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Road Trip

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Six months down the line and nothing happened between them up until spring break. It had been months since they confessed at new years, and neither seemed intent on acting upon those feelings. Hibiki was preoccupied planning for the road trip, and Daichi was busy trying to ignore everyone who seemed to want to tag along.

For a moment, Io almost joined, and so did Makoto. If Makoto was coming, then there would be no doubt Yamato was coming, and Daichi would rather not deal with that added stress for an entire week. As much as he cared for his friends, he did not have room nor patience to wait for them.

Daichi promised he could drive for six hours straight, and he delivered on his promise. The only problem was that he did not count on the hotel being booked for the day. They tried other hotels but had no other choice than to spend the night sleeping in Daichi’s car. Daichi allowed Hibiki to take the back seat for the trouble, while Daichi sat more upright in the driver’s seat. It took a while to finally fall asleep, but four hours was better than nothing. They just needed a break until dawn so they could go look for hotels again.

They managed to find one the next morning after a lot of looking. It was quite a distance away from the beach, but without booking in advance, and barging in at random, they could not afford to be picky. Anything outside the car was an improvement, even if it meant they had to share a bed.

The first day passed by quickly, with Daichi barely managing to get two words out in-between naps. The drive had exhausted him to the point he needed to sleep the fatigue away. No matter how much he claimed he could handle it, he was still inexperienced with long drives. Hibiki felt guilty leaving him alone, so he passed up his opportunity to go outside so he could stay with Daichi.

It was easy to get used to Hibiki’s body next to his in bed. The ache in his arms and legs helped him forget how awkward it was to spend nights close enough for their legs to bump into each other. Sleeping both during day and night in intervals woke him up at random times where he could briefly catch Hibiki doing multiple things around the room. Everything was moving within the blink of an eye. Hibiki seemed to go from reading a book to watching tv, to sleeping next to him. It all happened so quickly that Daichi asked himself where all the time went. Although, seeing Hibiki’s soft, tired expression helped him accept that he wasted an entire day recovering from a long drive.

The next few days were spent carefully planning each night out. Shirahama’s wonderful beaches were left untouched nearly the entire week before both of them decided to take a dip in the water. There was just so much else to do that it slipped their mind. That, and Daichi did not seem willing to go for a swim without a lot of peer pressure. Hibiki finally managed to convince him to follow along, but he only agreed if it was around sundown, when most people had left the beach. With that attitude, Hibiki realized neither of them would be getting a tan this summer.

They eventually got around to finding a good spot on the beach. Hibiki went on ahead into the ocean, while Daichi guarded their belongings. Daichi was not modest about stripping down in public, but he liked wearing a shirt with his swim trunks- something not a lot of people did if they were planning on going for a swim.

It was easy to tell that Daichi was getting bored when he was reading one of Hibiki’s pocketbooks with a furrowed expression. After about thirty minutes, Daichi gave in to the still silence, and decided to try this swimming thing out. That was, until he saw that the ocean was not exactly as clean as it should be. It was probably fine, but the white foam was making him a little suspicious. He would have focused more on the water had he almost not stepped on something slippery and fallen face-first into the sand.

“Jellyfish? What is this, Okinawa?”  Daichi cocked his head slightly and crouched to take a closer look at it. It was lingering near the waves, being whipped up against the shore. Hibiki walked right past him, presumably to go guard their bags, but Daichi grabbed Hibiki’s wrist before he had the time to leave, and quickly let go off him to dry his hand against his shirt. The cold feeling of water on his skin definitely put him out of a swimming mood.
“Should we help it? Jellyfish preservation, and what not?” He asked, only because Hibiki seemed uninterested.
“It’s not an endangered species or anything.” Yep, completely uninterested. Daichi felt bad for it, and wondered if there was a safe way to throw it back into the ocean without getting stung. It was hard to remember whether it was the tentacles that could harm him, or the head, so he tried to find a way to help without touching it.

While Hibiki was busy overlooking the ocean, Daichi picked up two nearby sticks before getting a small plastic bag from their belongings. He ripped the corners slightly to flatten the surface, and tied the handles to the sticks as tightly as he could manage. When he stretched the plastic, he got a pretty solid tabletop for the jellyfish to rest on so he could cast it deeper into the water without hurting it or himself. Hibiki did not notice what he was doing until the jellyfish was already set on the bag, ready to head into deeper water.

“Look, there’s a dock over there. Let’s help the little guy out.”
“Assuming it’s even alive.” A smile tugged at the corner of Hibiki’s lips as Daichi completely glossed over his sentence.

“Come on! Time to turn this jellyfish into a jollyfish!”

Once they reached the edge, Daichi got down on his knees to ease the jellyfish into the water. He stared intently at it to see if it would move, but it was hard to tell with how the waves were rocking it back and forth. It showed a hint of movement once the water settled down, and Daichi got back up on his feet with a sigh.

“Pretty wild adventure, huh?” Hibiki hummed, and Daichi was not sure if Hibiki knew he was talking about the jellyfish rather than their trip to Shirahama as a whole. He could not be bothered to ask. Not when he saw his best friend smile his way. There was something special about Hibiki that he could never really put his finger on. He effortlessly made him feel so comfortable and relaxed in his presence. Taking in the view of the sunset was a lot less thrilling when he could take in the sight of Hibiki instead. Hibiki was something Daichi wanted to call ‘unfairly pretty’, because no matter what hell he went through, he always managed to come out of it looking fantastic. It was something Daichi envied him for, but that envy was quickly forgotten at the smallest smile, and the slightest touch of his hand. Daichi felt lucky to even have the opportunity to look at Hibiki so freely without Hibiki growing suspicious of him. If he did not know better, he might say Hibiki actually enjoyed it.

“Do you want to go back to the hotel?”

“...Hm? Oh, yeah, the hotel.” Eye-contact always made him uncomfortable when he found himself lost in thought. Staring at Hibiki had become a good way to pass time. “Sure, uh, why not.”

“Is something wrong?”

“Oh, nothin’,” He grinned, with amusement ringing clear in his voice. “-just sharing this wonderful view with the best friend in the whole wide world!”

Perhaps, that was enough.