Summary: Yamaryo is a salaryman and Yara works at a combini, and Yamaryo knocks over a lot of puddings.
AN: while I was staying at yararanger's apartment, we spent a lot of our bedtime conversations coming up with ridiculous AUs in which Yara and Yamaryo would still be cute together, and my favorite by far was the Yara works in a combini and Yamaryo just likes to hear him say 'Irashaimase' over and over. Yamaryo all flustered, in suits!
Also when we went out for motsu nabe, we really had the grumpy waiter, and he was adorable. We really did keep calling him over for ridiculous stuff, and when he stood there testing the nabe broth/rice, he could have won a gold medal for disdain in the emo olympics. BEST EVER.
All the Conveniences of Home
Yamamoto likes his new job, he really does. His high school friends only comment on how run-down he looks these days, how he never has time to go out with them or even to sleep, given the look of him, but he doesn’t know how to make them understand. Sure, the hours are long, and the entry pay isn’t the best, and maybe his boss is kind of a hardass sometimes, but it’s fine. He likes his co-workers, he likes his desk, he likes feeling like he contributes to his company and makes the others’ jobs easier by getting his done even if it means staying late.
He doesn’t like answering the telephones, but Yamamoto has come to believe that actually everybody hates that. Except Boss Koichi, and he only likes it because he gets to yell at the people on the other end usually.
Still, maybe the long hours are starting to get to him just a little. Yamamoto wakes up just in time to realize he’s at his stop and the doors are open. A pair of heavily made-up girls on the train giggle at him as he dashes for the doors, barely making it through before it tries to close on the back of his coat.
“You’re out too late! Go home!” Yamamoto hollers at them through the window to cover his embarrassment. They can’t hear him probably, already back to gossiping together, but it makes him feel better.
There’s something else he does on the way home that makes him feel even better, his favorite thing. He hasn’t told anybody because it seems so silly, but it’s actually the highlight of his day, the thing he looks forward to most, and it doesn’t matter how late he gets there, even last train.
“Welcome~,” calls the employee at the counter as Yamamoto steps into the combini, and Yamamoto has to bury his face a little deeper into his scarf so that other customers don’t get weirded out by his creepy grin.
The employee, “Yara” his nametag reads, is about Yamamoto’s height but a little older, his hair subject to any number of questionable styles in the time since Yamamoto had first noticed him. At the moment it’s permed and sort of blond, standing out cheerfully against the blue of his uniform shirt. He seems a bit too cool-type to work at a combini, but Yamamoto hasn’t exactly had the nerve to ask him why he works here, and why he always has a shift late enough that Yamamoto sees him regularly.
More precisely, Yamamoto hasn’t had the nerve to do anything more than let the person behind him go next if his spot in line means he won’t get to be checked out by Yara.
“Not that Yara-san ever checks me out,” Yamamoto sighs to the puddings. The puddings seem sympathetic, like they’re rooting for him, maybe because they’re the conspirators that he often chooses as an excuse to stop in here, or to come back in on the pretense of a forgotten item. Maybe it’s that the puddings never seem to judge Yamamoto telling them about his romantic woes, they only jiggle quietly.
Maybe he really does need more sleep.
“Careful over there,” Yara calls when Yamamoto lingers there unusually long, teasing because last week Yamamoto turned too fast and knocked a bunch of things down with his briefcase. To add insult to injury, his briefcase had sprung open when he banged it into the cooler, scattering paperwork all over the downed puddings.
“Yes!” Yamamoto calls back, cheeks turning pink at the reminder. Yara had helped him pick up without a single cross word about the shop merchandise on the floor, only chuckled a little, and had forced two of the worst-mangled puddings into Yamamoto’s hands before he could flee. Yara’s fingers had brushed Yamamoto’s for all of half a second, but it was two days before Yamamoto stopped feeling their phantom touch brushing his skin.
Try knocking over the puddings again the evil part of his brain whispers, and Yamamoto shakes his head quickly to get rid of it, thinking No! Bad self! very hard. He edges carefully around the narrow aisles of the combini, and doesn’t knock anything down at all as he comes up front to pay.
Tonight it’s late enough that there’s no one in the combini besides the two of them, so there’s no worrying about being in the wrong line or who should go first.
“No breakfast besides the coffee?” Yara asks, eyebrow raised. Yamamoto looks down and realizes that he’s only managed to pick up the pudding and a can of coffee, too preoccupied with his thoughts to shop properly. Yara clicks his tongue. “You’ll get sick if you don’t eat properly. Shoo, go get some bread at least.”
Yamamoto turns and starts following orders without thinking, then hides his pink cheeks behind the shelf when he realizes. He stares at the packages of melon bread and anpan, trying to find something that looks appealing, willing his cheeks to cool.
“You like strawberry, right?” Yara calls over. “There’s a new kind there, under the pressed sandwich things. I tried it yesterday, you might like that one.”
Locating the package of strawberry something or other, Yamamoto straightens up after barely even reading the package and comes back to the counter to hand it over for Yara to scan.
“I’ll be totally embarrassed now if you hate it,” Yara murmurs, almost to himself, as he tucks Yamamoto’s items into the little plastic bag.
“I’m sure I’ll like it,” Yamamoto says. He’d lie and say he did even if it was the worst food on earth, because he’s so happy Yara recognizes him well enough to offer such a recommendation. Yamamoto pays on autopilot, sighing internally when Yara thanks him for his purchase, thinking about how nice Yara’s voice is.
“Thanks for working hard today,” Yara says, then puts on a stern face. “But don’t come home so late tomorrow, all right? Rest properly.”
“Tell my boss that,” Yamamoto says, and Yara laughs, full-throated.
The sound of it is still ringing in Yamamoto’s ears all the way home. He wishes he could make Yara laugh like that every time, wishes he had the guts to ask Yara to go out or even just come over to share pudding and maybe watch some bad television together. He wishes he knew more about Yara so that they’d have something to talk about besides pudding and strawberry bread.
When he curls up in his futon, though, he tries not to think about Yara much at all, because if he lets his imagination run wild there, there’s no way he’ll be able to look Yara in the face anymore when he stops in each night.
The next day Yamamoto works straight through lunch so that he can get home earlier, fully aware that that isn’t at all what Yara meant for him to do. What Yara doesn’t know won’t hurt him, though, and when Yara gives him a smile and says, “See? Much better,” Yamamoto feels like he could skip a thousand lunches and live only on puddings if Yara will smile at him just like that. As if reading Yamamoto’s mind, Yara looks down at the stuff on the counter with a raised eyebrow and asks if Yamamoto really does intend to live on puddings alone.
“Oh! Er...” Yamamoto glances over to the case of hot options, trying to decide what looks most like it might qualify as real food in Yara’s opinion. “Uh...”
“Are you doing this just to be cute?” Yara asks, openly amused. “Or are you really just this bad at taking care of yourself?”
“Hey,” Yamamoto protests weakly. He sneaks a glance at Yara’s grin. “You think I’m cute?”
“Tcht, like you don’t know you are.” Yara leans over to the case and picks for him, hesitating just before he drops it in the bag. “This is okay?”
Yamamoto nods as quickly as he can. It’s not until he’s outside with his mouth already full that he realizes nikuman is probably going to make him blush from now on. “He thinks I’m cute,” he repeats to the nikuman, grinning like an idiot. He’s grinning so hard that people are staring at him as he walks home, but he doesn’t care, doesn’t even care when he trips over nothing and housewives going past with their shopping cluck and whisper about him.
That night he doesn’t even try to keep himself from thinking about Yara when he’s snuggled warm under his blankets. He imagines Yara snuggled in there with him, tutting at him for not taking care of himself properly, whispering in Yamamoto’s ear that he’s cute. Yamamoto flails at even the thought and pulls his blankets up over his head to try and get at least a little sleep.
“What’s up with you?” Eda asks at work the next day. Yamamoto starts, having drifted off into another daydream. It’s been happening all day, thanks to his too few hours of sleep and the thoroughly boring data entry he’s supposed to be doing.
“Nothing,” Yamamoto says quickly, looking back down at his spreadsheet. He frowns when he realizes items thirty-seven through forty-four all say “Yara” and highlights all of the cells to delete them.
“Must have been a pretty good nothing to have you smiling like you were a minute ago.” Eda perches on the edge of Yamamoto’s desk and leans in. “Has our little Ryota finally found a girl cute enough to distract him from Boss Koichi?”
“What?” Yamamoto splutters, keysmashing his next piece of data. “No!”
“Soon you’ll be a man,” Eda sighs melodramatically. “They grow up so fast.”
“There’s no girl!” Yamamoto narrows his eyes. “And I’m already a man, you jerk!”
“So it’s a guy then,” Hayashi speaks up from the next desk over, making Takahashi’s head pop up in interest as well. “Yamamoto, you dog!”
Yamamoto wails for them to stop, which of course they don’t until Boss Koichi stomps out of his office to demand what all the fuss is about out here. Ducking his head and trying to look very interested in his data, Yamamoto orders himself to focus on work. He’s absorbed in it enough that he jumps when his folder is slapped shut.
“Go on, shoo,” Takahashi says when Yamamoto looks up. He scoops the pile of folders up, holding them up out of reach when Yamamoto grabs for them. “Go home on time for once. See if Yara-san will take you out for dinner.”
“How do you know his name?” Yamamoto asks, eyes wide.
Takahashi holds up the folder, where the front is clearly labeled “Yara-end Reports” in Yamamoto’s functional handwriting. Cheeks burning, Yamamoto scoops up his coat and makes a run for the elevators.
The train ride is just long enough to make Yamamoto start panicking about the whole thing. What’s he supposed to do, sweep Yara off his feet in the middle of his shift? What if there are other customers? What if Yara was just being nice to a usual customer and Yamamoto humiliates himself utterly and can never go back to his combini? What if he never gets to hear Yara say “Welcome~” to him ever again?
That last thought is so heartbreaking that Yamamoto almost heads straight for home without stopping at all. But when he’s three steps past the door, he remembers he has literally no food in his entire apartment aside from half a package of omiyage corn-flavored Kit-Kats that Hayashi had brought back from a business trip to Hokkaido. His stomach growls, and Yamamoto heaves a sigh and turns around to retrace his steps.
The voice that welcomes him isn’t Yara’s, and for a split-second Yamamoto is irrationally terrified that Yara had sensed his purpose from kilometers away and had fled the combini preemptively.
“You’re looking for Yara, right?” the guy behind the counter asks, another regular whose tag reads “Fukuda.”
“Er, I, u-um,” Yamamoto stammers. Fukuda only chuckles at him, sending Yamamoto’s shyness into overdrive. Is he really so obvious? Do the combini people talk about him or something? God, they probably do, he thinks in despair, the idiot businessman with the stupid crush who keeps knocking over the puddings as love overtures.
“He’s on break, in back,” Fukuda explains, bringing Yamamoto’s attention back to the here and now. Yamamoto lets out a little sigh of relief. “Want me to get him?”
“Y-you don’t h-have to...” Yamamoto starts, but Fukuda is already leaning back through the doorway behind him, hollering Yara’s name. Yamamoto has no choice but to stand there and shuffle his feet awkwardly until Yara appears in the doorway.
“What? Can’t you even handle...oh,” Yara breaks off as he notices Yamamoto. “Early today, huh?”
“Yeah,” Yamamoto agrees quickly. “I just...you know...food.” Yamamoto trails off, wishing the ground would just swallow him up, but Yara only chuckles.
“Want to get out of here?” he asks. Yamamoto doesn’t answer, only stares with his mouth hanging open a little, but Yara turns to Fukuda, already unbuttoning his uniform shirt. “Hey, I’m not feeling so hot, so I’m going home early. You can manage the place, right? Thanks, knew I could count on Fuku-chan. I’m getting my coat, don’t disappear,” he calls over his shoulder.
Yamamoto’s mouth only works soundlessly for the few moments it takes Yara to reappear and step out around the counter.
“I owe you one,” Yara tells Fukuda, giving him a salute.
Fukuda rolls his eyes. “Out, you crazy kids. Play safe now.” He wiggles his eyebrows so it’s entirely clear what activity they should be safe during, and Yamamoto makes a faint, distressed noise, cheeks burning.
They end up in the back corner booth of an izakaya the next block over, no thanks to Yamamoto’s flustered stuttering. The beer is good and the karaage crispy, which more than makes up for the terribleness of their waiter.
“Honestly, he’s like the worst waiter in Japan,” Yara says, glancing over his shoulder once the waiter has shuffled off after writing down their order with a look so disdainful he must have studied in France to learn his technique. Yara looks amused over it rather than annoyed, though. “His little grumpy face just makes me want to torment him all the more. Quick,” he motions for Yamamoto to hand him the menu, “what’s the most obnoxious thing we can order?”
After that Yamamoto can barely look the waiter in the eye every time he comes back, Yara ordering ridiculous things with a perfectly straight face and then wondering out loud if the man practices that face in the mirror or what as soon as the waiter goes away again.
“Stoooop,” Yamamoto protests between snickers. There’s the sound of a tray crashing behind them, and both of them crack up, Yamamoto having to put his head down on the table before he can collect himself.
They talk until it’s late, Yamamoto in no rush to go back out into the cold and Yara apparently content where he is as well. Yamamoto learns that the combini is Yara’s second job, that he practices at a dance studio during the day and teaches lessons when he can, not quite often enough to support him fully.
“Ahhh,” Yamamoto says, and Yara raises an eyebrow. “U-um, it’s just, I had been wondering w-why...well, aren’t you kind of too cool-type to work the late shift at a combini?” he asks, finally managing to dig up enough courage to ask the one thing he’s really curious about.
“Only as much as not making rent is cool-type,” Yara says ruefully. He shrugs. “It’s not so bad. It’s quiet at night, and they let me take off when I have performances. I’ve had jobs that were a lot worse.”
“But when do you sleep?” Yamamoto frowns, looking carefully at Yara’s face and seeing the little lines, the puffiness under his eyes.
“When do you?” Yara asks pointedly, and Yamamoto murmurs something noncommittal, eyes dropping to his beer. “Never mind about it, I’m happy with the way things are, for now. Aren’t you? You like your job, right?”
“I do,” Yamamoto says immediately, pleased through and through that Yara gets it, the way his other friends never do. “I feel like what I do is important, so it’s fine.”
When they get up at last, Yamamoto wavers unsteadily on his feet from both alcohol and exhaustion, and Yara apologizes for keeping him out even later than his job usually does. He walks Yamamoto home, ignoring Yamamoto’s stuttered protests that he’ll be fine, until they’re in front of Yamamoto’s apartment building.
“Do you w-want to come up?” Yamamoto asks. He blushes as he remembers his empty refrigerator and barely-used kitchen. “I can’t offer you anything except tea though...”
“Is it okay? I don’t want you to think I’m that kind of girl after just one date,” Yara teases, making Yamamoto go even pinker, stuttering that wasn’t what he meant at all. “If you don’t mind, then.”
Yamamoto makes Yara stand outside a minute while he tries to straighten up, but he spends most of the minute looking around at his scatter of possessions in futile despair. He settles for throwing all of his laundry in the closet and trying to at least gather up all the little plastic combini bags scattered about, nearly tripping over his own feet when he hears the door open before he says okay.
“I’ve got my eyes closed!” Yara calls. “I won’t look until you say, I swear, but it’s too damn cold to stand out--aah!”
There’s a crash, and when Yamamoto rushes towards his entryway, Yara is in a heap after stumbling over Yamamoto’s mismatched shoes without looking. Yamamoto apologizes fourteen times before Yara ever gets a word in, hands running all over Yara to check for injuries and terrified Yara’s dancing career will end in ignominious sneaker injury.
“If I had known it would only take a few bruises to get your hands on me,” Yara chuckles, rubbing at a rising bump on the back of his head. Yamamoto snatches his hands back like they’ve been burned, scowling. “Ow, fuck.”
“Let me see,” Yamamoto orders, working fingers gently into Yara’s hair. “Ouch. Does it hurt?”
“It doesn’t tickle. Distract me?” Yara leans in without waiting for an answer, pressing his lips against Yamamoto’s. Yamamoto freezes, skin running cold and then hot, then he makes a small noise and hesitantly starts kissing back. It only takes a few seconds for Yamamoto to lose himself in the kiss, and when Yara’s tongue brushes his lower lip, Yamamoto’s fingers tighten in Yara’s hair reflexively. “Ow!”
“Sorry!” Yamamoto breaks the kiss to apologize breathlessly, pulling his hands out of Yara’s hair. Yara chuckles at him ruefully.
“You’re kind of a hazard, you know that?” he asks. Yamamoto stutters something, but Yara leans forward again to brush lips over his cheekbone and whisper in his ear, “It’s so damn cute, though.”
They end up in Yamamoto’s futon, simply because there’s no place else to sit and the heater is slow to warm up the room. Yamamoto gets half a sentence out about what to watch on television before Yara grabs him by the hips and pulls him close, their hips flush together.
“I thought you said you weren’t that kind of girl?” Yamamoto asks, heart tripping over itself.
“I said I didn’t want you think I was on the first date,” Yara corrects, grinning. “But I changed my mind.” Their next kiss is deeper and slower, more deliberate. Yara licks his way into Yamamoto’s mouth and teases at his tongue gently, only pulling away when Yamamoto is light-headed from need for air.
“Touch me?” Yamamoto pants, wanting it too much to be embarrassed. Yara doesn’t make him wait, undoing Yamamoto’s buttons with far more coordination than Yamamoto feels capable of managing as he fumbles at Yara’s shirt.
“Mm,” Yara says with approval as he pushes Yamamoto’s shirt off, fingers trailing over the curve of his shoulder. Yamamoto knows he should get up, hang up his clothes rather than letting them get shoved into a wrinkled pile, but there’s no way he’s getting up to do that when he’s skin to skin with Yara. His pants get kicked off without any more ceremony than his shirt.
“Yara-san,” Yamamoto sighs, tipping his head back when Yara nibbles at his throat, baring more of it in an unspoken plea for Yara to do more.
“It’s Tomoyuki,” Yara supplies, and oh, what a nice name, Yamamoto thinks with the tiny bit of his brain not going to static from Yara’s hands on his back, kneading at his muscles.
“R-ryota,” Yamamoto sighs. “A-ah!”
“I know,” Yara says, and that makes Yamamoto pause and lower his chin to blink at Yara. Yara shrugs. “I read it off your paperwork during the pudding destruction. Be honest, do you knock over stuff just to get my attention? I won’t be mad, you can tell me.”
“I don’t!” Yamamoto protests, squirming from embarrassment. “It just happens! I’m just clumsy...” he trails off sadly.
“Should I teach you to dance? Make you more graceful,” Yara says. He drags a hand all the way down Yamamoto’s side, from his armpit to his thigh. “You’ve got nice lines, I bet you’d be a natural.”
“I-I, oh, I...” Yamamoto has no idea where to even start responding to that, and he can’t manage words anyway because Yara’s mouth is back on his throat, his hand slipping down from Yamamoto’s thigh to palm his cock. Yamamoto grabs Yara’s shoulders for support, shivering. “Ohhhh.”
Yara’s hands are perfect, strong and a bit callused, his grip firm and sure when he starts stroking Yamamoto. Yamamoto fumbles shyly for Yara’s cock, wanting to return the favor, but it’s impossible to focus on it. He ends up holding and squeezing Yara more than anything else, his own orgasm embarrassingly close already.
“Are you close, Ryota?” Yara asks, and just hearing his name in Yara’s low, coaxing voice is too much. Yamamoto shudders himself out with a soft moan, burying his face against Yara’s shoulder.
“Your voice is so nice,” Yamamoto sighs, inhibitions at an all-time low. “That’s the thing I look forward to all day, hearing your voice welcoming me when I come into the combini.”
“That might be the nicest thing anyone’s ever said to me,” Yara says, rewarding Yamamoto with a sweet kiss. “Now help out, can’t you?”
Yara closes his hand over Yamamoto’s and guides it up and down his cock, hips snapping up into the touch. Yamamoto focuses on Yara’s rhythm, twisting his wrist a little when that makes Yara groan and it isn’t that long before Yara comes too, sighing deeply.
Without thinking, Yamamoto brings his hand up to his mouth and licks one of his fingers clean; Yara’s eyes flash with interest. His gaze is full of promise and a little predatory, and Yamamoto shivers with anticipation.
“So much for getting a proper night’s rest,” Yamamoto murmurs, almost to himself, and Yara laughs.
“It’s your fault for wearing those sexy suits,” Yara informs him, before he steals another long kiss.
In the morning Yamamoto sneaks into work late for the first time ever, much to the rest of his department’s delight. Hayashi and Eda rib him all day about his wrinkled jacket and pink cheeks, while Takahashi beams at him in paternal pride.
“Oh, relax, it looks good on you,” Eda finally says, giving Yamamoto a last hair scrunch before he slides off the edge of Yamamoto’s desk and goes to poke at his own stack of work.
“I bet combini-san looked good on you too.” Hayashi wiggles his eyebrows, and Takahashi leans over to whack him across the back of the head.
Yamamoto has to stay late to make up for the day before, but there’s no rush because today is Yara’s off-day anyway. Yamamoto stumbles home, yawning the whole way, and he’s been in his apartment for a good twenty minutes before he realizes his barely-used rice cooker has been dusted off and is sitting on the counter, a new bag of rice sitting next to it.
Eat real food, the note stuck to the rice says. Proper nutrition will increase your stamina for next time.
“That’s not fair!” Yamamoto whines in embarrassment to his empty apartment, grinning like an idiot because there’s going to be a next time, and he can’t wait.
Maybe next time, he'll be the one to welcome Yara in.