come again @sanemi
come again

Sanemi told him he was going out ahead of time, but he never bothered to mention where he was going or for how long, so when Genya has to make dinner and tuck their siblings in by himself, concern begins to fester. He’s tried calling six times. At one in the morning, Genya paces the small living-room-slash-kitchen contemplating calling the Kochous for help when Sanemi returns ass-first, slung over his gym teacher's shoulder.

"Hi, Genya-kun."

“Tomioka-sensei!” In record time, Genya slams the door back shut to unlock it, already fumbling for his cheap cellphone with Kanae-san and Himejima-sensei on speed dial. “Fu--I mean, w-what happened? Should I call someone?” His clumsy tongue trips over itself in panic, and a little spit flies out, too, but Tomioka seems unaffected. 

He seems eerily unaffected over most things, really, in a creepier way than Kanae does because when he’s not unaffected he’s murderous, and Genya remembers thinking, when he and Sanemi established emergency contacts on his new phone, that Tomioka was the last person he wanted to be stuck with in a disaster. Sanemi punched in his number at the bottom of the list anyway, and Genya remembers his confusion. Now, Sanemi is limp in a fireman’s carry and Tomioka looks as disinterested as he does checking uniforms at the school gates.

“Thank you for letting me in,” he says instead of answering. Then, he saunters past Genya (who still has his hands awkwardly fluttering about because he wants to reach out to check his brother’s pulse but he doesn’t want his fingers where Tomioka can break them) and deposits Sanemi at an awkward angle on the couch.

Sanemi’s arms hang over the couch arm above him until, to Genya’s immense relief, they reach out in a stretch and come to rest, one falling to the floor. He looks, to all the world, unharmed and fast asleep. Genya looks at Tomioka. Tomioka looks back.

“It was a staff party.”

All the concern drains out of Genya in a huff. 

“You could’ve led with that.”

“I thought he would’ve told you where he was.” A flicker of remorse crosses Tomioka’s face, but it might be Genya’s imagination. “I’m sorry I made you worry.”

Genya sighs, shoves his phone away, and leans his elbows on the couch, all sympathy for his brother gone. “No, it’s his dumb fault.” He kicks the couch, making Sanemi grumble a little but otherwise eliciting no reaction. He wrestles Sanemi’s shoes off. “Since when do staff parties get you so fucked up you need your coworkers to drag you home unconscious?”

“They don’t, usually. Your brother challenged Kanroji-san to a drinking contest.”

Genya frowns. “And lost?”

“And lost,” he confirms. “Twice.” Tomioka eyes the door like he’s not sure if he should leave. “Ah, Kanroji-san’s liver is made of steel. So, please don’t think any less of him.”

Already, Genya has a hard time telling when people are joking, and Tomioka’s tone offers no hints. “... Okay. But, uh, thank you for driving Aniki home, Tomioka-sensei. I really appreciate it.”

“Oh, I didn’t. You and Kochou-san live in the same apartment complex; it was no trouble.”

Genya feels an eye twitch.

“Come again?”

“Sure.” Tomioka makes to leave.

Genya grabs his arm before thinking better of it, and Tomioka stops, stares at his grip like he’s never seen a hand before. Genya lets go, but doesn’t back away. He looks genuinely clueless. Genya can relate.

“By come again, I meant to repeat yourself,” he explains. “I didn’t understand.”

“... Oh.” Tomioka almost looks disappointed. “Kochou Kanae, the biology teacher. She used to be the school nurse, too--I think she has a lot of degrees. We were at her place.” The almost-disappointment morphs into definite-shame. “I… wasn’t actually invited, since her sister hates me. Shinazugawa-san let me in, although, I’m not certain he likes me very much either.” He seems to remember he’s talking to someone other than himself. “You live in the same building as her. I’m surprised you didn’t know.”

The same building. All night, Genya’s been calling, and Sanemi hasn’t even left the building. He resolves to hide all the painkillers in the house before morning.

“I did know,” Genya finally mumbles. He kicks the couch again.

Tomioka nods silently and glances to the door again. Genya supposes he should let him leave, even though he’s too riled up to sleep now and likes having company, awkward or not. Before he can excuse him, though, Tomioka crouches down and shuffles his hands between Sanemi and the couch.

“Shinazugawa-san,” he gently rouses. “I’m going to pick you up again now.”

Tomioka scoops Sanemi off the couch bridal-style. Genya holds his breath. Something horrible is about to happen.

… It doesn’t. Ridiculously, Sanemi only snuffles and buries half his face in Tomioka’s chest, smearing a little drool on his sweatshirt.

More ridiculously, Tomioka smiles.

“Where’s your brother’s room?”

Stunned stupid, Genya almost can’t answer.

It must take ten seconds before he stammers out something akin to an apology and what he hopes is a proper explanation that it’s behind him, but he can’t let him in there because Sanemi shares a room with him and Hiroshi, who he hopes to god is asleep, but he appreciates the gesture and can take it from here. At least some of that must have made its way out, because Tomioka nods and passes Sanemi over, that surreal, unnerving fondness never leaving his expression. Genya stares dumbly.

“I’ll, ah… I’ll just let myself out, then.” He brushes a tuft of Sanemi’s fringe out of his face. “I’ll see you on Monday, Genya-kun.”

When Genya returns to himself, the door has already clicked shut. It’s a quarter past one and he’s holding his wasted older brother (who, he’s beginning to notice, smells really bad, like sweat and fruity drinks) barely upright by the underarms. A noise makes him whirl around.

“Nii-chan?” His little sister rubs her eyes. Then, they widen in alarm. “What’s going--”

“He’s fine! Nothing!” Genya barks. Sanemi has slid almost entirely to the floor. “It’s--” He realizes he’s yelling, and calms. “It’s okay. Nii-chan’s a little tired, just like you. Go back to sleep, Teiko.”

Teiko seems doubtful and a little scared, but Genya's tone must be even enough that she decides he can handle it. She leaves the door open a crack. 

Reality sets in. He’s never been in this position before. If Sanemi ever drinks, he’s always hidden it well enough for Genya not to notice. There’s nowhere in their small apartment to hide a secret liquor stash; the thought hasn’t even occurred to him until now. Still, it’s not like he doesn’t know Sanemi keeps secrets. It’s kind of scary seeing his strong, reliable big brother like this. Maybe this happens every weekend while he’s asleep. Maybe Tomioka isn’t always there.

(Probably not, though. If a drinking contest with Kanroji of all people ends up like this, there’s no way he could have hidden it for this long.)

Sanemi stirs, mumbling something.

Genya decides not to worry.

“Get up and walk, shit-for-brains.”

He hoists him upright and lugs both their weight to their room while Sanemi works on either getting his feet under him or forming a coherent retort; it's hard to tell, but he fails at both. By the time Genya dumps him face-first to the mattress on the floor and starts working on wrestling off his jacket, his eyes are already drifting back shut.

“Mmm,” Sanemi mumbles into the pillow once Genya has him tucked in and rolled on his side. “Tell Giyuu I said goodnight.”

Then he starts snoring. Loudly.

If Genya doesn’t die from shock, he’ll die from secondhand embarrassment.

 He’s learned a lot tonight.

Sneaking back out of the room (and thanking fuck Hiroshi is such a heavy sleeper; it must run in the family) Genya pulls the phone out of his pocket and scrolls to the bottom of his contacts list. It only rings twice before the contact picks up.

“Tomioka-sensei.”

“Genya-kun? Is everything alright?”

“Yeah. Aniki gave me this number a while ago.” He’s still sure to keep his voice low. “Um.”

“Oh.” If Tomioka is hard to read in person, he’s impossible on the phone. Then again, Genya has never been good with people. They seem to share that trait. “Okay.”

“I just, uh… I wanted to thank you again. I hope you're getting home safe. And, uh--"

He thinks about Tomioka smiling. He thinks about Sanemi letting someone take care of him, maybe for the first time ever.

“Sure.” 

Genya can hear the smile through the phone.

this was one of my favorites >.< don't be afraid to comment!
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