Fandom: Wild Adapter
Disclaimer: Minekura Kazuya owns all that is WA.
Time: A few hours. Since this is the second challenge, I extended the time limit another day after this request had been given.
Challenge: "With Friends Like These". For miya_wada's challenge of a Kubotoki story set in the winter. Feedback is always appreciated, and thank you. ^_^
Lying in Winter
It wasn't the cold that woke him up, but rather…the lack of warmth. Even before he opened his eyes, he knew he was the only one in the bed. The way the mattress bent beneath him was different than if someone was lying next to him. He didn't hear the normal light breathing by his ear, and he didn't feel the warmth on the side that he had felt only a little while before when he had fallen asleep.
When Tokitoh opened his eyes, he could see the night sky through the cracks in the blinds; its edges tinted a dark orange from the lights on the street below. He turned his head and saw beyond the empty half of the bed to the clock on the bookshelf. 1:35 it read.
He could feel it pulling him, the sleep he had dragged himself out of. It weighed on his eyelids and a part of him wanted to turn towards the wall and wrap the blanket around himself, blocking out whatever chill had woken him in the first place. But instead, he kept staring past the empty half and at the clock on the shelf.
He's probably just in the bathroom, he thought. He probably just had to piss or something. Or go get a drink of water.
Or go smoke. He frowned. That asshole can't even sleep for four fucking hours without having to get up to smoke. That had to be it.
Tokitoh wanted to turn around then. He wanted to grab all the blankets and pile them around him, and if Kubota's side of the bed got cold, well, that's just too bad. It's his fault for getting out of it!
His growing anger pushed out any thoughts of going back to sleep. Who the hell does he think he is? Tokitoh pounded the mattress with his fist. Does he want to get me sick? Catch a cold? Serves him right if I did!
He pictured himself wrapped in blankets, a thermometer in his mouth. The old man was there, making that worried face, and holding a big bag of chocolate bars. And the hack was there too-
He frowned at this. Did the hack have to be there? He didn't want him there. He wanted chocolate bars and Kubota to feel all bad.
But if he did get sick, really sick, Kubota would call the hack, so the hack would be there…
Fine. He sat up in the bed and crossed his arms. The hack can be there, but he won't like it, and it'll probably make him even more sick, so that means it's even more Kubota's fault.
And the hack would do that head shaking thing, and say something like, "This could only have happened if someone got out of bed in the middle of the night to smoke cigarettes."
And since no one else was here to do that except Kubota, it had to be his fault! And everyone would know, and Tokitoh would eat all the chocolate bars and not share them at all with Kubota because it had been HIS fault in the first place.
He raised his fists in triumph. Man, would Kubota be sorry then. And to make it up to him, no more curry! It'll be hamburgers and pizza and ice cream every night, and then they'd go to bed, and he'd never wake up cold again! "He shoots, he scores!"
His eyes widened at his own outburst, and he brought down his fists. Waiting a beat, he heard no sign that anyone had heard him shout out. No footsteps down the hall, no turning of the doorknob, nothing.
He looked again at the empty half of the bed and then the clock. 1:45.
He gritted his teeth. What the hell is that asshole doing? Smoking the whole god damn pack?
"That's it!" He threw off the blanket and jumped out of the bed. "I'll show him sorry!" He stomped out of the bedroom, banging the door shut behind him. He stopped as he saw how dark the hallway was. There was no tell-tale line of light at the bottom of the bathroom door. The washroom was also dark. He turned towards the other end of the hall where the kitchen and living room were. There, the only light he saw came from the clock on the coffee maker. 1:47. He looked around to see the kitchen table, empty, and the couch, empty, and then through the glass doors, he could see the balcony, empt-
Wait. He squinted. There was one darker form standing out there, hunched over, so he was almost lost in the shadows around him.
"Gotcha." He walked over to the door and slid it open. "Hey, what the hell are you doing?" He stepped outside and immediately wrapped his arms around himself. "Damn, it's cold out here!"
Kubota turned from where he was looking, and Tokitoh saw the tiny orange light near his lips.
He felt both freezing and triumphant. "I knew it!" He pointed at Kubota. "I knew you were out here doing that shit."
In the dark, he couldn't see Kubota's expression clearly. Was he smiling? Was that what that look was? It didn't look like a smile though. Tokitoh stepped closer. It looked almost…sad-like. Like…
He hugged his arms closer to himself. "What's going on?"
"Nothing." Kubota shrugged. "Woke up and wanted some air."
They stood in silence then, Tokitoh by the door, Kubota leaning against the balcony, one arm hanging over the edge.
Does wanting some air make you look all sad like that? But he didn't ask that. Instead, he rubbed his arms more. "It's cold out here."
"Mm." Kubota turned back to looking out over the street.
"You're not cold?"
No. But I think," Kubota let out a long breath, and even in the low light, he could see it stream out in a misty line, "I think I wanted to be cold for a little while."
Why would you want that? But instead, "Weirdo."
Another silence. All he heard was him rubbing his arms, and a car driving down below. Kubota made no noise at all, just moved the little orange light near his mouth up and down.
"It's cold out here," he repeated.
"Why don't you go back to bed?" Kubota turned his head towards him. Tokitoh didn't move. He didn't want to move. Even if he felt his earlier anger draining away from him, and sleep starting to move in, dragging him down, he didn't want to move. Even if it was cold, he didn't want to move.
"If you don't want to go back to sleep, you could do me a favor then." Kubota took his cigarette from his mouth and held it in front of him. The orange light seemed to hang in the air between them.
"What?" Tokitoh stared down at it since it was the only thing he could see clearly.
"You could keep the bed warm for me, so it won't feel all cold."
Tokitoh looked up from the cigarette to him. Kubota's face was lost in the shadows. He couldn't tell anymore what expression he was making.
But even if he couldn't see it, somehow…he knew. That sad-like look was still there, and maybe Kubota didn't want him to see it, so he came out here.
Maybe the only thing he wanted to show it to was his cigarette.
Tokitoh turned and went back inside. As he walked to the bedroom, the floor felt cold against his bare feet. Looking down at the empty bed, he hugged his arms around himself.
I don't know why you got that sad-like look on your face, he thought, but I do know it's too damn cold for this shit.
After another moment, he realized that was a thought he would like to share.
"It's too damn cold for this shit!"
Although in the darkness he couldn't see Kubota's surprised expression, he could hear it in his voice. "Tokitoh?"
Huddled in the blanket, he stomped back onto the balcony. "Warm it yourself, asshole!"
Another silence. Tokitoh wrapped the blanket tighter around himself and waited. He waited for Kubota to pull out another cigarette or turn away or tell him to go back inside again. But he wasn't going to budge, and even if it started snowing, he'd just go and grab another blanket.
But Kubota did not turn away or tell him to go back inside. Instead, "Okay, I will."
He stubbed out his cigarette on the edge of the balcony and walked over to him. Tokitoh felt the blanket start to pull away. "Hey, what the hell? This is mine!"
"But I'm cold." Kubota unraveled him from the blanket and wrapped it so it covered half of them together. "Can't we share?"
Standing chest to chest, Tokitoh felt how cold Kubota was, and he shivered. The blanket tightened around him. "Sorry," he heard softly by his ear. "I guess I was out here too long."
He leaned forward and rested his cheek against Kubota's front. Cold…but getting warmer. "You don't even know sorry yet."
"If you get a cold because you had to stand out here and be an asshole, and then the hack has to come over because you're all sick and shit, then you'll be sorry. And then, I'm gonna eat all the chocolate bars and not share any because you'll be all sick, and you can't eat chocolate if you're sick."
"Wait-what? Who's sick? What chocolate?" Still huddled together, Kubota started to push him towards the inside.
"You're sick and my chocolate! And then you'll be so sorry. And then, no more curry!"
Tokitoh felt a hand, warm, touch his forehead. "Are you feeling all right?"
"I'm fine." He brushed Kubota's hand off and stepped out from the blanket. "Just close the door already. It's fucking freezing out."
"Hai, hai." And the door slid shut.
The bed was cold when they got back in it, so when Kubota drew him closer under the blanket, he didn't pull away. "But only until it's warm again," he said. "I don't want to catch that cold you're gonna get."
"Of course." Smoky breath on his cheeks. He moved closer to it and closed his eyes, so all he could feel was the heat on one side, and all he could hear was a light breathing by his ear. The mattress beneath bent with the weight of two, and the warmth and then sleep overtook him.