Title: Coffee and Snow
Summary: Ohkura and Hina are trapped in Hinaís apartment during a snow storm.
Christmas was only in two days. Ohkura Tadayoshi didn't think about that.
He thinks about the shows he is supposed to be on. The plane
that will take him away from
The alarm goes off. It isn't his alarm. He is staying with his friend Murakami Shingo. It's closer to the studio. He's sleeping on the couch. It's better then nothing. But it's always cold on the couch. The couch is too short for his long frame.
The apartment has two bedrooms. One belonging to Murakami Shingo. The other to Yokoyama Yu. Ohkura tries not to think of the relationship Hina had with Yoko. It's easier when he doesn't.
The drummer is so tired. All he wants to do is sleep. His friend looks at him and smiles. "Rest now, we've had a blizzard."
Ohkura does as he is told to. That's all his life had been for the past few months, following orders. Doing as others tell him to do. Hina always has his best interest at heart, so Ohkura knows that it's best to follow his friends' wishes.
He finally wakes up hours later. His long frame aching from the small couch. But heís been covered in a blanket, and he feels warm for the first time in a long time.
Hina had turned all the lights off. There were just the twinkles from Christmas lights. Then Ohkura realized it was light outside. He had set the alarm for four am. He was supposed to only have three hours of sleep.
"I'm going to be in so much trouble." Ohkura rubbed his eyes. He began to look for his glasses.
Hina hands them to him. "Why would you be?"
"I'm late for my taping." Ohkura shoves the glasses onto his nose.
"No, you're not." Hina smiled. "All tapings have been canceled for today."
"Good," Ohkura stretched. "I canít remember a day when I didn't have to do something."
"How long as it been since you had a day off?" Hina poured something in a cup and handed it to Ohkura.
"It was in September I think." Ohkura sat up, and took a drink of the liquid. It was coffee.
"September?" Hina sat down on a nearby chair. "Why haven't you told anyone?"
"The agency knows." Ohkura shrugged.
"Why do you work so hard?" Hina asked.
"We both know I have to earn my way into this group." he looked down to his coffee. "I was only put in the group so we could have eight members. So I work hard, hoping that someday I will be accepted. But I'm not, not yet."
"That isn't true."
"It is too true, we both know it is."
"Who told you that?" Hina demanded.
"You did, when I first joined." Ohkura sipped at his coffee.
He worried about Ohkura; his friend was at the brink of exhaustion. Still, he worked hard. Nothing mattered to Ohkura except his work. He wasn't eating right or getting any sleep.
Hina blamed himself in a way. He had encouraged Ohkura's hard work. Not thinking that his friend was going without sleep.
Ohkura was sitting on the couch, curled up in a blanket. He was drinking his fourth cup of coffee. Hina had never thought of the reasons why Ohkura drank so much coffee. The younger man would drink liters of it if he had been allowed to. The coffee was to keep him awake, to keep him functioning.
Others had accused Ohkura of getting a lucky break. Perhaps sleeping his way to the top. But instead, Ohkura worked almost non stop to reach his goals.
"Tacchan, can I ask you a favor?" Hina asked him.
"What is it?" The younger man looked at him. There were bags under his eyes from lack of sleep.
"Can you stop calling me Murakami-kun?"
Ohkura looked puzzled. "What would I call you then?"
"Almost everyone calls me Hina except for you." Hina pointed out.
"I canít do that," Ohkura finally told him.
"Why can't you?"
"I call you Murakami because I respect you." Ohkura looked down to his empty coffee cup. "You've worked so hard to make our group successful."
"You respect me?" Hina repeated.
"Since I've joined the juniors I've looked up to you." he admitted. "I saw how much hard work got you your goals, so I too tried to work hard."
"You wanted to be like me." Hina realized.
Ohkura nodded then blushed. Hina realized his friend had a secret that was much more then simply wanting to be like Hina.
Ohkura felt his heart race. Hina wanted him to call him by his nickname. Ohkura got off the couch and walked to the window. Outside he could see the streets covered in snow.
If only, was what Ohkura was thinking. If Ohkura wasn't so busy at work, and Hina didn't have Yoko then perhaps there would be a chance for them to be together. But he was a realist; he knew there wasn't any chance for them to ever be together.
He wasn't sure when he had started to like Hina. He knew he did soon after Hina had offered him the use of his couch. He knew for the best of the group he would have to stop staying with Hina.
"Is it still snowing?" Hina asked.
"Yeah, it is." he paused. "Have you heard from Kimi?"
"Yeah, he's staying in
"He won't try and get back home?"
"I think he'd have more fun in
"Oh I see," though Ohkura didn't see at all. Perhaps if he wasn't so tired, then he could think straight.
It was almost seven at night and Ohkura hadn't even acted like he was hungry. That surprised Hina. Ohkura would eat non stop if he had the chance.
Instead, all Ohkura did was sit on the couch and drink cup after cup of coffee.
Hina went into the kitchen and checked on the food he had put in the slow cooker hours before. It was a rich stew that he hoped would be able to satiate the drummerís almost endless hunger. .
"What are you cooking?" The drummer followed him into the kitchen. Suddenly Ohkura looked very, very hungry.
"I made some stew, that way we can eat on it all day." Hina told him.
"Can I have some?" Ohkura asked almost bashfully.
Hina ladled out a large bowl of soup. Ohkura sat down at the kitchen table and began to eat.
"Why do you eat so much?" Hina asked him.
"I usually donít' get time to eat," Ohkura said as he shoveled food into his mouth. "When I do, I eat a bunch."
"They don't schedule you meal breaks?"
"Not usually no," Ohkura finished the bowl. ďJust like they donít schedule me times to rest.Ē
"Why don't you have some more?" Hina offered. "I made lots."
"I have to watch my weight." Ohkura got up and put the bowl in the sink. "We both know I have a problem with my weight."
"I told you that once didn't I?" Hina realized.
"It's the truth." the taller man shrugged. "That's why I like you; you tell me the truth."
Ohkura poured himself another cup of coffee and went into the living room.
Hina watched his friend go. He vowed to himself that things would change for Ohkura. He would talk to the agency; make it so that Ohkura had breaks for sleeping and eating. Had days off so he could recover. Hina would also give Ohkura the thing he realized his friend needed most of all.
Ohkura had lied to Hina about being hungry. He was still starving. He did as he always did. He waited until he knew his friend was asleep. Eating in secret was wrong, he knew it. But the problem was that he was so hungry that he didn't care.
The drummer went into the kitchen, he felt as he always did when he did this. He felt ashamed for himself. He knew he should be more like Hina and have more self control. Ohkura knew he had to watch his weight. The hunger kept calling to him and he found himself answering it.
The stew Hina had made earlier in the day smelled so wonderful. The slow cooker was still on; the stew was ready to eat.
There was a note by the slow cooker.
"Tacchan, you're welcome to eat anything in this slow cooker. In fact, you would be doing me a favor if you eat it all. That way I can put on something fresh in the morning. There is rice in the rice cooker if you would like to eat some rice. Watching your weight doesn't mean starving yourself. You must have food for energy. So please eat."
Ohkura read the note three times. For the first time he realized that perhaps, just perhaps Hina cared for him. Not as a lover, but as a brother. Hina was the older brother who would always take care of him.
Ohkura spooned out a bowl of the stew and for the first time in a long time, he didn't feel guilty as he ate.
Hina woke up. He went into the living room. He found the drummer sleeping on the couch. His legs pulled up uncomfortably. . The blanket Ohkura had been using had fallen off of him. Hina picked up the blanket and put it back onto his friend.
Ohkura opened his eyes just a bit. "Are we still snowed in?"
"No work today," he smiled at Ohkura.
"Then I can sleep."
"As much as you want," Hina promised.
"Night Murakami-kun," Ohkura's eyes flickered shut.
Hina walked into the kitchen. The slow cooker was full of something that smelled really good. A note was beside it.
Thank you for letting me has the rest of the stew. I made something to replace it. I hope you didn't mind that I used some of your food to make it. I'm sorry that it's the breakfast casserole. I hope you like it anyway.
Hina checked the pot. Inside was a breakfast casserole that was Ohkura's specialty. He could remember the group teasing the drummer because it was about the only thing that Ohkura could cook. The teasing had been good natured, but Hina had realized that even good natured teasing could hurt someone.
"It has to change,Ē The older man told himself for the hundredth time. Then he made a pot of coffee for Ohkura.
Hina was working in the kitchen. He had turned off the lights in the living room so that his friend could sleep. He ate some of the casserole that Ohkura had cooked and realized it was really very good. Then he looked over material that he had to learn for an upcoming TV appearance.
It was Christmas Eve, and Hina knew they couldn't go on like this anymore. The pretending that they didn't care for each other. It would have to change. Ohkura deserved to have love in his life.
It wasn't only that, Hina realized. Hina had been alone for over a year. He was tired of dating that didn't lead to anything but one night stands. He loved Ohkura and wanted to be with him.
An hour later, Ohkura came into the kitchen. He was wearing a robe and his glasses. Hina wished that Ohkura would always wear his glasses; he loved the way his friend looked in them.
Ohkura stumbled to the coffee pot and poured himself a cup. He then went to the slow cooker and spooned some of the casserole into a bowl. He took the bowl and cup to the table and sat down.
"Morning," he grunted.
"Good morning Tacchan," Hina told him.
Ohkura ate in silence. He looked like he was still asleep. When he was finished with the first, he went and got a second bowl and ate that too.
"You're casserole was very good." Hina finally told him.
"Thank you Murakami-kun," Ohkura told him.
"Can you teach me how to cook it sometime?" the older man felt his heart race. It had been doing that more and more around Ohkura. If something didn't happen soon, Hina felt like he would probably have a heart attack.
The drummer looked at him, really looked at him. "You're not teasing me."
"Of course not, I really want to learn." Hina said seriously.
Ohkura smiled a real smile that came from his heart. "I'll teach you, if you teach me how to cook your stew."
"Deal," Hina couldn't help but smile back.
Ohkura couldn't believe it. Hina was teaching him how to cook. He knew it was Hina's way of telling him that he couldnít' cook, but Ohkura didn't care. He felt as if their relationship had changed ever so slightly.
He was cutting stalks of celery. He felt Hina's hand on his shoulder. "That's right, cut them into small pieces."
Ohkura continued to do as he was told, pretending that he didn't notice the hand on his back. He tried to ignore the fact that Hina's hand moved from his shoulder to his waist, then finally his hips. He tried to ignore the scent of Hina's cologne. How if the older man had asked, Ohkura would have let him take him right there and then.
Ohkura tried to still his heart. It kept making doki doki sounds. He felt as if he would faint at any moment. Hina was close, so very close to him. If he moved just a fraction they would be holding each other. But Ohkura knew that would never happen.
"He's just acting like a brother," Ohkura reminded himself. "He's with Yoko."
After a while, Hina moved his hand. "Now put them in the slow cooker."
Ohkura did as he was told. Then he had to cut up the carrots.
"Do you have any boy friends?" Hina asked.
"I'm too busy for love." Ohkura said truthfully.
"When was the last time you went out on a date?"
"About two years ago."
"Who was it?"
"Maruyama, but we were more friends then lovers."
"But there's been no one since then?" Hina persisted.
"No one. I told you, I'm too busy to love." he didn't like taking about his lack of having a love life, not with Hina. He had to change the subject. "Do I cut the carrots into rounds or squares?"
"Rounds let me show you." Hina took the knife from him and show Ohkura how to cut the carrots.
It was Christmas Eve. Hina had tried several times to give Ohkura the opening to move their relationship forwards. He had begun to touch Ohkura more then normal. The drummer seemed to melt into the touch, but hadn't responded to the touch.
They were sitting together in the living room. Before, Hina would have sat in a chair, but now he sat beside Ohkura on the couch.
"Sometimes I wish that Santa would bring us a blizzard that would last a month." Ohkura told him. "I didnt' realize how much I missed days off."
"What would you do if that happened?" Hina asked.
"Stay here, drink coffee." Ohkura shrugged.
"No, that's not all." Ohkura admitted. "What would hours of spending time alone accomplish? I just wish I had someone to share that time with."
"You like someone?" Hina guessed.
"Heís everything to me." Ohkura's voice dropped to a whisper. "He's the one that taught me to be strong. But I'm so afraid to tell him how I feel."
"You should take the chance."
"The one I like...He's not the type to hesitate with anything" his voice was even lower. "If he wanted me, he would have taken me long ago."
"You want to be taken?" Hina couldn't believe his ears. "You mean raped?"
"Of course not. It's just the one I like is so strong, he always gets what he wants." Ohkura looked away from him. "If he wanted me, I would be his."
*So that's why, he was waiting.* Hina realized. "He wants me to move first."
Hina put his hand on Ohkura's cheek, his friend shook beneath his fingers. Then he kissed Ohkura very gently. He didn't want to scare his friend off. Instead, Ohkura sighed and gave into the kiss.
When Ohkura broke for air he said. "Murakami-kun."
"Perhaps if you had taken one moment of time to relax, you would have realized that the one you want wants you too." Hina said gently.
"Are you sure?" Ohkura's voice shook.
"Of course I am." His friend caressed his cheek again. Ohkura's lips beckoned to him, and Hina kissed him again.
Ohkura had a new lover. They had made love on the couch, but because they couch were so small they had moved into the bedroom. Hina held Ohkura close to him. Ohkura wondered if his new lover held Yoko the way that he held him. He wanted Hina to tell him what they had special. He knew that soon the storm would be over, the snow would melt and Yoko would be back at Hina's side.
Ohkura never planned to be the other lover, the one that Hina would use to cheat on Yoko. But the way that Hina loved him was addicting. He realized he didn't mind, as long as he had a few minutes of his lover's time.
"What's bothering you?" Hina asked concerned.
"I was thinking about your other lover." Ohkura admitted.
"My other lover?" Hina asked confused. "What other lover?"
"Everyone knows you're with Kimi," Ohkura told him.
"We have separate bedrooms." Hina pointed out. "Why wouldn't lovers share the same bed?"
"It's just for show, for the agency."
His new lover pulled away from him, he turned his back to Ohkura and his shoulder's began to shake.
"What's wrong?" Ohkura asked concerned.
"Nothing! Nothing's wrong." That was when Ohkura realized that Hina was laughing. "I just can't believe that you would think I'm with Kimi!"
"Why wouldn't you be?' Ohkura asked. "The two of you are so close."
"Kimi and I have a secret." Hina turned to Ohkura. "We had to keep it secret, or Johnny-sama told us that he would separate us."
"What kind of secret?"
"My mother is Kimi's mother's sister." Hina explained. "We're cousins."
"Cousins?" Ohkura repeated.
"Besides, I'm not Kimi's
type." Hina said seriously. "He's off in
"Kimi has a lover?"
"He's with Junno. The fell in love while filming the drama."
"I wouldn't lie to you." Hina's eyes were honest. "Please Tacchan believe me. You're my only one."
"I'm sorry I doubted you." Ohkura said seriously. "Hina-Chan."
Hina smiled at him, a special smile he had never seen before. A smile that came from Hina's heart. "Merry Christmas."
"Merry Christmas," Ohkura smiled back.
Hours later, the two lovers sat together on the couch. They shared a single blanket. Both hoped that the Christmas blizzard would never end.