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You Are What You Love

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Akaashi Keiji is content with his life. He has a stable career, a great group of friends, and an amazing, supportive boyfriend who he loves more than life itself.

The problem is he isn’t always positive that Osamu loves him back the same way.

It isn’t that Osamu is neglectful, or that he mistreats him. Far from it actually, Osamu is one of the sweetest, kindest men that Akaashi has ever met, and he’s done nothing to make Akaashi think that he is anything but loved.

It’s just that sometimes he wishes Osamu would tell him that.

“I’m heading to work, is my lunch ready?” Akaashi asks as he enters the kitchen to Onigiri Miya, his work bag slung over one shoulder. Osamu turns away from the massive rice cooker and beams at him, and you would think after living with the man for almost a year Akaashi would be used to it, but his traitorous heart gives a little flip flop anyways.

He’s just so beautiful when he smiles, especially when it’s directed at Akaashi.

“Hmmm, let me think,” Osamu muses, gathering Akaashi into his arms and pursing his lips as if considering the question. “Lunch, lunch, lunch…”

Akaashi snorts and drapes his arms around Osamu’s broad shoulders before playfully nipping at his nose. Physical affection had never been one of Akaashi’s strong suits, but something about Osamu just makes it… easy.

“Yes, my lunch. You make it every morning for me like the loving boyfriend you are,” Akaashi reminds him, rolling his eyes when Osamu just makes a confused noise in response.

“White, triangle shaped, one of each flavor from today’s specials with extra rice vinegar and soy sauce on the side?” he prompts and Osamu brightens up as if he’s just remembered the existence of rice balls.

“Why didn’t you just say so, Editor-sama? Right away, right away!” he chirps and Akaashi snorts at the familiar pet name, dropping his arms so Osamu can retrieve his neatly packed lunch from the fridge. He takes the bag from his boyfriend and leans up to press a kiss to the corner of his smiling mouth, grinning slightly when he draws back.

“Why thank you, Onigiri-san. You’re too kind to me,” Akaashi teases, laughing when Osamu swoops him into his arms and gives him a proper kiss.

Akaashi is smiling back by the time they break the kiss and he wonders if it’s too late to call in sick to work and go upstairs to their shared apartment above the shop for a little early morning quality time.

Maybe next week, after this deadline is past.

“Have a good day,” he murmurs, brushing his fingers through Osamu’s hair to fix the messy fringe of his bangs. “I love you.”

Osamu beams at him and leans in for another, much softer kiss than the one before it.

“I put a special surprise in your lunch box. You can’t open it until later, though. Promise?”

Akaashi smothers the frown that wants to escape him when Osamu doesn’t say he loves him back and instead presses one last kiss to his boyfriend’s lips, then releases him.

“I promise. But only if you promise to make pickled plum tomorrow once the shipment comes in,” he concedes, adjusting his bag strap on his shoulder. Osamu laughs and shoos him out the door, but Akaashi’s growing anxiety follows him all the way to work.

He knows Osamu loves him, he truly does. There had always been this weird, unspoken thing between them ever since their third year of high school, when Osamu rescued Akaashi from almost falling down the stairs between games at Nationals.

They exchanged numbers and kept in touch, though it was far and few between with how busy Akaashi was at work and Osamu’s struggles to get his onigiri shop established. Akaashi had nearly forgotten about the beautiful silver haired boy he’d met all those years ago until he ran into him again at Hinata’s debut game, selling onigiri with the same wide, easy grin on his face that had caught Akaashi’s attention in the first place.

They started dating despite the distance and a year later Onigiri Miya announced it would be opening a new branch in Tokyo which would be overseen by none other than its own Miya Osamu.

A few months later when Akaashi’s lease was up, Osamu invited him to move in with him and the rest, he supposes, is history.

They have a comfortable relationship. An easy one, all things considered. Akaashi knows that Osamu will always be there when he comes home every night, and Osamu knows Akaashi will always come home to him.

They just… work in a way that Akaashi hadn’t experienced with his past, usually quite brief attempts at dating. Their personalities meshed so naturally from the very first date and Akaashi has never been known to want for anything in their relationship.

And yet, why does Osamu only rarely tell Akaashi how he feels?

He doesn’t obviously resist it or go out of his way to avoid it but he doesn’t go out of his way to say it either. It’s odd right? It’s weird that his boyfriend doesn’t tell him he loves him.

The thought plagues Akaashi well through the morning and he’s forgotten all about what Osamu had told him earlier until he’s unpacking his lunch and notices the extra container hidden beneath the usual box of neatly made onigiri. Perplexed, Akaashi opens it and can’t resist the fond, exasperated sigh that escapes him when he sees the heart shaped onigiri nestled inside.

He plucks it out and inhales the delicious smell of the vinegar before he takes a big bite.

Pickled plum.

That sly fox had told him they were out of plums and that the new shipment wouldn’t be arriving until tomorrow.

Akaashi smiles down at the rice ball, feeling suddenly ridiculous for his earlier feelings of doubt. Of course Osamu loves him, even if he doesn’t always say it.

He takes another large bite and the salty sourness of the plum washes over his senses, filling him with a warm sense of contentment.

This is enough.


This is not enough.

Akaashi is seated in the corner booth, affectionately dubbed The Boyfriend Booth by Osamu’s regulars, and watching Osamu as he bustles around the busy shop during the lunch rush. He has Udai’s latest chapter spread out in front of him ready for his notes but Akaashi hasn’t touched it yet, so focused he’s been on watching Osamu.

Things have been… weird. Maybe weird isn’t the right word for it.

Peculiar maybe?

Osamu has been unusually secretive lately and it’s bringing back Akaashi’s insecurities in full force, so instead of staying in their apartment today he’s decided to come downstairs to work where he can see him.

And he realizes it’s been a while since he last did this.

Akaashi props his chin up in his palm as he watches Osamu greet his customers with that beautiful smile, serving each person with an easy kind of grace that Akaashi has always envied in him and his brother. Osamu may no longer be the young, muscular athlete Akaashi had met in high school, but he’s still mostly unparalleled by anyone else Akaashi’s ever known.

His biceps look good enough to eat in that tight Onigiri Miya t-shirt of his and Akaashi doesn’t even realize how intently he’s been staring until Osamu catches him and sends a smirk and a wink to him. Feeling his face heating up, Akaashi immediately turns his attention back to work and away from Osamu’s sturdy thighs.

“Y’know we’re dating. You’re allowed to look.”

Osamu’s voice is teasing and way too close to Akaashi, nearly causing him to leap right out of the booth. He glances sideways at his boyfriend and scowls, pretending not to be immediately drawn to the plate of steaming food he’s holding in his hands. His stomach growls, betraying him instantly.

“I know I am but that doesn’t mean I should be doing it while you’re working,” he protests in a soft hiss, trying and failing to not lean into Osamu when a heavy arm drapes around his shoulders.

“It’s unprofessional. What would your boss think?”

Osamu’s laugh is like a cool breeze on a hot day over Akaashi’s fraying nerves and he carefully shuffles his papers aside so his boyfriend can set the plate down, eyeballing the food on it.

“What’s this?”

The taller grins down at him and ruffles his hair, much to Akaashi’s immense consternation.

“You’ve been working so hard lately and I wanted to make sure you ate lunch today. You know how you get when a deadline’s coming up,” Osamu points out, raising an eyebrow when Akaashi opens his mouth to protest.

He scowls but sinks back down into his seat and picks up his chopsticks, raising an eyebrow at the pile of fresh steamed rice and meat.

“This isn’t an onigiri. I thought you ‘only make onigiri in this kitchen’,” he teases, parroting Osamu’s haughty tone from earlier when a rude customer had demanded to know why she couldn’t order Korean barbecue at an onigiri shop. Osamu rolls his eyes and gently shoves Akaashi, clearly amused.

“I only make onigiri in this kitchen for rude people. For you, my dear Editor-sama, I would make anything.”

Akaashi pauses with a large bite of beef and rice halfway to his mouth and turns to look up at Osamu. He’s beaming at him like he hadn’t just said something so absolutely embarrassing and cheesy out loud in the middle of his busy restaurant.

He swallows thickly and he can feel the heat flooding his face without even needing to see himself.

How cute. His boyfriend is so cute.

“Careful, Onigiri-san. Your customers might accuse you of playing favorites if you talk like that,” he mumbles, stuffing his mouth with rice before he can say anything stupid. Osamu just laughs, full chested and rough with delight.

“Well they wouldn’t be wrong, in all fairness,” he admits, offering Akaashi a wink. “You have been and always will be my favorite customer.”

And then he returns to work and he takes all the oxygen in the room with him.

Akaashi swallows thickly around his mouthful of food and utter, gut wrenching, mind melting devastation, resisting the urge to crawl under the table and scream. How can Osamu just say stuff like that with a straight face? Preposterous. Ridiculous. Absurd.

He bites his lip and buries his face in his palms, uncaring that he’s getting smudges all over his glasses. Once again he feels completely foolish for even dreaming to doubt the way Osamu feels for him because only an utterly smitten clown would say something like that in public.

Heaving a sigh, Akaashi drops his hands and considers the meal in front of him for several long moments. When had Osamu even found the time to make something like this for him? It’s simple, sure, and there’s no shortage of rice in an onigiri cafe, but he would have needed to cook the meat while also juggling everything else on his literal and metaphorical plate.

Akaashi pops a bite of beef into his mouth and closes his eyes, savoring the rich, garlicky flavor and soft texture of the meat. It’s cooked to perfection because of course it is. Miya Osamu doesn’t do anything by halves when it comes to food.

It gives Akaashi the strength to finally focus on the work in front of him and he’s so intent upon the pages spread out across the table that he doesn’t even notice Osamu coming and leaving again a few hours later until he sees the fresh plate of onigiri set next to him.

He smiles at the food, and the extra cups of rice vinegar and soy sauce Osamu had placed next to the plate.

Just the way Akaashi likes it.


Akaashi has had a very long day.

Probably one of the worst in a very long time.

Most frustrating of all there’s really nothing he could do to avoid it, either.

The printers had messed up Udai’s latest chapter and transposed two pages, which meant that they would miss the deadline since the entire thing needed to be reprinted in the correct order. One of the interns had brought an ugly spring flu into the office too so they are already running on half staff as it is and a crisis like this is the last thing anyone needed.

Akaashi had been running around all day doing the work of ten people and by the time it was finally over, three hours after his usual clocking out time, all he wanted to do was go home and crawl into bed with his boyfriend.

So of course the subway had been experiencing massive delays due to unforeseen electrical issues.

Akaashi feels like crying when he finally walks through the door of their apartment, relieved that Osamu is there to greet him so he only has to cross the absolute shortest distance between the genkan and his boyfriend’s waiting arms.

He’s just about to slide into bed after a much needed soak in the bath when Osamu grabs him by the wrist and guides him back out to the den, forcing him down onto the couch and taking a seat beside him. There’s a plate on the coffee table in front of Akaashi with three neatly made rice balls and Akaashi sighs, looking plaintively at the other.

“I appreciate that you made food for me but I really just want to sleep,” he admits, pouting when Osamu ignores his complaints and pulls him onto his lap instead.

“I know you do, but I’m guessing you haven’t eaten a single thing since breakfast and your body needs nourishment,” Osamu points out, raising an eyebrow as if daring Akaashi to challenge him. Akaashi grimaces but accepts a rice ball when it’s offered to him.

“Don’t look so smug that you knew that, you watched me empty out my still full lunch box earlier,” he grumbles under his breath before taking a large, petulant bite.

And then he pauses as familiar flavors wash over his palette.

The spicy tang of the furikake compliments the soy sauce and mustard marinade coating the leafy vegetable in the center of the neatly packed rice, and Akaashi slows down his chewing so that he can savor the nostalgic mix of salty and bitter, overwhelmed by the feelings being stirred up inside of him.

“You made nanohana no karashiae onigiri for me,” he murmurs once he’s finally swallowed his mouthful, cradling the rice ball between his hands like it’s something precious.

Perhaps it is.

Osamu curls his arms around Akaashi’s waist and nuzzles his face into the top of his head, and Akaashi can feel the shape of his smile against his skin.

“I was saving the recipe as a surprise for our upcoming anniversary but when I got your text earlier about the printer error I thought you could use a pick me up, so I went out and picked up the ingredients before you got home.”

Akaashi can’t help the soft sniffle that escapes him and he quickly muffles it with another large bite, allowing his boyfriend to pull him down to rest against his chest.

“Is this why you’ve been acting so weird lately?” he asks abruptly after they finally make it into bed. Osamu makes a sleepy noise into the back of Akaashi’s neck from where he’s spooned up against him, one broad arm draped comfortably over Akaashi’s chest.

“Me? Acting weird? Are you sure you’re not talking about Tsumu?” Osamu chuckles and Akaashi rolls his eyes, though the gesture is a fond one.

“You’ve been out of the shop more while I’m at work and leaving the staff to run it. Sayuki-chan told me about your seemingly random disappearances and asked if you were going to secret doctor appointments or something and I was just as clueless as she was. Plus you’ve been getting a lot of phone calls and texts lately from numbers I don’t recognize. What’s that about?” he presses, just tired and stressed enough to throw caution to the wind.

Osamu is silent for a moment as if carefully considering his answer before responding.

“Yeah, you’ve got me. It was a hard recipe, Keiji. Rape blossom really isn’t my thing and I didn’t want you to see any of the ingredients in the trash and get suspicious, so I’ve been visiting Rintarou and Komori-kun to use their kitchen and make them my taste testing guinea pigs since EJP didn’t make it past the championship quarter finals and they have nothing better to do.”

It sounds believable and Akaashi desperately wishes it to be true.

He forces himself to relax and closes his eyes, sighing when Osamu tightens his arm around his middle to pull him closer.

“I’m sorry if I worried you, Keiji. Though now that the cat’s out of the bag I guess I need to figure out an alternative anniversary gift,” Osamu sighs, sounding just put out enough that it gets a small chuckle out of Akaashi.

And Akaashi believes him. Or rather he really, truly wants to believe him.

So why does he lie awake until the wee hours of the morning, unable to find sleep?


Akaashi is about to burn the building down.

“What do you mean you lost the files?” he asks incredulously, debating whether it’s not too late to just quit his job and move to Hyogo to work on Kita Shinsuke’s rice farm. He’d get to see Osamu during their monthly rice deliveries, it would be fine, they’d make it work somehow.

“The files are just gone, I don’t know what happened,” the unfortunate intern warbles, looking one step away from bursting into tears as Akaashi towers over her. “The computer rebooted itself to do a software update and when it was done the files were gone.”

Akaashi just.

Takes a step back and slowly sinks down into the chair at his desk, staring blankly at her as she squirms.

The files are gone. All of Akaashi’s hours of painstaking hard work, just gone.

“I just need a moment, can you give me a moment,” he says quietly and the intern gratefully flees the room, leaving him alone with his thoughts.

He doesn’t know how long he stays there in his office trying to come up with some kind of solution. Had he emailed the files to someone? Is it possible that someone else would have them saved?

Akaashi is so deeply buried in his own existential anguish that he doesn’t even hear the soft knock on his door, or the sound of someone trying to speak to him. He’s staring at his ceiling and contemplating whether he should just lie down on the floor and wait for death when Osamu’s face suddenly comes into view, looking mildly amused.

“I see Miyuki-chan wasn’t exaggerating. You really do look quite pathetic, Keiji,” he comments and Akaashi scrunches his nose up in annoyance when Osamu removes his glasses and leans down to press a kiss to the furrow between his brows.

“The intern called you?” he complains, pouting at Osamu when he just snorts.

“Yes she did. Something about how she thought you were one word away from throwing yourself off the roof.”

He grimaces.

“I’m fine, really. You can go back to work now,” he sighs, pinching the bridge of his nose. He’ll have to talk to her about not calling Osamu just because he got some bad news.

Osamu clucks his tongue thoughtfully.

“Mmm. Nope.”

And then without a word grabs Akaashi out of his chair and slings him over his shoulder like a bag of rice. Ignoring all of his protests, he steps out into the office space and smiles at the rest of Akaashi’s coworkers.

“I’m borrowing Editor-sama for lunch. I promise to bring him back in a much better mood, okay?” he says cheerily, and Akaashi wants to curse him out for being so stupidly thick and strong because slapping against his back is doing absolutely nothing to free him from his grasp.

“Put me down, Osamu!” he snaps, wriggling in Osamu’s arms as he’s hauled out of the office and into the elevator. Osamu refuses to do so until they’ve made it back to the Onigiri Miya van however, and when he finally puts Akaashi back on his feet it’s with a shit eating grin that Akaashi wants to bite right off his face.

“Why did you do that? I was fine!” Akaashi hisses, scowling at Osamu. His boyfriend beams, opening up the passenger door and picking Akaashi up again to force him into the seat before shutting the door behind him.

Akaashi has no idea what they’re doing or where they’re going. He doesn’t even have his phone with him so he can only sit there and sulk as Osamu drives them to wherever he’s decided upon.

Once they pull into a parking spot though he’s out of the car and heading out towards the street, prepared to just walk back to work if necessary. Osamu catches him easily with a hand around his wrist, pouting faintly at Akaashi as the shorter debates whether it’s worth it to just gnaw his own arm off.

“C’mon, Keiji. Just have lunch with me,” he whines and Akaashi begrudgingly relents, as he always does when Osamu looks at him like that, and allows himself to be led into the small park.

Osamu spreads out a blanket in the grass off the walking path and sits down with a large paper bag, patting the spot beside him with a grin on his face until Akaashi sighs and sinks down to sit with him.

“I really need to get back to work, Osamu,” Akaashi grouses, annoyed when Osamu ignores him and offers him a small tupperware instead. Inside are, unsurprisingly, an assortment of neatly wrapped rice balls, and Akaashi watches as Osamu pulls out side dishes, dipping sauces, and a variety of drinks.

“No, I think you should stay here and have lunch first,” he finally answers, smiling sweetly at Akaashi.

It isn’t like Akaashi has much choice in the matter.

“You’re lucky I’m too tired to argue with you, Onigiri-san,” Akaashi grumbles under his breath before taking a larger than necessary bite.

It’s tasty, because of course it is, and that just makes him angrier. What right does Osamu have to storm into his office and kidnap him like this and force him to eat delicious food? Akaashi stuffs his face with a bit more aggression than the situation warrants, but he’s frustrated and he doesn’t know what to do about it, so he takes it out on the food and drink Osamu brought.

Osamu who, for the most part, just sits there and watches Akaashi eat with a fond sort of look on his face.

He makes Akaashi lie down with him after he announces that he’s full and requests to be taken back to work and that’s how Akaashi ends up on his back, making a hopelessly wrinkled mess out of his nice work clothes, and staring up at the clouds floating by with his head pillowed on one of Osamu’s broad shoulders.

“So. You wanna tell me why you were terrorizing your intern this afternoon, Keiji?” Osamu asks in a soft hum, tipping his head sideways to look at Akaashi.

Akaashi makes a face but… he supposes it’s not an unwarranted accusation.

“She deleted my files. The ones that had all my finalized edits for Udai-san’s latest chapter. Now I have to start all over from scratch and I don’t know if I’ll be able to get it done on time to get the files to the printer for the deadline,” he sighs, folding his arms over his stomach. As much as he’s loath to admit it he does actually feel a little better now that he’s eaten, and his head isn’t quite as foggy or pained as it had been when he was sitting in his office staring at the ceiling.

Osamu makes a sympathetic noise and nuzzles his nose against Akaashi’s cheek before kissing it.

“I’m sorry, Keiji. Did you have it saved anywhere else? I thought I saw you working on it on your laptop at home the other day.”

Akaashi freezes in the middle of reaching up to brush his hair out of his face, eyes wide as he realizes Osamu is right.

He’d uploaded the files to his personal laptop and taken them home to work on while Osamu did his monthly deep clean of the walk-in freezer, then forwarded it all to himself to download back onto the server when he got to work the next day.

“It won’t have the stuff I did yesterday but it means I won’t have to start over from scratch,” he says slowly, then sits up suddenly as the realization sinks in that he might not be totally ruined after all.

“I need my laptop.”

Osamu sits up with him, staring at him as he starts to get more into it

“Samu! I need to go home and get my laptop!”

That spurs him into motion finally and they pack the remains of their lunch in a frenzied hurry, throwing things haphazardly into the bag. Osamu can barely keep up with Akaashi as he nearly sprints back to the van, his heart in his throat as he dares to hope that this might be the thing that saves him.

The drive back home is brisk and the return to work even more so with how energized Akaashi is suddenly feeling.

He pauses when he steps out of the van though, turning back to look at Osamu with his laptop bag slung over his shoulder. Hauling himself up the side of the van he leans in through the open window and kisses his boyfriend, smiling for the first time in what feels like a lifetime but has really only been a few very, very long hours.

“Thank you, Onigiri-san. For the great idea and for lunch. You were right, I really needed a break,” he murmurs, kissing him on the cheek. “I love you.”

Osamu grins and presses a kiss to his temple, looking quite rightly pleased with himself when Akaashi finally drops back down onto his feet.

“Anytime, Editor-sama. Now get back to work and don’t bully your poor intern this time, yeah?” he teases, laughing when Akaashi flips him off before jogging back into the office.

He’s still late getting home that night but thanks to the progress files he had saved and the hard work of his team, they were able to get the files completed once more and sent off for final lookover by the publishing division before the end of the night.

Osamu is asleep by the time he gets in and Akaashi sits on the edge of the bed to watch him for a few long moments, wondering what he would have done if his boyfriend hadn’t come in to kidnap him today. He’d probably still be hunched over his desk, desperately trying to redo a week’s worth of work from scratch before the sun came up, nauseous with hunger and dehydration to boot.

But Osamu had been there for him, just like he always is, with a warm smile and a plate full of onigiri to keep his spirits up.

Who needs to hear ‘I love you’ out loud when you have that?


“Miya Atsumu, if you throw that plate it’ll be the last thing you ever do,” Akaashi warns without looking up from the cash register, carefully counting the day’s earnings out to make sure it’s accurate.

Atsumu freezes with his arm still in the middle of its downward swing, looking very much like a deer caught in the headlights. Bokuto and Hinata burst out laughing and even Sakusa looks amused, smirking at the blond when he very gingerly sets the plate he was about to launch at his brother back down on the counter.

“That’s what you get for being a bitch,” Osamu sniggers, draping his arm around Akaashi’s shoulders and sneering at his twin. Akaashi gives him a withering stare and shrugs his arm off.

“Don’t act like you didn’t instigate it, Miya-san,” he responds cooly, ignoring Osamu’s protests and the jeering from the other men in the room.

Something about putting Osamu and Atsumu in the same room together brings out the competitive, obnoxious streak in both of them. Sometimes it’s amusing or even endearing but Akaashi is tired and a tired Akaashi is a cranky Akaashi.

At least his deadline is past now so he has a couple days off to take it easy before it’s right back in for the next one. He had hoped it would be a peaceful day at Onigiri Miya but what he hadn’t counted on was Osamu inviting half of MSBY over for free food, something that they absolutely took him up on.

Akaashi supposes Osamu is only trying to be a good brother. The Black Jackals had lost in the finals against the Adlers which had left their friends in rather poor spirits, so the offer of a meal had been an attempt to cheer them all up, and it is nice getting to see Bokuto again after all this time.

The pair of them had made the long journey to visit, along with Hinata and, surprisingly, Sakusa. Akaashi hadn’t really understood why Sakusa had joined the rambunctious crowd in traveling all the way to Tokyo, at least not at first.

But then he sees Bokuto casually brush his fingers against the back of Sakusa’s hand when Atsumu steals the last pickled plum onigiri right off Sakusa’s plate, and he gets it. They make an unlikely pair but the way Sakusa relaxes just from that simple touch, rather than trying to strangle Atsumu (more than deserved in Akaashi’s opinion) tells Akaashi all he needs to know.

Bokuto really has matured in these past couple years, huh?

Akaashi goes into the kitchen to put today’s earnings into the lockbox to go to the bank later and Osamu follows him so he can retrieve more food for the ravenous animals they’re currently playing host to.

“You think it’s wise to leave them unsupervised?” he comments dryly, wrinkling his nose when Osamu snorts and leans in to kiss the tip of it.

“I’m sure they’ll be fine for a few minutes. Tsumu and Shouyou have yet to burn their apartment down so I figure they’re probably mostly functional adults by this point,” Osamu teases, turning to plate more onigiri from the stack he had prepared earlier that afternoon.

Akaashi hums and curls his arms around Osamu’s waist from behind, resting his chin on his shoulder so he can watch him. He hears the shrill crash of a glass shattering from the other room and heaves a sigh, burying his face against Osamu to block out the light.

“Remind me why we invited them again? We could have just sent flowers, or like… a nice text message.”

Osamu laughs and Akaashi can feel the vibrations through his skin. The other rotates in his grip and cradles Akaashi’s face in his palms, rubbing his thumbs in soothing circles over his cheeks.

“It’s okay, Keiji. I’ll make Tsumu clean it up. But what better way is there to make someone smile than giving them a good meal?”

He leans down for a soft kiss and Akaashi pouts, but relents, as he always does when Osamu starts talking sappy like that. It turns out Akaashi Keiji is a bit weak hearted when it comes to his boyfriend being all earnest and sweet.

“You’re lucky you’re the cuter Miya, Onigiri-san,” he grumbles, blushing miserably when Osamu grins at him.

“Damn right I am, but not as cute as you, Editor-sama,” he replies pleasantly, stealing one last kiss before grabbing the platter of onigiri and returning to the front.

Akaashi rejoins the group a few moments later and sees that Suna and Komori have finally arrived as well, which has resulted in even more ruckus as Osamu and Atsumu enthusiastically greet their former teammate. He sits on the stool by the register again and just watches them as they crowd into the booth, and Akaashi thinks maybe there is some merit to the idea of food being the miracle that heals all.

Even Bokuto is smiling despite the crushing defeat they had suffered only a few days prior, though Akaashi wonders if that isn’t partially due to how close Sakusa is sitting to him. Still, it definitely mostly has to do with the nonstop flow of food Osamu has provided.

He considers how Osamu is always trying to feed him when he’s down, too. All the times he’d gone out of his way to make something special, or include Akaashi’s favorites in his lunchbox at the end of each deadline when he’s the most stressed out and difficult to deal with.

Some people show they care with words or with gifts, but Osamu only speaks in food and has for as long as Akaashi has known him, so he supposes it shouldn’t be all that surprising.

“What’s got you looking all happy?”

Osamu’s voice cuts through his daydreaming and Akaashi glances up to see he’d snuck over to his side while he was distracted and is now standing beside him, grinning happily. Akaashi hums faintly and turns on the stool before reaching out to tug Osamu between his knees by the front of his shirt, draping his arms around his boyfriend’s waist and resting his chin against his chest so he can stare up at him.

“Nothing in particular. Just thinking about how lucky I am to have you,” he answers and his heart gives a wretched little throb when Osamu’s expression grows soft. His boyfriend curls his arms around Akaashi’s shoulders and leans down to kiss him, and his mouth tastes like soy sauce and sake.

“Can you make out with your boyfriend when I’m not trying to eat?” Atsumu protests with a louder than necessary gagging noise and when Osamu pulls back Akaashi sends the blond the most withering stare he can possibly muster.

“You’re more than welcome to leave our shop if you don’t like it, Miya-san,” he grouses, wondering if it isn’t too late to just kick them all out. “I’m sure there’s some other restaurant in Tokyo that will let you freeload off them.”

Osamu’s laugh is like music to Akaashi’s ears and he turns back to look at his boyfriend, ignoring Atsumu’s scandalized cry of protest. He’s smiling so widely that his eyes have turned into crescent shapes and Akaashi feels his chest tighten as his diaphragm fills with honey and sunshine.

“What?” he asks cautiously, not sure what he’s done to warrant such a happy expression. He yells at Atsumu so often these days it’s dangerously close to becoming a hobby.

“You said ‘our’,” Osamu answers, and Akaashi blinks as broad hands come up to cup around his cheeks.

“‘Our’ shop. You’ve never said that before. It’s always been ‘your’ shop or ‘the’ shop but never ‘our’ shop.”

Akaashi averts his gaze as heat starts to fill his face, realizing the faux pas now that Osamu’s pointed it out.

“I mean… I’m here every single day at this point, and I help out with the register and the cleaning after work and on my days off. I guess I’ve just started thinking of it that way,” he admits awkwardly, carefully slipping his hands over Osamu’s.

“Is that wrong?”

Osamu huffs out a short laugh and shakes his head, leaning down to brush their foreheads together with a soft, easy sigh of contentment.

“Not in the slightest. In fact, I can’t even describe how happy it makes me to hear you say that,” he murmurs, and Akaashi tips his chin up to kiss him sweetly, his heart thudding painfully in his chest as he considers just how much this man means to him.

“I love you, Osamu,” he whispers into the kiss, laughing when Osamu turns his head and plants a string of kisses all over his face that Akaashi suspects are extra loud and wet specifically for Atsumu’s benefit.

The rest of the evening goes fairly peacefully despite the Miya Combo Special, which is a little bit like having a lit match around a puddle of gasoline. Akaashi is feeling good about things despite his earlier grumpiness, and he’s smiling when it finally comes time to say goodbye to everyone.

Osamu is busy bullying his brother about visiting more often during the off season so Akaashi turns to Suna and Komori in his stead and bows his head.

“It was nice getting to see you both. Please come by again soon,” he requests, then brightens when he remembers something.

“Oh! And thank you for allowing Osamu to use your kitchen for a while. I hope he at least cleaned up after himself and didn’t leave you both a pile of dishes afterwards.”

Suna stares at him with confusion etched into every line on his face.

“When did Osamu use our kitchen?” he asks, then jumps when Komori suddenly digs his elbow into his side.

“Remember, Rin? He used it a couple weeks ago for that thing he wanted to make for his boyfriend,” Komori hisses, then gives Akaashi a painfully fake smile.

“I’m sorry about him. He wouldn’t remember his own name if it wasn’t on the back of his jersey.”

They make a quick exit after that, leaving Akaashi with far more questions than he has answers. If Osamu hasn’t been going to their place like he said, which it’s awkwardly obvious now that he had been lying, then what has he been doing all those times he’s disappeared?

Akaashi swallows thickly around the sudden lump in his throat, staring at his boyfriend’s back as Osamu waves at his departing brother and friends. He wishes he had taken Bokuto up on the offer of a goodbye hug because he suddenly feels like he could really use one.

Is Osamu cheating on him?

The idea feels preposterous the moment it crosses his mind. Osamu doesn’t seem like the type to cheat, and things have been really good between them since Akaashi moved in, so surely it can’t be the case?

But then again, Akaashi is always so busy these days with work, and he knows it’s made him grumpy and downright unbearable sometimes. Has he been neglecting his relationship with Osamu to the point where Osamu would seek comfort from someone else? But then why would Suna and Komori cover for him if that were the case?

Osamu is still smiling by the time he returns to Akaashi’s side, curling an arm around his waist as they walk back into the onigiri shop.

“I have a surprise for you. I didn’t want to bring it out until everyone else left because I know those animals wouldn’t have left you a single bite,” he chuckles and leads Akaashi into the kitchen out back.

He releases him and grins, hand on one of the standing fridges by his food prep station. He’s clearly waiting for Akaashi and Akaashi, while truly not in the mood for any more surprises this evening, sighs and covers his eyes. He is a little curious about what Osamu might have gotten him.

After a little rustling around, Osamu lays a hand on Akaashi’s shoulder and squeezes it gently.

“You can look now.”

Akaashi is left to gawk at the small round cake on the table in front of him, not quite sure what to make of it.

“‘Happy anniversary to the Miya Family’?” he reads, glancing sideways at Osamu who looks thoroughly pleased with himself. “I don’t understand.”

Osamu laughs, and the sound of it is suddenly grating on Akaashi’s frazzled nerves.

“They messed up the words a bit. It was supposed to say ‘Onigiri Miya’ on it, but I guess they got confused by the request,” he hums, reaching for a knife and handing it to Akaashi.

“Wanna do the honors?”

Akaashi makes a confused noise but accepts the knife, staring at his boyfriend with brows furrowed.

“Isn’t the anniversary of Onigiri Miya in the fall? You’re a few months early, Osamu,” he points out, sinking the knife into the cake and cutting out a slice. Osamu holds out a plate and Akaashi slides the small piece onto it, pausing when he sees a recognizably intricate pattern of chocolate mousse and strawberry.

“Osamu, you didn’t-”

“I absolutely did,” he interrupts him with a cheery grin, cutting off a bite of dark chocolate cake and filling and scooping it up before offering it to Akaashi.

Akaashi hesitates for only a second before accepting it, closing his eyes to savor the rich, decadent flavor rolling over his tongue.

“And while I opened my first store in the fall, today is the one year anniversary of when I opened the Tokyo branch. Something I was only brave enough to do because of you.”

Akaashi opens his eyes again and stares at Osamu, realizing he’s absolutely right. He’d entirely forgotten about it with how busy he’d been at work, and stressing about Osamu’s weird behavior the last couple months.

“So you bought a $75 cake to celebrate?” he asks, unable to keep the faint amusement out of his tone. Osamu beams and feeds Akaashi another absolutely sinfully sweet bite of cake.

“You were staring at it so hard at the cafe last week I couldn’t resist. You’re the reason I even have this shop, and the only reason I choose to work here instead of the flagship store, so I wanted to get something specifically for you, because this anniversary wouldn’t have been possible without you.”

Staring quietly at the cake in front of him, Akaashi considers the words on it, and what he had learned earlier from talking to Suna and Komori.

The Miya Family.

This is his chance to confront Osamu about the lie but it feels somehow… cheap, suddenly.

Osamu got him a $75 cake that refers to Akaashi as part of his family on it. He’s not sure he believes the part about the bakery mixing up the inscription, quite frankly. It seems like the kind of corny, sweet thing he would do on purpose.

So Akaashi swallows down his anxiety and his intrusive bad thoughts about whether Osamu is cheating on him, and he allows himself to smile warmly at his boyfriend.

“You spoil me, Onigiri-san,” he murmurs softly, pushing the fork away so he can slide his arms around Osamu’s shoulders. He curls his fingers into the short hairs at the nape of his neck, massaging gently as Osamu regards him curiously.

“I already have everything I need for this anniversary to be perfect right here though.”

He leans in and kisses Osamu, pleased when his boyfriend gets the memo and wraps his arms around Akaashi’s waist to haul him in closer. The kiss tastes like chocolate cake and strawberries and Akaashi sighs into it, melting into Osamu’s chest when he licks his way into Akaashi’s mouth to chase the flavors lingering on his tongue.

“What do you say we take this cake upstairs and eat it off each other?” Osamu asks in a low murmur, and the rough edge to his voice goes right to the pit of Akaashi’s stomach.

They don’t end up eating very much cake.


“When exactly did you find the time to get reservations to this place? Don’t you have to call them months in advance?” Akaashi asks incredulously, nervously adjusting his suit sleeves as he stares at the entryway to the small, traditional Japanese structure.

Osamu shrugs, draping an arm around his waist to hug Akaashi against his side.

“Yes, but you’ve been talking about wanting to go to Kikko since as long as we’ve been dating, so I wanted to do something special for our anniversary this year,” he chuckles, and Akaashi can only follow helplessly as he’s led inside the restaurant.

Difficult to get reservations aside, Akaashi has never come here mostly due to the cost, and he’s aghast as he studies the menus they’re given.

“Can we afford this?” he asks in a low murmur, glancing across the table at Osamu. They’ve been taken to a small, private room, and Akaashi knows that must have cost money as well. Osamu just smiles and reaches across the table to take his hand, squeezing it gently.

“Don’t worry about that, Keiji. Just order whatever you want. It’s our anniversary, let me spoil you, okay?”

Akaashi pouts but relaxes a little back into his seat, soothed by the gentle circles Osamu is rubbing into the back of his hand with his thumb.

“You spoil me every single day, Onigiri-san,” he mumbles under his breath, chest clenching when Osamu just chuckles warmly.

Akaashi had expected something a little more low key if he’s being honest. Last year their anniversary had just been some takeout and sex on Osamu’s couch because they’d been too busy with the launch of the Tokyo store to have the energy for anything more involved. Akaashi just assumed this year would be in a similar vein, except with sex in their bed instead of the couch.

But then Osamu had asked him to get dressed in his nicest clothes and driven them to Asakusa, and now they’re here, sharing a bottle of very expensive sake and waiting for their first course to be brought out.

He gnaws on his lower lip as he considers the man across from him, not sure what to say about such a thoughtful, expensive gift. He’s never dated anyone that’s treated him the way Osamu does, and when Osamu cradles his palm against Akaashi’s cheek across the small table between them Akaashi can’t help but lean into the touch, feeling emotional and unsteady all at once.

Things have continued to be weird since the night Akaashi learned Osamu had lied to him. Try as he might to forget about it and just move on, Akaashi can’t stop the way his brain spins in circles around it. It’s just.

Osamu has never lied to him before. And if he wasn’t at Suna and Komori’s like he said he was, then where had he been going when he disappeared from the restaurant in the middle of the day? If the other staff know something about it then they’re closing ranks to protect their boss because Akaashi hasn’t been able to get a single peep out of them in the last two weeks.

It’s frustrating. Mostly it’s just depressing.

What could be so bad that Osamu would lie to him? And how has he gotten all of their friends on his side?

Akaashi wants to ask him about it. The words are on the tip of his tongue just as their waiter returns with the first course, and he loses his nerve again.

It seems so stupid the longer he thinks about it. Osamu has taken him to a beautiful, expensive restaurant he’s been wanting to eat at for years, and here Akaashi is obsessing over something he can’t even prove.

If Osamu were cheating on him, or if he wanted to break up, he would have done so long before making such expensive reservations.

So when Osamu smiles at him and offers him a bite of fish simmered in warm broth Akaashi smiles back and accepts it.

The meal is mostly silent as a steady flow of food and drink keeps their hands and mouths quite occupied, but it’s a comfortable silence. Akaashi has never been a big talker, but Osamu hasn’t done a thing to make him feel bad for it in all the time they’ve been together. He jokes that when you grow up with someone like Atsumu you learn to appreciate the silence.

Akaashi just appreciates Osamu.

Having a partner that understands your personality and accepts it completely is a lucky thing, and Osamu has always made Akaashi feel like it’s okay to be comfortable in his own skin.

“Hey,” Akaashi murmurs suddenly when they’re halfway through dessert, staring across the table at his boyfriend with hooded, emotional eyes. Osamu puts his spoon down slowly and reaches out to take Akaashi’s hand, bringing it up so he can brush his lips against his knuckles.

“I love you, Osamu. More than anything in this world. I know I’ve been a little extra crazy with work the past several weeks and it’s made me into a bit of a monster. But I promise I’m going to try harder to be better, and I just… I wouldn’t have gotten through all of it without you and your support.”

Osamu kisses the back of his hand and then flips his hand so he can kiss the palm, humming softly as he nuzzles into the sensitive skin.

“It’s okay, Keiji. You were there for me when I was going out of my mind with getting the new branch ready to open, and the chaos that ensued for the first couple months. That’s what family does for one another. They support each other, through the good times and the bad,” he soothes, releasing Akaashi’s hand so he can reach out and cradle his face between his palms.

“I never realized I could care so much about another person’s happiness as I do for yours.”

Akaashi doesn’t launch himself over the table to kiss him but it’s a near thing. He contents himself with closing his eyes and drinking in the gentle caress of his fingertips instead, sighing softly when Osamu eventually has to pull away when the waiter returns with tea and the check.

The drive back home is quiet, but contentedly so, and Osamu holds Akaashi’s hand in his for the entire ride.

The lights are on in the restaurant though once they arrive and Akaashi is baffled, frowning as he digs out his key to unlock the front door only to find it’s already unlocked. He could have sworn that he’d turned everything off and locked up before they left. Osamu is silent behind him as they step inside the dining area of Onigiri Miya, and Akaashi is just about to suggest they call the police when Bokuto suddenly pokes his head out from the entryway to the kitchen and grins.

“They’re back!”

Akaashi’s confusion only grows as Sakusa, Hinata, and Atsumu file out after him, along with the rest of Osamu’s friends and former teammates. With a start he realizes it isn’t just Osamu’s friends either. Konoha and Sarukui are here too, along with Kuroo and Kenma and some of Akaashi’s other friends from high school.

“Osamu, what’s this-”

Akaashi stops speaking. In fact he stops breathing all together because when he glances back at his boyfriend he sees Osamu has gotten down on one knee and there’s a small, black velvet box in his hands now, held aloft towards Akaashi.

“Keiji… I know we’ve only been dating for two years and by all accounts some people would consider this rushing, but. From the moment you smiled at me and asked me if I would ever consider opening a store in Tokyo, I’ve never been so certain in all my life that I wanted to be with someone. After our very first date I went out and bought this ring, and I’ve been carrying it around ever since because I knew from that very first night that you and I were meant for one another. You’re the other half of my soul and these months of living together and knowing that every night you’re going to come home to me have made me happier than anything else ever has,” Osamu murmurs softly, and Akaashi doesn’t care that he can feel his face heating up, or about the fat tears that are sliding freely down his cheeks, because this is happening. This is really happening.

“I once believed love would be burning red, but it’s not. It’s golden like daylight. It’s the way your skin glows in the morning sun peeking through our curtains, and how you always help me clean up the shop at the end of the day even though you’re exhausted from work, and the way your body fits so perfectly in my arms whenever I pull you close. The way you scrunch your nose up when you’re concentrating, and how chubby your cheeks get when you eat my food. The way you say my name when you’re trying to be mad at me but secretly you just want to smile. The shape of you lying in bed next to me every night as you fall asleep. You’re the love of my life, my Editor-sama, and if you would do me the greatest honor of allowing me to make you a Miya, then I would be the happiest man in the entire universe.”

He opens the ring box and Akaashi’s heart quivers in his chest at the sight of the simple golden band nestled inside of it.

Akaashi stares. And he cries. He doesn’t even realize he hasn’t said anything to the proposal until Osamu shifts nervously and Akaashi startles, eyes going wide around as dinner plates before he sobs out a soft “Yes!” and throws his arms around Osamu, knocking them both to the ground with a loud thud.

There’s whooping and cheering from somewhere behind him but Akaashi ignores anything that isn’t Osamu and his current task of covering every inch of his face with teary kisses, clinging to his boyfriend– his fiancé like he could disappear at any moment.

Osamu laughs and wraps his arms around Akaashi, kissing him back with equal fervor. He yelps when Akaashi pinches his shoulder though, looking scandalized as Akaashi sits back on his stomach and removes his glasses so he can attempt to dry his face with his sleeve.

“What was that for?” he protests, pouting up at him. Akaashi huffs, fully aware that they’re surrounded by all of their friends and not caring a single bit for once.

“You lied to me, you brat! Next time if you’re going to suspiciously sneak around planning things behind my back, make sure your friends are in on the plan! I was so worried you didn’t like me anymore when I found out you hadn’t actually been going to visit Rintarou-kun and Komori-san,” he sniffles angrily and Osamu has the decency to look sheepish at least.

He sits up carefully so as not to dislodge Akaashi from his lap and reaches out to cup his palm against a clammy cheek, rubbing his thumb in gentle, soothing circles.

“I’m sorry I made you worry, Editor-sama. I promise it won’t happen again. Now can I put my ring on your finger?” he chuckles softly, leaning in to brush his lips against Akaashi’s.

Akaashi nods quietly, watching as he takes his hand and slips the golden band onto his ring finger, and it fits perfectly because of course it does.

“You’ve really had this since our first date?” he asks in a low murmur, admiring the shiny metal for a moment before looking back up at Osamu. He’s the one blushing now and Akaashi can’t help but grin, draping his arms around Osamu’s shoulders and leaning in to kiss him sweetly.

“You’re so cute, Onigiri-san.”

The celebration begins in earnest after that. Akaashi finds himself crushed into several hugs by friends and former teammates, and everyone wants to get a good look at the ring even though there’s nothing fancy about it.

Akaashi thinks the plain golden band is a good representation of his relationship with Osamu, all things considered.

They’ve never been a flashy couple, or the type to do anything risky or outlandish. Their relationship is comfortable and understated, but that’s what Akaashi loves so much about it. He doesn’t need flashy, or loud, or some giant spectacle to be made out of everything they do together.

He just wants Osamu.

And as Akaashi watches Osamu celebrate with their friends by bringing out a truly massive cake and piles of onigiri and other foods from the fridge out back, he thinks he’s finally figured him out after all this time.

Osamu loves food. He’s spoken the language of food for as long as Akaashi has known him. And while Akaashi had been busy waiting for him to say ‘I love you’ out loud, he’s realizing now that Osamu has been saying it this entire time. He just hasn’t been saying it with words.

Osamu tells Akaashi he loves him every single day when he makes lunch for him to take to work, and has breakfast waiting on the table for him to enjoy when he gets out of the shower, and a hot dinner prepared each night after he gets home. He’s been telling him with every lunch date in the park and nanohana no karashiae onigiri made special just for him, and Akaashi had been so busy being insecure that he had missed it every time.

With each and every bite of food Osamu had fed him tonight he had been saying ‘I love you’ and Akaashi…

Akaashi finally hears it.

So when Osamu turns to him with a smile and holds out a fork with a bite of rich chocolate cake, Akaashi feels his chest fill with warm, sweet sunshine.

“I love you too,” Akaashi murmurs and kisses his fiancé instead.

There will be plenty of time for cake later.