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a constellation in your skin

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It’s the sunlight that falls right on his face through the blinds that wakes Subaru up, hot and bright, and for a moment he considers stuffing his pillow over his face and sleeping an extra five minutes. It’s tempting, and he really does consider it, until he absently reaches out to his right and feels nothing but the comforter. He gropes around a little more until he’s certain that Hokuto isn’t there and then sighs to himself, knowing that going back to bed wasn’t much of an option anymore. 

He yawns as he stretches his limbs out in every which way—though he probably would’ve done that even if Hokuto had still been in bed—and sits upright, rubbing at his eyes. The sunlight feels much more pleasant now, and he basks in it a little longer before swinging his legs over the side of the bed. Subaru finds his pants folded on top of the nightstand and grins to himself, amused at the simple fact that Hokuto couldn’t stand to leave anything on the floor. He’ll probably get scolded for it, he thinks to himself as he reaches out to take them, getting one leg in before he realizes that he’d tossed two things onto the floor. 

Subaru frowns, pulling up the waistband and standing up, beginning an impromptu search around the room for any sign of the shirt he vaguely remembers throwing off to the side. He peers over the other side of the bed, and double-checks the other nightstand, and even looks into Hokuto’s hamper despite knowing that he hated mixing laundry together, and ends up shirtless and thoroughly confused. He knows that he could just go across the hall and into his own room and fish around for a clean one, but even that much effort sounds unpleasant after just waking up. Plus, he realizes, the faint smell of cooked food is far more enticing. His stomach grumbles low in response to it, and from there, it’s easy to make up his mind to head to the kitchen instead. Priorities, he thinks to himself with quite some pride. 

He leaves the door to Hokuto’s room ajar as he steps out into the hallway, stretching out his arms a little bit more as he starts walking. It opens up into the living room: a couch and two armchairs surrounding a coffee table and facing the television, half-separated from the kitchen by a counter with four stools on the living room side. The kitchen is as clean as ever thanks to the infamous Hokke-Mao “put your dishes in the dishwasher or so help me” duo, and Subaru nearly laughs when he sees that the sink is empty this morning and the countertop looks like it’s been wiped down. 

The laugh dies before it can escape his throat, though, when he looks at Hokuto’s back—at what looks a little too much like the shirt Subaru had just spent five minutes looking for. His mouth feels dry all of a sudden, and he almost doesn’t hear the faint and familiar tune that Hokuto’s humming to himself as his eyes trail down to his sweatpants. He bets to himself that Hokuto might’ve stolen those from him, too, if they wouldn’t fall right off his hips.

Subaru makes just enough noise to alert Hokuto of his presence before wrapping his arms around his waist; Hokuto was surprisingly jumpy when startled, and Subaru figures a hot pan might not mix too well with that. A hot pan full of eggs, he notes as he peers over his shoulder and immediately breaks into a grin. He gives Hokuto’s waist a little squeeze instead of saying anything, a happy hum against his lips before he suddenly remembers something of apparently greater interest than the eggs. Subaru flattens his palm over Hokuto’s left side, dragging it along slowly and pulling the t-shirt out of the way with his other hand so that he could slip his fingertips beneath the waistband of Hokuto’s sweatpants. He thumbs it down just enough to look at the jut of his hip, his eyes catching the black ink and tracing the pattern of the Pleiades, smiling to himself as he thinks about the dull aching on his right side from his own. 

“Still hurt?” Subaru finds himself asking, gently brushing the side of his thumb over the irritated skin. His voice is still gravelly with sleep.

“It’s fine,” Hokuto answers simply, watching the egg whites begin to solidify around the yolk. “A little sore.” 

Subaru has the vague idea that their names are actually pretty funny, because the morning star doesn’t wake up until nine and the night hawk goes to bed at ten-thirty. But hey, at least they had the constellations going for them, he thinks as he rubs little circles into the reddened skin on Hokuto’s hip, wondering if maybe they should’ve just gone straight to bed last night.

On second thought, no, he doesn’t regret it at all.

“Go sit down,” Hokuto says, nudging Subaru with his elbow. “It’s almost done.” 

Subaru reluctantly pulls himself off of Hokuto, partially surprised that he hadn’t told Subaru to go get another shirt. Or maybe he’s glad that I didn’t, chimes a smug little voice in his head as he walks around the counter and hops up on a stool. He presses his palm up against his cheek, leaning against it and smiling patiently as he watches Hokuto arrange two pieces of toast onto a plate and slides two sunny-side eggs on top of them. The plate is put up on the counter, and then Hokuto returns a minute later with a carton of orange juice in one hand and a glass in the other. 

He’s too enamored with the simplicity of the morning routine to really notice it until Hokuto is pouring the juice into the glass; that’s when he notices the slight tremor in Hokuto’s hand, and suddenly Subaru realizes what’s happening. He glances up and finds the twitch in the corner of Hokuto’s lips, and starts counting how many times he blinks, and vaguely recalls that he’d shifted quite a bit when Subaru’s arms were around him despite the fact that Subaru hadn’t particularly startled him with it. By the time that Hokuto puts the carton down, Subaru figures that it’s obvious to him now. 

“Hokke,” he says bluntly, “you’re anxious.”

“What?” Hokuto answers much too quickly, and Subaru wonders how he possibly survives up on stage when he’s this hopeless off of it. “I’m not. I’m not anxious—eat your breakfast.” 

Subaru frowns as Hokuto goes to pour a second glass for himself before Subaru has a chance to say anything. Subaru settles instead for putting his chin in his hands and squinting at him, trying to see through his head and into his thoughts. Hokuto does that awful thing where he stares into space as he drinks, as if his mind were elsewhere, and Subaru wracks his own mind for any reason why Hokuto would be on edge when he’s pretty certain that last night was the best night he’s had since their first date—

“—Oh,” Subaru breathes out, his expression slowly sinking. “You regret it.”

“Wha—what?” Hokuto swivels his head to look at him, and for a moment Subaru is worried that he might drop the glass altogether. “ What? No, that’s not—”

Hokke,” Subaru says pointedly, “if you didn’t want to do it, you shouldn’t have let me—” 

“I like it,” Hokuto retorts defensively, setting the glass down on the counter. “I like it a lot.” 

“Then what’s up?” Subaru insists, starting to feel the onset of anxiety in his own chest. “Hokke, you always eat breakfast. Something’s bothering you.”

Hokuto drums his fingers on the countertop for a minute, looking down at them quietly. Subaru watches with tight lips, suddenly feeling too nervous to take a bite of his food despite how good it smells beneath him. The possibilities all stir up in his mind, and his stomach churns a bit when Hokuto finally takes one more sip of his drink before walking back over to him. He folds his hands on the lower part of the counter and looks up at him, twiddling his thumbs as he tries to find the words. Subaru’s impatient, starting to tap his foot against the footrest of his stool, but doesn’t make any attempt to interrupt Hokuto’s train of thought in hopes that maybe he’ll just come out with it already. 

“I,” Hokuto starts, and Subaru’s involuntarily perks up at the word, “wanted…to ask you something.”

“Okay,” Subaru breathes out, his shoulders feeling tight. “Ask.”

Hokuto starts to hesitate, and the butterflies in Subaru’s stomach only grow more intense at the wait. He suddenly thinks that maybe he should’ve grabbed that extra shirt after all, in case Hokuto is about to kick him out or something, or say that he wants space, or that something about last night was just too much for him—God, Subaru thinks, please don’t say anything like that. He doesn’t think he’d be able to eat at all if it was like that; not when he’d woken up so satisfied and had just been thinking about how much he loved the time he spent with Hokuto. He watches Hokuto’s uncertain expression as he mulls over every worst-case scenario that he can think off, feeling more and more like getting back into bed and curling up under the covers with each passing second.

“I—I won’t get upset, or anything, Hokke,” Subaru says softly, hoping that he’d be able to fake it enough to stay true to his word. “So just…just ask me, okay?”

Hokuto exhales slowly, nodding, letting his eyes flutter shut for a couple of moments. Subaru hears his heart pound in his ears like a drum. 

“I…think,” Hokuto says quietly, “that we should live together, Akehoshi.”

Subaru stares blankly at him as the room falls silent, the only sound remaining being the tick-tock, tick-tock of the clock, which sounds infinitely more slow than it did a couple of seconds ago. Hokuto stares down at the countertop, swallowing thickly and twiddling his thumbs, looking as though he’d just confessed a murder. Subaru looks at him for a couple moments longer purely because his words just haven’t processed yet, his brows furrowed together and his lips parted, not forming around any particular sound. 

“…We already live together,” Subaru whispers, still holding his breath out of either fear or shock—he can’t tell which. 

“I—I know that,” Hokuto answers, his cheeks turning a particularly vivid shade of pink. “I meant that…I think—it should be you and I. You know—just us. Without…”

He trails off, looking so embarrassed with himself that Subaru almost feels bad for him. Subaru holds his breath for all of two more seconds before he’s positive that Hokuto isn’t going to say anything else, and then it all sweeps out of him at once, deflating his chest until it nearly caves in. 

“Hokke, you’re the worst,” he nearly gasps, letting his head fall forwards and hang over his plate. “God…” 

“I didn’t mean—”

“You scared the hell out of me,” Subaru clarifies quickly with a little laugh before Hokuto can take it the wrong way, bringing a hand up to comb through his own messy bed-head. “I thought you were actually going to say something bad, like you’re really sick or you secretly hate me, or something…”

“Wh—no, no, I didn’t mean it like—I’m sorry, I wasn’t trying to—I—” 

Hokke,” Subaru laughs, “just breathe for a sec…your words are getting all jumbled up!” 

Hokuto averts his gaze, evidently embarrassed by his slurred and mixed-up words. It reassures Subaru further, because he knows Hokuto only gets that way when he’s feeling too many things at once, and usually when it’s good. It was why he’d been able to tell Subaru so calmly that he was leaving two years ago, and why he’d nearly choked on his own spit on stage when they’d won SS last year. It was cute, Subaru had always thought to himself, because Hokuto liked to wear cold expressions and acted like a true professional, and there was nothing that flustered him more than losing his cool.

And there was nothing that Subaru liked more than seeing it. He thinks he might’ve readily agreed to marry him—forget just moving in with him—if Hokuto’s idea of asking him involved wearing his t-shirts and making him breakfast and getting too flustered to finish his sentences. 

“Sorry,” Hokuto mumbles after a couple of moments, chewing on his lip.

“About stealing my shirt? ‘Cause you can always give it back if you’re getting tired of seeing me naked.” 

Akehoshi,” Hokuto groans, exasperated, and puts his reddened face into his hands.

“Okay, okay, I’m sorry,” he says as he stifles his laughter, but can’t quite get rid of his grin. He couldn’t help it—Hokuto made it too easy when he was flustered, and even if it was a little cruel, he had to tease him at least once. Especially considering the near-heart attack that Hokuto had given him just a minute prior. “Was that really it, Hokke? What got you all bothered?”

Hokuto sighs, slowly lifting his head back up.

“I just…I think that if we want to…”

He glances up momentarily at Subaru, who stares back at him expectantly. Hokuto clears his throat.

“…If we want to…do things together, then I’d rather not have to worry about Yuuki or Isara.”

“M~hm,” Subaru hums, amusement dancing in his eyes as he looks at Hokuto in a silent encouragement for him to keep talking, and Hokuto vaguely thinks that Subaru just might be a sadist. 

“Because…Sakuma and Sena have their own places, so it’s more troublesome for us—but, I know this year has been really good together, and we’ve had a lot of fun and all, but I was thinking that maybe it would be nice if—”

He looks up reluctantly, just in time to watch Subaru take a big bite of his egg-on-toast, still staring at him and wearing a grin that tempts Hokuto to fling himself over the counter and go right for his neck. That bastard.

“—Stop it, Akehoshi.” 

I’m not doing anything, Hokke.”

Ah, Hokuto’s pouting now, Subaru observes with great satisfaction. He wishes he could take a picture; Hokuto’s cuter expressions were a rarity with that princely persona of his. But Subaru thinks he’s tormented him enough given the circumstances, so he takes another bite of his food and considers the suggestion more seriously.

“Hokke,” he hums, and Hokuto immediately looks back at him—ah, so cute. “I like it. I wanna wake up in Hokke’s bed every day! In fact, I think that I hate sleeping alone now!”

Hokuto crosses his arms, looking just a little bit uncertain still, as though he weren’t expecting it to be so easy.

“And what about Yuuki and Isara?”

“Huh? We see Ukki and Sari every day, don’t we?” Subaru asks, pausing to take a sip of his drink. “I mean, honestly, I think we’re kinda doing them a favor, if that’s the kind of stuff you want to—”

“I told you to stop that!” Hokuto sputters, grabbing and throwing the nearest dishcloth at Subaru as though it would actually do something other than make him laugh harder. “You know I’m not—” 

“I know, I know,” Subaru insists through fits of laughter, tossing the cloth back and beginning to recollect himself. “Listen, Ukki and Sari would understand more than anyone, you know? I mean, I’m surprised their boyfriends haven’t asked them to move in yet, considering how weird they are…”

“…You’re not calling me weird, are you?” Hokuto asks quietly, sounding just a little bit self-conscious for a moment. “Because, if it’s too soon…”

“It’s not weird!” Subaru answers quickly, shaking his head. “I mean, we’re all living in apartment-dorm-things here anyway, so it’s not like we’re buying a house or anything…it’s like being roommates, right?” 

Hokuto nods, looking a bit more reassured. Subaru smiles at this, picking up the last bite of his toast and leaning up and over the counter, holding it up to Hokuto’s lips. He sighs, reluctantly leaning forwards and taking it into his mouth, his lips brushing momentarily against Subaru’s fingertips and making them tingle with a brief spark of electricity. 

“I’m really glad, Hokke,” Subaru says gently, balancing himself on his elbows as he looks at him. “I want to do it. All the rooming stuff is renewed next month, right? So let’s do it, Hokke.”

“You’re sure?”

“I mean, I was kinda hoping that the tattoo would be reassuring enough…”

Hokuto finally smiles at that, a little chuckle escaping his lips as he nods slowly.

“God, I can’t believe we did that.”

“But it was fun, wasn’t it!?” Subaru retorts, grinning as he jumps down off of the stool and practically bounces at Hokuto’s side. “Hokke, let me see it again! Please? Pleaaase?” 

“Haven’t you looked at it enough already?” Hokuto mutters, averting his gaze as Subaru wraps his arms around his waist. “I’m not bugging you to look at yours…”

“You can look at mine!” Subaru responds eagerly, already starting to untie his sweatpants and shove down the waistband. “Look, it doesn’t even hurt that much anymore—” 

“Would you—stop that, keep your pants on! Go finish eating—Akehoshi!

“Ow, ow!” Subaru cries as Hokuto fishes for the dishcloth and starts lashing it like some sort of whip. He puffs out his cheek in a pout, tying his sweatpants back up. “Hokke, that’s mean! I thought we were gonna live together!”

“We are,” Hokuto says, frowning at him as he crosses his arms. “Come on, go finish your food. Don’t make me regret asking already.” 

Hokke~,” Subaru whines, deciding to pull out his infamous puppy eyes in hopes of hitting a weakness. He shuffles a little bit closer to him, puffing out his lip to complete the display. Hokuto looks at him quietly for a few moments before sighing heavily.

“Fine,” he mumbles, looking away. “One more time.”

Subaru grins at this, immediately stepping forwards and taking hold of Hokuto’s waist. He smiles against Hokuto’s lips as he kisses him, vaguely hoping that he doesn’t taste too much like eggs and toast; but with the way Hokuto kisses him back, he figures that he wouldn't care anyway. Subaru takes one hand from his waist and lifts it up to caress his cheek instead, gazing at him with bright eyes.

“I’m not getting that shirt back, am I?”

Hokuto hums softly, looking at Subaru for a moment longer before he starts to laugh. He brings his hands up, running his fingers through the messy tangles of Subaru’s hair.

“I don’t think so,” Hokuto whispers, smiling as he kisses him again.