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Sweetener

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The bizarre affair began on a Tuesday morning.

Rolling over onto his side, Fushimi let out a strained groan, running a hand through his hair. The other one scrabbled at his sheets, grabbing a hold of his phone and making hasty work of the alarm that blared at him.

Yawning and rubbing at his eyes, the strong scent of fresh coffee caught his nose. Fushimi slid to the edge of his bunk, hopping off and narrowing his eyes at the steaming cup resting on the empty bedspace beneath his. Beside the drink rested his glasses, pristine as the day he’d first got them; the teen quirked an eyebrow at this, as he’d broken his glasses only yesterday in a scuffle with a strain he’d been chasing down on his own. The prescription he’d filed for a new pair wasn’t expected to be filled for several days yet.

Shrugging, he picked them up and put them on, and caught sight of a note that had lain, folded, beneath them. He was surprised by what he read.

"Had your prescription fast-tracked for you.
Also picked this up; figured you’d be tired after chasing that strain yesterday. -M”

 

Fushimi clicked his tongue, disdainfully crumpling the letter and tossing it in the trashcan by his bed. Though his King’s actions were completely out of the blue, the teen wasn’t one to look a gift horse in the mouth; he lifted the top off the cup of coffee, staring into the stark, brown liquid steaming before him.

He took a sip, almost immediately spitting it back into the cup as the taste of plain black coffee filled his mouth.
"Tch," he muttered to himself, making sure the full cup followed the note into the trash and wiping his tongue on the back of a hand.

Sighing, Fushimi grabbed a towel from a drawer and his uniform jacket from where it hung off the chair by his desk, making his way out of his barracks room to the showers. The door abruptly opened inches from his face, and the Captain’s head popped in; the older man raised an eyebrow, giving his subordinate a curious once-over.

"What do you want?" the teen asked, annoyance feeding into his tone.
"I see you found what I left for you," came the answer. "I was just making sure."
Fushimi gave a derisive huff. “What you left for me was pisswater,” he groused. “Rest assured, I’m just as tired as I was yesterday. Now, if you’ll excuse me, Captain.”
He gave an informal bow, pushing his way past Munakata and starting toward the showers.

"What," the older man called after Fushimi, "would you consider to be not ‘pisswater’, as you so kindly put it?"
"Not black coffee, that’s for sure," the teen shouted back.

Upon hearing the sound of a door slamming shut, Munakata let out a breath, leaning back against the frame of the entrance to Fushimi’s room.
He pursed his lips in thought.

 

-

 

The following week, Fushimi sat at a table in the common room, a slice of toast in one hand while the other furiously tapped away at his laptop’s keyboard, entering in report details. The aroma of slightly-sweetened coffee caught his nose, and he looked up, mouth full of bread and a questioning look on his face.

"You said you didn’t like black coffee," Munakata stated, pushing the cup his way. "Try this."
Fushimi swallowed his last bite of toast, wiping his mouth on a sleeve and crossing his arms.
"And what if it’s disgusting?" the teen asked, bluntly.
The Captain shot him a wry smile, emphasizing his request with another slight push of the cup toward Fushimi. “Then, you tell me what kind of coffee you do enjoy. So I don’t mess up again.”

"Again?" Fushimi asked, a hint of sarcasm coloring his tone. "What, is this going to become a regular thing?"
The only answer he received was a slight shrug of Munakata’s shoulders. With an annoyed groan, the younger man took a careful sip of the drink he’d been given, making a face after his first swallow.
"You’re terrible at this," Fushimi said, putting the coffee down and standing up. He made his way over to one of the counters in the room, grabbing a box of small sugar packets and tossing a few Munakata’s way. The Captain caught them with surprising ease, setting them before Fushimi as the teen settled back down into his seat.

With intense concentration, the younger male methodically ripped open seven small sugar packets, systematically pouring them all into the coffee before him. He stuck a finger in, swirling it around in the dark liquid for a bit; upon removing it, he stuck it into his mouth and sucked a bit, nodding in affirmation. Munakata raised his eyebrows a fraction at the action, leaning forward in his seat ever so slightly.

Seemingly satisfied, Fushimi replaced the top of the cup and took a long draw from the coffee, letting out a small sigh of contention. He went back to tapping away at his laptop, occasionally pausing to take a sip of his now-sugar-saturated drink, until Munakata broke the silence.

"That’s.. how you like your coffee?" the older man asked, amusement lacing his voice.
Fushimi gave his superior a pointed glare, motioning to the work in front of him. “I’d love to chat right now, but I have work to do. Work that is, I’ll add, for your benefit. Feel free to continue sitting there, as long as you don’t bother me with talk about my likes and dislikes.”

The teen returned to his business and Munakata flashed a wry smile. “Noted.”

 

-

 

The third time Munakata brought his subordinate coffee, Fushimi didn’t mind it at all; in fact, he was happy for any sort of warm drink. To an extent.

Rain was coming down in sheets, soaking Fushimi to the bone. He sat down on a ledge, letting out a sigh; his breath rose through the air, curling like smoke from his mouth. The teen watched Awashima order units around, and he let his body relax to a slump. He’d been out all day with the Lieutenant, hunting down a strain duo that had proven elusive for several hours until he and a few of the others had cornered them.

Taking off his glasses, he rubbed a sleeve on the lenses in a futile attempt to clean off some water; every article of clothing he currently had on was sopping wet, and his hair clung to his face, tickling him uncomfortably and dripping down his open shirt collar. Absentmindedly, he rubbed a hand over the scarred HOMRA sigil on his chest, wishing momentarily for the warmth of the gang’s fiery aura.

Fushimi clicked his tongue, dismissing the thought; better to be wet with the rest of Scepter 4 than dry with the people he despised.
Jerked from his reverie by the presence of a heavy warmth suddenly on his back, Fushimi looked up. The Captain stood over him, the ends of his mouth quirked up into a slight smile that betrayed nothing of what he felt.

A warm cup was pressed into the teen’s hand, and he looked down; his fingers clutched gratefully at the coffee and he brought it to his face, pressing his cheek against the steaming container before remembering who stood before him. Fushimi raised it to his lips, taking a long sip and pulling a face. Sighing, he shook his head a bit and drank more before absentmindedly lowering the cup to his lap, hands circled around the warmth of it.

Munakata gently tugged his subordinate by the arm, urging him up. The Captain removed his own coat, grabbing Fushimi’s uniform and helping the younger man to slowly wiggle out of it; the article of clothing sagged under the heavy water weight, sopping wet and dripping a huge puddle beneath it.
"Take mine," the older man urged, holding it out for Fushimi to put on.
“‘m not helpless,” his subordinate muttered under his breath, snatching it from Munakata; grateful for any warmth at this point, he slid his arms in, clutching the coat around himself. It was too big for him, as his King was several inches taller and had far more musculature to fill it out with, but Fushimi didn’t complain. He tugged the sleeves down until they were nearly level with his knuckles and took another sip of his coffee, one eyebrow quirked expectantly at his Captain as the other man wrung out Fushimi’s soggy coat and draped it over his arm.

"You’re dismissed for the day. The Lieutenant and I will wrap up any loose ends from here on out; from what she told me, you did well. Go back and get some rest- I wouldn’t want my third-in-command to be sick from all of this rain."

Fushimi nodded, no attitude left in him to fight Munakata’s order. He gave a slight bow, turning heel to leave; as if he remembered something important, he glanced over his shoulder at the Captain.
"You almost had it right this time, I’ll admit. But your coffee-ordering skills still need more work."
As his subordinate walked away, form shaking and shivering from the relentless rain, Munakata smiled.

Later, remembering he’d given Fushimi his uniform coat, the Blue King peeked his head into the younger man’s room. He was about to ask his subordinate about getting the clothing back when he noticed the soft rise and fall of Fushimi’s chest, sleeping wrapped around himself in a tight ball. The coat in question was draped over the teen’s skinny frame, hands fisted in the fabric, clutching it to his chest.

Munakata decided to leave it for now. Giving his subordinate a private, affectionate glance, he left Fushimi to sleep in peace.

 

-

 

The next time didn’t really count.

Awashima sat on a couch in Scepter 4’s common room, eyes fixated on the late-night movie currently playing. Fushimi paused for a moment as he walked by, tilting his head to the side and narrowing his eyes at the screen; some action flick, he noted, judging by the oversized robots and monsters currently fighting on the screen. He continued his beeline to the kitchen, intent on getting a glass of water before making his way to bed.

Mid-yawn, Fushimi crashed into a larger form. Warm, sticky liquid spilled all down the front of his sleep-shirt, soaking his chest.
"Shit," he cursed, pulling the now-wet article of clothing away from his frame. "What the hell are you doing?" he demanded of the person in front of him, before looking up at them.

His scowl deepened when he noticed it was the Captain. Munakata had a look of surprise on his face, two cups clutched in his hands; one, full of hot liquid, the other empty, its contents now covering Fushimi.

"I apologize," the older man stated, setting the cups down on a counter and rushing to get paper towels. Fushimi huffed, viciously grabbing the roll out of his superior’s hands and grinding out "give me that" under his breath.

Once he felt adequately clean, the teen made to grab his water and leave, but was stopped by Munakata’s hand, a soft, familiar weight on his back.

"Would you like to watch a movie with Awashima and I? You’ll enjoy it," the Blue King said.
"Tch," came Fushimi’s not-really-answer. He made his way out of the kitchen to the common room, dropping down onto the couch with a loud noise that surprised Awashima, who was engrossed in the movie.

A short time later, Munakata came back, settling into the spot to the right of Fushimi. He handed a cup to the Lieutenant, who nodded her thanks before turning her attention back to the screen in front of them. To the teen’s surprise, his superior also handed one to him, and he took a tentative sip.

Not coffee; which came as a somewhat relief to Fushimi. It was sweet, perfect for a late night, and made him drowsy. Hot chocolate. Fushimi made a contented noise, settling into the couch, his eyes fixed on the movie.

It wasn’t long until Fushimi seemingly passed out, utterly tired and still dressed in his hot chocolate-stained pyjamas. Fushimi’s head rested on Munakata’s shoulder, a weight the Captain longed to feel more often. Absentmindedly, the Blue King raised a hand and carded it through Fushimi’s bangs, stroking his subordinate’s hair affectionately. Awashima was still completely engrossed in the flick, oblivious to Munakata as he stroked the back of Fushimi’s neck, a quick touch to the younger man’s cheek, then down to his shoulders, fingers moving in soft circles.

If Fushimi gave a soft, happy sigh, Munakata didn’t hear. If Fushimi was still somewhat awake, though drowsy, Munakata didn’t know.

 

-

 

Several weeks and semi-failed attempts at perfecting Fushimi’s order later, Munakata finally achieved approval.

It was late, everyone having gone to bed already, save Fushimi. The teen sat hunched over his laptop, tiredly entering data from reports into Scepter 4’s online base. Several discarded cans of energy drinks and wrappers of protein bars lay strewn about him.

Munakata entered the room silently, two lukewarm cups in his hands. He placed one before his subordinate and pulled up a chair, sitting down and sipping from his own.
Fushimi muttered a thanks, raising his coffee to his lips and taking a drink. The younger man’s eyes closed behind his glasses and he nodded his approval. “Mm,” he murmured contentedly. “It took you long enough.”

The Captain smiled wryly. “It did, indeed,” he agreed.
Both sat in satisfied silence, until Fushimi finished his nightly work and made to leave, completely at ease with eachother.

 

-

 

It became a nightly routine. Munakata would bring coffee for them both, and they’d sit as Fushimi did his work, the only sound in the room coming from the clicking of the laptop’s keys.

Sometime’s they’d talk, but most of the time, both were content to be in the presence of the other.

 

-

 

One night, however, was the exception to their routine. Munakata settled into his normal chair, dressed more casually than Fushimi had seen him before. The younger man crossed his legs on his chair, one eyebrow raised quizzically; he turned away from the laptop to face his superior.

"No coffee tonight? I was depending on you," he whined, voice heavy with sarcasm.
"No coffee," Munakata affirmed. "But I brought something else for you."

"Mm, are you sure it can top caffeine? Because I’m not so certain. I feel pretty tired right now," Fushimi groused.
The Blue King grinned, leaning forward in his chair, his face only inches from Fushimi’s. “I’m not sure,” he whispered, “but I hope so.”

The older man lightly ran his fingers through the teen’s hair before firmly grasping the back of his head, bringing their faces close together.
"Just tell me if you want me to stop," Munakata murmured, lips almost touching Fushimi’s. His hot breath ghosted over his subordinate’s face, and Fushimi couldn’t suppress the moan that came from himself, parting his lips; eyes fever-hot, the Captain brought their mouths together in a kiss. Fushimi grappled at his elder’s coat, trying to bring their bodies closer. Munakata’s tongue slipped into his mouth and he let out another moan; both spent several more seconds liplocked and grabbing at eachother, the King with his hands in his subordinate’s hair and Fushimi running his hands all around Munakata’s face.

Panting, Fushimi let a grin slip onto his face. “I think that tops coffee.”
Munakata chuckled, slipping a hand under the teen’s shirt and running his palm over the smooth flesh there. Pushing the shirt up further, the Captain moved to kiss and lick at Fushimi’s stomach, taking his time in his ministrations and enjoying the writhing of his subordinate beneath him.

Fushimi moaned, face flushed and hands fisted in Munakata’s hair.

 

-

 

When he woke up in the morning, sheets bunched around his waist and hair significantly mussed, the first thing Fushimi noted was the empty space beside him on the Captain’s bed. He frowned, smoothing a hand over the sheets there, and propped himself up, deep in thought.

Only a few minutes later, the door swung open and Munakata entered, a cup in one hand, the other keeping his robe closed as he walked back over to the bed.
He set the coffee on the bedside table and crawled next to Fushimi, grabbing a fistful of the younger man’s bangs and smoothing them back from his face.
"Good morning," Munakata murmured, pressing a kiss to Fushimi’s lips, which was gladly reciprocated.
"Good morning," Fushimi answered after than had broken apart.

"I brought you some caffeine, but I’m afraid it’ll be a bit cold by the time you can drink it. I have a few other plans," the Blue King said, straddling his subordinate on the bed. He ran a palm over Fushimi’s neck, onto his chest and down to his stomach, appraising the purpling marks he’d left there the previous night as the teen had writhed under him, moaning more, and yes, and fuck that’s so good, please.

Fushimi clicked his tongue disapprovingly. “I think I’ll need at least some dose of caffeine. I don’t have unlimited energy, you know.”
Munakata simply gave him a sardonic smile.

 

-

The coffee was freezing by the time Fushimi finally took a sip of it, immediately spitting it back out and throwing the entire cup into the trash.

"Pisswater," he muttered to himself, and he heard Munakata give a deep chuckle from his place on the bed.