stellaris - Chapter 2 - crisantemi (2024)

Chapter Text

Kei slowly opens his eyes, glaring at the sunlight pouring through the window as if it had somehow offended him. He blinks once, twice, adjusting his eyes before propping himself up on one elbow and turning to face the man next to him.

Kuroo Tetsurou, the love of his life, asleep next to him. Kei quietly smiles, reaching out to run his fingers through the mess of bedhead Kei had long given up on trying to understand. Sunlight tickles Tetsurou’s face, illuminating it in a way that makes Kei wonder if he’s finally made it to heaven and this is an angel right next to him.

Tetsurou loosely reaches out for the body next to him, but he’s still asleep and Kei unwillingly forces himself to wriggle out of his boyfriend’s grasp. He knows if he doesn’t get up now, he probably won’t until well into the afternoon. While he’s not entirely opposed to spending an entire day doing nothing but cuddling, he knows he won’t be able to ignore the nagging voice in the back of his mind reminding him of the work that has to be done.

As he moves towards the bathroom to brush his teeth, Kei wonders how he got to be where he is right now. How he got to be so damn lucky to have someone like Tetsurou to wake up to every morning and fall asleep with every night. What he had done to deserve someone who treats him as if he were the best thing to have happened to the world and isn’t afraid to say it either.

Tetsurou is obnoxiously loud most of the time but unexpectedly introspective when he needs to be. He radiates like the sun, can draw in a whole crowd with his charm and wit alone, but he is never selfish with the people around him. Tetsurou is observant, seems to know the way Kei’s brain and body work together better than Kei himself sometimes.

Kei loves Tetsurou through the layer of boisterous laughter and bravado, sinks deeper than the surface that everyone else gets to see. He doesn’t want to call it a facade, really, because he knows the confidence is real. But he also knows how hard it was for him to get to that point where it didn’t feel like an act, how long it took for him to see as much good in himself as he saw otherwise. Tetsurou had taken that same confidence straight into their relationship, loved Kei as if it was the only thing that he could be sure of in this world. Kei did not expect it to be so easy to do the same.

The world could spin off its axis, the sky could turn green and the grass blue, and Kei will still know he has loved Tetsurou from the very first day and will continue to for as long as the Earth lets him breathe. Kei doesn’t know what to do with it, sometimes, all this love he holds for this singular person, so he tries to tell him through his body and not through the words Kei knows would never be enough to do his feelings justice.

Kei loves Tetsurou through making his favourite meals on the days he doesn’t have work, through small purchases of cat-related trinkets he thinks his lover might like. Through gentle forehead kisses and a head on a shoulder.

Kei makes his way to their kitchen to prepare some tea, pulling out the matching set of cat-adorned mugs he had bought for Tetsurou and himself on the way back from work one day. Waiting for the water to boil, he mindlessly traces his fingers over the outlines of the cat on his cup.

For a long time, Kei had been as afraid of Tetsurou as he was in love with him. He was younger and love was still unfamiliar to him in an uncomfortable, overwhelming way. It made him sick to his stomach when he thought about how easy it would be for Tetsurou to destroy him by destroying their ‘us.’ Before he realised what was happening, what he was feeling and why was feeling it, he was already pulling himself away from Tetsurou. There was more bite than usual in Kei’s quips, less nights where Tetsurou would fall asleep with Kei in his arms.

“Kei? I think we need to talk,” he had said one night while Kei was washing some dishes. His voice was soft and concerned, but it had startled Kei so terribly he dropped the mug he was holding. It had been Kei’s favourite mug too, the one with dinosaurs that his brother had gotten him when he moved into the apartment. In an instant, the mug was shattered across the floor and Kei felt his heart go right alongside it.

That night, he had fallen apart into Tetsurou’s arms, grasping him and pushing him away all at once, trying to fight his fears with affection, because he knew he loved Tetsurou, never doubted that, but he had been so afraid of being alone again that he started to fulfil the prophecy himself.

He still doesn’t know if he’s forgiven himself for what happened, but knows that Tetsurou stuck by him for every unbearable second of it. Helped him sweep up the shards of glass and make space for something new, something shinier and more beautiful than Kei could have ever imagined. His heart almost aches knowing that Tetsurou will never leave his side so long as he wants him there, (which he does, more than he can even imagine,) will help him sweep up as many shattered mugs and put together his heart as many times as he needs to.

Kei’s thoughts are interrupted by the high whine of the kettle. He pours the steaming water into one mug, then the other, watching as the liquid turns from clear to earthy green, waiting for it to be as dark as he and Tetsurou like it. From the corner of his vision, he sees a bleary-eyed boyfriend walk towards him and before he knows it there is a warmth against his back and a head against his shoulder.

They exchange their good mornings and Kei forces Tetsurou onto the couch, hands him his tea. They sit in comfortable silence as they sip away, and while Tetsurou still seems too asleep to be focusing on anything at all, Kei takes the opportunity to admire his lover from across the couch. Feels his heart clench at the way the mug looks tiny in his hands, the way he leans over a little bit before sticking his tongue out to test the temperature of the tea. It’s so painfully domestic that Kei has to wonder if he’s a part of some sappy romance TV show, one of those ones Tetsurou likes so much.

He decides, this is so so, much better. Because it’s real, and it’s forever. He decides, right then and there,

Kei will always love Tetsurou like the moon loves the sun.

stellaris - Chapter 2 - crisantemi (2024)
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