Kakashi expected something hard and fast and half-desperate, like their usual fare. Moments that were stolen, rather than given. Ryouma’s hands didn’t put the lie to that, one tangling in Kakashi’s hair and the other curving around his back, pulling him close, but Ryouma’s mouth was gentle. He didn’t seem to care about the mask.
Kakashi had forgotten how tall he was.
And how very good he smelled, warm and breathing and here, filling the universe with his broad shoulders and absurd hair and non-linear logic that never quite made sense. Ryouma laughed softly, mouth still pressed against Kakashi’s, and his scent warmed like sunlight on water -- gratitude, relief, happiness -- and Kakashi... came apart. Just a little.
It was a lot like getting stabbed with warm ice: breath-stealing and painful. He choked and grabbed Ryouma’s shirt, afraid suddenly that it wasn’t real and he had snapped, and if he opened his eye there would just be a tall, good-smelling stranger waiting to get his clothes off.
"Hey, hey. You okay?" Ryouma pulled back, concern shading his voice. His fingers caught under Kakashi’s chin.
Kakashi opened his eye. Ryouma was looking down at him, frowning and very much himself, the same storm wrapped up inside a single person who didn’t know it, and Kakashi had never been the type to demand hugs before, but he thought that if Ryouma stopped touching him, he’d be in genuine danger of breaking down.
“Not really,” he said, and pressed his forehead against Ryouma’s chest, where the remains of the dragon tattoo had been. The double-thump of Ryouma’s heartbeat felt like a two-handed punch: still-alive, still-alive. “I should never have made you leave. I’m so glad you’re home.”