“I don’t know, it just feels kinda weird. I mean, I don’t know him, it was different with Asada… I didn’t know him either but, it just was.” Eijun said, trying not to yawn.
“What do you mean different?” asked Youichi.
“Well, maybe because he was quiet and shy and it was easier to get used to, like he wasn’t even there, most of the time, anyway. But this new kid,” this time he couldn’t suppress the yawn. “This new kid, he’s not loud, or violent like someone I know and he’s not shy. He’s like… normal.”
“Normal? You’re not used to normal,” snickered Youichi, trying not to yawn too. He was probably as tired as Eijun but he didn’t want his boyfriend to know that. “Hey, you should go to sleep. That’s like the fifth yawn since we started talking and you have to wake up early tomorrow.”
“I know, I feel like we haven’t talked in so long and I miss you and it’s not that late,” he said looking at the clock in his laptop. “It’s only 2 a.m. oh my god, I should go to sleep.”
“Yes, you should and I should too, probably. I’ll text you tomorrow in between classes, if that’s okay,” he said, although he knew it was more than okay for Eijun. “Now, go to sleep you brat, I love you. Bye”
Eijun didn’t even have time to say good-bye, when the screen went blue and the “Video Call Ended” text appeared.
He knew it wasn’t because Youichi didn’t want to talk to him but because saying good-bye was something they weren’t used to, yet. They missed each other, dearly, and even though people tell them ‘it’s only been a month since you saw each other’, to Eijun was ‘it’s already been a month since we saw each other’.
He finished the homework he left halfway to talk to Youichi, and started getting ready for bed, when he saw his cellphone’s light go off. Only one person could text him this late.
I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to end it like that. I hope shit gets better with the new roommate and you don’t feel so weird anymore because he’s “normal”. Sweet dreams and good luck tomorrow. (02:17)
thats cool,, i know how youre feeling too. and yea hes NORMAL but anyway, its only been like 2 months or so, im sure ill get used to him. asada did so.... ily good night. (02:51)
Youichi was feeling if just a bit bad of the way he ended the conversation with Eijun, but he also was overjoyed that they could even talk, he just didn’t like to say good-bye.
Classes had started and with that, the time to be with Eijun ended. Today was one of those unusual nights where both of them didn’t die from exhaustion before having the chance to talk. They texted everyday but that wasn’t the same as being close to each other. Or even seeing each other without a screen in between them and a couple kilometers.
The fact that they were out was advantageous from time to time, though. Sometimes Miyuki would help him with something so he’d get more time to talk to Eijun and it was the same for Eijun with their friends back in Seido.
He had to admit, it was hard at first. They were used to spend a lot of time together, even in holidays when they had to train. But now, if they wanted to see each other, it’d have to be with days and days of planning or in front of a computer, like today.
They’d seen each other about a month ago, but it was only a weekend, though a weekend was what they had planned, it felt like it was much more time when they were together, but at the same time, it felt like it wasn’t enough.
Their anniversary was coming soon and with their new situation, Youichi doubted they’ll be able to do something if they didn’t have time.
He had been planning what to do and what Eijun would like for ages but he was still clueless. He tried to get Miyuki to help but his ideas were too nasty to even think about. Fucking bastard. He was seriously thinking about asking Eijun but he was afraid Eijun wanted some sappy shit Youichi’s heart couldn’t take. Ah, wasn’t he sappy too.
Guess he’ll have to try harder.
There was no way Eijun was sleeping any time soon.
Haruichi finally asked about Youichi a few weeks ago and while he was telling him about it, Eijun realized that their anniversary was coming soon. He didn’t know if Youichi celebrated that sort of stuff, he was so worried. He even thought maybe some information about past girlfriends would do. But what would he ask? ‘Hello, I’m your ex-boyfriend’s new boyfriend, how did you guys celebrate your anniversaries?’
Telling them or at least hinting that Youichi was gay didn’t even cross his mind.
He’d had a million and one ideas; a trip to the beach, a weekend on the mountain, taking him to his parents’ house and to meet Wakana again, a romantic dinner. It just didn’t seem like Youichi would enjoy these kinds of things and he was already running out of ideas. Maybe he should just ask Youichi what to do and that way they could plan it together.
The problem now was, when would he ask Youichi about it? The sooner the better, if he waited more he’d end up getting cold feet.
He ended up spending the night thinking about a way to tell Youichi without sounding like a creep. Though he doubted his boyfriend would think of him that way, but still.
By the time lunch came around, the next day, he finally mustered up enough courage to text him.
To: Youichi-san ♥
hey, idk if youve thought about it or what but im… i was thinking maybe we should do something for our first anniversary? its okay if you dont want to… to celebrate it and stuff,, im okay with that too? just idk just text me up when you can! (13:22)
From: Youichi-san ♥
You brat! I thought you didn’t remember. And yeah, I’ve been thinking about it and I wasn’t sure if I should ask you or not. Tell you what, let’s talk it through on Saturday, I’m free aft (16:37)
From: Youichi-san ♥
Sorry, I was busy and accidentally sent the text, anyway, I’m free after 10 p.m. so I’ll call you and we’ll see. Think about what you’d like. (18:02)
So, that was their life, thought Eijun. Replying to texts hours after, and making plans to make plans. He knew it was okay, for now, it’s been less than a year and they still get to see each other now and then.
Maybe if he had confessed sooner… well, they still had to go through this. If only he were a year older. That’s it. Though the pitcher knew it wasn’t possible, it still amused him to some extent to think about it, although it was more painful than amusing, to be honest.
To: Youichi-san ♥
just got out of the shower, training was crazy,, i havent thought about it, like what id like but i wanna know what youd like. you think about it too. so hey, you still busy? (22:43)
Idk either! I’m just getting ready for bed, it’s pretty late but Ryo’s out, maybe we can discuss it now? I can Skype you or whatever, you up? (00:02)
im up im up! gimme a sec !!! (00:23)
Youichi was finishing up some assignments when he saw Eijun’s text and immediately after he read the text he saw his laptop illuminate the dorm in blue.
In the screen Eijun’s photo was in the middle announcing his call. –It was actually a photo of them, last Christmas. Their cheeks were red because of the cold and Eijun had a hand around Youichi’s shoulder, while Youichi was holding the phone to take the photo.
“Hey!” screamed Eijun as soon as he saw Youichi’s face.
“You’re so loud, shut up,” he replied, Youichi missed his boyfriend so bad he low-key liked it when Eijun greeted him like that. It reminded him when they were in high school and Eijun cheered the team up with only his voice. Being able to Skype two days in a row wasn’t something that happened often or at all, so he didn’t really mean it and Eijun knew.
He was aware Eijun was probably sleeping, his red shirt (originally Youichi’s) had wrinkles everywhere and his hair was a mess.
“You were sleeping, weren’t you?” asked Youichi, though it wasn’t much of a question but a fact.
“C’mon don’t be a dick, how was your day?” Eijun whined, trying to tame his hair.
“You know, classes, training, dying, what about you?” He replied.
“Same old, same old, I guess. Did you think about what to do?”
Youichi hadn’t, in fact, he didn’t know what to say or to do, and it was exasperating. He’d come off with pretty basic, romantic, clichéd stuff but he didn’t want that. He wanted something different for Eijun.
He’d only had a couple of girlfriends but they never stuck more than four or five months, this was his first time being with someone for over a year. And not just anyone. This was his first time with a boy.
He knew how sappy Eijun could be, but most of the things he planned just weren’t enough for Eijun. He deserved so much more and sometimes Youichi thought he couldn’t give that to him.
“Hey, are you falling asleep with your eyes open?” Eijun interrupted him. That made him laugh because if someone was falling asleep, it certainly wasn’t him.
“I’m here. I was just thinking. I don’t know what to give you or what to do. This is my first time with someone seriously, I mean dinner or the beach or something like that, what people usually do, I just don’t feel like that’s enough for you,” he stopped when Eijun gave him a weird look, “I meant like, you deserve so much more and that’s not enough, I wanna give you something meaningful, something you’ll remember for the rest of your life, you know, not just a lame night, and that. So yeah I have no idea– are you crying?”
He looked at his boyfriend, he was blinking, like trying to contain his tears but failing miserably. He couldn’t take it more and began bawling, rubbing his eyes with his fist. He had his legs up in the chair of the desk and his head atop his knees.
“I’m sorry,” the pitcher finally got out “it’s just, I’ve never heard someone talk like that about me, I don’t want anything, I don’t want trips to the beach or a romantic dinner, I want to be with you. That’s all I need and all I ask for. I’m sorry Youichi-san.”
Ah. Youichi thought I’m so in love. “You don’t have to apologize. I’ll make sure you get what you want,” the shortstop said, and then he added, “Because that’s exactly what I want too.”
He hadn’t even finished when Eijun started crying again, harder now. Youichi wished he could be there, next to his boyfriend, to hug him and draw tiny circles on his back. He knew Eijun loved that and he loved to do it, and yet, here he was, kilometers away from him, watching him cry and feeling useless because he couldn’t even stop him from doing it.
“I’m sorry I can’t be there for you, right now,” Youichi whispered, more to himself than to Eijun, and felt his eyes water too.
“But you are,” Eijun finally looked up, “You’re the reason I’m like this. It’s not bad, it makes me happy. I love you, Youichi-san, and I’m okay. Seriously, the more I miss you, the more I’ll enjoy seeing you and the happier I’ll be.
This time it was Youichi the one tearing up, after a while, with a defeated sigh, he said, “I hate this. I hate not being able to see you just by turning left or right, I hate that I can’t hug you to make you feel better, I hate the distance between us and I’m sick and tired of this situation, I’m so sorry, Eijun.”
Eijun didn’t say anything, just sat there in front of his laptop crying. It was killing Youichi to see him like that.
“I’ll make it up to you,” he blurted out.
“I know.” Sobbed Eijun.
“We’ll see each other soon.”
“I miss you too, Eijun.”
“I know, and I’m sorry I’m like this,” he apologized.
“It’s okay,” started Youichi, “I love you like that.”
“I know,” Eijun half laughed, half cried.
It ended up being a bittersweet call but at least they’d talked. Youichi couldn’t believe how hard this was, he knew it was going to be hard, but never like this, and it was only getting harder.
The only thing that comforted him, was the promise of a future with Eijun and seeing him on their anniversary.
Eijun was starting to hate crying. He’s always done it and thought nothing of it, but ever since he started dating Youichi, he did it more. It wasn’t bad, the crying was bad, of course, but the reason wasn’t. He just really missed Youichi. The only time he wasn’t so worried or missing him was when he was training. But sometimes, the shortstop position in the field just wasn’t the same.
At first, Eijun thought of the distance like a proof of their… mutual affection, but now it was plain punishment. At least it helped him appreciate and enjoy more the time he spent with Youichi. He was happy because he knew Youichi missed him as much as he missed Youichi, but it didn’t make him happy if his boyfriend felt as bad as him.
Just one year, he said to himself every day. He didn’t realize but it eventually ended up being more like a prayer than a fact. Just one year and I’ll be with Youichi for the rest of my life.
The rest of their lives. That sure sounded nice.
Right now, in Youichi’s life everything was perfect. Ever since the call to discuss their anniversary plans, they’d barely put together a date to celebrate it. Everything was looking just like his life, perfect.
His last class for the day ended early, because his life was perfect, so he had time to go back to the dorm and rest before training started. Back in Seido, right now Eijun was probably in class and there was a chance that if he wasn’t sleeping during them, he could answer.
Hey, class ended early, you sleeping in yours? Remember to pack your stuff for this weekend, I don’t want you forgetting anything… again. Is2g you have more of my clothes than I do. I’m so excited, btw. (14:08)
While he waited, he got everything ready for training and prepared himself for a perfectly well-deserved nap.
i wasnt sleepin in class, not for long anyway. i got most of the things packed AND idk whats the big deal with me wearing your clothes,, i know you lowkey like it and im not gonna stop.. im really excited too!!! (14:14)
He looked at his phone, rereading the message twice before replying. Eijun was right, though. He high-key loved to see him wearing his clothes. He knew Eijun slept in the red shirt he used to use back when he was in high school. It was a bit tight in Eijun because he was broader but that didn’t stop him from wearing it.
I so don
Halfway replying he got a call, the only person who knew he got out early was Eijun and he knew Eijun was in class, so of course the only person who called him whenever they wanted, regardless of his schedule was his mother.
“Hey, mom,” he answered the phone, not even checking who was calling.
“I need you here this weekend.” She said, not even ‘Hi, how are you?’ She sure was his mother.
“Can’t, got plans with Eijun.” He knew that wasn’t going to change anything but he still tried like it would. Call it hope… it was more stubbornness.
“Bring him, Youichi. I need you here this weekend.” She sounded serious.
“C’mon. I can’t,” he felt bad, honest to God. But he had been waiting for so long to see Eijun.
“I’ll be waiting for you and Eijun at our house.” She said and hung up.
Right now, in Youichi’s life everything was perfect, except for the fact that nothing was. What was he going to say to Eijun?
He deleted his previous message and started a new one.
So, listen… My mom just called me, she needs me home this weekend, I’m so sorry, I tried to tell her I couldn’t and that I wanted to see you this weekend but she just doesn’t listen, I’m so sorry. (14:27)
He was sleeping when Youichi texted him. Lately, he had gotten used to be by his phone 24/7 and hear it or feel it vibrating wherever he was. That’s why when his phone didn’t vibrate once but twice and even more times, he knew someone was calling him.
He excused himself as subtle as possible and went to answer the call, if someone was calling him at this hour, it probably was something important. When he saw the caller, he understood why they called him at this time.
“Hello Kuramochi-san,” he answered Youichi’s mom’s call.
“Hello, my boy. How are you? I hope you’re good. I’m sorry I’m calling you, I know you’re seeing Youichi this weekend but I really need Youichi to be here.” She finished without even letting him answer how he was or even stopping to breathe.
Eijun felt the world fall to his feet. After all he waited, he already had everything packed –He didn’t want to seem desperate so he told Youichi he only had some stuff done– and now this. What else could he say but that he was okay with that and ‘maybe next time’ –like it wasn’t killing him.
“Oh no, don’t think I want to ruin this for you. I know you haven’t seen Youichi in a while. I’m sorry I’m getting in between. But I actually called you because I wanted you to come too.”
Well, that was something. It wasn’t usual that your boyfriend’s mother called you invite you to their house.
Since they ‘outed’ themselves –well, Eijun did– the relationship with both their families was okay. Though at first Eijun’s father was… uncomfortable, he had learned to accept them when he realized Eijun was serious about Youichi and vice versa. So getting a call from Youichi’s mother wasn’t such an unusual occasion, the invitation was.
After he was done with the call and it sink in he went back to class, he didn’t see Youichi’s text until he was done with school. Before he had to leave for practice, he quickly texted him back.
To: Youichi-san ♥
uhm, i know. your mom called me?? she actually invited me too? whats up with that? i said yes,, i didnt know what else to say. was that okay? (15:03)
From: Youichi-san ♥
Yeah! Idk what’s the deal! So, pack your bags. We’re going to my mom’s. (15:06)
“Why are we here?” asks Youichi to his mom, who is actually carrying a bunch of bags and wearing a beach hat like no one’s business; while his grandpa is behind her wearing almost the same attire.
“I need you to take care of the house, I usually ask one of the neighbors but we’re not going to be here this weekend.” She answers nonchalantly.
“Wait, they’re leaving too?” Says Youichi exasperated, he looks at his mom, then his grandpa and then back at this mom, “You’re all leaving?”
“Yeah, I’ll be back on Sunday before the last train leaves so you’ll go back in time. I’ll see you in a few days.” She says, giving them both a kiss on the cheek and just… leaves.
They stay there, speechless, not going inside the house or moving from the entrance.
“You think she planned this?” asks Eijun after a while.
“Of course she did,” he replies. “C’mon, let’s go in.” He kicks Eijun like he used to when they were in high school.
“I missed that,” Eijun turns back, looks at his boyfriend, winks and gets inside the house.
Youichi flushes all the way to his ears and mumbles something that roughly sounds like “idiot” then hurries Eijun in again.
He sends Eijun to his room to leave his bag and throws his own in the couch but then sees Eijun taking it and carrying both to Youichi’s room. It makes him smile.
He heads to the kitchen and asks Eijun if he wants something to eat. He assumes Eijun can’t hear him when he doesn’t answer so he starts looking for something to cook for them.
After a few minutes he hears Eijun’s footsteps, he looks back carefully while he chops some vegetables and without thinking much, he tells Eijun to sit wherever he wants while he finishes.
He doesn’t hear Eijun walking and then standing behind him but he does feel a set of strong tanned arms wrap around his waist, a pair of lips on his neck, and warmth radiating from a body he knows very well.
Eijun’s hair tickles above his ear. Back in high school, it bothered him that Eijun was broader and taller than him but now it just makes him feel safe and loved.
He sighs, Eijun always smells like vanilla and coconut, Youichi used to tease him about it, though he never tells him he associates the smell with home. He breathes it in like his life depends on it.
Unconsciously Youichi leans back, he closes his eyes and concentrates in feeling the way Eijun’s chest rises and his heart beats. How Eijun’s lips feel against his neck, how his arms hug him like Youichi is the only thing anchoring him to earth.
“I missed you,” Eijun whispers in his ear. Youichi shivers. His breath has a sweet smell, probably because he only ate candies on the way here. It’s cute.
“I missed you too,” he answers back.
They stay like that for a while, their bodies getting to know to each other all over again. Basking in the warm Eijun’s body provides.
“I missed you so much,” Eijun murmurs and Youichi feels his shoulder wet.
He looks sideway, with Eijun hugging him he can’t turn around completely. His boyfriend’s eyes are closed, a few tears rolling down his face.
He pecks him softly on the lips. That makes Eijun look at him and smile, his eyes glossy with tears and his checks have a nice pink tone that makes Youichi blush, too.
“I love you,” Eijun cries softly. He closes his eyes again and a tear follows the streak the others made, but halfway, when Youichi moves, the tear goes from Eijun’s check to Youichi’s. He feels it tickle the side of his neck all the way to his shoulder.
And it’s that tear, that single tear that kissed Eijun and Youichi’s skin, the one who makes Youichi turn around completely and hug Eijun tightly. Eijun keeps his arms in Youichi’s waist while he wraps his own around Eijun’s neck, his hands wandering, feeling, exploring, touching Eijun’s long neck, his soft cinnamon locks, his broad taut back and almost automatically, Eijun’s lips find his. And they’re kissing.
He can feel Eijun’s tears, maybe they’re his tears, he doesn’t know, or care, he’s just so happy and so overwhelmed by the love he feels for this boy.
“I love you, I love you, I love you,” he hears himself repeat the words again and again in between kisses, like he’s saying a prayer.
He loves him so much. He can hear Youichi telling him he loves him and the only thing he can do is kiss him, but he wants more, he wants so much more but he also doesn’t want to let Youichi go. He missed him so much.
Eijun’s scared Youichi might go away if he lets go and it’s childish and maybe even impossible, and he knows but that doesn’t stop him. He hugs him and kisses him and tells him how much he loves him back because that’s the only way he can find to express what he feels.
The way his heart races just thinking about Youichi, how his skin burns with every touch, the tingles he feels all the way to his feet when Youichi tells him how much he loves him, the warmth in his chest when he knows Youichi texted him.
They’re still kissing and Eijun’s grabbing handfuls of Youichi’s shirt, they’re as close as they can but Eijun’s still pulling like he wants the almost nonexistence space between them to disappear completely. That is until he feels Youichi tugging the back of his shirt, he unwillingly lets go, suppressing a pout, though he’s not trying hard. He still feels dizzy and hazed but not enough as to not see Youichi chuckle.
“Wait here,” Youichi tells him and runs to his room. Eijun waits for a full half minute and chases Youichi to what’s going to be their bedroom for the weekend.
Youichi turns around and laughs when he sees Eijun at the door, not surprised by the pitcher’s impatience.
“I got you something,” he says and pulls out of his bag two necklaces. One has a baseball and a mitt pendant and the other one a bat and a mitt pendant. “I know they’re not a lot but, they’re a promise, o-of course they’re not literally a promise,” Youichi stammers, “but it’s like a keepsake? I don’t know, it’s sappy I know but… I wanted to give you something for our anniversary.”
Eijun stays quiet, speechless, looking at the necklaces and then at Youichi and he tries, he swear he tries but at the end he cries. His heart races, his chest feels warm, his skin burns and he goes back to that time when he confessed to Youichi, exactly a year ago, how sweaty his hands were and how much his whole body was trembling with fear and excitement, when Youichi told him he liked him back and he was so happy, but right now, this moment, he’s never been happier and he’s said that so many times and he knows he’ll say it again but he’s so happy.
“Promise me,” Eijun hurries next to Youichi, clasping his hands carefully, he doesn’t want Youichi to drop the necklaces, “Promise me you’ll never leave me,” he grabs the shortstop’s hands tighter.
“I’m not that stupid,” he kisses Eijun, “Happy anniversary, I love you.” He whispers while putting the necklace with the mitt and the baseball around Eijun’s neck.
“I love you more,” Eijun responds laughing, he hooks the mitt and bat necklace around Youichi’s neck.
They kiss once more and look at their matching necklaces and then each other and they smile.
They smile because they’re happy and together… and madly in love.