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How The Zims Made Langa's Life Worse (Actually Better, But Miya Begs To Differ)

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The sky was a dark, dark grey. The sun was nowhere to be seen, the only light source being the multiple street lights that illuminated the usually sunny and warm Okinawa. Clouds managed to hide even the brightest of stars, and white streaks of light split the heavens, accompanied by the deep growl of thunder. The sound of rain pitter-pattering against the windows of the Kyan residence did nothing to hide Langa’s very audible groan.

It was an awful day. The thought that skate was infinite since it could be practiced anywhere and at any time had been quickly dismissed by a very worried mama Kyan, who was against them going outside while it rained cats and dogs. Many protests and a broken vase later (courtesy of a very upset Reki and his expressive hand gestures), the two boys were now in Reki’s room, with their skateboards locked away in the garage, or Reki’s super-duper-cool-workplace, as the redhead liked to call it, the key resting in mama Kyan’s apron pocket, safe and sound.

Langa let out another groan and glanced at Reki from the top of his book. His best friend had finished his homework in a matter of minutes, much to Langa’s surprise. Based on Reki’s grades, Langa expected that studying wasn’t his forte, or that he would struggle a little. But no , Reki had solved four very difficult algebra problems in about ten minutes, wrote two 200-word essays in fifteen, and could recite their history lesson by heart after a few times of reading it. And when he was done, he helped Langa memorize the text and showed him the most efficient way of approaching his remaining assignments.  Langa was amazed to say the least, but most importantly, he was curious (or rather, troubled) as to why Reki’s grades were well um…shitty.

When he had voiced out his thoughts, Reki had laughed; a warm, melodic belly laugh (Langa would rather die than admit out loud the way that his heart did a whole gymnastics performance at the sound). He was then informed that Reki didn’t care about school since his brain was filled with skateboards, ‘S’ and Langa (and yes, Langa-Snow-The Prince-Hasegawa could now officially add the title ‘ Tomato’ to his long list of names considering the full-blown blush that painted his face red at Reki’s last statement), so he rarely did his homework. Today was an exception since his mother ‘ decided to through a fit’ and ‘we had no other choice, at least you’re here with me’ and okay, he was Langa-Snow-the Prince-Tomato-Hasegawa now, what to do, Reki happened.

That was an hour ago. Reki was sitting on his bed with his back against the wooden wall, his phone in his hands. His dark, blue duvet was resting at his feet and he would bring it to his lap from time to time, only to huff in frustration and throw it back a few moments later.

Langa found it quite endearing if he wanted to be honest, which he didn’t, feelings were embarrassing, his (very homosexual) thoughts about Reki were for himself and himself only , thank you very much.

The blue-haired boy was hunched over Reki’s small, wooden desk with a book and a pencil, and he was supposed to be practicing his kanji. Keyword; supposed to . Instead, he kept looking out of the window that was directly in front of him, wishing that he could go outside and skate with Reki. He would pretend to be doing what he was supposed to be doing every time that he heard his best friend groan or huff like a kid caught stealing candy. He would look up every once in a while, only to find Reki staring intensely at his phone, with the tip of his tongue poking out from his very kissable— ahem from his lips in concentration.

At first, Langa was certain that Reki was watching a skating video and was a tiny bit (read; a shit ton) disappointed that the redhead was watching them on his own, without asking the opinion of his (very gay, please someone help him ) best friend who had been struggling over writing the word ‘depression’. For God’s sake, why would someone need to take so long to write a single word? Langa was going to be depressed from how many times he had to write and re-write it for it to be legible.

After observing for a while longer, Langa concluded that Reki was not in fact, watching skating videos. A small part of him was (too) content that he hadn’t been ‘left out’ from their usually shared activity. Another part of him was starting to get a little concerned; Reki had been tapping his screen with vigor. The angry tapping of the screen was getting louder than the sound of the rain outside, and Langa was worried that Reki would pierce his finger through the device from the seer force that he was using.

He pretended not to notice until the tapping became, grunts, exasperated sighs, and facepalms that looked a little too painful. The blue-haired boy longed to ask what was going on, but one glance at his extra homework and he was fussing over how he had written ‘green’ instead of ‘fate’ for the nth time that afternoon.

After half an hour of staring lovingly at Reki and losing his shit over Japanese, he was startled out of his daze by a loud cheer.

Reki was jumping on his bed excitedly, punching the air and yelling something along the lines of ‘let’s go!’ and ‘fucking finally!’ , which was followed by an irritated ‘shut up!’ by someone who sounded suspiciously like Koyomi.

“Reki, what are you doing?”

“Oops, did I disturb you?” the redhead’s celebratory mood was momentarily paused in favor of Reki looking apologetically at him.

“No, I couldn’t focus anyway. What happened?”

“Here, come see!” Reki grabbed his hand and dragged the other boy to his bed. He put his hands on Langa’s shoulders and pushed him, his unique (albeit aggressive) method of telling him to sit down. A phone was shoved in his face—correction; Reki’s phone was shoved in his face. Langa squinted at the brightness of the screen. Reki sat next to him on the bed, practically bouncing from the new wave of excitement.

Langa took the smartphone in his hands and Reki leaned in closer, his warm breath tickling his neck. The Canadian suppressed a shudder and tried to focus on the screen in front of him.

Reki had been playing what Langa assumed was a simulation game. They were currently watching two men, one with green hair and one with bubblegum pink long hair, sitting on a white couch (wow the graphics looked good) and chatting animatedly. Occasionally they would blow kisses to each other and the man on the right, Pinkie, as Langa had dubbed him in his head, would grab Green’s hand and bring it to his face, looking happily at it for whatever reason, before placing a kiss at the back of his hand and then letting go.

“Reki, what are we looking at?” Langa asked, completely lost. What was this homoerotic display supposed to mean? Why did Reki have two tiny men kissing each other on the couch of what Langa guessed was their shared apartment? Did Reki enjoy watching tiny people being happily in love? Was that Reki’s way of coming out? Was Reki gay? Did Langa have a chance? Or was Reki’s love life so mild that he decided that watching two virtual creatures hug and kiss was satisfactory? Because if that was the case, Langa volunteered as tribute. He could cuddle Reki and kiss him and hold his hand and buy him things and and and—

Okay, that was embarrassing calm your horses Sir Langa-Snow The Prince-Tomato-Hasegawa. He turned his attention back to his cru—um his best friend.

“It’s the Zims!”

“Reki, I have no idea what that is.” he deadpanned. Langa had heard that fellow members of the ‘alphabet mafia’ used artists or songs to indirectly ask someone’s sexuality, was this something similar? Was saying ‘I play the Zims’ an innuendo of some sort? Langa never quite understood the concept of indirect phrases. Say that you like boys please and thank you, I am too in love with you to accept any other answer, please my kind sir—

Reki let out a loud gasp and placed his hand over his heart in mock offense. “It’s the new simulation game! It came out the day before yesterday, everyone is playing it! You know, ‘The Zims’, the game with the greatest graphics, endless options, and amazing gameplay, for the price of zero yen!”

“No Reki, I in fact do not know. Is it that good?” Langa asked, tone questioning and eyebrows furrowed. Okay, so it probably wasn’t some kind of innuendo, which was a disappointment according to the blue-haired boy, but he willed his face to remain expressionless as not to betray how confused he was.

“It’s amazing! I have been playing for twenty-three hours straight—“

“Twenty-three hours!?”

Did Reki even sleep?! What kind of idiot spends twenty-three hours on a videogame?! Well, apparently this idiot. His idiot.

“Yeah, and I’ve made a lot of progress! I managed to make enough money to buy this huge house for my Zims and get them promoted and look they have a dog and I named him Adam because you know Adam is a little bitch—“

“You named their dog Adam—“

“And their other dog is Snake because I saw Adam calling him puppy in a dream once and Snake barked!”

Okay, Langa was having an aneurism. Reki had spent a whole day playing this game and he named his characters’ dogs after real-life people. When Reki talked about ‘endless possibilities’, Langa wasn’t expecting that. Was it actually possible to recreate real-life people in the game? Well, that didn’t explain why two men were making out—oh my God they were making out?! Pinkie was in Lettuce’s lap and they were passionately kissing oh God—

“Why are there two men trying to eat each other’s faces on your couch?”

Reki squawked. His face was so red that it matched his crimson hair. “Couldn’t you have phrased it a bit more appropriately?! It’s not like I’m controlling them right now, they’re doing this on their own! They just got engaged after all!”

“You spent twenty-three hours trying to get Pinkie and Cucumber…engaged?” Langa was so utterly lost. Why would Reki spend a whole day playing just to get two ‘Zims’ as he had called them, married?

“They’re not Pinkie and Cucumber! Take a closer look! I made them realistic enough!” Reki protested, and he would have probably been offended if he wasn’t already used to Langa’s bluntness.

So Langa, being a very confused lovesick fool, complied and tried to zoom in. Thank God that the two characters had stopped their previous actions.  Cabbage was now cooking, while Pinkie was admiring a painting. He found the ‘pause’ button at the bottom of the screen and clicked it so that he could get a closer look at the Zims without them moving around.

Pinkie was tall and lean. He had fair skin and was wearing a dark blue yukata. His long pink hair was in a high ponytail and his bright, golden eyes were ‘hidden’ behind a pair of glasses that framed the man’s angular face.

Basil, on the other hand, was tall and beefy. Like extremely beefy. His muscles were obnoxiously large and Langa didn’t know how to feel about that. He was tanned and his dark green hair was a lot shorter and a few leaf-colored locks fell in front of the man’s red eyes.

After studying them for a while, Langa came to a conclusion that he prayed to every deity that he knew for it to be wrong.

He opened his mouth, a horrified expression making its way to his face. “Is that… is that Joe and Cherry …?” his voice was barely a whisper and please Reki, my love, prove me wrong I can’t deal with this information—

Bingo! After so many agonizing hours I finally managed to get Cherry to accept Joe’s proposal! Who knew that Cherry would be as stubborn as he is in real life?” a soft chuckle escaped Reki’s lips.

Langa had no idea how to utilize this information. Reki spent a whole day playing a game just so he could get the virtual versions of two very real men fall in love and tie the knot. Their two very real male friends. Who they hang out with every week.

Questions ranging from ‘how are we supposed to face them now?’ to ‘why would you want to do that?’ and finally to ‘do you enjoy watching them kiss?’ were swirling around his mind. He was aware that his thoughts were all over the place, thank you very much, but for a poor gay boy with a gigantic crush on his (probably) straight best friend who just told him that he wasted literal hours to get their friends married in-game was a lot to take in.

Noticing his silence, Reki waved his tanned hand in front of Langa’s face. Such a nice hand, he wanted to hold it so bad—

He was, once again , getting sidetracked.

“Earth to Langa! Hello, anyone in there?” the redhead flicked his best friend’s forehead.

“Ouch!” Langa rubbed his, now red, forehead and tried to glare at Reki, but his gaze held no actual hatred, thanks to his train of thought that was going 90 miles per hour. Oh great , there was some background screaming to accompany this hell of a trip too! Now, it might seem as though Langa was over exaggerating and maybe he was being a little bit too dramatic about the whole thing, but can you blame him?

 “Dude, are you okay? I didn’t hurt you, right?”

“Yeah, I’m…peachy. Just thinking…” he said, like a liar. Okay, it was technically the truth, he had indeed been thinking. About those calloused hands of yours that I want to hold, and that you’re not homophobic and that Miya is apparently not the only one who ships Joe and Cherry.

“Careful now, that’s dangerous,” Reki’s joke earned him a (softer than Langa would like to admit) bonk on the head. It was quite funny how Langa was getting a headache from this while Reki looked…well, like normal Reki. An easy smile on his lips, oh, his lips look so kissable —no Langa, bad Langa—, headband slightly askew and eyes twinkling with excitement as if he hadn’t been ordering two men to make out with each other for the past day or so.

“A yen for your thought?” the other teased.

“When Joe and Cherry learn about this, they’re going to kill you.”  Going with the safe choice. Call him a coward, but Langa did not have the guts to ask Reki how mentally unstable he was to find joy in watching virtual Joe and virtual Cherry kiss, own a house, and two dogs.

“Not ‘when’ , Langa, ‘if’ . Joe and Cherry are going to kill me if they ever find out about this,” Reki had leaned closer, raised his pinkie, and was smiling slyly at him. And Langa might be going crazy, but he could swear that Reki’s eyes were shining. Like two tiny suns, lighting up the room, which suddenly didn’t look as dark or as dull as before ( thanks, clouds ).

Langa reluctantly linked their pinkies together and God , what was brighter than the sun, because if Reki’s eyes were suns then that wide smile that appeared on his face must be something divine.

Simp , a small voice in his head that sounded an awful lot like Miya whispered.

Child, I swear, get the hell out of my head.

Cue a very familiar manic laughter.

Somewhere in the distance, Carla was searching up the nearest pharmacy, since Kaoru and Kojiro had been sneezing for the past twenty minutes.

 


 

Langa grunted against his pillow. He had been sleeping peacefully (and enjoying the dream that his brain had picked for him) but his goddamned phone wouldn’t stop buzzing. Every vibration would make his not-so-stable bedside table shake, and hit the wooden frame of his bed. Talk about annoying.

A glance at the digital clock, which thankfully hadn’t fallen off from all the shaking, had him groaning once more. It was 3 AM. Who in the ever-loving fuck was texting him at 3 AM?! Who dared to disrupt his sleep? Was human decency not a concept anymore? That dream was so good , Langa was going to murder the sender.

He patted the bedside table’s surface, almost knocking the poor alarm clock off (nothing remained standing for too long in Langa’s room) when his hand came in contact with his phone. He decided to grab it, since a piece of shit managed to wake him up for whatever bullshit reason.

He cringed at the eye-blinding brightness. Clicking on the messenger app, he mentally prepared himself to start beef at 3 in the fucking morning , and immediately regretted everything when he checked his notifications.

9+ new messages from; Reki <3

I’m so sorry Reki, my love I didn’t mean what I said, I would never talk like that about you, I love you please forgive me, Reki I apologize it was very stupid of me, please—

Reki (2:58)

Langaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

Reki (2:58)

Hi :D

Reki (2:59)

Are you awakeee

Reki (2:59)

I need helpppp

Reki (2:59)

Pls

Reki (3:00)

Langa buddy pls

Reki (3:00)

This ix an emrgency pls respond if u r awake

Reki (3:01)

Langa

Reki (3:01)

R u sleeping

Reki (3:01)

Tjis is very importsnt pls respond

Reki (3:02)

Langaaaaa

Reki (3:02)

Langaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

Reki (3:02)

:((((((((((((

 

You (3:03)

Reki are u okay? What is going on?????

Reki (3:04)

Oh ur awake finally

You (3:05)

Yeah and im also v worried are

 u okay?????? You said there was

 an emergency????

Reki (3:06)

Yeah lol I’m okay

Reki (3:06)

Im glad u r awake I need to aks

u sum very important

You (3:07)

Im glad u r not being murdered in the middle

of the night you had me worried for a sec

 

You (3:07)

Im listening

 

 

To say that Langa’s heart was going bat-shit crazy in his chest was an understatement. Somewhere deep down (not too deep), Langa was hoping for a confession. On the other hand, why would Reki ask him out in the middle of the night and by text?

Still, that little part of him hoped and hoped while he not-so-patiently watched the three dots at the bottom of his screen dance ( ladies please, stand back, my heart did a better performance a few seconds ago, jeez ), waiting for Reki to send a reply. The dots disappeared ( that’s what I thought *insert smug face* ) and a white speech bubble appeared.

 

Reki (3:09)

So like Joe and Cherry are married so

they can legally have a baby

yknow like adopt one and i

thought that it would awesome

if the child was miya

 

Reki (3:09)

Im a genius

 

Curse his still sleepy nervous system because he stared at that message for so long that his eyes started watering. Fuck a confession, what the fuck was that ? Joe and Cherry got married?? Joe and Cherry are going to adopt a child?? Miya is going to be the child?? Miya is an orphan??

 

You (3:12)

Reki I love you but what the

 fuck r u talking about

 

 

Langa waited. And waited. He checked the blue icon next to his message to confirm that it has indeed been delivered and that Reki has read it. He went over the text once more to check for any typos that could lead to the misinterpretation of his message and pouted.

“Reki I love you but what the fuck are you talking about” was straightforward so—

Wait.

Wait.

Alarms went off in Langa’s head. How do I delete a message? Oh shit, I fucked up. Again. No no no no-nono-no-no. He clicked on his text, went throw the multiple, the numerous, the so fucking many options but none of them were ‘delete’. Who the hell designed this thing?!

 

Reki (3:18)

In the zims langaaaaa

Reki (3:18)

R u still sleepy

Reki (3:19)

Pls send me photos of miya

so that I can create his character

and then u can go to sleep dear :)

oh and I don’t know if u meant

the l word part but I love u too :P

 

Langa was still going through an existential crisis, so he just focused on the tasks ‘send catboy pics’ and ‘ drown in a pool of your tears because that was so embarrassing what the fuck’ and decided to ignore the rest of Reki’s message to escape any possible confrontation. He should also ask Reki why he was up so late (so early?) playing that game. Again.

 

You (3:21)

*’you’ sent 7 attachment(s)*

 

You (3:21)

Here u go

You (3:22)

U should go to sleep its late

 

Reki (3:22)

Thanks man u r the best <3  

Re ki (3:23)

Lol I will eventually  

Reki (3:23)

Sleeoing is not easy ://

 

Reki (3:24)

Let’s have a sleepover tmrw?

so that we can also talk??

 

You (3:25)

Sure ill ask mum and tell u

 

 

Didn’t Reki read his previous message?? He said he loved him and then Reki proceeded to invite him for a sleepover??? Was Reki trying to gently reject him?

He scrolled up, to reread Reki’s response to The Text™ (yes, it is trademarked, since it currently the bane of Langa’s existence) since he had not read the whole thing, had not been able to read it, with the fear of rejection clawing its way through his brain.

 

Oh.

 

‘Then you can go to sleep dear’

‘You’re the best <3’

 ‘Don’t know if you meant the l word part but I love you too :P’

 ‘So that we can talk?’

 

Oh.

Did that mean that Reki liked him too? And that they could talk about it tomorrow? He wasn’t being rejected? Reki actually…liked him? Did he mean that in a platonic way? No, it definitely wasn’t judging by the pet name and the heart emoji.

‘I love you too.’

Warm. It felt warm . A pressure on his torso, an aching in his lungs. There was warmth in his chest, not suffocating him; but squeezing. Squeezing his poor heart, the one that he had taken out of his chest, wrapped it up in a pretty ribbon and waited, for Reki to accept it, accept his feelings, accept him.

And now, it would no longer do impressive choreographies inside his body at the sound of Reki’s laugh or beat louder than Joe and Cherry’s screaming voices at the sight of amber eyes wrinkling into crescents and a giant grin, for it would finally belong to someone else. His best friend. Reki.

And Langa felt so giddy and excited and warm at the thought. His breathing was quickening and he wanted to laugh and wake the whole apartment complex with his antics at 4 in the fucking morning. There would be complaints, but who cares? Langa is in love with Reki and Reki was in love with Langa.

He turned his head to the side and let out a giggle which was muffled by his pillows. Reki liked him. God, he was acting like he was one of those (extremely annoying in Langa’s opinion) girls at his school that would gossip about their crushes (most of them were referring to Langa as if he weren’t standing right there) and giggle ‘cutely’ (fucking annoyingly).

 

Reki (3:26)

Great I cant wait :)

Reki (3:27)

Ill let u sleep now thx for the pics <3

You (3:27)

Np go to sleep soon >:(

 

Reki (3:28)

Hey no promises >:)

Reki (3:28)

The game is very fun

Reki (3:29)

Anyways sorry for waking u up

 

You (3:29)

No worries :)  

You (3:30)

Im going to sleep now u should too <3

 

[Unread Message(s)]

Reki (3:31)

Sweet dreams langaaaaa <33

 

Langa put his phone in DND mode, turned it off, and hid under his heavy blanket.

A grin found its way to his previously sleepy features. He wanted to scream in happiness and jump up and down until his legs gave out and there was no leftover energy in his system.

Because every tiny and huge daydream was a day away from becoming reality; holding Reki’s hand, petting Reki’s unruly hair, cuddling with Reki, going on dates with Reki, calling Reki silly pet names—

This time a loud squeal escaped his throat. It was unfortunately not muffled by the humongous blanket covering his entire being.

There was noise at the other side of the wall and suddenly, there was a very worried mama Hasegawa knocking intensely on his closed door.

“Langa, honey, are you okay? I heard you yelling!”

Langa would have been mortified if it weren’t for this night’s (morning’s ?) events. He was in a too good of a mood to let this little… accident make him feel self-conscious. He put his hand over his mouth to effectively stifle a laugh.

“I turned around too fast in my sleep and banged my head on the corner of the bedside table. Sorry for waking you up,” he feigned sleepiness, deepening his voice and let out a pained moan.

“Oh dear, it’s okay, as long as you are alright. I’ll… be going then. Sweet dreams.”

“Goodnight.”

Somewhere, a tiny part of his brain allowed him to feel a little bad; his mom sounded tired, she had to work the night shift today and she had a morning one tomorrow (well technically, today) in like— three hours.

The rest of his brain was currently preoccupied with emphasizing his mother calling him ‘dear’ and replaying the image of Reki’s text ‘then you can go to sleep dear’ on repeat.

He tried to focus and get it out of his head -for now- before he got too excited and the desire to sleep left him.

He cleared his mind and tried to pay attention to the sound of rain, that hadn’t stopped for even a second throughout the day, and let it lull him to sleep.

 


 

It was a quiet afternoon. Langa was standing at the Kyan residence’s front porch. Bright blue umbrella in his right hand, wet shoes on his feet, and excitement in his heart. It hadn’t stopped raining since yesterday. The air smelled of wet grass and mud. Not the best combination, but it felt oddly comforting.

Langa rang the doorbell. And waited. Which, mind him, was extremely difficult when he was not a patient man. He wanted to see Reki and he wanted to see him right now . He wanted to hear him say that he returned his feelings and hold him in his arms and squeeze him until there was no air left in his lungs (in a totally non-aggressive way).

But then the door opened and Reki— Langa almost got a heart attack— was there, in his red oversized sweater and black shorts (because he’s Reki, and his fashion choices are so him), with his wild red hair, the scars on his hands that were poorly covered by multicolored band-aids and the small stretch marks on his knees and elbows from that very sudden growth spurt that had hit him when he was thirteen.

And then—

He opened his arms, a huge smile on his face, and enveloped him in a bone-crashing hug. And if Langa wanted to scream in joy before, now he wanted to get on top of Reki’s roof and start waxing out bad poetry about how beautiful and kind and amazing Reki is at the top of his lungs. Because Reki was so warm and he smelled nice and his strong arms were wrapped perfectly around him and Langa wanted nothing more than to stay there forever.

“Langa, you’re here! Come in, I have a lot to tell you!”

 


 

Reki was kind enough to let him borrow a sweater, for when he tried to hug the other boy back, he somehow managed to press his wet umbrella against his shirt.

It was a nice, fluffy blue sweater, which Langa guessed must also be oversized, since he was taller than Reki but the cloth fit him perfectly. It didn’t matter to Langa how the sweater looked though since the only thing he could think about was ‘I’m wearing Reki’s sweater and it smells like him oh my god I am wearing Reki’s clothes this is the best day of my life thank you random deity that let me have such a good day.’

His socked fit barely made any sound as he was ushered into Reki’s room. Reki literally threw himself on his bed, because who walks to their bed nowadays and then scrambled into a sitting position. Langa made his way to the little wooden desk next to the bed, almost on autopilot from having done that so many times before, that it had become a routine. He pulled out the chair and sat there, facing his best friend. 

“Why’d you sit there? Don’t you wanna join me on the bed?”

And damn that did a lot of things to Langa’s heart. It shouldn’t sound so appealing, sitting next to Reki , on Reki’s bed, that Reki slept on, and his brain once again started bombarding him with Reki, Reki, Reki.

 He silently stood up and sat down on the bed, close to his best friend but not too close, cautious of leaving enough space as to not overstep any not yet established boundaries.

Reki smiled brightly, that damn-brighter-than-the-sun smile, and Langa felt so pleased with himself, ‘ah, I made him smile like that.’

Reki put a hand on his shoulder and gently pulled his torso forward, only to snuggle a pillow between his back and the wall. He then pulled him back slowly and released his hold (much to Langa’s dismay), so that he could relax without worrying about the friction between his back and the wood.

“Thanks,” he said, a little surprised at how thoughtful and considerate Reki was and god he was so in love with this boy.

“Don’t mention it! I have a lot to tell you! Oh, but before that, can you please go through my English essays, please? There’re two of them and I did them in a hurry, so…

Langa let out an amused scoff.

Gah! I’m sorry that was rude—“

“You don’t have to feel bad, I like helping you,” he said and he meant it. Reki did so much for Langa, even if he did not realize it sometimes, so Langa has always been grateful for whatever opportunity appeared to help the redhead. An easy, sincere smile appeared on his face and he extended his arm towards Reki and wiggled his fingers as if to say ‘gimme’.

And Langa was never gladder to have consciously been so open because the blush that found its way on Reki’s cheeks was so worth the short-lived embarrassment.

A notebook, a pencil, and an eraser were thrown in his lap (“in case you want to make any corrections,” Reki said, ‘ please do the work for me I have been playing the game for so many hours and I’m very tired ’, he thought ) and so, he got to work.

 


 

“Hey Langa, quick question!”

The boy in question lifted his gaze from the notebook that he had been occupied with for the past ten minutes, correcting small mistakes, swapping words that had been misused, and rewriting sentences that made little to no sense.

Reki was staring intensely at his phone, even though he had requested Langa’s attention not two seconds ago, probably playing that godforsaken game. Again.

“Yes, Reki?” he tried to not let the exasperation in his tone be noticeable. They would have time to talk about It™ (yes, this is also trademarked), but as previously stated, Langa was not a patient man. Why did he have to play professor while his potential boyfriend (fireworks went off in Langa’s head at the word ‘boyfriend’ ) was playing on his phone when they could be discussing It™? It was a win-win; Langa would still help him with the essays and Reki could still play his game, but Langa’s head would be on Reki’s lap or vice versa, Langa is not picky, because they would officially ( hopefully , he reminded himself, let’s not get ahead of ourselves) be in a relationship.

“If we—If you had a daughter what would you want to name her?”

If Langa had been drinking water, he would have truly made for an impressive high-pressure fountain. He choked on his spit, trying to collect his straying thoughts ( daughter? As in, a human child? Did Reki say ‘we’ at the beginning? ).

“Akane,” he said, without giving it much thought. It meant ‘brilliant red’. It was the first name that came to mind and it reminded him of Reki. The beautiful red of his hair. It would be weird to have a baby in the future and name her after his high-school best friend, but the quickly corrected ‘we’ that had left Reki’s lips made him think.

What would it be like? Living with Reki? Marrying Reki? Starting a family with Reki? No, no, no, no, no . This was dangerous territory. Extremely dangerous territory. He had to focus on something else before his traitorous brain caught up with his train of thought and supplied him with mental images that he could not handle at the moment.

Reki’s eyes widened in amazement. “That’s a very pretty name,” he commented as he typed something on his phone. Then, he paused. “Why did you choose that?” he asked, finally raising his head to look at Langa.

“I like that name,” he shrugged, trying to appear nonchalant. “I think it’s beautiful. A beautiful name, for a beautiful girl.” It reminds me of you , he wanted to say. I want you to be a part of my life forever; I want to remember you for as long as I live.

Reki grinned. “Very beautiful indeed, wanna come see her?”

He frowned. See who? A baby who doesn’t exist? He stared quizzically at his best friend, who gestured for him to come closer and handed him his phone.

Langa was once again looking at a virtual living room. Ah, so it was that damn game again. This living room looked different though, and he didn’t know whether to be relieved or scared. Thankful that he would not be watching virtual Joe and Cherry making out, but afraid of who had been suffering for Reki’s entertainment this time.

On the couch was sitting a…toddler. A teeny tiny version of Joe and Cherry’s character models. The little girl (at least Langa guessed it was a girl, given the pigtails on top of her tiny head) was playing with something that looked like a tablet.

She had wine red hair and upon zooming in, Langa noticed that her eyes were bright blue and her cute little face was full of freckles. She reminded him a lot of Reki’s twin baby sisters when it came to her hair and size, but that’s as far as it went.

In all honesty, the first thought that came to mind was that she looked like a mix of Langa and Reki. She looked so much like them, with Reki’s hair and Langa’s eyes, as if she was their—

His breath hitched.

Wait.

“Who’s that?” he asked, pointing at the screen.

“Akane!  Isn’t she the cutest?”

“You—you made my daughter in your game?!”

“Hey! She is not your daughter, she is our daughter!” he crossed his arms and jutted his lower lip out.

Langa’s brain was having the greatest malfunctioning in history. He just didn’t know what to focus on.

a)Reki implying that they were married

b) Reki saying that they had a daughter

c) Reki creating their little family in a game

Suddenly he felt faint. Please don’t collapse on the bed like a Walmart Sleeping Beauty , his mental Miya said, blowing a raspberry in exasperation.

Shut up Miya, I’m a father now , he replied.

“Our… daughter ?” was the only thing he managed to utter.

“Yup! Akane Hasegawa-Kyan! Whad’ya think?” Reki exclaimed, all sunshine and rainbows as if Langa hadn’t been concentrating all of his self-control into not fainting at the thought.

Akane Hasegawa-Kyan.

Reki Hasegawa-Kyan.

Gods no no no no no NONONO don’t go there you’re not even in a relationship, dude, calm down.

But Reki would look so good in a white suit with a red bow tie to match his wild red hair, holding a bouquet of fragrant roses—

He desperately needed to get a grip, immediately.

Before Langa-Snow-The Prince- Tomato-Kyan-Hasegawa became a thing.

But Langa Kyan-Hasegawa sounds so good!

Shut the fuck up, mental Miya felt the need to add.

“I think that she is… adorable ,” he hoped that the hesitation in his voice wasn’t audible. Of course, Langa couldn’t have an opinion on a virtual toddler consisting of pixels and bazillion algorithms, but Akane was rather… cute. Or that might just be his lovesickness and the sudden desire to see an exhausted Reki in pajamas trying to calm down a whiny child talking.

Simp , mental Miya snickered.

He ignored him.

But …?” Reki asked, extending the syllable, and cocking his head to the side like a confused puppy.

Langa wanted to snap a picture of him, print it, frame it, hang it on his bedroom wall, and stare at him until he grew old and his eyesight started to fail him. Can you stop being the most wholesome person on Earth?

Siiiiimp , mental Miya repeated.

“I think that Kyan-Hasegawa sounds better.”

Suddenly, Reki was on his feet, towering over him (the only time he had a height advantage), glaring at Langa as if he had stepped on Reki’s freshly-painted custom ordered skateboard (long story for another time).

“Dude, you’re so wrong ! Hasegawa-Kyan is a million times better!” The redhead yelled, poking Langa in the chest with a calloused finger.

“I stand by my point. Kyan-Hasegawa just rolls off the tongue.” He replied, deadpan as ever like he hadn’t been trying to will the warmness off his cheeks. He leaned a little closer to the boy, mimicking his action and poking him back.

“It doesn’t sound right! Hasegawa-Kyan sounds more— um —regal!” Reki swatted (more gently than necessary) the offending finger away and crossed his arms in front of his chest, totally satisfied with himself.

“No, listen, try to say Kyan-Hasegawa fast multiple times- it’s a lot easier to do than Hasegawa-Kyan.”

No, it’s no t!”

Yes, it is !”

“Hasegawa-Kyan, Hasegawa-Kyan, Hasegawa-Kyan, Hasegawa-KyanHasegawa-Kyan Hasegawa-KyanHasegawa-KyanHasegawa-Kyan —“

And what is Langa, if not incredibly competitive?

So, with the menacing mental capacity of literal five-year-olds, they started yelling, surnames back and forth.

“Kyan-Hasegawa, Kyan-Hasegawa, Kyan-Hasegawa —“

“Hasegawa-Kyan, Hasegawa-Kyan, Hasegawa-Kyan —“

Langa didn’t know how long they had been at it, but his throat was starting to feel dry. Reki must have been in the same position, because he stopped, grabbed his phone from where it had been lying forgotten next to the Canadian, and declared that they needed a tiebreaker.

He wasn’t sure if calling Miya of all people was a wise choice but he trusted Reki and wanted to get revenge because that little goblin inside his brain just wouldn’t shut the fuck up.

“Yo, slime boy!” said the voice from the other end of the line.

“Hey Miya! Are you busy? It’s something very very very important! Like, extremely urgent and it cannot wait—“

“Wait, what happened? Reki, are you alright ? I finally managed to book the indoor skate area for private practice, and was about to get ready— Um, give me a sec, I’ll tell mom to cancel it— MOM! I’M NOT GONNA GO- MY FRIEND NEEDS ME- YEAH, IT’S VERY IMPORTANT WE HAVE TO CANCEL- ‘KAY THANK YOU!- Do you need to meet up? Or— Wait—Are you in the hospital? Please tell me that you’re not in the hospital —“

For someone who ‘doesn’t give two shits about you, slime boy’ and ‘ friends are not important ’ , Miya sounded really worried about Reki.

Langa would be happy that Reki had people that cared so much about him and that Miya was finally warming up to him if he didn’t feel so bad for the boy. He had talked their ears off about how ‘the coaches wouldn’t let him practice privately, even though he was training more than anyone else and was trying out for the Olympic team’.

He needed to talk to Reki about what was considered ‘important’ and ‘urgent’. Langa had already forgiven him for waking him up in the middle of the night and losing two precious hours of sleep, but Miya losing his first-ever private practice—

He should probably ask Reki what flowers he’d like at his funeral because there was no way that Miya wouldn’t chase him all the way to Tokyo with a knife when the conversation was over.

Well, he would have to ask later, because the redhead challenged him and now he had to win this ( Miya say Kyan-Hasegawa please )—

“No, thank God no , I’m at home- also congrats, you might regret canceling but it’s important.”

“Reki, did you kill someone?” Miya whispered over the phone. “Do you need me to get a shovel? I’ll tell Shadow to get the van and we’ll help you hide the body. I was about to say that we should also tell Langa, but he can’t even handle the sight of a scrape— wait is Langa the body ? Did you kill Langa —“

Miya, no ! I didn’t kill anyone! Gods , were you watching horror movies again?”

Ehe~ yeah actually I watched— that is completely irrelevant! Get to the point, slime! Are you okay, what the hell is going on?!”

Langa was sure that he had heard a muffled ‘language’ followed by a ‘sorry mom’ and tried his best not to laugh.

“Yeah okay so- this is extremely important so listen closely - which one do you think is better; Kyan-Hasegawa or Hasegawa-Kyan? ” he said the first option mockingly while emphasizing the second one. Langa scoffed.

Two full minutes of radio silence passed.

“Miya—“

YOU PIECE OF SHIT! YOU MADE ME CANCEL THIS-THIS ONE IN A LIFETIME OFFER, TO CHOOSE WHICH STUPID-ASS COMBINATION OF SURNAMES I LIKE MORE?”

“Okay, it sounds really bad when you put it like that, but yeah that’s it basically.”

“WHY IN THE EVERLOVING FUCK DO YOU NEED MY OPINION? YOU, STUPID IDIOTS, AREN’T EVEN GETTING MARRIED —“

“Not yet —“Reki and Langa said in unison.

“LANGA YOU’RE THERE TOO? I TRUSTED YOU! WHY DID YOU LET HIM DO THIS YOU-YOU I HATE YOU GUYS! AND WHAT DO YOU MEAN NOT YET?! LAST TIME I CHECKED YOU WERE STILL DANCING AROUND EACH OTHER LIKE FUCKING BALLERINAS!”

“That’s not the point! Answer the question!”

“I AM ENRAGED, I WILL MURDER YOUR ENTIRE BLOODLINE, I WILL CAST HELLFIRE UPON YOU, I WILL DESTROY EVERYONE AND EVERYTHING THAT YOU CARE ABOUT—“

“Akane too?” Langa asked eyes wide as saucers.

“Oh no! Not Akane! I swear to God if you dare touch —“

“WHO THE FUCK IS AKANE?!”

“Our daughter!”

Beep beep.

“Miya? You there?”

Miya hung up.