"I'll eat it," Jyuto says, and pretends not to notice the way Riou is looking at him. If he doesn't acknowledge it, it doesn't count, right? The same way that if he doesn't acknowledge what's on the plate in front of him, he might be able to stomach it. At whatever Riou has cooked this time isn't moving. At least, not so far as he can tell; he chooses not to look too closely.
"I only used what you had in your kitchen," Riou says. "I promise."
That should be a reassuring statement, and yet, somehow it's not. "What exactly did you use?" Jyuto wants to ask sometimes. "Where did you find it?" But he's not sure he wants this to be the way he discovers his apartment building has a rodent problem he was unaware of, or a cockroach infestation lurking behind the walls. Maybe someday he'll be brave enough to ask, but not today.
"Thank you, Riou," Jyuto says. He lifts up his fork, looking at Riou to keep his eyes off of whatever he's about to eat. "I'm sure it was made with love."
Riou freezes, eyes wide. "Love?"
Suddenly, Jyuto is very interested in his food. He's definitely not panicking, thank you very much. He's a trained police officer. If he can remain cool and collected during an interrogation, or while bullets are flying around him, a dinner conversation is nothing. "A figure of speech," he says, raising his fork.
It nearly slips out of his fingers, but he catches it before it goes too far. "Your effort is obvious in the finished product. There are many restaurants nearby, but you chose not to patronize any of them and instead cook yourself. The only logical conclusion is that you care about the process itself."
"This soldier worries about you," Riou replies. "One poisoning, one drugging with the intent to kidnap, and one bout of food poisoning all in the past month. Home cooking is safer. Gathering the food ourselves would be even safer if someone were to target the supply chain. This soldier would shoulder that burden if you would allow it."
Jyuto swallows around the sudden lump in his throat, a perfectly normal and understandable reaction to the thought of Riou bringing in some of his more...exotic...ingredients. "So long as we continue varying our shopping locations and timing, I think we're fine as is," Jyuto says.
"Just say the word if you change your mind."
"I'll let you know. We finally tracked down the leader of that drug ring back to the main body of his group. Another team ran a successful takedown operation today; we expect things to quiet down around here as a result."
"Don't drop your guard," Riou orders. "You have other enemies."
"The same could be said for you," Jyuto counters.
"I can take care of myself."
"And I can't!?"
Riou waves a hand. "Poisoned or drugged three times in the past month. And that's not counting the times you came home bloody. This soldier would hate for something to happen to you."
"I'll be fine," Jyuto says, mostly out of reflex. If it were anyone else, he would be around the table by now, or at least threatening such, but when it's Riou, the protectiveness is somehow charming...even if does lead to food choices at least as questionable as that chef's special from that sketchy back alley cafe that had him spending the night in the bathroom. It has to be the combination of Riou's brand of innocence and earnestness. Jyuto won't accept any other explanation.
Somehow, he makes it to the bottom of his plate with no more mishaps and nothing trying to crawl away. Fate must be smiling on him today. He wipes down the table as Riou washes the dishes. Satisfied that everything is spotless and back in its proper place, he puts on the kettle.
"Would you like tea, Riou?" he asks.
"This soldier needs to check on the camp. I didn't plan to be away for long."
"Thank you for dinner. Will I see you before the next territory battle?"
Riou steps closer, and Jyuto suddenly finds it hard to breathe, as if Riou has somehow displaced all the air around them. "Would you like to?" Riou asks.
Yes. Please, says Jyuto's heart. "Only if you want to. The weather forecast said it might rain tomorrow night," says Jyuto.
Riou takes another step closer, pinning Jyuto between him and the wall. "Are you sure about that, Detective?" It's a statement, not a question. Riou knows.
It's okay, Jyuto thinks. We can still get out of this. Just stay calm and act normal. That would be easier if the heat of Riou's body wasn't burning against him, and if he wasn't flushing like a damn giggling schoolgirl. He risks glancing up, but then he meets Riou's eyes, wide and hot, and he's not quick enough to bite back a reflexive gasp entirely before it starts.
Then Riou's hand is tangled in the back of his hair, and he can't get his mouth on Riou's fast enough as Riou presses him into the wall. When they finally break away, gasping, Riou looks at him again. "Are you sure about that, Detective?" he repeats.