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Celebrate Once More

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As outgoing and overwhelming as Nagisa could be, there was one thing he tread lightly on and that was the line between friendship and something more with Rei. There was a time he thought that Rei reciprocated his feelings, but then he overheard a conversation between Rei and Gou in which she asked Rei about his love life and the kind of person he was interested in. He said, without hesitation, that he wasn’t interested in that sort of thing. Gou then followed up with “what about Nagisa-kun?” Rei, completely misunderstanding, answered, “I’m not 100% sure, but I think he likes someone; she’s probably just as rambunctious as he is. I guess she’d have to be to handle him and for him to not get bored with her. Don’t you think?” After hearing that, Nagisa decided to keep his more than friends feelings to himself.

They graduated without ever speaking a word about it. They remained friends, but with Rei moving across the country to attend university, meeting up became hard. During his first year, what had been previously a day for celebration, became a day of sadness. Back in high school, Rei would quietly celebrate the anniversary of the day he met Nagisa; it became the most important day of his life. For the last two years of high school he had managed to spend them casually with Nagisa, but never mentioned the significance of the day. But even without making a big fuss about what the day meant, they always managed to have an awesome time. In Rei’s last year of uni, he decided that he would go for broke and confess to Nagisa on their secret anniversary. He didn’t really have the time to return home, but it was important so he made the time. The last few times Nagisa said he was going to visit, he ended up cancelling at the last minute. To ensure that Nagisa wouldn’t bail this time, he told Nagisa that there was someone he really wanted him to meet and he emailed Nagisa his “night on the town” itinerary so he’d know what to expect. There was no one, of course, but he was going for broke, so if the little white lie worked, it was fine.

Nagisa cancelled the last few visits because it was getting harder and harder to be with Rei, but not be with him. When he got Rei’s invitation and itinerary, he felt it was finally time to let go. Not only was Rei going to introduce him to his fiancée—he assumed—but the itinerary read that they were going to visit a bunch of places that he and Rei made memories at. It really was time to let go. He had a busy week, so he didn’t have time to think about it much, but the night before, Nagisa got drunk—something he never did because he didn’t drink—and called Gou and cried about the whole situation into her voicemail.

Nagisa passed out and woke up around 11:30 to frantic banging on his apartment door. He staggered to it and he had barely cracked the door when a towering figure flung open the door, scooped him up, and closed the door behind them. Before he could do anything he was drowning in a kiss. There was some banging and clattering because the lights were out and they couldn’t see. He was so disoriented that he didn’t even know where he was in his apartment. With one hand he pushed at the broad chest that he was being held against and with the other he fumbled for a light switch or a lamp. When he finally broke free, he ran towards what he hoped was the front door. And it was. He slid his hand up and down the wall to find the switch. When the lights came on he saw a bleeding Rei. He rushed towards him to see if he was okay, completely forgetting what just happened. Rei said he was alright and in the midst of his relief, Nagisa sobered up and took in the whole situation. Rei reached for him, but he jumped back, confused. Then he started to cry. Rei quickly crawled over to him, all the while begging him not to cry. He told him he couldn’t take hearing the saddest sound in the world twice in one night. Nagisa slowly lifted his head up from behind his fists that were working in vain to dry his tears. He looked at Rei and then his eyes darted to where he last remembered seeing his phone; he scrambled to it. Just as he had feared, the last number dialed was Rei’s and the call lasted seven minutes. Worse yet was that his call history showed that he hadn’t called Gou since last week.

Earlier that night, Rei was really nervous about going for broke, but he knew he’d forever regret it if he didn’t go through with his plans the next day. When he got out of the shower the amber notification light on his phone was blinking—Nagisa’s light. His heart sunk instantly—he was sure Nagisa was calling to cancel. There was a lot of crying and drunk slurring, but if Rei understood nothing else in that message, he was at least certain of one line: “but no one loves Rei more than I do, how can he belong to someone else?” At that, Rei closed his phone, got dressed, grabbed his prepared bag, and left his dorm room with his hair still wet. He was going to hop a train, but ran into his senpai who let him borrow his car. Iwatobi bound.

After they both calmed down, Nagisa made Rei sit on the foot of bed and he kneeled in front of him to clean up his bleeding lip. Afterwards, they sat in silence for a while. Rei was the first to move. He reached under Nagisa’s arms and gathered him up into his own. He laid back on the bed, kissed the crown of Nagisa’s head and rocked them both to sleep. In the morning, they spoke very little. Nagisa looked at Rei and asked, “what now?” Surprisingly, Rei was not in the least put off by the order of things getting a bit turned around—he was still determined to follow the itinerary. He laughed his silly laugh and responded, “what do you mean ‘what now?’” He grabbed Nagisa’s hand and pulled him toward the door as he waved around the itinerary, “we’ve got a date, don’t we?”

Nagisa, still in a daze, followed along. A few hours in, they had fallen back into their old habits and by that time it was Nagisa who was pulling Rei along. Their last stop was the Iwatobi High School pool. They snuck in. The pool was empty, but they didn’t care; they both ditched their shoes and socks, rolled up their pants and sat on the edge. They talked about their day, and how they had both quietly celebrated it in high school. They talked about how scared they were and laughed at Nagisa’s drunk dialing and how happy they were that things turned out the way that they did. However, Nagisa was still under the impression that Rei had actually chosen him over someone else and so he asked. Rei looked at him and giggled. He explained the little white lie at which Nagisa blushed and softly punched his arm. Then Rei turned his body to face Nagisa, touched his hand, and nervously said, “but if you really want to meet someone, how about… your new boyfriend?” He raised his arms as if to present himself. Embarrassed, he quickly dropped them. “…If you’ll have me?”

Nagisa yelped loudly with joy and leapt into Rei’s arms knocking him back onto the ground. He covered Rei’s face with a mosaic of kisses and yeses. Rei reached up to grab Nagisa’s face. He kissed his lips and Nagisa returned it and then they kissed and kissed and kissed and kissed.