Jin's voice fades to a whisper as Yamapi arches his back, eyes tight closed, muscles burning, skin taut. His breath leaves his body in a roar, of need, of pure, undiluted feeling. His fingers are tight and move fast, blurred. His toes squeeze the blanket beneath him, vice-like, cramping.
Yamapi lies, sweaty and aching and with something digging into his back. Keys, possibly, or a spoon from the ice cream he was eating earlier. He can't be bothered to move away from it but he can be bothered to reach out and touch Jin.
Only Jin isn't there, and the fall to earth is cold and a bit painful. Jin is laughing on the other end of a telephone but the warmth doesn't quite reach. Yamapi picks up the receiver with a shaking hand and tries to force his brain to form words.
“Ahh,” he says. “I'm lying on a spoon.”
Jin's voice is nonplussed. “Whatever turns you on.”
“No, I. I was eating ice cream earlier. The spoon's in the bed.”
“You were eating ice cream in bed, without me?”
Yamapi chuckles, wriggles, digs out the spoon. “I just had my hand down my pants without you. And you're bothered about the ice cream?”
Jin ponders this, there's breath over the line until Yamapi thinks they've lost signal and then, he speaks. “You were thinking about me, though.”
Yamapi nods, then remembers that Jin can't see him. “I'm always thinking about you.”
“Yeah?” Jin says, voice light. “Sometimes I think about you and a girl here. Is that weird?”
Yamapi realises that what he said, about having faithful thoughts, not quite true. “No, sometimes I think about me and girls, too.”
“Pi,” Jin admonishes. “You're supposed to think about me and a girl.”
“Oh,” Yamapi says. “Why don't you bring one back for me?”
Jin scoffs. “I'll want you all to myself,” he says, tone petulant. “I don't like sharing.”
“I'd have enough energy for both of you,” Yamapi says, amused. “It's been six months-”
“I know,” Jin says, a little bit of grunt in his voice, Yamapi notes. “I've been counting. I want it all for myself. Anyway, I know what you're like. You say you want it six times but what you really want is a quickie and then some food and then to go to sleep.”
Yamapi isn't sure whether to feel flattered or otherwise. “Sometimes I have the food with the sex. You're eating, aren't you. I can tell.”
“That's not the point,” Jin replies. “And yeah, fruit pastilles.”
Yamapi feels a bit nostalgic. They used to eat those on the bus, before school. Jin used to hide the red ones in his pocket and pretend there weren't any in the packet. Yamapi fell for it every week for two years. He swallows the feeling down.
“What is the point, then?”
“The point is that I want you all for me. And to stop you thinking about cheerleaders.”
“Are there cheerleaders in LA?” Yamapi's voice perks up. “Real ones?”
There is a long silence. “Oh,” he says. “Haha, sorry, did I say 'cheerleaders'? I meant...pineapples. I really like pineapples.”
“So,” Jin says. “If you've stopped thinking about buoyant, juicy, ripe pineapples-”
Yamapi groans. Jin clears his throat.
“And you've taken your hand out of your fucking pants, how about this for a challenge.”
Yamapi likes challenges. He nods, and then hurriedly adds a 'yes'.
“I'm coming home in a week, right. I don't want you touching yourself until I can do it for you.”
“Seven nights!” Yamapi squeaks. “Seven, Jin!”
“Yeah, well, I won't be, either, so you can just shut up and deal with it.”
“Okay, so,” Yamapi says. “I stay away from myself for seven days and you'll...what?”
Jin says the first thing he can think of. “I can acquire a cheerleader uniform.”
Yamapi takes a moment to adjust himself, then smacks his hand off the bedpost as a punishment. “Okay,” he says, hotly. “You're on.”
The first day isn't too bad. There's a couple of photoshoots to go to. Yamapi enjoys photoshoots more than interviews, where he has to watch his mouth and concentrate on his image and all of the hassle that goes with that. Photoshoots are more laidback, more fun. He tends to hang out with Ryo, who tries to put the other members off, resulting in pictures of Shige looking nervously into the middle-distance.
“Looking forward to Jin coming home?” Ryo says, making conversation. Yamapi thinks that he knows about them, their friendship-with-blowjobs-and-handjobs-occasionally, but they don't talk about it because neither of them would feel comfortable about it. Ryo misses Jin, too. Mainly because he's one person down on his verbal firing squad.
Yamapi nods, sucks on a straw. Koyama jumps onto Shige's back, and they both fall over. Yamapi is drinking orange juice and it's a little bit tart. He wishes he'd bought coffee, like Ryo.
“I think he's going to bring me a girl back,” he says.
Ryo looks disgruntled. “Bastard,” he scoffs. “I asked him to do that for me, and he said 'no'.”
Yamapi shrugs. “I think American girls are quite tall.”
“Fuck off,” Ryo's laughing, though. “I think we should all go to LA. What's he doing there, just having loads of sex? Studying, my ass.”
Yamapi feels a pang of jealousy, remembering for no reason the scent of the back of Jin's neck, when he wakes up with his nose in there in the mornings. He doesn't want another girl to know what that's like.
“I think he's just experiencing stuff,” he says, trying to keep his voice nonchalant.
“I think we should all go do that,” Ryo says. “Get an official JE break. Lots of sex and beer. It'd be good for us. Not good for business, obviously, and Tego shouldn't be allowed to go, he's still a kid, but...”
“I think I'll stick around here,” Yamapi says. “Someone needs to look after Tego.”
Ryo looks suspicious. “You'd turn down the sex?”
“Maybe I can get the sex here.”
Ryo looks even more suspicious. “All that incredible, incredible sex? The warm skin and the wet skin and the boobs pressed against your chest, and, nngh, all that long hair falling down on you? And the-”
Yamapi shifts, uncomfortable. “Shut up,” he hisses.
“Yeah,” Ryo says, resigned. “I'm getting a 'semi.”
“I didn't need to know that.”
“Sorry. Think about something disgusting. What's disgusting, Pi?”
“You, Ryo. You are disgusting. For sharing things that shouldn't ever be shared.”
“I'm not disgusting. I'm irresistible.”
“Explains all the sex you're getting,” Yamapi says, grinning. “Oh, wait-”
“It's because of work! It's. Because. Of. Work. I am too busy!”
“A likely story.”
“I'm getting more than you're getting,” Ryo points out, and Yamapi looks momentarily wounded.
“That's true,” he says, shuffling his feet on the floor and trying not to think about Jin, lips wound around his cock, eyes closed, breath huffing. Or about Jin lying beside him, their hands around each other, pushing and shoving and groaning like animals. Or about anything at all. “That's true.”
When they go back to the hotel, that's when it's worst. Yamapi flicks the television on, watches some baseball, some sort of soap, a little bit of the news. There's porn on pay-per-view but he kicks his bag off the bed so that he can't reach for his credit card. When he gets bored, turns the light off, his mind drifts back to Jin and the night before he left.
Jin was on top of him, wobbling about because Jin isn't capable of staying still for more than approximately three seconds, but he had Yamapi's dick in his hand so it wasn't like Yamapi was complaining. He had his hand in Jin's pants and Jin was grunting as he stroked, hard little movements, clumsy little squeezes of his hand. When Jin came, he kind of overbalanced, fell between Yamapi's legs so that he was right up against him, Yamapi feeling his hips pressed against the back of his thighs. And the thought that entered his head then, the one he couldn't vocalise.
The way their eyes met, knowing that Jin had had the same thought, the one he couldn't vocalise, either. And with him going to America the next day, neither of them dared bring it up. Thousands of miles would feel even further away with an awkward experience between them. Now that Jin was coming home again, Yamapi couldn't help wondering what it might be like. It wasn't something he'd ever done. This whole thing with Jin, that was something he'd never done with anyone else. And the blowjobs and the handjobs, the frottage, that was all good. But it'd be something different, altogether new, and close, to have...that with Jin.
He felt sort of ready for it, for reasons he couldn't understand. Ready in an emotional sort of way. And in a physical sort of way, come to that, physical and throbbing and needing to fuck the mattress, that sort of way. Groaning, Yamapi reached for his 'phone, sent off a quick e-mail to Jin.
I conquered day one. Just about. I take it humping the mattress would break the rules?
Jin doesn't get back to him for a couple of days. Initially, it's a relief, because Yamapi managed to fall asleep and wake up reasonably cheerful. He was glad not to wake up to some filthy e-mail. Jin is surprisingly good at filthy e-mails, despite showing very little prowess at writing at school. By midweek, Yamapi feels unexpectedly settled. It's only a handful of days before Jin is back, before he's able to quell the vague sense of thirst within him. Until then, he can deal. It's not overwhelming, an impossible burden. As long as he doesn't think about it too much, he's fine.
They do interviews, darting past questions about Uchi and Kusano. Ryo is tense and cranky and it shows, that he's missing Uchi. Yamapi tries his best to lead the discussion, supported by Tego, supported by Koyama. Ryo grouches at them, afterwards, at their attempts to chide him for being uncooperative. In a weird way, Yamapi thinks that he understands how he feels. They chat about it, over pizza and beer, which they smuggle into their hotel via Tego.
Ryo says that he's fine, everything's fine, it's all fine except that it's just a bit weird without his best mate, which Yamapi nods at. It's not a disaster. It's not one of the things that makes the world feel like it's dissolving, like your place in everything is melting away. It's not something that makes you want to cry, and cry, and cry. It's just that something isn't quite as right as it was before, like an injured leg, like a vase glued back together. The knowledge of incompletion is jarring, makes you pause, makes you stop for a second and remind yourself that things just aren't the same now as they were before.
For Yamapi, this is a temporary feeling. For Ryo, it's permanent. Yamapi tries his best to make things the way they used to be: they play car racing games until three in the morning, making a hell of a lot of noise, drinking a hell of a lot of beer. At the end of the night, Ryo seems calmer, more resigned. Yamapi supposes that's something.
He goes to bed and sets the alarm on his 'phone. That's when he sees the e-mail from Jin. When he reads it, he wishes he hadn't opened it.
Sorry I didn't reply sooner. I've been on this road trip with a few of my classmates, it was great. We drove all over the place and saw loads of stuff, you'd have loved it.
It's really hot here right now. The girls are more daring than they are in Tokyo. My classmates (two blonde, one brunette) wear these tiny little shorts and these really small bikini top things, like Toblerone triangles but even less modest!! It's great!!
Also they sometimes get so hot that they have to pour bottles of water on themselves. And sometimes I help, because I'm a gentleman, ne?
Humping the mattress would be cheating, yep. But it's okay, I'll be home in three days!! I asked one of the girls about a cheerleading uniform, said it was for a girlfriend back home. She says she'll look into it.
Gotta go – the girls want to wash the car!!
Bullshit!! You're sitting in your room eating cup noodles and playing Playstation, aren't you? Fucker.
Yamapi growls into his pillow for a few minutes. His 'phone doesn't light up, which suggests that Jin probably is watching soapy, bikini-clad girls wash a car. It takes a lot longer to get to sleep that night: one cold shower and twenty minutes reading the newspaper. All that bad news makes him feel humble and small and not in the least bit aroused, so that when he turns the light off, he feels spaced and sleepy.
No. Proof attached.
He dozes off, and when his 'phone lights up, he remains blissfully unaware. It's only when he wakes up the following morning and sees the message that he throws his 'phone at the wall.
The day before Jin is due to come home, Ryo sends Yamapi a message. He's at a bar drowning his sorrows, he says, or his mildly-inconvenienced-by-Uchi-crabbiness, but he wants Yamapi to know that he's going to throw a party for Jin and to let Jin know. Jin likes surprises but only when he knows they're going to happen, which is an oxymoron to anyone except Jin and Yamapi. A little disgruntled that he won't get Jin all too himself, Yamapi agrees. Then he realises that Jin will be really excited at the prospect of a party thrown for him, so he tells himself not to be so selfish.
Jin sounds sleepy when he calls him, and Yamapi can hear the bedsheets rustling around him, which does nothing for his celibacy plans.
“Don't fall asleep,” Yamapi says. He can hear Jin yawning.
“Won't,” Jin says. “S'nearly time for me to sleep, though.”
“Okay. You recovered from your bikini car-washing, then?”
Jin's voice is smirking. “Yeah. Did you?”
“You're a bastard.”
“I know. Looking forward to seeing me?”
“Yeah.” Yamapi shuffles, looking forward putting it mildly. “Ryo's throwing a party.”
“No, stupid, for your suitcase. Of course for you.”
Jin is laughing, he's excited. Yamapi imagines what that looks like on his face and has a sudden pang. Jin keeps on laughing. “When is it?”
“A couple of days after you're back. You'll have press conferences and stuff to do first, right?”
“Yeah,” Jin says, sleepily. “I'm kind of looking forward to it, but I'm going to be cabbaged when I'm back. I don't think I should talk when I'm cabbaged.”
“I doubt you'll sound that much different.”
“Oi! It's sixteen hours of time difference. Imagine me at my tiredest, then add in sixteen extra hours of tired.”
“I'm not even sure you're going to be able to walk out the airport, let alone get dressed and sit in a press conference,” Yamapi says. “Maybe I should come and meet you. Hold your hand.”
“You just want to get it on with me in a public bathroom,” Jin says, not entirely inaccurately. Yamapi's face is hot.
“How are you going to survive this party, then,” Jin continues. “We're not going to be alone. You're gonna want to get your hands on me and I've got all these people to talk to, and friends to catch up with, and you're gonna-”
Yamapi growls at him. “I do have an iota of self-control, thank you.”
“What's an iota.”
“It's, er, like...an inch. A bit.”
“Oh, okay. So you're eight iotas long.”
“What. WHAT. No, Jin-”
Jin is laughing again.
“I hate you.”
“I hate you too,” Jin echoes, between giggles. “Stop touching yourself.”
Yamapi starts. “I'm not!”
“You're thinking about my iotas and wanting to!”
“It's not...you can't use iota like that, and besides, I-”
“I'm going to bed now.”
The music swarms through Yamapi's head, as unwelcome as chilli sauce on a hot day. He's seen all the newspapers: the shots of Jin, the only glimpses he's caught since Jin returned. It's been a haze of press conferences, statements, interviews, image sessions, hairdressing, debriefing, singing lessons, rehearsals. Jin has barely had a moment in his life to e-mail his friends, to talk to his parents, anything. Partly, Yamapi understands that it's the job. Partly, it makes him mad.
Everyone is here. Yamapi knows that Jin has just walked in because everyone swarms, like the music swarms, towards the door. There are excited cries and claps on the back and Ryo is being sarcastic, somewhere. Shirota is singing a welcome back song and Jin is laughing, he hasn't spotted Yamapi yet. Everyone is asking questions about America and Kame is trying to answer them for Jin, like he always does, half-laughing at himself for doing it. And then Jin spots Yamapi and he smiles, and the world quietens down just for a second like it does in romantic films sometimes. Yamapi always thought that sort of effect was bollocks and yet here it is, happening to him.
Jin climbs across people, touching and being touched, laughing and nodding and saying hello, but he's trying to get to his best friend and when he does, they hug. Suddenly all the jarring and the sense of incompletion lifts away and Yamapi feels that everything is right in the world. Ryo is hovering somewhere and Yamapi feels for him, that he might not know how it feels. He hopes, in that moment, more than anything, that Uchi is allowed to return to Johnny's.
Once everything has quietened down, they sit in the corner and chat, heads bowed together, not wanting to touch in front of everyone, but wanting to be close.
“So, d'ya miss me?” Jin is saying, fast, excited. “I missed you. I went to Disneyland and thought of you – bought you a hat, one of the big ones you always wanted – and we went to the beach, loads, to study. I studied, imagine that. You can't imagine that, can you?”
“No,” Yamapi admits. “I don't remember you studying much. I remember me studying, and you sitting eating my food and talking about random stuff all the time. Kind of like you're doing now, actually.”
Jin opens his mouth to protest and Yamapi adds, “It's good to have you back.”
“I think another week,” Jin says, tapping his nose. “And you wouldn't have made it.”
Yamapi sniffs, but doesn't feel he can argue with that. “Neither would you.”
“Guess not,” Jin says. “Particularly with all those girls around. Actually, I left this out, but one of them had a hot boyfriend-”
“They had boyfriends?”
“They were off-limits. And you decided not to share that piece of information?”
Jin grins. “Slipped my mind.”
“Wanker, I know. Speaking of-”
“No, we're not going to talk about anything sex-related. I'm gonna get through tonight without doing you on Ryo's kitchen table.”
“That's kinda hot.”
“Just. Shut up.”
Jin grabs Yamapi's hand, yanks him to his feet.
“If we're not talking,” he says. “We should be dancing.”
Yamapi tries not to think about a lot of things. Mostly, that Jin isn't dancing against him. Jin's hips aren't pushing against his. His arms aren't around Yamapi's neck. His eyes aren't locked on Yamapi's. Of course, none of these things are happening. They're in public. But Jin's hips are swaying, Jin's arms are above his head and Jin's eyes are closed and all of it is just there, just a little way off, so tangible and so, so tempting. Yamapi watches Jin when Jin's eyes are closed and closes his own whenever Jin realises he's doing it.
Everyone is very drunk. Shirota is singing in Spanish and Ryo is falling over in the background, pretending to play the guitar. Nobody is watching them. Jin is dancing and other people and bumping into him, drunken-dancing, gentle shoving. Jin's eyes are closed again. So Yamapi reaches out, hooks a thumb into his jeans and pulls him over, pulls them closer. Close enough to arouse suspicion in a sober room. Jin doesn't fluster. He continues to dance, his eyes moving onto Yamapi's face, just not looking at him. He makes no effort to touch him, just the hips moving, brushing Yamapi's, not deliberate, not flirtation, just sensation. If it's reverse psychology, it's working.
Jin tilts his head and looks at Yamapi, right in the eyes, all dark and horny and true. And then he mouths something, so slowly and so clearly that it's like a bolt, fixing Yamapi's feet to the ground like lead. He can feel his heart like a pendulum, thick and heavy inside his chest. And he pulls Jin, stumbles over people who grunt and push back, someone tousling his hair as he fights his way past. He pulls Jin into the downstairs cupboard, where there are coats and shoes and even wellington boots, and then he kisses him. And against his lips, Jin mouths the words again, and again, and again.
Somehow, they end up upstairs. Mostly it's a negotiation that happens between kisses, gestures between grabbing hair and faces and shoulders and Jin's arms, wrapped tight around Yamapi's neck. Yamapi says that he doesn't want to- not in a cloakroom, of all places, and Jin's not in a position to argue with that. Initially, they fall into Ryo's open doorway and then Yamapi's senses regain hold and he drags them both to the spare room. Jin lies on the bed while Yamapi darts back into Ryo's room, searching the bedside cabinet, Ryo's got a pharmacy in there, it's incredible – and then he finds lubricant and condoms, they'll do, he stuffs them into his trouser pockets and rushes back. He kicks the door closed with one heel, climbs onto Jin, kisses him and makes them both laugh.
They roll for a little while, until Jin is sucking the curve of Yamapi's neck, making a noise that's desperate and needy, the one Yamapi can't resist. He looks back into his eyes, Jin's hands starting to snake up his thighs, squeezing his arse.
“Jin,” he says. “I want to. Can we. Erm.”
“I. You know, we've been doing this thing for-”
“Do you want to have sex?”
Yamapi flusters beautifully. “Er. Um. Yes. Maybe. I mean, if you want to. How did you know?”
“There's a condom falling out of your pocket.”
“Oh. Oh right. Er. Say something?”
“King Kong Kondoms?”
“That's what it says on it.”
“It's...that's. It's not mine!”
Jin raises an eyebrow. “You told me to say something.”
“I meant say something about sex. The sex. That we might have. Possibly.”
Jin looks at Yamapi and smiles. “Sure,” he says. “I kind of wanted to ask you before I left.”
“Yeah,” Yamapi nods. “Me too.”
“Okay,” Jin says. “So that's that settled.”
They look at each other. Yamapi's arms are shaking, a little bit. He doesn't know where to start.
“I,” Yamapi says, cringing. “Who's going to fuck-”
Jin smirks. “You're eight iotas. Not quite King Kong, but it'll do.”
Yamapi kind of wants to punch him in the mouth, but he doesn't fancy his chances of getting laid afterwards, so he makes a mental note of it, and kisses him instead.
“Pi,” Jin says. Yamapi is slowly, internally, dying. He doesn't have a damn clue what he's doing. His hand is loosely around Jin's cock, he's stroking both of them at once, applying lubricant and trying to give a good handjob and also not come. Not coming is the most important part.
“Pi,” Jin says again. Yamapi looks at him.
“Chill,” he says. “It's just me.”
Yamapi thinks about this. They've never been cool, slick or suave. Jin brought a porno mag over to his house when they were twelve, and they looked through it and decided that they didn't know what all the fuss was about. Girlfriends came and went. They dissected kissing techniques. A couple of years later, Jin told Yamapi about masturbation and made him promise not to tell anyone else. Yamapi didn't know how to go about it so they dissected those kind of techniques, too. Sometimes they'd do it together and Yamapi would watch him, just to see what he was doing to himself to make that kind of noise. He stole a couple of his techniques, found they liked similar things. Found he liked doing it with Jin around. Didn't feel embarrassing, just nice.
The first time he jerked Jin off for him was a year ago, maybe more. He wanted Jin to make those noises for him, couldn't understand anything more than that. He let Jin reciprocate, one thing led to another and it just felt right. Easy. What he'd looked for but never found in any of his previous relationships. But it wasn't cool, slick or suave. It was tumbly and clumsy and rough, because Jin wasn't a person with finesse but plenty of passion and plenty of intensity. It didn't matter that they clashed heads or bumped noses. It just added to it.
So watching Jin, in that moment, pushing down against Yamapi's fingers, which he'd put inside himself because Jin knows what he's doing in a way Yamapi doesn't, that was all that Yamapi needed to feel chilled. Settled, secure. Watching Jin undulate, little gasps falling from his lips, turning into grunts as he let go, let Yamapi take over. And then, pressing inwards, Jin's eyes flare and his mouth tears open and a clear, hard sound comes out. And that, that is more than enough incentive. Every single day of the past week bears down on Yamapi's shoulders as he eases his fingers out and half-falls between Jin's legs. Jin reaches up and grabs ones of his shoulders, a quiet reminder. Yamapi knows to go slowly.
It's hard to keep reminding himself, so he's glad of that hand clutching his shoulder as he eases inside. Everything is so tight and so hard and so hot, and Jin's breathing in a way that sounds filthy but might actually be discomfort, and oh God, that's the only thing keeping Yamapi from coming, opening his eyes and checking. Jin's eyes are tight shut and when they open, he grunts awkwardly, breathing hard in and out through his nostrils. Yamapi stays very, very still, bows his head. They breathe all over each other. And then, Jin nudges up, just a little, to take in sensation for himself. Yamapi grits his teeth as he does it again, again, and again, finding fluidity, finding a rhythm.
He finds himself at the hilt in the same moment Jin finds the right spot inside, and both of them dissolve into jelly, all at once. Jin laughs so Yamapi laughs, but they continue to move and the laughter turns to sharp cries. The expression on Jin's face is one Yamapi has never seen before, the odd mixture of pleasure and pain, the curiosity mixed with trust. He leans down on his elbows so he can get close, buries his face in Jin's hair and his hands around Jin's face, just desperate to touch and keep touching. And Jin's arms wind around his back and they're not looking at each other, but their faces together and their chests together and their feet together, that's the best feeling in the whole world. It doesn't matter that it's a single, unmade bed or that the room is a tip or that Yamapi's wearing a ridiculously-named condom or that it isn't perfect, because neither of them are perfect and it's that that Yamapi adores.
It doesn't last long, because they are imperfect and it feels too good, and it's been too long, and Yamapi manages just to choke out an apology into Jin's ear before he comes, sudden and all too quickly, Jin pushing up and staying there, tight around him. They look at each other then, all ragged and drained and sweat-soaked, together in experience, exhilarated and exhausted. Jin's eyes are still dark, wild pinpricks and even though he can't think straight or understand what he's doing, Yamapi reaches down and grabs his cock, strokes and strokes and strokes until Jin is winding underneath him, holding onto his shoulders and begging in his ear. His chin rears up and knocks Yamapi's as he cries out, just there, nearly there, and then his whole body rises, too. Yamapi collapses down, collapses Jin down and then himself, and they lie in a bundle of very tired limbs until Jin half-shoves him because his elbow is in Jin's neck.
Yamapi wraps around him, nudging him over ungracefully, and pulls a very worn blanket over them both.
“See,” Jin says, lazily. “Quickie and a sleep.”
Yamapi pokes him in the ribs. “No, you said one quickie, some food, and then some sleep.”
Jin ponders this. “Yeah, I did.”
“So. What've you got in your pockets?”
Jin wriggles over, finds his jeans somewhere on the floor. Emptying the pockets, he has his keys, a Polaroid. A tiny American flag and a card from a Hard Rock Cafe. His credit card. Something falls onto the floor with a hard thud, he assumes that's his 'phone. It's a bit sticky. Two mints, unwrapped, probably from the plane. And then, lastly, half a packet of fruit pastilles. He remembers a time, long ago, when he used to ride the bus with Yamapi and-
Silently, he lies back down and chooses the only red one left. In the dark, his mouth finds Yamapi's mouth, and Yamapi tastes sugar, sex and strawberries.