He would often see him sitting with a book in his hands, and would rarely see him look anywhere else but its pages. Whenever he would go near him it would take Kaneki a while before he sees the blond man in front of him. Because of this Hide had developed tactics in order to get his attention. His favorite tactic was whenever he would exclaim Kaneki’s name with such glee.
“ Kaneki!”, he would say so loudly that the poor bookworm would almost drop his book. Hide’s smile would not falter in the slightest. “Kaneki!”, he would repeat and would place both of his hands on the other man’s shoulders; a gentle squeeze would follow. “ Want to grab something to eat ? My treat ! “
Kaneki hasn’t even recovered from the initial shock by being called in such a manner. The tinge of pink still lingers on his pale face and there Hide was offering him lunch. He couldn’t help but stutter with his response. “ I-It can’t be helped. S-Sure, let’s get food.”
Hide would never admit it but these small yet adorable qualities Kaneki had were what attracted Hide to him. And these small moments of intimacy wherein he would comfortably place his hand on Kaneki’s shoulders, and how he reacted to Hide whenever he was trying to get his attention was what Hide lived for.
“ I feel like if the egg came first then we won’t have any chickens cause we would have made an omelette with it.”, was Hide’s ridiculous response to Kaneki’s question. Kaneki couldn’t help but chuckle at his response, a smile already forming on his lips and wrinkles already appearing on the sides of his eyes. “ And you would have eaten it first Kaneki!”
Kaneki let out a hearty laugh out of that comment, and he had to put his hand on Hide’s shoulder so he could keep his balance. “ N-No...y-you..” Kaneki couldn’t even finish his reply cause he was laughing too much. He tried to finish but what came out were just a jumble of words that now made Hide laugh.
Kaneki couldn’t help but laugh with him and before they reached the intersection they were laughing so hard that Kaneki fell on him. The impact of the fall was almost strong enough to make them fall down to the ground. Fortunately, Hide had held his friend still with his hand on the small of Kaneki’s back. He looked down at him and gave him a smile. Kaneki looked like a distressed black kitten from the view up and Hide’s smile got wider. He laughed once more before helping him up “ Try not to fall on the way home, okay?” and just like that Hide had waved at his best friend goodbye, and took the opposite path.
There was blood all over his chest, blood around his head, and there was so much blood in his mouth that if he were to open it he was afraid that he would die right there and then. He looked up at the figure that had taken him into his lap. Kaneki looked different this time he had white hair, he was much leaner, but he looked very very sad. There were tears flowing down his eyes even if Hide’s eyes stung like crazy he could still see how tears flowed down Kaneki’s eyes.
Every little move made his bleeding body ache but he managed to raise his hand and place it on Kaneki’s cheek. His hold was so light, barely even touching skin. He looked at him with his bloodshot eyes, tried to smile and even though his mouth refused to do so he hoped that his eyes did. Hide shook his head as if to tell Kaneki to stop crying. Kaneki only shook his head back as tears continued to fall from his eyes.
Hide’s chest rose as he tried to laugh at his friend’s stubbornness but it only brought him pain. Every little move caused him pain and it was getting harder to see Kaneki. But he knew that Kaneki saw him crystal clear and he hoped to God that Kaneki would forget such a gruesome image.
“ D-Don’t...c-cry…”, there was an evident crack in Hide’s voice. His hand had dropped and before his eyes completely closed he saw how Kaneki tried to carry him away.
Hide was silent after that question. “ Why did you do it ?” kept repeating in his head over and over again. If he could use his legs properly he would have stood and placed his hands upon Kaneki’s shoulders like he always did. He would have said his name so loud that the whole hospital would have heard it. But he didn’t have the energy to do any of it.
His voice was still very low, soft even. It still hurt when he talked but if there was a time to finally tell Kaneki why he would go to such limits; that time would be now. He motioned him to lean down so he could take a better look at him. Kaneki, though confused, still followed. Hide had placed his bandaged hands on Kaneki’s cheeks and pulled his face a little closer to his own.
“ Why did I do it ?” Hide repeated Kaneki’s questions but instead of dread in his voice, there was a smile on his face. He leaned in closer until his mouth barely touched Kaneki’s ear. He took a deep breath and closed his eyes, his grip on Kaneki’s face became a little firmer. “ Why did I do it ?”, he repeated once more.
Before Kaneki could even respond or do anything else Hide was face to face with him, their noses touching. Hide chuckled and squished the white haired man’s cheeks and with a whisper he said “ Because I love you…”