Title: Five Times Hanae Called Abeno "Abeno-san" and One Time He Didn't
Fandom: Fukigen na Mononokean (The Morose Mononokean)
Summary: Several people notice Hanae calling Abeno "Abeno-san" and wonder what's up with that.
Notes: This came about because of an omake in the manga where the teacher wonders what's going on. Loved that omake, so I expanded on it here~. I gave a five times fic a try! Think it's actually the first time I've tried this format.
Five Times Hanae Called Abeno "Abeno-san" and One Time He Didn't
The homeroom teacher of Class 1-2 checked his roll book. The student in seat one was absent again. His name was... What was it again... Oh right, Ashiya Hanae, the same student the nurse's office had told him about. Apparently, he had fainted every day since the beginning of the term and had to stay in the nurse's office each and every time. Today was no exception.
What an unfortunate turn of events for the boy, to fall sick right at the beginning of the school year. It was a crucial time for students to make friends and grow accustomed to the school. He could only hope that this student of his would have no trouble fitting in later on.
For once, he paused in telling the class about his daughter. As Ashiya-kun's teacher, he should do his part to help his student fit in.
"Ahem, Ashiya Hanae is still feeling under the weather and will not be joining us today. Don't forget to give your fellow classmate a warm welcome later!"
"Sensei!" A hand shot up. "What is Ashiya Hanae like?"
He gave it some thought and described what he knew of his student in hopes that it would help him find friends among his classmates. Many of the boys perked up at his words.
"Black-haired? Hanae? Always in the nurse's office?"
There were even sighs and dreamy looks that followed. Maybe his worries were baseless, as plenty of the students seemed like they wanted to be Ashiya-kun's friend, all except for one particular student, the very same student who had worried him right off the bat.
He was sleeping through class once again, paying no attention to all the excitement going on around him. As he was the homeroom teacher of Class 1-2, he had tried to wake Abeno-kun up before, only to receive a death glare so frightening that he had taken two steps back. But then Abeno-kun had apologized and sat up straighter, as if nothing had happened. He nodded off again soon after that though.
Was his class really that boring? Or was it the way he spoke?
Even introducing a student they hadn't met yet didn't catch Abeno-kun's interest, but that was completely fine. With Ashiya-kun's weak constitution, there was no need to subject him to the attention of a student like Abeno Haruitsuki, who had blond hair like a yankee and always slept through class, even though it was only a few days into the school year.
Sometimes, he really didn't know what to make of this student of his. He had a feeling he would have a long year ahead of him with this class.
"A-Abeno-san?" Ashiya-kun screeched. There it was again, "Abeno-san." Now that Ashiya-kun had joined them, he was relieved to see this student of his fit in easily with the rest. Fushimi-kun and Saga-kun had even helped him with notes he missed. What great students they were! They had also gotten close, going by how he had heard Ashiya-kun call them "Fusshi" and "Saga," with no honorifics. He could now lay to rest his worries about Ashiya-kun not fitting in... If not for that "Abeno-san."
When do classmates ever address each other so formally? Never! It was weird! Abnormal! Extremely suspicious!
Besides, he had seen Ashiya-kun shrink away from Abeno-kun plenty of times before, and the latter had turned harsh glares on Ashiya-kun more than once, even more startlingly than the glare he had given his teacher. Clearly, something was going on there. Should he change their seats so they weren't sitting so closely to each other? But changing seats out of the blue like that might endanger Ashiya-kun even more, painting the target darker.
No, he had to go to the source!
"Abeno-kun, a moment, if you will," he said, stopping his student before he could leave.
The blond stopped by the doorway and turned around. His stare was eerie, like it could pierce through his very soul.
He gulped. Why should he be afraid of his own student? Whoever they were, yankees or not, he was their teacher! He was here to guide them! So, he cleared his throat and said, "Abeno-kun, are you bullying Ashiya-kun? Or blackmailing him? The poor boy is always so scared of you! Whatever it is, you must stop!"
There, he said it and hadn't died yet, but Abeno-kun was staring at him now.
"...What?" his student finally said.
He steeled himself. In for a penny, in for a pound. "Remember what I said before Ashiya-kun joined the class? We should all give him a warm welcome to get him accustomed to the school. You are doing just the opposite. The poor boy doesn't even dare to address you like a peer, always adding 'san' to your name!"
"Oh, that," was all Abeno-kun said with a bored look on his face.
"...'Oh?'" This was serious!
Eventually, Abeno-kun added on, "I'm not bullying or blackmailing him."
"Then, why does he speak with you like that?" he demanded.
Abeno-kun shrugged, as if it were no big deal to him. "He owes me money."
What?! So you're in a debtor and creditor kind of relationship? That's even worse!
As their homeroom teacher, how could he have let this come about right under his nose?
"Ashiya-kun, if you have any troubles, feel free to tell Sensei!"
"I mean it. Any worries! Come, Sensei is ready!"
"Really, Sensei? You're so kind! Um, actually, recently, I've been having a difficult time sleeping. I keep tossing and turning, all night long! I'd wake up with my arms feeling empty. Even hugging a pillow doesn't help. Pillows aren't soft or fuzzy enough! Do you think buying a new pillow would help? Maybe a rounder one, with a fuzzy cover?"
Poor Ashiya-kun. So troubled that he can't even sleep!
Fusshi crept closer to the cat, camera ready. This cat was an orange one with stripes on the ends of its tail and white feet that looked like the cat was wearing socks. He lifted his camera and quickly snapped a photo of the cat licking its paws and cleaning its face, eyes closing as it did so. As he snapped another photo just as the cat reached for its ears with a white paw, he heard voices down the hallway.
"Abeno-san, why didn't you tell me that we had work? I would have gone with you!" Ashiyan complained, his voice growing louder as they approached.
At the sudden voice, the cat jumped and ran off, self grooming all but forgotten.
Fusshi pouted, but there was nothing he could do about it. Instead, he lifted his camera at Ashiyan and Abenon, capturing them in the middle of their argument. He hummed and looked over the photograph he had just taken.
Ashiyan was in the middle of gesturing, hand lifted high to illustrate his points, while Abenon had on a disinterested expression. The two of them were walking side-by-side, their heights not all that different, yet their bearing worlds apart. There was something elegant in the way Abenon held himself, and with the sun shining upon them, his hair glittered gold under its rays. Next to the dark-haired Ashiyan, who was the very essence of adolescent awkwardness, they were a picture as different as night and day.
The contrast was beautiful.
Fusshi would have to ask them if they'd let him submit this photograph to the club.
After school that day on their way to the convenience store, Fusshi handed his camera to Saga, who scrolled through the photographs on it and gave his thoughts about them.
"Another cat photo? This one isn't half bad. The cat actually looks normal," Saga said with a laugh.
"That's rude to all the other cats that modeled for me," Fusshi said. "How weren't they normal?"
In response, Saga scrolled to that one photo of a ferocious cat that had scratched Fusshi and left him bleeding. It was quite the beautiful photograph, in Fusshi's very humble opinion, worth the pain from the scratches inflicted on him that he could feel to this day every time he looked at that photograph. Such pain was but a small price to pay for the beauty of art.
"Hey, what's this?" Saga said as he scrolled to the photograph of Abenon and Ashiyan in the school hallway.
"Oh!" Fusshi exclaimed, stopping in his tracks as he thought of something.
"I forgot to ask them if they'd let me submit this," Fusshi answered. He pulled out his cell phone and shot off a text to Ashiyan. He then asked Saga, "Do you have Abenon's number?"
Fusshi sent off another text to Ashiyan, asking him to ask Abenon if he would give his go ahead for Fusshi to submit the photograph to the club. Ashiyan was the easiest way to reach Abenon. They always seemed to be together after school, and even if they weren't, Fusshi was pretty sure that Ashiyan had Abenon's number.
They were just about done paying for their purchases at the convenience store when Ashiyan's reply arrived.
"No problem!" was the first reply.
But soon after another text arrived.
"Abeno-san says no, sorry..."
If he didn't get both people's permission, then it was a no go. It was too bad, as that photograph was one of his best, and he had really hoped they would be okay with him submitting it, but more than that...
"He calls him 'Abeno-san' even in text?" Fusshi wondered out loud.
"Huh? What? Let me see." Saga scooted closer, peering over Fusshi's shoulder at the cell phone. "Huh, you're right."
"Why does he call him 'Abeno-san' anyway? That's so weird," Fusshi pondered further.
At first, Fusshi had thought that maybe it was just Ashiyan being polite. After all, Ashiyan's first instinct when they had met had been to call them Fushimi-kun and Saga-kun. If they hadn't told him to drop the honorifics, he would probably still be oddly polite with them. Ashiya was a funny guy like that, crying at the drop of a hat, moved to tears when all they did was give him some notes he had missed. It wasn't like they were terribly inconvenienced, and the notes weren't the best either.
That reaction of his, however, made Fusshi determined to always include Ashiyan in whatever way he could, even if Ashiyan turned him down more often than not, always busy with something or the other. Fusshi could tell that Ashiyan was grateful for it, always happy whenever he did go to the convenience store with them, though he tended to be preoccupied even when he did show up. Still, though they didn't hang out every day, Fusshi was pretty sure that Ashiyan regarded them as close friends, easily calling them "Fusshi" and "Saga."
But even after several weeks and now months, Ashiyan still hadn't changed the way he addressed Abenon. While "politeness" certainly could be part of it, it sure didn't feel like that was the true answer when the two of them argued like cats and dogs. They were arguably much closer than Ashiyan was with him and Saga. Ashiyan certainly never skimped out on yelling at Abenon or wailing at him, even though his face would lose all color whenever he thought he might have offended Abenon. The way Ashiyan addressed their fellow classmate seemed to hint at a distance between them, the two of them not close enough to drop the formality, but what distance was there?
Fusshi scrolled through his photographs again, bringing up the picture he had taken that morning. Seriously, what distance was there?
Sometimes, Fusshi really didn't know what to make of Ashiyan. He could be weird like that.
Not one to beat around the bush, Fusshi came right out and asked the next time he saw his friend. "Ashiyan, why don't you ever call Abenon by his name?"
"W-What?" Ashiyan blurted, face paling. "How can I do that? That would feel so weird!"
Fusshi frowned and rubbed his chin. Why would it feel weird? Ashiyan had no problems with calling them nicknames, and there was also that girl he sometimes saw with Ashiyan. If he could call a girl from a completely different class by her first name, then wasn't calling a guy classmate by his name much easier? The hurdle certainly wasn't as high. "But don't you call that short girl by her first name? No honorifics even."
"Um, during our first meeting, she told me to call her that, and she also called me by my first name," Ashiyan explained while rubbing his neck self-consciously.
Huh, was it just a matter of having to tell Ashiyan to do it? Did Ashiyan feel he needed permission? Thinking back, he and Saga had been the ones to tell Ashiyan to drop the formality and to just call them by their names. Apparently, that girl had done the same. Of course, this only meant one logical conclusion. Fusshi turned to Ashiyan and asked, "So, if Abenon told you to call him 'Haruitsuki,' you would do it?"
Ashiyan paled even more, so much that Fusshi was itching to get his camera out to capture the moment. He might even title it, "The Embodiment of Fear."
"M-Me?" Ashiyan stammered. "Call him 'Haruitsuki?' No way!"
"So it's not enough if he tells you to do it? Does this means he needs to reciprocate first? What if he called you 'Hanae'?" Fusshi asked further.
By the time Fusshi finished saying that, Ashiyan was shaking his head at lightning fast speeds and saying "nonononono" over and over again.
Then, he turned and ran away before Fusshi could get his camera out.
Ashiyan really was a funny guy.
The "short" girl Fusshi had mentioned was none other than Zenko, who had specifically told Hanae to call her "Zenko" upon their first meeting. In turn, she had called him "Hanae" right off the bat, forgoing all formality. By now, reverting to surnames with each other would only feel odd.
Today, Hanae was over to help with the daffodils at the temple. He had on a dazed look the entire time, as if lost in thought about something else, even though his hands still moved without missing a beat, well practiced in the tending of flowers, so much that he didn't even have to think about it. After blatantly studying him with no reaction from him—he hadn't even noticed her attention—she let him be, as the flowers weren't being harmed, to the best of her knowledge.
Putting him out of her mind, Zenko turned back to the daffodils and got to work. The flowers looked much healthier now with proper care, no longer resembling overgrown weeds. Even though she had yanked tons of the flowers out, they were blooming so beautifully now with Hanae's help. These were strong flowers, surviving, no, thriving, even despite the rough treatment they had suffered under her hands.
Zenko was marveling at the beauty and strength of these daffodils when Hanae suddenly said, "Fusshi wonders why I never call Abeno-san by his name. Is it really that weird?"
She paused and glanced up at him just as he wiped his hand across his forehead, leaving a streak of dirt against his furrowed brows.
So, other people had noticed, too. Zenko had given passing thought to it, but that was the extent of her curiosity, just a passing thought. She had met both Hanae and Abeno outside of school first, and she had heard Hanae call him "Abeno-san" back then. It was one of the reasons she had thought that Abeno wasn't a high schooler, and even if he were, he certainly couldn't be in the same grade as her.
Still, it was just one of the reasons, among many. After all, he definitely didn't look like a high schooler, and he didn't carry himself like one either, not to mention his expertise at exorcising demons, which hinted at his many years of experience.
She figured that Hanae was like her and hadn't thought Abeno was a high schooler at first, but she still said, "Yes, it's that weird." It didn't matter if Hanae called him "Abeno-san" outside of school, but doing so at school was definitely odd. It was no wonder that his friends had noticed.
"What? Why?" Hanae whipped his head around, turning wide eyes on her, as if her answer had completely surprised him, which, it really shouldn't have. He had a sad looking daffodil that had to be pruned clutched in his hands like a lifeline.
Zenko pointed out the obvious. "He's the same age as us."
"But, when I first met him, I was under the mistaken impression that he's older than me. You must have thought the same. I know it!" Hanae said.
Even though he had hit the nail on the head, Zenko ignored him. Hanae was right that she had thought the same thing, that Abeno was much older than she was, but they were talking about Hanae right now, not her. She wasn't the one calling him "Abeno-san." So, she continued and said, "He's in your class."
"Well, yes, but I didn't find out about that until later, when I actually met him," Hanae protested.
"He's your classmate," Zenko said, as it deserved to be emphasized.
"That's the same argument as the second one!"
Zenko shook her head. "At least if he were an upperclassman, it wouldn't be strange to call him Abeno-senpai or Abeno-san, but someone from the same grade level? That's just weird. No wonder your friends thought you were weird,"
Hanae wailed, "Zenko! What do I do then? I can't call him 'Abeno'! That's just too weird!"
Having the name "Abeno" pass her lips without any honorifics wasn't the least bit difficult for her, but it was clearly a different matter altogether for Hanae. In fact, Zenko herself couldn't really imagine him saying it, not without lots of wailing and apologies to go along with it, which would only earn Hanae a glare from Abeno.
Zenko watched as Hanae pulled at his hair, and Fuzzy nudged him in comfort. Like always, Fuzzy was a bit transparent to her, but she found her eyes drawn to him anyway. Before meeting Hanae, she hadn't ever considered the existence of demons, and even after meeting Hanae, she had only half-believed what he had spouted. However, she knew inside her heart that there must be something she didn't understand going on to make her father laugh nonstop, so much that he was bedridden the whole time, unable to go about his daily life.
Stuck with no way to help her father, all Zenko had been able to do was tend to the temple's garden, only to discover that she had pulled precious flowers out, thinking them to be weeds. She had been blind to her father's care for her, blind to an entire, hidden world, her own world small and narrow.
But now, an entirely new world had opened up in front of her. She too could see them.
She watched as Fuzzy's comforting nudge worked magic on Hanae. He soon gave his hair a rest, saving the strands from an early death, to pet Fuzzy instead, whose eyes closed in happiness, and more nudging ensued. Fuzzy was quite considerate. If Hanae had pulled at his hair any longer, Zenko would have had to start worrying if he wouldd go bald prematurely.
"We're the same age and met outside of school, too," Zenko said after a long pause, not knowing that she was bringing up a similar point as Fushimi. "You're able to call me by my name easily."
"Um..." Hanae said, eyes shifting away all of a sudden.
Zenko folded her arms across her chest. "Um?"
"Don't hold it against me, but I thought you were a grade schooler!" Hanae blurted.
"How rude," Zenko said and yanked out a daffodil to shove it under Hanae's nose.
Hanae had backed up with his hands held together in apology, but when he saw that it was a flower that had been shoved at him, he blinked and turned a confused expression on her.
"Um, why did you just kill a daffodil? Did I make you that angry?" Hanae asked hesitantly. "Don't worry though! I think the roots aren't damaged too badly! If we plant it back, it should still survive!"
Zenko rolled her eyes and said, "I'm not angry. Here, take this."
Hanae took the yellow flower in confusion.
Zenko went back to tending to the rest of the daffodils. She hadn't gotten it wrong, had she? She certainly wasn't the flower expert here. But she had looked into it after that time she had mistakenly pulled the daffodils out, thinking them to be weeds. While she worked, she said, "Don't daffodils mean new beginnings or something? If you're so worried, why not give it a try and call Abeno something else?"
Ashiya Nara hummed as she chopped up the ingredients for breakfast, recalling her first meeting with her son's friend. It was such a surprise to be greeted by blond hair and golden eyes. He was a boy of the sun, just like Sakae-kun, and just as sweet as well, going out of his way to bring Hanae to the hospital to check up on her, yet standing outside to give them their privacy.
Abeno Haruitsuki was his name, she had learned quite soon.
A new friend, one he had made after entering high school. She could not help but be happy for him that he had made such a good friend. She had worried, for a while, when he had been so under the weather and couldn't even properly attend school. She had the same thing happen to her in the past with her sudden bouts of anemia, which only ever lessened whenever Sakae-kun was around. Making friends was difficult when one was always stuck in the nurse's office.
Perhaps, to her son, this Abeno-kun was just like what Sakae-kun was to her.
Any friend of her son was a welcome guest to their house. She whipped up a hearty breakfast, glad that her son's friend had agreed to stay over to escape the rain. It was her chance to show her hospitality and her gratitude for always looking out for her son.
"Boys, breakfast is ready!" she called out.
Two pairs of footsteps signaled their arrival. She greeted them with a smile.
Over breakfast, they chatted about this and that. She asked after their schoolwork, and then their teachers, to which Hanae laughed about how their homeroom teacher loved sharing stories about his daughter, so much that he often kept on talking after the bell rang, and no one could usually bear to interrupt him and let him know that class had already ended. All except Fusshi. All hail Fusshi!
Fusshi, another of Hanae's new high school friends. A smile came over her face. She dearly hoped that she would meet him one day, too.
However, the name also made her pause, as it made it quite evident that Hanae's way of addressing Abeno-kun was completely different from how he addressed his other friends. She had thought during that first meeting that Abeno-kun was older than Hanae. He had a mature look to him and held himself with such poise. But he was actually a classmate, just about the same age as Hanae.
The other classmate of Hanae's was "Fusshi" to him, while this boy here was "Abeno-san." Were they perhaps not as close as she thought they were?
But watching them over the breakfast table didn't make it appear that way. They chatted easily, just like family, and they better not think that she hadn't noticed them elbowing each other when they thought she wasn't looking. It was almost like having her daughter back at the table with them. Family. She and Hanae would always poke fun at each other and steal food off the other person's plate.
Meanwhile, in return, Abeno-kun called her son "Ashiya," though in her presence, sometimes that became Hanae. But it was clear that he wasn't used to saying that, and her son too was unused to hearing it.
How strange, for this boy to be close enough to her son to accompany him to the hospital, and to jab each other with their elbows at the breakfast table in front of an adult, not to mention stay over at their house in the first place, yet still be on a last name basis.
Then again, she remembered a time when she too could not bring herself to call Sakae-kun anything but Ashiya-san. With the air of mystery about him, and that lopsided smile he always gave her, she had been so flustered that a name was all she could use to keep herself from falling too fast. To her, he had been a presence just like the sun, someone she basked in the presence of.
It wasn't until much later that she was able to call him Ashiya-kun, and then Sakae-kun. Afterwards, however, she never went back. From then on, he was "Sakae-kun" to her.
It was only a matter of time, really.
Like mother, like son, she supposed.
Hanae would get there eventually.
Loneliness? Not a thing with Ashiya Hanae around.
Silence. Emptiness. A lone figure among the tatami mats, the seasons passing by with none the witness but a young human forced to take up the mantle of a master before his time. That was loneliness.
A gaping hole in both of their hearts, the walls closing in yet still framing a room much too large with the center of their world displaced.
Twinkling chimes gone unnoticed, warm tea turning cold from neglect.
That was before.
Laughter. Two sets of footsteps. A newcomer among their private world, as if he had always belonged there, peeling back the solemnity the young-one-turned-master wore like a cloak. Loneliness? What was that?
Color returning, the emptiness filling with something altogether new. Not the same, but something all the same, the world finding balance.
Twinkling chimes answered with a smile, warm tea shared with a friend.
This was now.
A closing door and a sigh, a whisper of "Abeno-san...," a body slumping to the tatami mats, a finger idly tracing across the surface.
"Is it really that strange that I call him 'Abeno-san?' I don't get why everyone is making such a big deal out of it. Abeno-san is Abeno-san!"
A petulant voice, sharing worries with the Mononokean.
Strokes of black ink appearing across the scroll, a twinkling chime and eyes darting up to receive the message, communication successful, existence acknowledged and wanted.
Why don't you call him Itsuki like the others? You won't be the only one calling him that. ( ´ ▽ ` )b
"N-Not even Haruitsuki? Jumping straight to Itsuki? Please, spare my life! I'll die if I ever do that!"
A strangled voice, a face buried and hidden away, an entity full of expression and vigor.
A twinkling chime like a sprinkle of laughter, black ink dancing across parchment.
Itsuki won't mind! Give it a try! Good luck! Fight-o! (◕‿◕✿)
This was now.
Loneliness wasn't a thing with Ashiya Hanae around.
"Abeno-san!" Hanae cried out and leaped forward, but the other boy had already fallen to the ground, face first. Ouch. That couldn't be pleasant.
However, even with the unpleasant, way-too-intimate encounter between face and pavement, Abeno-san had somehow fallen fast asleep, chest rising up and down peacefully. Hanae let his shoulders relax. Opening the portal two times today had taxed him out again. This was no different from the usual. Abeno-san was just asleep.
Still, it must not be pleasant.
He lifted Abeno-san and leaned him against the wall, hoping no one else would wander up to the rooftop. Abeno-san wasn't likely to wake up anytime soon, not if smashing his face against the pavement hadn't prevented him from falling asleep.
Hanae sighed. Too often, he really felt useless. He wanted to help Abeno-san more, but he still didn't understand the ways of that world enough. Even though he had taken a step away from the mundane ever since he met Fuzzy and Abeno-san, he was, in the end, just a human who couldn't grasp what it meant to give his life in service to youkai.
Abeno-san, on the other hand, had been doing this ever since he was a kid. At times, Hanae had thought that maybe Abeno-san himself wasn't human, considering how entrenched in the lives of youkai he was. But no, Abeno-san was human just like he was, only that he lived his life entirely for the sake of youkai. That was why he was the master of the Mononokean and so trusted by the Legislator and other youkai.
Asleep, Abeno-san looked younger, more like a high school student than the lofty master of the Mononokean, even though he was both. His features were softer, his brows smoothed out, his mouth relaxed. Faced with Abeno-san with his guard down, Hanae thought that maybe, just maybe, he would finally be able to bring himself to do the unthinkable.
He hadn’t been able to stop himself from shivering when he had heard Abeno-san call him “Hanae” in front of his mom. How, in turn, would Abeno-san react to hearing his own name from Hanae’s lips?
Gulping, Hanae whispered, "Haruitsuki."
Gods, this was so embarrassing, he could die.
Thank goodness Abeno-san didn’t react.
But someone else did.
Just at that moment, a door suddenly appeared behind them and slid open, making both of them fall backward onto tatami mats. Abeno-san gave a grunt, but even then, he remained asleep.
A twinkling chime sounded, and words appeared on the scroll behind Hanae.
No fair! You should have called him by his name in here so no one is left out! But congrats anyway! ( ≧Д≦)
Hanae laughed awkwardly, having never thought that a room would get mad at him or become witness to his very embarrassing action of calling Abeno-san by his name, but now that they were here in this room, he found that he didn't want to leave the Mononokean out. After all, he had even been congratulated. He gazed toward the flower vase where he had placed the daffodil that Zenko had given him and felt a surge of courage pushing him forward.
Why not indeed?
And really, was it really that embarrassing and intimidating?
Abeno-san was indeed high and mighty and out of his reach, yet he was also a teenager just like Hanae was, who sorely needed someone to look after him and bicker with him, so that he wouldn't forget that he wasn't alone, that he was human, too.
And that sometimes, it didn't hurt to be a bit selfish.
So, Hanae leaned forward, brushing a bang away from Abeno-san's face, tucking it behind an ear, grateful to be privy to Abeno-san in his moments of weakness. Grinning, he cupped his hand and whispered into Abeno-san's ear, "Haruitsuki, good work today."
It's here!!!! ✽-(ˆ▽ˆ)/✽ ✽\(ˆ▽ˆ)-✽
Sleep-filled eyes framed by long lashes slowly fluttered open, blinking at the sight of a blushing but grinning Hanae whose throat was drying up in the face of imminent danger.
"What?" Abeno-san muttered. "And... why are we on the floor?"
After they had fallen through the door to the Mononokean, Hanae hadn't bothered to get back up or to help Abeno-san up. There had been more pressing matters at hand, after all, and the cool tatami floor felt amazing during this kind of weather.
Hanae gulped, trying to find his voice, and scrambled to say, "Y-You exhausted yourself again. Then, we fell through the door..."
...Haruitsuki, Hanae added on to himself, watching Abeno-san get up and absentmindedly rub his ear as he smoothed out his haori with his other hand.
Hanae could not keep the grin off of his face.
Perhaps one day, Hanae would be able to bring himself to call Abeno-san by his name when he was awake and actually aware of what Hanae was saying. Maybe, he would even be able to use a nickname like many others, and Abeno-san would even ask him to do so.
But for now...
Haruitsuki, thanks for letting me stay by your side.
As if he had heard him, Abeno-san turned and asked, hand still touching his ear, “Are you ever going to get up?”
“Sure, I will, in another ten minutes... No twenty minutes...” Hanae said, liking the floor too much and having exhausted all of his energy accomplishing the Herculean task of calling Abeno-san by his name. Really, he deserved a bit of rest for that.
Abeno-san... No, Haruitsuki, rolled his eyes at him and walked over, kicking him away from the door. “At least get out of the entrance so random passersby don’t see a pair of legs without a body to go with it...” He paused for a moment, before saying, “...Hanae.”
Hanae all but shot up from the floor, mouth dropping open, exhaustion completely forgotten.
Haruitsuki just smirked at him.
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