For all the drama centered around the three little words, Masamune thought they fell off his lips disturbingly easy.
It was almost unnerving, really. Not a moment's hesitation, no brief flash that this is the point of no return, just conviction and resolution and I love you. He couldn't brush it off as heat of the moment or a cry of passion in bed as before all those years ago--not that it had ever been that, but Ritsu in his befuddled little mind had probably assumed as much--and he couldn't take it back when Onodera was standing there shaking his head and refusing to accept it, to return it.
Sure, he probably could've chosen a more appropriate venue. Perhaps it had been the adrenaline in his veins pushing the confession from his tongue, perhaps if they'd instead been sharing a romantic meal by candlelight and Onodera were watching him with that same honest, open adoration like before, the words would have stuck in his throat and it would've taken a few more glasses of wine than he'd enjoyed with Erika-sama at the bar for him to come to grips with his feelings.
But what had happened, had happened--in just that manner, and there the words were now between them. And worse--or better--it was like a dam had been unstoppered, holding back the full force of a raging river of emotion that Masamune had been holding back for ten long years, and now he couldn't stop confessing. He wanted to brace Onodera's arms against his side and press him into the nearest available flat surface and whisper over and over and over until it burned into his ears I love you.
Is this what it felt like, confessing? He'd only ever done it the one time before, and that was such a distant memory and overshadowed by pain and betrayal and confusion that he couldn't even remember if it hadn't just been his own imagination. But this--this sort of natural high, heart beating wildly and breath coming in short pants and vision blurring everything into a muddled palette of muted colors--how did anyone manage to not confess their feelings, if the reward was such freedom, such relief?
He wanted to do it again--right now. He wanted Onodera on his couch or in his living room or curled up in his bed or anywhere, everywhere and he wanted to grab him tight, press his face into his neck and whisper it again into his skin. No wonder he hadn't been able to keep from confessing to Masamune right there in the library, out of the blue. Fuck he had such newfound respect for the guy now; he hadn't stopped to think, had just let himself get carried away by emotion, and it must have felt amazing. Masamune had been an absolute asshole back then, but Ritsu…Ritsu had been in love.
He was feeling a little giddy, now, and hoped he didn't do something inappropriate in the office now that he'd learned the feel of I love you on his lips and realized he liked it quite a lot. "Onodera--go make five copies of this proposal for the meeting this afternoon, and I love you." "Onodera--have you finished that project write-up yet? I love you." "Onodera--you look like shit. I love you."
This could be a problem.
It was just…a lot to process. He hadn't realized how devastated he'd been by the loss of so many things he'd thought had been constant in one fell swoop: he was his father's son, Ritsu loved him unconditionally, and no matter how shitty things seemed he would never be truly alone. Time had blurred the memories and made the pain seem not half as bad as he'd thought, but hearing Onodera chattering away seemingly without a care in the world and realizing oh fuck it was the same idle chatter he'd let float in one ear and out the other over lunch dates and in library corners--it had just slammed into him like a bus, knocking the breath out of him and snapping him back to high school.
Except now he was the nervous wreck, babbling his love love love to the object of his affections, long thought unattainable and suddenly here standing in front of him. Ritsu had been brave, so very brave, and Masamune was so very not--he couldn't be honest and frank and open and just hope Onodera forgave him and fell for him again. He wasn't that patient.
He had to take what he wanted, show Onodera what he was missing by rebuffing his advances, because it hurt too damn much to sit here and watch him from afar, wishing and wanting and waiting with no certainty that he'd ever have the guy in his arms again.
He told himself he could be patient in waiting for Onodera to admit, aloud, to Masamune, in no uncertain terms that he'd been just as much a wreck for the past ten years after their break-up, but he just--needed something. Needed something. He'd thought a kiss would be enough, but no, he needed to touch and tug and grope. He'd thought just touching would be enough, but no, he needed to be touched, to get off together. He'd thought that getting off together would be enough…but no, he needed to fuck and be fucked.
He'd thought that being able to tell Onodera that he loved him would be enough, but no; he needed to hear it back.