Dogs are easy to understand.
People aren't. They're scarier and more unpredictable than even the wild wolves.
Ren stiffens up when two younger kids pass him by, elbowing through and hollering at the top of their lungs. The side of his face ducks against Haru's royal blue-striped, crew-neck tee shirt. One of Ren's hands digs against Haru's jeans pocket. The overhead lights in the Canadian grocery store too bright, and whirring audibly.
Haru chuckles down at him, but sympathetically.
"I just need to grab the ingredients for dinner tonight, and I promise, we'll leave," he tells Ren, gently rubbing his shoulder. "Do you feel sick?"
"No," Ren mutters.
He gradually relaxes under Haru's fingers sliding up against his neck and holding his cheek.
There's an aroma like cinnamon crumble and lavender on Haru's skin. It's good; it smells really good. Ren wrinkles his nose thoughtfully and faces towards Haru's palm, nosing it. He closes his teeth around the padding of flesh underneath Haru's thumb, biting down softly, worrying it.
The sudden, low noise erupting out of Haru burns at Ren's core, like a flash-flare heat.
The emotion feels like satisfaction, when he glimpses Haru's floral-green eyes darken and bud with a familiar longing — for touches omitting innocence, kisses chased by shadows and desire.
It's been four months since Haru followed him, dropping the thought of living his life in Japan without any hesitation. I don't want to be anywhere without you, Ren, Haru mouthed against his earlobe, arm draped possessively to Ren's stomach, bone-exhausted from working on the ranch. Not ever, not ever again.
They fooled around in the barn's haystack, during sunset, with a sunburned, grinning Haru between his splayed legs and guiding Ren's left hand beneath his underwear. It's the first time Ren ever felt him like that, without the barrier of their clothing. Haru feels hairy and huge.
Ren thought about pulling away, but instead gripped around the thick, veiny base.
I'm gonna put this inside you, when you're a little older, Haru murmured lovingly, stroking Ren's forearm until prickles of goosebumps appear. To his astonishment, Ren feels Haru's penis twitch hard, swelling up against Ren's fingers. It's gonna feel so good, honey. I love you so much.
He knows what sex is — the library is helpful for more than just his academics — and it's a bit difficult to believe that will fit inside him. But he trusts Haru. Haru would never hurt him.
"Let's stay focused," Haru chides him, bending down and lightly kissing the top of Ren's head.
They're barely in the first aisle when Haru stops them, squeezing Ren's hand. "I'm thinking... breakfast for dinner?" he offers, smiling so warmly. "Pancakes, like we did during the summer?"
"Blueberries," Ren says quietly, his lips curving up.
Haru laughs, wiggling their arms triumphantly.
He leads the way down another cramped, noisy aisle. Ren focuses on anything else, letting go of Haru. He doesn't need to be treated like a baby — even if he does look younger than his age.
There's shelves of colorful picture-frames, and ones with dogs already inside. Ren steps closer with narrowed eyes, and then finds himself colliding into the hip of a woman pushing a stroller.
"Oh goodness, are you okay?" she says, placing a hand over her heart, crouching in front of him.
She's got on a long crochet-skirt and a white, pearl-button blouse. Ren notices her hair is reddish-golden and thinning towards her temples and goes down about to her round chin.
"I'm sorry," he says aloud.
She speaks English fluently, with a slight French accent, and gives him a little, odd smile. "Are you lost, sweetie?" the woman asks, furrowing her brows. "You shouldn't be wandering alone."
Ren nods, backing up.
"I'll be okay."
Just as he does, the woman comes forward to him, yanking her stroller. "You came with your big brother, didn't you?" Ren hesitates. There's the odd, tilty smile again. "I know where he is."
There's obvious caution in his stare, but the woman ignores it, reaching out and snatching onto Ren's little wrist. Her fingers are pale and covered in dark brown moles. Clammy.
"Mmhm. Come with me." Ren stumbles for a moment, caught off-guard by her overly rough action, then walks with her. "You're such a good boy, and so big and brave," she speaks up cheerfully, beaming. An ugly, fearful knot forms in Ren's gut. "Well, don't you worry now. I'll be taking care of you from now on."
"I need to find my brother…"
"You want some ice cream, sweetie?" The woman drags him into an empty condiment aisle, her smile disappearing and replacing with concern. "You must be hungry, aren't you?"
Ren frowns. "No."
He needs to go—
In a lightning-quickness, her palm slaps Ren's face once, cracking his head sideways.
He doesn't lift it even as she goes to her knees again, whimpering and hugging him tightly. She smells like old, rotten cigarettes, not baby powder or perfume. There's an apology somewhere during this, and Ren says nothing.
He's frozen in place. Too frightened to run, or she would grab him again or hit him.
"Momma gets upset when her little baby boy doesn't eat. He gets the tummy aches." The woman smiles, too widely and happily. She hands Ren a plain granola bar from her stroller and he takes it. Much to his dismay, Ren finally notices that the stroller is unbuckled with no child present.
The woman half-turns for her stroller again, pulling out a yellow duckie pacifier.
"Oh, I almost forgot—it's your favorite."
She cradles the back of his head, never flinching as Ren struggles to lean away, yelping out. The coated, rubber nipple manages to get shoved into his opened mouth. It tastes like medicine — or something worse. Ren spits it out to the ground, panting loudly and gagging for air.
It's hard to breathe, while Ren's heart pounds and his surroundings and lights spin and tunnel. Maybe he's just imagining it, but Haru yells in the distance, for Ren, at the woman. So much yelling.
The world lifts. Ren falls limply against someone's chest, his head dangling backwards.
Rob's truck door pops open, as he's carried and laid upright into his seat. "Oh my god, Ren, Ren," Haru babbles out, touching his face and examining his little brother. Tears spill out of the corners of Ren's dark, hazed-out eyes. He cries weakly, silently. Feeling too sick to talk. "You're okay… shh, I've got you. It's okay."
Ren feels his body trembling violently, but his vision darkens. "No, no, Ren." Haru's voice grows louder, insistent and panicked. "Ren? Hey, hey. Stay awake—Ren—!"
He wakes on an examination table, sluggish and confused, as Fumie exhales with relief and Haru launches himself from the wall, hovering to Ren's side. "He's gonna be just fine," the doctor informs them, gesturing for Fumie to exit with her into the corridor. Both women vanish.
Ren doesn't move, staring at the ceiling, feeling like crying all over again.
Haru sounds so sad. Regretful.
"It's my fault," Ren interrupts, whispery and monotonous. "I should have stayed at the ranch."
"I messed up. This was on me, and only me." Haru's teeth grit. He barks out, "Don't you dare say you blame yourself!" Ren's mouth quivers. The other man becomes quiet and grim as he wraps his arms around Haru's broad shoulders, pressing against him and muffling out a sob.
"She was scary, Haru—she tried to take me—"
Haru's arms embrace him, cradling in, swaying.
"When I saw you, I was the most terrified I had ever been in my life," he confesses, burying his face into Ren's shoulder. "I never would have let her walk away with you, Ren. Never."
Ren shuts his red-rimmed eyes, breathing deeply.
Cinnamon and lavender.
Super Lovers isn't mine. I started watching s1/s2 in the middle of June and I don't know how this happened, but I kinda loved it? I was gonna do a different angst piece but then I remembered a Thing I was repressing, and started writing, and idk here we are. If you are a fan of Super Lovers omg pleaseeeeeee come say hi! I can't find anyone who is watching or has watched and it's making me sad hftgfdtyurtf. And hope you enjoyed the fic too! Comments appreciated!