Name: Dependence

Author: Healiel

Pairing: Onodera Ritsu X Takano Masamune

Written for the 30Kisses Livejournal Community. Prompt #1: look over here

Summary: Onodera Ritsu doesn't like to be dependent, especially if the other person is Takano Masamune.

Disclaimer: Sekai Ichi Hatsukoi belongs to Nakamura Shungiku and her affiliates.

Onodera Ritsu was not happy.

His head hurt. There was too much work to finish, and not enough time to do all of it. He touched his head with the palm of his hand, balancing himself against his desk. He was tired. When was the day going to end? He couldn't focus today, not with his head feeling like it was being split apart by a blunt hammer.

He started as someone dropped a huge pile of paper on his desk. His eyes slanted automatically as he slowly turned to look at the person he hated the most at that particular point of time, "Takano-san!" He sighed as he saw that the man had already started to leave.

"Read through those and tell me what you think." he said, turning his head towards Ritsu and smirking.

Ritsu resisted the urge to growl; he touched his forehead and looked at the work piled up on his desk. There was no way he could finish all of this before the night. He placed his head on his desk, sighing as the cool surface of the table made him feel a little better.

He smiled to himself as he felt someone ruffling his hair, it was such a nice feeling. It reminded him of the wind rustling through his hair on a particularly cool spring afternoon.

"You alright?"

The voice jolted him back to reality. He was not supposed to be sleeping at work, he was not supposed to feel sick when the work tower was ready to crush him, and he was definitely not supposed to be smiling when Takano ruffled his hair. He swatted the hand away and scowled.

"I'm fine." He mumbled before looking at the pile of paper he had to study. Well, at least if he finished those first Takano wouldn't bother him anymore. He steeled himself, he had to work, headache be damned.

Okay, he had overdone it. He sighed as he inserted a few coins into the vending machine, picked out his drink and bent down to collect it. He needed a break, and it would have to be short. Kisa wanted him to get some photocopies done; sometimes he wished that the man would do it himself. He sat down on the couch near the vending machine and popped open his can of coffee, for some reason he felt cold; extremely cold. He could feel himself shiver slightly. He touched his forehead again, was he coming down with something?

"Sleeping again?"

Ritsu scowled and opened his eyes, "I was just getting back to work." He felt extremely angry – not at anyone or anything in particular - he just felt irritable. And Takano's attitude was doing nothing to help. The cocky smile on Takano's face disappeared and was replaced with a look of concern. He paused for a moment and seemed to hesitate. He drew his hands out and back, before finally stretching his hand out towards Ritsu.

What was he doing? Ritsu pushed himself back into the couch until he felt the hardness of the wall on his back, "Wh…?" he asked as he held Takano's hands in both of his, preventing the man from touching him, "What are you doing?" he scowled again.

"Your hands are ice cold." Said Takano as he looked straight into Ritsu's eyes. Ritsu could feel the intense stare of the look and turned a very pale shade of red. Or maybe he was just coming down with something after all. He mentally agreed that that was definitely the case. Onodera Ritsu did not blush.

"Ricchan? Are you done with those photocopies?"

Ritsu jumped slightly at the sound of Kisa's voice and realized that they were in a very public place. Kisa Shouta's head peered out behind the nearest wall. It, however quickly slithered away the moment it met Ritsu's eyes. He hadn't meant to interfere. Ritsu looked at Takano who had gone back to smirking at him. He suppressed another growl before he realized that he was still holding onto Takano's left hand. He quickly brought his hands back to himself, stood up and walked back to his desk as fast as he could, a now lukewarm coffee in one hand.

Work had ended late for him, but he was thankful that he had enough time to catch the last train out of the station. Or so he had thought.

Ritsu sighed as he realized he had forgotten to bring his umbrella yet again. He looked at the snow falling from where he stood, and wondered whether going home now was a good idea. Maybe he should sit somewhere and wait for a while?

Ritsu slowly turned his head. He was sure something had just poked him from the back. Something long, pointy and blunt. He wasn't sure what was poking him, but he could guess who was holding the object in question. He sighed as he saw the tall figure holding an umbrella out towards him. Yes, it was Takano again. He felt himself turn red when he remembered the last time the two of them had talked; his hand had really been warm. He flipped his head straight and mentally shook his head. There was definitely something wrong with him today.

"Come here." Said Takano as he opened the umbrella. It was definitely not big enough for two people, and Ritsu did not like the idea of squeezing under an umbrella with anyone in public. He rapidly shook his head at Takano, who gave him an annoyed look.

"Fine. Here you go." Said Takano as he handed his umbrella over to Ritsu. Ritsu shook his head even more rapidly. He didn't want to cause any problems for Takano, especially not something that might lead to the man falling sick. He pushed the umbrella back into Takano's hands, slowly turned away from the man and sprinted down the street.

He hastened his pace. Takano had been keeping a keen eye on him ever since they had left Marukawa Shoten. Takano was definitely concerned about him, and even though he'd never admit it, a part of him felt grateful for that. He was beginning to feel miserable and having even one familiar face around him made him feel much better. He always had been a clingy patient. He didn't get sick very easily, but when he did, he was always confused about what to do with himself. Takano had tried to push him under the umbrella a few times since then, but Ritsu would not relent.

"We're almost there; you don't have to stick so close to me right now." Said Ritsu, looking at Takano from the corner of his eyes. The man didn't answer him back, but he didn't slow down either. He had kept in pace with Ritsu since the beginning, and he would do that right till the time Ritsu walked through his front door.

Ritsu started walking a little faster, he was almost jogging as he entered their building and flung himself at the elevator button, praying it would come down in time so he could make his ascent without Takano's company. His head was really hurting now, and he had been sure that he would definitely pass out at least three times since he left the subway. He did not want Takano to see him like this, it was embarrassing for him. Fate didn't like him that day, and he heard the familiar 'ping' of the elevator reaching the ground floor just as Takano reached the building, closing his umbrella.

He looked at Ritsu once and came to stand next to him. Ritsu looked at him, and he looked back. Neither of them had any expression on their faces. Ritsu's eyes were definitely glazed, Takano noticed as he held his shoulders lightly, pointing him into the elevator. Ritsu tried to shrug him off, but the grip was too tight, "I think you've got a fever."

Ritsu watched as the door to the elevator closed, "Let go of me." He said, pulling away.

Takano looked irritated, "Look here." He said as he leaned in towards Ritsu.

His vision was becoming blurry, his head spun and the last thing he remembered was the surprised look on Takano's face before he fell onto something firm.

The wind blew the stray leaves towards them. He looked at the person he loved, "Saga – sempai." He could feel his cheeks turn red as the boy smiled at him and leaned in.

Ritsu sat up in shock. Was that a nightmare? He touched his cheeks, they felt hot. He groaned as he fell back on the bed and stared at the ceiling, only… He wasn't sure his bed had been positioned here before. He slowly looked around the room, yes; someone had definitely redecorated the entire place. He eyelids felt heavy and he struggled to keep them open. His eyes almost closed again, and he turned in the bed; he could deal with this tomorrow. He was too sleepy right now to care, unless… He sat up again, "Takano." He whispered as he looked for the man anywhere in the room. It was empty. He relaxed momentarily before his mind reeled. Was he in the same bed as him?

He couldn't look, so he felt around the bed. He breathed a sigh of relief as he realized that he was the only one inon it. He quickly looked at what he was wearing; only his coat and shoes had been taken off. He tried hard to remember what had happened since the elevator but he kept drawing a blank. His watch showed it was three AM. He looked outside the window, cringing as the cold floor touched his already numb feet – what use were socks and blankets in this weather? He hated his feet being cold, but the sight outside the window was enough to take his breath away. The snow fell softly from the sky; it twinkled as it dropped below the streetlamp, giving the impression of light slowly descending on the earth.

A picture frame on the bedside table drew his attention. It was Takano with his cat. The man was smiling, he looked genuinely happy. "Saga." Whispered Ritsu, thinking back to his dream. He picked up the frame and studied the picture, where was Takano now?

There was no way he would leave Ritsu in his apartment and go somewhere, was there? His heart beat fast as he stepped out of the bedroom to look for him. He shielded his eyes at the light in the room. Hadn't Takano gone to sleep? Soft snores drew his attention.

Takano had fallen asleep in front of a pile of paper. His laptop was open in front of him, and he slept on the floor, one hand lazily trailing across the coffee table right next to him. Ritsu felt something nagging at his heart. He wanted to be better than Takano at his work, but the man worked so much harder than him. It bothered him.

Another soft snore drew his thoughts away from work. The man was cuddled under a few blankets, his head resting on the edge of the sofa. Ritsu wondered whether he was cold. He went back inside the bedroom and emerged with the blankets Takano had brought out for him, and a pillow. He carefully placed the man's head on the pillow, all the while hoping that Takano didn't wake up. There was no way he could talk his way out of this one. But Takano didn't wake up, and Ritsu was grateful. He placed the extra blankets on top of the man. He looked at the man softly snoring, and almost smiled. He quickly stopped himself and shook his head; there was no way he was going to smile at a scene right out of some of the corniest romance novels he'd ever read. He looked for his bag, and slowly left the room with his coat and shoes. Takano had done enough for him; he could take care of himself now.

At three- fifteen AM Onodera Ritsu entered his apartment.

He woke up later that day, and yelped as he saw the time on his watch. It was fFive PM. He'd missed work. He hadn't even called in to inform. What was he going to do? He frantically searched for his phone. Takano had called him; his eyes grew wide as he realized that he had called at least thirty five times.

He checked his mail, there were at least a dozen mails from him, all asking how he was, if he was okay? The second to last one made him smile. Takano had written that he was aware of Ritsu's state and that he shouldn't worry, he would take care of work for the day. The last message however, made him scowl furiously; Takano would apparently be coming over that night to take care of him. He groaned and stuffed himself under his covers.

The next time he woke up, it was Nnine PM. Takano should be coming home right about now, he thought as he tried to sit up. His body felt weak and he gave in, falling back onto his bed. Maybe he should leave a note out saying that he was too sick to open the door? He shook his head, no, that would only make the man even more determined to look after him. Should he call? He picked up his phone, looking at the last mail. No, he couldn't, he did not want to talk to Takano right then. Especially not with his hoarse voice. Should he send a mail? But Takano never checked his mails. He sat up, either way he had to get some medicine for his throat. He should've kept them stocked up at home, but he never got around to it.

He sat up, and slowly slipped on his shoes, looking for his jacket.

He just hoped he would be back before Takano reached - knowing the man, he would probably wait outside his door for him, even if he didn't open the door.

He opened the door and nearly tripped.

He yelled as he felt the person grab on to him, Ritsu opened his eyes to find himself face to face with Takano, "About time you woke up."

Ritsu realized he was sitting on the man's lap and leapt up before walking back into his apartment. He left the door open for Takano to enter, and quickly walked over to his couch. He sat down and started massaging his feet. They were too cold.

Takano came inside and closed the door, "How are you feeling now?"

He groaned in reply and Takano smiled. Ritsu felt someone walking towards him and started shivering again, clenching his feet tighter. He was behaving erratically, he knew it. He always did when he was sick. He pulled up his knees and hid his face in them.

"Look at me." He felt Takano's hands on his hair, trying to lift his head. He felt annoyed. He just wanted to be left alone, "Stop that please."

Takano's voice was soft, "I need to know if you have a fever." He explained.

Ritsu turned his face away and tried to stand up. He was unsteady on his feet and fell into Takano's arms. The man took the opportunity to touch Ritsu's forehead with his own, "You definitely have a…" He stopped short when he saw the glare Ritsu was giving him. He was acting like a big baby by refusing to admit that he was sick. Ritsu pulled himself away from the man and stalked towards his bedroom, slamming the door shut behind him.

He locked the door and sat on the floor, leaning against the door. He had not meant to be rude. His heart beat fast. He would have to apologize; he had just barely glimpsed the hurt look on Takano's face. He hadn't meant to hurt him, why did he always do the exact opposite of what he wanted to?

He heard the man moving around in his apartment. Was he leaving? No, from the direction the footsteps were taking it seemed that he was walking towards his kitchen.

The door to Ritsu's bedroom slowly opened and two curious eyes peered out. He couldn't see anyone so he tip toed out. He dashed towards the couch and hid behind it, looking for Takano.

"What are you doing?" asked a curious voice from behind him. He turned to look and quickly turned his face back, hiding his smile behind his hands.

"Hah. There's nothing funny about this." Said Takano, pointing to the apron he was wearing, "What is funny is that you should be the proud owner of this obviously feminine apron." There was nothing really wrong with the color of the apron, it was plain white. But the frilly cut was something obviously feminine, and Ritsu cursed himself for not being more careful when he was shopping.

Ritsu glared at him, "I don't cook. Someone back at home must've packed that in."

"Likely story." Said Takano, as he walked back to the stove, ladle in hand, "Go back to sleep, I'll wake you up when the food's ready."

"I came to find my thermometer." Said Ritsu, folding his arms across his chest. He was feeling irritated again.

"I wasn't sure you had one so I bought one for you. It's on the table." Takano had his back to him, Ritsu was thankful. It meant he couldn't see the confused stare he was sending the man. He abruptly stood up and stalked back to his bedroom. He was feeling too restless.

Within minutes he was back outside, a part of him felt ready to pick a fight. There was nothing he wanted to do, and he didn't want to be alone. He walked towards Takano, and stood next to him, peeking curiously into the contents of the pot, "It's instant."

Ritsu gave him a nod, normally he would be eating cold food from the nearest Convenience Store; warm instant soup wasn't such a bad change.

"Shouldn't you be sleeping?" asked Takano, trying to touch Ritsu's forehead again.

Ritsu didn't fight back this time, the cool touch of Takano's hand on his skin felt good. He closed his eyes and smiled. His head was reeling and he wasn't sure what he was doing. He could feel someone breathing close to him now. The soft breaths danced on his cheek, and it made him feel as if he was wanted, loved even. It wasn't until he felt wet lips on his that he opened his eyes. He pushed Takano hard and fell to the ground, straddling the man and clinging on to his hands desperately.

"Warm." He said, slowly moving his hands over the white apron. He felt strong arms surround him tightly. His breathing hastened, and his hands clenched on to Takano with a ferocity he didn't know he had. He groaned as a white flash of pain seared through his forehead. That damn headache!

Wait. His eyes flew open. What was he doing sprawled on the floor in Takano's arms? He started to struggle, "No." He said as he struggled harder, he was too weak to move.

Takano loosened his grip on Ritsu, "Are you alright?" Ritsu didn't bother to answer him. He mumbled that he would be in his room and quickly left.

That night he couldn't sleep. Ritsu Onodera liked to believe he was independent. He didn't like it when someone fussed over him, it made him feel embarrassed. Therefore, it stood to reason that he was angry with Takano. He didn't like the fact that the man had come to look after him, he didn't like the fact that the man had cooked for him, forced him to eat, given him medicine and then conveniently fallen asleep next to his bed. He was embarrassed. He closed his eyes, but all he could think of was lying sprawled in Takano's arms in the kitchen, and that served to further worsen his mood.

He sat up and poked at Takano's head. The least he could have done was left him alone for the night. He touched Takano's hair. 'It's so soft.' Or maybe he was just being feverish, but it felt nice to touch. He trailed his hands slowly over Takano's head, brushing his hair this way and that.

"Hmm?" He stopped short when he saw Takano move. The man lifted his head, rubbing his eyes; he looked at Ritsu, "Onodera?"

"Ah…" Ritsu jumped to the other side of the bed, "I couldn't sleep." He finished. He turned his back on Takano and sat there, eyes clenched shut. Please let this just be a bad dream!

He felt Takano climb on to the bed, his heart beat fast again. He gasped as Takano pulled him towards himself. Ritsu stared, wide eyed as Takano held him tightly, "Does your head still hurt?"

Ritsu looked away from him, "Stop. I don't want to be dependent on you."

Takano sounded surprised, "Dependent on me?"

"Even at work, it's always you. You help me out all the time, I can't think of what to do if you aren't there. Now here too, I can take care of myself. I don't need you over my shoulder all the time!" Ritsu's voice sounded frustrated, angry.

Takano sighed and turned Ritsu around, so that he now faced the man, "Are you crazy?"

Ritsu looked at him, a permanent scowl seemingly fixed on his face, "I'm just tired." He snapped. He pushed Takano down on the bed, and moved fast, sliding under his cover.

"Onodera?" Takano asked, looking at Ritsu hiding under the blanket. There was no answer, so he lay down on the bed, staring at the ceiling.

"I know you aren't asleep yet." There was no answer, but the figure next to him wriggled ever so slightly. Takano smirked, "I don't know what you meant by saying you're dependent on me. But, thank you."

Ritsu nearly jumped where he lay, he had taken the entire thing in a completely different way. A part of him wanted to jump up and declare that he took all of it back, that he hadn't meant a thing, and another part simply wanted him to lie there quietly. Before he could decide, he felt a hand lift his blanket up. Takano Masamune joined Ritsu under the sheet, not before pulling away the three other blankets on top of the one Ritsu was already under.

Ritsu wanted to complain, but he didn't.

He didn't complain even when it felt like the middle of summer underneath all those blankets, he didn't complain when he finally felt sleepy, he especially didn't complain when Takano snuggled in with him, holding him close. He was supposed to be asleep after all. The next morning, all he had to do was pretend he was feverish and couldn't remember anything. For now, he was happy and content. Even that damn headache looked like it had gone away.

The next morning, he woke up late. He was going to miss work again, which would've suited him fine had Takano Masamune not decided to stay back with him.

"You need someone to take care of you."

"I'll be fine. Besides, it'll look suspicious if both of us are absent from work,." Shot back Ritsu, trying to push Takano off from his bed. He was feeling a lot better now, and pushing the older man off proved to actually be quite easy.

Takano grabbed Ritsu's hands, "Are you trying to force me to go to work?" he smirked.

"That's exactly what I'm trying to do." Replied Ritsu, eyes dead serious.

Takano stopped smiling; instead he suddenly looked very cranky, "Fine." He got up and moved the sheets away. Ritsu shivered at the sudden onslaught of cold air, he quickly grabbed the sheets around himself, "But I'm coming back tonight."

Ritsu didn't reply, he stared at Takano's back as the man got up to leave, "I'll be dressed in a minute."

Takano turned around to look at him, "No, you need rest. I'll explain this at work. Go back to sleep." He smiled and opened the door out of the bedroom.

"Takano-san!" Ritsu called out before he could stop himself. He felt his heart beat fast as Takano turned around to look at him, "Sorry for yesterday." He whispered before hiding his face under he sheets. He hadn't meant to be so irritable; it had made him feel guilty half the night.

He waited to for the noise of the door closing, but it never came. Instead, Takano pulled the sheets away from Ritsu and leant in, planting a firm kiss over his lips. It all happened so fast, that Ritsu barely had any time to think. By the time he sat up, Takano had left the room.

He touched his lips and stared at the door.

He was sure now; there was no way he would admit to being in love with Takano Masamune. He looked at his hands, and a small smile made its way to his lips.

A/N: :p Oi.