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Stars and Hope

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It was a curious phenomenon, Fudou observed, to gain feelings for another. Throughout his entire life, he has never bothered to delve into the universal ideal of sappily falling in love with someone, or to find satisfaction in whispering into nosy ears about who was pretty enough to catch his fickle eyes on a busy morning train.

To put it simply, the pursuit of potential love interests was not something he was particularly interested in. Sure, there were beautiful faces around every corner, but he was in no hurry to fall victim to any of their sickeningly bewitching charms.

Love was a temporary thing after all.

Unfortunately for him, there were certain instances whereas a bombshell beauty would genuinely pique his interest, but ultimately they all led, as most things do, to utter disappointment after carefully peeling past the layers of outward appearances.

Needless to say, he saw no purpose in subjecting himself to such humiliation of being labelled as 'in love', 'affectionate', or 'a starry eyed romantic.'

That was, until his last year of high school, when Kidou had asked him a question. It was a simple question, really. A question one might dredge up on a nonchalant summer day while sipping soda on the school's rooftop.

"Which school are you planning to go to?"

Fudou, at that time, could not fathom out why on earth this question made a stone drop in the pits of his stomach. He turned to the boy beside him with his expression bereft of his underlying emotions, and realised the extent of their relationship's fragility.

Were they merely acquaintances? Temporary friends? Subtle lovers who were unsure about themselves?

None of that would matter anymore, not if they drifted apart in the years that would inevitably whisk by.

"I'm not sure yet," he swallowed, yet his throat remained bone-dry. "Probably one that's near my place. And you?"

He decided to give the most generic answer he could possibly pluck from his whirling mind, wishing to the heavens with all of his heart that Kidou would assure him of the depth of their friendship.

The other boy frowned. It was a distinct, blatant frown uncovered by the lenses of his tinted goggles that he wore too often. It was a beautiful expression, Fudou noted, his blazing crimson eyes slanting passionately in the heat of the day, the gradual downward tilt of his mouth, the brows knitted together in conflicting emotions. Fudou carved every detail of it into the crevices of his memory.

"My father wants me to attend a good one. It's in the next town, so..." Kidou confesses bitterly, tentatively even, in a vulnerable voice unbefitting of him filled with inexplicable guilt; while still wearing that oh-so-gorgeous frown.

Fudou once came across a romance quote in a literature book;

'With our love, nothing could tear us apart.'

He thought it was utter bullshit.

Still, Kidou's searching eyes made his heart lurch, caused his chest to clench and his head to spin with a pathetic yearning for them to be together for longer than this. He wanted them to last longer than today, than tomorrow, than forever.

"I'll go with you." 

His voice is tender and sweet, filled with stars and hope, but he clears his throat and gazes right into the other boy's owlish eyes. It's nothing more than a desperate and childish wish, he knows that. He knows that this obstacle is just one of many yet to come, but he feels a fluttering warmth blossom in his chest anyway, exploding into billions of starlight and spreading rose-red to the apples of his cheeks.

"What..." Kidou laughs in mild bewilderment, crinkling his eyes with a soft grin dancing on his lips. "What are you saying?"

Something in Kidou's smile tells him that his eyes are as warm as they could be.

"I'll go with you. Whatever," he repeats with a little more vigour now, accompanied with a hint of a grumble as he embarrassedly averts his gaze. He takes Kidou's hand in his and awkwardly tangles their fingers together, entwining their very own red thread of fate into something solid and real.

If this is love, Fudou thinks, then it isn't so bad.