Hans isn’t good at most things, but there’s one thing they’re very good at. Worrying too much.
Yuri was someone they considered a close friend, if not their best friend. It had taken them a while to grow close. Yuri never rejected their overly-friendly nature and always took their affection and ridiculousness in stride, but whenever it was just the two of them alone and talking about nothing, Hans could tell he was holding back something that was bothering him.
It wasn’t until recently that he learned what that might be, when Yuri told them that he’d be having surgery on his back. It wasn’t a surprise. Hans had obviously seen the giant lightning bolt scar that ran up Yuri’s spine and cupped the back of his skull, but they didn’t know why it was there. When they asked Yuri to tell them, he simply said there was an accident when he was still a Provident soldier.
Hans wanted to know more, but the look on Yuri’s face and the sadness in his voice was enough to crush them into silence. Then he asked if Hans could be there to take care of him after the surgery… they couldn’t even imagine saying no.
They wince when they bite their nails out of habit, which are already cut to stubs and the skin around them is broken. The sterile waiting room is doing nothing for their nerves. No matter how much they shift on the bench they can’t get comfortable. They read through all the magazines about an hour ago and their dead phone is charging next to Bosco, Yuri’s ‘sister’ who is also stuck in this waiting room hell.
She’s another lucan with striking red and white markings against blue skin that looks lavender from behind their glasses. Hans looks to her for comfort, but she looks back with tired eyes and no expression. They’ve known her longer than they’ve known Yuri, so they’re used to it, but it still makes them frown. She’s barely smiled at them since she got back from her service.
They know the surgery will go okay. Yuri made sure that they understood it was relatively low-risk. But something about the distant way Yuri talked about it made them nervous. Hans takes off their glasses and starts to fidget with them, and they look to Bosco again who also seems worse for wear. They want to say something to comfort her too, but — oh the nurse is here.
A tall human with rose gold hair and a dark purple uniform approaches the pair. “He’s ready for visitors.” They say politely and the two lucans practically jump out of their seats. The nurse leads them down hall, and Hans keeps trying to run ahead despite not knowing where the room is.
Bosco is the first one through the door. Her eyes scan the room, which is strange but Hans is so focused on getting to their friend that they don’t pay attention. Yuri is laid up and connected to a bunch of tubes and wires. A heartbeat monitor beeps steadily while he slurps something from a foil drink pack. “Hey guys.” He croaks in a dry voice.
Hans moves to scoop him up in a hug, but he stops them before they can. Instead, they sit on the edge of the bed and pick up his hand to hold it between their two shaking ones. They must be making a face because Yuri gives them a worried look. Hans quickly flashes him a big smile to make it better. “You. Uh. You look great!” About as great as someone that just got forgotten metal shrapnel removed from their spine can look.
After an extra day of care in the hospital, Yuri is released into Hans’s waiting arms, literally. He collapses into them, and they’re suddenly very thankful that Yuri is lighter than they are despite being the same height. Hans keeps their friend up on his feet and pushes some of the green hair out of his face. The hair is greasy and dark eyebags sit under his eyes. Hans figures he’ll be happy to get home for a shower and sleep in his own bed.
A nurse manages to slip them his duffle bag and some pamphlets about surgery aftercare. There’s some verbal directions they don’t catch because Yuri is burying his face into their shoulder and squeezing his arms tightly around them. It makes Hans’s heart skip a little; Yuri’s not usually the one to initiate so much affection.
They help him outside the hospital to where Hans’s girlfriend, Takyaan, is waiting. Having a robotic face must be nice, because there’s nothing stopping her from wearing a big smile to make the boys feel better. She hails them a cab and the three of them crowd in together, one person on each side of Yuri to support him during the drive back to his apartment.
One of Takyaan’s favorite hobbies is pushing Yuri's buttons, but she quietly lets him lean into her while she runs her fingers through his hair to untangle it. His eyes start watering suddenly and she startles. He lets the tears run down his cheeks, too tired to wipe them away or explain himself.
“It’s a reflexive brain injury thing.” Hans tells Takyaan gently, remembering all the times they’ve comforted Yuri when he’s cried for seemingly no reason. “Right?” Yuri shoots them a grateful look while Takyaan gently wipes the tears away. Hans can’t help smiling a little back.
With Yuri falling asleep on Takyaan’s shoulder and the cab getting stuck in traffic, Hans takes the opportunity to pour over the pamphlets. Yuri will have to be careful with what position he sleeps in, and he’ll have to exercise and stretch but not too much… but what’s too much supposed to mean?
They’re confused on how they’re supposed to help, but they’d be damned if they don’t try.
The first day home is rough. Yuri lays in bed mostly, tossing and turning constantly since the pain and temporary sensors on his back keep him from getting comfortable. He’s not allowed to lift anything over a few pounds, so that leaves Hans to do his housework.
Being domestic isn’t something Hans is particularly skilled at. They struggle to do dishes without breaking anything. Doing the laundry goes okay but they notice Yuri trying to stealthy refold some of it when they set it on the bed.
They don’t even try to cook out of fear that Yuri will hurt himself while tackling them out of the kitchen. The only reason they get away with cooking in their own home is because their live-in robot girlfriend doesn’t have mouth to taste their terrible creations with. Thankfully, said girlfriend brings them homemade meals on her break. She works for Yuri’s sister, and it’s Bosco’s way of helping while still having a bar to run.
Other than Takyaan’s short visit Hans is alone with Yuri, who hasn’t been up for talking. He lays quietly and watches TV on the screen that Hans moved in from the living room for him. They join him when they finish with chores and tries to strike up conversation. They can talk enough for both of them, but having to see him look and sound so miserable leaves them struggling to find words.
Hans crawl under the covers with Yuri, and it doesn’t take long for their friend to roll over and cuddle up to them. They wrap an arm around him, careful to avoid touching the damaged part of his back, and he rests his head on their chest. They turn on some brain-numbing shows, the kind of stuff you can watch but don’t have to put any extra brain power into watching. It doesn’t take long for the pair to fall asleep. Yuri’s exhausted from pain and medicine and Hans had been doing chores or worrying themself sick all day.
They can’t tell what time it happens, but it’s after the TV turned itself off and before morning. Yuri jolts awake with a loud yelp and tears streaming down his face, and it scares the hell of Hans who was only in a light sleep due to Yuri kicking his legs every so often.
They’re quick to sit up and turn on their phone’s flashlight. Yuri wipes the tears off his face while they lean over to check his back incision.
“Did I touch it or something?” They ask hesitantly, but he shakes his head where it’s still resting on their chest.
“Nah. Just a nightmare.” He says with a finality that keeps Hans from asking further questions. Yuri’s long legs wrap around one of theirs and he lays an arm across their stomach. They carefully cradle him again in a sort of side hug. The affection is sweet, but Yuri keeps trembling and it’s keeping them both from sleeping.
Hans gently tilts his head up to look at them in the dim light from the window. “Do you wanna talk about it?” They ask and Yuri looks away.
“I can’t.” He sounds strained, which just makes Hans more worried.
“You don’t have to if you don’t wanna, but you know I’m not gonna judge you, dude.”
“I mean like… I’m not allowed to.”
There’s a heavy silence. Yuri struggles to make himself stop crying and Hans’s mind feels like static. They want to help their friend, but…
“Is it the accident? Are you having nightmares about it?” They ask in quickfire, and Yuri winces. “Who’s stopping you from telling me about it? It’s just us here. There’s no Provident --”
A finger presses against their lips and they shut up real fast.
“You know if I could, I’d tell you all about it.” Yuri gives them a little crooked smile despite the tears streaming down his face. They still worry, and they’ll still continue to worry, but Hans just nods their head and gives up.
They hold him close and wipe away his tears until they stop. It doesn’t take him long to fall asleep again, but his legs start twitching like they did before he woke up yelling. Hans desperately runs a hand through his hair to try and calm him down without waking him. The twitching resides and Yuri’s breath steadies, and Hans lets out a sigh of relief.
Hans doesn’t get a lot of sleep. They’re just glad that Yuri does.
About a week in and Yuri looks like he’s doing a lot better. He’s up and walking around without too much pain. Hans and Yuri do the recommended stretches and exercises together so the latter doesn’t feel dumb doing it alone. He still can’t lift anything, but he’s back to playing with his cat, Paisley, who Hans has grown very fond of.
Hans feels like they’ve been doing a lot better too, just as a person. Yuri teaches them how to fold laundry in a way that doesn’t suck and praises and thanks them whenever they get something done around the apartment. Aside from Takyaan visiting with dinner every day, they’re on food duty, which means they have to go out to pick up something to eat twice a day. At each restaurant they find themself scanning the menu not only looking for something tasty, but also looking for something that’d be helpful for Yuri’s healing. It's one of a few small, caring gestures they've never considered to do before.
They return to the apartment with some take out boxes of orange chicken and fried rice. They read on the internet that protein and vitamin C are good for surgery recovery so they’re pretty sure this counts as healthy. Once they set the boxes in the kitchen, they walk around the apartment looking for Yuri.
They find him in the bathroom with the door open. Yuri is standing there with his hands resting on the counter and propping himself up. His shirt is off, which surprises Hans because he seemed hesitant about changing it before. He’s sweating and his eyes are looking at the ground nervously, and a very worried Hans is by his side immediately.
Yuri perks up when he sees his friend. “Hey! Can you help me?”
They don't say a thing, they’re quickly standing behind him and pushing their shades to sit on top of their head so they can see better.
“It feels like something’s digging into my back. But I can’t fucking see or feel it!” Yuri tries to reach back to where the sensation is coming from, but it’s right in the middle of his back and just out of range of his hands.
“Just relax, boo.” Hans coos and Yuri takes a breath to try and calm himself. “Under the dressing?” He nods and they prod at the tape around the bandage. It was put on yesterday when he went back to the hospital to have the sensors and other instruments removed. Hans doesn’t even know why there were sensors in the first place…
They gently lift the edges of the adhesive until the bandage falls off into their hand. They quickly trash it then scan over his skin for anything out of the ordinary. There’s a few circle imprints from the nodes that were removed yesterday. Hans touches them lightly and asks if that’s it, but Yuri shakes his head.
The small incision itself seems to be healing perfectly. They trail their fingers from the wound and down the zig-zag scar until it hits the base of his spine. The gentle touch makes him shiver, but he doesn’t swat them away or anything.
Hans looks at the old scar sadly. A lot of different kinds of people pass through Kaguya V. It’s not uncommon for Hans to pass by a war-torn soldier or adventurer on the street. They’d like to think they’d seen a lot of scars… but they’d never seen one so big. It’s a twisted gash that tears through otherwise smooth, freckled skin, and they can’t even know what caused their friend so much pain.
After another moment of searching, they finally find the culprit of Yuri’s discomfort.
“Ah.” Hans pokes the skin next to a little red mark and Yuri stiffens up considerably. “It’s just a little cut. Like not bleeding or anything. Almost looks like a cat scratch?”
He takes a deep calming breath and Hans chuckles. Taking their time must’ve made Yuri nervous. He finally straightens back up and stretches his arms over his head, and Hans watches as the scar warp with the movement before they pick up a new bandage.
“Wait. I should probably let it air out, right?” Yuri turns to them and asks.
“Uh. Maybe?” Hans looks at him with wide eyes and shrugs. “It still looked like it’s still kinda open. Better safe than sorry?”
The two ultimately decide to put a bandage back on and finally go eat their takeout before it gets cold. They sit side by side on the bed while they enjoy their lunch, more mindless TV, and each other’s company.
Yuri’s doctor decided that he’s healed up enough to go about his apartment without help.
At first, Hans was relieved to be in their own apartment again and that Yuri was doing better. Takyaan welcomed them home with open arms and they spent the day walking around the city after feeling cooped up inside for a week and a half, but they still found themself thinking of how to help their friend.
Hans isn’t good at most things, but there’s another thing they’re very good at. Caring a lot.
It didn’t take them long to start calling Yuri every night, just to make sure he’s doing okay. Hans thought he’d find it annoying, but every time he answered he sounded like he was happy to hear from them. In the days following, they ended up wandering to his apartment every day. They’d check his healing incision and help with anything that needed to be done. It was unnecessary and overbearing, but Yuri would just smile his signature lopsided smirk and Hans would give him a huge, toothy grin.
It’s been a week since Hans stopped being a live-in aide. They’re getting dressed to go out on a walk, which will probably end with them bringing some dinner to Yuri’s apartment. They put on their sweat pants, socks and sandals, their pink glasses, maybe a shirt… no shirt.
The door to their modest apartment slides open and they’re ready to head on their way, but they immediately run into someone standing just outside. They look at Yuri with a bewildered expression, and Yuri looks down at them surprised and nervous. Normally, Hans doesn’t have to look up at him, but apparently he’s feeling well enough to wear his platform boots again.
“Well, hey!” Hans greets with a sunny smile. “You coming to see me at my apartment? That’s new!”
They expect Yuri to give them an amused hum before moving out of the way, but instead he just stands there and takes a breath, running a hand through his hair.
“Do you wanna go out on a date sometime?” Yuri asks point blank, and it shocks Hans into forgetting what they were going say.
They're a very forward person when they like someone, as Yuri has learned over the months of being the subject of affection and compliments. But there’s only one person they that matches them in forwardness but without the pomp of flirting, and it’s Yuri.
Hans takes a moment to think of an answer, and the longer they take the more Yuri blushes behind his pink visor. It’s kind of funny. “Sure, but aren’t dates for getting to know people you’re interested in?” They laugh. “I already know you pretty well and I’m interested, so why not just ask what you really want?”
They smile when Yuri bows his head and they can practically see steam blowing out of his ears. They vaguely remember a time the two of them were talking over dinner and he admitted he’d never had any sort of steady partner before. Now, they could guess why. Despite being so forward he’s very easily embarrassed.
“Look, asshole.” Yuri only ever pulls out the insults when he’s flustered. Hans’s smile widens. “It was… It was nice having someone caring about me? Like, obviously you still care about me but, I guess for me. I’ve never had anyone to just really be there for me when I needed it, and I miss it. I miss you. And. Like. It doesn't hurt that you're a 10...”
Yuri’s rambling. He realizes this. And Hans realizes this. They look up at him expectantly and Yuri drags a hand down his face when it’s clear he’s not getting anywhere like this. Hans is expecting him to just outright ask, but they’re caught off guard when Yuri takes a step forward and grabs their face.
Yuri kisses them. Deeply. Hans has to hold onto the door frame to keep the both of them from stumbling backwards. They tangle the other hand in Yuri’s hair and his fingers dig into their back, and for a moment their whole world spins. The kiss only breaks it off when their glasses bump into each other.
“Does that count as me asking what I really want?” Yuri says after catching his breath and wiping his mouth on the back of his hand. Hans puts a hand over their fluttering heart and laughs loudly.
“Yeah. I’d love to be your boyfriend, babe.” They answer easily with a huge heartfelt smile, and Yuri practically melts with relief and joy.
They just look at each other quietly before Hans takes a step back and opens the door a bit wider to invite Yuri into their apartment. He follows them in and the door slides shut behind him.
Yuri moves in only a month later.