Warnings: Pretty spoiler free since the manga is early days plot-wise, mild hinting at stuff from vol 2.
Summary: Chikahito gains a little too much information about his new housemates, and in the process learns something about the consequences of loitering outside other people's bedrooms...
De-anoned from clampkink.
Thanks go to uakari for helping polish it up here and there until it was shinier than the version on the meme. :)
Chikahito had only gone down to the kitchen to fetch a glass of water, he reasoned, looking back on the incident later that evening. It wasn't like he'd asked whatever gods currently messing with his life to have that happen. In fact, he hadn't asked to see that at all. Ever.
"… have to get used to it, you know," A deep voice had echoed, leaking through paper doors that separated one of the bedrooms from the corridor which Chikahito found himself passing through to return to his own room. He recognised the dulcet calmness as Sakura-san, his gentle nature shining through with every word. Chikahito liked Sakura-san; always cheerful, a little strange at times, but almost like a mother figure to Hana and the inhabitants of the Ura-Shichiken.
"Get used to it?" Another voice replied, slightly higher than the other, but still deeper than Chikahito's own. The tone was layered with ice, causing Chikahito to shiver a little as it swept by him, an Arctic wind amongst the heady breeze of a Kyoto spring. That voice was also unmistakable, given that its frostier tones tended to be directed at him a good majority of the time, accompanied by a glare that could kill him ten times over. "That freeloader- what is he even doing here?"
Chikahito had been expecting that particular nickname to pop up sooner or later- as far as he could tell, it was the only name that Tachibana-san deigned fit to call him. I mean, it's true I'm living here free of charge, Chikahito thought, but I am doing a lot of the cooking. He could be a little bit nicer every once in a while. He considered discussing this with the man himself, and suppressed another shudder. Somehow, he didn't think that would go down well. Even if he didn't know much about Tachibana-san, he at least knew from that glare that "scary" didn't even begin to describe him.
"You know that Hana called him back here. She must have some reason, apart from the fact that Chika-chan is a cutie!" (Chikahito blushed at this proclamation.) "We just have to trust in her; she knows what she's doing."
An incoherent grumble was the only reply, muffled by the doors and walls of what Chikahito knew to be Tachibana-san's bedroom. Why had they chosen this very moment to discuss him? Why had Hana chosen to bring him back here? And why (and this was the most important question) was he still standing in the hallway, when he should've been sipping water in his room over homework right now?
In the time that he had zoned out to consider this, it appeared the conversation had moved onto different subjects, of a more serious nature. The voices beyond the door had grown terse, even that of gentle Sakura-san, and Chikahito knew at once that he should probably move on before they happened to realise he was outside. That was if they didn't know already, and their discussion wasn't about Sakura-san stopping Tachibana-san from coming out to murder him.
"…of all people know that it's impossible to track him down right now."
There was a muffled response involving the words "that kid", but Tachibana-san's voice was too low to make out anything else. The tone was one Chikahito hadn't heard before.
"I know you're desperate to find her, but we just have to be patient." Sakura-san's voice resonated calmly. "He's here for a reason, so he'll make contact with us sooner or later. He's already checked out the new addition, after all."
New addition? What were they talking about? Certainly nothing that concerned him, he scolded himself, realising that he had been pressing one ear to the wooden frame of the door, straining for more words.
"What are you doing?" He heard Tachibana-san demand quietly, and for a very tense moment he thought he'd been rumbled. He was halfway to throwing himself on the floor and yelling that he was very sorry for listening in on them, when he realised that the door to the bedroom was still closed.
Sakura-san's mumbled response to the question confirmed that he remained unnoticed.
He let out a sigh (partly at himself for having eavesdropped this long, but mostly out of relief for not having been caught by Tachibana-san), and turned back in the direction he had been heading.
"Wait, what are you… STOP!"
Slamming his water onto a hallway tabletop, Chikahito shoved the door roughly aside as he rushed into the room, voice full of concern. "Sakura-san! Tachibana-san! Are you alri…" He trailed off, words dropping from the air as he beheld the scene before him.
The bed. Tachibana-san was on the bed.
Sakura-san was on the bed.
Sakura-san was on top of Tachibana-san on the bed.
Chikahito wished that his innocent brain would let him believe that one had tripped and sent the other falling onto the bed with him, but there was just no way that that was happening. The section of his brain that specialised in dealing with denial was still outside in the hall. His ability to rationalise this into an unfortunate accident might have had something to do with the way that one of Sakura-san's large and (usually) gentle hands was pinning Tachibana-san's wrists somewhere near the pillows. Or it could've been related to the way his other hand rested on Tachibana-san's thigh, which might have been an accident (due to the fall, he tried to tell himself, though he knew he wasn't buying it) if it weren't for the way the smaller man's kimono was pushed aside to reveal a good majority of pale limb upon which said hand rested, much too close to parts unknown.
Hell, it may have been the way that they were joined at their (ferociously gyrating) mouths.
Which abruptly stopped gyrating at Chikahito's noisy entrance as Sakura-san looked up, startled. Tachibana-san, however, appeared to be somewhere far beyond startled and heading towards must-kill-freeloader territory. From over by the door, Chikahito could still see the flush in his cheeks (the result of an innocent fall that's definitely what it was so shutupbrain) growing slowly redder by the second as he struggled with himself over whether embarrassment or anger would be more appropriate in this situation.
Chikahito could already see which one he was going to go for.
Please, God, if you exist, open up the ground beneath my feet. Plummeting to my death would be so much more preferable than whatever Tachibana-san is going to do to me!
It was here he realised that he hadn't moved at all since his discovery. Which meant he was still within reach of his demon housemate. Which meant he was still very likely to die in the next five seconds.
Move, Chikahito, he yelled internally, what are you doing standing there? MOVE GODDAMN YOU!
Praying to any and all gods listening for mercy, he swept his upper body into the lowest bow he could manage. His hand came up to his eyes, shielding the room from view.
"Oh god! Oh god! I swear I didn't see anything!"
"Freeloader…" A quiet growl emanated from somewhere to his right, a low threat that rumbled through his entire being. It stirred a primal fear in his belly, as he recognised the danger from the man not four paces away.
"I'm sorry! I'm sorry!" Chikahito continued, voice squeaky as he addressed the unseen terror. He could almost picture the darkness reaching out towards him from somewhere over the other side of the room, tendrils creeping along the floor towards him.
"Why are you still standing there, freeloader?" The sharp voice demanded, and Chikahito could swear he felt eyes glaring up at him from the demon's (rather compromising) position on the bed.
"Now, now, Tachibana, be nice to our guest!" The voice of salvation said, a wash of calm in a room filled with tension. Chikahito risked a peek through his fingers, and immediately wished he hadn't. They were still stuck in the same position as before (he suspected that was the only reason he was still alive right now), though both heads were facing in his direction, and Sakura-san's thumb traced a circle on the milky white expanse of Tachibana-san's thigh. Why was that the one thing his eyes chose to zoom in on? At least Tachibana-san had the decency to look as (angrily) embarrassed as Chikahito felt. Sakura-san, however, seemed to hold no such feeling, smiling serenely up at him.
"He should learn to respect others' privacy!" The other man near-yelled. "He can't just walk into other people's rooms when they're- they're-" Chikahito hadn't thought it possible, but he watched as Tachibana-san turned an even darker shade of crimson and strained against the hand that bound his wrists to the bed. Yeah, that was definitely murder in his eyes, Chikahito concluded, fighting the urge to run screaming from the room.
In fact, that seemed like a very sensible idea. Why wasn't he doing that?
"He came in at the wrong moment, but I'm sure there was a good reason." Sakura-san explained, not giving an inch where Tachibana-san's mobility was concerned. "Let me guess. You heard the sound of china breaking…" He nodded towards the corner of the room where a shattered cup lay in a puddle of tea, the source of the noise (and all his troubles) "… and you thought there was something wrong. I think it was brave of him to rush in here, knowing what kind of dangers we usually face, right, Tachibana?"
"I don't care what the idiot's reasons are, he shouldn't come in here!"
"Now, now, don't go getting all embarrassed just because we have company this time!" Sakura-san said brightly. "You weren't half as reticent the last time that we did this!"
"I don't know what you're talking about!" Tachibana-san argued, straining against his bonds, "and would you PLEASE GET OFF ME?"
"Don't worry about it, Chika-chan. It may have come to your attention by now that Tachibana here might dote on Hana, but he's a prickly customer with everyone else. He tends to act indifferently towards my teasing advances, but the fact that he could have escaped long ago and hasn't means he really wants it! Oh, and it was my fault for not realising he was holding the tea when I decided to jump him." This was all accompanied by a friendly grin, the type that usually involved an adult explaining some simple world concept to a toddler.
And there was sudden silence like never before. Silence from the two on the bed because one was entirely comfortable with no further explanation and the other was at a loss for words. Silence from Chikahito because his brain was still lagging behind, struggling to process the new information he had just received about his housemates, and had retreated to a deep dark corner at the mention of a "last time". And because there was no response he could reasonably give to what Sakura-san had just explained.
"I think I just explained that you have an insatiable desire for me, even if you don't care to admit it," Sakura-san mused to his pinned partner. "I thought that would be enough for him to get the hint, especially since the hint is practically dancing naked in front of him."
"And yet he's still standing there."
There was a heavy pause in which both occupants of the room studied Chikahito in silence.
"Maybe he just likes to watch?" Sakura-san concluded, turning back towards the figure he had still pinned beneath him. He leaned down, obviously ready to finish what he had started.
"What are you- MPPH!" Tachibana-san protested indignantly, the rest of his sentence smothered by demanding lips that danced across his own.
He was lost for words right now. Standing in the middle of the room, transfixed, and knowing full well that he should leave, Chikahito just couldn't persuade his body to move. He thought he could hear a slight sound as well, some sort of high pitched protest that was choked before emerging, and realised that it was coming from his own mouth, lips moving up and down without any coherent words as his brain struggled to catch up to what was happening.
It was the moan that Tachibana-san emitted, swallowed by the larger man but still audible to the one frozen in the doorway, a sound of such unadulterated pleasure, that finally got Chikahito's brain (and body) moving. He leaped backwards into the hall, as if fire had erupted in front of him, slamming the door shut before his mind could be tainted any further. Even now, afterimages danced in front of his eyes, taunting him. It was going to take a lot for him to forget everything that he'd just seen. Maybe he should just go drown himself in the bath, to save him from the eventual wrath of Tachibana-san, once he was done doing- no we are not going back to that scenario and ohgod the images getthemout!- whatever it was that they were doing in there.
He was pretty sure that this was now his last night on Earth. He took a minute to contemplate how he should spend his final hours (he should probably fit calling his mother in there somewhere), which was a handy distraction from the sounds floating through the thin divider between Chikahito and his violent end.
A small noise to his right, in the corridor where he stood sweating, caught his attention, and he swivelled his head to find Hana-san moving towards him, trying to catch him by surprise.
A particularly loud groan, from whom Chikahito could not (and did not want to) figure out, cut through the silence like something- well, something embarrassingly shaped. Chikahito could feel himself glowing as he looked down to study Hana-san's reaction. All he could see right now was a mess of black hair, unseen face turned towards the source of the noise.
As that cute head turned back to face him, huge crimson eyes (such innocent eyes, Chikahito concluded, that shouldn't be tainted with this- this- this) gleaming in the dying sunlight, he held his breath. In his mind, he was desperately trying to think up explanations for the noises that wouldn't involve telling the truth, because he wasn't sure that Hana-san knew anything about… that.
As Hana-san opened her mouth to speak, hands coming up towards him, Chikahito prepared himself.
"Wriggle wriggle!" Hana-san said, fingers twitching like so many times before.
Leaving Chikahito in dumbfounded silence, Hana-san continued down the hallway.