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from the lips to the tongue

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Izumi’s beauty isn’t an effortless thing. An endless amount of time and energy is put into polishing his appearance, into making him the best “Sena Izumi” he can be. The moments he’s spending now — standing at his mirror at some ungodly hour, small vial in hand — are only proof of that. He stares at his reflection with an immeasurable focus, so absorbed in his skincare routine that he remains oblivious to Ritsu watching. And oh, does Ritsu watch; he leans against the doorframe, half-lidded gaze never leaving Izumi despite sleep sitting crusty and heavy on his eyelids.

Izumi tips the vial, letting a small drop of something collect onto his finger before applying that same glob to his face with careful, practiced movements. Does the application have to be so precise, Ritsu wonders, or is this just yet another display of Izumi’s typical perfectionism? A small, sleepy smile curls his lips at the thought.

He watches Izumi continue to carry out his routine without speaking, without moving. It’s not an entirely interesting process, seeing Izumi shuffle through an assortment of creams and oils, but — this is nice. Just being here, in Izumi’s space and company, is nice.

Ritsu could be more in Izumi’s space, though. He pushes himself from the doorframe, slinking across the bathroom’s cold tiles and towards the other. Izumi doesn’t so much as glance his way, eyes narrowed at one bottle in particular, and that makes Ritsu’s approach all the sweeter. The mirror catches Ritsu’s reflection, and similarly, Izumi seems to catch the flicker of movement. His eyes flare a little wider, lips barely parting, but he doesn’t have the opportunity to say anything before Ritsu’s already draping himself over Izumi’s back.

Nestling his nose against Izumi’s neck, Ritsu presses a lazy kiss to his shoulder. “Secchan’s a horrible host,” he mutters, nuzzling ever closer. Izumi’s free hand drops from the counter to hold one of Ritsu’s own. “You forgot all about me...”

“I didn’t.” Despite his easy retort, Izumi sounds embarrassed. “I just figured you’d be a corpse for a few more hours.”

“Mmm, nope. It’s hard to sleep when my favourite pillow leaves me,” Ritsu says. The jet-lag makes things difficult, too, but Ritsu feels that Izumi is already quite aware of that. He stretches his mouth open; half-yawning, half-pretending to mouth at Izumi’s skin. “I think you owe me a sip for being so neglectful.”

Izumi pinches Ritsu’s hand. “Don’t be difficult,” he says, as if Ritsu is ever anything but. Ritsu doesn’t bother replying, drinking in the clean, soothing smell of Izumi’s cream-covered cheeks. “You know I have a strict schedule... And can’t you see that I’m in the middle of something? Just step back for a sec.”

“Ehhh....”

“Just for a second.”

Begrudgingly, Ritsu lets his arms slide from Izumi’s waist and does as told. He wasn’t cold before snuggling up to Izumi, but now he finds himself chilled by the space between them. A pout draws his lips downward as Izumi reaches forward pluck yet another cream from the counter. “Secchaaaan...”

“Stop whining.”

Ritsu huffs a quiet sigh, pulling his sleeves over his fingers and deciding not to push Izumi any further. It’s a little painful, resigning himself to waiting now. Even if Izumi asked him to move ‘just for a second’, even though most of the bottles lined on the counter have already served their purpose, Ritsu knows that much of Izumi’s morning routine still remains. He could be standing here for another thirty minutes at this rate — if not longer.

But just as he thinks so, Izumi turns to face him. His hand hovers at his side, hesitant and maybe a little unsure, before trailing upward to settle against Ritsu’s cheek. Cocking his head and nuzzling into the warmth of Izumi’s palm, Ritsu meets his gaze easily. He watches Izumi study him slowly, thoughtfully. He watches Izumi’s tongue dart to wet his bottom lip when his eyes drop to Ritsu’s own.

The bathroom is silent, save for their soft breathing — and then, even that is muffled as Izumi leans forward to press a kiss to Ritsu’s lips.

Really. A pleased, appreciative hum bubbles up Ritsu’s throat. Something gross and fond swells in his chest. It took Izumi long enough.

The kiss is chaste, sweet, and hardly lasts. Izumi draws away, swallowing hard as his hand falls to Ritsu’s shoulder. “Good morning,” he mutters, not quite looking Ritsu in the eye. His cheeks are tinged a little pink, making him just a little too cute, and Ritsu starts leaning back in.

“Hmm,” Ritsu breathes, “Were you waiting for me to wake up just to do that?”

Glancing back to Ritsu, Izumi’s eyes narrow. “That’s normal, right?” he says, taking a calculated step back. As he starts turning away, Ritsu notices that his blush is spreading to his ears. “Anyway. I’m not done here. Since you’re awake, go make breakfast or something.”

“Bossyyy,” Ritsu sing-songs. It sounds like a lot of work, first thing in the morning, and yet — it’s unusual for Izumi to be forthright with his affections. He’s still awkward and unsure, bumbling and difficult. While he might have been the one to close the distance between them, the one who looked at their “comfortable” relationship head-on and decided he wanted something different, he seems to struggle with the execution. That kiss, just like Izumi’s beauty, couldn’t have been effortless.

So, Ritsu supposes, perhaps he can put in a pinch more effort, too.