Taichi was painfully aware of Yamato. The way he crossed his legs, slightly bouncing his foot up and down to the sound of him gently humming the song he’d had stuck on his head all day. The look of his downcast stare concealed by his dark eyelashes, his chest slowly rising and sinking to the rhythm of his breaths and the quick tapping of his thumb on the Nintendo DS. Even to the scent of Yamato’s deodorant that was wearing off and was getting replaced by the distinct smell of sweat.
Or maybe that was Taichi?
Summer had barely begun but this room was getting painfully hot. Why were they even seated so close? It didn’t make sense. The room was super warm! And across his skin Taichi was beginning to feel sticky and gross. So the way their arms were suddenly pressed together had Taichi jump out of his skin. A completely logical reaction.
Yamato glanced skeptically at him.
“What got you so worked up? It’s your turn to play, stupid.”
“Oh! Right! Sure! Hand it over, fag!”
A second too late Taichi realized what he’d said. Without time to stop it or correct himself before Yamato had turned to look at him.
“Woah, did I say that?!” Taichi did his best to very casually turn his face away, not wanting to show off his flushed cheeks. Too bad for him he was red all the way to his ear and neck. “It must be the heat! It’s crazy hot in here!”
Silence followed. A painful one. Long enough for Taichi to wonder if his acting cool might not be so cool after all.
“The AC is on.”
Not… cool… at all…
“Is it? I can’t tell…”
“You’re acting extremely weird, Taichi.”
With the sound of his name Taichi felt a hand gently rest on his knee. A hand much colder than him. As if by a hidden force Taichi couldn’t keep his gaze away any longer and turned to look at the worried eyes directed at him. Analyzing him. Taking in his flustered face and the look of his sweaty skin.
“I just have something on my mind. Now, hand it over!” Taichi managed to not trip on the words and kept a straight face when he jerked the DS from Yamato’s hand and accidentally grazed his fingers. “So, Sora told me you had a tour booked with the band?”
Smooth change of subject. Very smooth.
Yamato didn’t really want to change the subject, not by the way he kept staring at Taichi and kept one eyebrow raised as he ever so slowly decided to actually answer the question.
“Not really. Our drummer is from Morioka so he managed to book us at a few places around there. It’s just six tiny shows spread out over 10 days. Nothing much.”
“Nothing much?!” Without thinking Taichi moved in and bumped Yamato with his shoulder. “That’s awesome! You get to do what you love and get payed doing it. If I got payed for playing soccer, wouldn’t you want me to be proud?”
“That’s true…” Yamato mumbled.
Taichi put on a big smile nudging his shoulder against Yamato one more time, only to realize what he was doing and he freaked out. They were side by side, sitting so close that Taichi could even hear Yamato’s relaxed breathing. Too close for comfort. Not when Taichi’s head was a mess and all he wanted was to either act natural or run away. Neither seemed possible and he just sat tense and started tapping away on the DS without really noticing what he was doing.
“By the way, our drummer gave me two tickets to the preview of that movie you wanted to see ‘so badly you could kill for it’, if I remember you correctly.”
“Well, good for you,” Taichi stuttered, trying not to think. Absolutely not think. He just kept button-mashing on the DS, trying to get into a fight as quickly as possible to concentrate on that.
“If I wasn’t being obvious enough I meant that we should go. You and me. The two of us. Get it?”
Taichi was beginning to sweat a river, his stomach knotting. “Whatwhyshouldwego?!”
“Because you wanted to see it and I have tickets?” Yamato put a hand on the top screen of the DS and forced Taichi to lower his hands. “Are you sure nothing is wrong?”
“I just think we should value our friendship!”
Taichi had not intended to say that.
Not at all.
If anything he’d intended to avoid everything that had to do with his reason for not being capable of acting like a normal human being. To not to let it slip at any cost. Keep it bottled up and act like nothing had changed. Not that it had! But just a day prior Taichi had found out about something so life-changing he now couldn’t act natural around that one person he’d always been able to show even his worst sides. Because if he could, then he wanted to keep their relationship the way it always had been. With this new knowledge of Yamato’s feelings and after Taichi had observed Yamato since he first opened the door that day, it seemed to get harder and harder to stick to that plan.
And now it seemed impossible when Taichi had gone and let the cat out of the bag.
“Wait, so that’s what this is about?” Taichi had not expected Yamato let out a relieved laugh. Taichi forced himself to look at him to ensure that he’d not been hearing things and to see that Yamato was, in fact, smiling. “I know I’ve been busy with school and the band lately but you don’t have to worry! Nothing can replace you. Especially not when you so stubbornly refuse to give up on me even when I act my worst.”
Suddenly Taichi had a set of revelations. About three things he was now absolutely positive. First, Yamato was transparent and had always been. Second, there was a part of him–and Taichi didn’t know how big that part might be–that was dead set on refusing himself what he wanted. And third, Taichi was unconditionally and irrevocably in love with Ishida Yamato.
Yamato slowly removed the hand from the DS, expecting Taichi to react to what he said, only for Taichi to ever so slowly look up and stare Yamato dead in the face.
“You just killed Pikachu.”