The drips of the rain through the leaky roof were quite amusing. Yuto stretched his arm and unfolded his fist to catch the droplets; smiling at every splattering water on his palm. During his days off, he visits the school location of the drama where he was the lead character and makes sure that the pool he loves is not being tarnished by the real life school delinquents. Yuto inhaled the petrichor, allowing it to devour his senses when a different scent permeated in.
“Yama-chan.” Yuto exhaled with a grunt. The latter tiptoed to give him a pat on his shoulder. “Why are you here?” He shook his hand, sprinkling rainwater on Yamada’s cheek.
Yamada violently brushed the water off his cheek, pinching light red marks which magnified his cuteness. “There are no rules against me being here.
That was one of the things Yuto hated; there were no rules against Yamada Ryosuke’s face.
“How did you know I am here?”
Yuto looked at him sideways and nodded mechanically. He brought out his phone and positioned it to the right angle, bent down a little to where the accumulated water was and took a photo of the newly dribbled raindrop just before it dissolve with the others. “Don’t you have anything better to do? Memorize your scripts? Hang out with Chinen and Keito?” he offered.
Yamada smiled. He had always assumed that Yuto felt a twinge of jealousy every time he mentions about the three of them hanging out together. “We’re always inviting you, but your socially inept self prefers to be…isolated.” Yamada let out a pretend exasperated sigh to solidify his dismay.
“Every time you hang out, you already have a plan to follow through. And you only invite me when the three of you are gathered already. Like ‘Wait, aren’t we missing something?’ ‘Ah, Yuto-kun.’ And you rush to mail me.” Yuto argued perfunctorily. “I am just an addition.”
“You know it’s not true!” Yamada pulled Yuto by the sleeve and forced their eyes to meet. “You are my priority.” He crashed their lips together, and he embraced Yuto by the waist.
The school bell rang which signaled the start of classes. “We should be out.” Yuto unfolded his umbrella. “I’m going ahead.”
Yuto started his car’s engine when Yamada climbed in the passenger seat, shivering and soaked from the rain. “You won’t mind driving me home, will you?” he ransacked through the compartment for a dry face towel.
“Don’t have any.” Yuto passed his extra shirt which he fished from the backseat. Yamada dried his silver hair using the shirt Yuto lent him. Yuto stared at him, stupefied at how he gave his first concern on his hair.
“I thought you’ll have spare towels instead of spare shirts.” Yamada practically complained when he glimpsed at Yuto. “Stop staring. I’m actually getting self-conscious. Start driving?”
Yuto kicked the gas and they accelerated. The rushed raindrops were deafening and the stillness of the entire drive was vociferous. Yamada tried to boot Yuto’s radio, but the latter shut it off, with a light slap on his hand. “You’re in my car. Respect my silence.” Yamada swallowed, the intensity of Yuto’s selfishness was glaring through the thickness of the air. They stopped right in front of Yamada’s gate. “Won’t you come in?” Yamada asked with a sudden sneeze. And his sneeze multiplied. The latter moaned and climbed out of his car.
Yuto was holding the umbrella for the two of them. “Careful.” He warned as Yamada slipped, landing on his free arm, supporting him from falling. Yamada muttered a tiny thanks and went on with sneezing again.
Yuto squeezed Yamada’s nose to stop him from sneezing. “You should’ve just worn the shirt I gave you instead of caring for that silver hair.” He twisted the coffee maker off when the drink was ready and poured a cup for Yamada.
“For once you have to know, my hair isn’t dyed silver… it’s particularly moon dust!” Yamada pouted.
“They’re on the same shade.” Yuto said, half-demonstrative, half-interrogative.
“Nope.” Yamada rattled his head violently.
“I still don’t see the difference.” Yuto raised an eyebrow and shrugged his shoulders.
“I’ll show you.” Yamada kissed Yuto’s forehead and motioned him to follow him inside his room.
The room smelled of strawberry. Yuto had to cover his nose when he cringed. There was a lot of mess shoved to the side, probably some stuff Yamada left lying on his bed. From the back of his door, Yamada clinged his arms around Yuto’s neck for a short term piggyback ride. “To the bed, please?” Yuto felt compelled so he carried Yamada and threw him on his bed.
“Show me how it was moon dust.” Yuto sat on the edge of Yamada’s bed.
“We’ll have to wait until dark.” Yamada tackled Yuto down and kissed him fully in the mouth.
“Stop kissing me.” Yuto pushed the latter aside.
“You were the one who asked for it on stage every time we have a concert.”
“That’s for the sake of fan service, Yama-chan. Learn to delineate work from real life.”
Yuto gazed at Yamada’s upset face and he knew he wouldn’t like to carry on like this. He remembered that resonating promise he wrote to himself – he will not slip away from the rest of HSJ’s members ever again.
“O-okay. Do what you want.”
The touch of Yuto’s fine fingers on Yamada’s navel made him want to beg for this to last forever. The desire he longed to keep was now so pronounced that he moans every time Yuto’s hand brushed his shin.
“I need you in me now, Yuto.” He nodded and kissed Yamada’s nose. He raised his hand to Yamada’s mouth and the latter knew what has to be done. Coated two fingers with saliva, Yuto abruptly inserted it in Yamada’s entrance, and scissored the aching hole violently. Pain overwhelmed Yamada’s face, and witnessing it, Yuto’s expression was the very definition of amusement. Yamada’s moans echoed through, the sound of his pleasure was music for Yuto’s ears.
Yuto knew he could not contain himself any longer, too. He pulled out his fingers and wrapped Yamada’s legs around his waist. He giggled at how twitchy Yamada’s hole was and looked at the one below him with eyes full of lust. Yamada clutched his eyes and chewed on his lips, as Yuto glided inside him. The rhythm was suddenly off when Yuto decided to drop on his hands to place a kiss on Yamada’s lips.
“I want to hear you. Stop biting your lips.” Yuto continued to kiss Yamada elsewhere but his lips as he thrust deeper inside him. Yamada’s cries were all rewarded when Yuto untimingly spilled inside him.
“Too fast.” Yamada pouted when Yuto lifted his body and nuzzled on his neck. Yuto hand proceeded to embrace Yamada’s manhood, sliding it up and down, permitting Yamada to come. And so he did.
That was everything Yamada ever needed.
That was everything Yuto ever wanted.
Yamada calmly lied flat on his bed and kissed Yuto’s forehead. “Yutti, I love you.” He waited for a response, but there was none. “Hey, do you love me?” Yamada held his breath.
Yuto looked at him and smiled. He kissed the angered neck nerve on Yamada. Despite the rainy morning, the moon shined that night.
“Oh, I see why it’s moon dust.” Yuto ran his hand over Yamada’s hair, trickling some sticky substance he extracted from Yamada on it. “It glistens when the moonlight touches it. Interesting. I want to get that same hair color, too.”
“Yutti, do you love me?” Yamada asked again, this time louder than the first. Yuto jumped off the bed and collected his clothes.
“You were just an avenue to my perversion, Ryosuke.”
It was another day for rain, and rainy it was inside Yamada. He slapped himself several times in several body parts for permitting Yuto to use him. He was broken, torn, and rejected. He wished that he never asked Yuto that bothering question that lurked around his heart. He wished Yuto was still there, nuzzling on his neck and begging for more of him.
“Your kisses doesn’t have to be true.” Yamada typed on his mail addressed to Yuto. “All I really ever wanted was to be with you.” His thumb shook as soon as it reached the send button, delaying the message. He threw his phone and kicked on his bed. He carried on with his usual shadow boxing. He was putting more effort with his aerial punches than he usually did for his panting was more severe than ever. Until his last strong punch hit something.
He composed himself and found Chinen on his bed writhing in pain, both hands clutched on the cheek he unintentionally hit.
“Dude, are you okay?” Yamada fished Chinen’s hands out.
“I was supposed to be fine.” Chinen shot an intense stare at Yamada’s eyes. Tiny blood trickled down from the corner of his lips.
“Would it kill you to call before you come over?”
“No, but it would kill me if you punch me like that every time I come over.” Chinen picked up Yamada’s phone and shoved it on his face. “Plus I have been calling 35 times.”
“Do you need first aid?”
“You’re the one who needs treatment, y’know.” Chinen threw the Yujikku plushie Yamada kept under his bed. “I heard he came to tore you, physically and emotionally.”
“Yeah, Mika told you.” Yamada smiled. “And you being here isn’t much of a great help.”
Chinen tsk-ed and gave Yamada a punch on his cheek. “Vengeance, Ryosuke.”
Yamada cried, for the first time in this entire ordeal, someone actually put him back to his feet.
“He used me. I am not a prostitute of love, Chinen. I am not his slave.” He continued to sob, hugging Yujikku.
“C’mon man, you look pathetic.” Chinen withdrew Yujikku from his friend.
“It’s hard for me to actually accept this, Chinen. You, among all people, know how much I love Yuto.”
“And are you acting upon that love you’re bragging about?”
“Yes, of course, I have been catching up on him. I don’t want to ever stop talking to him anymore.
Just like those time we used to avoid each other. I wanted him to center on me. I want him to give me importance. Chinen, I love him.”
“Are you sure that’s enough?” Chinen raised a brow. “That’s a very selfish desire.” Yamada stared at him for a complete minute. “You have to understand him first, before you submit yourself to him.”
“Move it. You’re the romantic guy here, not me.” Chinen raised his hands in defeat.
“He told me he hates me.” Yamada pulled on his hair, remembering how Yuto adored it the night
before. “Okay, he didn’t really speak of it but that’s what he implied.”
“Maybe you’re overanalyzing Yuto.” He rested his hand on his aching cheek and rubbed it again.
“We know Yuto doesn’t usually like putting underlying meaning with his words and acts. Was there a weird thing he did last night before he left you?”
“Yeah.” Yamada’s eyes burned with hope. “He called me ‘Ryosuke’.”
Days flew as if nothing happened. Yuto dyed his hair the same color as Yamada’s and the latter knew he’s on a great advantage.
“Thank you.” Yamada whispered as Yuto crossed his path.
“I hope you’re done with me.” Yuto replied which shook Yamada’s ground.
“Not yet.” He was reminded of the unsent mail he kept on his phone drafts.
That night, when Yuto was about to retire on his bed, his doorbell rang persistently. When he answered it, it was Yamada brandishing his car keys.
“It’s midnight. I’m not in a mood for another round of sex.”
“Me either, I just wanted to show you something.”
“Yeah.” Stars filled Yamada’s eyes while he jumped unnecessarily.
“Are you planning to kill us?” Yuto asked as he followed Yamada to his car.
“Not a chance.” Yamada opened the passenger seat’s entrance for Yuto. “Buckle your seatbelt.”
“I don’t need to be told; especially since you’re on the steering wheel.”
The road Yamada drove to was familiar to Yuto, very familiar that his heart started racing.
“Don’t you dare!” Yuto pierced a threatening eye on him. Yamada just smiled at him. The air was cold, and the place became dreary for Yuto. It was his land, his property and Yamada was insensitively putting himself in it.
“What the fuck?” The newly excavated hole from the walls of the outdoor school pool Yuto loved so much was obviously done by Yamada, and his accessories to the crime. “This is a school property!” he grabbed Yamada by the collar and curled his other fist.
“I’m taking responsibilities.” Yamada smiled nervously.
There were approximately 70 candles positioned in a Valentine ’s Day heart shape lit under the same roof they had a tiny argument before. Yamada sat inside and he invited Yuto to join him. He relunctantly did, maintaining a gap between them.
“I asked Chinen and Keito this favor.” They heard a car engine roar from a distant street. The candles’ lights were swinging innocently.
“This is not funny.”
“I’m sorry, Yuto.” He took his hand to his chest; his heart beating fast for Yuto and was beaten to pieces by Yuto. “I love you, not just a friend, not just a group member. I love you for being Yuto.” He pulled him in an embrace and cupped his cheeks. He kissed him one more time, but Yuto didn’t kiss back. It was as if he gotten accustomed to Yamada’s lips that he was no longer craving for them.
“I’m sorry, Yamada.” He pushed him and stood; he walked out of the heart and exited to the proper doors.
“Please, Yuto give me a chance to understand you better.” Yamada seized Yuto by a foot, not minding the fire building on his clothes. Yuto shook Yamada away and kicked the candles, disseminating off Yamada.
“You’re no longer important to me.”
Seconds later, abrupt water rushed from the huge hose in the pool. Yamada stood by the edge and waited until it was properly filled. He jumped in, muttering “I love you” for Yuto. He felt his soul drifting away from his body. His muscles were tightening and his head on vertigo. He was ready to accept defeat: from Yuto and from the world. Yet he felt his body being lifted to the surface.
“What do you think you’re doing?” Yuto shouted as he shook Yamada like a drowning puppy. It took Yamada some time to reply.
“Surrendering.” He coughed water.
“I didn’t ask you to kill yourself, I only asked you to stay away from me!”
“Life has no meaning without you.”
“You’re a fool for fighting for that infatuation you feel.”
“You know very well that this is not just an infatuation!” Yamada slapped Yuto; it felt good having to hit your problem. “Tell me, Yuto, why are you avoiding me?”
“You will never understand, Yamada.” Yuto floated away from him.
Neither went out of the pool and neither moved closer. The water was still and cold, but neither complained. Finally, Yuto resigned from being hard: to himself and to Yamada.
“I used to love you because you made all the pain go away, then you became the pain itself."
Yamada was dumbstruck. Struck utterly dumb. Frozen. So incapable of breathing. So incapable of comprehending. He held on the pool railings, stared at Yuto and the vertigo he felt made him much more delirious through the stretching distance between them. His muscles cramped.
"Where and how did I become your pain?" He managed beyond the chaos.
“Every time, Yamada, always.” Yuto bowed his head. The moon dust dyed-hair he copied from Yamada glowed ever so lightly through the strikes of the moon beam.
“I am an insufferable attention seeker.” Yuto confessed. “And I hated you for taking the roles I was supposed to have. You took the role of Amakusa Ryuu from me. I felt jealous, but I decided to push it away because I wanted to keep our friendship. But that didn’t stop there. Hey! Say! JUMP was born in me being the center. But after two singles, you took that role away from me. I was torn, you were supposed to be my best friend but you chose to put me on your back, like I was your number one supporter.”
Memories were suddenly flashing at the back of Yamada’s head: those moments Yuto resisted accompanying him to home from school like they used to, those times Yuto lived in an impenetrable wall emitting dark aura around him, and that time Yuto returned their matching bracelets to which they promised a lifetime friendship to.
“Funny thing is, every time I ask passersby if they knew JUMP they nod mechanically. And every time I ask them if they knew some members of the group they would recall your name first; Chinen always follows." He paused and gave Yamada a knowing look. "You're wondering why I never wanted you to be here? Well, this is from Suikyuu Yankees; from my drama. This is the place where I forged my identity separate from you."
Yuto was frustrated, perhaps it was the eerie atmosphere that caused him to contradict himself.
"I know I am shallow, but it was not about this industry, Yama-chan. It was about how you valued our friendship.”
“But it was not my decision.” That was all Yamada could concoct from all of Yuto’s bare words. “It’s not that I feel like I’ve clawed to the top of the heap that I can finally step on everyone else. Why are you being insensitive?”
“And that’s the other thing I hate about you; you blame other people of your incidental fate when you actually have a choice.”
“No, you’re just making excuses.”
“There is no more fabricated truth to be spoken, Yamada. Chinen gave you a great advice; to understand me, but you’re there, floating defiantly.”
Yamada closed in, insisting to feel another caress from the one person he loved.
“Yutti.” He called out, he sensed a violent push from under the water but he didn’t dodge. He was sent floating further again, and he knew Yuto was much stronger under water.
“Cut that shit out!” Yuto suddenly threw temper tantrums. “Weren’t you disgusted at yourself for playing with me? Calling me Yutti. You purposefully concocted that nickname to cover your mistake of calling me “Yuri”, didn’t you?”
“You’re overly envious of an unprovoked jealousy, Yuto.” Yamada shouted through the waves.
“Chinen was the first one to call you “Yutti”, remember? That time when we were just temporarily 5-membered Hey! Say! 7 with Takaki and Dai-chan.”
Yuto considered him for a while. “You still don’t realize that it was simply agonizing to hear you call me by a name so close to someone else’s?”
Yamada hung his head in a passable face of frustration.
“You called me ‘Yuri’ one time you,” He paused and tried to look away from Yamada’s sorry eyes. “had sex with me. And that was when we starred in Risou no Musuko.”
Yamada’s jaw dropped. He obviously couldn’t remember that happening. Plus, he never desired to make love with Chinen, ever. “Look Yuto, Chinen is just my best friend -”
“Just your best friend!” Yuto shouted with contempt. “I was supposed to be your best friend. I was supposed to be the best person for you, not Chinen, not Keito. But you’re still there claiming that you love me when you’re absolutely neglecting to prioritize me?” He kicked at the water too strong that the ripples sent waves of pain inside Yamada.
Yamada lost his balance and momentarily soaked his entire body inside the pool. He strained his ears and opened his eyes to watch Yuto floating. And it hit him. He resurfaced and asked Yuto again.
“Yuto, would you give me a chance to make everything better?” Yamada backed off to the pool area where his feet would definitely not reach the ground.
“Was dyeing your hair moon dust a part of fan service?”
It was Yuto’s turn to lose his balance. Yamada usually didn’t care much about the details. He composed himself and turned his back on the latter. “That’s out of your concern.”
“It’s not, Yuto. Even if you don’t admit it, it’s obvious that I still have a special place in your heart. Although I am not fully aware of your scars, you still try to cope with it by holding on to the tiny bits of happy memories we shared together.” Yamada flapped his hands idiotically, obviously trying to catch Yuto’s attention. “Despite everything, you’re still there keeping an eye on me. And that, Yuto, is enough to breach the wall separating us.”
Yuto positioned himself, ready to leave the pool when his hair glistened through the silver pool railings. He paused and listened to his beating cold heart. “Was I so absorbed of myself that I actually centered my life in this rivalry I built against Yamada that even those people who are close to him; to us drive me into social intolerance? Was I so absorbed of myself that I blamed Yamada for every little misfortune I received?”
He closed his eyes and kick the water and swam to close the void that he had lived in all these years. He swam toward Yamada’s heart again.
“Do you still want to provide my life a reason to love, Ryo-chan?” He looked worriedly sick. He was so used to rejection that he could sense a wave of despair building him in.
“Turned out we just misunderstood each other for a very long time.” Yamada smiled and met him halfway with a hug and an underwater kiss.
"I love you, too, Ryosuke." Yuto smiled geniunely tonight.