bed and stares at Kuroo. “You know, he was the one who was worried the most.”
Kuroo quirks one eyebrow. “Bo was? I didn’t know he had it in him to think rationally.”
Kenma smacks across his head and Akaashi sighs.
“He was. I hope you know what that means for you.”
Kuroo furrows both eyebrows now.
“He’s going to be clingy.” Kenma supplies.
“He’s always clingy?”
“More so.” Akaashi answers gravely. “He’s already applied for you to have a live-in caretaker from the hospital.”
“What?” Kuroo scoffs. “I don’t need that. That’s overdoing it.”
“Kuro. You’re going to need help.”
“Is that an offer?”
“Do I look like the accommodating type?”
“No. You’d probably use this as an excuse to bully me as revenge for our high school years.”
Kenma grins and then looks at Akaashi. “Good news. The accident seems to have given him his first modicum of intelligence.”
Kuroo tries to lazily swat at Kenma, but she’s too far away. “Come here so I can smack you.”
Kenma gives Kuroo a glare before looking back at Akaashi. “Never mind. It was a fluke.”
Akaashi covers his mouth and giggles. Kuroo feels his heart pang. He tries to adorn his usual smirk.
“What is it they say? Even a broken clock is right twice a day?”
“Hey! I’m not broken.” Kuroo grumbles, trying to cross his arms, but settling with just the good one.
Akaashi taps on his casted leg. “Not completely, no.” He smirks and jerks his chin toward the tray of food. “Eat something. Your doctor will be here soon. I’ve got to go back to work now.”
“Aww. You’re not going to be my doctor? It’s always been my dream to play doctor with you.”
Akaashi rolls his eyes. “No. I’m a nurse now.” He turns toward Kenma. “Call me if you need anything. Try not to let Bokuto-san finish him off.”
Kenma gives a small nod and turns her attention back to Kuroo. Neither of them speaks until Akaashi leaves the room.
“You know it’s because you talk like that, that he doesn’t like you, right?”
“Hush.” Kuroo replies, devoid of life but full of shame. “I know.”
Trust me, I know.
“Hm?” Kuroo jolts as he finds Kenma’s arms around him now in a spectacularly rare initiation of affection from Kenma. He rubs Kenma’s back with his good arm. “It’s okay. It’s not like I was gonna die.”
“Don’t be silly.”
“I’m not.” Kenma looks at him fiercely. “Don’t be stupid and get yourself killed. I can’t be left alone with Bokuto in grieving.”
“You’d have Akaashi too?”
Kenma squints at him. “You think he’d grieve you?”
Kuroo lets out a sound mixed between a squeal and scoff. “I think you just killed me! Go ahead and pull the plug now!”
“You don’t have a plug to pull.”
“Then plug something in and pull it! Preferably your computer, you jerk!”
Kenma gives a small smile and laughs. She gives Kuroo another squeeze before pulling away. “I’ve got to go. I’ve got to talk to the rest of the board about one of their patrons being gravely injured.”
“I’m sorry.” Kuroo whines.
“Then don’t get yourself hurt again, idiot. And don’t let Bokuto accidentally break more of your bones.”
“Don’t joke like that!” Kuroo screeches back. “You know he’s like a big dog who doesn’t realize how big and heavy he is.”
“Have fun with that~.” Kenma waves as she walks away. She stops in front of the door. “Oh.” She turns around. “Keiji offered to be your nurse. He doesn’t even work on this floor.”
Kuroo doesn’t get a chance to respond before he’s looking at the closed door where Kenma was just standing.
What am I supposed to do with that information?
. . .
Kuroo spends a couple more days in the hospital. In his mind, there’s absolutely no reason for it. He has a sneaking suspicion that it has to do with Bokuto, but no one will rat him out. And by no one, that mostly means Akaashi. Kuroo barely sees any other nurses aside from him and he only sees the doctor once.
He’s almost resigned to stay in the hospital until his casts come off. At least while he was here, he’d be able to see Akaashi about three thousand times more than he would’ve normally. He’s smiling to himself like an idiot when the door opens.
Akaashi comes in his room at the usual time with a tray of food for him. He opened the door partially before slamming it closed and briskly walking further into the room. He doesn’t give Kuroo the food.
Akaashi gives a sigh and stares at Kuroo.
Kuroo raises an eyebrow. He was used to being a disappointment to Akaashi, but he was pretty sure he hadn’t done anything out of the ordinary. The only thing he’d been allowed to do was lay in bed, which was also suspicious, but he was letting it slide for now. Not being allowed to do anything was a luxury for him. “Something wrong?”
“You’re an omega.”
Kuroo jumps and his face freezes into some warped, painful smile. “What?”
Akaashi rubs his forehead with one hand. “I never knew.” He sighs. “Are you not feeling a little strange right now?”
Kuroo furrows his eyebrows. “Aside from being stuck in bed with two broken limbs?” He gives an awkward smile that’s met with disdain. “I guess it’s a little hot?”
“What hospital have you ever been in that wasn’t insanely cold?”
Akaashi stares at him intently.
“No.” Kuroo whispers.
Akaashi closes his eyes and Kuroo can see them involuntarily twitch. “You’re typically on birth control to control when you have your heats, right?” Kuroo gives a small nod. “You haven’t had any since you’ve been here. You’re going to go into heat soon.”
“Fuck!” Kuroo yells. “I, uh. I’ll umm.” He starts biting at his nails and trying to stand up to pace.
Akaashi quickly runs over and pushes him back down. “Calm down. I’ll get everything taken care of. Do you have a preference?”
Absolutely. But I’m not telling you like this. Or ever, but really not like this.
“Uhhh. An alpha?”
“Oh good. That narrows down the options by 90%.” Akaashi rolls his eyes and shakes his head. “I’ll make sure to get someone I trust. You won’t have to worry about being with a stranger. Just breathe.”
Kuroo closes his eyes and takes a few deep breaths.
This is why you’re a good nurse.
“Wait.” His eyes flutter open. “How did you know I’m going into heat? Is it some secret medical professional secret?”
Akaashi squints at him. “Maybe we do need to re-do that brain scan.” He mumbles. “I’m an alpha. I can smell you.”
Kuroo blinks at him. “You’re an alpha?” He blinks again and scrunches his eyebrows. “I’ve never smelled your pheromones before. And your body is average size.” He takes a joking glance down at Akaashi’s crotch. “I don’t know about other things, though.”
“I’m good at suppressing my pheromones and use scent blockers sometimes.”
Huh. Gonna ignore the rest of that?
“I always thought you were a beta. You never even react to scents or pheromones.”
“Most people do. Just like most people assume you’re an alpha.”
Kuroo gives an embarrassed grin. In the sports world it was advantageous to let everyone think you’re an alpha even if it was a bold-faced lie. It didn’t change that he was skilled. He’d become a target on the court and off the court if people knew, though.
“Embarrassing that I’ve been lying, right?”
“I don’t know how it could be.” Akaashi stares flatly at him. “Will you be okay alone for a little bit? I have to go speak with one of the supervisors about your situation.”
“Yeah. I’ll be fine.” He closes his eyes and tries to pay attention to his body. He felt warm and maybe a little hornier than usual, but otherwise not too different. The extra horniness could just be because Akaashi was there. No one should look so good in scrubs and bags under their eyes. “Yeah. I probably have at least another day.”
Akaashi studies him for a moment before getting up. “I’m going to lock the door from the outside. If there’s a fire, you’ll have to open the door yourself. May the odds be in your favor.”
“Thaaannnkkks.” Kuroo flatly replies.
. . .
Akaashi comes back several hours looking exhausted.
“The bad day continues, huh?”
“Something like that.” Akaashi mutters as he pushes a wheelchair to the side of Kuroo’s bed. “I have good news for you, though. Not only can you finally leave this room, but you have someone to help you with your heat and someone to be your caretaker until you fully recover. Both are courtesy of Bokuto-san’s wallet.”
“Oh. You’ve been busy.” He frowns. “And what do you mean courtesy of Bo’s wallet? Is he paying for it?”
“Yes. Remember how I told you he applied for a live-in caretaker for you?” He pauses long enough for Kuroo to nod. “He did that with the hospital. One of the employees will be taking care of you.”
Kuroo cocks his head. “Like… sexually?”
Akaashi sighs. “Yes. Sexually and physically. Assuming they can put up with you.”
“Hospitals do that?” Kuroo asks incredulously. Sex work was definitely legal, he just never thought the hospital would be making money off of it too.
Akaashi sighs again. “You have two broken limbs and are going to go into heat no matter what kind of drugs I shove down your throat or what god I pray to at this point. You don’t have a partner and weren’t remotely prepared to have a heat because you were in an accident. Even if you wanted to hire someone, how many people would be capable of handling someone in heat without aggravating their injuries or keeping you from doing so?”
“Yikes. I didn’t think about that.” He bites his lip and thinks about it. “Does that mean that I’m going to end up needing more recovery time because of this?”
“It is possible, but you’ll be in good hands.”
“Do you now the person who will be taking care of me?”
Akaashi gives a small huff and grabs something off the floor so that he’s not facing Kuroo. “I do. He’s been doing this for years.”
“He’s not… super old, is he? I enjoy a silver-haired fox as much as the next guy but getting a partner from the hospital isn’t the same as selecting one from an agency. I don’t want to be pounded by a saggy 70-year-old even if he’s really good in bed.”
Akaashi gives a snort. “He’s about your age.”
Kuroo hums. “Um.” He really doesn’t want to ask the next question. He’d talked about sexual escapades around Akaashi before, but nothing like this. Uneasy was an understatement.
“You won’t have to worry about pregnancy either. He is acutely aware that you’re an athlete and that a pregnancy will end your career.”
Kuroo heaves a great sigh of relief. “Okay. If you say it, I can believe it.”
“Why is that?” Akaashi smirks.
“If you didn’t like or trust this guy, then you would’ve said so. You’re too blunt not to. You also enjoy tormenting me.”
Akaashi raises an eyebrow. “Let’s get you moved.” He grabs Kuroo’s backpack and a bag Bokuto had brought for him. “Is this all?”
“Yup.” Kuroo starts to shift himself so he can try to get in the wheelchair.
Akaashi drops the bags and slides his arms under Kuroo’s body, easily picking him up. “Trying to do shit like that is how you’re going to hurt yourself more.”
Kuroo wiggles his legs and looks at Akaashi in amazement as he sets him down in the wheelchair. “How are you so damn strong?”
Akaashi gives out a huff of laughter. “I have to be for my job.”
“God.” Kuroo groans. “You’re seriously jacked. I want to be like you when I grow up. How have you been hiding this from us? Is this what’s been behind all those oversized sweaters you’re so fond of?”
“Yes, yes. Hold this.” He places one of the bags on Kuroo’s lap and puts the other on his back. He starts to wheel Kuroo to the door. “We’re not going far. He lives in one of the apartments upstairs like I do.”
Akaashi smacks him lightly on the head.
“Hey! Didn’t you tell Bo and Kenma to be nice to me? How are you going to bully me as well?”
“I’m an exclusion.”
“Hmph!” Kuroo crosses his arms. “Oh shit. I need to call them.”
“It’s already taken care of.”
“Why are you so perfect?”
Akaashi doesn’t answer at first. After a moment, he gives a very level, “I’m just very good at my job”.
Is that like… being one hell of a butler?
They get off on the same floor that Akaashi lives on.
“Same floor?” Kuroo grimaces. “Isn’t that going to be a little awkward?”
I really rather you not wake up to the sound of me moaning. It’d be even worse if I accidentally called your name. I’m not sure that I could make it convincing that I was calling your name for help. Well, help outside of sex. Not to mention, I’m pretty sure it’d hurt some feelings.
“The apartments here are soundproof and have excellent scent blockers. They’re mostly used for caretakers who help people like you.” Akaashi stops at his door and unlocks it. “And for emergency surgeons. A few are used for emergency sleep areas for overworked employees.”
In Akaashi’s apartment, Akaashi closes the door behind him and takes off his shoes.
“Huh. Neat. I didn’t know that.” Kuroo looks around Akaashi’s apartment. Not much had changed since the last time he’d been there, even though it’d been almost a year ago. “So why do you have an apartment up here then?”
Akaashi walks around so he can face Kuroo. He gives him the flattest look Kuroo had ever seen on his face. “What do I do for a living?”
“Well, you used to be a sur—”
“No. What do I do now?”
“You’re a nurse.”
“What else do I do?”
“You do care-taking, right?”
“Okay… Oh.” Kuroo’s eyes widen. “You’re an alpha. You take care of sick omega’s in heat!”
“Congratulations. You finally figured it out.” Akaashi replies completely deadpan. “I can’t believe it took you this long to figure it out.”
“What?” Kuroo squawks. “There’s no way I could’ve known that! And there’s no way Bo knows! He’d throw a fit if he knew his precious Akaashi was slee—”
“Kuroo-san.” Akaashi firmly interrupts. “I suggest you select your next words very carefully. It’s archaic to believe that sex-workers are doing bad or dirty work. It’s skilled and essential work.”
“And, yes, Bokuto-san knows as does Kenma.”
“I can’t believe this.” Kuroo groans. “How have I known you for thirteen years and still don’t know anything about you?”
“You never asked.” Akaashi mutters before rolling Kuroo over to the couch, picking him up, and setting him back down. He places a pillow on the coffee table and Kuroo’s foot on top of it.
I wanted to. I’ve always been too scared to.
“You didn’t have to take me out of the wheelchair. He’s not going to be that long, is he?”
Akaashi sighs and shakes his head before heading with the wheelchair and Kuroo’s bags to his bedroom.
“Or? Am I staying here tonight?” Kuroo asks, thoroughly confused.
Akaashi comes back into the living area and heavily plops down on a chair across from Kuroo. He looks at Kuroo blankly and defeated.
“Don’t play with me, Akaashi.” Kuroo warns. “There’s no way. Neither you nor Bo would ever agree to that, so I’m not going to believe your charade for even a second. I don’t know why this would even be a charade! Is this another test for my brain?”
“Bokuto-san doesn’t get to pick who your caregiver is. The hospital decides based on a number of factors including severity of injury, the person being taken care of, availability, age, etc. I was the best match for you.”
Kuroo looks around the apartment, his flight senses starting to take over. “You don’t have to, though. They can’t make you be my partner for my heat, right? That would have to break some sort of law.”
“I was given the choice and I said yes.”
“Did they blackmail you? Or are they giving you a hell of a bonus for this? If you need money, I can pay you in addition to whatever the hospital is paying you for taking care of me.”
“Stop being ridiculous. I have no need for your money.” He runs a hand down his face. “I said yes already. If you refuse to have me as your partner for this, then tell me now so I can find someone else.”
Kuroo stares at him with his mouth hanging open.
“You know you can’t un-fuck me, right?”
“Oh, well that changes everything. I didn’t know that wasn’t an option. Let me just fill out the termination papers for this agreement.”
Kuroo lets out a sigh of relief.
Akaashi sighs and rubs his temples. “Your idiocy aside, I assumed that you would be more comfortable with someone that you know considering you’re injured and will be in a place that isn’t your home. Not to mention, you don’t have time to do any sort of nesting. If I’m wrong, there is one more guy that is available. We would just have to hope that he’s still available.”
Kuroo shakes his head and looks around the apartment again. “No. You’re right. I just—. I thought you hated me.”
Akaashi’s head jerks back slightly and his ears do the smallest of twitch. “I don’t hate you.”
“Huh.” Kuroo nods, looking around again so he wouldn’t have to look at Akaashi.
There’s a silence that Kuroo doesn’t know how to handle. He’d just agreed to sharing his heat with Akaashi. There was no going back from that. No way in hell he was going to look at him anytime soon either.
“Are you hungry? Now that you’re not in your hospital room, you can have good food.”
“Have I ever told you what an amazing human being you are?” Head whipping back toward Akaashi, he gushes back, tail wagging excitedly. “Just. The best.”
Akaashi gives a small chuckle. “Start thinking about what foods you’ll crave or want to eat when you’re in your heat. I’ll have them delivered.”
“Bokuto-san’s paying for it.”
“Welp! Time to go crazy! I think I’ll need a few ¥1200 bottles of water. You need, like, six as well, right?”
“Of course. I also require the finest ice cream available. Maybe something flown in from Italy and Belgium?”
. . .
“Oh god.” Kuroo groans as he sinks down into Akaashi’s bed. “Why is your bed so comfortable? I don’t even need sex for my heat. Just let me build a little fort with snacks and internet on your bed. I’ll emerge a few days later a whole new man. Maybe even a better man.”
Akaashi gives a small snicker as he slides under the covers beside Kuroo. “I hope you intend on sharing the bed with me. I’m not sleeping on the couch.”
“Hell.” Kuroo stretches out. He can’t completely stretch out without touching Akaashi, but it was close. He’d never been in a bed this big. “I think you could be here the whole time and I wouldn’t even notice.”
“Wow. I guess I’m in charge of making sure you have snacks then?”
“Yes! I’ll need you to bring me some of that ¥3000 watermelon Bo bought.” He gives an evil snicker while Akaashi shakes his head at him. Kuroo stares at Akaashi and offers a small smile. “It’s not too late to reject me, you know? You can leave and someone else and I can make use of this amazing bed? I’m used to rejection. I’ll be fine as long as this bed doesn’t reject me.”
Akaashi clicks his tongue and looks at Kuroo flatly. “What makes you think I’m going to give my bed up to you and someone else?”
“Fiiiine. You can stay too. Just don’t get in the way of our pillow fort.”
Akaashi gives a scoff and rolls his eyes. “Uh huh. Serious time now.”
Kuroo contorts his face into mock seriousness.
“From here on out, I am not your friend.”
“Ouch!” Kuroo whips his head over to stare at Akaashi. “That hurt more than my broken bones. I knew you hated me!”
“Sh. Just listen.” Kuroo starts to make a face but stops when he sees the seriousness on Akaashi’s face. “From here on, until you’re not longer under my care, I’m your caretaker. I’m not the Akaashi you’re used to. You get to ask me for anything without being judged.”
“You’re still going to judge me.”
“Oh, absolutely. Not to your face, though. And I can’t tell other people about the weird things you request because of confidentiality laws. I’ll have to journal it all. And, you know,” he shrugs, “accidentally leave it out where everyone can see.”
Kuroo narrows his eyes.
“What I’m trying to say is that stuff like your heat, baths, food, exercise, or whatever, those are things that we’re going to do together. It’s going to feel weird at first, but don’t let it bother you.”
“Are you being nice right now?”
“When you start your heat, I’m going to tie you up and make you beg.”
“Definitely going to record it. Get ready to say hello to the world.”
“Don’t.” Kuroo replies tersely.
“I won’t if you promise to tell me when you need something from me.”
“I will. Definitely.”
“Good. What do you need from me right now?”
Akaashi closes his eyes and sighs. “Kuroo fucking Tetsurou. The scent you’re giving off right now is full of more than the usual amount of pathetic-ness. What. Do. You. Need. From. Me?”
Akaashi’s eyes fly open and he glares at Kuroo.
“Okay, okay!” He bites his lip and gives Akaashi an awkward look. “If you could, can you let out, like a soothing scent?”
Akaashi exhales in either relief or satisfaction from getting an answer. The smell of apple blossoms starts to feel the room. Kuroo closes his eyes, breathing in the smell and melting a little bit.
“Is that okay? It’s my natural scent.”
“Thank you.” He sighs. “I can’t believe you’ve been hiding such a pleasant smell from us.”
“Life is easier this way.”
“Hmm.” Kuroo hums as he starts to doze off.
“What else do you need right now?”
“This bed in my life.”
“It’s yours for the next six to eight weeks.”
Kuroo gives a small, satisfied hum. “Then I’m all set.”
Akaashi gives a sigh. “Fine.” He scoots closer to Kuroo, resting his head on Kuroo’s shoulder and wrapping his arms around Kuroo’s waist.
“Uh. What are you doing?”
“Cuddling you. Has no one ever wanted to cuddle you before?”
“I know what cuddling is, you jerk. I’ve seen it in movies. I’ve even read about it once.” Kuroo huffs. “You know I was asking why you’re cuddling me.”
“To help with your general anxiety as well as help your mind move away from the weirdness of us sharing your heat.”
“Yeah, no amount of cuddling is going to help with the weirdness.”
Akaashi nips at Kuroo’s shoulder. “Then bask in the weirdness. I know I never thought we’d have sex, much less that I’d be your alpha for a heat.”
Yeah, me either.