The rain was pattering down hard on the windows, hazing everything in sight. Inside the small flat, the raindrops were falling loud enough to partially block out the voices on the radio. But that was perhaps because the man on the bed wasn't really listening to the radio.
2 hours and 18 minutes...thought Kio as he turned over on his bed, glancing automatically at his clock You've been gone for 2 hours and 18 minutes
He flipped an idle eye on his phone, lying carelessly on he floor where he'd thrown it and sighed.
This was pathetic. He was acting like some lovesick schoolgirl, clapping eyes on the latest poster of the newest boy-band, and planting kisses on the singer. Or the drummer. Or the second guitarist, the one with droopy eyes and more make-up on his face that could be deemed healthy.
It's Saturday night... What are you doing here? You should be out, chasing your love-interest, like any normal person.
Yeah, right. Like that was ever going to happen. Any other night, why not? Any other night he would happily have been chatting up his love-interest, and just as happily seeing that love-interest ignore him. But not tonight.
Because Soubi was out.
He sighed again as he caught bribes of the song that was currently playing.
I saw your face, in a crowded place...
And I don't know what to do
'Cos I'll never be with you...
With a muffled groan of frustration, Kio hit the radio as hard as he could, sending it crashing to the floor where it warbled for an instant and fell silent. The rain was still hitting the flat's windows with vengeful force, and Kio just stared at the ceiling, counting the minute cracks that crossed it.
- Sô-chan...where are you...? Kio's annoyed voice rang in the flat, and like an echo, a shrill alarm shattered the silence. Kio leaped off his bed and grabbed his phone.
- Sô-chan? Sô-chan! Is that you?
- Kio... Soubi's voice was barely audible over the crackle of the phone
- Sô-chan! Where are you? Tell me!
- ... Kio...
And then the phone went dead, but Kio was already running out under the rain.
He raced through the deserted streets, hardly feeling the cold rain pound his face. There had been metallic noises in the background, noises of cranes and beeps. A construction site? Yes, there was one quite close to his flat, they sometimes passed it their way to university. At least Soubi wasn't too far away...
He finally reached the work-site, no living soul to be seen, and started to search the grounds, ducking beneath poles and weaving around the different piles of concrete and metal. He avoided the crane searchlights as much as possible. The last thing he needed was a group of nosy passers-by, all inquiring as to why two young men were hanging around a deserted construction site, and all the more, why one was almost dead/drugged or both.
Kio went deeper and deeper into the darkness of the half-built office block; he knew where Soubi would be. He didn't need to search for a trail of blood or footprints.
-Sô-chan? Are you here?
But the only sound that answered him was a slithering sound, and he slowly walked towards it. And found Soubi.
He was slumped against the hard floor, his phone clutched in an unresponsive hand, body clammy and cold, and as Kio bent down to check on his friend, his hand came back reddened.
- C'mon Soubi, let's get you home..., sighed Kio.
But Soubi didn't reply, and merely fell into Kio's waiting arms with a sickening thud, and Kio felt his chest quite simply break. Why was it always like this? No...why did he allow it to be always like this?
- Why do you call me...Sô-chan? whispered Kio as he heaved Soubi onto his shoulders and started to make his way back towards his flat.
He opened his eyes, only to blink in pain as the harsh light intruded upon his sensitive pupils. And right before he opened them again, he knew he wasn't at his place. The almost over-powering smell of paint and solvent, the happy pop-music that was playing in the background...he could easily guess where he was.
He suddenly winced as he tried to sit up, and at once he felt arms support him and ease him against the pillow.
- Take it easy Sô-chan... I don't know what happened back there, but you weren't a pretty sight.
- Have I slept long?
- About two hours. I would've expected more, but you heal fast, right?
Soubi inspected his bandages, feeling a hint of something in Kio's voice, something that wasn't usually so present. The bespectacled student had disappeared into the kitchen and came back carrying two mugs of hot tea, silently placing them on the bedside table, all the time avoiding Soubi's gaze.
- Drink up! We want you to be fully healed for tomorrow, or we won't be able to finish our project for next week.
There it was again, that bitter undertone to an otherwise normal sentence.
- Kio...what's wrong? asked Soubi, turning to look at his long-time friend.
But Kio just stood there, and Soubi could see different emotions crossing his face. Anger, sorrow, distress...they battled it out before Kio finally rounded on Soubi, his amethyst eyes blazing.
- What do you mean "what's wrong"? You've got some nerve! Soubi...why did you call me in the first place?
- I never asked you to come.
At that, said in Soubi's usual cool tone, Kio almost felt like hitting his friend for the first time since they'd known each-other, but instead just turned away, everything in his manner screaming volumes.
- That's just it! You've never asked me anything! What am I to you Soubi? I'd go anywhere you'd ask me to! I'd do anything you'd tell me to! And I can't do anything, you won't let me get near you unless that Aoyagi bastard got there first!
Kio walked slowly to the window and looked out over the dark city. And when he spoke afterwards, his voice was heavily cloaked with hidden tears.
- You ask me what's wrong. Everything's wrong Sô-chan... The way Seimei treats you is wrong. The way you just let him use you like a dog is wrong. The way I feel...feel about you is wrong as well, but like the rest, I'll never be able to do anything about it. No matter how hard I try.
Kio place his hand over the window, his hand just over the reflected Soubi's face.
- I'm tired of counting the hours before you call me, before you let me patch you up and then just leave. For once I just want you to call me for something completely different, something in which Seimei isn't involved. Something just between you and me.
- Something like this? came Soubi's voice from near Kio's ear.
And when Kio turned, it was to feel Soubi's lips on his.
Soubi tasted of smoke and salt; Kio tasted like strawberries and caramel. Two different tastes that somehow merged into one rather unique flavour as hands began to grope and caress. Kio could feel Soubi's hair tickling his face, as the taller of the two began to slowly lick the other's neck. Softly, needingly, Kio responded by wrapping his arms around Soubi and pulled him closer, just allowing the heat from their bodies to flare up around them.
What am I doing? This is...
...this is completely...
Soubi began to go lower, casting aside Kio's still-damp shirt and running his hands over that white skin that had never known a scar. His own skin was crisscrossed with tiny cuts, that had healed perfectly over the years but were still there, and as Kio began to caress the bandaged chest that stayed so close to him, his fingers picked up on those minute scars.
I just want to make them disappear...just like I want to make Seimei disappear
Sudden pain flared up in his chest as he realized the truth he had been hoping never to face. He could never have Soubi, no matter how much he wanted.
Because Soubi belongs to Seimei...
Closing his eyes, he gently pushed Soubi away from him, trembling as the shared heat from their joined bodies disappeared.
- This is wrong as well. You don't want this, I know... I'm not Seimei, I can't force you.
- Nobody is forcing me to do this Kio..., replied Soubi, reaching out for Kio's hand.
But Kio simply moved out of Soubi's reach, picked up his shirt from where it lay crumpled on the floor and walked towards the door, opening it. He paused for a moment, feeling the cold air and the rain fall on him once more, before giving Soubi a small tired smile.
- I'm not Seimei... Sô-chan. That's why I can't have you...yet.
It would be wonderful to say that when Kio returned to his flat, he found Soubi waiting for him. It would be even more wonderful to be able to relate that they spoke until the early hours of the morning, and that their conversation ended in the way that Kio secretly hoped it would.
But that would be saying that what Kio was imagining, while he silently cried under the november rain, had somehow become reality.