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Ramuda makes a habit of showing up to every required non-art course twenty minutes late with coffee (sometimes a smoothie if he’s feeling skinny), so of course when he gets to his Earth science lecture, there’s only one seat left. Ramuda doesn't really care, honestly, but he can’t help but take note of the fact that the boy next to him is kind of cute (and that his turtleneck is ill-fitting in the shoulders--Ramuda could fix that--it wouldn’t be hard).

 

Ramuda also notices that the boy actually takes notes on the lectures. Ramuda noticies this because he does anything but pay attention.

 

“So,” Ramuda chirps before the boy can pack up and leave, “How come you actually pay attention to the lecture? Like, these classes are literally jokes. Is it...artistic research?”

 

Wordlessly, the boy spins his laptop around so that Ramuda can see the screen.

 

It’s not notes on rocks at all- it’s a poem. Ramuda leans closer to actually read it, but the boy moves and closes it before he can.

 

“Rude!” Ramuda whines. “It looked so good too! You’re gonna have to get used to sharing your work with the world if you’re an art student, you know?” He adds in a cute pout for measure.

 

“It’s not done yet,” the boy frowns. “That’s all.”

 

“Boo, that’s boring. Ramuda!” He says, pointing to himself.

 

“What?”

 

“Ramuda! That’s me!” Ramuda sing-songs, giving the boy a wink.

 

“Ah. Then, I’m Miguel.”

 

“Eh? Really!? Are you foreign-born? That’s so co-”

 

“That was a lie.”

 

“Rude!” Ramuda exclaims in over-acted shock. “How could you trick lil’ ol’ me like that? I really might cry!” Ramuda makes his bottom lip wobble- it’s a trick he’s perfected over the years.

 

“All right, all right, I’m sorry. Here- if you can guess my name, I’ll tell you.”

 

“Oh! Okay! I got it then, I got it!” Ramuda bounces in his seat. The professor looked like he was waiting for the two of them to get out of his classroom. Whatever. “Your name...definitely... isn’t Miguel! So, since I got it right! Tell me!”

 

“You can’t win that easily.”

 

“Come on, I just did! Tell me! Tell me, tell me, tell me-”

 

“Yumeno Gentaro.”

 

Ramuda laughs, sticking out a hand. “It’s very nice to meet you, Yumeno Gentaro! I’m just gonna call you Gentaro though, ‘kaysies?”

 

Gentaro shakes Ramuda’s hand. His grip is kind of weak and his fingers curl around Ramuda’s hand (it’s small and Gentaro’s fingers are long), but he smiles at Ramuda all the same.

 


 

 

Ramuda doesn't know what possesses him, but he’s twenty-five minutes late to the next lecture because he gets a second drink, instead of picking up just the one.

 

“You didn’t have to get me anything,” Gentaro says, accepting the drink.

 

“Mhm, but I felt like it! It can be our one-day friendiversary gift! I didn’t know what you liked, so I guessed- you seem like a tea boy.”

 

“We won’t be celebrating our friendiversary every day, will we?” Gentaro quips, mouth moving around the word ‘friendiversary’ as if he’s never even heard it before. He takes a sip of the drink. “It’s good. How much? I should be able to pay you back…”

 

“Uh, didn’t I just say it was a gift?” Ramuda waves a dismissive hand. “You can owe me a favor, if you still wanna pay me back, though! Ramuda never says no to favors!”

 

“I suppose I’m in your debt, then.” Gentaro sighs dramatically, stirring his drink with his straw. Ramuda giggles.

 

“Dude,” Dice says after Ramuda’s come back from school, “You’re usually on your phone like...all the time but this is a bit too much even for you. You waiting for a girl to text you or what?”

 

Ramuda, for the record, never waits for anyone to text him. He’d written his number on Gentaro’s hand after their lecture and is just waiting to add Gentaro into his contacts. That’s all.

 

“I bought you a burger and big fries. You don’t get to lecture me about my habits. And I never have to wait for ladies to text me, for your information!”

 

Dice snorts and then chokes on his burger a little. Good.

 

Ramuda’s phone buzzes- not an unusual occurrence- but he’s gotten a text-text. He exchanges SNS with just about every cute girl he meets, but the only people that have his phone number are his mom and people who he considers his friends (Dice but now, Gentaro, too).

 

Gentaro’s text is kind of long, but it’s cute that he seems worried about having the wrong number. Ramuda saves Gentaro’s name with a ghost emoji (just feels right), and shoots a text back.

 

It’s just because Gentaro is interesting, and Ramuda likes interesting people. He thinks that very firmly.

 

“While I’m thinking about phones,” Ramuda says dryly, “Have you gambled the one I got you off yet?”

 

“No- why do you always I assume I gamble the shit you give me?”

 

“You usually do?”

 

“...Shut up.”

 


 

gentawo!! we’ve been friends for 5 DAYS and NOT ONCE have we GONE OUT??? WHAT

 

...We’re both full-time students, Ramuda. It’s a little unrealistic to assume we’d be going out together every day.

 

so cold!! im gonna cry irl!! (;w;)!!

 

Ramuda’s looking at his phone expressionlessly, but Gentaro doesn't need to know that.

 

If it hurts you so much to entertain the thought that I cannot be with you every second of every day, why not just go out now?

 

:0!!!!!!!! you mean it ???? i wuv you so much!!!!! <3<3<3<3<3<3

 

That was a lie, I really am busy. But, I won’t be this coming Sunday.

 

BOOOOOOO fine!! you better not back out!! >:c

 

I’ll make sure not to make such a grave mistake.

 

Ramuda threw his phone to the other side of his (admittedly very large) bed. Now, it was time to figure out just where exactly to take Gentaro.

 

Ramuda was having a bad time deciding where to take Gentaro, he decided approximately half an hour later. He had tons of cute date spots to take pretty ladies, but where did you take Yumeno Gentaro?

 

Another half hour. Ramuda settles on a coffeeshop a literature student girlfriend had recommended a while ago. It at least looked like a place write-y types would like.

 


 

If there’s one thing Ramuda’s good at, it’s making people like him. It’s a practiced art, and a exact science. To be universally liked and still unique- difficult, but achievable for someone like him.

 

So, four arthouse indie films, one pair of broken fabric scissors, and a cropped denim jacket later Ramuda feels ready.

 

“You look different,” Gentaro quips when they meet by the station.

 

“I don’t know what you mean,” Ramuda chirps. “I’m the same as always?”

 

“Of course,” Gentaro says, giving him a searching look. “My mistake.”

 

Ramuda feels ice cold. “Mmm, maybe Gentaro isn’t feeling well?” He asks, smile bearing just a little too much teeth.

 

Gentaro puts on a voice of a frail old man. “The winter has been harsh on this old man.”

 

Ramuda laughs, high and bubbly and cute. “It’s fall!”

 


 

“Shut UP!” Ramuda shouts, two years younger and much much angrier. “You can’t just, just, examine me! You think you’re so high and mighty- you think you can just throw me away after you get bored of me!”

 

“Amemura-kun, if you listen to me-”

 

“No! Shut up! I’m tired of listening to you!”

 

Ramuda groans and rubs his temple. Only half a can of Dice’s cheap beer and already thinking about unpleasant things. It’s more than a little pathetic.

 

“You alright, man?” Dice asks from across the room.

 

“Fine! Just wondering how Dice can drink this nasty stuff? Or where he even got the money for it!”

 

Dice cusses at him, but drops the matter.

 


 

Ramuda knows everything about everyone. It’s one of his charm points! But, sometimes there’s things that even he doesn't know!

 

Another one of his charm points is finding those things out quickly!

 

He just hopes the metaphorical They are right when they say that drunk men tell no lies.

 

“And you’re positive it’s not you who buys this,” Gentaro says dryly while emptying a can into a glass.

 

“Um, yeah? It’s really all my roomie, I swear!” Ramuda’s pacing himself- cheap, watered-down-at-the-factory beer is still beer, and Ramuda only pushes 50 kilos soaking wet, heavy jackets and cardigans included. It’s a good thing they’re at least eating (Ramuda found a coupon for delivery pizza).

 

The roommate that I’ve never met or seen?” Gentaro raises an eyebrow.

 

“That’s the one! He’s so-o-o noisy, so I kicked him out for the night!” Ramuda says cutely.

 

The night continues on in a similar fashion, until Ramuda notices the flush plastered across Gentaro’s face. Time to set the trap, he supposes.

 

“Hey, hey, Gentaro!” Ramuda stage whispers conspiratorially. “How come you wanna know so much about lil’ ol’ me?”

 

Gentaro sighs, letting his head loll to the side. “I like people…I like their stories. You know that- we people watch all the time.”

 

“I don’t get it, Gentaro...explain it?”

 

Gentaro takes a drink from his glass, scowling at the taste. “You refuse to be more than Amemura Ramuda, the flirt most everyone knows and follows on Twitter. I just want...to see you be a normal...a nor-” Gentaro claps a hand over his mouth, and darts to the bathroom.

 

Ramuda flops back onto the couch. It feels like too much- his head’s swimming from more than just alcohol and for once, he just doesn't know what to do. Other people thought the real Ramuda ugly, inside and out- he learned that one early on. Gentaro just didn’t know what he was getting into. Something like that was just too deep for friendship. (Or any kind of relationship, his mind supplies helpfully).

 


 

The fact that Gentaro's whole life doesn't revolve around Ramuda is something he understands on a conceptual level- he knows all about the sick friend of Gentaro’s, after all.

 

Seeing it in practice makes him nauseous.

 

Ramuda’s making a rare trip into the library to do a favor for one of his girlfriends (she’ll owe him one back for sure) when he catches a glimpse of...Ramuda doesn't really care too much to be honest- but it’s a group of the creative writing kids doing their thing and Gentaro’s in it and Ramuda hates it.

 

“It just seems like kind of a hassle to meet with them every week?” Ramuda says after their shared lecture, digging through his bag to make sure he had brought his big pincushion (he was clocking in a lot of studio hours today) despite knowing for a fact it was already there.

 

“It’s quite the bother, you’re right,” Gentaro is putting his laptop into a protective sleeve. “That was a lie, though. Their constructive criticism is valuable.”

 

“I guess,” Ramuda says, moving a few pins around on the cushion for show.

 

Gentaro lets that be the end of it- they don’t talk about it any longer.

 

(Ramuda almost feels relieved.)

 


 

Gentaro’s gotten it in his head that going out tonight to see a meteor shower would be a great source of inspiration- maybe even for the both of them. Ramuda doesn't have the heart to tell him that he’s never had to find inspiration before- he’s just that good.

 

So, anyway, because Ramuda can’t say no to a pair of pretty green eyes anymore, they’re taking a bunch of blankets up to the roof of their dorm building. Ramuda’s sure the light pollution in Shibuya will be too much to see anything, but his point about green eyes being pretty still stands.

 

They get cozy and it’s a good ten minutes before anything happens but oh. You really can see something.

 

Gentaro’s lips part just a little and Ramuda lets his stupid traitor eyes and stupid traitor mouth move before his smart, non-traitor thoughts can catch up with them. “Gentaro, I want my favor,” he says a little too loudly. “Kiss me. Right now.”

 

“I won’t- I mean-” Gentaro’s bright red, “-that’s a lie.” Gentaro then seems to decide the next best course of action is to avoid putting his foot in his mouth even further entirely by just shutting up and doing what Ramuda says.

 

Gentaro’s wearing just a little too much chapstick, and Ramuda can taste it on his tongue but he doesn't even care- Ramuda should be closing his eyes but he can’t get over how stupid long Gentaro’s eyelashes are.

 

Their teeth click and they jolt apart, startled out of the moment.

 

“Ramuda,” Gentaro says. “You owe me a favor, now that I’ve done you one.” Ramuda wants to argue- that’s definitely not how their agreement worked, but keeps his mouth shut for once.

 

“Kiss me , right now,” Gentaro says in one breath and Ramuda doesn't have to be told twice.