JE, Glass Heart

Title: Glass Heart [Hokuto, Juri]
Rating/Warnings: PG
Summary: Juri does his best for Hokuto when there’s really nothing he can do.
AN: Sorry, all my feelings are sad feelings this week.

Glass Heart

“Count!” Shintarou snaps. “Could you please count? That’s the third time in a row!”

“Sorry, sorry,” Hokuto apologizes, untangling himself from the traffic jam he’s created with Jesse.

“Shush, don’t listen to that tyrant,” Jesse sniffs, patting Hokuto’s shoulders and turning him around, back to start position. “We should have beaten him up when he was half our size.”

“Well maybe,” Shintarou says, rolling his eyes, “I wouldn’t have had to yell at you back then either if you would just fucking count.”

“Okay, okay,” Kouchi soothes. “Jesse and Hokuto will count perfectly this time I’m sure, so there’s no interruption before you sing your cute solo lines for us, Shin-chan.”

Shintarou grumbles something, making Jesse and Juri laugh and point.

Hokuto concentrates harder after that and pulls through with no more disasters, but his heart isn’t really in it today. He focuses on keeping his game face on and smiles in all the right places, not wanting especially to talk about his mood either.

“Hey, come over,” Juri says without preamble once they are changing back into street clothes. Hokuto looks up from tying his sneaker laces with a raised eyebrow. “You can help me bake.”

“All right,” Hokuto says after a second, unable to come up with a good reason to refuse. Juri nods, satisfied, and once they’re both dressed, he trails along behind Juri. The trip to Juri’s house is companionable and quiet, and that suits Hokuto fine. If Juri sees anything strange about the wistful way Hokuto looks out the train window, he doesn’t comment on it.

Juri drops an apron over Hokuto’s head and sets him to work as soon as they get into the kitchen. The cookies are unusually complicated for Juri, involving rolling out the dough, cooking down some kind of sugared chocolate paste on the stove to spread over top, and then rolling it up before slicing it into cute little spirals of dough and chocolate. Hokuto gets the idea that the complication of it is mostly for his benefit, and it’s a nice distraction.

The spiral cookies only take ten minutes to bake, so by the time they’re done cleaning up the kitchen after themselves, the cookies are cool enough to eat. Juri pushes Hokuto down into a chair and hands him one, then watches him expectantly. The cookie is warm and perfect, crispy around the edges and chewy in the middle, the dough buttery against the dark chocolate.

“It’s good,” Hokuto says, “it’s…” and then his throat closes up and his eyes sting. It’s like the simple pleasure of the warm kitchen, the sugar melting on his tongue, makes the sadness that’s been lodged in the center of his chest all day well up and spill over all at once.

“There we go,” Juri says, like he expected that somehow. Hokuto tries to wipe away the tears with the back of his hand, but it only makes them well up faster. Juri steps in a little closer, rubbing Hokuto’s back between his shoulders and urging him to lean his face against Juri’s stomach. He waits until the worst of it is over before asking, “Want to talk about it yet?”

“It’s nothing,” Hokuto says, pulling away and using the heel of his hand to scrub at his eyes.

Juri cups Hokuto’s cheek in one hand, using his thumb to smudge away a tear track. “Is it?”

“It should be nothing.” Hokuto stares down at his hands. It’s easier to explain if he doesn’t look at Juri. “It’s this week. Back when Fuma and I were…whatever we were. I brought him home to meet my family. Whenever this week starts, I just get so sad, all over again.”

“Ahh.” Juri squeezes Hokuto’s shoulder. Hokuto leans his cheek against Juri’s shirt again.

“It’s been three years, so it’s stupid, right?” Hokuto sighs. “To feel like this after so long. I wish I could just make it stop already. ”

“Shush, your soft heart is one of the things we love about you,” Juri says, ruffling Hokuto’s hair. “Don’t change it so easily.”

It doesn’t feel like the worst thing with Juri taking care of him, but Hokuto still. grumbles, “Easy for you to say.”

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