Ways to Say ‘I Love You’ (Drabble)
“So, Hanzo’s never said it before?”
You look up with a mouthful of cereal and take a moment to ponder the question before swallowing and shaking your head. “Nope, not once.”
“Not even in Japanese? Really?” inquires Lena, eyes growing curiously wide as if such a thing were unfathomable.
“Not that I know of.”
“But that’s not unusual,” Hana interjects, not even looking up for her handheld console. “Asian culture is like that. We just don’t say it. Not even to family, really.”
“Say what?” Mei suddenly pokes herself into the tiny kitchen of the safehouse you’ve all taken refuge in for this mission, curiosity piqued now that her culture has been indirectly mentioned. She doesn’t even wait for an answer before a light bulb seems to go off in her head. “Oh! Is it the”–her voice drops to a whisper for some reason–“‘I love you’s?”
“Yeah, that’s it!” Lena swoops in on the opportunity to question you further. “Are you sure he’s never said it? You both have been dating for–what–a year now. Surely the grump must’ve said something.”
You close your eyes and lean back into your chair, thinking. You’re almost one hundred percent sure that you’ve never heard him say such things to you.
Not when you’re both on the cusp of sleep and he’s murmuring whatever his sub-conscious dares come up with, holding you close to him like you’re going to disappear; not when you return after a long mission and he’s waiting for you at the landing site regardless of the time of day (or night); not when he hands you your bags (you’d later discover some sort of food item packed inside) as you’re about to leave for a mission, wishing you to return in one piece; not when you were left injured in the medbay after a particularly grueling mission and he sat beside you the entire time, hand in yours.
But you don’t need to hear those words when his actions themselves proclaim his affection just as loudly as if he were shouting it from the highest mountains. After all, there are many different ways to say that you love someone, and not all are spoken.
“Nope. Definitely never said it.”