This has potential/'fluffy' KaRe. There is not much of a plot, and if there is one I still fail to see it. It's supposed to be cute, though.
I shall dedicate this to Iluvbeyblade. As thanks, of course. She beta-ed this, and said she liked it so therefore I'm posting this. It is also thanks to her that I actually finished this (need not litter my unfinished folder for more than a year. I think...).
Rei took a deep breath, smiling as he did so and slowly sank down next to Kai on the cushions Kai had dragged out to the wooden deck surrounding the dojo. It was only just morning, and the air still held the chill of night so Rei thought it was only fair that they should sit very close. "Morning…" Rei yawned, tiredly resting his head on Kai's shoulder, "Sleep good?"
Kai swallowed, and smirked only slightly. "Yes, Rei, I generally do find sleep good. Why do you insist on getting up this early if you're still tired?"
"Matter of principle, Kai."
Kai rolled his eyes. Reaching for the cup of tea he had brought out with him, Kai warmed his hands as he slowly sipped the still very much hot beverage. Rei was mostly still; a great source of warmth pressed up pleasantly to his side, only moving occasionally to get more comfortable or reach for the grapes in Kai's lap. Kai only startled when Rei pressed his cold nose against his neck.
"Don't do that-!"
Rei grinned smugly, eyebrow raised and Kai grimaced, looking away. "Are you up for lunch in the park?"
Kai remained stubbornly silent until Rei skilfully sneaked his tea away in order to get a response and Kai grunted.
"I…" Rei took a sip, scrunching up his nos - too much sugar - and handed it back. "What's a 'picnic'?"
"A picnic?" Kai deadpanned.
"It's…you bring food and eat it outside."
Rei's face lit up, and he resumed his former position of resting his head on Kai's shoulder. "Then, do you want to eat a picnic with me for lunch?"
"You don't eat a picnic." Kai chuckled quietly, "Sure."
"You have them."
It was one of those subtle startles. Kai hadn't really noticed the time until the light beneath his closed eyes darkened. Kai frowned, opening his eyes and caught sight of the slowly setting sun. Frown deepening he checked the time for the first time since coming to the park, which he knew must have been around noon.
It was almost seven. Letting a slightly irritated sigh escape, Kai stood up and brushed the grass from his trousers. He had obviously fallen asleep without meaning to, otherwise he would have noticed the time earlier and gone back to check on his absentfriend. Bending to pick up the jacket he'd been resting against, he shook it before flinging it over one shoulder.
Kai pursed his lips, forehead marred by a frown as he tilted his head back to observe the sky in annoyance. He had just wasted an entire afternoon waiting for a lunch and a Rei that had never shown up. Kai was not inhuman or cold enough not to admit that it worried him.
Rei was such a horribly punctual being.
Still caught up in his thoughts (still centring on Rei), Kai wasn't immediately aware of the omnipresent silence that descended upon him as he entered the kitchen. Takao was not shouting, the television wasn't blaring and Max was not laughing along with his friend.
But even more alarming; Rei wasn't there.
Kai glared as Takao and Max bounded into the kitchen. However, as soon as the fact that it wasn't their lean neko-jin team-mate became apparent, both Max and Takao slumped dejectedly down to the floor.
Max bit his lip, staring up at Kai with confused, worried and impossibly blue eyes. "Ne, Kai…where's Rei? He's…not here."
Raising an eyebrow, Kai frowned at Max, then at Takao who was nodding, agreeing with his friend, confirming his words as the truth. "I don't know."
"But…where is he?" Max paused for second. "I- we're hungry, Kai…Rei wasn't here to make lunch either, and there was no money for us to use to buy something, and we ran out of yogurt and apples hours ago…"
Takao mumbled in agreement, lying on the kitchen floor, curled up in a loose ball against the wall.
Sighing, Kai refrained from cursing them, trying to remember what Rei always tried to imprint in him. He could almost see Rei shaking a finger at him…
Max and Takao, professional beybladers or not, were still in many ways children, and really, neither him nor Kai could expect two fourteen year olds to know how to handle a gasoline cooker, or any cooker at all for that matter. Him and Kai were older, were used to getting by on their own, depending on their own skill and ability to cook if they wanted to eat something other than sandwiches and junk food.
Filling a pan with water, and putting it on the hob, with the lid on, Kai patiently waited. He was alternatively trying to remember where Rei decided to store ramen while at the same time keeping Rei out of his thoughts; so far, he was being highly unsuccessful.
"Kai?" Kai turned his head to the side to look at Max as he opened the cupboard in the far corner. "Can we have some sausages too?"
Pushing the door shut with his hip, holding five meal sized packets of ramen to his chest, Kai shrugged. "Noodles are enough for me. If you want any, you'll have to go and get them yourself." Out of habit, Kai started breaking the noodles while still in their packages, pressing them against the edge of the counter until they snapped in half.
Something that bothered and annoyed Rei to no end. Something Kai was naturally only doing to bother and annoy Rei to no end.
"Max." The smaller teen behind him blinked, eyes wide and froze on his spot. "Open the plastic and put them on a plate." Kai paused in the process of dumping their food in the now boiling water. "Not on the table, Max. Put them in the microwave." Deep frozen food…he frowned softly as he opened a new package. "Try seven minutes."
Max sighed, whining, "Isn't there a faster way? I'm so hungry!"
"Hn." Kai glanced at the three different types of flavouring, then added them all with a shrug. Hunger was the best chef, and he sincerely doubted they'd even notice. "Set the table."
Kai smirked, concentrating on his food. Maybe, seeing as Takao actually had manners when he was starved for a day, it was something they should employ in the future every time they had to go out in public with him. Especially in regard to all those fancy dinner parties and banquettes the BBA insist that they take part in. It would seem he was too exhausted and drained to eat in anything but a very sedate pace.
"You really, really, honestly don't know where Rei is?"
Kai shook his head, frowning softly.
"Oh…" Biting his lip, Max dejectedly moved his half eaten sausage around on the plate. "Aren't you supposed to know? You always know everything…"
Kai closed his eyes, rubbing his forehead. "Max, I always know because either I'm told or he leaves a note." Max nodded slowly. "Rei was here when I left." Kai added.
"But we met you by the supermarket, like five hundred metres away-"
Max's eyes lit up. "-And he wasn't here when we got home twenty minutes later!"
Takao nodded, wiping his chin. "We checked his room and everything but this place was like, totally empty! Yeah?" Max nodded.
Licking his lips, Kai put the chopsticks down on his plate. "You checked his room?" They both nodded again, and Kai groaned. "You idiots. Rei never closes his door." If Rei wanted to be alone, his room was the last place he would ever consider hiding in.
Kai groaned as he arched his back.
To his defence the kitchen was more or less clean, and all evidence of his cooking, except for what little leftovers, was gone. The dishwasher was a clever investment, and he could for the first time honestly see why Rei had insisted they convince Takao's grandfather they ought to invest one.
Frowning and sighing heavily, Kai made his way out of the kitchen and in the direction of Rei's room. The door was ajar, just like always, and pushing it open only revealed the empty room Kai was both expecting and dreading. The phone Rei had been given was blinking innocently on the bedside table. Right next to the one possession Kai knew with certainty Rei would never leave the house without.
Max and Takao had been right then, but… Kai shook his head, Rei wouldn't just leave without notice. Especially without making sure the younger members of their team had at least something for lunch.
And, Kai's pride stubbornly added, Rei wouldn't just stand him up.
Kai had to blink when he closed the door of his room behind him, and a soft groan resonated from his bed. Kai's fingers stopped millimetres away from the switch, and he frowned as he fully took in the scene. His curtains were drawn, the blinds were shut, the light was off and someone was groaning in his bed? Eyes narrowing, Kai stalked towards the bed, a strong suspicion growing in his stomach that he knew who that someone was.
The long black hair coming out from under the mound of blankets, falling down on the floor didn't do much in the matter of hiding the trespasser's identity. Turning on the lamp by the bed barely made a difference in the dark room; someone had obviously dimmed it. But the weak, soft light emitting from it was enough for Kai to see the bottle of prescribed pills standing on his bedside table more clearly.
And that was his name, Hiwatari Kai, on the flap, not Kon Rei.
"Rei?" Kai didn't expect an answer, but just saying the name felt…better, especially combined with the knowledge of finally knowing where Rei was. Pulling back the covers didn't reveal a familiar face but a pillow with fluffy clouds and puppies. Snorting silently, Kai pushed the pillow over.
And there Rei finally was. Pale and curled up on himself, forehead marred by a frown and mouth tugged down. But it was Rei.
It didn't even take Rei a second to groan and his eyes to fight open. Rei hissed as the weak light attacked him and promptly clenched them shut again, turning jerkily around as a hand blindly reached out to turn the lamp off. Kai blinked, switching it off before Rei could get his limbs under control. Sighing softly in bliss, Rei reached out weakly, and slightly disoriented, for the cover.
Rei visibly winced at the loud voice, eyes slowly opening to tiny slivers in the near darkness. "Mm?"
Lowering his voice, Kai carefully sat down on the edge of his bed. "Why are you in my bed?" He gently pulled the cover up again, tucking it under Rei's chin, his hand accidentally brushing against Rei's skin. Grunting in protest, Rei reached for Kai's hand before it could completely disappear. The shaking, weak grip pulled Kai's hand to rest against an already cool forehead, and Rei gave off a low sigh of joy. "I could get you ice instead, you know."
Rei's mouth formed a silent objection.
Kai shrugged, manoeuvring himself to a more comfortable position, trying not to jostle the bed too much. "You didn't take more than one?" The skin under his head wrinkled softly. "…did it help any?" He supposed the pitiful whimper was a definite 'no'. "Well, they were prescribed for my migraines…" Gently taking hold of Rei's head, Kai placed it in his lap. Rei's eyes clenched shut and he clamped his mouth shut, lips forming a thin, white line at the movement as Rei fought away the impending nausea. Sighing in apology, Kai moved one hand back to Rei's forehead, and, after a few seconds worth of hesitation, slowly slid his other hand to gently rub up Rei's temple and disappear in the loose hair, all the while trying to sooth.
Whimpering softly, Rei curled up tighter to Kai, one hand gripping the fabric of his trousers tightly in his hand. But, Kai noted, he didn't seem to mind and Kai therefore didn't think to stop what he was doing.
Tiredly closing his eyes, Kai leaned his head back to rest against the headboard. At least he knew why Rei hadn't showed up earlier and, come morning, Max and Takao would too. Yawning, Kai deemed that fast enough.
Morning greeted Kai with a very sore and aching neck. Cursing under his breath, Kai rubbed his eyes as he blinked them open. Rubbing his neck, Kai hesitantly reached down and shook Rei, who still had his head burrowed in his lap. "Wee…" Yawning Rei's name, Kai shook Rei's shoulder a little harder. "Rei?"
Not opening his eyes, Rei groaned. "Mm…m'up…" He stretched, arching his back and coincidently pressed himself more firmly against Kai's legs. Rei stretched out his arm, rolling his wrist before bringing it back and hugging Kai's thighs closer to himself.
Kai cleared his throat. "How's…your head?"
"Fine…" Rei opened his eyes, his memory vague but… looking up, he blinked at Kai, who patiently stared back, groggy eyes annoyed and relived at the same time. Moving sluggishly, Rei slowly sat up, leaning against Kai the whole time.
Kai yawned again, cocking his head. "Are you alright?"
"No…I feel…nauseous…" Rei was once again squeezing his eyes shut, breathing deeply, slowly. "I couldn't eat…yesterday…"
"Rei… y'idiot." Kai bit down on his hand to prevent yet another yawn from escaping and failing, eyes tearing slightly. "You can't take medicines that strong on an empty stomach…"
"Nn…" Tugging Kai closer to himself, Rei leaned backwards, promptly causing them to end up in an awkward, uncomfortable position. Grunting, Kai pushed at Rei until he could move his legs comfortably, and they both sighed. With Kai's constricting legs out of the way, Rei relaxed, leaving a leg resting over Kai's waist. "You know, I always thought you were an amazingly sexy bloke, Kai."
Kai blinked at the ceiling. Then he flopped his head to the side and he stared into Rei's innocent eyes blearily. "You think?"
Rei grinned, amused and he moved his hand to trail down Kai's chest. "Oh yeah…and you're such a lovely cook, too…"
Kai's forehead furrowed softly as he blinked again. "I'm not making breakfast." He closed his eyes, frowning, and rubbed his neck. "Max and Takao were really worried…" Yawning, Kai rubbed his eyes. "And I had to cook dinner."
Chuckling silently, Rei gently pushed Kai's hair away from his face and ran his fingers through it. "It hurt to move and I actually had to take the battery out of your clock because it was ticking too loudly. I suppose I just thought that no one would bother me in here."
"Mm…I hope you don't mind."
Shrugging, Kai awkwardly sat up, shoving Rei's legs down on the floor. Rei moved in quickly, grinning sheepishly and Kai blinked. Arms looped around his neck and Kai rolled his eyes even as he slowly hugged Rei back. Then it was his turn to smile slightly as he felt Rei kiss his cheek. "Yeah…" Kai cleared his throat, "You hungry?"
"No…but I suppose I have to eat."
There was an almost timid knock on the door, and then it was opened hesitantly. A blond head was soon visible, cautiously peeking around the frame. The door was pushed open, slamming against the wall, and Rei startled, falling back on the bed and landing on his bottom almost squarely between Kai's legs.
"Rei!" Max bounced inside and threw himself at Rei. "Where were you? You didn't say anything and you didn't call or anything!"
Kai raised an eyebrow, staring impassively up at Max. "Care to move?" Max blinked in confusion, eyes moving quickly between himself and Kai, then down on the body he was perched on. Rei cleared his throat, nudging Max's shoulder.
"What were you doing?"
Kai glared, and would've crossed his arms were it not for the fact that Rei was sprawled over his chest. "Hn."
Rei licked his lips, gently pushing at Max. "We were getting up." Max scrambled off Rei. "And I felt dizzy, so Kai helped me up." Rei shuffled forward until he was sitting comfortably between Kai's legs. "Right?" Rei looked over his shoulder. Kai snorted, once again rubbing his aching neck. "I'm sorry Max, that I didn't think to leave a note, but I just assumed you'd check Kai's room as well."
Max gaped. "You were in Kai's room? All day?" Max's eyes widened, and he lowered his voice unconsciously. "You slept in here? With Kai?"
"You're gay!?" Rei barely had the time to open his mouth before Takao was fidgeting in front of him, grinning and glaring at the same time. Rei sincerely doubted that anyone but Takao could ever manage to look both happy and angry quite like that. "You have no idea how worried I was Rei! I almost starved! Starved, Rei! Do you realise how serious that is? And you weren't even-! You were-! And you're with Kai?" Takao crossed his arms, shaking his head and lips pursed. "That won't do Rei. It just won't do! I demand an apology – scones would do." As if to acquiesce, Takao's stomach rumbled.
Rei just blinked, swallowing to keep the impending nausea away and he gripped Kai's thighs tightly to steady himself. "Scones?" he managed, after several seconds of uncomfortable silence.
Takao nodded. "Scones. Then we're even." He grinned. "You could start now?"
Thanks for reading. R&R, please.