Kazunari is so focused that he doesn't even hear Shintarou come in. He's hunched over his notebooks, frowning furiously at them. His lips move occasionally, silently, as he rehearses a fact or definition, committing it to memory. There are three different coffee mugs scattered around the table, all of them half-full of cold coffee, because Kazunari is constitutionally incapable of finishing a cup of coffee before it goes cold, and he is equally unable to see the utility of simply emptying out the cold coffee and refilling the same mug. His immersion in his work is complete; Shintarou is able to stand in the doorway for quite some time, observing Kazunari's study fugue without disturbing it in the slightest.

He shakes his head over Kazunari's wretched posture—really, he ought to know better than to do that to himself. (Shintarou knows he knows better, because he's helped drill Kazunari on human anatomy, both in theory and in practice, so to speak.)

When it becomes clear that nothing short of a bomb going off beneath his chair is going to break Kazunari's concentration, Shintarou comes away from the door and sets his hands on Kazunari's shoulders, which are tight enough that he feels his own muscles twanging in sympathy.

Kazunari yelps; the pencil he's been spinning through his fingers goes flying as he throws his hands up. The mugs of coffee wobble as the table shakes, but fortunately they don't tip over. "Fuck," Kazunari says; Shintarou is hard-pressed not to laugh. "Fuck, Shintarou, you nearly gave me a heart attack!"

"That seems unlikely for a young man in good physical health," Shintarou says calmly.

Kazunari leans his head back, glaring up at him. It loses some of its effect because he's upside-down from Shintarou's perspective. "You're such a jerk sometimes."

"Am I?" Shintarou asks. He presses his thumbs against the knotted muscles at the nape of Kazunari's neck. They're hard as rock; Shintarou frowns. "How long has it been since you've had a break?"

Kazunari is too busy groaning to answer right away. "Mm, I don't know, I got up a little while ago to get some more coffee."

Shintarou manages to tear his eyes away from Kazunari's dreamy-eyed pleasure long enough to look at their coffeemaker. As he suspects, the power button is off—it shuts off automatically after ninety minutes—and he frankly suspects that he'd find that the coffee itself is stone cold if he were to check. "I see." He digs his thumbs into Kazunari's muscles more firmly. There's no other way to describe the sound Kazunari makes than as a whimper. "I believe you are overdue for another break."

"Nngh," Kazunari says. Shintarou chooses to interpret that as agreement and continues to knead Kazunari's nape and shoulders. Kazunari squirms in his chair, making sounds that are one part pain, one part pleasure, and two parts sheer relief. Shintarou watches the faces he makes, ridiculous and exaggerated, and smiles over them.

He keeps working on Kazunari's shoulders long after the worst of the tension has bled out of Kazunari, purely for the satisfaction of touching Kazunari and giving him pleasure. It catches him off-guard when Kazunari opens his eyes and directs a sweet smile up at him, the kind that still makes Shintarou's heart skip a beat. "I take it back. You're wonderful." He reaches up and curls his hands around Shintarou's wrists, smiling at him.

Shintarou swallows and brushes his fingers along Kazunari's jaw, struck speechless by him all over again. Kazunari's eyes go soft, and he turns his face to kiss Shintarou's palm.

They stay like that for a while. It's these little moments of tenderness more than anything else that Shintarou couldn't have imagined before Kazunari. Couldn't imagine living without now.

After a bit, Kazunari stirs. "Get all your errands run?"

"Ah. Yes." Shintarou brushes the hair back from Kazunari's face. "I found something for you while I was out." That is, perhaps, an understatement, given that the little package he takes from his pocket was the sole point of his errands, but no matter. He takes a seat and slides the package across the table to Kazunari.

Kazunari raises his eyebrows. "What is it?" he asks, even as he's untying the cord and unfolding the layers of paper to reveal the charm within. He goes still, looking at it, still and quiet as he realizes what it is.

Shintarou finds himself compelled to explain. "The old one is getting beaten up. I know you don't need any extra luck on the licensing exam, but I know how worried you are and thought you might find this reassuring." He bites his lip as Kazunari continues to be quiet. "I, er. May have been mistaken."

Kazunari looks up at that, sharp. "No," he says, vehement. "No, it's perfect." His voice goes soft. "Just perfect." He reaches for his phone. Really, it's beyond time to replace the battered old charm, which has seen a couple years of hard use and shows it. Kazunari doesn't remove it, though, and merely affixes the new charm to the same strap. He looks up and smiles—Shintarou realizes he must be showing his confusion. "You gave me this. I wouldn't get rid of it for anything."

Shintarou has to look away, though he's sure that Kazunari can see what the does to him even so. "I see." He clears his throat. "Are you hungry? Have you eaten?"

Kazunari wrinkles his nose. "Um…"

Shintarou sighs. That's an answer in and of itself. "Of course you haven't."

He rises, meaning to start dinner, but Kazunari catches his hand and tugs him down for a kiss. "I love you," he says against Shintarou's lips. "So much."

Shintarou rests his forehead against Kazunari's. "Me too," he says. "I must be the most fortunate man in the world."

Kazunari reaches up and strokes his cheek, smiling at him. "That makes two of us, then," he says.

It takes some time before Shintarou finally goes about starting their dinner, but neither of them really mind that at all.


And that, as they say, is that. Thank you to everyone who has commented, favorited, kudosed, or otherwise encouraged me to continue along the way—y'all have made working on this fic an absolute pleasure, and I could not have done it without you!