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falling, catching

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“They what?”

Yukito is laughing before Touya even finishes his story. He sits next to Touya on the couch, leaning lightly against him. It’s late; Touya only returned home from work a few minutes ago, and he came in looking annoyed. It was only his first day, he told Yukito as he plopped himself down heavily next to him on the couch, and the kids have already put him through hell. Yukito was confused for a moment. Touya rarely works jobs where he has to interact with children, but then he remembered Touya mentioning something about a mascot position outside of one of the neighborhood stores.

“They were already climbing all over me,” Touya complains, his hands folded behind his head. “It was only a matter of time before one of the little monsters got their hands underneath the head and pulled it off.”

“Why didn’t the parents do anything about it?” Yukito wonders aloud.

“I don’t know. I don’t think they were paying attention. They noticed when the kids started screaming though.”

“I didn’t realize you were so scary to children,” Yukito laughs.

Touya scowls. “I’m not. I think it was just the shock of realizing there was a person inside of the costume.”

“Or it was your face.”

Yuki,” Touya says exasperatedly.

Yukito opens his mouth to speak but all that comes out is more laughter. He can see the scene clear as day: Touya in the costume, head of it rolling away on the ground, standing there in defeat while a bunch of children scream and cry and point at him. Yukito wishes he could have been there to see it.

“Oi, it isn’t that funny,” Touya protests, poking Yukito in the ribs. His ears have turned red; he sounds embarrassed.

“It is,” Yukito insists. He’s still laughing, can’t stop laughing even though his stomach has started to hurt. Touya shakes his head, but he’s smiling too, and Yukito closes his eyes as he tries and fails to stifle another stream of uncontrollable giggles. It takes effort to catch his breath; his laughter keep trying to bubble up again. Eventually he sighs, shoulders still shaking occasionally, and wipes his eyes as he opens them once more. “What—” he starts, but Touya has…

Touya has stopped smiling. He’s looking at Yukito with an expression that almost looks sad—no, not sad, just torn, as if something in Yukito’s laughter has caused him a painful revelation. “Toya?” Yukito asks, his own smiling fading as concern takes its place. “Is something wrong?” Touya doesn’t answer. His eyes dart down to watch Yukito’s lips form the words, and when he glances back up his gaze is surrender warring with restraint.

Yukito is hyperaware of where his body is pressed to Touya’s. They’re close—too close; then they’re even closer because Touya has shifted forward so that his face is only a few inches from Yukito’s. The unexpected nearness sends a shiver down Yukito’s spine. Touya is so close Yukito could kiss him. It would only take the smallest of movements. He could kiss him, and he wants to kiss him, desperately, more than he’s ever wanted anything before. Touya could kiss him easily too, he realizes, swallowing hard. Touya has already moved closer; all he needs to do is move closer still and cross the few remaining inches between them, but if he did that, if he kissed Yukito, he would cross something else, too. Touya wouldn’t just cross a line; he would demolish it.

Yukito tries not think about how much he wishes he would.

Touya isn’t moving any closer. He’s not moving at all, actually. Yukito can’t see his eyes to know what sort of expression he’s wearing (he doubts he would be able to meet them even if he could), but Touya is near enough for Yukito to feel his breath hot on his lips. Yukito’s gaze is fixed on Touya’s mouth, so close to his, so very close, and if this is some kind of joke he wishes Touya would stop. He doesn’t know if Touya is aware of his feelings, but if he is, and if this is just a cruel new method of teasing him, Yukito will never forgive him.

Yukito hopes it isn’t a joke. He hopes it’s not just Touya being mean, and he doesn’t think it is because Touya has never been this mean. Yukito may not be able to see his eyes, but there’s a catch to Touya’s breathing that betrays indecision, and the too taut line of his shoulders reads as agonizing paralysis. His lips brush Yukito’s as he murmurs, voice strained, “Yuki…” Touya’s breathing is going shaky; Yukito is forgetting how to breathe at all. He can’t move, can’t think, can’t do anything but stare, frozen. He wants to kiss Touya. He shouldn’t kiss Touya.

He has to kiss Touya.

Yukito gives up, but it doesn’t feel like giving up. It feels like winning a long-fought battle, because when he steps over that line and kisses Touya it sends sparks through him. Touya stiffens in surprise as their lips connect and then eases into the touch, somehow scooting even closer as Yukito’s hand balls in his shirt. Touya’s lips are everything Yukito has always imagined they would be—soft and warm and familiar, even though this is his first time tasting them. Yukito has memorized the lines of Touya’s mouth in all the hours they’ve spent together. He’s lost focus while studying with him an embarrassing number of times because he was too busy staring at Touya to pay attention to what he was saying.

Touya’s lips are everything Yukito imagined they would be and more. He can only pray he hasn’t ruined his chances of looking at them forever.

Yukito is breathless when he pulls away. Touya is too. Yukito knows the kiss only lasted a few seconds, but it might as well have been centuries for all that it contained. Yukito’s cheeks burn as he loosens his grip on Touya’s shirt. His eyes burn as well, and when he fully takes in Touya’s expression he realizes why. Touya is staring at him, stunned, disbelief so plainly evident that Yukito feels his heart sink.

That was a mistake then. He had always hoped Touya would like him, Touya would choose him, but he thinks he must have been wrong because Touya is looking at him like he doesn’t recognize Yukito.

It hurts. Yukito wants to leave. He wants to forget this ever happened. Let the kiss become a distant memory, a dream, nothing but the imaginings of a wild mind. Let Touya pretend this didn’t happen, that Yukito didn’t just kiss him. Let him ignore it. Just don’t let Touya leave him because of it.

“Sorry!” Yukito’s attempt at laughter comes out closer to crying. It would be easier if he dropped his gaze from Touya’s face, from that startled expression, but he won’t. “I didn’t mean to. I don’t know what I was thinking.”

Touya blinks; his brows furrow in concern. “You didn’t…? Yuki, I—” He breaks off with a frown that leaves the thought unfinished. His expression shifts from stunned silence and disbelief to something more like worry as he looks down. Touya’s hands turn to fists in his lap, and Yukito doesn’t understand what’s happening. He doesn’t understand why Touya does look sad now. He doesn’t understand why Touya won’t look at him anymore. Is he that disgusted? That angry? If he is, he should look angry, but he doesn’t. There’s only concern on his face, only worry, only a weight so heavy it drags his shoulders down and buries him beneath it.

Yukito doesn’t understand, but he can’t handle Touya looking like that for any reason. He swallows down his fear that Touya might hate him now and reaches out to touch the edges of those worried lips. Touya starts at the touch and drags his gaze back to Yukito as Yukito moves to cup his cheek in his palm. Touya’s eyes make Yukito worry he made another mistake; they’re dark, confused, as if Yukito’s touch is somehow hurting him, but he sighs and closes them as he sets his hand on top of Yukito’s. His touch is so very gentle despite the hard lines of pain he can’t seem to keep off of his face, his hand warm atop Yukito’s, and if he’s accepted Yukito’s touch this willingly then surely he isn’t upset with him. Yukito doesn’t understand why Touya looks like this, and then he does.

He doesn’t hate me. He loves me. And I just said…

“I’m sorry,” Yukito murmurs, drawing Touya toward him. Touya’s eyes open; he looks at Yukito with the same sad confusion that he has been trying to keep from showing. “I didn’t know that you…”

This time when he kisses Touya Yukito is not afraid. Touya melts into the kiss, dropping his hand from Yukito’s so he can wrap his arms around him and pull him in closer until Yukito is nearly on top of him. Touya kisses back as if starved, as if he’s scared they’ll never kiss again and he has to make the most of it. Yukito smiles against his lips as Touya’s arms go tighter around him, wondering distantly if Touya has spent as much time dreaming about this as he has. Touya tastes like cinnamon, tastes like lazy afternoons spent drowsing together in the sun, tastes like love.

Yukito kisses Touya until his lips hurt, but he has no intention of pulling away. Neither does Touya, apparently, until they have no choice because they still need to breathe. “Did you mean to kiss me that time?” Touya asks breathlessly when he finally leans back. His arms remain around Yukito, and Yukito thinks Touya was aiming for teasing but it comes out genuine. Yukito’s cheeks heat up and he nods, not trusting himself to speak yet. “Don’t scare me like that, man,” Touya complains, but he’s smiling the most unreserved smile Yukito has ever seen. Yukito can’t resist leaning up and kissing the corner of his mouth. Nobody has ever looked at him like Touya is now, not even Sakura when she had a crush on him. Yukito thinks he could get drunk off of it. “Can I kiss you again?”

Yukito’s face goes warmer along with his chest, a floaty, fluttery feeling in his heart. “Always,” he breathes sincerely. “Whenever you want.”

Touya laughs. Yukito might regret saying that, he knows, but he doesn’t care. Touya kisses him; Touya keeps kissing him, and Yukito would never ask him to stop, would never say no.

Touya loves him, and all is right in the world.