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Brushing things off

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It was fairly late at night, not that being awake at that late at night was unusual, especially for cram school teachers. There had been many nights where all of them had been up well into the morning, running almost solely on caffeine as they tried to put together a timetable that really should have been done weeks before the new term rather than days. Tonight thankfully wasn't as big a crunch as that, just tying up some metaphorical loose ends with forgotten paperwork. 

"Thanks for getting these for me." Yukio said as the other teacher placed a small stack papers on his desk. "I appreciate it." 

"It's nothing" The other replied, stifling a small yawn. 

He made to leave, but the tiredness in his voice didn't go unnoticed by Okumura. He looked up from the desk, an eyebrow raised. He noticed one thing immediately. 

"Hey," He began, frowning slightly. "Your hair is really messy... When did you last brush it?"

Neuhaus paused a few feet from the desk, turning back to him with his arms folded across his chest. 

"It's none of your concern." He answered, brushing off the comment.

"Well, it might as well be." Yukio said, leaning over the desk a little towards the other teacher, looking up at him with a slight pout. "I doesn't seem as though you're very concerned about it." 

"Ugh, It's really not a big problem..." The older of the two went to run a hand through his hair absent mindedly, but winced as it snagged in a tangle. 

Yukio narrowed his eyes slightly behind his lenses, before opening up a drawer in his desk and rifling through the contents with a focused look on his face. He should really organise it more often... His coworker watched questioningly as he sorted though it. 

Several small vials of Holy Water, a cherry lip balm he thought he'd lost and seemingly endless assorted sticky notes and other office supplies later, the twin plucked a comb from the drawer, sliding it shut with a soft thud as it closed fully. Pushing his chair out slightly, sideways to the desk, he leant down to pat the ground between his legs. 

"Sit!" He requested. "I'll do it for you." 

Neuhaus took a moment to process what he'd said, but when he did he still didn't quite get it. 

"...What?" He raised an eyebrow incredulously. 

"I said I'll do it for you." Yukio frowned, patting the ground in front of him again. "C'mon!" 

"You're not my mother, Okumura. I don't need you to take care of me." He looked down at the young teacher, unimpressed. 

"Well, I'm still your coworker! I don't see a problem with it." Yukio let out a little huff as he patted the floorboards again, then sat back up straight to meet the other's eyes with a look not unlike a stern parent. 

"...Fine." He said finally, glancing away. He walked around to behind the desk to sit down on the floor between Yukio's legs, facing away from him. "You're damn persistent... I don't see why you should care." 

Yukio chuckled softly, gaze softening as he turned the comb over in his palm. He opted to ignore the last little comment for now. Shifting slightly in his seat, he smiled. 

"See?" He lilted. "That wasn't so difficult." 

With that, Yukio set to combing through the other teacher's hair gently, the fine teeth on the comb making the job just a little easier. He'd work at the tangles with the comb, then follow on by raking his fingers through to feel for any he'd missed. If any remained he'd go over the section again, with the same careful gentility each and every time. 

He was about halfway done when he came across a stubborn tangle. Most of them had come out after a couple of tries, but this one was persistent...

Distracted due to his slight frustration, the comb slipped in his fingers, catching on the tangle and by extension pulling his hair. He felt the other flinch and pulled his hands away, fussing. 

"A-ah, sorry!" He flustered. "I'll be more careful..." 

"It's fine." Neuhaus assured. "I still don't see why you're bothering with this." 

Yukio went back to working at the tangles in the other's hair, a focused look coming over his face again. 

"You know, being clean and well groomed can have a direct effect on your performance."

Igor looked up slightly, a questioning look on his face, though Yukio couldn't see it properly. 

"Really?"

"Yeah. thought it might help, especially with how busy you are. Plus, you needed a break."

Neuhaus slowly because less tense as Yukio returned to his previous movements, more careful than before. He let out a soft, relaxed sigh. He'd been up even later than usual these past few days organising a class trip, and this little time to relax was certainly not going unappreciated.

"I suppose you're right..." He admitted tiredly. "All that paperwork for the Cram School trip could probably constitute as a form of torture."

Yukio laughed a little, smiling as he noticed the other relaxing. He always seemed so stressed, so he thought this would do some good.

"Remember," He reminded. "I can help you with it if you need it."

"I'll be fine..." He stopped mid sentence to yawn. He wouldn't admit it, but the attention was making him a little sleepy. "It's just tiring- I think Mephisto might have some kind of grudge against me, dumping all the work on me."

The older of the two leant to the side slightly, head coming to rest on the inside of Yukio's thigh. Feeling the contact, he looked down at him with a smile. At least he'd leant on the side of his head he'd already brushed- he could still continue without the position posing a problem.

"I guess I should really..." Neuhaus murmured, his steely blue eye falling shut. "Thank you..."

"Not a problem." Yukio chuckled, hands still following through gentle motions. "Can I ask what kept you up so late tonight?"

Yukio's smile dropped slightly at the lack of a reply. He leant forward to get a look at the other teacher's face, an eyebrow raised and one hand brought up to ensure his glasses didn't slip from his nose. His smile quickly returned upon realising that Neuhaus had fallen asleep, breaths deeper than they'd been previously and eye shut. He sat back up straight, returning to combing his hair gently. It was nice seeing him relaxed for once, the lines stress left on his face less prominent in a relaxed state.

There was no point waking him up just yet, anyway. He wasn't done with his work, carefully detangling his hair. Yukio could easily wake him up a little later, once he was finished. In any case, it seemed as though he needed the rest.