Author's Note: Written per an anonymous request on tumblr.
"What's wrong, Tomo? You look pale." He peered over at her from across the table, a look of concern in his eyes. It was their first time eating together in a week; he had been preoccupied with his duties, shipped off to another part of Japan to protect her father.
Despite feeling a bit lonely, she forced a smile out for him. "It's just a headache."
Just a headache.
Those words seemed so innocent at the time – so meaningless. He just shoveled another mouthful of rice, hurriedly eating his food before he had to leave again for his next shift. Subaru did not even pause to put much thought into it. Headaches were not so unusual. But in retrospect, he regretted not pressing the matter more.
"Well, I should get going."
"Another late shift?"
He fixed his tie before grinning at her. Cocking his head he asked, "What? Miss having me at night?" Subaru made a point of slowly shuffling over to her seat. He bent down and planted a kiss on her forehead before stealing her lips. It was brief but passionate – enough to make him hesitant to leave.
She lifted a hand and caressed his cheek. "I do miss you."
It was not entirely rare for her to be stupidly honest but this was a little more direct than even he was accustomed to. Chuckling under his breath, he patted her on the head. "Don't worry. I can satisfy you this weekend."
Her cheeks immediately flushed, mouth gaping. Obviously she had not been prepared for such a response.
Feeling triumphant at having managed to elicit such a reaction, he smirked before heading toward the door.
The sound of his retreating footsteps seemed to be louder than normal. Surely it was her headache. She glanced back as she watched him go – that receding back. It made her chest feel heavy. It was not the first time she had watched him leave but it was growing more and more painful lately.
"Drive safe," the words came out belatedly – probably after the door nudged shut.
"Hey, are you sure you're not pregnant? Isn't this like morning sickness?"
She could feel another surge coming up from her stomach. The noises echoed in the silence of the bathroom as Tomo hunched over the toilet, emptying the contents of her stomach. With a shaky hand, she reached for the knob to flush away the evidence of her overwhelming nausea.
"I don't think I'm pregnant," she murmured quietly, just loud enough for Midori to hear.
The brunette was standing just outside the stall, her back pressed to it, waiting for her best friend to finish. "Are you sure? Maybe you should think about taking a test?"
A solid line stared back at her on the stick. Tomo sighed to herself. Of course not – she knew she was not pregnant. Why did she feel a little disappointed?
"I'm home." The sound of his voice was accompanied by the crack of door opening.
Tomo hastily hid the pregnancy test in the trash, anxious to cover it up. She only barely managed by the time she heard a soft knock fall on the door. She swallowed back her antsy thoughts and eagerly opened it, a smile at the ready as soon as she saw Subaru's face. "Welcome home."
"Do you have a guardian with you?"
"No, it's just me."
The doctor sighed quietly under his breath. The way he stared at her from behind those half-moon spectacles gave her chills. He seemed to regard her as a specimen more than a human being. And the way he flipped through that packet of papers with a frown permanently etched across those thin, pale lips of his, gave her the distinct impression that he had no reservations about delivering her diagnosis. "It looks like a tumor."
Her eyebrows slowly lifted in surprise. The lump in her throat was almost too difficult to swallow back. As though resigned to this, she shifted her gaze to the ground. "Um... how bad is it?"
There was silence for a moment – long enough to coax her into glancing up at him. She regretted the moment his lips started moving.
"Hey. Why were the lights all off?"
"Dummy, why are you just sitting there in the dark?" He sighed as he reached for the bedside lamp. The light was dim but it flooded the room with a subtle amber glow.
Tomo's head jerked as though she just realized that he had come home. "Oh, sorry. I should have made dinner already... Welcome home." It was the first time he had ever heard her say those words without smiling.
"Something is bothering you." It was a statement – not a question. She was as easy to read as a book.
Tomo slowly lifted herself off the mattress. There was a crease left behind that seemed to indicate she had been sitting there for some time. He had not the opportunity to focus on that detail for long – she approached him and suddenly grasped his tie in a fist, yanking his neck down toward her. Their lips crashed together. At first he was a little taken aback – she had never been very forward. Nor was she the type to initiate anything between them.
Still, he answered her desperation eagerly – his tongue massaging against hers. Within moments she was struggling to pull his jacket off, fingers fumbling with the buttons of his shirt. Her moans vibrated against his lips – it was enough to cloud his mind over with desire. Feverish kisses peppered across her face while their clothes crumpled to the ground in a pile.
The dim light emitting from the lamp at the corner of the room was just enough to color her skin as she fell back against the mattress. Her cheeks were flushed, her breathing labored as she gazed up at him impatiently.
"Subaru," she cooed in a quiet voice, lifting a hand that gently caressed his cheek as he straddled her.
He planted a kiss on the palm of her hand before leaning down to reclaim her lips once more. And just before they connected, he heard her whisper.
"I love you..."
"Prime Minister, I have an urgent message."
Another late shift. Surely the circles under his eyes were growing noticeable. But such was his duty. He found his mind wandering in these moments. Still, he had to give the impression of being vigilant. His eyes shifted to the secretary that had suddenly burst into the office.
The prime minister, who had been busily flipping through paperwork even late into the night, suddenly leaned back in his chair. "Yes? What is it?" His voice gave the impression of being weary and strained from lack of sleep. There were lines on his face where there hadn't been just six months ago. Time and his position had really taken its toll.
"It's... your daughter."
Subaru's back straightened and his shoulders stiffened.
It felt as though a heavy weight was pressing down on his chest. The air suddenly seemed stale and it was difficult to breathe. His mind seemed to grow foggy – blank. The next words seemed so distant. Something about a hospital.
There was a short pause before he could force out a response. "Yes?" His voice cracked against his will.
"It's just a headache."
Those words seemed to echo in his mind as he cradled her hand in the both of his. His gaze traveled up to her face – the pallor of her skin even paler than when she had first recited that line to him. Sleep weighed heavily on his eyelids. It was almost too much to resist, and he found himself slumping against the side of her bed, clinging to her hand even as he started to nod off. The steady hum of a heart monitor echoed in the background – a melody that lulled him to sleep.
At almost the exact same time, her eyes cracked open. The warmth of his hands clasped around her own was enough to coax a smile out of her. "Subaru... I'm sorry."
She could see the gradual rise and fall of his back, indication that he was fast asleep.
With her other hand, she reached over and gentle stroked his head. He looked peaceful, relaxed – despite the exhaustion that had settled on his face. She frowned as she thought about how drained he must have felt.
"Don't worry," she whispered quietly, affectionately running her fingers through his hair. "I love you so I won't make you suffer. Just stay with me a little longer."
"Tomo," he mumbled quietly, startling her. Had her words woken him up?
But while he seemed to nuzzle against her hand, there was little other indication that she had managed to rouse him. A taut smile formed as she squeezed his hand in hers. "Good night." Her eyelids slid shut.