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"Otegine, You Baka"

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Ookurikara pressed his hands against the shower wall, letting the hot water run down his back, watching it swirl at his feet as it went down the drain. It was the fourth night in a row that he had arrived home before Otegine which was unusual. If it was that alone, he wouldn't have been bothered, but in the past two weeks they had missed movie nights, time together, and on a few occasions even dinner.

 

Throwing his head back to wash his hair, he let a long sigh. He knew the cafe was doing more business than they had expected but there seemed to be more that wasn't being said. Otegine wouldn't lie to him or purposefully keep information from him, but that didn't mean he wasn't missing something. Most likely, it was related to his partner's general nature of being too nice and taking on more than he should. Ookurikara felt that at times like this, the man's unlimited kindness was a not a good thing.

 

Out of the shower and half-dressed he stepped into the room and immediately spotted Otegine laying on the bed, asleep. Again. He was still dressed in his work clothes and Sargeant was already napping on his chest.

 

It looked like it had been long day, and probably another early evening. At least it gave him time to check out a few things before dinner. Grabbing a shirt, he pulled it over his head; leaving their apartment and entering the cafe through their private hallway.

 

The cafe was closed at this hour so he had the place to himself. Taking a quick look into the dining area everything looked clean and neat, just as the kitchen did; at least there was no appearance of falling behind, so this was good. His next stop was the refrigerator where he checked to see that things had been prepped for the morning, and again everything was completed and organized. Otegine might be doing extra work, but he was good at getting it all completed. For a moment he was proud of his partner, but at the same time not happy with it either.

 

Pulling his key to the office out of his pocket, he entered the room, flipping a lightswitch and giving the door a push behind him. A soft thud sounded as it closed, followed by the squeaking wheels of the office chair. Dropping down onto the seat he glanced around deciding what to look over first. The cafe legally belonged to both of them, but he had always considered it Otegine's cafe since it had been his dream. For this reason he left most of the business decisions to his partner unless he was pressed for input. But now he needed to get involved to find out what was taking time away from their personal life.

 

Thanks to Otegine's very detailed record-keeping he was able to figure out the problem in less than half of an hour. The cafe had another consistent increase in customers over the past month, but they had lost an employee. The initial popularity had strained the staff as it was, and now the continued increase with less people was definitely a problem.

 

“Otegine, you baka,” he said out loud as he flipped the notebook in front of him closed and shoved it back where it belonged. He knew exactly why his partner hadn't hired anyone new yet. It had taken him a few minutes to recall the conversation from two months previously, but looking over the spreadsheets he remembered Otegine talking about taking a certain percentage of the profits to help pay down the loan faster. The good thing was that this was a problem that could be easily fixed, and hopefully in a short time.

 

Back upstairs he returned to the bedroom finding Otegine and Sargeant just as he had left them. He considered letting his partner sleep a little longer, but they needed to talk and eat dinner. Leaning down towards the bed he placed his knee and a hand on one side, picking up Sargeant with his other hand and moved him away. As he started moving his other knee in between Otegine's legs, the kitten returned to its spot causing Ookurikara to glare at it.

 

“He's mine,” he whispered to the cat as he removed him again and pointed his finger, “Stay...”

 

“Otegine,” he called to his partner, waiting to see if he needed to shake him a little. He was about to call his name again when eyelids opened and a pair of brown eyes stared up at him as if they were trying to determine what he was.

 

“Kara...” Otegine blinked his eyes a few times, “I'm sorry, I was kind of tired.”

 

“Hire people,” Ookurikara stated.

 

“What?”

 

“Hire people for the cafe,” he clarified as a large hand reached up and wrapped around the back of his neck.

 

“That's not necessary, we're okay,” Otegine's smile was warm and confident, “I have everything covered.”

 

“I'm not okay,” Ookurikara looked at him intently.

 

“Oh,” the look in Otegine's face changed, understanding this was not a suggestion, “Alright, I'll hire someone.”

 

“Two...”

 

“Okay, two...” Otegine pulled him down for a kiss, using the opportunity to swap places; once he was on top he pulled his shirt off and let his hands drop to the bed next to Ookurikara's sides, “Are you still upset?”

 

“No.” It was his turn to pull Otegine down for a kiss as they both started tugging at shirts and kicking pants onto the floor. They were both needy, having missed an important part of their relationship for a few days and leaving them with no desire to waste anymore time.

 

Laying on the bed afterwards, their hands were locked with each other, they relaxed in a contented quietness for several minutes until it was easy to move.

 

“I'm gonna clean up and go make dinner while you take a shower.” Ookurikara squeezed his partner's hand and sat up, looking back at his face, happy to see the content look on it.

 

“Alright,” Otegine answered, “I'll be right there.”

 

“Don't fall asleep again.”

 

“Aha, no, I won't.” Otegine held out his hand to touch Ookurikara as he passed by, their fingers dragging across each other. His forehead wrinkled as he thought about the past several weeks. He knew he had been doing more than he should have, and even knew last week that it was starting to take its toll on him. Not only had he been coming home later, but falling asleep for an hour or so had taken the place of just resting his eyes for a few minutes. He kept telling himself it was only temporary, and probably would have continued if his partner hadn't said something. Well, not just something but specifically that he wasn't okay, which wasn't good. Despite Ookurikara appearing broody and uncommunicative, he wasn't; in fact, he had the ability to easily voice his thoughts in a very concise and effective manner.

 

He stopped at the entry to the bathroom where Ookurikara was coming out, giving him a quick kiss. “I won't be long.”

 

“No rush, dinner will take time.”

 

As suggested, he didn't hurry and used the time to plan out the things he needed to do to hire new people, but more importantly what he wanted to say to his partner. Ookurikara didn't need explanations or even really care for them, but he did need assurances that what he wanted would be taken care of and Otegine would make sure he had that.

 

At the entry of the kitchen, he leaned against the doorway watching his partner arranging their dinner on the table. Finished with the table, Ookurikara turned around, staring back. His dark skin and amber-colored eyes gave him an exotic look that Otegine loved along with everything else about him. He felt lucky that the anti-social man had been just social enough to open the door for him.

 

“What?”

 

“I was just thinking how glad I am that you decided to be broody at my workplace instead of some other bar.”

 

A small smile curved on Ookurikara's mouth, “Yeah, me too.”

 

Otegine approached him, grabbing his hips, “I'm sorry for the past few weeks. I'll start looking in the morning for some new hires and hopefully we'll get someone soon.”

 

“Okay. I'll help with next day prep work for a while. We can do it together.”

 

“You sure?” He didn't want the same thing happening to his partner, that he had done to himself.

 

“Yeah,” Ookurikara gave him a nod, “Dinner's ready.”

 

Otegine knew by the look on his partner's face that everything was fine, and aside from a few details that might need to be sorted out, the discussion was over. All they had to do now was get through however long it took to find someone.

 

They left the business of the cafe to the side as they ate dinner, choosing to spend the time sharing recent stories and making plans for a date night and a maybe play some basketball. It was simple talk and simple food, but it was normal and that's what they liked about it.

 

Shortly after dinner, once the last of the dishes had been put away, Ookurikara hung the towel to dry and grabbed a couple of beers.

 

“Movie or game?”

 

“What game?” Otegine took a bottle from him as they walked into their living room, “Oh wait, don't we have that movie rental?”

 

“Yeah,” he held up the case, “The Blob.”

 

“Ah yeah, that's one of the first ones we saw together.”

 

“Yeah. Wanna watch it?”

 

“Sure.”

 

Ookurikara set up the movie and turned off most of the lights, joining Otegine on the couch. His partner was already lounging the full length, leaving room for him to lay in front of him. Sliding in next to him he felt his partner's warm body at his back and an arm wrap around his waist. This was nice. He liked this couch and would never regret insisting it was the one they should purchase.

 

There were a few comments and sips of beer, but before the movie was even half over, the warmth and comfort of being with each other had lulled them to sleep on the couch, where they stayed until early morning when Otegine heard his phone alarm going off in the bedroom.

 

He felt a body sprawled across him with arms wrapped around his sides. There was no way he'd be able to get up without waking Ookurikara who didn't need to get up for another hour and a half. It would be better to let him keep sleeping; besides, regardless of how much extra work he would have to do later, holding Kara was the best way to start the day.