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If Kaoru had to pick a word for this feeling, he’d choose ‘painful’. If he had to pick another, he’d probably pick ‘exhilarating’, or ‘all-consuming’. As it stood, though, there was only one word that truly described how Kaoru felt about Adam, and that was ‘infatuation’.

He wasn’t in love, he was smart enough to realize that this, this desire for anything Adam would give him was nothing more than a crush. But there were moments, however fleeting, where Kaoru could feel his heart race like he’d just landed an ollie for the first time. His head would start swimming, overflowing with possibilities that maybe, just maybe Adam was infatuated with him too.

Now was one of those moments.

They were in a restaurant, one of the fancy ones Kaoru’s parents saved for anniversaries and good report cards. Adam was seated across from him, scanning the menu as if he were reading the news, not deciding which fifty-dollar appetizer to order. Not for the first time, Kaoru found himself wondering if Adam had money.

“um, I can pay, if you don’t…” Kaoru trailed off. He didn’t know how to finish that question (was it even a question?) without sounding rude. Adam didn’t seem to mind, hiding his laugh behind a cough.

“don’t worry, cherry,” he said, sending Kaoru a teasing smile, “I never let the lady pay on the first date,” Adam winked and oh, if Kaoru wasn’t blushing before he sure as hell was now.

Cherry, he thought, choosing to focus on the nickname rather than the flirting. Adam had started calling him cherry blossom a few weeks ago. Kaoru had assumed it was a play on his family name, Sakurayashiki, with ‘cherry blossom’ being the English term for Sakura. Now, Kaoru wondered if there was, perhaps, a second meaning. Did Adam really mean it as a nickname between friends, or was it a term of endearment?

The idea of Kaoru being endeared to Adam made him warm, choosing to hide his face behind a menu. Adam smirked at his reaction. The next few minutes passed in silence, until a sharply dressed waiter arrived to take their orders. Adam ordered for Kaoru, picking an expensive wine to pair with their meal.

“I hope you don’t mind,” Adam started, brushing the toe of his shoe against Kaoru’s, “I ate here a little while ago, and I knew I had to bring you to try their signature dish,” his eyes twinkled, a gentle expression settling over his face. Kaoru’s heart was beating out of his chest. He was dying, he was sure of it. Kaoru Sakurayashiki was dying in the middle of a fancy restaurant because the boy he liked was smiling at him and, oh god, Adam was leaning closer why the hell was he leaning closer-

“thank you!” Kaoru said, louder than he meant to. A few patrons turned to look at them, but Adam didn’t seem to notice. A half-smile played at his lips.

“of course,” he sat back in his seat, reaching over to scan the dessert menu the waiter had left behind.

Kaoru forced himself to breath. He closed his eyes, counting to ten. When he reopened his eyes, he found Adam staring back at him. Fuck.

“we, uh,” Kaoru’s brain had stopped working. God, why was he such a mess right now? It was just Adam! They were friends, best friends. There was nothing to be nervous about. Just imagine we’re hanging out like always, Kaoru told himself. He took another breath, “we should bring Kojiro here some time, he loves stuff like this,” he said, trying hard not to blush under Adam’s direct gaze.

Adam hummed, wrinkling his nose. Fuck, had Kaoru said something wrong? Idiot, he thought, he just said this was a date, and you’re bringing up another guy?? Fucking nice one, dumbass-

“maybe,” Adam said, cutting off Kaoru’s train of thought, “do you think he’d enjoy it, though?”

Kaoru paused, “what do you mean?”

“Kojiro’s sweet…” Adam started, lip twitching into a smile, “but there’s not much behind the eyes,” his own eyes sparkled, meeting Kaoru’s as if they were sharing an inside joke. Kaoru laughed, suddenly breathless.

“you haven’t tasted his cooking,” Kaoru said, figuring he should at least try to defend his friend. Adam hummed, sipping the drink the waiter dropped off during their conversation.

“not as good as the food here, I bet,” he said. ‘not as good as what I can offer you,’ Kaoru heard, reading between the lines.

Adam’s eyes hadn’t left his, even as his head dipped down to taste the overpriced wine. Kaoru knew it was overpriced; he’d had the same kind a few months back at a party his parents threw. It was okay back then, but here, with the dim lighting and Adam’s raking gaze, it tasted like pure ecstasy. He downed it in one gulp, earning a delighted gasp from Adam. Kaoru’s throat burned from the mix of alcohol and pride.


Things only progressed from there. Adam took Kaoru to a new restaurant every week, they spent time learning each other’s drink preferences, if the other preferred sweet or spicy foods, and how many times they could get away with laughing until the manager kindly asked them to quiet down. It was amazing. Kaoru found himself looking forward to the weekends even more than usual, knowing that if he were lucky, Adam would sneak away from his chauffer, pulling Kaoru along until they ended up in some hidden nook, breathless and leaning against one another.

Kaoru was letting his mind wander, thinking about the last time they’d done that and the borderline hungry gaze that Adam had directed at him; he didn’t even notice the rock in his path until it was too late. His board jolted to a halt, sending Kaoru tumbling onto the smooth pavement.

“Kaoru!” large hands gripped his arms, pulling him up. Kojiro’s eyes darted across his body, checking for any cuts or scrapes. Kaoru brushed him off, wincing when his palms burned from the contact.

“I’m fine, ‘jiro,” he said, picking up his board, but his friend wasn’t budging.

“you’re an idiot, ‘s what you are,” Kojiro said, pulling a band aid from his back pocket. He reached for Kaoru’s hand, gently pressing the band aid over his scrapes, “what’s so important it’s got you all dazed like that?” he asked, trying awfully hard to sound casual.

Kojiro didn’t let go of his hand and, huh, wasn’t that something. Kaoru looked up at him, thoughts leaving his mind when he saw the soft worry in his friend’s expression.

“nothing,” he said, blinking to rid his brain of the fog, “just wondering where Adam’s gonna take me this weekend,” he moved past Kojiro, walking towards the half-pipe. He didn’t miss the way his friend’s shoulders tensed at the mention of Adam.

“right,” Kojiro sounded bitter. Well, he sounded like he was trying not to sound bitter, which was telling enough, “forgot you guys do that now,” he picked up his own board, following after Kaoru.

“it’s not that big of a deal-” Kaoru started, but Kojiro cut him off with a scoff. It was good-natured, but Kojiro’s eyes looked dim.

“I swear if you try to say you’re ‘just friends’ or some bullshit, I’ll push you off this half-pipe,” he was smiling again, but he hadn’t stopped gripping his board. Kaoru chose to ignore it, Kojiro would tell him if it was important.

“we are just friends-”

Kojiro laughed, shaking his head in disbelief.

“fuckin’ stupid,” he said under his breath, knocking his shoulder against Kaoru’s, “no, Adam and I are just friends, which is why he doesn’t take me to fancy dinners and buy me stupid jewelry,” he gestured at Kaoru’s ears, “thank god,”

“wh- I like this earring!” Kaoru said, punching Kojiro’s chest, “it suits me,” he tugged protectively on the earring in question. It was a thin, silver chain that connected to one of his cartilage piercings. A detailed heart charm hung from the bottom (Kaoru had turned red when Adam gifted it to him).

“sure it does, cherry blossom,” Kojiro teased, dodging Kaoru’s retaliation swing by tipping over the edge of the half-pipe.

Kaoru blushed, resenting the way his face heated at the use of Adam’s nickname.

“whatever,” he grumbled, skating down after Kojiro, “you’re just jealous,” he smiled, sending his friend a teasing smile. He wasn’t prepared for Kojiro to stop in his tracks, white knuckling his board once more.

“pfft,” Kojiro said after a moment. His voice came out strained. He spun around to face Kaoru, relaxed smile plastered on his face, “you wish,” he said, heading back up the half-pipe.

Kaoru wasn’t about to let that slide. He watched his friend carefully, noticing the way he pushed off a little harder than normal. Holy shit, Kaoru thought, puzzle pieces falling into place, Kojiro has a crush on Adam.

“hey dipshit,” Kojiro called, pulling Kaoru away from the realization. The sun had started setting a while ago and was nearly finished dipping beneath the horizon. Kojiro had his back to the water, hazy golden glow fizzling around him. Kaoru’s breath caught in his chest when he noticed the gentle smile Kojiro was sending his way, “you coming or what?”

Kaoru almost turned around to check if Adam was standing behind him, but no. Kojiro was looking at him like that, like he hung the moon in the sky. Kaoru’s eyes widened in his second revolution of the night. Fuck, he thought, gripping his board, Kojiro has a crush on me.


Kaoru didn’t have time to process that epiphany. Adam had called as the two were leaving the skate park, asking Kaoru to meet him under the overpass. Kaoru had sent an apologetic look Kojiro’s way, but the other was already waving him off.

“go be with your boyfriend, I can get home fine,” he’d said, and Kaoru really wished he’d missed the light flicker out behind his friend’s eyes.

Still, this was Adam. It’s not like he could say no, not when he’d sounded so provocative over the phone.

Kaoru ducked behind a pillar, searching for his friend’s tell-tale shock of purple hair, when he felt a hand grab ahold of his wrist. He shrieked, only to be muffled by another hand covering his mouth. He heard familiar laughter behind him as his assailant leaned towards his ear.

“shh,” Adam whispered, “my driver doesn’t know I’m here,” Kaoru let out a sigh of relief, sagging back against Adam’s chest.

Adam was laughing again, moving his hands to turn Kaoru around.

“you scared me,” Kaoru said, accusing tone softening under the weight of Adam’s gaze.

“oh really? I couldn’t tell,” Adam practically purred, wrapping his arms around Kaoru’s waist and pulling him closer. Kaoru’s heart skipped a beat. “I was going to wait until Saturday to do this, but I didn’t know if I’d be able to escape Tadashi,” his breath ghosted over Kaoru’s lips as he leaned closer, resting his forehead against his, “he’s gotten craftier, I think,”

There was a wicked smile on Adam’s face that made Kaoru’s knees wobble. His eyes widened when Adam tilted his head slightly, leaning in until their noses were touching.

“w- uh, wait to do wh- what?” Kaoru asked, shivers wracking his body when Adam cast a meaningful glance down at his lips. “oh,” Kaoru whispered.

Adam hooked a finger under Kaoru’s chin, tilting it upwards so their lips brushed against each other. Kaoru’s eyes fluttered shut, his hands moving up to grip at Adam’s hoodie. The kiss deepened, Adam leaning back against one of the support pillars and pulling Kaoru with him. It seemed to go on for hours, Adam pushing his hands through Kaoru’s hair, Kaoru sighing into every nip and kiss Adam gave him.

When they separated for air, Kaoru was shocked to find that barely any time had passed. Instead, he found Adam looking down at him with hooded eyes, swiping a calloused thumb over Kaoru’s lips. The action stung, and Kaoru didn’t realize why until he saw the blood on Adam’s finger.

“fuck, I-” Kaoru was cut off by the sight of Adam’s tongue darting out, licking the blood off his thumb. Kaoru’s mouth was hanging open. He really, really shouldn’t find that hot, but, well…

“’s okay,” Adam said and, fucking hell, he sounded winded, “I have to go now,” he said, pulling away until the only part of him touching Kaoru was a hand on his cheek, “but I’ll see you soon, okay, cherry?” Kaoru nodded, still in a daze. Adam laughed, ducking his head to press one more kiss against Kaoru’s abrased lips, “we’ll do this again,” he promised, winking at Kaoru before tossing his board down and, quite literally, skating off into the night.

Kaoru waited until he was just a blip on the horizon before he let himself sag against the pillar, sliding down until his head rested on his knees. A laugh bubbled up in his chest, and he bit his lip to hold it in, ignoring the sting. He smiled as he stood back up, reveling in the way his heart seemed to skip when he thought about what just transpired.


Kaoru and Adam met up more often after that, dinners turning into long nights, long nights turning into sleepovers, and sleepovers turning into breakfasts until Adam seemed to permeate every corner of Kaoru’ life. He was so caught up in Adam’s everything that he didn’t notice when Kojiro wouldn’t meet his eyes anymore (and if he did notice, he decided not to do anything about it).

He was curled up on top of Adam’s chest, hotel air conditioning making the curtains balloon away from the window. It was pretty outside.

“what’re you thinking about?” Adam asked. His voice was gravelly and low, sending shivers down Kaoru’s spine.

“Kojiro,” he said, knowing right away that was the wrong answer. Adam tensed beneath him. If Kaoru hadn’t become so accustomed to his every move, he wouldn’t have noticed.

“do you like him?" Adam asked, tracing a cold finger over Kaoru's spine. His voice was neutral, relaxed almost, but it sent Kaoru's heart racing.

Fuck, he thought, scrambling for an excuse.

"No, I-" Kaoru propped himself onto his elbows, looking down at Adam. Adam, in all his afterglow beauty, looked bored, disinterested in whatever words Kaoru would provide.

"It's fine," Adam said, eyes trailing over Kaoru's panicked expression, "I just didn't think he was your type."

"He's not!" Kaoru urged, trying to school his features, "he's just a friend, honest,"

Adam hummed, lips twitching into his signature almost-smile.

"Good," he pulled Kaoru back to his chest, scraping his nails through his long hair, "he's a good skater, but he's so large and brutish," Adam laughed, music to Kaoru's ears, before continuing, "almost like a gorilla,"

Something in Kaoru's stomach twisted at the comparison, but he brushed it off. Adam gave them all nicknames, it was fine.

"Don't you think, cherry?" Adam asked, tugging at Kaoru's hair in the way he liked. Kaoru nodded, yawning into his chest. Adam chuckled, stroking his back again, "go to sleep, blossom," he said.

His voice was filled with warmth, sending pleasant shivers down Kaoru’s spine. He was falling asleep fast, wondering distantly if Adam would stay until morning this time. 


“Kaoru, we need to talk,” Kojiro was walking towards him, board nowhere to be found. He hadn’t sought Kaoru out in weeks, barely even looked at him when they skated together. Now he was making direct eye contact, striding across the pavement with purpose. The contrast made Kaoru’s stomach flip.

“Kojiro? What’s going on?” Kaoru stood up, pushing his board around with his foot. Kojiro took a breath, stopping a few feet away from him.

“it’s about Adam.” He said. Kaoru felt the blood drain from his face.

“oh?” Kaoru was proud of himself for holding his composure. Please don’t confess, please don’t confess, please, he thought, watching Kojiro’s face for any sign of what was to come. Kojiro, for his part, looked completely devoid of emotion.

“I’ve gotta tell you something, and it’s probably gonna upset you, but I’ve been putting it off for a couple weeks and I-”

“Kojiro-!” Kaoru didn’t know why he cut the other boy off. Maybe to delay the inevitable, maybe to give himself more time to prepare. It didn’t matter. When he didn’t say anything else, Kojiro took that as a sign to continue.

“look, Kaoru, I know you like him,” Kojiro’s adam’s apple bobbed, he looked sick, “but he isn’t the guy you think he is.”

What? Kaoru was confused. Was- was Kojiro trying to slander Adam in an attempt to win over Kaoru? Surely, he knew that wouldn’t work. What angle was he playing at here?

“I don’t, I don’t understand,”

Kojiro clenched his jaw.

“I’ve been talking to some of the others, and they think, no, we know Adam’s been causing trouble recently,” he took a breath, “I’m talking some real serious shit here, Kao.” Kojiro’s voice turned soft at the end, like he was telling a kid their pet goldfish died. Kaoru was confused.

“what are you saying, ‘jiro?” Kaoru’s breathing was growing shallower by the second. Kojiro was lying, or the people he was talking to were, they had to be. Kaoru knew Adam, he could be a pretentious asshole sometimes, sure, but he wasn’t dangerous.

“he’s hurting people, Kao. I went and talked to a few guys in the hospital-”

“the hospital-” Kaoru scoffed, suddenly feeling winded.

“-they said he challenged them to a race, a cliffside race, Kao,” Kojiro had stepped closer at some point. Kaoru’s eyes were wide and disbelieving, but Kojiro pushed on, “they said he was testing them. Seeing if they were good enough to-” he cut himself off and, for the first time since he got here, Kojiro hesitated.

Kaoru sneered.

“spit it out, I can take it,”

Kojiro pressed his lips together, scanning Kaoru’s face. When he spoke again, he was quiet, as if he were afraid Kaoru would shatter if he raised his voice.

“he was seeing if they were good enough to be his Eve,” Kojiro was looking at him, sympathy twisting in his amber eyes. Kaoru recoiled as if he’d been slapped.

“why are you telling me this,” he whispered, sounding more like a hiss.

“because-”

“no, stop,” Kaoru shook his head, tears gathering in his eyes even as he started laughing. It was a wet, choked sound, earning him another pitiful gaze from Kojiro.

“Kao-”

“I said stop!” Kaoru spat, desperately trying to control his breathing, “I thought we were friends, Kojiro, I thought you cared about me,”

“I do care about you,” Kojiro wrinkled his eyebrows, staring at his mess of a best friend.

“then why,” Kaoru’s voice cracked, “why are you lying to me?” Kojiro blinked, confusion evident on his face. Kaoru didn’t notice, too caught up in his head, “or-or why did you believe other people when they lied? You know Adam, you know he’d-” Kaoru was shaking from some unknown emotion. He felt his knees give out from beneath him.

Kojiro caught him before he hit the ground, only to be pushed away. Kaoru leaned against the half pipe, eyes shining with unshed tears.

“Adam cares about me, he’d never-” he shook his head, “we’re happy, Kojiro, I don’t- I know him,” Kaoru felt his stomach clench, some horrible feeling twisting through his veins. When he looked up at Kojiro again, it was through darkened eyes. “you’re just jealous, aren’t you?”

Kojiro took a step back, eyes flashing.

“no, Kaoru that’s not-”

“it is though, isn’t it?” Kaoru pushed off against the half pipe. He wasn’t himself; he hadn’t been since Kojiro had arrived, but he didn’t care. He was mad.

“you’re jealous because Adam didn’t pick you, because I didn’t pick you, right?” Kaoru’s words were poison to Kojiro, splashing over him, dousing him like lighter fluid, “I thought you were better than this, I thought we were friends, Kojiro,” Kaoru was crying now, tears sliding down his cheeks, pooling in the bite marks still left on his lips.

“we are friends, Kaoru, I’m telling the truth,” Kojiro was close to tears himself, swiping at his eyes to try and keep them at bay, “I don’t care about you and Adam-”

liar-”

“-I’ve made my peace with that, it’s why I’m telling you now instead of when I first found out,” Kojiro forced the quiver from his voice, “I had to be absolutely sure, I didn’t want to ruin this for you,”

Kaoru was shaking harder now, leaning against the half pipe for stability. He didn’t want to believe Kojiro, he couldn’t, but he knew he did. Kojiro was a terrible liar, if he’d made all this up, Kaoru would’ve been able to tell from the very first sentence.

“you’ve always hated him,” Kaoru said quietly, already compartmentalizing, trying to make his brain move on, “why?”

“Kao-”

“I want to know,” Kaoru looked up at him, the heat in his eyes dying out. Kojiro sighed. So, this was how he wanted to do this. Fine.

“he thinks he's better than me," Kojiro said, clenching his jaw.

"That's cause he-" Kaoru stopped, that's cause he is. They were both breathing heavily, although Kojiro's exhales were growing shakier.

"Go ahead," Kojiro whispered, levelling a look at Kaoru, "say it, I know you're thinking it," he took a step towards Kaoru, and another and another until Kaoru was backed against the half pipe. Kojiro's breath hit his face when he spoke, "even after everything I told you, after everything you know, you’re still picking him?” Kojiro scoffed, “I'll never match up to him, will I?"

"Kojiro-"

"I'll never be enough for you," Kojiro took another shaky breath. Kaoru could almost taste the salt from his tears, "because it's not about talent, it's not even about morals, apparently," he paused, appraising Kaoru's pitiful gaze.

"Kojiro, I- I love him," Kaoru said, throat catching on the syllables, "I love you too but-"

"But not the same," Kojiro finished his sentence, pushing himself away from Cherry, "I’m sorry, Kao, I-I tried,"

Tears gathered in Kaoru's eyes, finally spilling over. No, he thought, don't leave, please don't leave.

Kojiro picked up his board, casting one last sorrowful gaze at Kaoru before walking away. Kaoru was alone.

His phone buzzed. Not now-, he thought, already knowing who it was. Adam’s caller ID showed up on the screen seconds later, and Kaoru felt a wave of exhaustion wrack through his body. For the first time since they met, Kaoru let Adam go to voicemail.


He ignored Adam’s calls for the rest of the week, barricading himself in his room when the weekend rolled around. Adam hadn’t tried texting him yet, Kaoru didn’t let himself wonder why. Instead, he watched Kojiro’s messages pop up, each one more desperate than the last.

The night after their confrontation:

Are you okay?

Did you get home safe?

Answer me, coward .

The morning after:

I’m sorry for what I said, it’s not your fault.

I was just mad, I shouldn’t have taken it out on u.

Noon on Thursday:

Kao?

I know you need time, lmk when u wanna talk about it.

I made cream puffs, I’ll drop them off on ur steps l8tr

That was the last text Kaoru bothered to read, holing himself up in his blanket nest. Kojiro didn’t message him again until Saturday night.

A couple of us are gonna try and catch Adam in the act tonight

U can come if u want

Kojiro had sent him a location. It was a scraggy cliffside, Kaoru remembered Adam mentioning it a few times before. His stomach dropped at the memory.

This was it. If Kaoru ever wanted closure, this was his chance. He swallowed, clicking on Kojiro’s notification.

What time?


“Kaoru,”

Kaoru froze. He slowly tucked his board under his arm before turning around. Kojiro wasn’t smiling like Kaoru expected him to be, instead, he looked exhausted.

“did you get the cream puffs?” Kojiro asked, trying, and failing to act nonchalant. Kaoru ignored him, walking towards the tree line.

“it’s over there, right?” he pointed up towards the mountain. Kojiro nodded, shoving his hands in his pockets. The two walked in silence, picking out a place to wait. There was a lot that needed to be said between them, but neither of them was willing to start that conversation. Kojiro picked at the sleeves of his jacket.

Kaoru was just about to ask how long they’d have to wait when the tell-tale rumble of skateboards reached his ears. They both perked up, eyes glued to the cliffside. Adam appeared first, but only barely. He was skating against someone Kaoru didn’t recognize, and the delighted expression he wore made Kaoru’s blood boil. He clenched his fist around his board, glaring daggers at the scene before them.

Just as Adam opened his mouth to speak, the other skater lost control of their board, tripping and tumbling down the rocks. Kaoru’s eyes widened at the sight, barely having any time to process it before Kojiro was pulling him up and marching into the clearing. Adam looked surprised to see them, but there wasn’t a trace of guilt on his face. Kaoru wasn’t breathing, only watching as Kojiro shouted accusations at Adam. Kaoru heard his own voice say something, felt his face twist in anger, but couldn’t remember why. Numbness was spreading through his limbs quickly, and he was glad when Adam skated away.

Kojiro picked up his board as if to go after him, but the pained moans of Adam’s victim stopped him. He grit his teeth, gesturing for Kaoru to help him carry the guy.

“we’ll get him to the hospital,” Kojiro said, glaring into space, “and then we’ll talk,” his eyes shifted to meet Kaoru’s, who could only nod in response.


They didn’t end up talking. Kaoru had collapsed onto Kojiro the moment they stepped into his room, chest heaving as he sobbed into his friend’s jacket. Kojiro had moved so they were seated on his bed, wrapping a blanket around Kaoru’s shoulders.

“at least,” Kojiro started, searching for something, anything, that would bring his friend comfort, “at least now you know?” Kaoru only sobbed harder. Fuck.

“I wish I didn’t,” his words were choked and messy, leaving tears and spit all over Kojiro’s jacket, “I wish you’d been lying, wish you were fucking jealous,”

Kojiro’s heart clenched. He rubbed Kaoru’s back, leaning so they were propped against his headboard. He ran a hand through Kaoru’s hair, trying not to focus on how it made his friend shiver.

Kaoru hadn’t stopped crying when he pushed himself up, bracing his hands on Kojiro’s chest. Tears leaked from his eyes no matter how much he tried to wipe them away, and he kept sniffling every few seconds. Kojiro couldn’t focus on that, however, because Kaoru was also very, very close.

Kojiro’s eyes widened when Kaoru leaned in, pressing their foreheads together. He sniffled, albeit quieter this time, brushing his wet nose against Kojiro’s cheek. Kojiro’s breath hitched. Kaoru tucked his face into Kojiro’s neck, seemingly trying to even out his breathing. What the fuck is he doing, Kojiro thought, suppressing a shiver when Kaoru started trailing his hands towards his hips.

“you,” Kaoru’s voice was muffled against Kojiro’s skin and fuck, if that wasn’t a turn on- “you said you didn’t wanna tell me,” he continued. Kojiro’s eyes fell shut when he felt Kaoru’s warm breath hit his throat, “said you didn’t wanna ruin things,” Kaoru lifted his head, Kojiro immediately missing the warmth. Kaoru looked down at Kojiro. He wasn’t crying anymore. “why?”

Kojiro almost missed it, if he hadn’t been focused on Kaoru’s mouth when he spoke, he probably would have. The single syllable rattled around in his brain until he realized Kaoru was waiting for an answer.

“you know why,” Kojiro said, voice thick with emotion. He didn’t want to say it, not so soon after Adam. Not when Kaoru was straddling his lap and looking at him like that and fucking hell, definitely not when his eyes were still red from crying.

Kaoru watched him, turning his answer around in his head before nodding.

“yeah,” he said, leaning into Kojiro’s space again, “I do,” his breath ghosted over Kojiro’s mouth, and he knew what was about to happen. He knew, but he didn’t stop it. He was powerless to prevent Kaoru from pressing his lips against his own, from scratching at his shoulders in search of a better angle. He was powerless to stop Kaoru from deepening the kiss, pressing their bodies together until there was barely enough room to breathe, the two of them gasping for air in between heated kisses.

Yes, Kojiro was completely powerless. He told himself that, justified his actions in every way he could until he couldn’t justify thinking, not when he had Kaoru like this, not when Kaoru had him like this. Kojiro focused on memorizing the sounds Kaoru made instead, the feeling of Kaoru’s nails on his back, the way Kaoru looked in that moment, and every single moment until he pulled away.

Kaoru didn’t look at him after that, burying his face in one of Kojiro’s pillows and turning away. Kojiro let him have that, telling himself they’d talk in the morning.

Kaoru wasn’t there when Kojiro woke up.

                                                                                                                       

                                                                                                                          BONUS:

Kaoru pressed his back against his door, locking it with shaking hands. He didn’t look at himself when he passed the mirror, refusing to examine the bruises he knew Kojiro’s mouth had left. Stupid fucking gorilla, he thought, collapsing into his blanket nest, no sense of subtlety. He eyed the clock on his bedside table, squinting when he couldn’t read the tiny numbers. He gave up, choosing to give his tired eyes a rest. His phone lit up beside him, making him groan.

“who the fuck-” any complaints died in his chest when he saw Adam’s message. Adam never texted, almost as a rule, but now there were three little words staring up at him, almost daring him to respond.

Where are you?

Kaoru watched as the typing bubbles appeared, air lodged in his chest.

You want to talk.

Kaoru shook his head, even though he knew Adam couldn’t see it. He was so tired. Kaoru almost didn’t reply, but he knew he had to finish this now when everything was still fresh. If he waited, he might forgive him. His fingers hesitated over the screen before hitting send.

No

Adam didn’t respond. Kaoru hoped he never did.