Warning: Short non-spoilery reference to volume 12 of the manga.
The Icing on the Cake
Hiroki began the day with spilled coffee on his shirt and no work space – Miyagi's mess had finally expanded to his desk. He attempted to temporarily ignore said mess by scribbling down the general concepts of the day's lectures onto crumpled paper from his trash can, rather than waste a few hours searching through the wobbling stacks for the note cards he had carefully written the day before. Deep breathes were the only thing that rescued the pencil in his hand from destruction.
An hour into his shift at the hospital, Nowaki had a headache and a bandage on his finger. He loved kids, but he didn't love getting hitting in the head by their projectiles. The weapon of choice this time was a petite lucky cat sculpture that had somehow made its way into the children's reach. The bandage was a result of Nowaki's own carelessness as he disposed of the broken pieces. It did nothing to help his headache.
The two men found immense relief in the simple act of texting one another when they had moments to spare. Eventually, they both managed a couple hours away from work, retreating into each other's company the moment the sun began to wane in the sky.
Hiroki and Nowaki met at Pandasan. The hustle and bustle of the family restaurant was just loud enough to drown out the footsteps approaching their usual booth in the far left corner.
"Thank you so much for your continued patronage. It's on the house." The waitress's smile was practiced but sincere as she eased a silver platter donning a small cake onto their table. She bowed then stepped away with her eyebrows raised in surprise.
The two men blushed. Hiroki didn't notice when their fingers had entwined atop the restaurant table and only just managed not to freak out. They hurriedly put their hands back in their laps; though unspoken, leaning so close to each other that their knees brushed under the table was enough for them.
"Isn't this nice, Hiro-san?" Nowaki said. The simple cake covered in rainbow sprinkles and white frosting sparkled proudly under their gazes.
"Hope it's good," Hiroki agreed. Before Nowaki could protest, he reached for the spatula and plates on the cake tray and arranged slices for both of them.
"Ahh, thank you, but you can have mine."
Hiroki raised an eyebrow. "You don't want any?"
"Hiro-san, do you remember what I told you about cakes?"
Nowaki chuckled. "When you found that survey one of the pediatric patients did…"
"Ah!" When it clicked, Nowaki's voice played in Hiroki's head: "Cakes represent hopes and dreams."
Hiroki blushed, looking to the side. "You're s-stupid. That's a really convoluted metaphor you have there." He flinched when he felt Nowaki's hand on his thigh.
"Hiro-san, some days are hard to get through, but seeing you, touching you, talking to you makes everything that much easier," Nowaki said in a low tone. Hiroki could see the goof grinning in his peripheral vision. He wanted to hide his flushing cheeks from the unabashed man before him, but he knew it wouldn't do any good.
"You cheese monster, I swear you can't go a day without… Nowaki?"
Nowaki stood and slid into Hiroki's side of the booth.
"Wh-what are you doing? This is too obvious, you idiot. And there's barely enough room in these seats as it is!" Hiroki protested, but he still scooted over in order to provide Nowaki more space.
"I can't say that your red face is helping any, Hiro-san." Nowaki smiled. The close proximity of his face wasn't helping Hiroki any either. He glared at his lap.
"That's your fault for saying those things! I bet you have something funny in mind."
"But no one is looking anyway, Hiro-san…" As nonchalantly as though he were looking out the window past their shoulders, Nowaki placed his lips on Hiroki's neck.
"Nowaki, back off… I… I have an idea!" Hiroki said, hastily pushing the other man away.
Hiroki pulled the two plates of cake towards them. "Going along with your metaphor, let's… share. My piece of cake is yours and your piece of cake is mine. I mean, they m-make up the same cake anyway."
Warmth spilled into Hiroki's chest like wine into a glass as Nowaki laughed.
"That sounds perfectly fair to me, Hiro-san."
"And for the record, it's the same for me, alright? What you said before," Hiroki said to his cake, stabbing at it with his fork.
Nowaki beamed, nodding. "Yes, Hiro-san…"
The silence of their clinking forks only lasted so long.
"Do you think we could feed each other? Just a bite," Nowaki added when Hiroki looked alarmed. He was prepared to use his puppy look, a skill he learned he had recently, when he saw a shift in Hiroki's eyes, or rather, they shifted, surveying the other customers before Hiroki thrust his fork at Nowaki's mouth.
Nowaki slid his lips over it in what seemed like slow motion, snaking his tongue between the prongs and gazing at Hiroki with half-lidded eyes. Hiroki pulled his arm back without warning.
"That's all, okay? And don't you give me that look. We both have jobs to return to after this."
"I think we could make it work, Hiro-san…" Nowaki licked cake frosting from his fingertips, one by one. He glanced in the direction of the bathroom then back at Hiroki.
"Nowaki! This is a family restaurant, th-that's so…"
Hiroki thought of his spilled coffee, Miyagi's piles of crap, and the bandage he had spotted on Nowaki's finger. He thought of the way his day began in general, the way he could assume Nowaki's day had progressed by how desperate he had been for them to meet even before lunchtime, and the way the warmth of Nowaki's body beside him was so tempting to simply lose himself in...
Hiroki pushed against Nowaki's side with both hands, his eyes on the table, the half-eaten cake slices soon to be abandoned.
"…go, I'll join you in a minute."
Nowaki beamed. He didn't need to be told twice.
A/N: A fic inspired by, yep, just something Nowaki says in passing. It was kind of an odd, random thing to say and Hiroki didn't even stop to think twice about it, so I wanted to add a little to it, haha. Also, confirmed in anime canon, "Pandasan" is the name of the family restaurant implied to be a place the Egoist couple frequents. Quite a name, huh? Pfft~