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"Must be tiring, huh?"

When he hears the monotone voice he turns around, only then walking away from the hooded girl. He hears the light steps of her following, much to his dismay. He wouldn't answer her anyways, even if he knew what she was referring to.

"He's so in the closet he's convinced he likes girls. Shame, considering he already has you."

Hayato turns on his heels to face the girl, cool as always. Both of them were the most emotionless and composed of the group, you'd think that'll help them be friends. Hayato doesn't need friends when he already has Mitsumune.

"What makes you think your opinion matters?" He asks genuinely. The girl leans against the wall, hands inside her hood pocket. 

"That I know more than you about your own relationship? Mitsumune denied he was dating you, but it's obvious to anyone with two eyes." Her purples eyes burn her gaze on his dark pink. She turns her head, a strand of black hair falling out. "You convinced him to come here with you so you could have him for yourself."

He narrows his eyes, countering her gaze with a glare. "How would you know?"

She smiles; a strangely knowing, sinister look. "Like I said, it's obvious. He told me he didn't know anything about this village before you told him. He must have thought he was leaving with his best friend to start a new life, when in truth you want more from him. You want a new life with you and him together, alone. A place where no one would judge you for your little crush."

Hayato steps on a twig as he gets closer to her. "Well, you have one thing right. Except he's not just a crush."

She raises an eyebrow. "You love him?"

He doesn't answer, instead he steps away and turns his head to the sky. All this talk of bears and murder he forgot why he came here in the first place. He's been separated from Mitsumune for too long.

"Why don't you tell him? He's so dense, he'll never realize it by himself." She chuckles, her raven eyes glinting in the evening air. "Want me to help convince him he's in a one-sided relationship?"

"Don't do anything to him." He knows he sounds too defensive but he couldn't trust her, nor anyone in this village. He was supposed to protect Mitsumune. "That's my business, it has nothing to do with you."

"Sorry," She pushes herself from the wall, walking past him. "No need to be so protective of your boyfriend. But be careful," Lion turns her head to him, face completely serious. "A certain girl might steal him from you. Here's a hint, it's not Maimai. She's a liability, but you must already know who I'm referring to."

He did, but he wouldn't accept that he knew. Since day one Mitsumune seemed attracted to the girl with pink hair, helping her when she was sick and defending her when she was found. He knew Mitsumune well enough to know he expected something more from the girl, he had a craving to touch and be with girls after so many years of being in an all boys school. Hayato was different, but he always knew. Women did nothing to him.

When Lion leaves he walks back to the meeting point, seeing Mitsumune speaking to Maimai and Puuko. Well, more like getting bullied. That's how he saw it. His face was flushed, not used to the attention the girls were giving him. He wished that blushing face was directed at him, not those two witches who were only toying with his emotions.

He walks past them and Mitsumene seems to spot him, even with how distracted he seemed. 

"Speedstar!"

He doesn't expect to be noticed by him so he merely keeps walking forward, not sure where he was going. A tug of his shirt stops him, turning to find Mitsumune free from the girls' grasps with his face still flushed and panting.

"Call me Hayato. I told you that already." He states as usual. He never listened to him, no matter how much he told him to. He was always right, he was always there for him. Why couldn't he comprehend there was no need to act around him? He didn't need anyone else, Hayato would always be there for him.

"Spee- I mean, Hayato...are you okay? You seem strangely tense." He knew Mitsumune was probably the densest person to ever live, eyes so innocent it was impossible to stay mad at him. It would still tire Hayato, and he wondered sometimes why he even liked him in the first place.

"I'm fine. It's the stress of everyone freaking out."

Mitsumune laughs and he hates it, hates that he wished he could listen to it more. Without anyone around watching. "I understand, it's affecting me too." 

He's smiling even in such a weird and horrible situation. Hayato pities him, and he pities himself.

He didn't, he never would have thought this would have ended up like this. When he found out about this village his only thoughts were of escaping with Mitsumune, the only person he cared about. He had hoped, wished, expected a paradise where he and Mitsumune could roam and be free together, and Mitsumune would love him without remorse, without backlash from friends, parents, society

He was too naive. Now they were stuck in a desolate village with a cast of psychotic and idiotic egomaniacs, and it was all his fault. It was his fault for telling Mitsumune about this place, for convincing him of running away with him. He seemed so excited and he still does, even with everything that has happened. It's like anything apart from their boring lives back in school made him giddy.

He hated the fact that he made him this way. Always shielding him from the world so no one or nothing would hurt him. He was a good kid, and people would take advantage of him. Like those girls. And that dammed Lion.

If there's one thing Hayato is sure of, is that he'll protect Mitsumune no matter what. He won't let anyone in this village or any bears hurt him. After all he's gone through, he decided long ago he would sacrifice his life for him if he had to.

Even if Mitsumune never loved him back.

"Hayato, let's get some food." He's woken up from his thoughts by the boy of his affections pulling his arm. He sighs, ignoring the glances from Lion and the other girls gossiping. He grabs Mitsumune's arm, the boy gasping in protest, as he pulls him to where the rest of the group was.

This was enough, having Mitsumune by his side. Alive. He didn't need anything else.