Saturday, 23 June 2029
It was Saturday evening. In four days Nahyuta and Apollo would fly back to Khura’in and Klavier had decided that they should make a little celebration before they would leave on Tuesday.
This was why Nahyuta sat at a table with Ema, Kay and Athena, who were vividly discussing the most useful self-defence techniques. In the background he heard Apollo, Sebastian, and Klavier discuss about something related to music, while Pearl and Trucy were talking about Trucy’s last show. He was quite amused by women’s discussion and was content to sit with them.
Yet he knew that he had to do something important this evening. And he had to do it tonight or he would not do it at all. His stomach started turning as soon as he just thought of it but there was no way leading around this.
Finally, Nahyuta heard Klavier going into the kitchen and excused himself and followed the man quickly. As he entered the room, Klavier was standing in front of the fridge and took out some bottles of soda. Nahyuta walked over to him and waited until he was noticed by the blond.
“Do you need something?”, Klavier asked sensing that the monk wanted something particular.
Nahyuta smiled serenely and looked out of the window. He really did not want to do this.
“Simon went upstairs some time ago, correct?”
Klavier froze and blinked quizzingly for some seconds. Then he suddenly understood where Nahyuta was going. The boldness of that move surprised him quite a bit.
“Yeah. You know him. Too many people and too much talking. I told him he could rest in the guest room”, he now told the prince quickly. “Do you want to… to tell him now?”
There was no hint of hesitation or fear in Nahyuta’s eyes, when Klavier had asked him this. But somehow the rock star still felt something strange radiating from the other man. He knew that Nahyuta always tried to keep it cool and acted so untouchable and divine, because it was part of his defence mechanism and an act for the khura’inese court, but in reality, he was quite a sensitive person, who wanted nothing more than to be accepted.
Due to this, Klavier had a hard time believing Nahyuta as he answered calmly: “Yes, I do. I already told you I would tell him, after I’d collected my thoughts. Now my thoughts are collected and I’m ready to tell him. It’s just easy like that.”
“No, Nahyuta it’s not. I know how afraid I was when Apollo and I talked about our feelings for each other for the first time. I was simply terrified and convinced that I’d die on the spot.
But I’m not stopping you by any means. Go and tell him. Take your time, I’ll make sure nobody is going to disturb you two.”
Nahyuta nodded as he tried to ignore the whole first part of Klavier’s words. He was already afraid enough without thinking of a mortified Klavier.
“Thank you for your help. But I don’t think it will take to long”, Nahyuta now said and started walking towards the door leading to the corridor upstairs.
“If you say so… Still, good luck with this!”, Klavier told his friend as he exited the room.
Lightly Nahyuta climbed the stairs, leaving the muffled chattering form the living room behind. He felt his heart beating faster, as he saw the white door to his right. This was where Simon always went when they were at Klavier’s. The room had a small balcony, what was ideal for the samurai’s beloved hawk. Also, the view from the window was quite nice and Nahyuta did not doubt that the dawning city made a beautiful picture.
Taking one last breath to collect himself, before he knocked tenderly at the door and said: “Are you in there Simon?”
He heard a somewhat approvingly sounding gruff from inside the room. A smile stole its way on Nahyuta’s lips and he asked: “Would you mind me coming in?”
Simon did not respond for several moments. Nahyuta’s heart was beating twice as fast as it normally did as the other finally said: “Nah, it’s fine. Come in.”
Swiftly the monk opened the door and entered, closing the door quietly behind him. Immediately he found his friend sitting crossed legged on the guest bed. He was looking at him with keen eyes and an unreadable expression.
Hesitantly Nahyuta walked across the room and stopped in front of the bed. As Simon gestured him to sit down, he took a seat on the other end of the bed. He tensely stared on his legs and flattened out some none-existing wrinkles in his white trousers.
Bravely smiling he looked up and met Simon’s gaze. They had come separately to the event, he with Apollo, Trucy and Pearl, while Simon had come with Athena. That was why he hadn’t had the chance to look at the man properly today, and only now he was able to appreciate the quite unique attire typical for the samurai. A black long-sleeves pullover with a white Psi symbol on it hung from his shoulders. Beneath it he was wearing a snow-white shirt with a wingtip collar. It was longer than the pullover and the lower hem part reached his crotch. As always, when he was outside of court, he was wearing black skinny jeans.
This style had really grown on Nahyuta. Wasn’t it strange that he used to think of these black and white combinations as lazy and edgy? And now he actually admired the way he dressed even though he still did not like the style in general.
Yet Nahyuta said nothing concerning the other’s look. To comment on it would only be a waste of his breath, he figured and licked his lips nervously.
“I hope I do not bother you too much. I understand you are only here because you needed some time away from us all”, Nahyuta started and looked down on his hands once again.
Simon watched him closely. He got a lot of different signals from the man right now and he understood quite well that he wanted to talk about something that scared him terribly. And he also saw, how desperately Nahyuta needed to talk about it. It made him uneasy to see his friend so tense in his presence and he wanted him to feel more at ease.
Eyeing him from the side and putting on calming smile Simon answered then: “You don’t count as people. You were never nearly as energy sucking as half of the people down there. Pearl is probably the only one, who is even less talkative than you but even she’s taking more of my energy than you do.
So, don’t worry. I’m pretty happy with you being here.”
While listening to Simon’s words Nahyuta had looked up and was now facing him. Sometimes he would have sacrificed a leg, so Simon would stop reading all his motions and words perfectly right. It was nearly impossible for him to keep anything from this ridiculous goth.
“If you had been around during my time as Ga’ran’s pawn, I could never have pulled this off. Seriously, it is annoying how easy it is for you to look through me”, Nahyuta complained playfully and leaned back.
Still observing him closely Simon did not budge but shrugged and answered: “I don’t know about that. I have a lot of knowledge from your past today and when you focus it, it’s not that hard to read between the lines.
Wanna tell me now what’s up? You’ve been acting strange for the past few days.”
Nahyuta braced himself for what would be coming now. He felt his mask falling and closed his eyes in desperation.
“I – I need to confess something. I don’t want you to hate me for it but it’s – it’s not like I could decide that.
I – While we spent time together, also with or without Klavier, I – I started to grow really attached to it and I liked it a lot, and I’m grateful for every second, and I don’t want to lose that at all, but I know – well, I don’t really – you are the one to make the decision. – Vehemently he paused and took a deep breath – Anyway, what I want to say is that I … have …
Developed … feelings … for-for … you.
And I – don’t know what to do w-with it”, Nahyuta broke off in tears.
Simon had untangled his legs and moved carefully towards Nahyuta. The monk tried to keep his sobbing to a minimum but was miserably failing. Apparently crying was the one thing even Nahyuta could not pull off while looking somehow divine.
Tenderly Simon tapped on Nahyuta’s arm and waited for the man to finally look at him. It took quite a while until the monk had gathered his courage and found the strength to meet Simon’s gaze again.
His lip was shivering emotionally, and Simon felt as if someone had punched him in the stomach. For the first time in a while Simon had actual difficulties to put a smile on his face. But he wanted to show Nahyuta that it was okay, that he was not angry or mad. That nothing bad was going to happen just now.
“I don’t hate you, Yuta. Why would I? You did not choose these feelings and by all means, love is not something horrible to experience. It’s going to be okay”, Simon told Nahyuta with a warm voice as he gently patted his shoulder.
Nahyuta gaped at him in wonder before he broke out in confusion: “But? Aren’t you afraid of how our friendship will change, now that you know it? Aren’t you worried that I might overstep any boundaries or – “
“You never overstepped your boundaries before and change is not necessarily a bad thing. I mean, I don’t even know what I would like to change between us. I have no idea what you want of a romantic relationship. Have you considered, that maybe it would be fine with me to change some things? That I’d like some more contact with you?”
Baffled Nahyuta stared at Simon. This was not something he had seen coming. It was nothing he had ever dreamt of.
“Are you serious?”
“Yeah, why wouldn’t I be?”
“But you’re aromantic and asexual? I mean you – I thought – Why would you be fine with dating then? I don’t understand.”
Nahyuta looked at him at loss of words. This did not make any sense to him.
With a patience unknown to the monk Simon took his hand and sighed slowly. There was something soft and kind in his features and Nahyuta felt how the samurai had just let down a layer of his well-built defence wall. He was letting him in on something he normally did not share with people.
“You know…”, Simon stared with a low voice and slightly quivering hands, “I am aro/ace. I’m not attracted towards anybody in a sexual or romantic sense.
But I’m not made of stone. I like being hugged and being told … nice things. And somehow apparently only people in romantic relationships get these things. And I don’t think that that makes any sense or is fair in any possible way…
I’ve spent a long time on my own, without anybody close to me. It’s mostly my own fault that it was like this, but I’m still rather… touch deprived. I really could need someone who would like to be close to me.
And I do like you. You are a good friend and I trust you. I want you to be happy and if you think you can’t be with someone who doesn’t feel the same way about you how you feel about them, I’m fine with that.
Just know… I care about you, I do like you a lot. And having a prioritized relationship with you sounds really great to me.”
This was straight up one of the cutest yet saddest things Nahyuta had ever heard. And it was coming from a man who could easily wrestle with Datz and exclusively wore black. When exactly had his life made this turn, he questioned himself as he suddenly realized that Simon’s hand was still quivering.
Taken aback Nahyuta squeezed the others hand lightly and smiled at him warily. Somehow, he did no longer feel so pathetic. Even Simon was somehow scared, and he was not even in love with him. Maybe this situation would be easier to fix, than he had expected.
“Simon… I’m honoured that you see me like this. And if there would be a way to have a closer relationship with you, I’d like to take that way.”
Simon saw Nahyuta’s eyes sparkle. It was truly incredible how much excitement fitted in this man’s little chest. He smiled fondly and asked his friend: “So what would you like to do in a relationship then? Let’s check what’s on the list, good?”
“Good!”, Nahyuta nodded and started thinking. He had never been in a relationship before, everything he had were just wild guesses of what he – no, they might enjoy together. But it was something and he supposed that was better than nothing.
“Well, I don’t have any real experience with this terrain, but I’d like to cook and eat more with you. When I’m here of course. Take-out is nice, but cooking is clearly more fun, right?”
Simon grinned amused and nodded.
“Yeah sure. I kinda expected you to start with something food related.”
“Eating is life and it would be a real blessing if it was part of everything of my life. Unfortunately, that’s not the case and I’ll have to work with what I get.
Anyway, I simply would like some more quality time with you. Nothing against Klav, but sometimes it would be nice to just have some time for ourselves.”
Again, Simon simply nodded.
“Would be fine with me.”
“To clarify it a bit, so you know what I am getting at; I’m talking about watching movies or series together, being lazy and just talking together. I’d be really happy to just have more of that.”
Encouraged by Simon’s approving smile Nahyuta continued bravely: “I also would appreciate it, if we would video chat once in a while. Something like Klav and Apollo do. I mean, we often just are involved in those chats, but I’d like to have a private one with you now and then, if you’d be fine with it.”
“Totally. I enjoy talking to you without being observed by your brother or Klav. I’d like that a lot”, Simon approved, his hands now finally being still again.
Nahyuta smiled brightly and playfully brushed his bangs behind his ear. He was glad seeing his friend relax again. The trembling fingers, which most people overlooked constantly, were never a good sign and he was just glad that it had stopped again.
Maybe now was the time to bring up some intimate requests? Nahyuta was not so sure but he somehow also suspected that there would never come more fitting opportunity again. So why not just go for it, he told himself and put his doubts aside.
“I do not know how you stand to these things, but I’d like to talk also about some physical things. Like – where lie the boundaries for you? What kind of touching or contact are you fine with? That stuff”, Nahyuta said as he looked very seriously at his friend.
Simon’s expression had hardened word by word. Nevertheless, he did not appear to be overly concerned or serious. It was more of a respectful awe he showed for the cause.
Understandingly he straightened up and said: “That’s indeed important. I’m glad you consider my needs, but neither of us should be hurt or neglected in this relationship. Your feelings in this are just as important as mine and I also need to know what you like in general.”
When Nahyuta approved with the hint of a nod Simon continued frankly: “I like body contact a lot. Just not on the naked skin. I dislike it when my stomach, chest, upper arms and legs are exposed, and I really, really hate it when somebody touches me there without asking.
Same goes with the hair. Please, please don’t touch it. I’m weird with this but I really can’t stand it.
Other than that, I really appreciate hugs and cuddling, and I’m not even opposed to share a bed from time to time. Well, I – I really like the idea, actually.”
Nahyuta had closed his eyes and let the samurai’s words sink. Not liking to expose his skin. It did not surprise him. The vulnerability that the scars from the fights and torture revealed, must pain Simon up to this day. Maybe it was something similar with the hair. The white patch could tell one just as much and maybe touching it reminded the man of it.
Then a smile crept on his face. There was a wish in Simon to cuddle. The huge, scary-looking samurai, who still told stories about his murderous inmates to creep away people and could stare lethally, wanted to spoon in a bed. It basically made him to the world most fearsome teddy bear.
Holding back a giggle, Nahyuta opened his eyes again and responded amused: “I will remember those things and will not overstep the boundaries you set. If something changes though, do not fret to inform me. I want you to be as comfortable as you can be.
I myself do not dislike it if you touch my bare skin. Sometimes, I would probably even enjoy it if you would stroke me. But that’s more of an extra than actually necessary.
As you know I like it when my hair is being brushed. However, I dislike it when someone touches my stomach. No matter what, do not touch that. That also goes for the feet and the sides. I’m ticklish there and if you ever try to tickle me, I’ll walk outside and will not talk with you for a week. Understood?”
Immediately Simon agreed under the monk’s fierce gaze. Contently Nahyuta continued: “Good. This is absolutely confidential information and I trust you to keep it to yourself.
Anyway, I wanted to tell you that I’m not opposed to hugging or cuddling you, because I enjoy it just as much as you do.
Yet I would like it if we did it in private though, since I do not want to cause a scandal. Not that you would be scandalous. But me being a prince of a highly religious country and you being a man, might be enough for the press to form a scandal and that would be annoying for my country, you and me.”
“Define ‘in private’”
“I – Well, no hand holding on the street, in the courthouse or other work spaces and probably also in other public facilities, like theatres or restaurants, where the press could see us.”
“But it would be fine if we did that in one of our friends’ homes or in their company? You don’t want to keep it from them?”
Surprised Nahyuta blinked. Abruptly he realized that Simon did not want to waste energy in keeping their relationship a secret. He did not want to hide or pretend. He did not want to lie to anyone.
“No, I don’t. They shall know about it. As I said before, I’m not ashamed of you or my feelings for you.”
A glint of warmth flashed in the swampy dark eyes of the samurai. This kind of recognition did him well.
“All right. I’m fine with that. Please go on. You weren’t finished yet”, Simon told his friend with a casual hand gesture.
“Ah yes. I wanted to say that I’m also not opposed to share a bed with you from time to time. I mean that has happened in the past and you are quite a pleasant partner to spoon with. I’d enjoy repeating that.”
Nahyuta winked daringly and thought to have spotted a light pinkness on Simon’s pale cheeks. But maybe he only imagined it, since it was gone in the blink of an eye.
A silence spread out between the two. Most things were said, and they had found a way to handle their feelings. They had come closer and now their legs touched. Nahyuta felt Simon’s weight leaning against his side and watched how Simon’s eyelids closing slowly and opening them again rapidly.
Suddenly Simon lifted his hand in front of his mouth and hid a yawn. The prosecuting panda apparently was sleepy Nahyuta concluded amused. Gently he nudged his arm and asked: “Could it be that you retreated this early because you are tired?”
“What would lead you to such a conclusion? It’s not the first time I’ve escaped from a social event”, Simon countered fighting off another yawn.
“It surely is not the first time you did this. But it was unusually early for you to do so. You’ve maybe spent about an hour and a half with us and you only talked with Pearl for maybe twenty minutes.
We haven’t been loud, and your discussion wasn’t intense. And as far as I know, you haven’t had any other meetings this day.
You wouldn’t be this exhausted if you hadn’t already been tired when you came here in the first place.”
“Alright”, Simon confessed and let himself drop on the mattress. He had real trouble to keep his eyes open.
“You haven’t slept a lot last night, have you?”, Nahyuta asked and lay down next to him.
“You should try to take a nap now.”
“I can’t sleep. No matter how tired I am, as soon as I close my eyes I feel like I need to stand up again. And it’s too cold.”
Nahyuta giggled at that and told Simon to move properly on the bed. Quickly he slipped out of his shoes, and as he lay back down next to his samurai he tucked them in a blanket. Gently he put his arm around the others chest und nuzzled his head to Simon’s chin.
He heard Simon’s heart beat growing slower and felt his breathing going steadier. Apparently, he provided enough warmth for the samurai to slowly fall asleep. He even felt himself growing more tired from second to second.
Yet before Nahyuta’s consciousness ultimately faded the dream world he asked Simon: “Do you think, that you’d be okay if I’d kiss you one day?”
“… Yeah. That’d be fine.”
And then they fell asleep.