Disclaimer: Hana nomi zo Shiru/Hana no Mizo Shiru belongs to Takarai Rihito.

Misaki waited, knelt at the sleek table that was placed, respectable, in the very centre of his living room. A quick glance at the clock mounted upon the wall above would remind him of the fact that Arikawa was late coming home from a lecture Misaki has been informed he'd be attending at the school that morning. Almost an hour late, to be precise. Misaki drummed his fingers anxiously against the cool, timber board in front of him, apprehensive feelings resting in the pit of his stomach as worried thoughts circled repeatedly in his mind.

"Where could he be?" "What could he be doing?" "Has something happened?" Were just a few of the many phrases Misaki had been repeating to himself over the past hour he'd been awaiting his lover's return. Misaki was very aware that he was being selfish. That he wasn't giving Arikawa the same trust that the latter had so easily given to him. But his neurotic thoughts were uncontrollable, and as was the fact that even though he'd lived by himself for such a long stretch of time, Misaki felt that the house the two boys shared now carried with it an eerie sense of loneliness whenever Arikawa wasn't around, especially on cold, dark, winters nights like these, when Misaki would like nothing more than to be cuddled up in the other's arms, instead of stressing helplessly over his whereabouts and safety. The soft sounds emitting from the TV in the corner of the room were nothing short of white noise to the boy who continued to sit in waiting for his other half. But then at that moment, as if his mind had been read by his boisterous house mate, Misaki's phone vibrated rather loudly against the furnishing he'd been seated at. Wide-eyed and pleading, Misaki plucked the offensive object from its resting spot and brought its screen within eye view. He inhaled sharply when the name displayed upon his screen was no other than the one he'd desired. "Youichi Arikawa".
Fingers shaking slightly, Misaki navigated his phone at an alarmingly fast pace and opened the message that had just been sent to him.

"Misaki. The lecture has run over time. I know you would have already worried a great deal about me by now, and for that, I'm terribly sorry. I probably won't be home for another hour yet, so please, don't wait up for me tonight".

Below the text, a photo of a hastily doodled Lily of the Nile stem sketched on lined, note-taking paper had been attached to the message. Misaki's lips quirked uncharacteristically, in a rare smile that was reserved for the one who administered such feelings within him, at Arikawa's typical quirky attempts to express his love towards Misaki. Unfortunately, his plundering was interrupted by a second message displaying itself on Misaki's phone screen. Unsurprisingly, yet another from Arikawa.

"And don't forget to eat something, either!"
Misaki chuckled whole-heartedly at this. In ways, Arikawa worried just as much about him as he did for Arikawa. Putting this aside, Misaki suddenly realised his prominent hunger, and cast his eyes upon the food he'd set out upon the table just over an hour before. He'd prepared enough for the two of them, and although he despised the thought of Arikawa having to go hungry while he enjoyed a meal in the warmth of their home, the intoxicating aromas of his cooking were suddenly too much to continue to resist. Clasping his hands together, Misaki spoke the customary "Thank you for the meal" in a quiet prayer, before he began to eat, all previous worry and anxiety dissolved from his mind.

Later that evening, Arikawa would return home and pass Misaki's room to find his boyfriend in a peaceful slumber upon his futon. Arikawa would quietly lunge across the length of the room and, ever so carefully, lift a corner of the blanket and slip in gently next to the ever so delicate flower he considered himself lucky to have met, settling down next to him instead of returning to his own bed. Arikawa would frown slightly as Misaki gently stirred, only to roll over and cradle the other's body in a warm embrace, lovingly nuzzling his nose against the crook of Arikawa's neck, while his dainty hands would finger at the coarse fabric of the shirt on his back. "Welcome back", Misaki would utter, in a barely audible tone, before he'd close his eyes and fall gently back to sleep. Arikawa would respond to Misaki's clutch, holding the other boy tightly in his arms, also. "I'm home", would be his reply, before he to, would follow suit.

A/N: Reviews and constructive criticism are always welcome. Thanks for reading!