They spill out to the street like there’s something going on there, one, two, three, of them, chins high and chests open, Tsuyoshi’s mouth opens when he yawns, Kimura laughs. Some people turn but don’t pay attention. The air has this smell that can make you giddy in spring, of concrete in full bloom, the streetlamps bright in their yellow ways pour the light to pool under their feet and maybe it’s going to rain but not tonight. It’s cold, so Kimura buttons Tsuyoshi’s jacket, although his own is swinging from his shoulder, his arms bare, the guy that’s always hot (“That was lame even for you, Shingo,” and Shingo laughs this laugh he was trying not to laugh, but actually he was just trying to break the glassy air when Tsuyoshi looked down at Kimura’s fingers fastening his button like he’s never seen them before and didn’t know what to say). Cigarettes are lit even though their throats feel scratchy and rough already but it’s more of a rhetoric now, something to do with their hands–and mouths. Shingo doesn’t get one because Kimura still eyes him disapprovingly (“You’re barely legal, you brat,” and Shingo is too tired now to remind him again who stood on the lookout when him and Nakai were hiding in the toilets for a smoke so many times, so many years ago), so he drags the sole of his shoe against the pavement not to feel left out.
Tsuyoshi says something about invading Nakai (this is not how he says it, he says, “We could go to Nakai-kun’s?” like he isn’t really sure where he wants to go), Shingo catches the flash of something on Kimura’s face and he launches, “Tsuyopon!” hitting Tsuyoshi’s head because he knows there’s already too many of them here, one too many Shingos, and Nakai is really not what they, they need right now. With Tsuyoshi’s “What was that for?!” they decide to invade Kimura’s place instead and sometimes Shingo wonders if Tsuyoshi really is that oblivious or if he’s just scared–and Shingo knows that he is scared because Tsuyoshi told him.
They will go to Kimura’s where they will proceed to make a mess of the place and of themselves and Tsuyoshi will end up sitting on the floor next to Kimura, back against the couch, from which Shingo’s hand will hang down playing with his hair but Tsuyoshi won’t even notice, too aware of Kimura’s leg stuck between his. Kimura will lean back shaking his hair while laughing at what Tsuyoshi has said although Tsuyoshi won’t even remember what it is they are talking about. Shingo will want to kick him a couple of times but then he will realise it doesn’t matter, Kimura will look determined enough and Shingo will admit he would probably be a little bit scared himself, if it were him. Kimura will say something to Tsuyoshi that Shingo won’t hear, Tsuyoshi will look down so Shingo won’t be able to read his face, but Kimura’s arm will wrap around Tsuyoshi’s waist and Shingo will notice. He will down one more bottle of beer and let himself fall asleep on the couch and he won’t see more arms wrapping, won’t hear whispers and won’t witness hungry kisses and clothes getting lost and scattered all over the floor, although he will later wake up to the telltale creaking of the bed from the other room.
He won’t tell Tsuyoshi that he knows when they get up in the morning (he would guess from Tsuyoshi’s sheepish face too) but he will pull Kimura close over a cup of fresh coffee and tell him to, “Be good to him, Kimura-kun,” and Kimura will hesitate but nod, realising that Shingo believes that he can.
But for now they are standing on that street, breathing as if they haven’t for months, swaying on their feet not because they’re drunk but because they’re alive, Tsuyoshi tries to look at Kimura’s face when he thinks Kimura can’t see and Kimura catches him at it, grabs his shoulder, leaning on him until Tsuyoshi almost trips and talking in a loud voice, and Shingo thinks he could fit the whole sky in his lungs and they set off like this, chins high and eyelids heavy, and they are flying.