Want To Take Care Of You
[A/N: Just a silly little idea I had for Slow Start. That show seems to revel in being able to get away with certain things by using its adult characters for certain scenes, and I find Shion and Hiroe to be a cute pairing, so I wanted to do a little something with that.]
Shion made sure she was balancing the bowl properly before she rang the door.
“Coming!” came a sweet voice from inside. Someone with black hair, and black eyes, opened the door. “Oh, landlady!”
Oh, she’s not wearing sweats today. Lucky me~ “Hello, Hannen-san,” Shion said, and smiled brightly.
“Did you need something?” Hiroe asked.
Oh yes. “Ah, you see, I was making some meat and potatoes, but got a bit overeager with how much I put in. I brought you some leftovers, if you’d like.” She lifted the bowl she was holding to make sure Hiroe took notice. “If you already have plans, feel free to put it in the fridge for later.”
“Oh! That sounds great, actually. I was just about to head out and get something,” Hiroe said excitedly. Perhaps she was relieved at the chance to not need to go outside. Or she just really liked Shion’s cooking.
“I’m happy to hear that,” Shion said. “May I come inside?” she asked.
“Um… I guess that’s okay,” Hiroe replied. “It’s a little messy, though…”
Shion got inside, curious what Hiroe considered ‘a little messy’ these days, and honestly it didn’t look that bad. A few dirty dishes in the kitchen, a couple of empty energy drink cans at the desk, and some other minor stuff that it’d be easy to overlook if you weren’t so used to looking for these things as Shion had become. Overall she’d class this is pretty normal.
She put the bowl onto the kitchen counter. “You might want to heat it up a little,” she said.
“Ah, thank you,” Hiroe said. Thankfully she possessed the most important kitchen appliance in a young adult’s life: The microwave oven.
“I must say, you certainly seem to be getting along better these days, Hannen-san,” Shion said warmly. Considering how quickly Hana and the others had gotten Hiroe to warm up, Shion wondered if she’d been negligent in her duties as landlady, but poking around in her tenants’ business was probably not part of her duties. Still, there was something about Hiroe that just made her want to…
“You think so?” Hiroe asked as she put the bowl into the microwave.
“Definitely. Still, if there’s anything you need, feel free to let me know,” Shion said cheerfully.
“Aha, I don’t really like being a bother…” Hiroe said with an awkward laugh.
“Oh, it’s no bother at all.” Shion leaned her chin onto one hand, and smiled. “I like taking care of you.”
“You do?” Hiroe sounded puzzled.
“Mhm. In fact, I’d be more than happy to take care of any of your needs,” Shion said in a way that made Hiroe drop the chopsticks she had just fetched.
“You know… us adults have certain needs that should be addressed.” Shion’s tone was highly suggestive, and she casually stepped closer to Hiroe. “And should you ever require anything, you can always come to me.”
“L-landlady?” Hiroe’s eyes were going wide.
“You know, you can just call me Shion if you’d like.” She reached out, and traced a finger along Hiroe’s jawline.
Hiroe squeaked, and with surprising speed, she had suddenly closed her bedroom door behind her.
“Oh my. Did I come on too strong?” Shion pondered. Perhaps if she had been a bit more practised she’d have done better, but that couldn’t be helped.
* * *
Hiroe’s face felt extremely hot. What just happened? she asked herself, with her back pressed against the door.
There was a light knock on the door, and Hiroe’s racing heart jumped.
“Hannen-san? I’m sorry I frightened you,” Shion’s voice said gently from the other side. “I’ll be taking my leave now, so don’t worry. But please keep in mind what I said, should you change your mind. See you later~”
Hiroe couldn’t think of a response, so she just listened to the footsteps going away, and then the front door opening, and closing. She slid down the door until she was sitting on the floor. The microwave beeped that it was done, but that couldn’t be further from her mind right now.
Did she… was she coming on to me? Hiroe wasn’t sure if she was reading too much into things, she’d never really gotten into that stuff. But it really seemed like…
She hastily shook her head to try to clear her mind. Eiko. Eiko would know. If anyone would understand what had just happened, and be able to give Hiroe advice, it would be Eiko.
She fumbled for her phone. I can just call her, and… She hesitated. Should she really be bothering a high schooler about this? She was an adult, surely she should be able to deal with this herself.
Yeah, right, I can barely deal with a laundry basket. She hit the call button.
There was the outgoing call noise, and then it connected. “Hello? Hiroe-san?” said a voice that sounded like Eiko on the other end.
“Eeeeiiiiiko-san, I need heeeelllllp!”
* * *
The next morning Hiroe was outside Shion’s door.
Shion-san’s a pretty woman. What do you want to do?
Eiko’s words kept echoing through her mind. The landlady was certainly very attractive. She hadn’t been able to stop thinking about it, and Shion had even showed up in her dreams. Anything, she had said.
Hiroe swallowed nervously, then rang the doorbell.
The door soon opened. “Hannen-san!” Shion seemed really pleased to see her. “Did you need something?”
Hearing that brought certain things to mind, even if Shion’s tone was entirely innocent this time. “Um… I-I just came to give back the bowl,” Hiroe said, and thrust it forth in front of her. “I-it was delicious!”
“Oh my,” Shion said with a little smile before she accepted the bowl. “Thank you. Anything else?”
“Not… not really…” she said, still a bit nervous. Shion seemed to be acting normally enough, so for a moment Hiroe wondered if all of yesterday had been a dream, or her imagination going wild. No, no way.
“I see. Well, I was in the middle of something, so I should get back to it,” Shion said. “Have a nice day, Hannen-san.” She started closing the door, but Hiroe had made up her mind about one thing.
“W-wait, there’s…” Hiroe started, and Shion stopped. “I just… um…” Hiroe’s mind was working hard to put together a proper sentence. “If you want, I’m… I’m okay with you calling me Hiroe… Sh… Shion-san…”
Shion’s smile was painfully bright. “Of course, Hiroe-san!”
It was a step forward, even if Hiroe wasn’t quite sure yet towards what.