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“Would you knock it the fuck off?” Yata practically growled at the Scepter 4 personnel he was assigned with for the day.

“Sorry, sorry!” Doumyouji threw his hands up in surrender and smiled apologetically. “I just think it’s really cool. You know, being able to see sounds and all that.”

“It’s not. Really, it isn’t.” Yata muttered. “There’s always too much of it everywhere.”

“But doesn’t that give you an advantage?”

Yata stopped in his tracks and looked at Doumyouji. “Hah?”

Doumyouji stopped to look back at him. “You know! You can figure out what makes them happy and sad just by making them say a word or two, right?”

Yata never thought of it like that, but he also never thought that there’d be the day when Fushimi would march into HOMRA and drag the hothead into the Blue King’s office to practically force him to work for Scepter 4.

Yata would not have agreed to this, at all, if it weren’t for the fact that the pay was rather nice for a job that mainly involved walking around the city and kicking any bad guy’s asses into next week.

Well, that and there was something about the Blue King that unsettled him.

And today, he was with Doumyouji Andy, one of the few ‘Blues’ he had come to be able to tolerate.

“You know, happy isn’t always yellow and sad isn’t always green.” Yata said, noting the look of confusion on Doumyouji’s face. “Your happy isn’t always going to be the same happy as someone else’s,” he tried to explain. He had this talk with Fushimi ages ago, when he first found out about Yata’s condition. “I don’t know why, but sometimes your yellow doesn’t mean the same thing as someone else’s yellow. Sometimes your happy blue looks like someone else’s angry blue. I still haven’t figured out why it’s like that.”

“That’s probably because you don’t observe when you’re talking to people.”

“Oh, fuck you!” Yata punched Doumyouji on the arm, causing the other to wince, but smile.

Doumyouji laughed as Yata watched his orange voice taint the air around his face.

“See, your orange means you’re happy, but with someone else… like… Kamamoto, his happy is red.” Yata tugged at the stupid blue uniform he was required to wear. He hated it, hated it, hated it, but he needed the money and he didn’t want to have to work a handful of part-time jobs just to make ends meet. Besides, he had a reason to swing a ‘sword’ around and hit (the right kind of) people now.

He could have gotten a dorm, too, but that was already too much blue for his liking.

“What about Fushimi’s colors?” Doumyouji asked.

Yata glared at the Blue. “Like hell if I know.” The only colors Fushimi’s voice ever was in the past few years were dark and muddy colors. He hated how much different they were compared to the times before they fell apart.

He remembered when Fushimi told him that they’d talk later. He remembered when he said he’d make it easy enough for an idiot like Yata to understand. He remembered, but neither had yet to approach that topic, even after three months since the incident. Instead, they bickered and bickered, Fushimi being enigmatic as ever while Yata threw curse after curse at him. It was frustrating, to say the least, but it was what they were used to.

Doumyouji was smart enough to realize that he was (or already has) stepped on a landmine, and decided not to push the topic any farther. They continued walking; it was only a few more blocks before their morning patrol ended and they were put on break until the afternoon, but Yata was feeling restless.

They rounded the last corner and Doumyouji sighed contentedly, a faint grassy green escaping his lips. “We made it!” he cheered.

“Mmm.” Yata shrugged off the coat and sat down on a nearby bench.

“Your uniform is going to get all wrinkled if you leave it on your shoulder like that, Yata.”

“Like hell if I care.”

Doumyouji sighed; Yata was a pain in the ass when it came to these kinds of things, but he was still fun to hang out with. He sat on a chair opposite to Yata, pulling out his PDA and sending a short report to whoever it was that needed to receive them.

“What now?” Yata stretched, relaxing to the best of his abilities. He still couldn’t understand how anyone could move around in their uniform. The pants were tight, the boots were uncomfortable, and the collar, dammit. It was so annoying.

Yata was lucky that Munakata approved of altering Yata’s coat sleeves so that they were shorter and a little looser. The sleeve was only half as long as Fushimi’s, and his coat wasn’t as long as the others, either. It looked more like a Scepter-4-inspired semi-casual (and short-sleeved) tuxedo than an actual police force uniform, but it worked… somewhat.

They were probably just trying to win Yata over by allowing this, but Yata couldn’t care less. They presumably needed him for his fighting capabilities against the remaining Strains, and that in itself sounded like a great job to Yata.

So of course he took it. Kusanagi even approved of all this, and went so far as to congratulate him for raising his tolerance towards Scepter 4.

“We can head back to base now.” Doumyouji said, poking at his PDA a little more before putting it in his pocket. They both stood up, Doumyouji leading the way because no way in hell did Yata remember how to get back to that place.

He watched as the colors of the rainbow dance around in the air, denser where the crowds were and thinner elsewhere. It was annoying, sure, but it was still pretty.

If only he could see his own colors, though.

When they made it back to base and to an empty conference room, he tossed his coat onto a random rack and sat down on one of the plush chairs near the door, sighing loudly. “I wanna get out of here,” he groaned, picking at the dirt in his nails.

Doumyouji frowned. “But only half the day’s over.”

“I know that.” Yata spent a few more minutes on the chair before standing up slowly and bouncing around a bit, shaking the sudden feeling of sleepiness away. “I’ve only been here two weeks and there hasn’t been a single Strain incident. Are there even any left that haven’t been taken away by those rabbits?”

“They’re probably just hiding.” Doumyouji shrugged. “I wanna eat. Let’s?”

Yata merely nodded and followed Doumyouji to the large cafeteria that sat somewhere deeper in the base. The usual Blues that he often saw with Fushimi were already there, chattering about something they saw on TV.

They picked up their food and Doumyouji immediately headed over there while Yata sat a few tables away. He was technically a part-time Blue, but he had his pride as a Red, after all. Besides, he still wasn’t comfortable with any of them, save for Doumyouji.

 “But why the hell do I work full day if I’m only a part-timer?” Yata muttered to himself, peeling a banana.

“Because you’re only here every other day, stupid.” A familiar voice said from behind him. Yata whirled around, banana in hand, and stared angrily into Fushimi’s dark blue eyes.

“What the hell do you want?” There was still quite a bit of tension between them, regardless of the fact they were technically allies and not enemies.

Fushimi shrugged and dropped into the seat next to Yata, a half-eaten granola bar in hand.

“What, you’re not going to eat properly again?” Yata turned back and bit into the banana he was still holding. A few minutes later heard puffs of orange escape Fushimi’s mouth.

“What’re you going off about now?” Yata muttered, finishing off the banana and picking up the sandwich. He was tempted to shove the tomato slice in his old friend’s face, but he knew very well that Fushimi was his superior right now, and what he says goes, no matter how much of an ass he was. Yata hated it, but he hardly saw Fushimi around anyways. Hell, this was their second encounter in two weeks. The last time was the day when they were assigned together on his first day, and that ended in a swordfight in the middle of downtown Shizume.

His colors were clearing, but they were still dominated by the muddy purple he was used to seeing.

Yata heard Fushimi’s tongue click in what he figured was annoyance, and he couldn’t help but glare at him. “At least try to talk, asshole.”

“Says you,” he retaliated, the orange suddenly tinted red. He finished off his granola bar and stood up to leave, waving a lazy farewell before Yata could think to stop him. He let him leave, unsure of how to even bring up the topic of reconciliation if they couldn’t so much as talk like normal, sophisticated adults for more than five seconds.

Yata sighed and went back to his lunch. He was well aware of the fact that the group of Scepter 4 clansmen that Doumyouji had joined for lunch had seen the entire ordeal, and it caused Yata to feel even more uncomfortable, if that were even possible.

He finished off his food and went to throw out the trash and put the tray away. His watch buzzed, but he ignored it; there was too much on his mind at that moment.

Doumyouji was right behind him the moment he left the cafeteria. “Are you okay?” He asked, genuinely worried about the redhead that was walking a little stiffly.

“I’m okay.” Yata said, trying to ignore Doumyouji’s apple red. The color of his concern, he figured.

“You don’t seem okay,” he murmured, analyzing Yata’s movements. “You’re usually in a bad mood after seeing Fushimi.”

“What makes you think that?” Yata snapped. He was getting tired of that red. It wasn’t the same red as his long-gone flame. It wasn’t the red he wanted to see.

“See? You’re mad at me now. Just… talk to him!” Doumyouji looked away from Yata, eager to get away from Yata’s hash gaze. “He doesn’t know how to talk to people, but I can tell that he wants to talk to you. He waited for you to sit down by yourself before he went to sit with you.”

Yata realized that he had, in fact, snapped at Doumyouji, and apologized as best as he could. “It’s just that,” he huffed. “I can’t ever find the right moment to talk to him.”

“I’m sure Captain wouldn’t mind intervening a little.” Doumyouji joked, suddenly aware that maybe Munakata really would try to pull some strings and get Fushimi and Yata into a position to finally talk things out.

“No thanks.” Yata sighed. “If he wants to be an asshole, then let him be an asshole.”

They fell into a comfortable silence, Yata secretly glad that Doumyouji’s red had returned to its usual orange in the end. They entered the still-empty conference room and Yata reluctantly put his coat back on in preparation for the afternoon patrol. This time, they were going to patrol near HOMRA, so Yata could simply go to the bar after they finished their rounds.

Yata’s watch buzzed again, and this time he checked the message. It was from Kusanagi.

Yata, where are you? The person I was talking about in my earlier message – he’s a Strain. A dangerous one. We’re going in. Come soon.

Yata froze. “… What?”

“What’s wrong?” Doumyouji’s asked from across the room.

“There’s a Strain near the place we’re patrolling.” Yata said, pulling up Kusanagi’s coordinates and matching it with the map of their route. “We need to go.”

“Wait, shouldn’t we – “

“There’s no time for that!” Yata flung the door open and started sprinting for the exit. If anything, he knew how to get to HOMRA from Scepter 4, no problem.

He heard Doumyouji running to keep up with him, voice lost in the wind as he simultaneously tried to call for backup. It wasn’t long before Yata could hear all-too-familiar shouting, and when he rounded the last corner he was suddenly face-to-face with something he hadn’t seen in a long time.

It was HOMRA against a wild Strain. Though this time, they had no powers.

Yata drew his saber without bothering to recite what he was told to recite pre-battle. Formalities meant nothing to Yata when his family was in danger. He made it in time to block an oncoming attack towards Kamamoto.

“Yata!” Kamamoto greeted, his red a welcoming shade.

“I got ya!” he turned his head back to flash him a grin while simultaneously pushing the Strain off of his saber.

It was scary, how utterly normal the Strain looked. He looked like an average college student, for crying out loud.

A college student with glowing white hands, that is.

“What the hell do you want?” Yata snarled, having had enough of his acne-ridden face and all-too-sweet smile in the two seconds it took to look him over.

The Strain’s hands twitched. “Perfect!” he sang, laughing an eerie green. “Jungle has a bounty for the bartender’s head, and yours! I’m gonna be rich!”

“Oh shut up!” He yelled, attacking the Strain. He slashed and slashed, but the Strain was too nimble.

Acne guy jumped back, smiling wickedly. “Oh? What’s wrong? Can’t hit me?”

“Like hell I can!” Yata roared, coming in for another, much heavier attack. He lashed at the Strain, determined to shred him to pieces for even thinking to hurt his family.

“I wouldn’t get me angry if I were you.” He clicked its tongue in succession. The green had turned into some sort of mix of purple and yellow. “Didn’t you hear? I have fucking superpowers!” He lunged at Yata, who was barely saved by Doumyouji.

“Yata, watch out!”                             

“I know, I know!” Yata held his saber up, ready for another lunge.

“Oh, you think you’re going to win this?” The Strain taunted, hands glowing.

Doumyouji and Yata went in, followed with a back-attack by Kamamoto, Eric, and Kusanagi. Chitose and Dewa lunged from behind. The Strain had no way out but up, and he didn’t seem like a jumper.

A sudden gust blew them all back, and laughter filled their ears as they tried to get back up on their feet.

“It’s going to take a lot more than that, you know!” The Strain taunted, suddenly lunging at Yata. He easily picked the vanguard up by the throat. Yata struggled while everyone watched, too scared to do anything in fear of getting their friend killed. They had to think, think, think, before it was too late.

Yata was choking, his mind drifting. “You’re not… going… to win!” Yata growled, clawing at the arm that held him up so effortlessly. The Strain squeezed even harder, forcing him to suffocate.

“See?” he giggled. “Easy-peasy.”

“Fuck you.” he choked, barely conscious. His strength was fading, fast.

Misaki!” Was the last thing the redhead heard before he was tossed onto the floor and knocked unconscious.

 

_______

 

Yata woke three days later on a hospital bed with a bandage wrapped around the left side of his head. His memory was foggy, and the sounds around him filled the air with color.

“Yata!” Doumyouji was the first to notice that Yata was awake. He didn’t recognize anyone else in the room except for Kusanagi and Anna, who were speaking to two other Scepter 4 personnel in the corner of the tiny room.

“What happened?” Yata mumbled, squinting his eyes. The lights in the room were too bright.

“You got thrown twenty-something meters and hit your head on the sidewalk curb, that’s what!” Doumyouji was a gentle sapphire at that moment, which Yata figured was his mix of excitement and relief.

“That far, huh…”

“Yeah! Fushimi came and nearly killed the Strain after that, but we managed to stop him in time and get the Strain into the facility. We’re waiting for the rabbits to come pick them up right now. Man, that was scary!”

“Hmmm.”

“Ah!” It drifted into a sunny orange. “Kusanagi wants to see you, too!”

With that Doumyouji left his spot by the foot of the bed and joined the other two blue clansmen, allowing the HOMRA members some space to visit their friend.

“You idiot.” Kusanagi laughed as he went up to Yata, his relief a bright pink. “If it weren’t for Fushimi, you’d probably be dead right now, you know that?”

“Yeah.” Yata was feeling tired, but he was happy to see them both safe and sound.

“Misaki.” Anna was on the other side of, holding his hand gently. “You’ll be okay.”

“Of course, of course!” Yata smiled at Anna. “It takes more than that to kill me, you know!”

“You were pretty much half-dead when you arrived at the hospital, though.” Kusanagi said, his pink tainted with violet.

“… Huh?”

“You lost a lot of blood when the guy threw you away like that.”

“Oh…”

Yata didn’t want to know the details, honestly. He just wanted to get out of the hospital and under the bright blue sky. He wanted to get away from everything right now and just rest.

But this was Yata Misaki, the man who usually never got a nice break.

“Ah.” One of the blue clansmen said. “Fushimi.”

The room fell silent as Fushimi quietly sulked into the room. His hands were in his pockets and he had an unreadable expression on his face as he turned to look straight at Yata. Anna squeezed his hand tightly and let go, signaling Kusanagi to give them space. He patted Yata’s shoulder gently and they both pulled away from the bed, waving to Yata as they, along with Doumyouji and others, left the room in complete silence.

“Saru.” Yata breathed, unsure of how to assess the situation.

Fushimi sat down on the chair next to Yata’s bed, this time avoiding his gaze. “Are you okay?”

“Of course I am.” The drowsiness faded away as the temperature in the room seemed to rise. He looked away from Fushimi.

They sat there in silence for what seemed like hours. Neither dared to break the spell that had settled around them. Yata fiddled with the bedsheets while Fushimi looked to the opposite wall with a faraway look in his eyes.

Eventually, Yata spoke to get it over with. “Thank you.”

“… Be careful next time.” Fushimi said in a violet tone, glancing towards Yata.

“Yes, Sir.”

“… Don’t be like that.” Faded gold.

“What?” Yata turned to his superior.

“Don’t call me sir.” The ugly purple was weakening, much to Yata’s relief.

“Why not?”

“Just… don’t.” The gold strengthened.

“Saru.”

“What?” He looked to Yata, completely unaware of his pale rose-red. Annoyance?

“Is there something on your mind?”

“It’s nothing.” Orange.

“Your voice keeps changing.” Yata murmured, unsure of what to make of it. Usually it meant that emotions were changing, too, but Yata wasn’t sure of anything when it came to the person sitting next to him.

Fushimi looked away again. “Is that a bad thing?” he murmured violet.

“It’s… better than before.”

“…”

Yata sighed. This wasn’t going to end well if he didn’t say something meaningful enough. “You’ve been bouncing around from violet to orange to red and back again.” He was vaguely aware of how little sense he was making. “… Your colors are a little different from before.”

Fushimi allowed Yata the space to talk, knowing that they weren’t going to get another chance like this anytime soon.

“You used to have really pretty colors, like lilac and blue and pink, then when you left… they got so dark and muddy, like the colors were fighting each other all the time. It looked like an ugly purple all the time. Then ever since I saved you from that brat all those months ago, the colors seemed to start to come back, but they’re different still, and it bothers me…”

They fell into another silent spell, and Yata started thinking really hard about how he saw Fushimi’s colors. He knew that his own emotions clouded the way he heard Fushimi’s sound. He knew that all these colors were part of himself and not so much them. He knew every set of colors were as distinct to a person as their personality was, and it made it all the more difficult for him to decipher what his mind tries to tell him.

So there had to be a reason why Saruhiko’s was the prettiest, dirtiest, and most confusing set of colors he could ever hear. But he just couldn’t figure out how his mind connected his colors together.

“It’s frustrating, sometimes.” Yata mumbled, looking at his hands. They were still fiddling with the edge of the bedsheets.

“Do you want them to change?” Fushimi asked out of the blue. There was nothing but seriousness in his tone, which Yata barely registered as a purple-grey.

“I guess,” Yata sighed. “I just want them to be pretty again.”

“How do I do that?” It was still the same.

Yata laughed. “I don’t know, Saru. You tell me. I don’t know how to control these colors. I don’t know why yours are so weird. I don’t know anything, really.”

It was quiet again, but the tension in the room was unnerving.

“You know,” Fushimi spoke softly, a faint white snaking its way into the mix of blue and purple. “We don’t have to talk about everything in one sitting.”

“What?”

“The talk we seem to be avoiding. We can just do it gradually.”

Yata let out a breath he wasn’t even aware he was holding. “But… what’s going to happen now, then?”

Fushimi chuckled. “We try again, I guess.”

Yata turned and saw lilac escape Fushimi’s lips. “You mean…”

“Let’s start over.”

“From the beginning?”

“Not the beginning, you idiot. From today.”

“You’re… willing to start over?”

“Why else do you think I’m here?”

Yata laughed, his happiness bubbling over. “I thought you were here because you were concerned about me hitting my head on the sidewalk.”

“Did you get ten times stupider or something?”

“There you go again! You’re a pain, you know that?”

“As if you’re not used to it.” Fushimi smiled. Yata tried to memorize the light blue and lilac that had seemed to cement itself in each sound Fushimi made. The purple had completely disappeared now.

“I like those colors a lot.” Yata whispered.

“What colors am I?”

“Lilac. Like the lilac from before. The lilac from our better days. The lilac that reminds me of our little world. And light blue like from before, too.” Yata continued, wanting to get the sappy speech over with as soon as he could so he could bury his face into the pillow and forget this ever happened. “It’s your happy blue, I think.”

“You’re still into pastels?” Fushimi teased.

No, stupid!” Yata nearly yelled, exasperated. “You’re pastel. In the past, I mean... You’ve always been pastel.” His voice faltered.

Fushimi’s smile never faded as he looked at Yata, really looked at him, for the first time in years. “You and your Chromesthesia…”

He stood up, noticing Yata’s frown. “It’s the middle of the day; I have work.” He explained, clicking his tongue. “I’ll be back later. Maybe. Do you need anything from your apartment?”

Yata shook his head. “You don’t have the keys to it anyways.”

“Who said I’d need it?” Fushimi smirked.

“Weirdo.”

Virgin.”

“Pervert.”

“Stupid.”

“Oh, quit with that already!”

Fushimi chuckled and turned to leave, waving Yata goodbye. “We’ll talk later, okay?”

“Later as in three months from now?”

“Later as in I’m probably going to be put in charge of your dinner tonight.” He winked, leaving the room and leaving Yata to his own thoughts.

“Wait, so that’s it?” He asked himself. That’s all they needed to do? Just ten minutes alone with each other did that much to them? What more would a few days do? Months, even? Would they be friends years later?

Yata smiled and made himself a little more comfortable on the thin hospital bed. He probably wasn’t going to get out of this anytime soon, but maybe they could talk a little more when Fushimi had the free time. But how much has Fushimi changed over the past few years? Was he still picky with his food? Did he sleep well? Was he even trying to tolerate his coworkers enough to at least talk to them in his free time?

A sudden thought flashed through his mind and he couldn’t help but groan.

“Ah hell, if he even thinks to give me milk and leave out the vegetables in my dinner, I’m gonna…”

 

_______

 

It’s been six months since that day, and two months since he was declared fully recovered and able to return to a more normal daily life.

Yata was still participating in Scepter 4 related jobs, and he had been granted the privilege of no longer being required to use his uniform. He still kept it, however, because Yata was all about sentimental things, and even something like a Scepter 4 uniform held some sort of personal meaning to him.

Things were going well for him now, too. He had his best friend back, upgraded from a dingy apartment to a more modest one that sat right in-between HOMRA and Scepter 4, and he also finally started participating in skateboarding competitions. He wasn’t the best at it yet, but he was getting better. Silver is just a step away from gold, was Yata’s motto.

He had a lot of free time in his days, so he even learned to cook things that satisfied even his grump of a best friend, despite his utter hated for dairy-based things that Fushimi seemed to love to take with him to lunch.

Hell, he even picked up a new musical hobby as well.

It was seven-thirty in the evening one warm day in November when Yata picked up his guitar from its wall mount by the television and sat down on the couch, humming a melody to himself as he placed his fingers on the strings. He strummed once, twice, and suddenly he was playing a song that was all-too-familiar to him.

With an honest gaze we looked at the future full of longing, as long as we are together on the path we walk,” he murmured, enjoying the memories that flooded his mind. The sounds were red; not as strong as Kamamoto’s happy red or deep as Doumyouji’s concerned red, but a red that was warm and inviting like a campfire. Yata practiced this song every day, hoping that one day he’d play it well enough to make Totsuka proud.

He still visited HOMRA when he wasn’t out and about, but he usually only saw Anna and Kusanagi at the bar, with Kamamoto dropping by occasionally. Kamamoto had found himself a “special someone”, as he liked to call them, so he wasn’t as full of free time as he was before. Anna was in school and doing very well in it, even without the help of anyone else. Kusanagi was still the proud owner of HOMRA Bar, which was always bustling with people who wanted to get away from the busy streets of Shizume.

The sound of a key fitting into a lock jolted Yata from his reverie, and when he turned to look to see who had interrupted him, he couldn’t help the soft smile that settled on his face.

“I’m home.” The intruder called out to him tiredly.

“Welcome back.” Yata answered, watching the figure peel his coat and saber off and place them into the rack behind the door before making his way to where Yata was. He dropped onto the couch, careful to avoid hitting the guitar, and started grumbling about the usual work-related things.

Yata laughed, setting the guitar on the floor next to the couch, where it was relatively safe from the both of them. “You complain too much.”

Fushimi raised an eyebrow. “You don’t work enough.”

“Are you still sour about me not working full time?”

“No.” Fushimi yawned a light blue.

Yata snickered. “Yeah, right. You’re tired already?”

Fushimi elbowed him. “I had to work all day, unlike this idiot here.”

“Hey, I come in every morning now! At least be glad I started coming in every damn day!”

“That’s just because you have a friend there now.”

“More like a few friends.” Yata smiled. The time had finally come when Yata made friends with Fushimi's (their, technically) coworkers, and it was one of the best feelings in the world, honestly. He didn't feel so suffocated around them, and they were always there to help Yata, Fushimi-related or otherwise.

“I'll go get dinner ready.”

“… ‘kay.”

Yata got up to prepare a light dinner while Fushimi started flicking through their shared music player. They each had their own playlists on it, but Fushimi still preferred to go through the entire list of songs in case his new roommate had decided to add anything new to it. The player was hooked up to a sound system via Bluetooth, and when he had settled on a song he let it play softly in the background.

“… You really like that song, huh?” Yata commented from the kitchen.

“Well,” Fushimi relaxed onto the couch, “you were the one who snuck it onto my playlist.”

“And you kept it.” Yata smiled, humming to the tune while frying their leftover rice. They hadn’t gone out to buy groceries yet, so they were stuck with fried rice and eggs for dinner.

“I’ll always keep your songs.” Fushimi murmured a light white before singing along to the song. “Lost in the rain again, when will it ever end? The arms of relief seem so out of reach but I, I am here.

The lilac returned, making Yata’s heart squeeze involuntarily. Fushimi let the song fade and went to get ready for bed. By the time three songs had finished playing, he had joined Yata in the kitchen - the food was almost done, and he was usually the one to set up the plates and spoons so that they could eat right away.

Yata set the food down and sat across from Fushimi with a smile on his face, humming to the tune of the song that came next.

They ate quickly, Fushimi given nothing to complain about because Yata knows his habits, and within twenty minutes the table was clear, the leftover food was wrapped and put away, and the dishes were cleaned. Yata stretched yawned rather loudly, causing Fushimi to yawn from watching him.

“We should probably go to bed.” Fushimi offered.

“But it’s only nine.”

So?”

“Just sit out here with me a little longer.” Yata mumbled, suddenly shy.

“Fine.” It was reddish again. Yata frowned.

“Ah, nevermind… you’re probably tired from work. Go to bed now.”

Fushimi sighed. “No, it’s okay.”

“… If you say so.” Yata went to sit on the couch, and motioned for Fushimi to come over as well.

Fushimi dragged his feet over and collapsed onto the couch rather gracelessly, tossing his glasses onto the coffee table and burying his face in one of the couch pillows. Yata put his playlist on shuffle, set a timer for fifteen minutes, and set the player down on top of the guitar before returning to a proper sitting position. The atmosphere was peaceful, as it usually was when they were home for the evening. He hummed softly while petting Fushimi’s hair absentmindedly.

“… What does music sound like?” Fushimi asked a few songs later, not moving from his position on the couch.

“Hmm,” Yata thought. “I guess it depends. Some songs are sad and purple, while others are happy and blue… and sometimes they change colors depending on the kind of song.”

“Hmm.” Fushimi turned his head to look up at Yata. “What’s your favorite sound then?”

Yata felt his face heat up. “N-none.”

He raised an eyebrow. “Doesn’t seem like nothing.”

“You’re going to hate me if I tell you.” Yata murmured, looking away.

“What, did you fall in love with Munakata’s giggles or something?”

“No! Not that person…”

“Oh?”

“Ah, shit.” Yata fidgeted nervously. “… Will you leave it alone if I tell you the color of my favorite sound?”

“Fine.” The music stopped playing.

Yata kept fidgeting. “You sure you won’t get mad?”

“Why would I get mad, idiot?” Red found its way into his voice, involuntarily scaring Yata.

It took a while for him to muster up the courage to tell Fushimi something he’s kept to himself since they were middle school students. “It’s… lilac.”

“Eeh.” Fushimi smiled. “So… what about the person the sound belongs to?”

“What about them?” He was nervous as Fushimi tried to break apart the meaning behind his lilac.

“Do you like them?”

Hah?” Yata blushed. “W-why would you care?” He abruptly stood up from the couch. “L-let’s just go to bed now, okay?”

Fushimi sat up slowly and rubbed his eyes sleepily. “Misaki,” He sang. “Answer me.” It was an odd magenta, something new to Yata.

“Why the hell do you care?”

“Because…” it faded back to lilac.

“Because…?”

“I’m just curious to see who Misaki wants to be with forever.” He picked up his glasses and hung them on the collar of his shirt.

Yata sighed heavily. “Saru, you’re tired. You’re not acting yourself right now. Go. To. Bed.” He grabbed one of Fushimi’s hands and half-dragged him into the bedroom, plucking his glasses off of the shirt collar and setting it on the nightstand before tossing him onto his bed, then flopping over onto his own bed two feet away and setting his watch onto the same nightstand.

They both settled into their beds, and after a moment Yata spoke up.

“Are you still awake?”

Silence.

“I guess not…” he mumbled. “If I had the choice, I’d want to be with that lilac forever. And there’s only one person I know that ever sounds that color, but it’s so rare that sometimes I forget that the color even exists in their voice.” He breathed, staring at the ceiling. Yata hated being all mushy, but he was an emotional person that would be bothered by it either way if he didn’t let it out soon.

Fushimi rolled over and looked at Yata. “What can I do to show you that color, then?”

Yata nearly jumped off of the bed. “Sa-Saru? You heard me?”

“You’re loud.”

“A-ah... so-sorry. Just… ignore what I said. Okay?”

“No.”

What do you mean no?”

“I want to know how to make you hear the color.”

Why?”

Fushimi didn’t answer.

Yata didn’t know what was on his mind, but he wanted to answer Fushimi’s question. He wanted everything between them to be as transparent as they could make it. No secrets, no wondering, nothing.

“Just… stay with me, I guess.” Yata wasn’t sure of his answer, but if they were together, then they could figure anything out.

“Is that all?”

Yata laughed. “You’re talking quite a lot tonight.”

“Your rice was really good earlier.”

“What does that have to do with anything? Anyways… we’ll figure it out as we go. You were lilac when you sang earlier, so maybe we can start from there.”

“… Yeah.”

Yata yawned again. “Can we get some rest now? We have work at six tomorrow.”

“Nnn.”

Yata chuckled and closed his eyes, tossing around until he found a comfortable position to sleep in. “’Night, Saruhiko.”

“… ’Night, Misaki.”

His goodnight was always lilac. Fushimi was always lilac when he was being kind to Yata. He knew it was the color of Fushimi’s feelings for Yata, and it also grew to be Yata’s favorite sound all those years ago, but he never told Fushimi that back then, in fear of being abandoned by his best friend over something so trivial as that.

But things were different now. They were stronger now than they were back then. Fushimi’s there to stay as long as Yata doesn’t somehow royally fuck up. His lilac was something Yata could see every single night again.

If only he could put these feelings into words that Fushimi could fully understand.