Summary: Hashimoto wants all the reasons, and Totsuka just wants to not be fired.
AN: relevant to nothing, have some AU where Tottsu teaches kindergarten and Hasshi is a very persistent high school student and honestly it's barely AU at all. Inspired by how patently ridiculous Magical Boy Cherry's is going to be.
Short Term Goals
Totsuka spends all day bandaging scraped knees and wiping away tears and encouraging make-up hugs, but sometimes none of his kindergarteners are nearly so childishly persistent as Hashimoto.
"Why not?" Hashimoto asks, pouting his best pout. He's got the big brown eyes and the puff cheeks and everything, and that kid knows it too. "Tell me all the reasons."
"I will give you the three most important reasons," Totsuka says, holding up each finger as he counts. "One: you are seventeen and I am twenty-five. Two: What did I tell you about wearing that school uniform in here? And three: I'm a kindergarten teacher, so I cannot go on a date with a student, especially not a seventeen-year-old student in a school uniform."
"I'm not your student thought," Hashimoto points out, and Totsuka wants to snap back obviously because his students quit it when Totsuka tells them no in the stern teacher voice.
Hashimoto is looking thoughtful, which never ends well.
"You like little kids though, right?" he asks. "Would it help if I wore their uniform instead?"
"NO," Totsuka says in his very very stern put the hamster down right now teacher voice. Hashimoto just laughs.
"Relax, it's a joke, a joke," Hashimoto assures, but he's grinning and Totsuka's not sure about that. "Anyway, hurry up and finishing cleaning up so you can take me for food. Ramen, okay? The same place as last time."
As always, Totsuka finds himself doing exactly what Hashimoto wants. He tells himself that it's just because Hashimoto is actually a good helper cleaning up the kindergarten at day's end and never needs to be told not to put the permanent markers in the same bin as the dry erase ones. When he tells Hashimoto thank you for his help, Hashimoto beams brighter than the sun.
"Good enough for ramen, right?" he asks, and Totsuka says yes, okay, sure.
Totsuka's friends, as dubious as they are, think that Hashimoto is the best pet ever, and it concerns Totsuka greatly how easily they have accepted Hashimoto into their circle despite him being 300% illegal for every activity that they enjoy, aside from the ramen itself.
"How do you know my ramen isn't illegal?" Kawai asks, leaning over the counter to leer at them affectionately. "It's illegally awesome, that's for sure."
"Shut up, Fumito," Goseki says dismissively. "Get us another serving of noodles, make yourself useful back there."
"Ooh, me too!" Hashimoto pipes up. "Please!"
"And gyoza!" Tsukada calls from Totsuka's other side. Tsukada is already dressed in his sharp white suit for his job at the host club, just grabbing dinner quick before he goes in. Totsuka never understands how he can eat ramen like that and never get so much as a drop of it on his suit, but that's just one of the many mysteries surrounding Tsukada.
"Tsuka-chan looks extra good tonight," Hashimoto comments, apparently following Totsuka's gaze.
"Ah, you noticed?" Tsukada beams at the praise. "I have a special client tonight, she booked me in particular all night! Lucky, eh? Ne, Hashimoto, want to come along? I bet you could make a month's worth of allowance if I just brought you along as my cute kouhai. Probably more if you kept that uniform on."
"NO," Totsuka says before Hashimoto can so much as open his mouth. "He's seventeen!"
"I mean, he wouldn't get tipped for the same stuff as I do, but…"
"Thanks, Tsuka-chan, but it's okay," Hashimoto interrupts cheerfully. "Tottsu would get jealous if I did that kind of thing, right?"
"That is definitely not the problem here," Totsuka says in despair, but just then Kawai drops off the gyoza and Hashimoto pops the first one into Totsuka's mouth to distract him.
Eventually even Hashimoto is full, and Kawai cheerfully waves them out into the night, calling after them to come back anytime, anytime.
"This was a good date," Hashimoto declares, stretching his arms over his head.
"Not a date," Totsuka protests.
"Really? Ah, we'll have to try again then. I'm sure sooner or later I can do it right." Hashimoto only laughs at Totsuka's pinched expression. "Come on, walk me to the station through the park, there's cherry blossoms and stuff."
"Shouldn't you be doing this stuff with girls from your school?" Totsuka asks as he gets dragged arm-in-arm down the path. Cherry blossoms flutter around them dutifully, and Totsuka thinks it's a wonder that there isn't a little raincloud just following them around so they'd have to huddle together under an umbrella.
"None of them are as cute as Tottsu," Hashimoto says easily. "Plus they're all crazy bitches."
It's so matter of fact that Totsuka bursts out laughing and nearly trips over his own feet. When he straightens back up, the way Hashimoto is staring openly at Totsuka makes his breath catch, the rest of the snickers dying on his tongue.
"What about boys?" Totsuka asks, just for something to say. "They have cute uniforms and everything."
"Not as good," Hashimoto says, still staring right at Totsuka, who wants desperately to look away but can't. "I just want you. Your voice is best and your hair is softest and you're patient with everybody, even me, and sometimes you look out the window of the kindergarten when nobody's looking like you're so sad, and even though I want to make you not-sad, that's beautiful too."
"Please stop saying all the right things," Totsuka says, voice plaintively. Hashimoto reaches out to hug him tightly, and Totsuka doesn't fight about that either, just closes his eyes and feels the warmth of Hashimoto's arms and the rough fabric of his school uniform. "Quit being so tall while you're at it."
"I won't do either of those things." Hashimoto's voice is confident, buzzing pleasantly against Totsuka's cheek. "I can be patient too, for you. I'll wait ages and ages if that's what it takes. Also I like the way you play the guitar during singing time, I forgot that one."
"Let go, you'll miss your train," is Totsuka's response to all of that. "Please," he adds, because he isn't made of stone and pretty soon he's going to do things that he regrets, more things than Tsukada has done in his best no. 1 host club night ever.
Hashimoto lets go when asked directly, and the rest of the trip to the station is spent in companionable silence. Totsuka nudges Hashimoto towards his platform without needing to double-check, having learned from practice by now.
"Can we go to a movie next?" Hashimoto asks. He wiggles his eyebrows. "Or I could come over to your place for a movie."
"Not even a little," Totsuka brushes him off, shoving a little harder.
"Wanna come over to my house for dinner, then?" Hashimoto asks instead. "My mom wants to meet you."
"Don't tell your mother about me!" Totsuka protests, burying his face in his hands. Don't tell anybody, is what he really means, because he teaches kindergarten and he is going to get fired and get sent to jail and with his luck Hashimoto will be his cellmate and get exactly what he wants from Totsuka anyway.
Hashimoto's lips brushing Totsuka's cheek make Totsuka jerk his head up in surprise. His cheek burns as if Hashimoto has branded him.
"I'll be eighteen in summer," Hashimoto assures. "Wanna go to the beach together?"
"You're impossible," Totsuka says, which for some reason makes Hashimoto preen as if it's a compliment. "Go home. Do your homework. Dating a university student is still kind of creepy but at least not illegal."
Hashimoto's eyes light up so brightly that Totsuka's heart squeezes in his chest.
"If Tottsu wanted, I'd get into Toudai," Hashimoto says fervently, and the thought of that has Totsuka laughing to himself the entire way home. Toudai, honestly. Hashimoto is entirely impossible after all.
Hashimoto shows up the next day to help Totsuka clean up, and the day after that, and the day after that. After a while, Totsuka can't tell the difference between dating Hashimoto and just existing.
Which was probably Hashimoto's plan all along. Maybe he really is smart enough for Toudai.
"What?" Hashimoto asks, and Totsuka realizes he's staring at Hashimoto as he shoves frozen yogurt into his face with a hilariously tiny pink spoon. "Something on my face?"
Totsuka leans over and kisses Hashimoto's cheek, leaving behind a smudge of chocolate.
"Now there is," he says. Hashimoto stares at him with his mouth hanging open for three whole seconds before he laughs so hard he drops the rest of his yogurt. Totsuka holds out the rest of his to share.
"This was a good date," Hashimoto declares when they go outside, stretching his arms over his head. The smudge of chocolate is still on his cheek.
"Yes, it was," Totsuka answers, and he even lets Hashimoto drag him through the park without any protests. It's just easier to give in, really.
Maybe if he's lucky, he'll make it the entire way until summer without getting fired.