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Amour, amour

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It's been weeks since Takumi has come to the terrifying realisation that he likes Keisuke a lot more than he should. He isn't sure if that was the sole reason or just the last straw in a series of events, but fact is that this knowledge is excruciatingly difficult to live with.


Takumi's shoulders are slumped in the evenings from a long day of carrying furniture or under the scarily physical weight of his thoughts; he doesn't know. He imagines no one can see it, though someone probably did already. He's never subtle enough, and that's what he dislikes about his spot on the team: The center of attention has never been a place for him. Even less so now that he has to fear his secret coming out anytime, one long look too much or one careless word that slips out of his mouth and ruins everything.

All of it, the feelings, the attraction, the fear: they just become too much after a while of living with them. At night, he clenches his fists in his blanket and tries to bite back his sobs so he doesn't wake Keisuke, who is peacefully slumbering half a meter away from him. A distance that is decidedly too short for the longing in his heart, and it breaks out of him in salty tears he tries desperately to hold back. He will look horrible in the morning, eyes red and swollen from crying and from not enough sleep. It's not like it has been different last night, or the night before that, or…

In fact, Takumi can't remember the last time he got a proper night's sleep, without laying awake, doubts swirling in his mind and suffocating pressure on his chest in the darkness of his room. He doesn't remember when it started to feel this way, and sometimes he feels like he has always been like this. When he does fall asleep, it's only for a short while and he has troubles getting out of bed afterwards. It’s more difficult when the thing he sees once the sun has risen in the sky enough to flood the room with light is Keisuke, bleary-eyed and grumpy from his rest being disturbed.


It's a thing Takumi has found out during the last few weeks now that Project D strays farther away from Gunma with every challenge: Keisuke is not a morning person, he has one hell of a bedhead, and he likes western-style breakfast; the more bacon, the better.

Takumi can't bring himself to eat much in the morning. He always ends up taking just a few bites, enough to shut Keisuke up about how he eats so little, and watches the world outside the large windows or, if he's a bit less careful, Keisuke. One wouldn't think it when looking at him without any deeper knowledge, but his table manners are impeccable when he doesn't make it a point to act otherwise. He doesn't do that when Takumi is around. Of course, there's no use in playing the rebel in front of someone like him, someone who has started sleeping in the same room as him almost frequently now.


Sometimes Takumi wonders if Ryosuke knows; if he's setting this up to humiliate him further or to tease his brother. When he thinks about it some more, he knows it can't be true. Ryosuke wouldn't allow that to happen. He'd probably be disgusted if he knew. He might know about the other thing though, judging from the looks Takumi is getting lately, the eyes wandering over his tired and weary face and his slouched posture that reflects his feeling of all energy being sucked out of him.


Maybe he's leading everyone on, Takumi thinks. Why is he even here? He doesn't register the victories because they don't feel like victories anymore. The rush of joy and excitement is gone, even when Keisuke comes to give him a high five, grinning triumphantly and already bragging about his own victory.


It's terrifying.


Sometimes Takumi wants to run away from everything and not face Keisuke anymore, not face anyone from the team anymore. He doesn't feel like he has a place there anymore. Not when he keeps feeling that way about things. Not when he can't stay in the same room as Keisuke without choking on the feeling in his chest and when his heart threatens to spill from his tongue every time Keisuke looks at him or talks to him.

But he doesn't run away, because he knows that would be an even bigger disappointment.

As it is, he can only remain in the dim light of the hotel room and suffocate his sobs in the bedsheets.


When it's morning, Keisuke rises with a grand yawn, rubbing his eyes and blinking into the light.

"G'morning," he mumbles, almost inaudibly, and they both get up to get dressed for breakfast. Keisuke turns to look at Takumi. His eyebrows draw together in a small frown.

"You don't look so good, Fujiwara. Everything alright?"


Takumi can only nod.


What else can he do?