Knowing what you feel is only half the battle. Expressing it is a completely different thing. For Astra, this was a realization he’d made over time. He thought he knew certain things, some he was wrong about.
It was a gentle sound, like a music box playing along. A completely different tune to his upbeat, powerful energy. If he had to compare himself to something, maybe a drum set. Noisy and very obvious.
They say opposites attract, maybe.
Haru was always a little dense, though.
He waited in the cold, a scarf wrapped around his neck and gloves on his hands. The streets were cold, and snow in some spots glistened and glittered. And Astra waited for his friend to show.
His breath was visible, warmer than the bitter winter air. Puffs of it escaped his lips as he stood there, hopeful.
Yeah, Haru was late. But that was fine, he couldn't be too impatient. This was imported, after all.
His mind drifted back to when he’d asked him.
“We should go to the city for Christmas!”
“Shouldn't you be asking everyone about it, Astra…?”
“Nuh-uh! I'm totally not feeling that! ” He could feel his own lips upturn. He’d been a bit bold, huh? “‘Cuz I just wanted to go with you!”
Snapped back to reality at that moment, he gazed at the green haired boy in front of him. Peering into those eyes, the color of the vast ocean.
“Haru!” A warm smile for a cold day. Reaching for the other boy’s hand, covered by mittens, and grasping it firmly between his own.
His cheeks were warm.
“You're here, you're here~ I'm totally feeling it! ” A bit of a tug toward himself. There was a number of things he wanted to do right now, with Haru.
Not all that he was sure he had the balls for, but still.
“Of course! I said I’d come, so I did.” That gentle gaze, coupled with a soft smile.
… Why did his feelings have to race like this?
He couldn't say anything about it. Could only barely validate their existence.
It wasn't fair. “Mm!”
“So… Where are we going?” Haru let out a bit of a nervous chuckle.
“Well, I was thinkin’-- There's a bookstore down this way that looks really nice. They sell cds and stuff too, and I thought we'd go there first. ‘Cause, y’know…” Astra rubbed the back of his neck nervously.
“Yeah! I wonder what kind of a selection they have…”
“It's pretty big, so a good one I hope!” Grin. He’d planned this all out. His tugged Haru towards the store, unfaltering. The store itself was rather pretty. A display held Haru’s attention for a few moments. Astra gripped a little tighter to the hand he’d started holding before.
“It's okay if I do that, right…?” He mumbled -- not loud enough for Haru to understand.
“What was that?”
“Don't worry about it! Everything's a-OK!” Subject, subject-- Oh! “So what kinda books you lookin’ at, anyways?”
“This one sounds interesting, actually. I think I’ll get it! It says it's about an entertainer who's in love with his friend, and keeps trying to get their attention, whether it be on or off camera, and failing! Sounds like the friend is a little dense… Apparently there's a bit of a scifi twist in there too--”
“ Actual scifi, or like our everyday lives?” Haru laughed at that, and Astra continued, “But maybe the guy just isn't being obvious enough with his affection? Like, maybe he doesn't know how to say and the friend isn't picking up his subtle hints. Either way, sounds kinda cheesy. I dunno if I'm feeling it! ”
“Huh--? Well, you shouldn't judge a book by its cover, Astra~” Haru teased.
“Yeah, if I kept doing that, I wouldn't have gotten so close to any of the friends I have now. By not judging, I met you! And I’m totally feeling that! ” Haru blushed a little bit. Embarrassment? “Though I mean, your ‘cover’ isn't bad at all, either.”
A flustered squeak. “What's that mean?”
“What do you think it means? You have a nice appearance, I think! ”
Jeez, they were both idiots.
After purchasing the book, the two headed to a restaurant. Most of the people there were couples, and because of Astra's firm grip on Haru's hand, they were asked if they were, in fact, a couple.
Actually, that made Astra want to hide a little bit.
Usually it was Haru that got embarrassed, but…
The boys ended up outside again, watching for thelights, holding hands. He was terrified of saying it, he looked distantly away, fumbling for words.
“Astra? Is something wrong?”
Called out at last. But instead of responding with words, he pulled Haru im for a hug.
“Hey, Haru. Before you get like, scared away by me doing this or something, just-- I’m scared to “tell you… how I’m feeling. I don't want to lose your friendship! I'm-- It's just…” Even without words, even with the fear etched into his heart-- Even with the tears, that he could feel welling up in his eyes. He had to tell him.
It was a like magic. A well timed kiss to the lips, pulled in, despite they trembling worries from the two boys, and suddenly, a sparkling light high above, turning on at the right time.
A powerful, powerful magic.
“I’m in love with you, Haru Shinkai! I'm absolutely, positively feeling it! ” And the tears started to drip as they pulled away, “So… don't hate me for it.”
“Astra…” the hug was returned, comfortable and warm. He shook his head, “Mm-mmm, I could never hate you, Astra. I mean, I-- well, um. I’m in love with you too, so…”
What a comfortable, long lasting hug.
What an absolutely beautiful feeling of love.