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Surprise Appearance

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Hide was sitting on the couch and watching a crappy television show, a glass of water lifted to his lips, when the doorbell rang. Hide's brow furrowed in confusion, as he wasn't expecting anyone tonight. He gingerly put his glass down and made his way to the door as quietly as he could. He could never be too careful, especially since he had taken the job with the CCG. He peeked through the small hole and his eyes widened.

His hood was up, white hair poking out from under it and his face was obscured, but Hide would recognize that posture and awkward way of standing anywhere.

"Kaneki!" Hide threw the door open, hurtling himself at the man who stood on his doorstep. Hide tackled him into a hug, almost sending them flying down to the ground, if it wasn't for Kaneki's quick reflexes. Hide held him tight for a minute or so before finally releasing him. "Come in!"

"Yeah." Kaneki picked up the bags he had dropped when Hide tackled him and followed him inside. It looked the same as it always did, if but a little messier than usual. Hide looked a little different too, with his hair growing out.

"Do you want something to drink?" Hide asked, making his way to the kitchen. Kaneki followed, putting his bags on the counter.

"Water is good."

"Okay!" Hide heard a rustling behind him as he poured Kaneki a glass.

"Sorry, I didn't get you a cake. But, uh – I got popcorn?" Kaneki held up the un-popped bag with an uneasy smile. "Happy Birthday." In his other hand was a medium-sized box.

Kaneki exchanged Hide's gift for his glass of water. Hide moved back over to the couch, putting the box onto the table.

Kaneki looked at him in confusion. "Aren't you going to open it?"

"Later, man. Have to build up some suspense. I wasn't expecting anything so I didn't get the chance."

Kaneki looked away guiltily. "I'm sorry."

Hide really wanted dig deeper. He wanted to know why after so many months Kaneki was finally coming back to see him. He wanted to ask, but he didn't want to chase him away. "Yeah. I know. Anyway, you're here right now. Why don't we watch a movie or do something? Since you brought popcorn."

Kaneki nodded and within a few minutes and he was sitting on the couch while Hide shifted through a few movies. "Is there anything you want to watch?"

"It's your birthday. You choose." He leaned forward and pushed the popcorn away from him. The smell was disgusting.

"How about this? It's horror." Hide eyes twinkled and Kaneki couldn't deny him. He popped the disk into the player and sat next to Kaneki after turning the lights off. Though, in truth he wasn't really watching the movie all that much. He was more focused on Kaneki.

At one point he had reached for the popcorn, an odd look coming over his face, but Hide snatched it away from him complaining that it was his birthday present. Kaneki seemed relieved that Hide had given him an out. Though, he didn't suspect that Hide knew he was a ghoul.

And he noticed very quickly when Kaneki flinched and turned his face away from the screen, a look of pain on his face. Hide immediately looked to see what was happening and noticed a torture scene, the victim now missing two fingers. When it seemed a third was going to go Kaneki stood abruptly, leaving Hide to hastily pause the movie.

"Shit." Hide chased after him, only to have the bathroom door slammed in his face. "Kaneki!" Hide stood by the door and only heard a choked retching. "Damn it." He tried the doorknob, but found it to be locked.

Hide ran into the kitchen, rushing to dig in one of the drawers for the key and grabbed Kaneki's glass of water on his way back to the bathroom. "Kaneki?" There was no response from within. "I'm coming in." He pushed open the door, finding Kaneki with the side of his face against the cool tile wall, kneeling on the ground.

Hide put a hand on Kaneki's trembling back, running his hand up to his shoulder and squeezing gently. Kaneki groaned lightly. "…sorry." His hand fumbled to flush the toilet as he pushed to his feet.

Hide didn't say anything as he splashed cold water on his face at the sink. He handed the glass of water to him with a small smile.

"I'll shut the movie off." Kaneki started to shake his head, but Hide silenced him. "I'll get an extra pillow. You can sleep here tonight."

"Hide, that's not –"

"No arguing. Come on." Hide said and Kaneki sighed. He guided the reluctant man to his bed, forcing him to lay down. "Don't you dare move. I'll be right back."

When Hide returned, pillow under his arm, Kaneki had already fallen asleep. Hide slid the pillow under his head as softly as he could and pulled the blankets over him. Kaneki only shifted slightly in the process.

Hide laid beside him, staring at his face. He was still so beautiful, even though he changed so much. Hide wondered what possibly could have happened to Kaneki, other than being a ghoul, which changed him so much.

Hide didn't even realize he lifted his hand until he felt Kaneki's soft cheek under his fingertips. Seeing as Kaneki didn't stir, he moved his hand so that he was cupping his cheek, fingers grazing his fluffy hair. He moved his thumb, tracing Kaneki's bottom lip while licking his own. A moment later, Kaneki's hand was over his and his eyes were open.

"Oh – uh – you're awake." Hide tried to retrieve his hand, but Kaneki held it tight. "Umm…" He laughed nervously.

Kaneki turned his head, pressing his lips into Hide's palm. "Go to sleep Hide." He shifted closer, a bare inch from Hide's body.

Hide covered the rest of the distance, wrapping his arms around him. He felt so warm and it felt so right to hold him. He didn't close his eyes, ignoring Kaneki's request and savoured what little time he had with him, knowing that when he woke up he would no longer be there with him.