te_chan01: (chibibaru)
[personal profile] te_chan01
Spring~

It's finally warm out. I never thought Spring would ever come. Because of the terribly cold winter and the unusually large amount of snow, after Christmas we hadn't seen much of each other. We talked a few times, but didn't see each other. It didn't help, either, that work picked up for me. Every time I thought I had a free day, I'd plan to call Subaru and invite him out somewhere with me, but I always got called in. I had to forget about it or cancel each time.

But  now, I have no work, and it's nice enough out to do things outside!

"I can't." Subaru said bluntly.

"Why not? It's been forever since we hung out together!"

"I already have plans."

I never heard those words come from him before. That was something I usually said to him. I was so used to just being able to go out with him whenever I wanted, and I was always welcome to come if he was just hanging out with Hina, Yoko and Ryo. There was a pang in my chest when I realized this wasn't one of those times.

"Oh, okay." I said, trying not to show my disappointment. "Some other time, then?"

"Yeah."

We both hung up, and I didn't know what to do. I called a few more people, but everyone was busy. It didn't matter anyway. I didn't want to go out anymore.

A few times after that, I sent texts, but all I got were one word answers. I didn't get what was going on. Had he been avoiding me? I tried to find out if I did something wrong. Was he bored with me, finally? We had been spending much more time together until now. I guess that would make sense. But then something else came to mind. Maybe I had come on too strong, without even realizing it?It wasn't like I was acting on my feelings. Had he gotten the hint and became weirded out by it?I shook my head and shoved all those thoughts from my mind. I didn't know the reason, and if Subaru really wanted me to know, he would have said something.

In all honesty, I didn't know what to do with myself. I had plenty of people to hang out with if I wanted to, and once in a while I did, just as something to do to get out of the house. But I found I wasn't having as much fun as I used to. It wasn't fair to my other friends, but it was true. Instead of being interested in what they were saying, I found my mind wandering to what Subaru might be doing at that moment. What was he doing with all this time he used to spend with me? Was he with his friends too? Or was he running errands? Staying at home? How was he doing? Was he well or sick? Happy or sad? I didn't know anything about Subaru anymore. We hadn't talked in so long I felt like we had become strangers again.

Why was that? Why wasn't he even willing to talk over the phone anymore? More than once when I called the other line would be hung up by the second ring. He was blatantly ignoring my calls. Every time I called and every time he ignored it, the pain in my chest grew heavier and it was hard to stay positive. Eventually I stopped trying all together, tired of hoping he'd pick up and being hurt every time he didn't.

~*~

"Haven't seen you in a while." Ryo said as I approached him outside the restaurant we agreed to meet at. He quickly finished the cigarette he was smoking and stomped it out on the ground, either forgetting or ignoring picking it up to throw it out. We went inside the building and sat in a booth near a window in the back. "You haven't come to the bar lately. Where've you been?"

A waiter came and placed two glasses of water and two menus on our table. "You know, work and home. I haven't gone out much lately. And I've been saving money, so I've been drinking what I've got at home." I skirted around the real reason I hadn't been around. Unless I was hanging around Subaru, I never got invited to the bar. This was the first time Ryo ever called and invited me out.

"Uh-huh." Ryo said, sounding uninterested and a bit disappointed at the unexciting answer. We sat in silence for a few minutes as we looked through the menu. When the waiter came back and took our orders, Ryo opted for simple curry and rice with a beer. I just ordered a salad, not being especially hungry in the first place. I wasn't craving food, but the socialization I'd been refusing myself and deeply needed at this point. I wasn't born a solitary person, and being on my own for almost two months did a number on me. I rarely went out and my skin was pale from lack of sun time, and my lower half ached from sitting on the couch most of that time. I looked in the mirror one day and realized how depressed I looked. None of this was me. I jumped at the chance to go out and get out of this rut I was in.

"You seem down." Ryo observed after the waiter left, stirring the ice around his water cup as we waited for our food. "Are you?"

Ryo and I weren't especially close, and until now I didn't really consider him more than a drinking friend. But even though he tried to come off bored, he seemed sincere in his question, like he really wanted to know. "I guess I am." I was surprised at how gloomy my voice sounded. Not having seen others for two months, I didn't do much talking at all either. It took the 'guess' out of my answer.

Ryo looked at me, furrowing his brow. "Did you and Subaru have a fight or something?"

I looked up at him in surprise. "No, why? Did he say something to you?" I leaned forward in my seat, eager to find out if he'd said anything about me to them, if there was any sort of clue as to why he refused to contact me.

"Well, like I said, you haven't showed up at the bar recently, and every time we invite him out, he asks if you will be there. Of course we say no, since none of us invited you- sorry about that, by the way- and we were used to you automatically coming with him. We figured something happened between you two, what with you avoiding the bar and him having to make sure you weren't going to be there in order to come."

"I'm not the one avoiding anything!" I blurted out, standing as I slammed my hands on the table. Ryo's eyes went wide and he leaned away from me, shocked by the sudden outburst. "If anything, Subaru's the one who's avoiding me." I pouted and fell back onto the bench, hating that I had to put that into words.

"I was right, something did happen."

"But I don't know what!" I hated thinking about how many times I tried to get in touch with him and he just brushed me off like I'm nothing to him. I looked down, wiping my eyes with the back of my hand, hoping Ryo didn't realize how upset I was getting. This wasn't fair to him when all he wanted to do was have a nice lunch and talk. I was being selfish, spilling all my problems on Ryo and getting all torn up in front of him.

Ryo was quiet for a moment, and I thought maybe he did notice, but was being kind enough to say nothing and let me have my moment. But I was wrong. He was having different ideas. "You like him, don't you?" Ryo asked, though it sounded more like a statement than a question. His words almost sent my heart to my throat and put me in a whole different mess than I already was in.

"I don't know what to do, Ryo!" I cried, hiding my head in my arms against the table. I couldn't look at Ryo like this. I chewed my bottom lip, tasting the salty stream coming from my eyes. I wished I had at least had some alcohol in me, just so getting upset like this would make more sense. At least then Ryo wouldn't be giving me such a strange looks. I tried forcing out some explanation, but they didn't help. "I mean, we've never once even talked about relationships or the types of people we like or our past relationships, none of that! We've been friends so long and I don't know any of that! And now he's not returning my calls or anything, and I don't know why!"

Ryo stood up and sat on my side of the table and patted my back. He seemed to regret bringing it up, and he let his bad-ass image drop. "I wish I could tell you I knew why, but I don't. We don't talk about those types of things. Never really have. Maybe Hina and Yoko know, since those three are close that way. I'm just someone who goes drinking with them. And when we do drink, we get drunk, you know that, so even if we did talk about those things, I'd forget it."

"S-so what do I do, Ryo??" I asked desperately, unable to take being rejected anymore. "I've tried everything I could think of, and nothing's working..."

"Come with me to the bar tonight. You can talk to him about it there."

"But he won't come if I'm there! You said so!"

Ryo rolled his eyes and sighed like he was annoyed, his kindness being short lived. "I know that! That's why we won't tell him that! You'll come with me, and we'll make sure the other two don't tell him either."

"How am I supposed to talk with him about things like that when we haven't talked in so long?"

"I can't help you with that! If you really like him, it's up to you to do something!"

I knew Ryo was right, but I wished he would do something, anything! Even if it was just pulling him aside and talking to him about it for me, even if he was just being beating around the bush with it, just to find out if there was any chance or not so I don't have to go through the embarrassment of finding out myself. I knew I had to, but I wished it was easier.

~*~

I sat at the table at the bar across from Hina and Yoko, with Ryo to my left and the only open chair between me and Yoko. Ryo filled the other two in on what happened earlier, and after a terrible (and slightly embarrassing) interrogation from them, they agreed to go along with whatever plan Ryo whispered to them without cluing me in. The whole thing was making my stomach hurt. They'd put in the call to invite Subaru, and I knew he'd asked if I was there or not, because Hina answered 'of course not, he never is!' before hanging up. I had about twenty minutes before he reached the bar to psyche myself up enough, to give myself enough courage to do what I needed to do.

Sadly, for me, those twenty minutes went by too quickly without me knowing. Suddenly he came through the door, looking strangely happy until his eyes fell on me and he stopped dead in his tracks, frozen mid-step, his face stuck in a half smile-half grimace. If I hadn't been so nervous about seeing him, I would have laughed out loud at the sight. It was a tense few minutes of staring at each other before he snapped out of it and dragged Hina out of his seat, pulling him into a corner, mumbling a barely audible but very angry 'you said he wouldn't be here!' into his ear.My body went numb. He really, truly didn't want to see me. Ryo nudged my arm and whispered 'Follow our lead' while the Hina tried to calm him down from something that looked like a childish fit, with arms flailing and stomping his feet.

Finally Hina forced him into the seat next to me, giving him a stern look like a parent warning his child to behave. In response, he pouted, folding his arms over his chest defiantly, turning in his chair so he faced Yoko. Hina gave him a dirty look as he talked. "Anyway, Yasu was telling us about his love interest. Right, Yasu?"

"My love...?" I was deeply confused. We hadn't been talking about anything before he came in. A sharp pain spread through my leg as Ryo kicked me. Then I remembered. "Right! That's right!"

"What's she like? What's her name?" Ryo asks, trying to sound interested.

"Uh, well, her names Ayuko-chan. She's real nice, and she enjoys spending time time me." I glared over at Subaru, hoping he'd get the hint even if he wasn't looking at me. "She never ignores my calls. She likes to design clothes. She's real cute, too."

"More importantly," Yoko interrupts. "She got a nice rack?" Hina smacks Yoko, scolding him, telling him that's not what's most important. Yoko disagrees vehemently.

"Anyway," Ryo interjects their argument. "When'll we get to meet her?"

"Yeah! When?" Yoko chimes in. "If Yasu's got some pretty little thing, we wanna see what poor girl would be desperate enough to put up with such a guy!"

I ignore his jab. "Soon enough. I'll bring her next time! You guys will really like her." The others went on, rambling on about what kind of girl my imaginary girlfriend would be like, and my eyes were trained on Subaru, watching as his defiance deflated, his shoulders slouching, his head turning down. Suddenly he looked so small. It was obvious what we were saying was bothering him, but I didn't have it in me to feel bad at this point. I took a swig from my beer and jumped back into the conversation. I felt bad long enough. It's his turn.

~*~

By the end of the night, everyone was pretty sloshed. I felt tipsy, but I could at least stand up straight. Because of that, I was the one in charge of calling taxi's to make sure everyone got home safe and didn't end up falling into some hole or ditch. Hina and Yoko would be going home together, since they lived in the same building. Ryo would go to his girlfriends house. That leaves me and Subaru.

The others had already stumbled into their taxi's, the last one taking it's sweet time getting here. I stood outside, with him draped over my back like a cape, unable to stand without support. What do I do with him? I wondered. I couldn't very well send him to his own apartment, seeing as how he can't even locate the nose in the middle of his face. Not only would he not be able to pay (as if he had any money left anyway after the alcohol splurge), but he might kill himself trying to get inside his apartment. Or, he'd remain passed out in the taxi and never get out. I didn't want to have to ride with him to his place, because it was a long trip at this time of night, and (seeing as how he didn't have any money left) I would have to pay for both his fare and mine on the way back. But I didn't really feel like having him stay at my place, and I was sure he wouldn't be happy to wake up in my apartment. I didn't have much of a choice, though.

The taxi finally rolled up, and after a bit of struggling, I got us both into the back and told the driver my address. The whole ride he was leaning against my shoulder for support, totally passed out. When we arrived at my apartment, he was still out cold, which made things difficult. I had to half carry him through the lobby and into the elevator. He wasn't exactly a heavy person, but he was dead weight against me, making it feel like he weighed a ton.

I got the door open and dropped him on the nearest couch, not once disturbing his sleep,  if that's what you could call it. My back, legs, and arms ached from it all. Who thought carrying someone like that was so hard? I pulled off both of our shoes and put them at the front door before heading to the showers. I needed one to wash the night away.

I came back to the living room, noticing he still hadn't moved an inch from the stop I dumped him on, and sat in the corner of the couch that he wasn't taking up. Maybe he felt the couch shift from my weight, maybe he was just coming back to life a bit, but he stirred, stretching like a drunk cat.

"Hey," I said, trying to catch his attention before he drifted off again.

"Uh," He groaned. I wasn't sure if it was a reply or just a noise, but decided I'd give it another shot.

"You alive in there?"

"Uh," He said again, so I took it as his way of communicating through the thick fog alcohol that was clouding any sort of proper speech.

I knew I wouldn't get an answer. Hell, he's not coherent enough to throw out more than one syllable. I didn't know if he was even actually hearing anything I was saying or not. But, I felt there might just be a chance, a tiny, tiny chance he'd hear me, maybe even remember what I'd said.
"Well, you've made things hard for me, you know that? By avoiding me and all..." He started mumbling something and turned his face in to the arm rest. I wondered if he could even breath like that. It was like he got irritated at me all of a sudden just for asking. But thanks to the excessive amount of alcohol in his system, he didn't have it in him to do anything about it. He was stuck.
"I wish you'd just tell me you don't like me anymore, if that's the case." Silence. Either he's out again or he really couldn't breath like that and died. I didn't bother checking. "It hurts more wondering why you stopped talking to me and coming over. Because..." I felt my face start to flush as my heart sped up. I was sure he wasn't listening to a damn thing I was saying, but nervousness and embarrassment swelled up inside of me to the point the words didn't want to come out anymore. They were right there, on the tip of my tongue, and all be damned, I'd surely burst if I kept them in any longer. The words came out slowly and shaky. "It hurts so much because..." I paused, waiting for my mouth to catch up with my thoughts. "Because I...like you so much."
My face was burning, and at that moment, I was glad he was knocked out. It wasn't the way I imagined confessing. As the time passed, though, and the embarrassment wore off, I desperately wished he had. I didn't want to have to repeat it. It took enough to say it all when he wasn't even conscious, I couldn't imagine how it would be to do it when he was awake. At least this way, there wasn't the chance of rejection.
There wasn't a thing I could do about it other than wait and see. Tomorrow would answer a lot of things. If he is still here when I wake up, maybe not all hope is lost. If he's gone, I'll take it as a sign that this is all impossible, that he's really done with me. I'll give up.

~*~
My heart sinks before I even open my eyes. I fell asleep, practically curled up in the corner of the couch, and now my feet reach to the other arm rest. I know that can mean only one thing, and before my mind can process anything else tears just start coming, without any warning, and they won't stop. No matter how many times I wipe them away and try to take deep breaths to calm down, they just keep coming. I couldn't take it. The whole night was a waste. A complete, total waste. I didn't get any explanation or anything out of him. What a waste.
"Yasu?" A voice came from near the hall, and I swear I almost died, my heart lept so high. I didn't believe it. Surely I was going crazy and my mind was playing tricks on me. I popped up and looked over the back of my couch, and no, my mind wasn't playing tricks. He really was still here, fresh out of my shower, dressed in a pair of my clothes, using one of my towels to dry his hair. No, he was definitely here, he was definitely looking at me, and definitely talked to me. I was suddenly overcome with so much emotion that came out of nowhere that I fell back down onto the couch and curled up into a ball in the corner.

"Yasu?" He said again, his voice sounding both worried and freaked out. I felt him leaning over the back of the couch, looking at me, trying to figure out what the hell was wrong with me.

"Just-Just leave me al-alone a minute!" I choked out, waving him back. No! That's not what I should've said at all! He might actually leave!
"Stay-stay there but don't say anything! Just for a minute!"

It was actually several minutes that I sat there, pretty much fetal, trying to calm myself down. All the emotions just came out of nowhere and I didn't know what to do with them or how to control them. It was worse than what I'd done to Ryo the afternoon before. I'd held everything in so long I really did burst.
When it was finally all over and I could actually sit up again, I looked back over the couch, and he was standing with his back pressed against the furthest wall from me, eyeing me like I was some kind of crazy looking creature he never saw before. I probably did look like absolute hell.

"Do...I need to make some calls?" He asked when he was sure I wasn't going to burst into tears again. "To the hospital or something?"

I pouted at him,wiping the remaining streaks off my face, knowing exactly what he meant. "I'm not crazy. I just...couldn't hold all that in anymore. It's perfectly healthy, you know. You need to release sometime."

"Right." He said, still looking at me like I was crazy, but eventually skirted himself around to the couch and took a seat at the other end of the couch. A strange silence followed, neither of us knowing what to say after not speaking to each other for so long. There should have been loads to catch up on, and there probably was, but we didn't know how to start it all.

"...I'm sorry." he mumbled into his hand, and I almost didn't catch what he had said. I turned toward him, but he wasn't looking at me. He was looking off toward the kitchen, refusing to look at me. "I don't really get it all, hell, I don't remember much of anything...but Ryo said you were upset over something. He didn't say what, or if he did, I forgot. But your whole breakdown there had to do with that, didn't it."

Oh, Ryo... I admired Ryo a lot more now. But when had he talked to him?

"Sorry I wasn't around for you, either. You're going through something, and I didn't even bother to see you once."

"Don't worry about it. You wouldn't have known." He really had no idea it had anything to do with him, and it was almost frustrating. "I was just worried...that you didn't like me anymore."

"That's the problem." He admitted, and it stung my heart. That's the problem?? Did that mean I was right? "I couldn't stand to be around you for a while. It was seriously causing some internal issues. Do you know how awful it was to be around you?" I cocked my head to the side, wondering what in the world that even meant. What had I done that made being around me so unbearable? I wanted to ask that so terribly because everything was starting to hurt again and I couldn't go through having another breakdown. Saying all that was being just downright mean. There are just some things that don't need to be said.

"Every time you touched me I thought I was going to have a heart attack. Every time you were around these weird feelings kept creeping up on me and whenever you were near I just felt like grabbing you and doing...doing God knows what, I don't know! Every one of my thoughts started to be focused all on you, wondering where you were or what you were doing or what kind of crazy outfit you were wearing or hoping every other minute we weren't together that you'd call and change all that." As he continued to ramble on, his face started turning bright red, and I couldn't tell if it was from embarrassment or from a lack of air from stringing all of that into one breath. But everything started falling into place. I suddenly understood what was happening, why he had been avoiding me.

"Was that all so bad?" I asked, scooting over closer. "Were those such bad feelings that you had to stop seeing me?"

He opened his mouth, about to say something, but closed it before he did. His face turned red and he turned away. "I'd never felt that way before. For anyone. It was...scary." He gritted his teeth after the confession, not wanting to have admitted it in the first place. He stayed turned away, not willing to look at me. "I knew...I liked you more than I should. I wasn't comfortable with that. I thought staying away from you would make those feelings go away. But they didn't. They just got stronger."

I was elated. Not because Subaru had been scared and confused about the feelings he'd been having, but because he was having those feelings in the first place. He'd said it out loud- he liked me. It didn't even bother me that he'd tried to get rid of them, because they just got stronger! Which means, he must still like me! I smiled and said hesitantly, "Well, they say absence makes the heart grow fonder..."

"Not like any of that matters anyway," he suddenly spat. "You have a girlfriend anyway, don't you?"

"She was made up." I admitted. He turned toward me suddenly, glaring furiously at me.

"Why the hell would you do something like that?!"

"To see your reaction. To see if you even cared." I remembered how Subaru looked after hearing the story, how sad and small he looked, and suddenly I regretted it. It must have felt awful. It couldn't have been much different than what I had felt. "I know it was mean. But I needed to know. It was all Ryo's idea, anyway."

"Damn him." he mumbled, rubbing his hands against his face.

Another silence followed. Subaru leaned back against the couch, still rubbing his face. I bit my lip, hesitant to ask what I wanted to. I knew he liked me. He'd said it himself. The feelings were still there. He'd also said that himself. But what does that mean now? Does it change anything between us? Does he still want to push the feelings away?

"What does...What does all of this mean for us?" I asked cautiously. Slowly, he looked at me through his fingers, still hiding behind his hands. He sighed heavily and let his hands drop to his knees with a loud slap. I winced, not sure I wanted the answer anymore.

"What else can we do? If we stay as we are, we're both going to be miserable as hell. Right?" I nodded, knowing very well that it was true. I couldn't take him continuing to avoid me as much as he can't take staying away, I'm sure as much.

"Does this mean...?"

"We may as well see what happens."

I looked at him, wide eyed, not so much in surprise, but in excitement. I was so excited, my hands were shaking. I could see Subaru trying with all his might to keep a straight face, as though it was all a chore to him to try things out, but I could see the corner of his mouth twitching up into a slight smile. I couldn't hold it in anymore. I couldn't stand the space between us anymore. I jumped onto him, and before he could protest, I wrapped my arms around his neck and pulled him into a much needed -wanted- kiss. Something so simple, just the touch of our lips together, filled my heart with pure bliss. After what felt like forever, I pulled away, unable to keep the smile off my face, and upon seeing Subaru smiling as well, my heart may as well have burst.



Summer~

"Come on, Subaru! We're going to be late!" Shota whined from the door where he was holding our beach bags, towels, two inner tubes around his waist and two pairs of goggles on his forehead. His swim shorts looked as though a three year old splatter painted them, and his equally bright, pink shirt was an eyesore, but it was all very Shota, a style of Shota I'd gotten used to living with.

"We have all damn day to get to the friggen' beach, Yasu."

Shota slid the bags further up his arms to free his hands as he grabbed my arm and pulled me out the door, dragging me to the beach. "I look forward to the beach opening every year! I don't want to miss a thing!"

"We didn't miss a thing last year and we left two hours later than today!"

"But I want to spend more time in the water! We didn't spend that long in there last year! And it's so much fun!" Shota continued dragging me in the direction of the beach and the large crowd that was already forming there. I swear Shota started skipping the moment his feet hit the sand. He dropped my hand and ran toward the most perfect, sunny spot he could find to lay out the towels and put up the umbrella as claim. Seconds later he stripped his tank top off and turned towards me. "You're coming in the water too, you know!"

I ignored him and sat down on the towel with the most shade. It was already hot out, but that water would be damn cold. "No."

"Yes, you are." Shota insisted, force in his voice.

I looked up at him in defiance. "Make me."

Shota got a strangely evil glint in his eye as he turned toward the water and took a running jump into it. I knew better than to think he gave up so easily. But when more than ten minutes passed and it was obvious he was enjoying himself in the water, spinning himself around in the inner tube all alone, I was able to relax and lean back and enjoy a few minutes of quiet that never happened with Shota around.

I was almost drifting off when I suddenly heard heavy footsteps pounding up the sand, and before I could open my eyes Shota had jumped on my waist, his hands in my shirt, pulling it up and over my head before grabbing my wrists and dragging me down the beach.

"SHOTA! THE HELL! STOP!" I yelled at him, but he didn't. In the last second before he reached the water, he dug his heels into the sand and pushed me forward into the water.

"You see, Subaru," Shota said when I finally floated up for air, glaring at him through the hair that was sticking to my forehead. "There was the easy way, which was you just willingly follow me into the water like I wanted. Then there was this, the hard way." He stepped into the water and swam over, hooking his arms around my neck. "You can never do things the easy way, can you?"

"You should know that by now, you know."

Shota smiled an amazing smile and leaned in for a soft, long kiss. "That's okay. Everything turns out well either way. It's more fun for me the hard way anyhow."

Shota had that right. Everything did turn out well, even though we both took the hard way around every little thing. But it all was fine in the end. Life would be boring without Shota forcing me to come here last year and forcing me to have fun with him. I don't know what I'd be doing now without Shota being with me every minute, smiling the way he does. I can't even imagine my days without him anymore.

Hanging around him really wasn't a bad idea after all.


~*~

A/N: This fic was started March 1st, 2011. So, almost 3 years ago, and it took me until today to find the right ending for it. There were so many endings to this! I couldn't decide on the right one for so long. Finally today I found one that I liked enough to actually finish. Phew! But it was fun anyhow. Thank you very much for reading :) Comments are <3
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