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Next To You

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1.

 

It wasn’t until they were in their own apartment with their own boxes surrounding them as they laid in their own bed that Sayo realised she had no idea how to fall asleep next to Yukina.

She’d been spared from such a fate in college, but despite always knowing that one day, she would move in with Yukina and share a bed with them, the reality was so much more intense than any hypothetical. Sayo didn’t know what to do; she was painfully aware of her every movement, and the way each part of her sat on the bed, and Yukina’s presence next to her. Every movement meant a million things, every breath was new and unsure. Sayo was in love with Yukina but right now she could hardly look at them.

Eventually, Yukina made the first move. They shuffled a little closer, making Sayo look up, startled. Instead of frowning at Sayo’s jumpiness, Yukina only offered a soft hand, finding Sayo’s under the covers. 

“You know, they say couples sleep better if they’re lying apart on the bed.”

Sayo didn’t say anything, feeling too out of her depth. But if Yukina was confident enough to try and combat Sayo’s awkwardness, Sayo was more than happy to let them.

“Yet I’d rather be close to you. Do you feel the same?”

Yes, Sayo wanted to say. Of course I want to be close to you. Even if she was struggling with this newfound situation, she wanted to adapt to it, to grow comfortable with Yukina in this new start. She hardly liked to think of herself as the person who ran at the first sign of difficulty anymore.

She was better than that. So she looked over at Yukina, properly, and attempted a weak smile. 

Maybe it’d get easier with time.

 

2.



Often, Sayo would find herself in bed with the lamp on, her reading glasses perched on her nose, a mystery novel in hand and Yukina curled against her side. It wasn’t as if Yukina disliked reading themselves, in fact they were quite fond of it, but they always claimed that when they were in bed it was ‘sleeping time only’.

But they could make an exception to watch Sayo, it seemed.

They would hardly exchange any words, all the communication that was needed was Yukina’s head gently nested in Sayo’s chest, the quiet sounds of their breathing, and their legs tangled together under the sheets. Sometimes, Sayo would reach her hand down to softly brush her hands through Yukina’s hair. She’d gotten very good at reading books one handed.

Yukina also had a habit of reading the words on the page aloud sometimes. Whenever they did this, Sayo would always look down with a soft sigh, because Yukina obviously always found a part completely different to the one Sayo was on.

And Yukina would always apologise with a sheepish smile, Sayo feeling the hum of their words against her heart. Tonight was one such night. 

“Sorry, Sayo. I just find the plot of this book very interesting.”

“Have you been paying enough attention to know what happens? I didn’t know you liked these kinds of books.”

“You’ve gotten very far into this one, so it must be worth something. I am very curious as to whether the mysterious man at the train station committed the murder, or whether it was the victim’s best friend.”

Sayo chuckled softly. “You should have said. We can read it together, if you want.”

Their eyes met. “Wouldn’t that be a trouble for you?” Yukina asked.

“Not at all. But perhaps not tonight, it’s getting late.” Sayo replied. 

Yukina looked as if they were about to complain, but eventually nodded as Sayo slipped in her bookmark and closed the book. With it on the nightstand, Sayo switched off the lamp and refocused her attention on Yukina, who was still by her side.

As Sayo shifted a little closer, she could make out Yukina’s frown. Curious, she asked: “What’s wrong?”

“Sayo.” Yukina said, lifting a hand to brush the metal. “Your glasses.”

Sayo blinked once, twice. “Ah.” she said after a while. “I see.”

Yukina’s other hand reached out, slowly slipping the glasses off Sayo’s face as Sayo’s eyes fluttered shut. “Were you planning to continue the book in your sleep?”

“Very funny.” Sayo remarked. “I suppose I won’t discuss the amount of times you’ve fallen asleep composing with your glasses falling down your nose.”

“Well, that was all for the good of Roselia.” Yukina replied as they put Sayo’s glasses aside and snuggled back under her neck.

“Of course. And I suppose spending hours lying in bed with me as I read is also for the good of Roselia?” Sayo teased, feeling in a rare mood to tease Yukina. After all, Yukina had decided to first.

Yukina only responded with a slight hmph at first, but a few minutes later just as she thought Yukina had fallen asleep, Sayo heard a quiet “No. It’s for the good of me.” 



3.

 

Concerts were always exhausting, and most nights neither Yukina nor Sayo had any energy to do anything but drag themselves through their night-time routine, throw off whatever they’d worn leaving the venue for pyjamas far more comfortable, and then bury themselves under the covers. They rarely exchanged words, especially not Yukina, who had just been belting their heart out on stage for two hours.

But they didn’t always need words; in fact, sometimes they would go hours with only the smallest of exchanges. The way Sayo passed Yukina her toothbrush and how Yukina put Sayo’s clothes in the laundry basket for her were tiny love languages of their own.

And they always had touch. Public affection was something neither of them particularly cared for, but in private they had long ago stopped worrying about being selfish or clingy. After a live, they tended to drift off to sleep facing each other, palms resting close. 

Falling asleep had always been difficult for Sayo, however, even when she was exhausted. She would zoom in and focus on whatever had gone wrong that day, and especially after a live, when she missed a beat or found the wrong fret from time to time, it sometimes felt impossible to get such worries out of her mind.

Yukina always listened to her, though, even when they were just as fatigued as Sayo.

“Did you hear my mistakes?” Sayo murmured.

“Yes,” Yukina replied quietly, “but I don’t care, and neither will you in the morning.”

“It was a part I know well.”

Yukina’s hand slipped over hers, fingers gently intertwining.

“Do you remember when I sung the wrong lyrics to Black Shout? If there’s any part I should know well it’s that,” Yukina chuckled, “really, our fans should have had my head for that one.”

Sayo couldn’t help but smile back as she felt Yukina’s thumb stroke against her hand gently as they continued: “If every performance was the exact same as all the others no one would be lining up to see them anymore.”

“So my mistakes are what keep making us money?” Sayo teased.

She almost thought Yukina would lightly hit her for that one, but they just smiled. “Yes. Now go to sleep.”

Sayo did, giving in to the demands of her body and letting her eyes fall shut, but not without one squeeze of Yukina’s hand back.




4.



“Yukina. It’s late.”

“Mmm… five more minutes. I just need to work this part out.”

Sayo took a seat next to Yukina, who was still hunched over their living room table, sheets messily spread out across it. Yukina and herself were both night owls, and prone to working into the small hours - but if Sayo didn’t do anything, Yukina would be here until the sun rose.

Yukina turned to her, and Sayo could see the exhaustion in their eyes. She reached out a hand to touch Yukina’s cheek, and Yukina leaned into it, eyes drifting closed, until they suddenly snapped open. “Sayo. You can’t do that to me.”

“Come to bed.” Sayo simply countered. “It’s warm, and comfortable, and your back will thank you for it.”

Yukina groaned. “I just need to finish this phrase and then - I’ll be done.”

But how long it would take for Yukina to be satisfied with the phrase they wrote was a different matter. As Yukina picked up their pencil again, Sayo suspiciously eyed the three cups of coffee on the table. She scooped them up, before saying: “I’m going to get you some water.”

Yukina didn’t protest as Sayo headed to the kitchen. As she filled a glass for Yukina, the only sounds in the house were the rushing of water and the soft ticking of the clock. Their street was quiet and dark, every blind shut and curtain pulled closed. It was like the world had gone to sleep for the night, but Sayo’s world was a fool who insisted on staying awake until such a ridiculous hour to finish their compositions.

But as Sayo re-entered the living room, she was met with an endearing sight.

Yukina had fallen back into the sofa, eyes closed and their mouth ever so slightly open. Sayo smiled as she set the glass of water on the table, before gently shaking Yukina. “Yukina. Wake up.”

Yukina’s eyes sleepily flickered open. “Whmfjdhdksk?”

“You fell asleep.” Sayo replied, too tired herself to offer much further explanation.

Yukina seemed to ponder this, eyes flickering over every piece of paper scattered over the table, for a long while, before eventually heaving a sigh. And then:

“I suppose… this can wait until morning.”

Sayo’s only response was to hand Yukina their glass of water with a small smile, fingers brushing more than necessary, once they stood up.



5.

 

Sayo frowned from the other side of the bed seeing Yukina’s phone screen still lighting up their face. The clock beside their bed indicated it was far too late to still be playing Candy Crush, or whatever it was Yukina was doing. Sayo didn’t actually know whatever had captured Yukina’s attention so fervently, as they were hardly one to use their phone in bed.

Sayo rolled over a little to peer at the screen. She didn’t know what she was expecting, but she was nonetheless surprised to see a picture of Lisa’s newborn daughter occupying Yukina’s attention.

“Did Lisa-san send another one?” Sayo asked.

“Mmm. The fifth today. Her phone gallery must be filled with these pictures.” Yukina said casually. “And it’s her own daughter, who she can see in real life any time she wants.”

“I think maybe she’s getting revenge for when we got our first cat and you bombarded her with pictures of him.” Sayo replied, continuing before Yukina could give any offended reply about how necessary that was. “Which I still support, by the way! But I think Lisa-san will eventually get tired. Being a parent to a newborn is so difficult, she’ll barely have the energy to pick up her phone soon.”

“Hmm… I suppose you’re right,” Yukina said, even though she still sent Lisa a picture of every single one of their cats weekly. “But you have to admit the little thing is quite cute.”

“Yukina, you can’t call Lisa-san’s daughter a ‘little thing.’ Lisa-san won’t appreciate that when we see her in person.”

“Okay.”

“Yukina.”

“I’m not insulting it,” Yukina said as they turned off their phone and put it on the bedside table. “And you make out Lisa to be much grumpier than I think she is. Parenting isn’t that difficult.”

Sayo raised her eyebrows. “I think it is. I have seen one too many newborn parents with so many eye bags they could start donating them to supermarkets.”

“They’re not special. I’ve had eye bags so long they’re a permanent part of my look.” Yukina said as they found their way to Sayo’s arms again, while Sayo gently rolled her eyes. “I could easily be a parent.”

“Having eye bags isn’t exactly a good thing- wait, Yukina.” Sayo suddenly sat up, looking at Yukina. “Are you being serious?”

Yukina seemed thrown off by her reaction, before shrugging. “...Perhaps a little.”

Sayo slid back under the covers, but without breaking eye contact. “Yukina! You should have said something earlier.”

“Well, we’re still relatively young, are we not? I didn’t see it as a priority. Lisa’s baby has just made me think a little, I was going to talk about it with you soon.” Yukina replied.

They’d had this conversation before a few years ago, but that was when they were still tearing it up in Roselia and taking care of anything more than a small cat was impossible. The conclusion that had been reached was that while neither of them were opposed to having a child, it was a matter to be considered for the future when they were no longer touring and settled fully into the cheesy domestic life Sayo had secretly always craved.

And that was what they had now, so it wasn’t exactly as if Yukina’s suggestion was too unexpected. Sayo took a deep breath in. “Well, my thoughts on the matter are unchanged. I would like a child, and if anything, now is the best time. There’s a lot to discuss, but…”

“Well, we can always talk about the logistics later. When we’re less tired.” Yukina replied. “If that’s what you’d like.”

“It is indeed. However impromptu, I am glad you mentioned it.” Sayo said, placing a gentle kiss on Yukina’s forehead, earning her a satisfied hum.

They laid there in comfortable silence for a few moments, Yukina tucking themselves more comfortably under the covers until their face was almost obscured, which was just the way they liked it. 

Then, while they were still awake, Sayo decided to voice a random thought that had occurred to her earlier in the conversation. “If anything, I’m just surprised that seeing Lisa-san deal with the stress of a newborn made you want to consider having a child again.”

The rest of Yukina’s head popped up from under the duvet. “Well… she does seem rather happy, does she not?”

Yukina’s logic was perhaps rather simple, but always unflinching and honest. “She does. And as you said… the little thing is very cute.”

Yukina only smiled at that as their eyes slipped shut.



1.



“I’m sorry, Yukina.” Sayo said, after a while. “I’m just a little intimidated with this, and the rest of the moving in process. I apologise if I am making anything difficult…”

Yukina quickly shook their head. “You are not. I would be a fool to judge you for being nervous, seeing as I am too.”

Sayo frowned. “You are?”

“Of course,” Yukina nodded. “I don’t get nervous at shows because I can prepare for those. We’ve never practiced how to share a bed, so it’s understandable we’re both feeling unsure.”

“I suppose that makes sense… But you’re still the one actually trying to overcome your nerves.” Sayo muttered.

“Nonsense.” Yukina said simply. “The fact you’re next to me right now says otherwise, does it not?”

Sometimes it was that simple. And yet Sayo couldn’t help but have the claws of insecurity still clutch at her.

Yukina could always tell. Golden eyes looking deep into green, they continued: “You are the only one I want to sleep next to, the face I want to see when I wake up tomorrow morning. So even though I am nervous about starting this next chapter of our life, there’s no one else I’d want to do it with. I don’t mind if you’re awkward or don’t have all the answers. I’m just happy that it’s you I’m moving in with, Sayo.”

And when Yukina phrased things like that, what else could Sayo do but listen? 

She wanted to apologise, for her foolishness, her immaturity, and her failings. But Yukina had accepted all those parts of her long ago.

“Thank you,” was what she opted for instead, her heart beginning to calm down. “And you know I feel the same way.” There was more to say, always more Sayo wanted to say to Yukina, but she would have other nights and days and years to do so. The thought made her feel lighter, made the sharp claws shrink away into nothing.

“I think we’d better go to sleep, Sayo.” was Yukina’s only reply, after a while, their lips still slightly upturned in the low light.

Sayo smiled gratefully and rested her palm back against Yukina’s.

“Yes. We should.”

They’d figure it out together.