Free! © Kyoto Animation
When gaps are made, Nagisa finds a way to fill them in.
The alarm echoed throughout the room.
“Rei-chan, five more minutes please.”
Nagisa barely mumbled out the words as he turns away from the light hitting his side of the bed. Pristine white sheets shuffled underneath him; chilly fingers sought warm comfort beneath his pillow. His eyes slowly cracked open at the feeling of being alone on their bed.
“Nagisa, you’ll be late for your class. You’ve got Professor Nakatani for first period, correct?”
Rei would say. He’s always been good at math, so he probably wouldn’t even need Nakatani to teach him the tricks. Nagisa is certain Rei would have laughed at the way he groaned at the mention of the professor’s name.
Grudgingly, Nagisa sat up on their bed, slightly wincing at the loss of warmth. A relieved sigh escaped his lips as he got off from the mattress – his socks, mismatched pink and green dots and stars, helped greatly in keeping the coldness from seeping into his soles. He ran his fingers through the blond mess atop his head, not even bothering with making it neater, while hurrying to the bathroom to brush his teeth. He opened his drawers to fish out a dark blue sweater and grey jeans then quickly put them on. He grabbed his scarf and made his way to the kitchen. “Dammit, Nakatani sucks.”
Nagisa made coffee while Rei would peruse a magazine (one of the sports sort). He reached for their usual mugs: black one for Rei and an orange one for himself. Rei’s fingers would linger on the dark ceramic and he’d allow his lips to form into a small smile as Nagisa’s fingers would ghost over his when Nagisa hands out his now filled mug to him. Nagisa sat down and brought his hot drink closer to his body, finding the heat comforting.
“Come on, Nakatani isn’t all that bad,” Rei would state, peering from behind his red frames, “he’s actually a pretty decent teacher.” Carmine eyes rolled, then was followed with a chuckle, “But Rei-chan, you’re Rei-chan.” Rei would laugh with a shrug. “You’d probably be a better professor anyway,” Nagisa mumbled, downing his much needed caffeine. Rei would smile with his eyes. And Nagisa loved it when he does.
“You’ll miss your train.”
Nagisa stood up and headed to the genkan to put on his shoes, haphazardly wrapping his scarf around his neck in the process. Rei would saunter towards Nagisa to smoothen out the white scarf and attempt to tame his unruly hair, and once Rei deemed Nagisa presentable, in comparison to his earlier state at least, he’d kiss him on the cheek.
Nagisa opened the door and he’d get on his toes to reciprocate the action, a morning routine he and Rei got into the habit of doing every morning before leaving for class or work. Nagisa found it adorable, treasuring the little gestures they picked up over the years. In no way Rei would think otherwise.
He peeks at Rei. “I’ll see you later.” He pulled on his sleeves as he kissed the other again before stepping out. Rei would poise his back against the dark, wooden doorframe. “You will.”
He ignored how his Rei couldn’t close the door, so he closed it himself.
Nagisa grinned brightly.
His sweater was stark against pale skin, the dark fabric brushing against the small R bracelet on his wrist as he fixed his scarf to cover more skin – the room chilly despite it being warmer than the asphalt pavements outside the university.
“Nagisa-kun,” the person next to him started. Nagisa turned his head towards her, his usual smile lighting up his features. “Yes?”
Nagisa lost her at I’m sorry, but he wanted to be polite so he was careful to not make it seem that he was tuning her out – even if he was.
He only had three classes on Mondays. Though Nagisa hates how early they start, he’s glad to be done around lunch.
Nagisa’s fingers twitched in the pockets of his jeans, unaccustomed to the absence of the warm, calloused fingers that would usually squirm themselves in among the gaps of his – the perfect fit in what used to be arm’s reach.
But it’s okay, because Rei would be treading down the same grey path he’s on, closing the distance until they’re side by side, next to each other, where they belong.
He ignored the empty feeling and focused on the fleeting warmth, desperately clinging onto that momentary flash of heat. He bore his eyes into Rei’s. Rei would ask him what’s wrong, to which he’d flash his grin, cheeks flushed due to the autumn wind running through his being.
They proceeded to have lunch.
Rei had classes after lunch and over the years, Nagisa grew to be less clingy (not at all less attached, however, because if anything, his attachment only grew day by day – painfully so).
“I’ll see you back at home,” Rei would say. “Where else would I be?” Nagisa joked, “Don’t make me wait too long, Rei-chan.” He winked with his smile hidden behind the fluffy scarf. “I won’t.”
They parted so Rei could continue with his classes. Nagisa ignored the emptiness in his hand.
On Tuesdays, Rei’s classes started late in the morning. Some days he’d get up early to work on papers, but some days he’d sleep in and cuddle with Nagisa, limbs tangled under the sheets, their hair in disarray, and each other’s light snores would lull the other back to dreaming. Nagisa obviously preferred the latter.
He remembered Tuesdays where he woke up to find Rei gone, where he would rush from their bedroom to keep the dread from settling at the pit of his stomach – only to find Rei being his industrious self, typing away on his computer.
On those days, he’d hug Rei tightly, much to the other’s surprise. Rei would ask him if he’s alright, and Nagisa would say, “Yeah, I just got used to sleeping in with you, I guess.”
He remembered the apologetic look Rei would wear and how he’d rub circles on his back and how that would make everything okay – the constant pressure (which Rei had probably calculated perfectly) gliding on the fabric, the mere presence of Rei, the it’s okay, I’m right here Rei would say calmed him down and made his heartbeat steady. He remembered thinking about life without Rei – about how much he wouldn’t be able to stand it.
Right now, Nagisa was huddled in their blanket, right next to Rei. He leaned his face forward to softly nuzzle his nose into Rei’s dark blue locks. Traces of Rei’s mint shampoo and twelve o’ clock coffee enthralled the blonde, urging him to move his body closer. They’d stay like that for a while, and if Nagisa wasn’t busy dozing next to Rei, he’d be busy recalling the moments they had together. He never liked being alone on their bed anyway – he hated it, feeling cold despite the heat their blanket insulated. He wasn’t used to it and he never will, so he didn’t take notice of how cold Rei’s side was.
“Hey Rei-chan,” Nagisa mumbled, eyes focused on the document in front of him, “how are your papers coming along?”
Ironic really, how he was asking this when he knows Rei’s probably doing much better than him, but really, Nagisa just wanted to hear Rei’s voice.
“Me? Well, I’ve already passed the required research,” Rei would say proudly (as he should with the amount of effort he gave). As expected from Rei-chan.
“I have to get ready.” Rei would stand up from their shared desk and walk to his dresser to change into a different shirt. Dressing beautifully is important, he’d always say and Nagisa would chuckle fondly.
Nagisa checked the clock on his computer – nine thirty a.m. “And so do you.”
Nagisa’s work starts half an hour later than Rei’s classes, and on days where Rei wouldn’t go to class early, he and Nagisa would walk to the station together. Nagisa didn’t mind being a little early since he loved his job at the café (which also doubled as a library and bookstore and the two of them found it delightful). But really, would Nagisa ever pass up the chance to walk side by side with Rei? No doubt he won’t.
“Alright, Rei-chan~” He got up from the desk, the papers near his laptop rustling softly as he pushed himself up. His eyes would fixate on Rei as he would fix his hair meticulously (in contrast to his own slapdash ways of hair grooming), framing his face in the most beautiful way possible. Of course, Nagisa didn’t think he needed to put in the extra work, because his Rei-chan is already so beautiful.
He’d always been so beautiful, so perfect – from his blue hair to his red glasses, his intelligent eyes that always saw through him and his thoughtful mouth that seemed to always know what to say, and everything else, every wonderful thing that made up his Rei-chan.
It’s times like this where Nagisa would go blank. His mind would stop him from doing anything else; all his thoughts would go one that one path where he can only wonder what grave good deed he’d done to be blessed with being Rei’s one and only.
Nagisa’s hand found its way inside the pockets of his parka and the other would tangle its fingers with Rei's. The warm sweetness flowed from his fingers to his chest and served as a shield against the chilly breeze. They would stay like that, hand in hand, their paces matching perfectly, their movements syncing like it’s second nature.
Five years could do that to people.
The café was near the station and they eventually had to part ways. Their lively conversation would be taper out as they approach Nagisa’s destination. “It’s here,” Nagisa said, his eyes meeting with indigo ones.
They lingered near the coffee shop and Nagisa swiftly kissed the other’s cheek. “Have fun at school,” he said with a soft chuckle. Rei would brush his fingers along Nagisa’s cheek, “Have fun at work.” And he’d flash the eye-smile Nagisa loved.
Rei would start walking away from the café and turn to Nagisa to quickly wave goodbye. Nagisa waved back and moved towards the entrance, not thinking about how void his side was from the start.
“Ah, Nagisa-kun!” His manager, Saeki-san, beamed at him. “You’re a bit early.”
“I hope I’m not in trouble for that.” Nagisa laughed as he walked to the staff room, removing his parka on the way. The scent of brewing coffee grew stronger when he passed by the counter and it didn’t fail to remind him of Rei and how he’d make coffee to help with his projects and how he’d have trouble sleeping and how he’d hold Nagisa a little bit tighter whenever he did.
“Nagisa-san, are you alright?”
Nagisa snapped from his thoughts, ah damn, I spaced out again.
“Yeah, I’m alright! Sorry for spacing out~” he said in a lively tone, reassuring the soft spoken girl near him. “Ah, no, I’m sorry if I surprised you or anything.” She smiled sheepishly, “I heard from Saeki-san, so I thought maybe...,” she trailed off.
Nagisa’s eyebrows furrowed. Not this again.
“I’m perfectly fine, don’t worry about me.” He must’ve said it more strongly than he intended, noticing his coworker flinch at his words. “No, I mean, really, I’m okay.” He tried to comfort her with a smile (because it worked on most people).
“Alright… sorry for asking something personal,” she said, sympathy lacing her voice. She quickly left the staff room.
Nagisa ran his hand though his hair, feeling guilty for getting ticked off. She’s new, too. The blonde breathed out slowly, untangling his fingers from blond tresses, regaining his composure before changing into his work shirt.
The door closed with a soft click. Nagisa surveyed the old bookshelf near the door and grinned at the old paperback that Rei liked (so much that they have a copy at home). He recalled how Rei would calm him down, how the mere sound of his voice would be his tonic. Rei would only need to tell him it’s okay, and everything will be okay.
Nagisa fixed his shirt and made his way to the counter. His eyes making contact with his new coworker’s, and he flashed her a genuine smile. Everything will be okay.
The day progressed and his shift ended. Nagisa let out a sigh. He walked past the old bookshelf, eyeing that one book Rei loved to read. His manager waved him goodbye, to which he returned with a grin as he exited the shop.
His breath fogged up in the autumn air as he treaded down the pavement. The oceans of people were making their way home, and he smiled as his contentment swells at the thought of Rei waiting for him at home.
i told myself not to post this unless wednesday already had progress bUT :-(
anyway~ i hope this is still making sense lol