“Is this really all you have?” Rin asks when Natsuya shows up with nothing but a duffel, a messenger bag, and a pair of ancient Doc Martens. Rin is floating in the weightless surreality of what amounts to a stranger moving into his flat for nothing more than a lost bet.
Natsuya drops everything on the floor. One of the boots bounces a few feet into the middle of the room. “I travel light.”
It had gotten dark while Rin sat and waited for him to show up, anxiously refreshing his Instagram feed and trying not to bite his nails. Now the city lights shining through the balcony door paint Natsuya’s face in shadows. His half-smile looks villainous in the dark.
He opens the fridge and laughs at its desolate state. Then he goes out and buys iced coffee, peanut butter, and beer. Rin still has the futon he’d slept on before he’d bought a proper mattress, and he drags it out of the closet and thumps it down in front of the living room window. “Sorry. It’s kind of lumpy.”
He keeps expecting Natsuya to declare this a joke and leave the way he came. Instead he flashes another one of those incomprehensible smiles and says, “I’ve slept worse places.”
Rin looks away, annoyed that he’s being charmed and even more annoyed that it’s working. They stand in the dark living room and look out at the city.
“Well,” Rin starts. “I have class in the morning, so…”
Natsuya plops down on the futon. “You won’t even know I’m here. I’m a fantastic roommate.”
And he is. Despite his initial impression as a sloppy drunk, Natsuya keeps his corner of the apartment tidy. He does the dishes and pitches in for groceries. He doesn’t play loud music and he doesn’t annoy Rin while he studies.
Despite all that, his presence seeps underneath Rin’s skin and stays there. The strange forced intimacy of a roommate--another toothbrush in the bathroom, someone else’s food in the fridge, the smell of different shower products.
“I can take myself out for a walk if you bring someone home,” Natsuya says the first Saturday night he’s there. “Don’t worry about that.”
Rin realizes what he means, thinks about Haru, and then makes himself stop. Haru is in Tokyo. “I’m not--I won’t--.”
Natsuya’s hand lands on his shoulder and squeezes. “Chill, dude. Just trying to be a good flatmate.”
He has a manner to him--unaffected and relaxed. Like everything he proposes is a joke, but it doesn’t have to be. Rin has had roommates before, but they’ve never taken up the air like Natsuya does. Not even Ai with his breathless hero worship.
“He’s still there?”
It’s a swampy night in November and Rin is lying with his feet dangling off the end of the couch, watching headlights go by on the wall. He’s managed to catch Haru in a talkative mood, which takes some doing. “How long?”
“A month, I guess? A little longer.” Rin pulls off one of his socks with the help of the other foot. Then he switches, dropping them both off the side of the couch. “The bet didn’t have a time limit.”
He can practically here Haru frown. “Is he paying rent?”
“Yes,” Rin lies blatantly, because if he doesn’t Haru will accuse him of being taken advantage of, and Rin doesn’t actually disagree.
He hadn’t called to talk about Natsuya. He called to talk about that night on the park bench under a million million stars, when Haru had gripped the front of his shirt and begged him not to quit swimming, with such urgent need in his eyes. It was a stupid misunderstanding and they laughed about it later, but that moment when Haru’s fingertips were pressed warm to Rin’s heartbeat...he doesn’t think that part was a misunderstanding.
Haru is an ocean away, but Rin still feels the shadow of him in everything he does. It isn’t pure misery anymore, but the snarl of admiration and jealousy and possessiveness only winches tighter as he gets older. Whether they are on speaking terms or not, friends or rivals or enemies. He hopes Haru felt the same thing on that bench--that shiver static through his skin.
A few slow breaths. “Yeah?”
Rin imagines Haru staring up at his own ceiling or sitting beside a full bath, or standing at his stove getting ready to grill more goddamn mackerel.
A few more breaths. Lights move on the ceiling.
The key rattles in the lock and Natsuya comes in with his arms full of grocery bags. “Sitting in the dark?” He realizes Rin is on the phone and says, more quietly, “Oh, sorry.” He goes into the kitchen, the glow of the fridge throwing a rectangle onto the carpet.
“Is that him?” Haru asks, and the moment of suspension is broken.
“Yeah.” Rin squeezes his eyes shut. He can’t pretend Natsuya’s interruption is to blame--he was never going to say the words. “I should get going. Good luck at your meet next weekend.”
“Thanks.” Across the poor connection, he can’t unpack the tension in Haru’s voice. “Bye, Rin.”
“Fuck, it’s hot in here." Natsuya crouches down on the futon and eases the window open further. He pulls his shirt up and off, pressing an unopened beer against the back of his neck. In the dark, silhouetted against the city, he is all eyes and teeth. Rin lets his phone fall onto his stomach and watches him.
Natsuya pops the tab on his beer. “Was that your boy?”
“Huh?” The question doesn’t penetrate at first; Rin is busy watching Natsuya’s throat work as he swallows. “I--he isn’t--.” His heart smacks up into his ribs. “He isn’t.”
“Isn’t what?” Natsuya pushes his hair out of his eyes, which are wide and innocent. Rin feels a sharp stab of nervousness. “Your rival?”
It's salacious when he he says it, though Rin can’t put his finger on why. “He’s not, I mean--.”
Natsuya takes another pull on his beer. “Are you trying to tell me he isn’t your boyfriend? Because I figured that. You don’t seem the type for a long-distance relationship.”
“What--.” Rin experiences a momentary blockage, struggling with what to respond to first. The fact that Natsuya has read Rin’s greedy need for closeness while barely knowing him, or the fact that he talks about Rin having a boyfriend like it’s normal. Fine and not a big deal.
It probably isn’t for Natsuya. Natsuya travels all over the world. He’s older than Rin. And judging from the smug way he sips his beer, he knows exactly the impact his words are having.
Urgently needing to change the subject, Rin asks, “Are you staying over Christmas?”
Natsuya shrugs. “Figured I would, yeah.” Another coy sip. “Getting tired of me?”
“No,” Rin says out of automatic politeness. He’s a little surprised to find that it’s true. Natsuya makes him uncomfortable, but not in the deep, inevitable way that thoughts of his future or of Haru do. Besides, he likes having someone around to speak Japanese too.
He should bring up the rent, but he’s almost sure that if he does, Natsuya will leave. Rin doesn’t want that. That might make him a sucker, but it doesn’t make it less true.
His first away meet goes better than Rin is expecting. He swims the 400 meter butterfly, and although he doesn’t win, he places. His time is more than respectable for a first year swimming a difficult stroke. Rin’s competitors are mostly Australians and Americans, many with advantages in height and muscle mass. He plans to spend the night after the meet out of town, but a senior with a car is heading back to Sydney and lets Rin bum a ride. He’s feeling a little tickle in his throat and would much rather sleep at home than a hotel.
He doesn’t think of texting ahead. It’s his goddamn apartment, after all. When he unlocks the door the lights are off but there are two pairs of shoes beside the front mat. The hall has a straight view to the living room, where shapes move in the darkness, and Natsuya’s chuckle snakes warm and liquid up Rin’s spine. His whole body feels brittle. Spite rises up inside him and he slaps on the hall light.
He regrets it immediately as he sees the familiar line of Natsuya’s back held by an unknown pair of hands. He turns off the light, mumbling an apology and shutting himself in his room. He ignores Natsuya calling his name. Then he falls on his bed and tells himself to stop being an idiot.
Rin considers going home for the holidays, but in the end decides to push his trip to after the new year. Gou will be at a training camp with her swim club over Christmas, and his mother is visiting her sister in Hong Kong. It won’t be much of a visit with just him and Steve.
Besides, he’s got this weird idea to ask Haru to visit him. He’s pretty sure he can convince Natsuya to stay in a hotel over the weekend. Or maybe he and Haru can stay in a hotel, for old time’s sake.
And what then, Matsuoka? What the fuck then?
He spends so long dithering that by the time he finally calls Haru up to ask, it’s to find that he has waited too long and and he already has plans to visit with Makoto’s family.
“No worries. Talk to you later.” Rin’s throat catches and he hangs up before Haru can tell him not cry.
Fine. Whatever. He’ll just relax. No problem. It’ll be nice to just have some time to himself. Never mind that he spends most of his time with himself already.
On Christmas Eve, Natsuya goes out. Rin wants to ask if he’s going to hang out with the guy he walked in on him with, but he can’t figure out a way to phrase it that doesn’t sound like jealousy. He had at least counted on Natsuya being around tonight. Natsuya waits a few moments after telling him, like he’s waiting for Rin to say something. When Rin just turns back to his eggs on the stove, he picks up his shoes and leaves.
Rin spends the afternoon with a book Gou had sent him for his last birthday. It’s in English, and it’s taking him a while to get through it. Everyone at home has way more confidence in his language skills than he actually deserves.
Eventually he lets the book fall, interest slowly trailing away as the day gets darker. A summer storm is rolling in. Rain can’t be far behind.
He can see the sky better from Natsuya’s futon, so he lies down on that. It smells like his deodorant. He wonders if he and that guy are fucking right now. He wonders if they’re boyfriends, or if it’s just a casual thing. He wonders when Natsuya realized he was gay.
Rin had realized before he even knew what the word meant.
He gets up from the futon and stares into the fridge, before taking out one of Natsuya’s beers. It isn’t that he wants to be drunk, so much as he feels like this is the sort of mood he should want to be drunk in. He also likes the idea of taking something that belongs to Natsuya, the urge coming from the same untapped well of nastiness that made him turn on the lights that night.
He’s aware that he’s doing to Natsuya exactly what he did with Haru. Spending so much time figuring out what he wants that when he finally does, it’s to find the subject of his interest hasn’t bothered to wait around for him. The rest of the world isn’t going to pause for him to sort his shit out.
He works his way through a beer and a half and is just beginning to appreciate the soft buzz blurring the corners of his senses, when the lock rattles in its familiar way and Natsuya comes in. For a scrambled second Rin thinks he’s fallen asleep and woken up the next morning, but the sky is the same tumbling grey and his phone declares it two minutes past nine.
Natsuya comes over to the futon and stands close enough for Rin to see two mosquito bites on his ankle.
“You’re drinking my beer.”
Rin probs himself up on his elbows. “You’re living in my house.”
In the dark he sees Natsuya’s eyes flick over his body, quick but unsubtle. “I don’t mind.”
He goes into the kitchen and comes back with the rest of the pack. He sits down next to Rin and opens the window wide to coax in the breeze. Rin starts to get up and Natsuya puts a hand on his knee, aproprietary touch. Just his palm. “Hey, chill out. You don’t have to run away. I know you don’t like talking. We don’t have to.”
“I don’t not like talking,” Rin mumbles. “I just…”
He never knows what to say to Natsuya. What to give away. Conversations with him have the same trembling mingle of fear and exhilaration as going to the edge of a height and looking down. He pushes at him in ways nobody else does.
“Okay.” Natsuya smacks his can against Rin’s in a sloppy toast. “Then tell me what I did to deserve a tipsy college boy in my bed on Christmas Eve?”
Rin takes a huge gulp of beer and has to cough for awhile. By the time he catches his breath, his cheeks are burning.
“I wanted to see the sky,” he mumbles finally. “Aren’t you hanging out with--.”
He realizes he doesn’t know Natsuya’s guy’s name. Luckily he’s saved by Natsuya shrugging and making a sound that goes kind of like, “Meeeeehhhhh. He wanted me to meet his family over Christmas and I wasn’t feeling it.” His profile glows against the storm. “I have enough family of my own to deal with.”
Natsuya has mentioned a brother before; he went to school with Haru and swam on the same team until Haru quit. Because of Rin. Because of Rin’s weakness.
Before he can glide too far down that particular spiral of self-hatred, Natsuya nudges him with a socked foot. “This your first time drinking?”
“That’s not an answer.”
“Because it’s a stupid question.” Rin has had sake and vodka, but he didn’t enjoy either of them. All the drinking’s he’s done has been for a celebration. Never just to drown out his thoughts.
“I figured one of your friends would come visit you over the holiday. Sousuke.” Natsuya has a good memory for names--you only ever have to tell him once. “Or Haruka.”
There’s nothing lascivious in his tone, but when Rin looks up and catches his eyes his stomach jerks, like the truth is on a string and it’s being drawn slowly out of him. When he doesn’t answer, Natsuya pulls harder.
“I wouldn’t have thought he would be your type.”
“What does that mean?”
“I don’t know.” He stretches out on his back, shirt riding up. “Seems like you’d be into somebody a little...” He does something complicated with his eyebrows, and it’s so distracting to Rin’s tipsy brain that he has to press his beer to his hot cheek.
“He seems kind of passive,” Natsuya says. “Haru.”
“If you think that, you obviously don’t know him.”
“No, you’re right. I don’t.” He nudges Rin with his foot again. “So what do you like about him?”
“What is it with you and stupid questions?”
“Hey man, you drink my beer, you have to tell me about all the boys you swim with. That’s the rules.”
“Ugh.” Rin rolls his eyes. “Quit making it sound weird. Haru really was--really was my teammate.” And then rival. Always obsession. He doesn’t even know how to begin answering this question. What does he like about Haru? It’s like asking what he likes about swimming, or eating, or breathing. Actions that are so integral to life that he doesn’t even think about it when he performs them.
“I…you, I just—.”
Natsuya lets him splutter for a little bit before tapping him on the knee again.
“Dude, don’t hurt yourself. It’s fine.” His hand lingers this time. Rin flushes deeper. He should never have started drinking. Or ended up all alone on the holiday. Or let Natsuya into his flat. Or just made any sort of life decisions ever.
“Wouldn’t have taken you for a sad drunk.”
“Yeah, well...I used to be a sad everything.”
That makes Natsuya laugh, sweaty hair falling into his eyes.
“I’m the reason Haru stopped swimming,” Rin says, and before he knows what’s happening he’s telling Natsuya everything about that day when he’d challenged Haru to a race, convinced that he was going to prove…something. Anything. That all his hard work had not been an utter waste, and Haru had showed him that it was.
“I doubt Haru ever thought that,” Natsuya says. “That sounds like the rationalization of someone who hates himself.” He navigates rationalization pretty well considering the two beers he’s just slammed.
Rin frowns. He expects to feel that familiar instant rush of mortification from sharing his feelings, but finds he doesn’t mind Natsuya knowing. At least not the same way he cares about the people back at home. Natsuya doesn’t know that depressive, dramatic Rin Matsuoka of two years ago; he doesn’t have access to any side of the story besides Rin’s. From what he’s said, he and Haru aren’t close.
“It definitely wasn’t Haru’s fault,” Ran says to the ceiling. “I’m the one who made him race, and I’m the one who acted like a huge sore loser. It wasn’t Haru’s fault that I wasn’t as good as him.”
“Maybe not,” Natsuya says. Outside the wind thrashes the palms. “I’m absolutely trying to flatter you when I say this, but you are definitely one of the strongest swimmers I’ve ever met for your age range.”
“You still beat me.” Rin gestures to Natsuya’s duffle bag in the corner, the constant reminder of his victory.
“I can beat anybody.” Natsuya’s smile is crooked. “Although I kind of wish you cared enough about my opinion to get upset about it. Wouldn’t want you to swear off swimming, though.”
“That was when I was thirteen,” Rin mumbles.
Natsuya’s brows jab up. “Maybe I should have played a little hard to get, instead of swimming with you right off the bat.”
“Maybe you should have,” Rin shoots back, feeling mutinous. Natsuya’s hits are keeping him off balance. He likes it more than he thinks he should.
Natsuya’s fingers cover his on his beer, pulling it out of his hand. That’s fine—it’s empty anyway. But once it’s gone, Natsuya doesn’t let go. His thumbnail traces the sensitive skin under Rin’s wrist. It’s such a slight touch that he is surprised by the shiver it chases up his spine.
“Guess we’re both pretty easy,” Natsuya says, and presses his mouth to Rin’s. It’s hot and soft and unexpected, although it shouldn’t have been. Natsuya hasn’t made an effort to hide his interest. His fingers trail down his neck to settle gently on Rin’s throat. “I don’t have a bunch of history with you or whatever, but—.”
“That isn’t--I don’t--.” He doesn’t know what to say, so he leans back in to kiss Natsuya, liking his soft, hungry hum when their mouths open and their tongues slide together. Something frightened and painful in the back of his mind whispers at him that he shouldn’t be doing this. It shuffles through his insecurities like clothes on a rack, presenting each one for inspection. They are legion, but Haru lurks behind each one.
But Haru isn’t here. Rin doesn’t owe Haru anything. Or...maybe he does, because he means more to Rin than anyone else. But he doesn’t owe Haru this particular thing, at this particular moment. He’ll have time to think about him later.
Maybe just for tonight everything doesn’t have to be a big deal.
His thoughts are interrupted by a sharp bite to the meat of his throat that goes straight to his dick. Rin makes a very embarrassing noise
“Stop thinking so loud,” Natsuya says. “You’re giving me a migraine.” He bites harder and Rin shudders. “You like that?”
Rin feels desperately out of control and he doesn’t want it to stop. He’s floating over a sea full of consequences and regrets, and as long as he stays high enough he will never have to touch them. He grabs Natsuya’s hair and pulls him back to his mouth, smashing their lips together. Natsuya doesn’t let him take control, coaxing the kiss slow and searing. Rin curls his fingers in the back of Natsuya’s shirt, feeling the hard shift of muscle.
“Have you done this before?”
Rin tips his head back. “Which part?”
“Are you lying?”
Natsuya palms between his legs, making him jerk. He sucks in a breath when he feels how hard Rin is. “Is it the biting?” Rin groans and covers his face. Natsuya pulls his hands away. “You’re really fucking cute, Matsuoka.”
“Ugh. Shut up.”
Natsuya pushes up his shirt to trace the outlines of his abs. “So you don’t want me to tell you how bad I want to suck your dick?” He pulls at the drawstrings of his sweatpants. “Maybe it would be better if I just did it.”
“Fuck.” Rin raises his hips to help Natsuya pull down his sweats and briefs all in one go. His dick bobs out and hits his hip with an obscene little slap. Natsuya just looks at him, not making any attempt to hide it.
Rin half expects him to do something ridiculous like lick his lips, but he just wraps a loose fist around him and gives him a couple quick strokes. “You can think about Haruka if you want,” Natsuya says, sliding down his body, leaning in close enough for Rin to feel the pressure of his breaths. Then his mouth is on him and Rin doesn’t have the mental capacity to do anything but release a pained animal noise he didn’t know he was capable of making. Is this just what Natsuya does? Wanders the world winning races and sucking dicks?
His lashes paint golden crescents over his cheeks and his bangs fall into his eyes. A warm flush spreads over his neck and up to his cheeks. He pulls off Rin’s cock, lips glossy and swollen. “Hair is for pulling,” he rasps, then goes back down.
“Natsu—.” Rin’s voice breaks humiliatingly and he yanks harder than he means to. Natsuya just lets out a deep, rattling hum of encouragement. Rin tries to spread his legs, liking the shivery touch of Natsuya’s fingertips on is inner thighs. He’s trapped by his sweatpants, which have only made it down to his knees. Natsuya pulls them the rest of the way off in a vicious yank and tosses them over his head. One leg gets hooked on his shoulder and he shrugs twice to shake it off, not looking away from Rin. Rin squirms awkwardly, itchy and hot from the weight of the attention. He’s glad it’s dark. He doesn’t know how porn actors manage to do this in stage lighting.
Rin fidgets until he manages to pull off his shirt, figuring it’s silly to just wear that. “You’re still totally dressed,” he says.
Natsuya climbs back on top of him and pins his wrists against the futon. “That a big issue for you? You want to see me naked?”
Rin tugs at his wrists. “You—you’re sucking my dick.”
“I don’t see how the two are related, but—if you insist…” He leans back and peels his shirt off; his abs flex and Rin’s mouth gets dry. He can’t figure out why seeing a naked body is so much different in this context. He sees teammates in the locker rooms everyday.
Natsuya lies back down on top of him, and honestly, yeah, this is a whole lot better. The friction of their skin is incredibly compelling; Natsuya is so warm. Are people usually this warm? He holds Rin down against the futon and kisses him some more, stroking him lazy and loose.
“I was starting to wonder if you were even into guys. Or sex at all,” Natsuya mutters between kisses. “I don’t usually read people wrong, but there’s a first time for everything."
Rin’s breaths are so loud he can barely press his voice around them. “Couldn’t I just not have been into you?”
Natsuya snorts. “Let’s not be ridiculous. Why did you agree to race me, if you didn’t want me to stay? You knew I was faster than you. You’d probably looked up my times.”
Rin stops struggling. He isn’t sure why he’d been doing it in the first place, he doesn’t actually want to get away. “What if I’m just lonely?”
“Oh, you’re definitely lonely,” Natsuya grins. “Also thirsty as shit.” His mouth paints more stinging points of heat on Rin’s neck.
“Are you ever going to pay me rent?” His voice rises steadily in pitch.
“Mm hmm.” Natsuya slides back down to Rin’s dick.
“That’s not rent.”
“Are you sure?”
“Maybe after this.”
Rin swears and clenches his fingers in his own hair this time. Natsuya takes him so deep he can feel his throat tightening around him.
An obscene slurp. “Practice makes perfect. Didn’t anyone ever tell you that, prodigy?”
“I’m not, ah!” Rin’s hips buck. “Not a prodigy.”
“I’m serious. Haru’s the one who’s—.”
Thinking about Haru at a time like this is just…Natsuya had said he didn’t mind it at all, but it still feels weird. But what the fuck does he know about any of this shit? Recently he’s been trying to admit it when he doesn’t know how to do something.
Slowly. It’s a work in progress, this new him.
He bucks up into Natsuya’s mouth, gasping and letting out a desperate little moan when Natsuya rolls off the futon to paw through his duffel bag, emerging with a mostly empty tube of lube and a condom.
Rin starts to sit up and Natsuya flicks the condom back toward the bag. “Just in case. We don’t have to use it tonight.” He squeezes lube on his fingers and before Rin has the chance to do anything besides make a couple vowel noises, he pushes one into his ass.
“Relax.” His finger twists and the sensation shoots down deep into Rin’s guts. “I’m not going to do anything you won’t like.” Another unfounded boast, but somehow Rin believes him. And then Natsuya looks him right in the eyes with undisguised hunger and says, “Do you ever think about Haru doing this to you? Or is it the other way around?”
Rin’s face burns and he covers it with both arms. “Shut up, don’t—.” Natsuya spreads his legs as wide as they’ll comfortably go—wider. He pushes another finger into him and it burns. “You, god—.”
“He’s gorgeous. I’m not gonna fight you on that. I think I’d like to watch him fuck you.”
“Or maybe we could take turns. Pass you back and forth.” He laughs, delighted, and gives a long, lingering lick to the head of Rin’s cock. “Does that sound good?” He presses slick and deep, making Rin’s back arch desperately. “Why waste time, though? We could just do you at the same time.”
Rin’s gasps become swears. This will never happen—he’s not even sure that he’d want it to happen—but picturing it makes his whole body light up. Natsuya’s mentioning it opens up a cage in his mind, releasing all the pictures of Haru he’d never let himself consider before.
Haru probably wouldn't participate, but maybe he would watch. Maybe he would sit there on the edge of the futon and tell Natsuya what to do. How to get Rin off.
“Don’t cry, Rin,” he’d say.
A molten thrill runs through him and settles in his guts. He presses down against Natsuya’s fingers; Natsuya’s still talking but Rin can’t hear him over the pounding in his ears. He’s overwhelmed and it stings a little, but it feels good and he doesn’t want it to stop. And it doesn’t. Even though the angle must be hell on Natsuya’s wrist he keeps the pressure on and jerks him off until it’s too much and Rin has to bury his face in the blanket and come with a desperate, open-mouthed gasp.
“Fuck yes. You needed that, huh?” Natsuya leans in and smooths Rin’s hair back from his face. He doesn’t stop touching his dick, barely even slows down. Rin gasps and his whole body jerks, hypersensitive. “I want to fuck you, god, I’m gonna fuck you so hard, just--.”
He moves against him in sloppy ruts, biting at his mouth, rubbing at the head of his dick until Rin is writhing. “Stop, stop, it’s--.”
“Bet I could make you go again,” Natsuya grunts, "Fuck, you're so hot." But he obligingly backs off and just touches himself, staring down at Rin until he comes across both their chests, his eyes closing as he shakes. He collapses down next to him in a controlled fall. “Fuck.”
Rin's heartbeat throbs through his entire body, and with the alcohol and the endorphin high and stormy sky outside the window, he could be floating on a futon in the void. He is sticky all over and his head has gone very quiet. Next to him Natsuya is a warm and solid presence.
“You can fall asleep if you want,” Natsuya says, voice full of warm, satisfied laughter.
“I’m fine, I’m good,” Rin mumbles.
Natsuya grins at him. "That had to at least cover a month of rent. Maybe two."
Rin punches him in the shoulder with all the strength he can muster, which currently amounts to a baby seal with a bad cold. “Asshole.”
“Hmm? You want to file a complaint?”
Rin presses his hand flat against Natsuya’s chest. He doesn't know what to say.
Natsuya pushes sweaty bangs off Rin’s forehead. “It doesn’t have to be a big deal. It can just be a one-time thing. Whatever.”
Rin’s breaths are finally coming a little slower. His thoughts are too, unfortunately. He’d be immensely irritated if he didn’t feel so good. “I thought you said you wanted to, uh--”
“Oh, I do.” Natsuya’s grin goes wide and filthy. “Give me fifteen minutes and I’ll prove it.”
Another joke that isn’t a joke. Rin attempts to gather enough energy to banter back, but he just...doesn’t have it in him right now. He feels the way he sometimes does when it’s late and he still has studying to do. He should finish it, needs to finish it before the next day, because he’ll regret it if he doesn’t. But despite all that he can always tell when pushing will only make things worse. He needs sleep to reset his brain. He’s too wrung out to be good for anything.
Natsuya rolls over and gets up, padding off into the kitchen. The light comes on, followed by the sound of the faucet. Rin watches the clouds move. It’s only just started to rain. He closes his eyes and drifts for a while.
“Hey.” He fades back in to find Natsuya crouched down next to him again. “You should drink some water.”
“I’m not drunk,” Rin says.
Natsuya pushes the glass at him. “Have some anyway. Save yourself from the dry-mouth.”
Fair enough. Rin gulps the water, then looks down at the state of himself and the sheets. “I’m gonna...go take a shower.”
Natsuya looks at him for a few seconds, like he’s trying to read his mood. Very carefully, he leans in and kisses him on the mouth. “Okay.” He brushes his fingers lightly up Rin’s arm. “Then we can discuss this rent I still owe you.”
Rin snorts, then goes into the bathroom. He turns on the dim lamp on the sink instead of the overhead light, watching his eyes dilate in the mirror. His hair is a mess and there’s a hard ringing in his ears. He turns the shower on and waits for it to get hot.
It hits his neck and shoulders and he jerks, remembering the bites. There are more than he’d thought. He puts his fingers against them and presses down.
He expects his mind to be a vicious tangle, and he isn’t wrong--he’s not sure how to feel about what just happened. The very strange part is that he isn’t really bothered by that. At least, he’s less bothered then he’d thought he would be. Natsuya is reassuring. His presence and general chill is helping Rin avoid his usual dizzying spiral of self-doubt. He thinks Natsuya might be good for him.
Not forever, maybe. But today isn’t forever.