Pairing: Reita/Uruha (the GazettE)
Disclaimer: Standard disclaimer applies.
Summary: Reita wants to know why, and he doesn’t understand why Uruha never gives him a clear answer.
Comments: I started working on this before we started cardiac material in nursing, so I suppose I began this fic just over two weeks ago. When I first began, I had it in mind to be much shorter than it is, and to perhaps only be one scene – the first scene, with the sunset. But as things typically go when I decide to write something, I changed my mind, and the little ficlet turned into this. XD I hope you enjoy reading, all the same. I think it’s very cute. The fic is dedicated to sakuresu, because I read that she’s been having a craving for Reita/Uruha lately (and dear, I know it’s not a drabble, but perhaps you’ll enjoy it anyway~. ^______~). Also, this is the first time I have ever written this pairing. *LOL*
“You shouldn’t be out here, you know.”
Reita instantly recognizes the voice as Uruha’s, but he doesn’t turn around to greet the guitarist. Instead, he keeps his eyes trained on the horizon. The sun is setting, coloring the sky in different hues of orange, pink, and blue. It’s beautiful, though in Reita’s opinion, the sky’s beauty pales in comparison to that of Uruha’s. In Reita’s opinion, Uruha is quite possibly the most beautiful creature that Reita has ever seen.
Such beauty can be dangerous, though; especially when it comes in the form of a man who happens to be too gorgeous for his own good, not to mention a man that is and has been one of Reita’s closest friends for years. They flirt with one another often, which isn’t unusual – it’s something that they’ve always done and it’s something that both of them are comfortable with. They’ve even made out before, and more than once. They’ve walked that invisible line between friend and lover, but they have never crossed it. They’ve danced around each other for years – they’ve made a game of it. A game which Reita has perhaps been taking too seriously for the past several months now.
Uruha thoroughly enjoys flirting, and it isn’t unusual for him to tease any of their other bandmates. He’s always flirted, and it’s never bothered Reita. At least, it hasn’t before. For some reason, it’s been driving him insane lately. Of course, for the most part, Reita knows that there’s nothing wrong with a little innocent flirting, and he also knows that just because Uruha flirts with someone does not necessarily mean that Uruha feels an attraction towards the person he happens to be flirting with. Reita also knows that Uruha is not in a relationship with anyone, and Uruha has every right in the world to flirt with anyone that he so desires to flirt with.
Reita also knows that he should not get jealous when he sees Uruha flirting with someone else. He shouldn’t, because Uruha is not his, after all. They are best friends, and they are nothing more than that. So what if they flirt? So what if they’ve kissed? So what if they’ve engaged in a little heavy petting, more than once? It doesn’t mean anything, right? It doesn’t mean that Uruha has feelings for Reita, and it’s not like Reita has any claim on Uruha, anyway, so he shouldn’t get jealous.
He shouldn’t, but he does, and he doesn’t know why.
No… he does know why. He does, but he doesn’t want to admit it – not even to himself – because admitting it will make it more real than he thinks he can handle. He doesn’t want to bring it out in the open. He wants to keep it buried deep inside of himself because he believes that that is where it belongs. It’s safer to keep it buried, because some part of him believes that if he tries to put it out in the open – if he tries to rationalize with himself and tries to accept how he feels, much less if he tries to tell Uruha how he feels – that he will be opening Pandora’s box.
Reita loathes jealousy. He cannot stand how it makes him feel. Jealousy had reared its ugly head just moments ago, when practice had ended and Kai and Ruki had left already. Uruha, laughing, had taken Aoi by the wrist and tugged him aside, giving Reita the distinct impression that their conversation was private and he was not invited to join. Reita had turned around abruptly, bass in tow, and had marched right out of the studio, all too aware that he was acting like a child but at the same time not really caring. He had gingerly placed his bass into the car and though he knew that it would have been better for him to drive straight home, he had instead remained standing outside of the studio.
It is jealousy that has driven him out into the bitter cold. It is jealousy, and his own stupidity and stubbornness that makes him linger behind instead of going home like he knows he should. It is jealousy – and that other feeling, which he refuses to name – that ties his stomach into knots and makes his heart clench in a way that is almost physically painful.
“Why not?” Reita finally asks, almost pleased that his voice holds none of the tension that has managed to seep into his body. Uruha is approaching him, Reita can hear each soft footstep, but Reita still does not look back.
“Because it’s cold out here,” Uruha replies sensibly, moving to stand beside Reita. “You should have gotten into your car by now. Or were you waiting on me?” The question is asked lightly – Uruha’s tone is playful, teasing.
Reita’s lips twitch slightly, just itching to reply in an equally playful tone, but he doesn’t give in. Instead, he presses his lips together, setting them in a firm, thin line, and says nothing.
From the corner of one eye, Reita can see Uruha’s pretty face twist into a slight pout. “Rei, this isn’t like you,” he says, and Reita inwardly agrees with him. No, it isn’t like Reita to not tease back. “I was just teasing, you know,” Uruha adds after a brief pause. “You’ve gotta be out here for a reason, so… what’s up?” He no longer sounds playful; Uruha knows that something, somewhere, is wrong, and now there is nothing but concern in his voice.
The sudden change in Uruha’s demeanor catches Reita by surprise – momentarily throws him off-guard. But then again, Uruha’s always been considerate of him, of all of them, always. So, really, why should Reita have been surprised in the least?
Reita shrugs. “Would’ve stayed in the studio a little while longer, but you and Aoi seemed a little occupied already. Didn’t wanna intrude on anything.” His voice does not sound as casual as he would like for it to sound; it’s tinged with the silly jealousy that he wishes he didn’t feel.
“Intrude?” Confusion rings clear as a bell in Uruha’s voice. “Why would you think that…oh. Oh.” Uruha laughs then, and the sound somehow manages to make Reita feel warm, despite the fact that he’s standing outside in the cold. But the tension does not leave him, even as Uruha continues to laugh.
“What’s so funny?” Reita asks, still refusing to meet Uruha’s eyes.
Uruha stops laughing, but Reita doesn’t have to look at him to know that he is now sporting a huge grin. “If you’ve somehow managed to get the impression that I’m interested in Aoi, let me go ahead and clear the misconception up. I’m not interested in him.”
Uruha’s statement comes as a surprise, and Reita has to struggle with himself to keep that surprise from showing. “You could have fooled me,” he replies nonchalantly as he scuffs one foot against the ground, suddenly feeling more than a little ridiculous.
“Don’t tell me you got a little jealous.” Uruha is teasing again, and Reita knows that Uruha has no clue just how true his words are. Uruha lightly touches his arm and Reita bristles, but he doesn’t pull away.
“No,” Reita snaps, the word leaving his lips before he can think of a different reply – one that is perhaps more truthful. But he cannot admit to feeling jealous, not to Uruha.
“No need to get defensive,” Uruha tells him, lightly patting his arm before withdrawing his hand. “I wanted to talk to Aoi about something, but that’s all. Sure, I might indulge in a good-natured round of flirting with him from time to time, but it’s never been and never will be more than that. You know how I am.”
So, what you’ve got with Aoi is no different from what you’ve got with me, Reita thinks, but he does not venture to voice that particular thought. Instead, he manages a small, almost melancholy smile and says, “Yeah, Uru, I know you enjoy teasing.”
“Well, you ought to,” Uruha replies, and his voice dips lower. “You’ve experienced it enough to know, and I’ve never heard any complaints from you~.”
“That’s ‘cos that’s always been a part of you and me… of our friendship. And I haven’t heard complaints from you, either.” Reita finally looks at Uruha, and Uruha is still smiling – a bright smile that holds nothing but happiness and perhaps a little mischievousness – and his eyes are twinkling with that teasing, almost dangerous gleam that Reita has become very familiar with over the years. That look comforts Reita, and yet, it makes him feel even more uneasy all at once, and it puzzles Reita, because he should not feel like this. He shouldn’t feel even the slightest bit of unease around Uruha, because they’ve known each other for years and between them, there have never been any barriers. It’s always just been them. Uruha and Reita and an incredibly close friendship that just happened to include outrageous flirting.
So, why? Why have things felt strained for the past several months? Why has their little ‘dance’ become something that makes Reita’s heart race? Why has Reita been avoiding Uruha’s attempts at flirting with him lately? He’s never done it before, and he can’t understand why he’s been doing it so often lately.
Or maybe he can understand, and he just doesn’t want to accept the real reason.
“Because it’s fun,” Uruha says, snapping Reita out of his reverie. He steps closer, sliding one arm around Reita’s waist. For just an instant, Reita tenses, and then, unable to keep himself from doing so, he sways into Uruha, leaning against the taller man. He feels Uruha bury his face against his hair, and Reita relaxes. “You’ve been acting a little different for a while now,” Uruha suddenly says, the words little more than a whisper.
Of course, Uruha’s noticed it. Uruha always notices Reita’s change in moods, no matter how slight the change is; and Uruha isn’t one to simply let things be as they are. He wants a reason. “Yeah, I know,” Reita replies. “Sorry for that. Dunno what’s gotten into me lately.”
“Oh, no, no. It’s not gonna be that easy, Rei.” Uruha lifts one hand and waggles his index finger at him. “You’re gonna have to do better than that if you want my forgiveness~.”
Reita smiles then, again feeling that familiar itch to tease, and this time, he gives in to it. “What should I do, then? Offer to be your sex slave?” He tilts his head up, not wanting to miss the look on Uruha’s face.
And oh, what a look. He most definitely seems surprised by Reita’s comment, but there’s something very close to pleasure in that look, too. Uruha’s grin seems to say, ‘See, I knew you had it in you.’, and Reita always enjoys surprising him, especially like this. He always has.
“Well,” Uruha begins, and that grin doesn’t leave his lips, not even for a moment, “I was going to ask for an apology kiss, but if you wanna take things that far…” He trails off, and the arm around Reita’s waist tightens a little.
Things between them have never progressed to sex. Of course, Reita’s thought about it, and he believes that Uruha’s thought about it as well, but they’ve never crossed that line. After all, what would become of them – of their friendship – if they went that far? It’s one thing to tease, because teasing is safe, for the most part. Actions, on the other hand… actions are almost always anything but safe, and while they’ve kissed and allowed their hands to roam in the past (almost always when they were a little less than sober), they’ve always stopped just short of crossing that invisible line between friend and lover, and that’s just how things have always been between them. It’s been their comfort zone, a comfort zone which has grown less and less comfortable over the past several months, despite Reita’s attempts to fight it. He desperately wants things to be the same – the same as they’ve always been. But at the same time, he wants things to be different.
And in what way does Reita want things to be different? He wants them to be different in a way that he’s too afraid to admit – even if only to himself. It’s strange and a little scary to think of what could be, and despite Reita’s efforts to not think of such things, his efforts avail to nothing. For quite some time now, he’s always thought, ‘What if?’
Again, Reita finds himself – or rather, his mind – traveling down that dangerous ‘what if?’ road, and he forces himself to stop thinking like that, forces himself back to the here and now. After all, there really is no point in considering what could be, and what probably never would be, right? Besides, Uruha is waiting on his answer.
Despite his sudden urge to say, ‘What if I do?’, he instead says, “Nope, you were gonna say an apology kiss, so that’s what you’re getting.” He turns in the curve of Uruha’s arm, pressing a chaste, somewhat awkward kiss to Uruha’s lips. When he pulls back, he licks his lips almost nervously. “Good enough?”
Uruha raises his eyebrows and smiles in a way that is almost – probably is, knowing Uruha – suggestive. “For now, it is.” He doesn’t release Reita, though, and Reita likewise makes no move to break the contact between them. It’s just them, and they’re just touching. This is also something that they’ve always done; they’ve always been able to be close like this – it’s the kind of friendship that they have always had. Only now, it doesn’t feel like it should feel, and Reita knows that it’s more than likely his own fault.
Reita almost tells Uruha that there’s no way Uruha would ask him for more later on, but he bites his tongue and stays silent, knowing that he’ll only make a complete idiot out of himself if he ventures to say anything like that.
“You shouldn’t be out here, you know,” Uruha says again, and Reita looks at him, puzzled. Uruha had told him that already, after all. “You’ll catch a cold staying out in this weather so long.”
Reita wrinkles his nose, though he knows that Uruha cannot see that particular motion. “I read somewhere that you can’t catch a cold from being out in cold weather.”
Uruha snorts. “Yeah. We’ll see who can’t catch a cold from cold weather when you’re calling me and begging me to come nurse you back to health ‘cos you’re sick~.”
“Would you wear a nurse’s outfit for me?” Reita leers, unable to resist the temptation to ask such a question. Instead of giving Uruha the chance to reply, though, he barrels on ahead, no longer teasing. “Anyway, you’re the one talking about catching a cold. If that’s the case, then why are you out here with me?”
“Just because,” Uruha replies, smiling. He does not say anything further.
Reita searches Uruha’s eyes for a moment, trying to find some sort of reason, but he finds none. He gives up and turns to watch the setting sun once more, not pushing Uruha to give him a real answer, though a real answer is what he wants.
The funny thing? The answer that Reita is looking for is right in front of him. He just doesn’t know it yet.
“I told you that you would get sick.” Uruha stands beside Reita’s bed with his hands on his hips, and Reita thinks that he strongly resembles his mother at this moment, and that particular comparison is nowhere near appealing.
“Shut up,” Reita replies, placing an arm over his eyes tiredly. He feels like he’s freezing to death and like he’s burning up at the same time. He knows he has a fever, and his throat feels raw. His body is aching though he knows he hasn’t done anything for it to ache this much. Overall, he just feels plain awful. “Go ahead and kill me and put me out of my misery.”
Uruha chuckles. “I can’t kill you. Kai would then kill me, for killing you. And then our band would be missing a bassist and a guitarist. I’m here to nurse you back to health, like I said I would~.”
Reita finally lifts his arm a little and peers at Uruha. “Come back when you’re in a nurse’s uniform.”
Uruha rolls his eyes and presses the back of his fingers against Reita’s forehead. “At least you’re in good enough shape to tease me.” His fingers are cool and they feel nice pressed against Reita’s forehead. They feel so nice, in fact, that when Uruha starts to move those fingers and tells him that he’s burning up (which Reita already knows), Reita turns his head to follow that cool touch.
Uruha tilts his head and gazes at him for a moment, seeming to be lost in thought. “You need a cool compress,” he finally says after several moments. “I’ll go get something. You stay here. You’re not going anywhere ‘til you’re well.”
Reita honestly doesn’t think he could go anywhere if he wanted to. Every other time he’s gotten out of bed thus far, his legs have been rather uncooperative and his head has always swam. “Don’t worry,” he tells Uruha. “I’ll be right here holding this bed down and making sure that it doesn’t go anywhere.”
At that comment, Uruha smiles and shakes his head. “Yeah, you do that, Rei. I’ll be right back.” Uruha turns and exits the bedroom, and Reita closes his eyes and listens to the sound of Uruha padding down the hallway, and then he hears water running. Then he once again listens to the sound of Uruha making his way back up the hallway - he’s not even wearing socks, Reita realizes – and he opens his eyes again when he hears the footsteps stop.
“I don’t see a nurse’s uniform,” Reita remarks with a somewhat lewd smirk, holding his pillow out in front of himself in self-defense as Uruha rolls his eyes at him and threatens to smack him upside the head. It’s an empty threat, of course, but Reita fires right back with, “You smack me and I’ll sneeze on you!”
“Shut up and put the pillow back under your head,” Uruha tells him, waiting for him to do just that before placing a cool washcloth over Reita’s forehead. “Keep that there for a while. You need some soup, so I’m gonna make you some.”
Reita’s eyes widen in mock-horror. “You’re going to make soup? In my kitchen? ‘Ruha, the only thing scarier than you cooking is me cooking, and--”
“Which is why you aren’t going to be cooking,” Uruha interrupts, sticking his tongue out at Reita before turning around and crossing the room. Before he leaves the room, though, Reita asks him to wait a minute. Uruha pauses in the doorway and looks over his shoulder, one hand resting on the doorframe. “Yes?”
“Thanks,” Reita tells him, and he means it.
Uruha smiles. “You’re welcome, Rei. Now, keep holding that bed down. You’ll have soup in a while, provided I don’t burn the kitchen down.” He chuckles and then continues on his way, and Reita closes his eyes again, a small smile playing on his lips. Even though he is smiling, however, there is a strange sort of feeling in his stomach – an uneasy sort of feeling… like there’s something going on that he doesn’t fully understand yet, and he’s not sure that he likes that feeling. But just like all the other times, he tries to push that feeling aside yet again. The problem is, it’s getting harder and harder to try to ignore that feeling. But that doesn’t mean that he’s going to stop trying. It’s unfamiliar, this feeling, and Reita’s always been the type to be wary of things that he doesn’t fully understand.
Ah, but you do understand, an inner voice tells him. You do understand, and that’s why you feel uneasy. You know what this feeling is, you’re just afraid of trying to act on it.
The sad thing is that Reita knows that inner voice is right, and Reita himself always hates admitting that anything that particular voice says is right. But it always is, and though Reita’s gotten used to it over the years, he doesn’t want that voice to be right at this moment. Not now, because he doesn’t want to feel what every fiber of his being knows that he feels, and he doesn’t want to feel jealous every time Uruha flirts with someone who is not him. He doesn’t want to admit that that small, inner voice is right, because that will make this more real to him than he wants it to be, and it’s already painfully real – fresh and raw and exposed to the open air – and Reita wonders if, somehow, Uruha knows. But no, he can’t know, can he? After all, things haven’t changed at all between them, not really. If Uruha knew, wouldn’t he be uncomfortable with it? Wouldn’t there be some sort of reaction?
Mostly, Reita just wishes that something would happen. He wishes Uruha would stop being the sweetheart that he’s always been, so that maybe it would be easier to not feel like this. Part of him even wishes that Uruha would push him away or something, because goodness knows Reita’s been pushing Uruha away lately – not in huge ways, but in small ways, and sometimes the smaller things count more than the larger things.
Reita wishes that things could go back to normal - really go back to normal – so that he feels completely comfortable around Uruha again and he doesn’t get jealous of Aoi or anyone else that Uruha teases. But Reita doesn’t know if things will completely go back to being normal. He doesn’t know if he’ll ever stop feeling like this, and he doesn’t know if Uruha will ever make it any easier on him. Not that it’s Uruha’s fault. Oh, no, Reita knows that he’s brought this upon himself, even though he really would like to blame Uruha for being so nice and considerate and funny and beautiful. He would really like to blame it all on Uruha, but he knows that he can’t.
Sighing, Reita forces himself to stop thinking along those lines, because doing so is only making his headache worse, and his headache is near unbearable as it is. Instead, he focuses on the sounds in the kitchen – water running, various pots and other such objects being removed from their respective cabinets, and Uruha humming. It’s those sounds – mostly the humming – that lull him to sleep before he even realizes that he is sleepy in the least.
He doesn’t know how much time passes before he wakes up to find Uruha sitting on the edge of his bed and smiling at him. “I was about to eat your soup myself,” Uruha says, and gestures towards the nightstand where the bowl of soup rests.
“There’re no vegetables in there, right?” Reita asks as he sits up, but he sits up a little too fast and has to lie back down for a moment. He doesn’t know where his washcloth is, but it doesn’t really matter because it would have fallen off his forehead the moment he sat up anyway.
“No, it doesn’t,” Uruha replies, as though Reita’s question sounds ridiculous to him. “I know how much you dislike vegetables, so why would I put them in there?” He reaches for the bowl of soup and waits for Reita to sit up again (much more carefully this time), and then he gingerly hands the bowl to Reita. “Eat all of it. It’ll make you feel better.”
Reita raises an eyebrow, but he doesn’t bother to tell Uruha that he's never believed chicken soup can help one get rid of a cold. “You didn’t destroy my kitchen in the process of making this for me, did you?” he asks playfully.
Uruha snorts and shakes his head. “No, I didn’t destroy your kitchen, but I might make it a point to do so if you keep picking on me~.”
“Fine, fine,” Reita replies, tasting the soup and raising both of his eyebrows when he realizes that the soup actually tastes quite good. “My tastebuds must be out of whack due to my cold, Uru, cos this stuff actually tastes good.”
Uruha smiles but otherwise doesn’t reply, and they sit in silence (or near-silence, for when Reita eats soup, he can never seem to keep himself from slurping it) as Reita downs his soup. When Reita is finished, Uruha takes the bowl from him and goes back into the kitchen, presumably to place the bowl in the sink. Moments later, he returns with a glass of juice and acetaminophen to help with the headache and the fever. “Drink all of this juice and take these,” he tells Reita. “One of the worst things you can do when you’re sick is get dehydrated.”
Reita does as Uruha tells him, and then hands the glass back to him, lying back down once more. Uruha sets the glass on the dresser and says, “Try to go back to sleep now. Your body needs to get as much rest as possible while it’s fighting off your cold.”
Reita cannot refrain from snorting softly. “Alright, Doctor Uruha,” he replies, smiling when Uruha scowls at him.
Reita has just closed his eyes when he feels the mattress dip, but he does not open his eyes, not even when he feels Uruha’s fingers gently brushing the hair away from his forehead, and not even when he feels those fingers lightly caress his face – the bridge of his nose, around his eyes, his cheek and the line of his jaw – though he does realize that he has forgotten to breathe for several long seconds, and he takes a deep breath. “Why are you taking care of me like this?” he asks Uruha, still not opening his eyes.
It’s a silly question, perhaps, because Uruha has always looked out for him, and Reita has always been grateful, but it is somewhat different now because Reita is confused and torn between how he does feel and how he wants to feel (because feeling how he does feel only makes things more complicated and he just wants things to be simple between Uruha and himself, just like they always have been), and he really has no clue what to do, because he’s not that great at hiding things from Uruha and he’s even less great at avoiding Uruha, because avoiding him isn’t fair to either of them. But Reita doesn’t know what to do. He’s been trying for some semblance of normalcy – he’s been trying to keep things the way they always have been between them – but he thinks that he’s failing and he knows that Uruha has noticed, because Uruha has brought it up, the fact that Reita’s been avoiding him lately.
“Just because~,” Uruha replies, and Reita opens his eyes to glare half-heartedly at him. ‘Just because’ is Uruha’s answer for a lot of things these days, and it is becoming somewhat tiresome, because Reita believes that he deserves a better answer than that.
Reita is about to tell Uruha just that, but his eyes drift shut and he slips back into slumber again before he can even bother to open his mouth.
Four days later, Reita is germ-free and back at practice. They all definitely have some catching up to do, considering the fact that Reita’s been under the weather and the rest of his bandmates couldn’t have very well held practice without their bassist (well, Reita figures that maybe they could have, but they wouldn’t have, anyway). The only problem is that Reita can’t seem to keep his eyes off of Uruha, and he seems to be doing more harm to their practice session than good, because he’s lost his place and has subsequently screwed up twice now, and he is getting the feeling that everyone is losing their patience with him.
Uruha is, of course, oblivious to the way that he’s torturing Reita. Or maybe he isn’t oblivious to it at all, and he’s torturing Reita just for the hell of it. Then again, if he has a mind to torture Reita, he would have to know the effect that said torture has on Reita, and to Reita’s knowledge, Uruha has absolutely no clue what effect he has on Reita and how he’s been making Reita feel for months now, if not longer. Or maybe Uruha does know, and Reita is completely in the dark. With Uruha, it’s sometimes quite difficult to tell. For what must be the thousandth time in the past several months, Reita wishes that he didn’t feel this way. He wishes that Uruha wouldn’t have made it so easy to fall for him, because Reita knows that that’s what he’s done. He’s known it for a long time, he just hasn’t spoken of it and he’s refused to acknowledge it properly. He wishes that Uruha wouldn’t look at him like that; he wishes that Uruha wasn’t his best friend, because it only makes things even more complicated.
Reita wishes that his feelings could be switched off like a light, but he knows that it isn’t that simple. He wishes that he didn’t have to live with this feeling because it twists his insides and it hurts, but at the same time, he can’t imagine living without it – not now. He wishes that he had some idea of how Uruha feels, but he’s not about to ask Uruha if he has feelings beyond friendship for him, because they have such a wonderful friendship and have had such a wonderful friendship for years… so why would Reita want to risk losing that? He doesn’t, and yet at the same time, he does, because he knows what could be. He wishes that he had the guts to tell Uruha how he feels, but it’s taken him months to fully accept how he feels. How long would it take Uruha to accept his feelings, if he accepted them at all?
Also, he wishes that he could concentrate on what he is supposed to be doing instead of on the way Uruha looks right now. He wishes that his gaze wouldn’t constantly flicker in Uruha’s direction, because Uruha is more of a distraction than usual when he plays his guitar. When Uruha plays his guitar, a look of pure, orgasmic bliss comes upon his face, and Reita cannot tear his eyes away for very long. Reita knows that it’s pathetic. He knows it is, but he cannot help himself, and he cannot seem to calm his racing heart, nor can he seem to keep his palms from sweating. Inevitably, he screws up yet again, and Kai suggests that they take a ten minute break. Reita dashes out into the hallway, buying himself a soda from the nearest vending machine and taking a long drink from it, all the while trying to calm his still-racing heart and keep his hormones in check.
“Rei, is something wrong? Are you sure you’re feeling up to being here today?”
Reita nearly drops his soda and he spins around to find Aoi standing there, though he had not heard him approach. “Don’t sneak up on me like that, man!”
“Sorry,” Aoi replies, looking a tad sheepish. “Didn’t think I was sneaking up on you, though. I was sure you would hear me. You’ve been on edge lately. You’ve been kinda… different.”
Reita sighs and takes another sip of his soda. “Did ‘Ruha tell you that? He’s told me that I’ve been acting different for a while now and I know I have but I can’t help it because this is driving me crazy and I wish things weren’t like this and I don’t know what to do and I just wish everything would go back to normal but at the same time I think that maybe this is going to be normal from now on but I don’t want it to be because things were a whole hell of a lot easier before because before I felt completely comfortable and now I don’t feel as comfortable as I used to and…” He trails off when he realizes that he’s essentially been spilling his heart out to Aoi, no matter how ambiguous he’s been while doing so. Judging by the small smirk on Aoi’s face, he’s said too much. “Uhm. Forget all of that, would you?” He knows it’s too late to say such a thing, because Aoi has a very good memory, and Aoi also has a very good way of understanding things.
Aoi shakes his head, and the small smirk is now a full-fledged smile. “Why is it that you and Uruha find it so easy to spill these sorts of things to me when you two have been friends for longer? He probably knows you better than anyone, and vice versa. Don’t you think that he’d listen to you?”
Reita feels himself flush. Oh, yeah. He’s definitely said too much. “You don’t get it! I can’t--” And then, it dawns on him that Aoi has just stated that Uruha has spoken to him about something similar to what Reita himself has just told Aoi. “Wait a minute, what do you mean by ‘you and Uruha’ and ‘these sorts of things’?” He gestures almost wildly, not really caring that his soda is sloshing around in its can and is perhaps close to spilling everywhere. “Has Uruha spoken to you about me? Has he told you something that I should know?”
Aoi gives him that same knowing smile. “What Uruha has said is for him to tell, and I think that you have something to tell, too, just not to me… Though you have already pretty much ‘spilled the beans’, as the saying goes.”
Reita feels his jaw drop and then he closes his mouth, barely refraining from grinding his teeth together before saying, “Just why in the hell won’t you tell me things directly instead of fucking talking like that?” He asks Aoi that question when he knows perfectly well that what he told Aoi just a moment ago was much more unclear than what Aoi has just told him. He knows he shouldn’t be taking his frustrations out on Aoi, either, but he cannot seem to help himself. He also realizes that he is again gesticulating wildly, and his soda is again sloshing around in the can. He takes another long drink from the can, closing his eyes and telling himself to stop being such an asshole towards Aoi.
Aoi reaches over and lightly pats him on the shoulder. “It isn’t my place to tell you, Rei. It’s his.” And then Aoi moves past Reita, heading for the door. Reita assumes that he’s going outside for a smoke.
Reita stands there in the middle of the hallway, conflicting emotions twisting his stomach into knots and quite frankly confusing the hell out of him. Again, he closes his eyes and he simply breathes - in and out, in and out – while he wonders if Uruha has made a similar confession (or semi-confession) to Aoi. What if he feels the same way Reita feels and he just hasn’t told him? But Reita forces himself to not get his hopes up, because hopes are so fragile and so easily destroyed.
He finishes his soda, and just as he tosses the empty can into the trash, he hears Uruha’s voice. “Rei, if I may ask… what was all of that with Aoi, just now?”
Reita feels himself instantly go rigid, and he doesn’t feel brave enough to turn around and look into those questioning eyes. “You heard?”
”Yeah. Otherwise, I wouldn’t have asked.” Reita can hear Uruha moving closer; he’s moving slowly, like he believes that he might scare Reita away.
Reita still refuses to turn around and look at him. The last time this happened, he had a nice sunset to look at. This time, there is only a trash bin and a wall, and neither are pleasant to look at. “If you heard, then you already know, don’t you?” He is glad that his voice doesn’t waver when he speaks.
“It was a big jumble, Rei.” Uruha’s voice is gentle; he’s trying to be comforting, Reita knows, just like always. Though this time, it’s different, because they’ve never been in a situation quite like this before. “I’d like to hear you say it again, a little more clearly this time. And I’m sorry for eavesdropping… I didn’t mean to, but then I couldn’t seem to mind my own business when I heard… well, when I heard what you said.”
Reita inhales deeply and then exhales, knowing that Uruha is right here and there is absolutely no way that he can escape this – or escape him. He can’t lie, because Uruha already knows the truth. “… Fine,” he finally says, already feeling defeated and already steeling himself for disappointment. However, he can’t help but feel some amount of hope, even if it is only a very small amount. “You want to know why I’ve been acting so weird for a while now? You want to know why I haven’t felt totally comfortable around you for months now? I’d love to blame it on you, but it’s me. It’s my fault. I get jealous when I see you flirting with other people, even though I know it probably means nothing. I think about you constantly, and it drives me insane because up until about six months ago, everything was fine just the way it was! But since then, it’s been different and I feel like everything’s been spiraling out of control and up ‘til now I’ve never had the guts to tell you, but I have feelings for you and I know I shouldn’t but I do and I can’t change it and I’m not even sure I want to change it because I can’t imagine not feeling this way even though it would probably be easier if I didn’t. I’ve wished a thousand times that I didn’t feel this way.”
Reita’s realizes his confession is entirely too wordy and that it probably would have just been easier to say ‘I love you’, but he is pretty certain that Uruha can figure that much out for himself. He still doesn’t feel brave enough to turn around and look at Uruha – he doesn’t know if he’ll feel brave enough to look him in the eye anytime soon. His stomach feels like it’s doing flip-flops and he swears that he can hear his heart pounding in his ears. Uruha is quiet, has been perfectly quiet during Reita’s spiel, and Reita wishes that he would say something because the silence is deafening and it only serves to make Reita all the more anxious.
Finally, Uruha speaks. “Reita. Look at me, please.”
Reita doesn’t think he can turn around. He doesn’t think he can look at Uruha – not now, not after he’s just confessed that he has feelings for him. He starts to tell Uruha that he can’t - starts to tell him that he needs some air and probably a smoke to calm his nerves. But before he can do so, Uruha takes him by the arm and gently turns him around. And still, Reita refuses to look at him.
“This would be a lot easier if you would look at me,” Uruha says, and there is no anger in his voice. Instead, there is something incredibly close to pleading, and Reita cannot ignore it.
Slowly, Reita meets Uruha’s gaze – takes in that softly smiling face and those deep brown eyes. Reita starts to say something (he honestly doesn’t know what), but before he can open his mouth, he realizes that Uruha is leaning closer, realizes that Uruha is about to kiss him and whatever words he is about to say die in his throat. When Uruha’s lips meet his own, Reita closes his eyes, but otherwise remains motionless and still just as tense as ever. Uruha’s hands move to rest on his shoulders and that is when Reita tentatively responds, beginning to kiss Uruha back. When the kiss deepens and he feels Uruha’s tongue flick against his lips, he hesitates before he parts his lips and Uruha takes the invitation, tongue slipping past Reita’s lips and thoroughly exploring Reita’s mouth.
As he feels Uruha’s tongue stroke almost teasingly against his own, Reita realizes that his hands are trembling slightly. He doesn’t know why his hands are shaking – they never have before, when they’ve kissed. But this kiss is different, and Reita knows it. This time, neither of them has been drinking. This time, Reita feels like it must mean something. He raises his hands and rests them on Uruha’s hips, and he knows that Uruha can probably feel him tremble, but if Uruha does notice, he does not mention it. Then again, it’s a little difficult to mention something while kissing, Reita supposes.
After several long moments, Uruha finally draws back and Reita blinks his eyes open, this time not hesitating to look into Uruha’s eyes. There are a thousand things running through his mind – things he wants to say and things he wants to ask – but the only thing that he can seem to manage to say is: “Why?” It’s a stupid question, he thinks. Stupid and pointless. Stupid because it’s not like Uruha really needs a reason to kiss him; he’s never needed a reason before. Pointless because every time he’s posed that very question to Uruha recently, Uruha has never given him a real answer. Reita knows better than to expect a straightforward answer.
But this time, Uruha surprises him. “Because I love you.”
Reita is about to ask Uruha if he heard him correctly, but a loud whistle interrupts him, and both he and Uruha turn to find Aoi standing in the doorway with a wide grin plastered on his face, and Reita wonders why he didn’t hear the door open, because Aoi had shut the door behind him when he had gone outside. They have even more company, it seems, because Uruha jerks his head in the direction of the room they had been practicing in, and there stand Ruki and Kai with equally wide grins.
“We knew this would happen sooner or later,” Kai says, and Reita comes very close to giving him the one-fingered salute, but he decides against it. Instead, he tells them all to go away, and before any of them move to do so, he leans in for another taste of Uruha’s lips.
As his and Uruha’s lips meet for the second time that day, Reita thinks that maybe he’ll suggest that they should end practice early today...
Author's Note: Of course, we all know Reita's real reason for wanting to end practice early, ne? ^_________^