//whipped// nine

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You had him tied around your pinky, your smiles would make his heart flutter, your words, your voice, was like something he couldn't get enough of. Every conversation was like his first, the feelings you made him feel were unprecedented. But why did it seem like you were unbothered about him, that you didn't reciprocate those emotions, and why, why, why was Hazuki so close to you? 

The sight of Hazuki being so close to you left a sick feeling in his mouth.

 Jealousy. Rage. Love.

He wanted to vomit. 

==

It was strange how things could change so easily. For weeks he had dealt with that insurmountable turmoil of emotions, angered and jealous at the bond that you and Nagisa shared, and doubting his ability to even know you any better than as a waiter. And now Ikuya was chatting with you over a cup of coffee and sweet biscuits.
==
fingers wrapped delicately around the crisp cookie, baked to perfection, its golden brown hue and ever-so rough surface from that finishing sprinkle of sugar staring invitingly back at you. Reflected in your clear eyes, it was almost flawless, a manifestation of hours of practice to just pipe out that perfect swirl, to pull it out from the oven at precisely that second so it would be crisp but not overly dry. Lips parted and a half was broken off, the sweetness saturating your mouth, and the taste of butter, a hint of vanilla came together to stimulate your palate blissfully.

It was just a butter cookie, some would say. There was no need for overly pompous language to describe your experience eating a cookie. 

But yes, you would argue, there was. 

Because this wasn't just a butter cookie. It was the butter cookie. And eating it in front of a certain maroon-eyed individual who was leaning against the cafe counter, his face just inches away from yours, propped up by one palm was the highlight of your day.

"This is really good," You commented, pushing the other half into your mouth, your eyes closing for a moment as you savoured the rich, buttery taste. And he smiled, crinkles coming to the side of his eyes, his lips upturned shyly. Heat rushed all through his body, sending a flush radiating through his ears and down his neck, and he turned, letting the dark green hair fall gently over his face, the praise, the acceptance, like a sweet, sweet pastry that he simply couldn't get enough of.

And you too, at the sight of that bashful grin, felt a certain sense of attraction that you couldn't quite place, a desire to see that smile again, to be the one to cause it.

This atmosphere, this mood, these feelings, you were sure, was the rumoured, dreamy first love that was expounded in the literature you'd engrossed yourself in as a teenager. It was these moments where the two of you seemed like you were in your own bubble, the noise of other customers around you, the soft clinks of the coffee cups as they were placed back on thin china plates, and the quiet, almost inaudible cafe jazz blending into a harmonious melody, cocooning the two of you in a luscious, precious moment that replaced again and again in your minds. You inhaled deeply, taking in the scent of the cafe, the strong, aromatic coffee, the deep notes of cocoa, and the sweet smell of sugar. Sunshine Cafe, you thought, humming quietly.  I'm sure this is what sunshine smells like.

You drain your cup, the bitter coffee a welcome contrast to the sugary treat that you had just consumed. Sweeping your eyes across the cafe scene in front of you, you took in your surroundings. You'd come here so many time that this place was almost like a second home, every furniture, every decoration was familiar, but the lively cafe atmosphere was like a fresh breath of air every time. It was different each time, and you had no qualms spurlging your precious dollars away for delicious drinks and satisfying sweets. 

And there was him. Perhaps more fascinating and more intoxicating than this cafe that you adored -- you could say that at this point he was your main motivation for coming here. 

Eyes darted away as you landed on that perfect face, and he coughed in embarrassment being caught staring. He straightened up, pushing back his long bangs with one hand. "I should probably head back to work," He said, reaching over to clear your cup. He paused, then with a small smile, remarked, "I'm glad you liked the cookie."

Nodding, you recalled that euphoric taste, one thing for sure: it was made with care, with dedication, and with love, by someone who was passionate about making his customers enjoy every moment that spent in said cafe.

And a wave of boldness rushed over you, and you decided that it was time. It had been months by now, and your crush on dear Kirishima-san had yet to falter. Even the fact that he'd made the cookies for you after you shared that your grandmother had made them when you were a child was sure to stay imprinted in your mind for quite a while. Yes, you thought, it would be a while. 

His dedication, his attention to detail was just as alluring as the looks that you had first fallen for, and day by day, as every meeting passed, you could feel that as you were just falling deeper and deeper into the rabbit hole called Kirishima-san. Something not that obvious, you thought, but not something as silly as "let's be friends". Seeing him gradually moving out of earshot, you called him back, "Kirishima-san?"
He turned, heading back swiftly, a slight questioning look on his face. Then your brain blanked out. At the perfect juncture indeed. "UHhhhhhh-" Struggling to process your thoughts, your mouth hung open, literally unable to form any words. Kirishima-san stared at you, his expression the epitome of confusion. As you grappled with your senses, your brain automatically spewed out the first thing it could think of. "Um, can I get your number...?" Your voice faltered at the end as coherence returned, a sombre cloud of dread just slowly weighing you down as you processed what you said. Oh, shit wasn't that too obvious? Dumb move, brain. Dumb move.

A moment of silence ensued, Kirishima-san and you staring blankly at each other, your cheeks flaming up, getting hotter and hotter every second; and Kirishima-san seeming just as stunned as you were. "Uh," Your mind blanked once again, panic washing over the dread. Quick brain, think of some intelligent excuse to support that statement---

"Sure-Um do you want me to write it down or text it or something," Saved by Kirishma-san from further embarrassment, you let out a soft sigh of relief. His speech was a tad hurried, and as he pulled out a pen from his uniform pocket, he looked around the bench area rapidly, searching for some sort of stationary to write it down on, while you dug around in your bag for your phone.

The two of you fumbled for a while, him with trying to find some paper, and you with unlocking your phone. You succeeded first, opening the phone app and pushing it into his face. He set the coffee cup in his hand down and placed the pen back into his pocket, then deftly typed in the relevant fields of information.

As a joke - to seem friendlier, he opened up the emojis wanting to plug a smiley face beside his name. 

"Ikuya! I need your help over here!" A sharp call for him by his brother jerked Kirishima back to reality. He quickly pressed in the emoji that he wanted, and without checking, clicked "save". 

"Uh, I guess I have to go," He smiled awkwardly, passing the phone back, and hurried off. 

There's a reason why your teacher always tells you to check your answers when you're done with an exam paper. Because the moment your eyes landed on that newly-saved contact, your heart almost leapt out of your chest, your face a whole ten shades brighter than a tomato.

It was probably a slip of his finger, an accidental selection.

He frickin put a heart. 

「桐島 郁弥 ❤」

kirishima ikuya ❤」

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