Looking back, Ren would blame the excitement of graduation for everything. They'd decided to hold off on their celebration until after Baba and Akutsu had graduated and after the celebration in the classroom the excitement had just gotten to him. It had to be that, that and the way everyone had already left and left the two of them alone on the roof. The constant presence of their other classmates was most of his self-control, anyway. It was just... Masamitsu was laughing. Not the cruel, angry laugh he'd heard so many times. Just happy.
"I..." He hadn't realized he'd even opened his mouth until the words came out. "I like this."
"Huh?" Masamitsu was looking at him now.
"The way you are now. It's better. Like the person I originally became friends with. I'm glad... he's back." Ren looked down at the ground, couldn't look at Masamitsu. Not now.
Masamitsu laughed again and slung an arm around Ren's shoulders. "Don't get all sappy on me just 'cause we're graduating."
But now that he'd started it was like he couldn't stop the words from coming. He had to resist the urge to clap a hand over his own mouth to muffle them as he spoke. "I'm not. I just... I stuck with you the whole time, I wanted the old you back. I didn't want you to be angry at me, sure. You're scary, when you're angry and it was better to be on your side than not. But mostly I hoped, those moments you weren't so... awful. They were my favorites, I lived for those. And when you were, at the camp and everything. I was just so angry, I missed my friend. I wanted him back. And I still wanted..."
"What?" Masamitsu's arm was still around his shoulders. The weight and the warmth of it was both comforting and terrifying.
Ren looked back up at him. The setting sun, so bright he had to squint, framed Masamitsu. It lit up his hair, turning the curls near gold, and Ren couldn't help himself. He'd gone too far now to go back, anyway. "I still wanted to have my first kiss before I left high school."
It was stupid, too romantic a notion. One born from teenage daydreams and the way his heart seemed to skip a beat whenever he looked at his friend. And... as first kisses went, it wasn't spectacular either. He didn't know how to kiss, just a dry press of lips against lips, and he'd almost missed. Neither of their eyes were closed, Masamitsu's wide with shock and Ren's open because he'd forgotten to close them and because he hadn't thought he could get the right angle if he couldn't see what he was doing.
Masamitsu's hand pressed to his chest and he ducked away quickly before Masamitsu could shove him away. That would have hurt too much. But Masamitsu's hand curled into a fist, grabbing onto his shirt and keeping him from getting off the bench. Ren flinched, expecting Masamitsu to laugh at him. Hit him. Call him a fag, god knew it wouldn't be the first time Masamitsu had thrown a slur at him like that.
But Masamitsu didn't do anything like that. In fact, he didn't do anything at all for several seconds. Finally his hand dropped from Ren's chest. "Ren..."
"I guess you were right, after all." Ren shrugged, shuffling back further now he could. "When you called me a fag. I'm just-"
Masamitsu cut him off. "Your first kiss, huh? Well, you're an idiot."
"I'm sorry!" It was Ren's turn to interrupt him.
"I wasn't done talking." Masamitsu snapped, enough force behind the words that Ren couldn't help but look up at him. "What I was going to say, is you're an idiot if you think that counts. That was barely a kiss. If you're going to count something as your first kiss it should be a proper one."
"Huh?" It was Ren's turn for confusion, now.
"We haven't left high school quite yet." Masamitsu was... smiling at him? "You should get a proper first kiss, at least. If that's what you want."
And suddenly Masamitsu was a lot closer to him than he had been. Ren had to tilt his head back a bit to look at him and Masamitsu took the opportunity to lean down and press their lips together. One of his hands went to the back of Ren's head, fingers tangling in his hair and that damn ponytail getting in the way. The other found Ren's shoulder, pulling him closer even with Ren's legs as a barrier between them.
Ren didn't have much (any) experience, but he was pretty sure this was leagues beyond his attempt. Masamitsu's lips were soft and moved easily, not demanding too much from him and guiding him along easily once he got over his initial shock and made a clumsy attempt at kissing back. Ren never wanted it to end. Eventually, though, it had to. His neck was hurting from the angle and his lungs were telling him breathing was something he did, in fact, need to do to survive. So, regretfully, he pulled away. It wasn't until Masamitsu sat back that he opened his eyes, staring at his friend from over his knees.
"Now that was a proper first kiss." Masamitsu was sitting back on his heels, but he was smiling. "Just to make sure, I am the one you wanted to kiss, right?"
"Yeah." Ren's voice was uncharacteristically quiet and the word was accompanied by a nod.
"Why are you so upset? You got what you wanted. Unless... you wanted more? Huh, maybe you really are the fag you say you are." Masamitsu's words would be cruel if his tone weren't so gentle. But they were just teasing now. There was none of the cruelty Ren had come to expect from Masamitsu during school.
"I'm sorry." Ren apologized again. "I know you're not... like me. That was more than you had to do, to help out a friend."
"Maybe I'm not." Masamitsu's words were slow, like he was thinking. "But maybe I am. After all, I try not to do things that don't benefit me in some way."
"Wouldn't mind kissing you again. Maybe more often, if that's what you want." And then Masamitsu slid off the bench and shouldered his bag. He reached out for Ren's hand as Ren stood up too and Ren hesitantly took the offer, lacing their fingers together.
It wasn't until they were out of the school grounds and past the gate, looking back at the building one last time, that Ren spoke again. "Boyfriends is stupid, isn't it?"
"Maybe." Masamitsu shrugged. "We're not in high school anymore."
Ren started to pull his hand back, but Masamitsu held onto it, tugging him along. "Come on, there's a graduation dinner I have to go to and I'd like to go with my boyfriend."
Ren couldn't remember the last time he'd smiled so much.