A Fluttering Heart's Subtlety (or Lack Thereof)
Hiroki met Nowaki near the entrance of the hospital and held an arm out. Resting in his palm was the knotted cloth of a bento box.
"You made both of us bento and even reminded me not to forget mine, but you still managed to leave yours behind?" One of his eyebrows was raised.
"Thank you for bringing it to me, Hiro-san," Nowaki said, accepting his lunch. He glanced around. The nurse at the front counter – Fujita, he believed was her name – had her eyes glued to them, so he held back on giving Hiroki a "have a good day at work" kiss.
"Wha –?" Without missing Hiroki's look of mild surprise, Nowaki angled them the slightest bit more out of sight. He held Hiroki close, hands on his waist, and resisted touching their lips together. Instead, he blinked affectionately against Hiroki's forehead – butterfly kisses, in all their cheesy glory.
"I'll be home early today. We'll have dinner together." He smiled.
Hiroki only nodded, dumbstruck by how tacky yet sweet Nowaki's actions were. If there was anyone who could commit that sort of… crime without the tiniest hint of embarrassment, Nowaki would be it. Hiroki had been ready to push him away, but, well, a few more seconds in his arms couldn't hurt.
When Nowaki waved at the departing Hiroki one last time, he turned to find Fujita automatically avert her eyes, flustered. He decided to strike up a conversation with her.
"How are you, Fujita-san?" he asked, walking up to the counter with his hands pocketed.
Fujita looked up as though she hadn't noticed his approach.
"Hello, Nowaki-san! I'm doing great, and you?"
After a second passed, she offered him a guilty grin. Her words had nearly tripped over themselves as they left her lips – an obviously premeditated reply. Nowaki responded with a smile of his own, sympathetic in nature.
"I'm better than fine, I'd say. Thank you for asking." Their eyes met for an awkward moment as they attempted to guess what the other was thinking. Fujita coughed and returned her attention to her computer screen. Nowaki was about to continue on his way when she called out to him. With the wave of a hand, she motioned for him to come closer. He glanced around once before leaning against the counter.
Fujita appeared nervous. "I'm sorry, I know I'm being extremely nosy, but… who was that?"
Nowaki smiled. He thought she'd had more to say. "Why?"
"W-well…" Her line of sight wandered leftwards. "This might sound so rude. I don't mean any disrespect though, honestly."
"What is it?"
Fujita met Nowaki's eyes again. "That man who came for you… his body language. It was incredibly easy to read."
Something Nowaki knew only too well. He withheld a chuckle as it bubbled up in his chest. "Is that so?"
"I mean, yours kinda is too, but I'm used to you so I wasn't paying attention," Fujita babbled, embarrassed yet enthusiastically offering indistinct hand gestures. "On the other hand, he might as well have been a lit flare on a dark night he was so obvious."
"What did his body language say then?"
"That's the tricky part… You're so kind to everyone, Nowaki-san. I'd hate to offend you," Fujita said cautiously. Nowaki was amused. He got the feeling she was holding back where she felt would gain a better reaction. She was entertaining herself as much as she was him.
"Go ahead, Fujita-san. Really, I'm curious."
"Well… I think he likes you. Like he was really feeling you, if you catch my drift."
Nowaki broke out in a bright smile. He began chuckling, silent laughs that barely made his shoulders quiver. Fujita blinked, not knowing what to say . It was peculiar, but she felt wrong witnessing his amusement – his laughter seemed like something private, reserved for few others when its tone rung that genuine. Once Nowaki managed to recover himself, he wiped the tears of mirth from his eyes.
"Thanks for the good laugh, Fujita-san. I appreciate it." He walked away from the counter, behind which remained Fujita with a baffled look. She wasn't sure what had just happened.
When he found the chance, Nowaki texted Hiroki, "You're my open book~"
Hiroki replied, "What the hell are you talking about?"
A/N: Happy Valentine's Day!