"Hanai! Hanai!" The voice, below his window, felt both appallingly loud and irritatingly familiar. Hanai rolled over, opened his eyes, disentangled himself from the bedclothes. The clock read midnight.
Next, a little ping against the glass. What, now the guy was throwing rocks? Hanai sighed. Pushing himself up, he opened the window and squinted out. Yeah. Just who he expected. If he expected anyone to appear outside his bedroom window in the middle of the night. Which he didn't.
"What do you want?" he hissed to Tajima, who was grinning up at him like this was an everyday sort of meeting.
"Let me in," Tajima said, without lowering his voice at all. Hanai waved an angry hand in an attempt to get him to shut up, but he knew nothing would work aside from doing as the other boy said. He pointed with a finger, to indicate Tajima should come around to the front of the house, before slipping downstairs to the front door.
He stepped outside, shivering at the chilly feel of the porch on the bare soles of his feet, and eased the door closed so the click of it catching was barely audible. The sky was clear and crowded with stars; though it was springtime, the air held a bite, still. As Tajima bounded up, Hanai held a finger to his lips to forestall any overenthusiastic loud greeting.
"What are you doing here?" Hanai snapped, furious demeanor spoiled by a yawn that felt like it would split his face open. "It's midnight, in case you hadn't noticed. And we have school tomorrow." Though not a game, he thought, or I'd have to kill you.
Tajima nodded, head bobbing in a manner that would almost evoke Mihashi, except instead of the motion being suffused with terror, Tajima was excited. Wriggling like a puppy, even. "Of course I know it's midnight. That was my plan!"
Hanai stared. "Yes?"
Tajima took a deep breath before proclaiming, "Happy birthday, Hanai!"
Hanai counted to ten -- a trick Abe used to keep hold of his temper with Mihashi. This was the first time Hanai had used it himself, and he wasn't sure it was going to work. He tried another quick ten.
"Yes. It is technically my birthday. That doesn't answer my question: what are you doing here?"
"I wanted to be the first one to wish you happy birthday!" Tajima wore his trademark open, guileless smile, as if he couldn't imagine anything at all might be wrong with what he just said.
"Why... couldn't you... wait until morning?"
"Because then your mother would wish you happy birthday and I wouldn't be first."
Hanai shook his head. Even if he was completely awake, Tajima still wasn't going to make sense. "So what? What made you think you had to be first? What made you think I would want to be dragged out of my bed? What if I wanted to have a good night's sleep on my birthday?"
A downcast expression flitted across Tajima's face before being replaced with another one of those vacant grins. "Because if you wake up early, your birthday is longer. Which is great!"
Hanai grabbed Tajima by the collar, balled a fist without realizing it. "Are you serious? Is that really why you woke me up in the middle of the night?"
Hanai blinked. Tajima's face was close. He'd never seen Tajima's freckles in such detail before. He didn't know why he was noticing. He didn't know why Tajima wasn't pulling away.
Until Tajima kissed him. It was enthusiastic, like anything Tajima did.
Also, like anything Tajima did, it was astonishing. Hanai had kissed girls before, just barely. Quick little pecks, airy nothings.
They didn't compare at all to this... this heat. This soft strength.
No, this was something very different.
Tajima wound his arms tighter around Hanai's neck and broke off the kiss. Don't stop, Hanai thought, catching himself from saying it aloud. Tajima looked up at him and said, "We can't do this at school. That's why I had to catch you alone!"
That brainless grin again. This time, Hanai didn't mind as much. And this time, he bent his head down and returned the kiss.