Crystal (RomShuu, PG, 1100 words)

Apr. 23rd, 2019 12:10 am
yrindor: Head shot of Ulquiorra Cifer on a black background (Default)
[personal profile] yrindor
For Kii for the prompt "RomShuu + grooming"

The lights of the izakaya glittered at the end of the alley, beckoning Rom out of the rain with their siren song. It didn't take much; the weather was lousy, and the corporate tax forms at the office that day had been lousier, too full of exceptions and special cases that he had to constatnly refer back to the tax codes and interrupt his flow. After everything, a cold beer, the warm izakaya, and the steady of thrum of background noise to lose himself in sounded wonderful. He turned down the alley.

Shuu materialized out of the shadows, pinning him against the wall before he had a chance to react. Anger glittered off of him like the crystalline raindrops on his black jacket. "What are you doing?" he hissed.

"You left."

"So what!? I leave and you fall apart? I leave and you forget how to take care of yourself and start joining in the coffee shop open mics to wallow in your own misery? It's pathetic! You think you'll ever make it in show business like this when appearances are half the game? When was the last time you exfoliated? When was the last time you did a deep conditioning on your hair? You're coming with me!"

He grabbed Rom by the wrist and dragged him into the public back across the street. "Can you undress yourself, or do I have to do that for you too?"

"I can do it myself!" Rom snapped, stalking to a basket as far on the other side of the room as he could find. How dare Shuu waltz right back into his life as if he hadn't been the one to walk out without a backward glance. It made Rom seethe. Why had he even followed Shuu here? There was no reason for him not to walk right back out and straight into the izakaya. Let that be a lesson to Shuu about treating people like his playthings to pick up and discard on a whim.

But it was Shuu, and the thought of Shuu, here, with his hands on him made his pulse quicken even as he seethed.

He yanked at his shirt, and the loose button finally ripped free completely. He fumbled with the fabric, found a coffee stain on his sleeve he didn't remember. He balled up the shirt around it and tossed it carelessly into the basket. The rest of his clothing soon followed before he grabbed a washcloth and stalked into the bath proper.

Shuu was already waiting for him, as soft and sparkling as ever, though paler and more gaunt than before by Rom's estimation.

"Sit here," Shuu ordered, pointing to the stool in front of him.

Rom obeyed, and immediately had a bucket of cold water dumped on his head for his troubles. He sputtered, ready to throw a punch as soon as he could see again, public place be damned.

"That," Shuu said while Rom blinked, "was for being an idiot. Now, I get to clean you up properly." He sat behind Rom, either not noticing or not caring how close he was to being throttled.

Whatever murderous rage Rom had felt before melted away as soon as Shuu's hands were on him, kneading out tension he hadn't even known he was holding. There was none of Shuu's tongue and teeth on him now, just some sort of rough washcloth and a stiff brush for his tail that Shuu must have brought himself, but it was still Shuu, and he was still here.

Rom purred just a little as Shuu shifted to digging his fingers into his hair. He hadn't meant to; it had slipped out despite him. He longed for Shuu's breath whispering in his ear, Shuu's teeth scraping the back of his neck, but that was then, and this was now. Shuu was nothing if not detached and professional as he worked, holding up a hand to keep the water out of Rom's eyes as he rinsed his hair. That same, distant gentleness held as Shuu urged him up and into the steaming tub.

"Soak here for awhile," Shuu ordered. "It will be good for your pores."

Rom floated, distantly aware of Shuu washing himself now. This is what he needed after such a long day. Not more people, not more noise, just a hot bath and Shuu. Why had he been so upset with Shuu at first? There had been a reason; it was there, on the tip of his tongue, just out of reach, but chasing it was too much effort when he could just float here instead.

All too soon, Shuu came back for him again, pointing him back to the stool from before. The first bucket of cold water pouring down his neck jolted him right out of the half-dream he had been in. He hissed and tried to knock it from Shuu's hands.

Shuu tsked at him. "Always end with cool," he said, "unless you want your pores absorbing every bit of dirt and god knows what out on the street. I could just dump you in the cold tub if you'd prefer."

Rom glared but stayed put. How could someone who could be so gentle be so infuriating? He braced himself for the next onslaught. Even if it made his hackles stand on end, he wouldn't give Shuu the satisfaction of seeing him flinch again. The same hot frustration from before had nearly boiled over in his gut before Shuu abruptly stopped and wrapped him in an impossibly fluffy towel. He swore Shuu was humming while he worked, the infuriating bastard. His tail flicked, and Shuu caught it, brushing it through with lightly scented oil until it shone. His skin received the same treatment from one of the many little pots in the case Shuu had pulled out of somewhere, and then it was more oil for his hair.

Finally, Shuu stepped back and examined his handiwork. All of the little jars and tubes when back into their case. "Don't forget to moisturize again before bed tonight," Shuu ordered. "Especially if you go out in this rain again." Without warning, he grabbed Rom by the hair and pulled him in. "Don't you dare make me come find you again," he hissed.

Then, he was gone. By the time Rom scrambled back into his tangled clothes and rushed to the door, Shuu was nearly out of sight, the lone figure at the end of the street with raindrops glittering like crystals on his coat.

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