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on a highway through the stars

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There were times when it was really hard to get a hold of Miyuki. He seemed to slip through Eijun's fingers like sand, slithering through the gaps in his guard, nimble and fast, unstoppable. If Eijun was to be honest, it was frustrating. He had often found himself gritting his teeth and biting his tongue to stop a few choice words from coming out because... he knew that it was just how Miyuki was. Sometimes he simply needed his space and Eijun was the last person who wanted to stand in the way of that.

He didn't know why Miyuki was doing it, but when the other went to such lengths to break free, it was not Eijun's place to push. So he didn't. He let Miyuki go, trusting that he would come back in his own time, on his own terms.

And he always did.

There were the rare times when it was Miyuki who searched Eijun out, as well. A hand catching Eijun by surprise only to squeeze at his knuckles and then let go, the slant of Miyuki's lips branding a print before Eijun's eyes as he stared after the catcher in surprised confusion. A sudden kiss on the cheek on their way out of the bullpen while the others were busy cleaning up, which had Eijun blushing and stumbling, only to hear Miyuki's snickering echo in the distance. Or the press of Miyuki's sleep-warmed body to his back, the arm around Eijun's waist holding him close, and a soft fan of Miyuki's breath on his neck, whispering a hushed "Stay" in the late night hours when the rest of their teammates were already snoring soundly...

Eijun had spent his whole life living in the countryside, so he knew his way around animals really well – domesticated and wild, both. And Miyuki, Eijun couldn't help the comparison, reminded him a lot of a half-wild animal. He was hard to approach if you didn't know him, but even if you did, he was moody, distrustful and easily spooked. To an outsider, he and Miyuki might have seemed like good friends from their very first meeting, but the truth was very different. All the barriers he had to cross were still fresh in Eijun's mind, the walls Miyuki had built around himself to keep the others out. It took a lot of time, and even more effort, but Eijun had always had a good hand when it came to animals. And he somehow took pride that it seemed to have worked on Miyuki as well.

The warm feeling spilling in Eijun's chest whenever the catcher opened up to him was motivation enough to keep him going. Looking back in time, Eijun was proud of himself, and Miyuki, for never giving up. They made it through the tentative friendship and into a more serious relationship, and even though they were still somehow struggling with their changed feelings, the times when they faced each other honestly made Eijun's heart tremble with something soft and fragile, something that choked the breath from his throat and made his eyes itch with unshed tears...

Just thinking about it made Eijun's chest hurt. He scrunched his eyes shut and slapped his cheeks to snap out of the emotional well he had fallen into. It stung, but when he opened his eyes, the field he had been running on looked much clearer. The night was bright and Eijun raised his head up to gaze at the sky, the myriad of stars merrily twinkling down at him. The moon shone down, lighting the path before him. He took a turn as the worn out sandy field curved into the grassy outfield, when a voice from behind made him stumble over his own feet.

"Sawamura!"

Eijun didn't have to turn around to recognize Miyuki's voice, but he did nonetheless.

There were times when Miyuki slipped away from him. Then, there were times when Miyuki appeared out of nowhere to play with Eijun's heart. And then, there were moments like this...

Eijun knew he was nothing of the sort, but in that moment he felt like a heroine of one of his cheesiest shoujo mangas: blood thumping in his ears, wide-eyed, his breath snatched away by the person and the scene before him. Like a proper shoujo manga love interest, Miyuki stood at the top of the hill, the moon illuminating his silhouette, his hair swaying dramatically in the night breeze. Even despite the distance that separated them Eijun could make out Miyuki's eyes, which should be completely impossible, but there they were – gleaming brightly in amusement smothered by slight exasperation.

Eijun stared, and stared, and only when the moonlight faded behind a smoky grey cloud, did the impression disappear. Along with Miyuki's patience, apparently.

"Get back here, Bakamura!" Miyuki called. "Do you want the coach to lecture you again for running after dark?"

Snapped out of his thoughts, Eijun twitched. Grumbling under his breath, he shuffled towards Miyuki, kicking stray rocks out of his way. Beads of sweat were rolling down his back and face, and only now that he had stopped running, did he notice the chilly wind that tugged at his clothes. Shivering slightly, he climbed up the hill, wishing he had brought his jacket along when it was handed to him along with a towel and a bottle of water. Eijun glanced at Miyuki suspiciously, but took the offered items without complaint.

He quickly shrugged on his jacket, shivering at the warmth that finally started seeping into his skin again.

"Why are you even here?" he asked suspiciously, hanging the towel around his neck after drying his face off. Miyuki had been avoiding him the whole day, which was exactly what had brought Eijun to vent his frustration on the field at night.

"Because I want to," Miyuki answered, not even looking at him. "Can't I?"

His eyes bore into Eijun with an intensity that startled him for a moment. Eijun opened his mouth, but closed it soon after, any words he might have wanted to say to Miyuki disappearing from his mind. He turned his gaze away, a tiny scowl on his face.

"It's not that you can't, but..." he mumbled quietly.

"Good!" Miyuki announced cheerfully, sitting down in the grass. "Now come, sit."

Eijun blinked. "Wasn't the whole point of this for me to go back to bed?" he asked, confused.

"Just do it, Sawamura."

The tiny scowl blossomed further, and Eijun plopped down onto the grass next to Miyuki. He crossed his legs, and pointedly looking away from Miyuki, focused on the bottle of water in his hands. It was nice of Miyuki to bring it with him. Surprising, and very... nice. Eijun's eyes unwillingly returned to the catcher. The moonlight shone off of Miyuki's glasses, hiding his eyes from view. The lips that were usually curved in a sharp smirk, now softened to a light smile – something rare and beautiful, and Eijun found himself mapping the view with his eyes, as if he was never to see it again.

"You were pitching well in the bullpen today," Miyuki broke the silence.

Caught off guard, Eijun felt his breath whoosh out of his lungs. Through widened eyes, he started at the catcher.

"Was... that... a compliment?" he asked, shocked. The corner of Miyuki's lips trembled as if he was trying to suppress a grin. Eijun squinted at him, the scowl returning to his face. "Are you teasing me?! Miyuki Kazuya–"

"And," Miyuki interrupted him before Eijun could start screaming insults at him. "I don't think I've ever told you, but you look beautiful on the mound."

Eijun's first reaction was to stare. Second, to blush. Third, to splutter, because... what was Miyuki even saying?

He choked on the words that got stuck in his throat, coughing tears into his eyes, while his cheeks stung with a fierce blush. Miyuki watched him, amusement clearly written all over his face. The blush turned even deeper, Eijun's anger meshing with the embarrassment.

"Miyu–"

"You look really cute when you blush," Miyuki cut in again.

"Stop it, you bastard!" Eijun glared at the catcher, feeling the red creep down his neck. "Do you think this is funny, I'm not–"

This time Miyuki didn't even have to say anything to stop the flow of words on Eijun's lips. He just looked at him, face illuminated from the side by the cold, silver moonlight. And yet, despite that, Miyuki's eyes were warm and soft, honest. Eijun's heart fluttered in his chest, that fragile feeling spreading through his body and making him tremble.

"Why are you saying all of this?" he asked in a raspy whisper, unable to raise his voice, as if he was afraid of breaking the moment. His fingers tightened nervously on the water bottle, palms wet and slippery.

"Because I want to," Miyuki said for the second time that night. "Can't I?"

And just like before, Eijun could not find anything to say to that. He just gazed at Miyuki, eyes glazed and widened, cheeks coloured pink and lips parted in shock. The corner of Miyuki's mouth lifted in a smile, a genuine smile, no teasing, and Eijun's ears had filled with the wild thumping sound of his own heartbeat. It was loud enough that he was sure Miyuki could hear it, but in case he didn't, Eijun was sure he could feel it through the skin of the palm that Miyuki now laid against one of Eijun's flushed cheeks.

"Your eyes are gorgeous." Miyuki's voice was lower than usual, quieter, softer, and Eijun would have to strain his hearing, if his body wasn't already attuned to everything Miyuki did.

His breath ghosted over Miyuki's wrist, while the catcher dragged his fingertips down Eijun's cheek, his thumb swiping across Eijun's lower lip. Eijun shivered under the intimate touch, but Miyuki's eyes kept his gaze captive.

There were times when Miyuki shied away from him, and there were times when he was the one to seek Eijun out. There were times when Miyuki was a cliché shoujo manga protagonist, and there were also the times like this. Times, when Eijun's head spun simply from being close to him, heart beating wildly in his chest, mind chased into chaos just by the smell of Miyuki's shampoo and soap...

"Your smile is blinding to watch," Miyuki continued the torture, shifting even closer.

Part of Eijun wanted to beg him to stop, it was just too much, his senses couldn't take it. But the other part of him craved more. More compliments, more caresses, more genuine smiles, warm eyes, tender words... more Miyuki.

Eijun leaned closer, his chest tight with expectation. Miyuki's face was only inches away and he could already feel the soft puffs of his breath on his face, inviting and warm against the chill of the night.

"I can never take my eyes off of you when you pitch," Miyuki said, his nose bumping tenderly against Eijun's. "Catching for you is so thrilling, you have no idea..."

Unable to hold back, Eijun's let go of the bottle, fisting his hands in the material of Miyuki's shirt and pulling him closer. Their lips met in a kiss that was much gentler than Eijun had intended it to be. Miyuki's hand was holding his jaw, tilting his head at the right angle, and stomping down the passion that rippled through Eijun's chest. Light pecks to his lips made Eijun feel like he was starving, his body craving more, but unable to ask for it.

He breathed in deep, Miyuki's scent enveloping him in a cloud of warmth and fluttering feelings. Chapped lips caught on his own, the roughness keeping Eijun grounded. He pressed himself closer, wordlessly begging Miyuki's lips to stay longer. Miyuki's tongue swiped at his lower lip and Eijun sighed into his mouth, permission granted. Their tongues rubbed together smoothly, and he could feel himself being snatched up into the heights of pleasure.

Eijun shivered when the night breeze ruffled the damp hair on his back. He pushed himself closer to Miyuki, who with a final lingering kiss broke away from him, pulling him into his arms instead. Inside the warmth of the embrace, Eijun slowly caught his breath, eyes heavy with pleasure, heart beating fast against Miyuki's chest.

He still hadn't figured out what it was that brought on all of this, but it was Miyuki, he figured. If he wanted Eijun to know, he would have said it out loud. Pushing his face into Miyuki's shoulder, Eijun hid a grin as his mind replayed all the compliments the catcher had paid him before. Miyuki was never terribly vocal about his feelings, and praise was rare, thus every single thing made Eijun's heart skip a beat. But this... this was so much better.

He felt a bit lightheaded, smiling and breathing in Miyuki's scent, warm and comfortable in the catcher's arms, when Miyuki nudged him lightly in the side.

"Hey." Miyuki's voice rumbled through his chest. "Look up."

Reluctantly, Eijun pulled away from the warmth of the embrace and turned his head upwards. And he froze. The bright night sky was alive, stars moving before his eyes, streaks of silver smudging across in all directions, winking out of existence as fast as they came. Breathlessly and with an open mouth, Eijun watched the stars fall.

"Is this a meteor shower?" he asked excitedly, face slack with awe.

"Yup."

Tearing his eyes away from the stunning display above, Eijun turned to Miyuki.

"Did you know it was going to happen tonight?"

The curve of Miyuki's smirk was familiar enough to serve as an answer. "Yup."

Eijun hummed and looked up again. The sky was spectacular and he wished he could take pictures of it, just to remember this day.

"I wanted to watch it with you." Miyuki's voice was quiet, but Eijun heard him loud and clear.

Stunned, he felt the blush sneak up onto his face again. "Oh."

Eijun glanced at Miyuki from the corner of his eye. He was watching him, the stars falling bright in the reflection of his spectacles, and Eijun could have sworn that he was one of those stars: falling, falling, falling hard... for Miyuki. He fidgeted a bit in his place.

"Thanks," he finally said. He couldn't look Miyuki in the eye, so he turned his face towards the sky again.

"What for?" Miyuki questioned and Eijun was very well aware that they both knew what he meant, but nonetheless he replied.

"The compliments," his voice trembled a little. Just remembering it filled Eijun's heart with warmth and happiness, a slight pink tint to his cheeks. "And this." He waved his hand up to the stars. "It's..." He searched for the right words to express how amazing and unforgettable this night was, but suddenly found his mind blank. "...nice," he finished lamely.

"Nice?" Miyuki's voice sounded like he was withholding laughter and Eijun turned to him with a scowl. "I go to all this trouble and all you have to say is 'nice'? Come on, Sawamura, even with your limited vocabulary you can do better than nice."

Eijun pulled his lips together tightly. "Fine," he snapped. "It was awful, completely and utterly dreadful, appalling, terrible and nasty just like your personality, Miyuki Kazu–"

Chilled lips stole the rest of Miyuki's name and Eijun gave a muffled sound of protest, which quickly died down when Miyuki deepened the kiss. Pausing for breath, Miyuki leaned their foreheads together, and in the corner of his glasses Eijun could still see the shooting stars. Closing his eyes briefly, he thought of a wish. When he opened them again, his gaze locked with Miyuki's warm eyes.

"Am I still nasty?" Miyuki asked, his trademark smirk playing around the corners of his mouth.

Eijun's jaw clicked in place. "Very," he whispered back.

Miyuki chuckled, the sound echoing warmly through Eijun's chest.

"Shut up, bastard," he demanded, pulling Miyuki into another kiss, while the stars fell all around them, sealing Eijun's wish:

I want to be with him forever.