It wasn't six o’clock yet, but the world outside had already turned dark. The wind rose wildly through the streets, rain lashing heavily against them. The sound of heavy rain drops was heard on the roofs. Huge amounts of rain water flowed along the edges of the street into the drain like waterfalls.
The landscape appeared dismal, cold and empty.
Except for some cars that fought their way through the heavy rain, there were only two men running along the sidewalk. The smaller of the two had troubles keeping up, his lungs burnt like fire, he tried to focus on their way home, his breath was visible as small clouds that hit his face. He shuddered slightly, his brown hair was drenched and framed his face in heavy strands.
"Nearly there," he heard next to him, and he glanced to Takahashi. He was just as drenched, but seemed to be relaxed about it. Gen looked in front of him again, lacking the energy to respond. He didn't want to die from a heart attack or respiratory failure on their way to the base. He envied Takahashi for his ability to reset when he felt weak. To simply reset after catching an illness. But the thought of dying repeatedly was not very pleasant, either.
Breathing heavily, Gen fell onto his knees, his heart racing. Takahashi patted his back encouragingly. "You see?"
Still panting, Gen turned around just enough to look at him indignantly. "Who was the one that wanted to go buy drinks so badly?"
Feeling caught, the black-haired man grinned and grabbed Gen at his wrist in order to pull him closer.
"Come on, we need to get out of those wet clothes before we catch a cold,” Takahashi said. Gen rather kept his thoughts to himself.
Sighing in satisfaction, Gen closed his eyes as his shoulders met with hot water of the shower, which surrounded his frozen body with comfortable warmth. Goose bumps covered the entirety of his skin and his hair stood on ends. He massaged his neck gently with his fingers, reminding himself that he should hurry up. The warm water was pretty limited, after all.
A hammering sound on the other side of the door shook him out of his day dream. "Yeah?” he said, knowing all too well who it was.
"Brought you something to wear. Gonna put it outside, next to the door."
Gen smirked under the warm shower. Takahashi had practically ripped off his wet clothes and pushed him into the shower. If he had done that out of his own accord or because Gen was the only one able to die from the flu, he wasn't too sure.
Lost in thought, Gen switched off the water and looked at his hands. Compared to Takahashi's they appeared nearly delicate.
They had been friends for so long, it hadn't mattered to him when he found out that his mate was an ajin. It was so natural to stay by his side, he never really questioned why he did. However, the more time they spent together, the more they got to know each other and Gen finally realized that he felt more for Takahashi. He didn't want to ruin their deep friendship because of his own feelings, thus he stayed quiet and enjoyed every single moment they shared together.
As he rubbed himself dry on a towel he asked himself if he didn't act out of a selfish desire as well. He did enjoy it when Takahashi protectively threw himself in front of him. Gen sighed and took the clothes that were neatly put in front of the bathroom door. He got dressed and wondered why the heap of clothing had been so small: Clothed in nothing but boxers and a tee, he hurried into the sole room that had a couch that wasn't broken. Their base was furnished very rudimentarily, except for the professional technical gear and all the weapons that were spread in every room.
Gen grinned when he turned the corner and saw Takahashi spread on the couch, clad with pineapple-print boxers and a tight t-shirt. The man continued towards Takahashi and his heart beat so loudly in his chest that he was thankful an ajin's special ability wasn't better hearing.
Takahashi was rubbing his hair and only noticed Gen when he put his towel back around his neck. His short black hair was a mess, Gen loved his wild appearance. He had to force his gaze away and looked to the window at the back. The glass trembled dangerously as rain drops hit the pane in an incessant, drumming rhythm.
"Will the others return today?"
"If not, tomorrow morning. Satou has left his game here, wouldn't wanna switch with Tanaka or Okuyama," was the swift response of the taller man, who looked over to Gen. "Now don't just stand around and come over. Your hair is still wet. Why is it tied up anyway?"
Gen hesitated before slowly moving towards the couch. He liked his long hair, but it would feel weird to wear it loose. As he sat down, Gen took the towel but was stopped by Takahashi who pulled at his wrist to tow him closer to him.
Gen couldn't do anything but press shut his eyes as his partner pulled off the hair band and threw the towel over his head. Takahashi's hands felt rough on his scalp. "Jerk," he hissed, but only received loud laughter as a response. A gap opened in the towel and their eyes met. The grin on Gen's face couldn't be stopped from spreading, and Takahashi returned with one of his broad smiles before leaning back, relaxed. Gen moved closer to Takahashi, putting one leg over his lap and pressing himself into his side. Loud thunder boomed which made them flinch in surprise, shortly after they broke into loud laughter. Even if the rain was still drumming against the window pane and the wind still howled creepily though the roof, the heaviness of the weather slowly decreased.
Gen couldn't help but admire Takahashi's toes. It might sound absurd but he loved every detail of him, every time he looked at him there was something new that fascinated him.
He looked up in surprise when Takahashi suddenly took his foot into his hands and massaged it. Gen's cheeks felt hot.
"Relax. You don't need to freak out like that," Takahashi remarked and put more pressure on his foot. His hands turned out to be nimble wrongdoers that knew the most sensitive places and massaged at the right spots. Gen swallowed hard, nevertheless the massage did wonders, he leaned back onto the arm rest and closed his eyes in bliss. If Takahashi wanted to massage his feet so bad he wouldn't dare stop him.
The taller man shook his head and laughed. "Like a cat," he said and rubbed his fingers over the arch of Gen’s foot. His thumb stroke along the sides while his fingers got closer to the bottom. As he applied more pressure, it caused Gen to let out a satisfied sound. Takahashi caressed Gen's ankle in an affectionate gesture.
Takahashi often asked himself why Gen was doing what he did, it touched him how naturally Gen stuck with him. The mere thought of losing him on a mission sent an unpleasant shiver down his spine. How often did he try to stop Gen, how often did he want to tell Satou and the others the truth about his friend. But Gen wouldn't let him, he was so sure that Satou would make him leave if he knew that he was human. Takahashi wondered whether the others didn't suspect something already. If it was too evident how he kept Gen behind him all the time? He wanted to be the protective wall in front of him, he'd rather die for real than losing Gen.
"Takahashi?" The taller man looked up and blinked. He squinted at Gen, who gave him a questioning look.
"Sorry, must have been lost in thought," he admitted, a small grin on his lips. Gen had a hunch what kind of thought it was, but didn't want to discuss again.
"How about you tell me how you got the shop owner to throw us out in less than two minutes! We had to run back home without getting a hand on some booze, jeez."
The question didn't miss its effect on Takahashi, who started to bark his loud laugh. He tried to talk his way out by explaining the supposed misunderstanding. Gen only listened to Takahashi's pleasant words that warmed his heart.
As the storm still howled over them, the two of them sat close and enjoyed their time together.
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