Above the noise of the television the sound of rain hitting the roof on windows was loud enough for everyone in the Matsuno residence to hear. In this kind of weather going to the bathhouse was definitely a no, so while the dinner they just finished devouring settled on their stomachs they had opted to watch something and pass the time.
Matsuyo had long since picked up the dirty dishes her sons left on the table, and the five present sextuplets continued to quietly stare at the screen. Jyushimatsu and Ichimatsu had abandoned their spots on the table to sit closer to the television, and hadn’t Choromatsu felt so lethargic he would have reprimanded them to move a few centimeters back so they wouldn’t hurt their eyes.
It was at times like these that Choromatsu shrugged it off and reminded himself that his brothers were adults and were capable of facing the consequences of their actions. He was too tired to spare them a thought anyways. He was also too tired to drag himself upstairs, change his clothes and put out the futon, which is he why he hadn’t bothered moving from his spot on the table. If he was lucky one of his brothers would carry him upstairs after he passed out.
His eyes started feeling heavy, but blinked them open again when next to him a high pitched whine snapped him awake once again.
“Why is it so cold?” Todomatsu whimpered and held the blanket around his shoulders tightly against him.
By his side Karamatsu held the young sextuplet closer to his body and shushed him reassuringly. Todomatsu accepted the gesture and hid his face on Karamatsu’s shoulder with a pleased hum.
Choromatsu sighed. Seriously, Todomatsu was the one that complained the most whenever he got sick. He was an adult goddammit, he shouldn’t have to cuddle against his older brother like a child just because he was feeling cold. Todomatsu could only get away with that kind of thing because he knew Karamatsu and Osomatsu couldn’t resist those big shimmering eyes of his.
Footsteps were suddenly heard coming from upstairs and the shoji was opened for Osomatsu to peek in with an umbrella already in hand.
“Moooom!” Osomatsu called out loudly for her, and despite the volume all brothers ignored his presence. “What is it I have to get at the pharmacy again?”
“Flu medicine!” Came the reply from inside the kitchen.
The shoji closed once again, and everyone listened to Osomatsu put on his shoes before exiting the house. At least with this weather the eldest wouldn’t take his sweet time coming back, but props to him for volunteering to get the medicine either way.
“Ah you’re so warm Karamatsu-niisan.” Todomatsu sighed contently, hugging his brother’s arm to his chest. “It feels nice… I hate feeling cold.”
“I’m glad to be of help brother. But don’t worry, Osomatsu will be back with your medicine soon and you’ll be feeling better in no time.”
“I hope so.”
This time around Choromatsu had succeeded in filtering the voices of his brothers so they didn’t bother him anymore, but as his eyes started falling once again with the promise of a peaceful sleep, the heat of a burning flame suddenly lit inside his chest. Choromatsu shuddered, the symptom all too familiar and slowly reaching for every corner in his body.
Ugh, was that why he was feeling so tired? Go figure. Now he couldn’t pass out on the table like he had originally planned to. Great.
Sighing exasperated and mumbling something under his breath Choromatsu forced himself to stand up with wobbly legs, focusing his energy on getting himself upstairs rather than wasting it talking to his siblings. Through sheer determination of not collapsing on the floor Choromatsu succeeded in dragging himself upstairs and making it to their room.
At this point he was able to move on autopilot, grabbing blankets and pillows from their designated drawer for nest-building and arranging them on a corner. Once he was satisfied with the decently built nest Choromatsu made his way to the closet and picked out at random a bunch of Osomatsu and Karamatsu’s hoodies.
An unpleasant shiver ran down his spine and he put on a blue one over him before returning to the nest and curling up in the center with the rest of the hoodies covering his body like a blanket.
Choromatsu took in a deep breath and moaned feeling a little relieved, the pleasant scent of his brothers already working their magic and allowing his body to relax. Luckily he was able to get everything ready before his symptoms got too bothersome. Being tucked so safely with the smell of his alphas around him only lulled Choromatsu further to sleep, but another shiver crawled all the way down from his shoulders to his back.
Choromatsu opened his eyes annoyed and curled up further into himself to retain his body heat. Why the hell was he getting shivers? He already had everything he needed. Maybe if Karamatsu was with him it’d get better?
He sighed frustrated, cursing himself for not letting Karamatsu know he had gotten into heat, and as he was right then he really didn’t feel in the condition to go back downstairs and let him know. Hopefully his brother would eventually pick up his scent.
Choromatsu closed his eyes in defeat, deciding to try to get some sleep until that happened.
Todomatsu could stay cuddled up against Karamatsu for the rest of his life. It was warm and comforting, it almost made it worth he got sick just to have a valid excuse to hog his older brother to himself. Although if he had to let go of him nothing stopped Todomatsu from latching onto Osomatsu instead, he knew the eldest would never refuse physical contact with his brothers anyway.
But wouldn’t it be great if he fell asleep against Karamatsu before Osomatsu came back with his medicine? Knowing the second eldest he’d carry him upstairs and put out the futon for him so he could rest comfortably. Ah, and maybe Karamatsu would wake him up with a cup of tea so he took his medicine too; just the thought made Todomatsu smile. He loved being pampered by his alpha brothers.
Todomatsu yawned and continued to watch the television screen absentmindedly, eyes half lidded and starting to feel heavy. A commercial for what seemed to be the new album of Nyaa-chan came up and Todomatsu couldn’t help smiling when Jyushimatsu started waving his arms in rhythm.
“I recognize that song!” Jyushimatsu laughed. “Choromatsu-niisan has been listening to it!”
“Ah yes he bought the album the same day it went on sale didn’t it? He had been saving up money for a while.” Karamatsu pointed out. The fact that Choromatsu managed to save up money wasn’t impressive because he contained himself from spending it, but because he succeeded in keeping it hidden from the others -especially Osomatsu-.
“It’s a nice song! Right Choromatsu-niisan?”
Jyushimatsu turned back to look at the third eldest only to tilt his head confused to find his spot on the table empty. Hadn’t he been sitting there a moment ago? Jyushimatsu didn’t even notice when he had left.
“Eh? Where did Choromatsu-niisan go?”
Ichimatsu and Todomatsu dismissed the absence of the third eldest, but Karamatsu frowned concerned that he had left so quietly. Usually he’d either announce where he was going or would make enough noise just with his footsteps to indicate he was leaving. Had something happened?
Suddenly Karamatsu noticed a peculiar smell wafting through the air. It was faint, but it was noticeable enough and he didn’t recall it being there a few minutes ago. He closed his eyes in concentration to try and heighten his sense of smell, and soon enough recognized the sweet scent of cinnamon.
Choromatsu was in heat.
He needed to be with him.
“Sorry Todomatsu.” Karamatsu smiled sadly and softly dislodged Todomatsu from his shoulder, causing the young omega to whine at the disturbance. “But Choromatsu is in heat, I should go with him.”
“E-Eh?” Todomatsu watched confused as Karamatsu stood up from where he had been seated on the floor. Just when he was so comfortable Karamatsu was going to leave him? “But-!”
“Don’t worry brother.” Karamatsu reassured softly while patting his head. “I’m sure Osomatsu will be back soon.”
And with that statement Karamatsu left the living room to make his way upstairs. Indignant to be abandoned so mercilessly in his time of need Todomatsu pouted annoyed; Choromatsu had probably already built a nest, he should be fine! On the other hand Todomatsu wasn’t going to feel any better until he got his medicine!
As in cruel reminder another shiver crawled down Todomatsu’s back and the young sextuplet grimaced in discomfort. Maybe he could get warm with another one of his brothers?
“Ichimatsu-niisan...” Todomatsu called sweetly. “Can I cuddle up to you please? I’m so cold!”
Ichimatsu turned to look apathetically at his younger sibling, not fazed in the slightest by those begging shining eyes.
“And get me sick too? No thanks.”
“Ugh you’re so mean Ichimatsu-niisan!” Todomatsu harrumphed annoyed. How could he be so heartless? Didn’t he realize how much his poor younger brother was suffering?
Ichimatsu merely shrugged in response and focused back on the television.
Maybe Todomatsu had been too naive to believe Ichimatsu would indulge him, but surely out of everyone Jyushimatsu wouldn’t mind lending him a shoulder?
“Then can I cuddle up to you Jyushimatsu-niisan?” Todomatsu perked up with a hopeful glint in his eyes.
Although Jyushimatsu’s smile didn’t falter his eyes narrowed suspiciously as he thought it over.
“But you’re going to steal my warmth aren’t you Totty? You know I hate being cold!” Jyushimatsu crossed his arms over his chest in an ‘X’ and started frantically shaking his head. “No way! This warmth is mine!”
“Oh come on!” Todomatsu growled exasperated and started rubbing his hands together in a feeble attempt to keep himself warm. “You guys are assholes.”
Following the smell to their bedroom Karamatsu quickly spotted Choromatsu curled up in his nest buried beneath a red and blue mountain of hoodies. His eyes were closed, but his breathing was laboured and he seemed to be shivering so he definitely wasn’t asleep. His heat must have hit him hard.
Softly Karamatsu closed the shoji and when he started stepping in further inside the room Choromatsu peeked an eye open.
“Hey.” Karamatsu greeted softly, aware that the use of the honorific meant Choromatsu really did need his older brother nearby. “How are you feeling?”
“Cold.” Choromatsu frowned. Despite being submerged in the soothing smell of his alpha siblings the unpleasant feeling didn’t relent; it was frustrating.
Karamatsu knelt down right in front of Choromatsu and patted his head. The instant his palm came in contact with Choromatsu’s hair the third eldest leaned into the touch.
“Is it okay if I join you?”
Choromatsu nodded. It was more than okay; he was sure the presence of his older brother would alleviate most of his discomfort.
Careful to not disturb him much Karamatsu stepped inside the nest and sat down right next to him. The close proximity to his omega sibling clearly seemed to help as Choromatsu quickly scooted close enough to lie his head on Karamatsu’s lap, his body relaxing and a soft relieved sigh leaving his lips as soon as he made himself comfortable.
“Better?” Karamatsu asked as he started caressing Choromatsu’s hair.
“Hmm… a little. Still cold.”
Karamatsu hummed in acknowledgement. Maybe if he stayed long enough Choromatsu would eventually feel better, but Karamatsu couldn’t help worrying over the fact that his brother was feeling like this in the first place.
Just as the name pointed it out heats were supposed to be hot, not cold. Warmth irradiated from an omega’s body like a furnace, and if they weren’t tended to appropriately they’d start sweating. That he recalled neither Choromatsu nor Todomatsu had ever complained of feeling cold during their heats, so what changed?
Ah, maybe it had something to do with the fact that Choromatsu hadn’t been marked lately? Now that he was in his heat he needed it more than ever, so it would make sense that his body reacted that way.
Choromatsu groaned annoyed when Karamatsu stopped caressing his hair and looked up with a frown that practically spelled out ‘why did you stop?’. Karamatsu chuckled fondly and watched as his brother’s frown melted into a smile as soon as he started rubbing his wrist against Choromatsu’s temple.
Getting marked was the best while in heat. It was like a switch had been flipped in his body and he could only feel the slow yet firm soothing movements of his brother’s wrists. There wasn’t a feeling that could emulate how much it relaxed him.
Choromatsu’s chest vibrated as he purred, but the moment was short lived as another shiver ran down his spine. Choromatsu fidgeted and whined annoyed that he had been disturbed so mercilessly, prompting Karamatsu to stop his ministrations and look down both confused and worriedly at his brother.
So it wasn’t working?
Before he could think of anything else however the shoji to the bedroom was burst open, and Karamatsu looked up in surprise to see Todomatsu rush in with an obvious indignant scowl on his features.
“Karamatsu-niisan!” Todomatsu whined as he crossed the room in hurried strides.
The outburst agitated Choromatsu, causing him to growl something under his breath, but Karamatsu was quick to shush him and encourage him to relax once again with gentle pats on his head.
“It’s so cold!” Todomatsu wailed exaggeratedly and invited himself to enter the nest and sit by Karamatsu’s other side, being quick to wrap his arms around the alpha’s torso. “Osomatsu-niisan is taking too long and no one will help me get warm!”
Karamatsu widened his eyes with realization.
But of course! Choromatsu wasn’t feeling cold because of his heat -that was practically impossible-, he must have gotten sick too!
“Ugh how didn’t I think about it? Not only am I in heat but you also got me sick Todomatsu. We should’ve locked you up somewhere so you didn’t infect anyone else.” Choromatsu opened his eyes to half-heartedly glare at his brother as he too connected the dots. Todomatsu stuck his tongue out angrily in response. “You asshole.”
“It’s not like I wanted to get sick in the first place!”
“Then at least be mindful of others goddammit...”
“You knew your heat was coming so you should have been more careful!”
“Now, now brothers!” Karamatsu interrupted them both. Being in the middle of the discussion he took advantage of his position to keep Choromatsu and Todomatsu away from each other with his arms. They wouldn’t be jumping at each other on his watch. “I’m certain Osomatsu will be back very soon, so how about we wait for him together hmm?”
There still seemed to be a little fight inside them both, but when Karamatsu started caressing their heads he heard simultaneous sighs of relief before Choromatsu and Todomatsu relaxed against him. Any other day they would definitely continued arguing, but both omegas were too sick and cold to bother, especially with Karamatsu there encouraging them to calm down.
It didn’t take long for Todomatsu to fall asleep against his brother, and Choromatsu had gotten so drowsy he thought he might actually succumb too if his body stopped getting shivers so often.
He was so close to falling asleep, and how couldn’t he when Karamatsu was being so attentive and caring? Throughout his childhood before he presented and during his teenage years Choromatsu had always been warned that alphas were violent and aggressive, especially when they wanted to get something they weren’t supposed to have. But Karamatsu? Karamatsu was always so gentle and kind with him and Todomatsu.
It was common knowledge that alphas would only be caring with their partners, yet both Osomatsu and Karamatsu always went out of their way to look after him and Todomatsu even when they weren’t in heat. Most alphas didn’t do that. Choromatsu always thought it had something to do with the fact that they were already close before presenting -and sextuplets of course-.
So if Karamatsu was already so thoughtful and caring with his brothers, without a doubt one day he’d be even more loving to the lucky omega that got him as partner.
He could already picture it. Karamatsu would be head over heels for this omega, tending to their every need, never leaving their side during heats and going to great lengths to keep them safe. He’d be so happy. And if he had children with this omega? Karamatsu would definitely be over the moon.
Choromatsu sighed sadly, the thought causing a bitter feeling to settle in his gut. As happy as he would be for him Choromatsu couldn’t help feeling sad over losing his brother. Was he being greedy? Probably, and he was sure Todomatsu would agree with him. He didn’t want to share his older brother with anyone else.
But it’s not like Choromatsu could do anything about it if that really were to happen. Yes, he’d be beyond jealous that a new omega would take all of Karamatsu’s attention, but he didn’t plan on sabotaging his brother’s happiness.
So then did that mean that when Karamatsu found a partner he wouldn’t be looking after him and Todomatsu anymore?
No… no way. Karamatsu wouldn’t just throw them away like that.
“Karamatsu-niisan?” Choromatsu murmured.
“Hmm?” Karamatsu hummed in acknowledgement, his previously closed eyes opening to look down at the third eldest with a fond smile.
“Will you… will you leave me and Todomatsu when you find a partner?”
“Eh?” Karamatsu blinked taken aback. A partner? Leaving Choromatsu and Todomatsu? Where was this coming from? “What do you mean Choromatsu?”
Choromatsu averted his eyes timidly.
“W-Well, you’re a very caring alpha. You’re always taking good care of me and Todomatsu, so I wouldn’t be surprised if an omega realized how much of a good alpha you are and wanted you as partner.”
“That’s… that’s very kind of you Chromatsu.” Karamatsu smiled flattered, but he couldn’t really dismiss how obviously upset Choromatsu was. “But I assure you that I’d never leave the two of you by yourselves. Did you forget? You have Osomatsu too, and he worries about you just as much as I do.”
That was true. Technically Choromatsu and Todomatsu could make do just fine with one alpha, but after years of being looked after by his two alpha siblings he had already gotten used to it. Osomatsu by himself couldn’t provide the same attention that he did alongside Karamatsu.
There was that, and also the fact that he couldn’t deny he and Todomatsu sometimes tended to be greedy even with each other. It was a common occurrence that one of them got jealous over all the attention the sibling in heat was getting.
“I know but...” Choromatsu frowned bashfully, feeling his cheeks grow warmer. “I want the two of you.”
Karamatsu felt his heart jump endeared inside his chest.
Ah, his little brothers were so adorable… how could he not give them everything they asked for?
“Well then,” Karamatsu’s eyes softened and a broad tender smile curved up his lips. “if that’s what you want I’ll find the way to take care of both you and my future partner at the same time.”
Choromatsu’s eyes visibly lit up with relief, but the embarrassing meaning behind the words he had just said hit him suddenly, and the third eldest hastily turned away to hide his face on Karamatsu’s lap. The sweet baritone laugh that came after made Choromatsu curl up further into himself in shame.
“Oh here you are Todomatsu~!”
The shoji was burst open once again and both omegas groaned annoyed by the loud disturbance.
“I got your medicine!” Osomatsu announced as he raised the bag in his hands for the young sextuplet to see, but immediately raised his eyebrows in surprise as he sniffed the air. “Choromatsu you’re in heat? No worries! Onii-chan will mark you after he gives Totty his medicine.”
“Actually Choromatsu is sick too, Aniki.” Karamatsu clarified.
“In heat and sick too? Ouch, poor Choro-chan! But it’s okay, there’s enough medicine for the two of you.”
“Thanks Osomatsu-niisan.” Todomatsu said weakly.
“I’ll be right back with some glasses of water.” Osomatsu waved as he exited the bedroom, not bothering to close the shoji since he’d be returning shortly after.
“Ugh, finally.” Todomatsu mumbled against Karamatsu’s shoulder. “Someone as cute as me shouldn’t be getting sick…”
“I just want to sleep… that’s all I want...” Choromatsu sighed exasperated.
“Shh, it’s okay brothers.” Karamatsu reassured them both in a gentle whisper. “After you take your medicine you can sleep all you want; you’ll feel better in no time.”
That sounded wonderful. A soft smile adorned Choromatsu’s features as his body would soon be relieved of its burdens right after his heart had also been comforted. He could finally sleep peacefully.
“Will you still be with us when we wake up?” Choromatsu asked airily, his eyes already closed despite knowing it wouldn’t take long for Osomatsu to return.
“I will. I promise.”