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catch the pieces of me

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“Eijun, we’ve had this discussion before–”

“What discussion?! You’re just avoiding the topic!”

Sighs and frustrated footsteps. The rustling of clothes, a bag being pulled over the shoulder.

“This is stupid. I’m leaving.”

“Eijun, wait.”

“If I knew it was going to be like this, then I shouldn’t have fallen for you!”

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 Day #0

The loud echo of his final words causes his finger to twitch slightly, and abruptly there are familiar voices all around him. Familiar, but at the same time, not really familiar. To his left, he thinks he hears Miyuki. But Miyuki doesn’t sound like that. He’s full-time arrogant and the biggest asshole he’s ever met, part-time the Catcher who never fails to impress him on the field (annoyingly so). This Miyuki sounded frantic, worried. Somehow, it made his heart thump a little faster.

To his right, Kuramochi and Wakana. Probably. Because what he hears is Kuramochi whispering soothing words to his childhood friend, and her crying into what was most likely his shoulder, and nothing is making sense. 

So, even though Sawamura’s eyes felt dry as heck, and the process was painful as though he hasn’t opened his eyes in a long time, he manages to crack a lid. The sudden brightness blinds him, and he groans. If that choked sound could even be called one.

“Oh my God, he’s really awake!” A blurry figure – Sawamura thinks it’s Wakana – jumps into who could only be Kuramochi’s arms with a cheery yelp. “Hurry, Miyuki, call the doctor!”

Miyuki? No way was she referring to Miyuki Kazuya, right? She hasn’t even met the guy; why is she addressing him without honorifics?

“Oi, Sawamura! Ya hear me? Sawamura!”

Sawamura wants to yell at Kuramochi to shut up, his head’s ringing, but his throat is dry and it hurts to even part his lips, so he squeezes his eyes shut and attempts at a shake of his head, hoping he’d get the message. Thankfully, Kuramochi does, and goes to grab Sawamura a glass of water. Since when was his senior such a considerate guy? It doesn’t matter; he’s grateful when he swallows the liquid, his voice finally able to break free, finally able to ask the question he’s wanted to since he regained consciousness.

“What happened to me?” God, was that his voice? It sounded so hoarse, so raspy, so deep, as though it came from his very stomach. That wasn’t how he sounded. Or was it? He faintly recalls a moment he’d spoken in that voice, but he had a feeling it wasn’t a pleasant memory.

What happened? Dude, you got hit in the head by a friggin’ baseball in the last game. You scared the shit out of us! Hell, Miyuki’s got it the worst of us all. He’s practically been here the whole time!”

In the last game? What last game? But Sawamura’s head was hurting again, and he can’t think. There are chatters and footsteps, and Miyuki is back with what could only be, from past experiences (what past experiences?), a doctor and a nurse. A doctor and a nurse? Why? What the hell is going on?

“Excuse me, I need to examine the patient. If you would please wait outside…”

“Absolutely. We’ll be waiting outside. Please, notify us as long as you’re done.” Sawamura hears them leaving. He doesn’t want them to, then the drowsiness hits three seconds after he’s dosed with something, and he shouldn’t, but he’s relieved that he’d be rid of this headache that was killing him. When he wakes up, he tells himself, when he wakes up, he’ll figure it all out.

Then again, the logic of expectation vs reality works especially well for Sawamura, and he wakes up howling for food, which alerts the nurses –

Wait, nurses? Wasn’t the whole thing from… he shrugs inwardly, not really recalling the events in great detail, a dream? He sits up a little too quickly and the world spins for a moment. When he reaches a hand to rub the side of his head that was throbbing, he feels bandages. Now, why the hell would his head be wrapped in bandages?

A doctor was instantly at his side. “Hey, don’t push yourself. It’s probably a side effect after the surgery. It’d go away soon.” Surgery. Since when did Sawamura undergo a surgery? Was he actually dead and possessing someone else’s body, because that sounds like the only logical explanation–

“Eijun! You’re awake?”

Sawamura grinned and turns at Wakana’s voice and…

“WOAH?! WAKANA?!” Her hair is much longer than he remembers, lighter in color with thicker curls, the length almost touching her fingers at her side. She seemed taller, more ladylike in her flowy dress, and he feels himself blushing for some reason. He looks away, looking into her eyes made him think of things he should never think of when he saw his childhood friend. He wasn’t used to this Wakana. She stared at him for moments before approaching the doctor and they speak about his injury, ignoring Sawamura’s existence. The injury on his forehead he didn’t even know how he got.

The doctor leaves just as Kuramochi enters the room and Sawamura realises for the first time that this was a room, like the kind you’d find in a rich man’s house. Yet this place was, without a doubt, a hospital room.

“Hey hey, what’s with the commotion? Oh, Sawamura! You’re finally up, huh, you lazy ass!”

If Wakana was different, Sawamura had no words for Kuramochi. His chin seemed sharper, and black bandana was wrapped around his forehead, and his eyes didn’t shine with the look of mischief Sawamura was so used to. He, too, was taller, his arms lean beneath the jacket he wore. With this look, Kuramochi seemed ready for a run to home… within three seconds.

He stalks towards Wakana, and kisses her on the cheek as greeting which makes Sawamura’s eyes pop out. 

“You contacted Miyuki yet?”

“He didn’t pick up, so I left him a voice message and a mail.”

“Ahh, probably still at practice, then.”

Why would they contact Miyuki? What about his parents and grandpa? Knowing them, they wouldn’t not come. They make small talk before finally directing their attention at him.

“You’re being a little too quiet, Sawamoron. If you’re worried about Miyuki, he’s fine.”

No, why the hell would he be worried about the tanuki at a time at this?

“Hey, Kuramochi-senpai… Where are my parents? And grandpa? And you – Wakana – Wha…?” He trails off, feeling as though he’d asked the same question before. But no way, right?

The three stare unblinkingly at each other for a full five second before Kuramochi burst out laughing, the sound as sharp as Sawamura remembered, and that, in itself, was a comfort if anything.

“What are ya talking about? Did’ja get hit too hard in the head and lost your memories?”

Sawamura wasn’t laughing. When Kuramochi sees that, his smile melts into an expression more serious, the kind usually only seen when he’s on base with a big lead, concentrating, ready to steal a base or two the moment the opposing pitcher pitches.

“…Sawamura, what’s the last thing you remember?”

His eyebrows crease in thought. “Umm… We’re about to start our first match at Koshien.”

“What year is that?”

“What do you mean? This year, of course!” Liar. Something in Sawamura knew that wasn’t possible. The memory felt so distant, so far. The voice in his head told him he wasn’t 16. “I’m a first year… and you’re a second year, right?” His own voice sounded strained to his ear. 

“You’ve got to be kidding me.” 

“I’m calling the doctor back here.” Saying that, Wakana rushes out of the room, shouting for the doctor even as she goes. Sawamura feels his hands trembling. Or was it his lips? All of him?

“Kuramochi-senpai…?” Said man was on the phone, shouting. “Goddamit, Miyuki! Pick up the goddamned phone! I think Sawamura has amnesia, the idiot!”

Amnesia?

Not more than ten minutes later, the room was filled with people – Wakana and Kuramochi standing close, worried looks on their faces, Miyuki in the corner of the room with his back to Sawamura so he doesn’t see what kind of expression he’s having. The two doctors bombard him with questions, a nurse taking notes whenever Sawamura answers. With every question, every answer, the faces of everyone becomes grimmer, and he only becomes more confused.

Amnesia. It can’t possibly be anything like that. He’s Sawamura Eijun, not some protagonist from one of those manga tagged with Psychological and Angst.

The doctors stand, frowning. “Let’s have this conversation outside.”

“Hey, I want to know too.” I deserve to know, he thinks to himself. But the doctor shakes his head. “I need to have a talk with them first, Sawamura-san. This… may prove to be somewhat of a problem.”

Everyone makes their way out except for the nurse, who stands by Sawamura’s bed, watching him intensely.

“…Um, is there something on my face?” She jumps, and shakes her head. “No! It’s just… My son is a huge fan of yours. I was hoping to get your signature.”

“My signature? Why?”

At that reply, the look in the nurse’s eyes soften into something – pity? – and she shakes her head gently. “I suppose you wouldn’t remember.” Sawamura wants to ask what did she know about him, but there is shouting from outside, and a bang on the wall has both of them in the room flinching.

You’ve gotta be fucking kidding me!” It was Kuramochi. “I didn’t hear anything about this!”

More shouting, though Sawamura can’t make out the words (he thinks they moved further away from his room), and silence. Then the room bursts open, Kuramochi tearing off his bandana and slapping it on the sofa before leaning himself against it for support, as though standing upright was too much. The nurse bows and mutters a quick exit; Sawamura doesn’t blame her.

“Goddammit!”

What was that supposed to mean?

Miyuki comes in and squeezes his shoulder. “It’s fine, Mochi.”

“Hell no, it’s not! This isn’t fair! Not to Sawamura, not to you. Heck, not to the whole damned country!”

And what was that supposed to mean?

In that moment Miyuki casts his first glance at Sawamura and his heart skips a beat. He was handsome, Sawamura knew that, but this was on a different level of hot. Miyuki’s hair is trimmed shorter than the one Sawamura knows, and there is a faint scar on his left brow that was never there before. His face is rougher, the arrogance of a genius Catcher toned down.

For the first time since he woke up, Sawamura feels fear. Next to nothing was as he remembered. What, exactly, had he forgotten?

“What is it? Whatever it is, it can’t be that bad, right?” Miyuki turns away, biting on his lips, and Sawamura’s heart sinks.

“…Kuramochi-senpai?”

The man twitches at his family name before he turns and sighs, rubbing the back of his neck. He meets Miyuki’s eyes and the man nods.

“I think it’s better if you see for yourself.”

There is a beep, and the 55 inch widescreen TV hung on the wall in front of Sawamura switches on to a local Sports channel.

“It has been a week since one of Japan’s top pitchers, Sawamura Eijun, received a hard blow from his own pitch to the head…” A footage played, and Sawamura sees someone closely resembling him pitching, and the batter hitting it right back and it hits him square on the side of his head, the sound of a crack resonating with the pain he felt even now.

“…The country is concerned about Sawamura’s well-being, and whether the man will recover before the awaited match in August, only two months away.” The scene changes and now the screen shows people holding up cards; the camera zooms and oh my God they were cards with his name on it, wishes for him to recover and return back to the mound soon.

The same beep, and the screen is blank. Instinctively, Sawamura’s head turns in Miyuki’s direction but he manages to stop himself and focuses on Kuramochi.

“This…”

“That’s you. You’re a star now, Sawamura. The baseball you’re playing? You’re playing for Japan. Six years. Sawamura, you’ve lost six years of your life.”

Six years. What’s 365 days times six again? Sawamura tries to calculate, but then his stomach lets out a loud sound, stunning everyone in the room. He’d completely forgotten that he was hungry. He chuckles nervously, just slightly sorry for ruining the mood in the room.

“Can I eat first, then we talk later?”

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

Turns out, Sawamura’s a whooping 23 years old now, his birthday having just been a few weeks before. He is currently playing for the national baseball team as one of their two main pitchers – a local celebrity. That explained the VVIP hospital room.

Even more amazingly, Kuramochi and Wakana were married. Turns out they’d been texting about Sawamura since he had the yips out of concern, and, well… things escalated (they were unwilling to elaborate, faces both red like tomatoes). Kuramochi works as a math teacher (surprises, surprises) back in Seido, and Wakana an accountant. That part wasn’t so hard to believe after seeing them earlier. The 17 and 16 year old them, probably, but the 24 and 23 year old them? They looked like a perfect fit. He reminds himself to congratulate them; it’s not everyday the past you can take a sneakpeek into the future.

Compared to all those, the most unbelievable of all things was actually –

“I’m rooming with Miyuki-senpai?” Sawamura almost chokes on his rice as he hears that bit of the news, and his eyes naturally drift towards Miyuki, who had not spoken a single word since he entered the room.

“Yeah. You two are on the same team, after all. Good way to strengthen bonds, so the coach said.” For three years, they have been rooming. Were they on good terms? Sawamura can’t imagine that. “Plus, someone needed to take care of your ass after the thing with your family and Miyuki just happened to be open.”

He stops chewing at that. “…What about my family?” Rather, where are they?

Kuramochi opens his mouth but no words come out, and Sawamura forces himself to think on the bright side. Surely, they just hadn’t arrived yet.

“–Actually.” Everyone turns to Miyuki; it’s the first time he’s spoken. Sawamura isn’t sure why he’s getting goosebumps even though it was Miyuki. “They’re away on a family trip. Been going on trips often since you being a star earned tons. And I was tasked with you since you obviously cannot take care of yourself.

He’s not meeting my eyes. That, and his overly cheery tone seemed like a good enough reason to not believe Miyuki. “Where?” God, Sawamura swears, in that moment when he waits for an answer there was nothing more annoying than the light that hid Miyuki’s eyes behind his pair of damned glasses. He bends his back, trying to get past the reflection and just look into the man’s eyes. Then Miyuki’s head snaps up and their eyes meet.

“Somewhere you won’t know the way you are now, Sawamoron –”

There he is! The Miyuki the 16 year old Sawamura knows. He feels the blood rush to his head – has it been a long time since he felt like this? “Nghhhh!! Miyuki Kazuya, you asshole!!”

“Well,” Miyuki continues, walking towards the bed, effectively ignoring Sawamura. “They’re just having a vacation at the time, and it’s halfway round the globe so we decided against worrying them. You know how your parents get.”

That’s true. If it was Sawamura, he wouldn’t have thought that far ahead. Or maybe that’s just cause his head just got rewinded six years back – not like he knows about the 23 year old him or anything, but still. Something felt off about what Miyuki said. Sawamura can’t quite get what’s wrong exactly, but it just didn’t feel right. Call it his sixth sense – and it’s just about always spot on.

“Hey, guys. I’m finally done with the discharge papers.” He doesn’t get to press on further when Wakana comes back, her hands filled with what could only be the discharge papers.

“Discharge?” That was a quick development. Wasn’t he bedridden like just, what, hours ago?

“Well, yeah. The doctor’s given you a once over earlier and you’re fine now. Plus, it’s better for someone with amnesia to be somewhere they’re familiar with, you get what I mean?”

“Oh.” Kuramochi did have a point.

“Get changed, then we’ll go home.” Miyuki tosses Sawamura a shirt and pair of pants he doesn’t recognise he pulled out from a drawer (they even had those prepared?), and turns to the couple. “Thanks for everything, Mochi, Wakana-chan.”

“Don’t worry about it. I know how it feels to have this happen to someone you’re close to. But you sure you don’t want us to come with you?”

Miyuki shakes his head, a tiny smile on his lips. “No, it’s fine. You’ve done plenty for us already. You guys better go before Yui-chan gets lonely. I’ll call if anything happens.”

“Well, if you say so… Catch ya soon, Sawamura!”

Sawamura manages to muffle out a goodbye as he pulls on the shirt, trying to wave to the two. Comfy and well worn, the gray shirt fit to his size. He’s glad his tastes hasn’t changed even after six years. He pulls off the blanket and slips his feet into a pair of sneakers; those were comfy too. And definitely an expensive brand.

“OK, shall we go then?”

For the first time in days, Sawamura stands. The view seems different; did he get taller over the years? He glances at Miyuki – the bastard was still taller!

“Eijun?”

His whole body reacts to the way Miyuki says his name and he shakes it away. I’m just not used to this, he tells himself. He had more important things to worry about. The first question arose the moment they stepped out of the lift and into the main lobby: How the hell were they going to get home? People and reporters were everywhere. Sawamura was lucky Miyuki had forced a cap upon him and settled for a beanie himself.

“Gah… I guess they caught wind of the hospital you were staying at after all. This way.” Like it was the most natural thing in the world, Miyuki takes Sawamura’s hand in his and pulls him in the opposite direction, through a secure door that Miyuki somehow had access to. He sees the question in his eyes. “It’s not the first time this has happened.”

Huh? Oh. He was referring to discharging from hospitals. Sawamura doesn’t ask whether it was him, Miyuki, or someone else he was referring to. They come out to a car park, and Miyuki heads straight for a black Audi and practically shoves him into the front passenger seat.

“Ow! Could you be any more rough towards a patient?” And seriously? Miyuki could drive? Sawamura was thinking they’d have to take the bus to some secluded area and walk 10 miles before they reached their place. That was how it was with celebrities in movies.

“You’re one of Japan’s Top 10 Pitchers of the decade, you can deal with a little rough.” Sawamura had no comeback for that. Miyuki gets into the driver’s seat and pulls out the car immediately and speeds through the hospital gates before he can even buckle his seatbelt. Sawamura swears he could hear people shouting their names when they were forced to slow down for traffic before turning out to the main street. No one followed.

It takes a full two minute before Sawamura decided he could no longer contain his curiosity.

“So who’s Yui-chan?”

The reply was instant. “Yui-chan’s Mochi’s and Wakana-chan’s daughter. They leave her with the Kominatos when they come visit you.”

“You mean Harucchi and Onii-san?” Rather, Kuramochi and Wakana have a kid already?! Wasn’t he just 24, and she 23?

“Mmhmm. They’re apparently neighbors, by some creepy coincidence. And for the record, they did come to visit you a few times while you were in bed.”

“Huh.” If they’re staying together, that means they’re both unmarried. To think they are, and Kuramochi isn’t. One really can’t tell what fate has in store for them, it seems.

“Anything else?”

“Huh?”

“I’ll answer whatever I can if it helps.”

Sawamura did have a lot of questions, but at Miyuki’s offer, they were suddenly lost in the wind. His mind was a blank canvas. Screw it; he’d just throw out whatever comes to his mind.

“So… you can drive?”

Miyuki chuckles softly. “Yes, Eijun.” He shivers again at the sound of his name; Miyuki needed to stop doing that. “It’s more convenient since, as you saw earlier, we can’t exactly just walk on the streets like we used to do. You can drive too, actually. Though you probably don’t remember that.”

Right. That was a stupid question. Time for an even stupidier one.

“Why do you call me Eijun?”

The Audi skids to a stop by the road. “Huh?” Someone certainly wasn’t expecting the question. Now Sawamura was genuinely curious. “Kuramochi-senpai and Wakana still call me Sawamura. Why are you the only one calling me by name?” He isn’t able to say ‘it makes me all weird and tingly when you do that’ because it doesn’t even make sense to him; why would it to Miyuki?

“Hmm…” Miyuki ruffles his hair; the thick curls look soft to touch, and Sawamuda finds the oddest urge to sink his hand into them. To feel. To inhale the scent.

Wait, what?

“Natural course of events, I suppose?” Thankfully Miyuki’s words catches his attention, and he is able to forget about the hair. By forget, Sawamura means shoving it to the back of his mind to ponder over later. “I mean, it has been six years. Plus we’re on the same team. It just felt right that we’d be on first name basis after everything.” He shrugs. “If you’re not used to it, I can go back to calling you Sawamura again.”

“That’d be a live saver.” Sawamura probably failed in trying not to sound too relieved. Whooooops. Time for the next question. “Do I call you by name too?” That was unimaginable. Miyuki starts the car again then, and they’re back on the road. They’re still in Tokyo (so the GPS reads), but Sawamura doesn’t recognize the roads. A few more traffic lights, and they turn into a more narrow road. The car slows down, thank God; Sawamura didn’t think he could handle any more.

“No, you don’t.”

Miyuki doesn’t elaborate, and Sawamura decides to drop it, and the drives continue in an awkward silence. He doesn’t know what to say to this Miyuki – how different is he? Would they still be able to communicate like they did in the past? Perhaps the 23 year old him is a completely different person.

“Sawamura?” Yes, that sounded much more natural than Eijun.

“Y-Yeah?” It’s been over fifteen minutes, why couldn’t Sawamura buckle the damned belt?!

“Are you okay?”

It finally clicks and he relaxes. He’s plenty sure Miyuki asked a question, but he didn’t catch it. “What do you mean?”

“I mean…” The car comes to a complete stop, and the window on his side rolls down. “See that?” Sawamura looks outside – okay, so he sees this huge building, estimately three times the size of his house.

“What about it?”

“That’s our house.”

“O-kay… What about it?” It’s huge, two stories high, has a garden on one side, and he can smell what was probably an outdoor pool on the other. He hoped there was a gym and bullpen installed somewhere. Sawamura can’t really imagine himself owning the building though; his parents would probably have to work a few lifetimes just to afford it. There are many things he can say on how he feels about the house, but what answer is Miyuki expecting from him? When Miyuki sees that Sawamura had no idea what to say, he sighs.

“Aren’t you… scared? Of all this? You were just told you lost six years of your life, and everything’s changed from what you know. Even now, as we sit here and I’m telling you this is your house, this is where you live now… Don’t you feel any suspicion?” Miyuki’s voice was filled with genuine concern, perhaps even fear. Not for himself, but for Sawamura.

Oh, I get it now. Miyuki’s worried about him. It’s definitely a strange way to show it, but that’s Miyuki for you. Sawamura does find sense is in what he says – it’s common sense. Normally, of course one would be confused, lost, scared. So is he. Just not as much. Because… Because…

“I’m okay,” he finds himself saying. “It’s okay because it’s you. I do know you, Miyuki-senpai. And I don’t think you’ve lied to me about anything till now. Sure, it’s a little creepy to wake up and find six years have passed, but it’s like an adventure, don’t you think? Plus, this is a totally cliché manga plot, and the protagonist always ends up getting back his memory in the end!”

By the end he was shouting, getting riled up at the memory of all the manga he’d read. Miyuki simply sighs and unbuckles his seat belt.

“You know, Sawamura, I’ve always wondered whether the pros of your stupidity ever outweigh the cons.”

“W-What’s that supposed to mean?!”

“Exactly as I said.” Miyuki was out of the car in an instant and unloading the stuff in the bunk. Sawamura’s stuff, to be exact. He felt bad about letting him do it, so he rushes out and grabs the largest bag – hey, it isn’t as heavy as he thought!

“I’ll carry this. It’s my stuff, after all.”

“If you say so. Why don’t you go up first and I’ll go park the car? The key’s in your front pocket.” Miyuki doesn’t even give Sawamura a chance to say no before he’s driving towards the garage. He feels around his pockets and finds the baseball keychain. The color has already mostly faded, parts chipped off; it must have been a gift from someone close to him.

Sawamura is in awe as he climbs up the steps to his front door. Everything was electronical, and they came with the preferred good ol’ traditional locks. Turns out he didn’t really need the keys; after a hand print scan the doors were unlocked and he was in his house.

“Oh, wow…” He’d thought the outside looked impressive, albeit distant and totally not his style but the interior was… homey. It certainly still gives off the rich people vibe, but Sawamura recognises some of the furniture from his old house, and there were pictures of his admired pitchers on the walls. Not only that – the walls were filled with pictures, even leading to the second floor. Sawamura’s childhood photos, Miyuki’s childhood photos (the rascal actually looked adorable!), photos of them two, photos with people Sawamura didn’t even recognise. He’s never seen any photos back in Miyuki’s dorm -- never thought he’d be the sentimental type. He drops the bags by where he thinks bags go and decides to explore the house.

To his left was the kitchen, and outside that led to the well maintained garden. He slides the door open for a whiff; it smells good. Nothing that made his nose itchy. To his right, the shower. A huge bathtub, though not bigger than the one in Seido, and a normal shower. Sink, check. Toilet bowl, check. The door on the other side of the living room probably led to the pool, which Sawamura held no interest in at the moment. What about the most important: training room? The machines, the large hall… Upstairs, perhaps?

“How do you find the house?”

Sawamura jumps and almost trips over the first step; he prays that Miyuki didn’t catch the embarrassing moment like he was so good with baseball.

“Oh, um, er.” He clears his throat. “It’s great.” Curse his sixteen year old vocabulary. He should’ve at least retained memories till he graduated high school! “I was just about to see the second floor. Do we have an indoor gym?”

“Sure do. It’s upstairs, the first room to the left.”

“Awesome!” Sawamura skyrockets up the stairs, Miyuki close behind, excited to see what kind of equipment would be available for him to try out. The 23 year old him must be an amazing pitcher to play for the country. Then he halts on the final step.

“Wha… What is this?!” Directly in his face was an open door – and the inside was a mess. He can see clothes thrown all over the floor, the bed from the corner of his eyes unmade. On the ground, just by his feet, was a baseball mitt. What on earth could’ve had happened?

“Oh! This,” Miyuki swiftly picks up the mitt, tosses it into the bedroom, and shuts the door. “Just, you know. Hadn’t really had the time to clean up after you were hospitalized.”

“Hoo…” True enough, Kuramochi did mention that Miyuki had been shaken. But to this extent, Sawamura didn’t expect. He suddenly feels a little apologetic towards Miyuki. It must have been lonely to be sleeping in this big house alone.

“Sawamura? Didn’t you want to see the indoor gym?”

With just that one sentence, all worries were shoved in a box and locked with a key long lost. Positivity is Sawamura’s only good trait, and what better time to prove it? He hurries after Miyuki into the room on the left. There was only one word to describe what was on the other side of the door: Heaven.

The smell, the feel of the ground beneath his feet. There were several bats of different weight hung on the walls, shelves filled with mitts and baseball gear of different sizes. A basket full of used baseball. In the back, a bullpen (thank God!) coupled with a batting centre. At the entrance of the bullpen, Sawamura finds a mini diamond model. On the glass, in his handwriting, were the words “World Domination!!”. He grins. Great minds think alike. He’s starting to think this won’t be so bad after all. He can get used to this life. He can, but…

“Anything feeling familiar to you?”

That was the thing. “Nothing. Everything’s great and all, but nothing’s coming back to me. Not even when I saw the house, or the photos.” He feels his back slump at his own uselessness, then a reassuring pat on the shoulder.

“Hey, don’t stress yourself out.” Miyuki’s voice was gentle, a tone he rarely used, let alone with Sawamura. “It’s only day 1. We have until August. Or, worse come to worst, we’ll just pull you out of the game.”

To be honest, Sawamura hadn’t even thought about his career at the time. He was so caught up with dealing with whatever’s given to him physically. But now it dawns on him. A game in two months… National level pitcher… Playing for the country…

“OH MY GOD! That’s right, I’m a National level pitcher now! What will the country do if I can’t pitch?!”

Miyuki laughs. “There we go. There’s the Sawamura I know.”

“STOP LAUGHING, MIYUKI KAZUYA! This isn’t a joke! What are you doing, hurry up and help me practice!! I’m losing to everyone by six years here!” Oh my God, I have so many things to catch up on! Sawamura wonders how many new pitches he’s learnt the past six years. And how much Miyuki has improved as a Catcher. Excitement has him grabbing a glove and a baseball.

“Hurry up, Miyuki-senpai!”

“Alright, alright!” Then in a softer voice, “Trust baseball to do the trick.”

“Did you say something?”

“I said, what a simpleton you are!”

“Nghhhhh, you bastard!! If it wasn’t for the fact that you’re still unfortunately my Catcher, I wouldn’t want to throw to you either!”

Fat lie. Sawamura was thrilled. Thrilled to find that after all these years, he still had a connection to Miyuki. The warmth he feels bubbling inside him is a mystery. A mystery he can solve afterwards. Amnesia? Losing six years’ worth of memories? All those worries melt away the moment he grips the baseball he knows so well.

“Ready?”

“Anytime.”

They’re both grinning.

Chapter Text

Day #1

It’s five in the morning and Sawamura is, at the moment, a jumbled up mess. Literally. He wakes up with bed hair – not that he had even managed to sleep on a bed, and almost screamed when he saw himself in the mirror for the first time since amnesia. His whole body is sore, and he blames everything on Miyuki.

Miyuki was nice until 9pm last night, when he had apparently decided to simply stop being nice, a feat only possible if your name is Miyuki Kazuya, who he just so happens to be. He only let Sawamura pitch 15 balls, never once commenting on how he was doing. Then he’d let Sawamura use the shower first, which had been suspicious in itself. Turns out there were so many buttons it confused the heck out of him, and he ended up giving his ass a wash when all he wanted was to flush the toilet (Miyuki had a good laugh out of that, the bastard).

Before he went to the shower, Miyuki had taken out several photo albums from a drawer beside their large TV (it was larger than the one in the hospital, accompanied by two smaller TVs at the side – how rich are they?) and asked Sawamura to “look it over and see if anything comes back”. Each album had words scribbled on them – some, in his handwriting, others, in Miyuki’s. He immediately sorts out the interestingly titled ones first, like The World!!, Friends for life!! ^.^)/, and Memories.

They were mostly photos from after he graduated from Seido; he’d gone to London with Miyuki, Haruichi, Kuramochi, and Furuya right after graduation, Africa with his family, Taiwan with just Miyuki, among many others. Trips within Japan, like to the beach, Furuya’s house in Hokkaido, Kuramochi’s marriage, the birth of who could only be Yui were also captured perfectly. But his head was still blank even after over 100 of those photos,. He was just getting to the Memories album, the one he was most curious about especially since it was the only title written in Miyuki’s handwriting when said man came out of the shower.

“Anything?”

“No…”

“Well, no helping that… What you need is definitely a good night’s sleep.” Miyuki picks up the albums. Sawamura might’ve imagined him practically snatching Memories out of his hands.

“You think?”

“Certain, actually.”

“Hmm.” Not knowing what else to do either way, Sawamura had hopped up, ready to go to bed, before he realised the one important question.

“Um, the bedroom…?”

“Huh? Oh, right. The bedroom isn’t exactly in the condition for you to sleep in at the moment… You can just sleep in one of the guestrooms for now.” Miyuki was already halfway up the stairs. “It’s the room with all the mess you saw earlier.” He had added when he saw how lost Sawamura probably looked.

“Oh. Okay.” Then where will you sleep? He had decided to keep that question for later.

“Oh yeah,” Miyuki stopped at the final step, and the suddenness of it almost caused Sawamura to bump into him. It was only due to his good reflexes, if he do say so himself, that he managed to stop himself just an inch away from Miyuki before crashing into his back. “Tomorrow, we’ll go to the place where you spend most time in.”

“Where’s that?”

“To meet the team.”

Sawamura wasn’t even given a chance to let out a cry, for he was forcefully shoved into the closest guestroom with that short warning and the door had been slammed in his face and he was knocked out cold till the next morning.

“It was an accident,” Miyuki laughs as he flips the eggs and they land perfectly on the frying pan, and damn did it smell good, better when the plate was served infront of him, somewhat humble in look, the standard plastic plate and metal culinary. He had heard rumors of the Catcher’s culinary skills, but to think the smell was enough to have Sawamura drooling… 

“I’m not forgiving you.” He says sulkily even as he shoves an entire fried egg into his mouth in one bite and it was heaven. Did the 23 year old him enjoy meals like this on a daily basis? No wonder he was able to bear with the ill-willed man for so many years. The meal was so good, Sawamura forgets about the bump on his forehead by the time he’s finished, grinning from ear to ear.

“Thanks for the food!”

“I guess I’m forgiven?” The smirk on Miyuki’s face was more than enough reason for Sawamura to instinctively shout “No!” even if he didn’t mean it, and he could see the exact moment Miyuki’s smirk widens and he’s just so embarrassed all over again.

“I’ll be done in a moment, so you should go get changed. You know, be prepared to meet some of your idols in the flesh?” God, of course he just had to remind Sawamura about how nervous he already was! He stumbles his way into the toilet to take a quick shower, and changed into whatever was provided (not like he knew where the clothes were kept; Miyuki hasn’t told him yet). Within ten minutes they buckling their seat belts, all ready to go.

“Oh my God, what if I screw up my self introduction?!”

“Uh, you don’t actually have to. They are familiar with you.”

“Oh my God, you’re right!”

“Of course I am.”

“Oh my God, I’m so nervous!” When Miyuki doesn’t reply, Sawamura shuts up for just a second.

“Oh my God, I’m definitely gonna–”

Sawamura.”

He jumps. “Yes?!”

“Just shut up.”

“Sorry…”

Likely hearing the dejection in Sawamura’s voice, Miyuki’s next words are gentler. “Don’t worry so much. Just act as you normally would. They know about your situation, so it’s not like they’d chew you out or anything.”

Worst comforter ever, Sawamura thinks to himself, but finds himself calming down. Even outside of baseball, Miyuki seemed to know just the words that hit the right spots. Another (annoyingly) admirable thing about the man. The list was ever growing, and Sawamura is torn between wanting it to stop and wanting to know more about him. He ended up thinking so much about Miyuki, he had nothing in mind as he stood before the group of men. His teammates. Sawamura finds himself bowing.

“This Sawamura Eijun is honored to meet everyone here!! Also, he is most apologetic for getting amnesia and being unable to participate in practice! And –”

Miyuki chops Sawamura on the head like that wasn’t where all his memories were supposed to be. The man can’t help it; he’s standing before some of the most famous players in the country. Yes, he’s one of them, but that’s the 23 year old him. The 16 year old him deserves a chance to fawn at most of the players who are now smiling – smirking, really, down at him.

“Oya, Miyuki, are you sure this guy has amnesia? He’s just like the normal Sawamura!” That gains a few laughs and murmurs of agreement from the team; even the head coach cracks a smile. Miyuki, on the other hand, appears embarrassed on his behalf, completely unlike when he’s with Sawamura.

“Please forgive this idiot… We have full intentions of getting his memories back before the match in August, so please don’t worry…”

“Now now, Miyuki, don’t sweat the small details,” the coach, a man in his early 30s, Sawamura thinks, has a warm smile that reminds him of Chris and he instantly warms up to the man. “Even if he has amnesia, all of us here have faith in Sawamura-kun’s pitching skills, don’t we?”

With just that one simple question, Sawamura feels the atmosphere change. The playful glints fade into one of confidence and… is that pride? Every single one of them gives a firm nod, and Sawamura turns to Miyuki who does the same, and his chest warms. To be trusted this much by his teammates, the 23 year old Sawamura must be someone truly great. He feels unreasonably jealous of himself; the 16 year old Sawamura didn’t conjure such faith in his Seido teammates. At least, not before the Koshien match, but that doesn’t really matter in this situation.

“Hey, since you came all the way down here and all, why don’t you pitch for us?” Sawamura thinks that’s the second baseman and sixth in line for batting speaking, ‘Kaa-chan’, but he isn’t sure. “You’re always boasting how you’ve been pitching those super hard to hit balls since you were in high school, so now’s a good chance to prove it!”

“Oooooh?!” To think the 23 year old Sawamura was bold enough to make such a statement to these people…! He nods enthusiastically. This is a chance he’ll never get again! “Yes, I’ll do it! I mean, if you’d let me, I’d gladly do it!! Actually, please let me pitch for you!!”

The man grins. “Good response!”

Sawamura is led to the bullpen, Miyuki explaining the place as they went (it must be some form of luck he’d never get again that he’s able to pitch to Miyuki two days in a row without any form of distraction; namely Furuya). The facility, almost as big as their house, was truly a place befitting to be called a training grounds for a baseball team playing on a national level. From the batting cages to the locker room, everything was sparkling clean, and screamed baseball.

“The bullpen is open 24/7 like everything else–” Miyuki explains as he gets himself into his Catcher gear, and Sawamura wonders not for the first time how perfect the man fit into it, and he finds himself feeling thankful that Miyuki pursued professional baseball, thankful that he him pursued professional baseball, that they ended up on the same team, that he still gets to pitch to the man.

“–soil from Koshien.”

Sawamura’s ears perk up at the word, and suddenly he’s back on the mound, discussing handsigns with Miyuki, their teammates watching on the other side of the net.

“Got it?”

He nods, and share smirks with Miyuki, which has the batter urking. “Yikes, its the Evil Smirk Duo.”

The first pitch is a strike, Sawamura perfectly executing a breaking ball low and away, one of the new pitches he’d learnt over the six years. It also happens to be one of the four pitches Miyuki had taught him about the previous night, and the one the batter is worst against.

“Whoooooosh…” Kaa-chan (Miyuki confirmed it when Sawamura asked) shakes his hands, stretching himself a second time before repositioning himself. “A 16 year old Sawamura-kun is dangerous, too. I can’t let my guard down even for a second.”

The second pitch – another strike. This time Sawamura pitched to the corner in the strike zone. He couldn’t have done it in his 16 year old body, and the experience was… wow. Miyuki grins from behind his helmet, something in his eyes making Sawamura smile as well. He spreads his arms, his way of saying give me your best shot. Like Sawamura wasn’t intending on doing that already.

Kaa-chan rolls his eyes. “God, I swear you guys are like a friggin’ married couple.”

“Wha–” Sawamura fumbles with the baseball.

“Katsuhiro, don’t say that just cause you’re being owned by someone 10 years your junior, kahaha!”

He turns to Miyuki for help, but the look he’s met with makes him even more fearful.

“Ye–ah~ Wouldn’t you say so, Eijun?”

“O-o-o-o-of course not!” Embarrassed, Sawamura pitches without thinking, and the course of the ball is nowhere within the strike zone, heading straight in Katsuhiro’s direction, and –

Katsuhiro bends his legs and his body flexes backwards in such an elegant way Sawamura couldn’t learn if given fifty lives, the baseball missing him completely. He whistles appreciatively, seemingly not minding that the ball had almost hit him right in the ribs. As the ball slams into Miyuki’s mitt, images flash past Sawamura’s mind.

It was an older than 16, younger than 23 year old him, dressed in the team’s uniform. Katsuhiro was there too, his hair longer than it is now, voice brighter, making a similar remark to what he just did. His heart skipping a beat, hand slipping, the ball going off course. The images jump, and he furrows his brows in hopes of willing them to become clear. He’s apologising now, words barely audible, face beet red, Miyuki beside him, though his face is a blur.

“Sawamura?”

“Has… Has this happened before? This situation?”

The two turn to each other at Sawamura’s words, before splitting into matching grins. Katsuhiro pats his shoulder a few times, hard. “Well, well, well, you’ve gotten your first piece of memory back! To think the first thing you’d remember would be almost ruining my baseball career!”  Sawamura can swear he hears the malice in Katsuhiro’s voice, and he chuckles nervously.

“That was when you first joined the team three years back. You were still such a cutie back then, clinging onto Miyuki liked your life depended on it cause you were sooooooo nervous.” Sawamura grows redder with every word, and eventually puts up his hand to stop Katsuhiro to continue. “A-Anyway!! Can you guys tell me more about this kinda stuff?? I think I’m better at remembering with my body…”

And that’s what they did. The team, with the Coach’s approval (encouragement, rather), chose to sat in a circle, taking turns to share some memory they had with Sawamura the past six years. There were nice ones, like when Sawamura tried to use his own form of encouragement to raise the team’s spirit, or when he offered to help someone with their batting by pitching a specific pitch. Of course, that means there were also not so nice ones, like when Sawamura was caught drowning in the tub after practice, or when he walked a batter after a speech to the audience. Afterwards, a few more batters demanded a “session” with the 16 year old trapped in his 23 year old Sawamura, and he is exhausted by the time he and Miyuki decide to leave.

“Uwah, the sky’s already turning dark…” Sawamura’s practically melted into the seat, glad that he’s not the one who has to do the driving. It’s amazing how much stamina Miyuki had.

“Still, you’re happy, aren’t you? You’ve practically been wagging your tail at everyone…”

“T-That’s not true!! I wasn’t wagging my tail or anything!”

“But, you do admit you were happy?”

“Of course I was!” He’d managed to spend time with those amazing players, plus remembered a piece of his memory. It’s not much, but it’s a start. Hearing about himself from others was a weird but not unpleasant experience too. 

“Hey, Miyuki-senpai?”

“Hmm?”

“I was thinking… Since I seem to be able to remember stuff if I’m doing things I used to do, won’t it be good if I went to places I always go to and do the same things I do?”

“Oho~” Miyuki lets out a low whistle. “So you’re not just going along with the flow; you’re actually thinking!”

“Of course I am! How rude!” Miyuki laughs at that. “Well, yes; I’ve thought about that as well. Why else did you think I brought you to meet the team?” To torture me, of course, Sawamura thinks to himself. “Since you spend most time with them, I thought just maybe you might remember something, and by luck, you did. Good thing we went there.”

“And…?”

“Well, I suppose it’s okay if we just keep doing this for now,” Miyuki shrugs. “Tomorrow, we can go visit Mochi and Wakana-chan in the evening.”

Sawamura blinks.

“Well, not really much of them, but of Yui-chan. You’re really close with her. Her God-uncle, actually.” 

He thinks back to the photographs he saw of him and her the night before. “She seems like a cute girl.” Miyuki smiles a meaningful smile Sawamura doesn’t understand, but he’s too tired to care. He finds himself dozing off the rest of the ride home.


Day #2

It’s bright out when Sawamura wakes the next morning, or rather, afternoon, and he’s thankful that at least he was sleeping on the bed this time. When he heads downstairs, there’s Miyuki on the sofa, reading a sports magazine. He finds breakfast wrapped on the table – curry rice and miso soup. Just the kind of food he needed after a day like yesterday. He heats it up and sits alone at the dining table to finish the food, washing up after he does like any good housemate.

Sawamura’s unsure of what to do next. The past two days, him being awake and indoors hadn’t really lasted for more than ten minutes. Now that he has just about 4 hours before they need to leave, he has absolutely no clue what he should do. There’s always the option of speaking to Miyuki, but what if he didn’t want to be disturbed? It’d be bad if he pissed Miyuki off. What can he do? He’s still a little too sore for batting or swimming. His eyes shift about, and oh. He could just go up to the bedroom – his original bedroom. Miyuki said he’d cleaned it up, and it’s definitely one of the key places to his memories. It should be okay, like, this is his house, after all. The bedroom it was.

He’s not compelled to tiptoe so Miyuki doesn’t hear him, but he does it anyway. “Let’s see…” The door’s slightly ajar, and Sawamura gives it a little push and it creaks open.

“Woah.”

It’s large. Larger than the guestroom he’s sleeping in, larger than what he saw from the outside last time. Probably cause it’s clean now. There was no trace of the mess in the room just two days ago. Where did Miyuki even find the time to clean it? He wonders if this wasn’t his bedroom after all; it was too empty and, well, clean. All he sees is the bed, a bed stand, a closet in the corner, and the window. The bed stand was empty excluding the night lamp, no photo frames or any sign that he had been sleeping in here. There isn’t any baseball stuff visible either.

Confused, Sawamura steps further into the room, first to the bed stand, and opens the first drawer. 

Nothing.

The second drawer was empty as well, followed by the third, even the fourth and last, much to his disappointment. He decides to try the closet next. There were several shirts and suits this time, some his size, others a little bigger, probably Miyuki’s. Could this possibly just be an oversized dressing room…? There’s a large single drawer covered by shirts folded neatly and placed over it. Sawamura picks them up and pulls at the handle. No luck; it’s locked, and there’s no key. An unused drawer? Or, maybe…

“Sawamura?” Miyuki’s voice from somewhere in the house makes him jump, dropping the pile of shirts onto the floor. “Ah, crap…!” He crouches and attempts to roll them into a ball; it’d take too much effort to try to fold them one by one. Somewhat succeeding, he tosses the ball into the closet and shuts it just as Miyuki enters the room.

“There you are.”

Sawamura doesn’t dare to say anything, worried that Miyuki might be angry even though there was none of that in his voice. He’s acting just as normal. “If you have nothing to do, why don’t you go shopping with me?”

“Shopping?”

“Yeah. I need to get ingredients for dinner. Plus we always get something for Yui-chan when we visit. It’s customary.”

“Oh.” Well, it’s true that he didn’t have anything to do. “I’m coming with you.”

Miyuki nods. “Okay. Then we’ll head to their place straight after. Remember to bring your jacket and a cap just in case.” He turns, ready to leave after his reminder, before stopping and pivoting in his direction. “Oh, right. Here’s your phone; I went down to the repair shop when you were asleep.”

“The repair shop?” He had been wondering whether he had a phone. What was it doing at a repair shop, though? Did it also suffer memory loss, or something? As if…

“Yeah. You kinda broke your phone when you dropped it into the outside pool before your accident. They managed to get it working again, but the memory card’s dead.”

Sawamura takes what he thought back. Clearly, phones were also capable of going through permanent memory loss. He extends his hand to receive the phone without much enthusiasm. He presses on the home button, and he’s asked for a password. “I don’t know my password.”

“Sawamura…” Miyuki sighs in a tone that could only be mocking. That side of your brain hadn’t developed even in six years. You know the password.” That was by every means an insult, but Sawamura typed in the password, and the screen unlocked. He can’t even say anything back, so he settles for what he hoped was a menacing glare. Miyuki simply leaves the room.

Sawamura spends the ride fiddling with his phone, trying to understand how it works. The technology was so advanced; he thinks he still prefers the flip phone. He’s so engrossed with checking out how the filters on his phone camera worked he knocked into Miyuki with the shopping trolley so many times the man sent him to wait in the car. He makes sure to apologise a seventh time when Miyuki returns with two bags of ingredients, and a box of macarons for Yui.

“Miyuki-senpai, I’m really so…”

Enough, Sawamura.”

Eep. He’s totally angry, isn’t he?! “Sorry…”

The car comes to a pause at the red light, and Miyuki takes the chance to roll his eyes at Sawamura. “Get over it, Sawamura. It wasn’t even a big deal. If you’re really sorry, then you carry the macarons and ring the doorbell later.”

Was that all it’d take? “Sure!”

The car makes several turns, passes an expressway, and they arrive at a residential building. Sawamura, as promised, picks up the box of macarons while Miyuki carried the bags of ingredients. He wonders why; the macarons were clearly a smarter choice. Perplexed, he follows him up the stairs to the third floor, apartment #304. Sawamura understood Miyuki’s request when he actually rung the doorbell. “Hellllo? It’s Sawamura.”

There’s the soft sound of a pair of feet running towards the door and it flies open, a young girl flinging herself into Sawamura’s arms, causing him to stumble a step, almost dropping the macarons. “Ei-chwan!” Behind her, a chuckling Wakana and grinning Kuramochi.

“You’re here!”

It took some persuading, but Wakana manages to pry Yui away from Sawamura (who was pulling at his hair and it was a cute kind of hurt) and he finally managed to enter the house. He’s secretly glad it’s a normal household, the kind he’d likely be staying in if he wasn’t a celebrity.

Miyuki got straight to preparing dinner straight away; it was almost seven by the time they reached (it’s probably Sawamura’s fault). He offered to help, but was refused, shoo-ed to the sofa where he’s half trying to listen to Wakana speak, half trying to stop Yui from turning him bald. Kuramochi excuses himself for the bathroom. He brings out the box of macarons.

“Here… Something for Yui-chan.” Wakana accepts it with a smile, and Yui jumps away from Sawamura at the mere sight of the box. “Macaronnnns!”

“Not now, Yui. After Miyuki nii-san’s dinner, okay?”

“Ehhhhh?” Yui puffs out her cheeks, and Sawamura’s able to see why they would’ve been close last time. From the kitchen, Miyuki laughs. “It’s apple pie for you, Yui-chan.”

She perks up almost immediately, and Sawamura’s heart melts. How could he not remember this angel’s smile? “Yaaaay!”

Kuramochi returns and offers to give Sawamura a tour around the house. “It’s like your second house, after all.”

“My… second house?” They enter a playroom, presumably modified to Yui’s taste. The walls were painted a pastel blue, the ground a pale beige. There were a number of shelves not taller than Sawamura’s knees, toys neatly arranged on them.

“Yeah. You come here to play with Yui all the time. Miyuki always had to call to remind you to be home for dinner.” That certainly was plausible. Who wouldn’t want to spend time with Yui? “And this --” Kuramochi opens the door into a guestroom. “--is where you come to sleep when... things happen.”

Rather than a guest room, Sawamura thinks it’s his room. There’s a bat, a mitt, a pair of slippers by the bed. A baseball shaped clock. A shirt hung on the wall. He wonders if it was possible that the guest room from his and Miyuki’s house was actually from Kuramochi’s house.

“I don’t know if you’ve left anything here that can help with your memory loss, but feel free to look around.”

“Oh. Yeah, thanks.” Kuramochi leaves, giving Sawamura privacy, which he’s thankful for. His heart races; it’d be good if he managed to remember more things. On the dressing table, there’s a photo frame of him and Miyuki with the Kuramochi family (he forgot Wakana’s a Kuramochi now too). It’s the same photo as the one he has back home, so he doesn’t pay it much attention. What interests him are the drawers. He always had things in the drawers. He pulls one open and -- Aha! He struck the jackpot. It’s a book with a number look; a diary. His diary.

Sawamura remembers what Miyuki said earlier, you know, the offensive stuff, and presses the buttons according. There’s a click, and he is able to open the book. He’s just a little embarrassed about Miyuki’s words. He needs to jot down somewhere to remind his 23 year old self to do something about his passwords. He flips to the first page:

 

I got too tired and ended up crashing at Kuramochi-senpai’s place. It’s much closer to work, can I just stay here instead of going home?

The top of the page had a date scribbled on it: 9/7/XX. Four years ago was his first entry. It’s before he joined the baseball team. Was he working part time...? He flips to the next page.

 

Forgot my keys and roommate’s not at home. Luckily Kuramochi-senpai picked up my call!! 

That was three months after the first entry. The next entry, and the one after that, and even half the book later, there were all how he ended up crashing at Kuramochi’s. Somewhere along the way, though, he’d stopped writing Kuramochi-senpai and just Kuramochi. It was after he became a professional baseball player.

“Hmm...” Sawamura skims through the pages, trying to find the latest entry. “Ah.” He overpasses it to a blank page, and flips in the opposite direction. The ink had smudged to the next page. The entry was short, messier and the ink bolder than the rest, only a few days before the day he was hit by the baseball:

 

Miyuki Kazuya is an idiot!!!

“Huh...?” Did that mean he got into a fight with Miyuki? Since it was recent, there’s a better chance of him remembering it. Nodding to himself, Sawamura rushes out to the living room with the diary in his hands.

“Miyuki Kazuya!!” The man was just setting up the table, and he pauses when he hears his name, blinking. Good. Sawamura thrusts the entry page in his face. “What’s up with this?! Did we have a fight on the 20th?!” The moment the last word left his lips, there’s the unpleasantly familiar feeling of a foot against his ass and he falls forward onto the floor. He hears a crack and he doesn’t want to know which part of his body did it come from.

“You’re noisy, Bakamura!! Yui is napping!”

“S...Sorry...” Even though Kuramochi-senpai’s being loud too...

“So, what is that about?” Kuramochi raises an eyebrow at Miyuki, who simply gives a shrug. “The usual. It was something stupid.”

Kuramochi narrows his eyes. “I know you better than that, and you know that, you friggin--”

“Pie!” Yui, woken up from the smell of food, dashes past Kuramochi, stepping over Sawamura in the meantime, onto the baby chair. “Pie!” Kuramochi gives Miyuki a this-isn’t-over look and calls Wakana over for dinner.

“Sawamura, what are you doing? We’re gonna start without you.”

“Why, thanks for nothing,” Sawamura mutters as he pushes himself off the floor and onto a chair, stuffing the diary in his jacket for later.

They make small talk as they eat, speaking about their high school days. The only difference was, for the three of them, it was nostalgia; for Sawamura, it was only a few days ago. The realisation suddenly makes him want to sigh, and Yui, who was sitting next to him, tugs at his shirt. “Ei-chwan?” He looks down at her worried face and is healed instantly. He ruffles her soft hair, and manages a smile. “It’s nothing!”

After dinner, they all gather on the sofa, having a movie night. Yui’s in bed by then, snoring peacefully. They’re all movies Sawamura introduced to them, Kuramochi explained. It seems they had planned this out carefully, and that warms his heart. Unfortunately, he remembered nothing from the visit. It’s fine, there’s no rush, they all tell him, including himself, and that’s what he convinces himself to believe. No one recalls six years’ worth of memories so quickly, right? But who forgets so much at one go, too? A part of Sawamura whispers that, and he shakes it away.

Kuramochi walk them downstairs, he and Miyuki arguing about something among themselves in hushed whispers. “I’m letting you go tonight, but I’m definitely getting to the bottom of this. I swear if it’s what I think it is --” he hears Kuramochi speak, but Miyuki’s reply is too soft. What were they talking about? All too soon, they’d reached the carpark, and Sawamura once again misses his chance.

“I’ll just stop here. Can’t let Wakana be home alone too long, ya know.” Saying their goodbyes, Kuramochi heads up, and Sawamura and Miyuki into their car.

“They make a good couple, don’t they?”

“Yeah...” It’s true. He’d thought about it since that hospital day, but Sawamura can see how happy they are together as a family. Speaking of which… Sawamura recalls Miyuki saying he’d answer any questions he had, and there is one question that he’s been meaning to ask, and there would be no better timing than now.

“Miyuki-senpai?”

“Hmm?”

“Did I… Um…” Sawamura immediately regrets opening his mouth. Just how was he going to phrase the question? He really should start thinking before speaking with that big mouth of his.

“What?”

“Did I… like, you know, have… a partner…?” He’s mumbling the last part, but he can’t help it; it’s such an embarrassing question! A part of him wishes Miyuki doesn’t hear the question, so he can just change the topic. But of course, the man just had to hear what he said.

“Sawamura… Seriously?” Sawamura’s not even looking at him, but he just knows Miyuki is shaking his head. “We may live together, but I don’t care about your love life as long as it didn’t mess with your performance on the field.”

“Oh.” That certainly sounds like Miyuki. “So… You don’t know about that?” Miyuki doesn’t answer, and Sawamura takes the silence as a no, slightly dejected. If he thought about it, that’s the most reasonable answer, anyway. He’s a professional baseball player, he’s staying with Miyuki, and when he was looking through his phone earlier, there were no missed calls or texts. Still, it was disappointing that he’s single. It’s almost half an hour before Miyuki opens his mouth, when they’ve reached home and were getting out of the car, into the house.

“You did.”

“Huh?”

“A lover. You did have one.”

Chapter Text

 Day #3

 

Sawamura hasn’t slept a wink even though he had the time to shower, catch up on some manga that were completed in the six year gap, and the luxury to even roll around in bed and enjoy its softness for the first time. Yet, he wasn’t able to fall sleep, and had instead spent the past he doesn’t even know how long in agony. All because of what Miyuki said to him.

“You did.”

“A lover. You did have one.”

At the memory, Sawamura groans and rolls around the bed some more. By some miraculous miscalculation, his back rolls over a baseball and he yelps in pain before falling off the bed, hitting his head with a thump. God bless that he doesn’t lose even more memories, at the very least. Not when getting even more lumps on his forehead certainly didn’t seem to be helping like the manga he had been reading. He still wishes it does, though. Then he’d recall who his lover was, and he’d be able to apologise to her for not contacting her.

There’s the sound of a phone ringing in the distance, probably the house phone, and just as Sawamura gets up to answer, the ringing stops. Oh, right. Miyuki. Wait, he’s up? What time was it anyway? He glances at the clock in the corner, hung on the wall, and it read 5:43am. Had he been awake that long already…?! Shit; he’d wanted to see where Miyuki slept since he always went to bed later than Sawamura but still somehow manages to wake up earlier than him every day. Oh well. Might as well just get up, then.

He opens the door to be met with Miyuki, a hand raised, as though he was about to knock, which he probably was intending to.

“Oh, Sawamura. You’re sure up early today. We’re expecting a guest in an hour; you should go wash up.”

Sawamura musters his best glare at the Catcher; he really hated that he’s still shorter than the man. “It’s all your fault for telling me something like that!”

“Tell you what?”

“Who’s my l–” Sawamura struggles to get the one word out. “L–”

“Your lover?” It’s the way Miyuki says the word with his dumb attractive smirk that has Sawamura blushing in mixed embarrassment and anger. “What’s her name?”

Miyuki has his back faced to Sawamura when he answers, already exiting the room after seeing that he’s awake. “It doesn’t matter, does it? You guys are practically over, anyway.” So many different ways he could’ve phrased it, and he just had to pick the one that irked Sawamura the most. 

“I think I have the right to know!”

Miyuki half turns then, leaning against the wall with his arms folded. He stares at Sawamura for a long moment – Sawamura doesn’t back down this time. If there was someone he loved, then he wanted to know at the very least her name, her face. Miyuki seems to see that, and he sighs.

“Look, even if I want to, which I don’t, by the way, I’m not allowed to.”

“What do you mean?” Sawamura frowns. Did Miyuki ever speak in a way he could understand easily? Probably never did, and never will.

“Simply put, the doctor explicitly said that we shouldn’t say anything that might trigger negative emotions in you, or there’s a chance the shock may trigger some brain nerves and your memories may be gone for good.”

“Oh.” It made sense, the way Miyuki explained it. Then, was his old bedroom a place that’d make Sawamura “feel negative emotions”? Was that why there’s nothing there? How is “negative emotions” even defined in this situation?

“Now that you understand, go wash up already.” Oh, yeah. Miyuki did mention something like that when he first opened the door. “Who’s coming?”

“Your doctor. He needs to give you a once over before you can resume attending actual baseball training next week.”

“Doctor?” Tons of questions erupted in his head, and they spew out of his mouth. “What do you mean, he’s coming here? Is it even okay to just give out our address to a doctor? Aren’t we–”

“You know what,” Miyuki raises his hands, speaking over Sawamura. “Why don’t you just go wash up, take a shower, and eat first. It’s easier to think with a full stomach.” As if on cue, Sawamura’s stomach rumbles. The last meal he had was the dinner at Kuramochi’s. Furthermore, he didn’t even eat much then, spending 80% of the time snapping photos of Yui and cleaning crumbs away from her face.

“…Fine.” Sawamura’s practically drooling on the inside, but he’s still mad at Miyuki, so he pouts his way out of the room until he reaches the toilet. He does exactly as Miyuki said – washed up, showered, ate two servings of breakfast. Even used the shampoo to smell good for the doctor. Celebrities have an image to keep, right? He wonders if he shouldn’t be wearing his faded T-shirt and a pair of baggy shorts, but he doesn’t have a choice when he hears conversation by the time he’s done and out.

“Oh, Sawamura, you done? Over here.” Miyuki catches his eye from the sofa and waves him over. The doctor seems to be sitting opposite him, but his figure is hidden by the sofa. Feeling better that Miyuki’s also in his pajamas, he makes his way towards them.

“Sorry for making you wait, I’m SawamuWAH?!” He couldn’t believe who he was seeing. “Wh-wha…” He raises a trembling hand, finger alternatively pointed in Haruichi’s – it is Haruichi, right? – direction, then Miyuki’s.

“Hi, Eijun-kun.” Haruichi smiles warmly. “You seem to be doing well.”

Miyuki, obviously finding this entertaining, roars with laughter, even tearing up at the corner of his eyes and having to support his side. “God, Sawamura. Your expression was priceless! Meet Kominato Haruichi,” he makes a dramatic pause, “Your doctor-in-charge.” He grins in Haruichi’s direction, but the pink haired man only looked troubled. And a little embarrassed at his title.

“Miyuki-san, you didn’t tell him?”

“Well, isn’t it more interesting this way?”

“As usual, you have such bad taste.”

Sawamura hears their exchange, but absorbs nothing. There’s only one thing repeating in his mind. “H…Harucchi… YOU CUT YOUR HAIR?!” Haruichi looked nothing like Haruichi when his eyes are visible. He seemed much more confident, none of the shyness that defined him. The only physical features that matched up were his height and hair color. Even his voice sounded more mature, though the man himself still looked adorable overall.

“Eijun-kun, you don’t even remember that?” Haruichi sounded shocked.

“Uh. No?” Sawamura tries to think harder. Nothing. “Am I supposed to?” Both of them turn to Miyuki simultaneously, as if he’d have all the answers. He usually did.

“Hmm… From what I heard from Mochi when we went over, he only remembers up to the point before our first time at Koshien.”

Haruichi notes that down in a book, then pauses. “Wait, doesn’t that mean…?”

“Yeah.” Miyuki answers before he finishes, as though he knew what Haruichi was going to ask. “It’s okay. We promised, after all. It’s easier like this anyway,” he adds when the doctor gives him a sceptical look.

“No, it’s not okay. What are you guys talking about?” Sawamura was tired of being left out. This was about him, dammit. He had a right to know. Speaking of which, he had to get back about his lover later. He turns to Haruichi, trusting his best friend to let him in on… whatever this was. But the doctor only gives Sawamura an apologetic look, eyes shifting to Miyuki, as though saying it’s Miyuki’s call in this matter.

Miyuki, catching Haruichi’s eye, focused on Sawamura for a long moment, giving a low, thoughtful hum as he did. Sawamura frowns at the way he felt embarrassed under his gaze, and decides to ignore it, experienced enough with the Seido seniors watching him all the time. Then Miyuki leans forward to roughly pet his head once, twice, a third time. “What the hell are you doing, Miyuki-senpai?!” Was the man even aware that the cause of his memory loss was due to the impact to his head? Christ.

And he had the nerve to laugh, of course he did. “Well, it’s a thing between me and the 23 year old Sawamura. The 16 year old you don’t have to worry about it, hmm? Rather, the current you probably won’t even understand what’s the whole thing about. Hahaha –” Miyuki drops, dodging Sawamura’s attempt at a headbutt. Haruichi steps in before they start breaking furniture, clapping his hands.

“Okay, you two, st-op right there!” He puts an arm on both of their shoulders, settling them back into their seats. “Miyuki-san, please stop doing that to Eijun-kun, he’s a patient…” From his seat Sawamura nods in agreement, triumph, until Haruichi turns to him with sharp eyes. “Eijun-kun, you as well! Stop getting worked up over everything Miyuki-san does. What if either of you gets injured?”

Sawamura hangs his head in shame; getting lectured by Haruichi always made him feel twice as guilty as getting lectured by anyone else. Haruichi clears his throat.

“Anyway. Eijun-kun, are you okay now? Do you experience any headaches or the such in your daily activities?”

“Nope!”

“Can you move around a bit for me, just in case?”

Sawamura hops up, and does some warm up exercises. He swings his arms, does a few star jumps, twists his body left and right while Haruichi took notes. “Hmm… Muscles seem fine, and there’s no sign of him straining his body… You’re doing great, Eijun-kun,” Haruichi smiles brightly, clicking his pen. “At this rate, your memories should come back in no time!”

From where he still sat, Miyuki laughs. “Well, he was able bat to Katsuhiro a day after discharge.”

“Oh, is that so? Then, Eijun-kun, would you mind pitching a few balls for me?” Sawamura’s eye widened as Haruichi removed his coat, stretching. “Eijun-kun?”

“N-no, of course I don’t! Rather, you still play baseball, Harucchi?”

“Yup. Satoru has the urge to pitch even on off days, after all. We go for morning jogs every day. Well, when he’s home, anyway.”

Satoru? That name sounds faintly familiar. Someone the 23 year old him knew? No way. Sawamura thinks deeper. Satoru… Satoru… Sa… “You mean Furuya?” He finally connects the dots. What the hell? Was everyone on first name basis now?

“Oh, right. This Eijun-kun wouldn’t know. Satoru and I are living together.”

“Oooooooooh,” Sawamura comments, because he doesn’t know what to say. He wants to ask why were they, but then again, it didn’t really have anything to do with him. So instead he opts for following the two up to the gym and grabs a baseball and a mitt while Miyuki puts on his gear and Haruichi picks – surprisingly – a metal bat. Haruichi catches Sawamura staring and explains, “Oh, this? I just thought it’d be good if I could get a hang of both types of bat.”

Still a hardworker, Haruichi is.

Grinning, Sawamura takes his place and nods at Miyuki’s signal. “Don’t strain yourself,” Haruichi calls out and Sawamura nods at that too, a little absent-mindedly, already 100% geared towards baseball. Seeing that, Haruichi smiles and gets serious too, grip tightening on his metal bat.

Sawamura inhales deeply, relaxing his body perfectly before bending his body in the form he’s so familiar with, and releasing the ball. There was the reassuring sound of the ball hitting the mitt as Haruichi swings too late and misses it completely.

“Ooooooh?!” That was a high number; Miyuki said that even the 23 year old him didn’t always pitch that perfectly all the time. But he’d done it! Haruichi looks impressed too. “It’s like I’m playing against the normal Eijun-kun.” Strictly for monitoring purposes, Haruichi proposed a few more rounds, which Sawamura gladly obliged (Miyuki complained, of course, something about too much work on an off day).

Afterwords, they had a quick catch up session. Sawamura couldn’t contain his curiosity of why Haruichi decided to become a doctor. “Actually, my dad had a stroke when none of us were at home once, just a little after graduation, and it was only because my mom got home just in time that the hospital was able to save him. I felt so helpless when I got the call from Mom, and I decided I never wanted to feel like that again.”

“Wow, Harucchi. That’s so... admirable of you.” It really was. Sawamura couldn’t bear the thought of being responsible for someone’s life. Haruichi smiles at the compliment, and the topic switches to more light-hearted ones.

Ryosuke was a professional lawyer (Sawamura thought about how well the job suited him; with a face like that, he can’t imagine Ryosuke losing any case), and tended to be overseas more often than being in Japan. Furuya was playing professional baseball overseas, in a country that didn’t have Japan’s summer heat. Sawamura feels happy for him; despite all their rivalry, they were still friends. And they seemed to be doing even better in the present, the way Haruichi said it.

“So he’s hardly home, huh…” Wouldn’t it be lonely? Sawamura thinks back to how the house was when he first came back, and tries to imagine if he was the one living in such a big house alone for a week. Honestly, he doesn’t think he’d be able to stand it. Haruichi must have seen through Sawamura’s thoughts, and his next words make his heart clench.

“Oh, it’s not a big deal, really! We still get to chat on Skype, after all. And there are times when Satoru do come home for months!” 

Sawamura opens his mouth to say something – anything, but then there’s a buzz, and the three fall into silence, looking around to see whose phone it was. Then Haruichi digs out his phone from somewhere within the sofa (must’ve been when they had a short tickling session). “Oh. It’s my alarm.” All three turn to look at the clock. It was already 11; nearly 3 hours since Haruichi arrived. The doctor looks apologetic even as he stands and puts on his coat.

“I have to go. Hospital duties. I’d really like to stay and talk more, though….”

“Don’t worry about it. Thanks for dropping over even though our house’s a bit far.” Miyuki and Haruichi shake, smiles on their faces.

“Well then, I’ll be leaving. Oh, and, Eijun-kun? Don’t force yourself to remember things, okay? Patients usually do better when they’re relaxed, like how you were when you were pitching earlier.” With that and a final wave, Haruichi was off and chasing after a cab. Miyuki watches until the cab turns out of their street before facing Sawamura.

“Okay, shoot.”

“Huh?”

“I know you’re wondering about Kominato and Furuya, right? Like, it’s written all over your face, actually.” Sawamura feels the tips of his ears go red even as he gives a meek nod. Was he being that obvious? God, he prays Haruichi didn’t notice. Miyuki only shakes his head, a somewhat conflicted smile on his face (Sawamura still can’t get used to the fact that he could actually read Miyuki’s expressions now).

“Actually, they’re dating.”

“Oh, I see.”

“That easy?”

“Huh?” Sawamura’s been saying that pretty ofte– He finally processes the sentence. Wait, what? “THEY’RE DATING?!”

Miyuki smirks, in an annoyingly triumph tone too, if Sawamura said so himself. “Ah, yes. That reaction’s more like it.”

“No, no, no, hold up! What do you mean, they’re dating? I mean, aren’t they– That is–”

“You mean, the fact that they’re both guys? The 16 year old you against gays now or something?”

“What? No!” At least, Sawamura thinks he isn’t. When he understood that Haruichi and Furuya were in a relationship, it wasn’t like he felt disgust. “It’s just… Shock?” Yeah, that’s the word. The two of them just didn’t seem that way at the time. It’s tough, you know, when you wake up in a hospital bed one day and suddenly you’re six years in the future (or past, depending on which Sawamura’s point of view you’re looking at). No, Sawamura decides he isn’t disgusted at all. 

Miyuki ponders over that for a moment. “Hmm, that’s plausible. You’re only 16 now, after all. You don’t know what happened the past six years…” Sawamura wonders, if, again, what he’s thinking is written on his face, because Miyuki has that annoying smirk again. “And, by the way, don’t worry, we certainly aren’t dating or anything.” Then he leans in, all predator as Sawamura leans away, and the man has to order his heart to stop thumping like a mad man. “Or, would you rather we were?”

Sawamura practically jumps away. “No, of course not! W-who’d want to date a tanuki like you?!”

Miyuki raises a mock eyebrow. “A lot of people, actually. I mean, let’s face it. I’m handsome, I can cook, I can support you, I’m just good all around.”

W-well, yes, everything Miyuki says is true, but… “Who says that about themselves?! You… You… narcissist!” Said narcissist grins. “Why, thank you. And this narcissist is now about go out for lunch. Are you coming?”

“Of course I am!” I mean, it’s not like there’s anything else for me to do… For the time being, the case about his lover’s stuffed to the back of his brain, and only Heaven knows when Sawamura’d remember about it.

 

 


 

 

Night #6

 

It’s only three nights later before Sawamura recalls the diary he’d brought back from Kuramochi’s. Well, he says recall, but it’s really only because Miyuki checked his coat before washing it and returned it to Sawamura. Thank God for the lock; it’d be bad if Miyuki saw the contents. Diaries are personal belongings, after all. His fingers hover over the buttons, but as fate would have it, Sawamura once again does not have a chance to look into his lost future, for there is a flash of lightning, the rumbling of thunder, the sound of the wind howling and rain pelting against his windows making him tremble.

Sawamura’s suddenly all too aware of his surroundings. The clock in his room was ticking too loud, his room too dark, too small. It's a perfect situation for ghosts to appear... Just as Sawamura thinks that, there’s another flash, and he thinks he sees something move in the bushes in their garden. He freezes; then there’s lightning in the distance and he’s on his feet, panicking inside, dashing out and calling for Miyuki, the diary forgotten on his bed.

“M-Miyuki-senpai? Miyuki-senpai!” Where the hell was --

“Sawamura?” Oh, thank God, he’s just in the kitchen. Right, he did say he was doing laundry. Plus the kitchen had no windows, so he won’t get freaked out. Relieved, Sawamura hurries to where Miyuki is, fidgeting about, mirroring Miyuki’s every step until the man finally drops his task and turns to Sawamura. When he’s not moving, Sawamura can feel himself trembling, and he’s sure Miyuki can tell too. “What’s wrong?”

“It’s thundering outside,” Sawamura mumbles hesitantly. He never had a problem in Seido because he shared a room with Kuramochi and Masuko, but he’s actually really afraid of lightning. And... the shadows; they always made him think of ghosts, and Sawamura swears they exist. The only thing that concerned him was whether Miyuki knew, because he certainly doesn’t want him to. It’s one of his most embarrassing secrets, one only his grandpa knew, and even that was only because he chanced upon a young, trembling Sawamura. Since then, he’d always go to him on nights like these (suddenly, Sawamura misses his grandpa; he wishes his family would come contact him soon, especially since he doesn’t know their new numbers).

But then Sawamura sees an understanding look on Miyuki’s face as the man’s face softens in understanding, his mouth forming a round O. “It’s thundering, huh...” He wraps his arms gently around Sawamura, one hand stroking his hair, another patting his back, murmuring into his ears. “There, there. I’m here. Everything’s okay, it’s not scary, yeah?”

Normally, Sawamura’d blush and shout at Miyuki, something along the lines of “How old do I think I am, five?!” because that’s exactly what he’d say to a five year old. Yet he doesn’t. Rather, the words comfort him, and he feels himself relaxing into Miyuki’s embrace, hands wrapping themselves around his waist. The man had just showered, and something about his scent made Sawamura feel like... Like everything was okay. If he got a better whiff, would he remember? Sawamura buries himself into Miyuki’s chest, inhaling deeply. Just when did he share such an intimate moment with Miyuki?

“Sawamura, you’re creeping me out with all your sniffing...” At some time Miyuki’d stopped stroking his hair and was (oddly politely) trying to put some distance between them, clearly uncomfortable with his sniffing. Still, Sawamura persists, tightening his grip around Miyuki’s waist to hold him in place. “Wait! Just a little longer. I’m almost there...”

“Okay, now you’re really creeping me out.”

The conversation with Haruichi earlier that week flashes past Sawamura’s mind, and he reddens in understanding at Miyuki’s words, instantly letting go of the man. “N-no!” He waves his hands around frantically. “That’s not what I meant! It’s just, after I smelled you --”

Miyuki raises an eyebrow. “Smelled me?”

Sawamura’s blush deepens, if that was even possible. “Cause! Cause you just showered, so your shampoo smell’s...” He explains, and Miyuki nods. “Ahhh, yes. What about my shampoo? Does it smell bad or something?”

“No, it’s just that I think I kind of recognise the smell? I was close to remembering just now.” Okay, now for the embarrassing part. “D-did something like this...” C’monnnnnn, Eijun! Just be a man and ask the question! “Did something like this happen perhaps before?” God, it’d be so embarrassing if Sawamura was wrong.

“Actually, now that you speak of it, yeah. It did.” Sawamura immediately perks up at that reply, glad that there was finally another chance of him regaining a new part of his current six years’ worth of nothingness. “R-Really?!”

Miyuki furrows his brows, deep in thought. “Hmm... I think it was around when you first moved in three years ago. We had a housewarming party with the old friends from Seido, and our current teammates. Then what happened...? Ah, yes. Everyone agreed to a horror movie.” The mere word has Sawamura cringing. Gore, he can still handle, but horror? “You ended up clinging to me throughout the whole movie, and even demanded we sleep together because you were so afraid...”

As embarrassing as it sounded, Sawamura had to admit it was probably something he would’ve done. But, was one night three years ago long enough for Sawamura to be familiar with the smell? He thinks about how he felt he was right where he belonged in Miyuki’s embrace only moments ago and voices his concern.

“Oh, that? Actually, you were so scared that we slept together for a week, plus you became even more clingy than usual since it was the rainy season. You’d practically moved your entire closet into my room by then, so we just kinda continued sleeping together. The room you’re sleeping in now was the room you slept in before you moved into my room. Though, you only slept there for about two weeks.”

Wait, did that mean... “We were sleeping in the same room until the accident?!”

“In the same bed, actually. But yes, that’s about right.” For the dozenth time since he lost his memories, Sawamura’s amazed at how Miyuki can be so calm. It made him feel stupid for getting so riled up, but hey, he’s suffering from amnesia, so he has the right to freak out. At least now the mystery of where Miyuki sleeps is solved.

Thunder chooses that moment to rumble, and Sawamura really freaks out, jumping with a yelp right into Miyuki’s arms. Yup, definitely a reflex that would take months to get this sort of reaction.

“M-Miyuki-senpai, would it be okay if I slept with you tonight...? I’m fine with just the futon, so...” Miyuki bumps his forehead against Sawamura’s. “Idiot. We have training tomorrow; how can I let my important pitcher sleep on the floor when there’s a chance of you waking up with a sore neck?”

Sawamura leans back, eyes hopeful. “Does that mean...?”

“Yes, you can sleep with me tonight.”

The last of Sawamura’s worries evaporated, and he hops in Miyuki’s arms. “Yes! Thank you, Miyuki-senpai!!” Miyuki’s laugh is light as he loosens his hold on Sawamura. “Okay, okay, I get it already. You’re welcome. I’ll get to bed once I’m done with laundry, so you can go to bed first, okay?”

“What? No! What if a ghost pops up or something?!” Sawamura finds a good spot beside the sink to set himself on, feet dangling slightly in the air. “I’ll just wait for you to be done.” He’d offer to help if he hadn’t been doing that the past three days, only to be rejected every time.

Miyuki shrugs. “Well, suit yourself.”

Sawamura watches silently as Miyuki works; the man was an efficient worker, almost as if he knew what he was doing before he did it. He probably did, seeing the way he could grab a shirt from the machine and reach for the clips at the same time. They were only two people, so it didn’t take long before Miyuki was done. Still, Sawamura was getting tired by then. Staying still for so long was making his brain shut down.

He hears faintly Miyuki’s voice as he shakes Sawamura’s shoulders lightly. “Sawamura? Let’s go to bed.” The way he said those words were so familiar to Sawamura’s ears, the memories so close to the surface, but he was too tired to think about it. There’s the warmth of someone’s back, and Sawamura realises he’s getting carried by Miyuki up the stairs, and into the very room he’d been sneaking about only a few days ago. Their bedroom.

Sawamura’s set down onto something soft -- the bed, he thinks -- and the blanket’s pulled over him. Through the thin slits of his barely open eyes, Sawamura sees Miyuki pull the curtains so the lightning isn’t as blinding. That’s actually sweet of him, and it makes him feel all fuzzy. Then his eyes land on the empty dressing table, and he remembers an important question that’s best asked now:

“Miyuki...-senpai?” Sawamura forces down a yawn. He’s half asleep already.

“Hmm?”

“Why... is the room so empty?” Another yawn suppressed. His lids are fully closed now, his words only a mumble. “Is there... anything I should not see in this room...?”

Sawamura thinks Miyuki replies something, but he’s already losing consciousness. Tomorrow, he tells himself. Just leave the questions till tomorrow. Be it whether about the room, his lover, anything. He’d get all the answers tomorrow. Definitely.

 


 

 “Eek!” Sawamura finds himself grasping Miyuki’s shirt as eerie music starts to play on the large screen TV. He’s absolutely petrified. The party’s to celebrate the new house and him moving in, so why was he forced to suffer through a horror movie? He ends up with eyes closed for more than half the movie, trembling and sticking close to Miyuki, the only person who was sitting next to him on the sofa, silently regretting agreeing to Miyuki's offer to live together.

He’s grateful when the movie's finally over and the guys move on to food and drinks, getting to know each other. Sawamura can handle that. What he can’t handle, however, is waking up at midnight with the need to use the bathroom and finding him surrounded by the very same group of people, except for the fact that they were sleeping like the dead. And that it was dark.

Scary. Too scary.

Sawamura slowly turns his head to check his surroundings; at times he cursed his perfect eyesight. What if he saw something he didn’t want to see? Then there’s sounds of footsteps and he tears up and squeezes his eyes shut and prays for it to just be over quickly.

“Sawamura?”

“KYAA!” Sawamura jumps. Oh God, the ghost even knows his name. Had it been waiting for this moment? “Please, don’t possess me. The only thing I’m good at is being loud…” Then he realises it’s Miyuki, who was cleaning up the mess made by everyone. No words could define how glad he was to see Miyuki at the moment.

“Miyuki-senpai, may I p-please sleep with you tonight...?”

“What?”


 

Sawamura wakes up. It’s still dark, but he doesn’t hear the sound of rain anymore. It’s warm, and with a whiff he realises Miyuki’s hugging him, and Sawamura’s hugging him right back. Even though there’s no longer anything he has to fear for, Sawamura finds himself nuzzling even closer to Miyuki, slipping back to sleep once he’s content with his position.

 

Chapter Text

Day #7


 

Sawamura wakes up because he feels cold. Sure, it’s late spring, soon summer, but not that kind of cold. The hollow kind, the kind that you feel when you’re so used to warmth, only to have it taken from you suddenly. He shoots up abruptly just in time to grab Miyuki’s wrist before the man slipped out of bed, and they both fall back onto the soft material with an “oomph”.

“Sawamura?”

“Mmm…” Sawamura wraps his arms around Miyuki’s waist and buries his head against his back, absorbing his warmth entirely. Miyuki wasn’t soft and fluffy like Sawamura’s favorite plush toys, but there was something about the way he hugged that made up for that. In his current state of subconsciousness, Sawamura’d admit that he wouldn’t mind staying like this forever. Of course, reality isn’t like that. Miyuki peels Sawamura’s hands away and flips himself so he’s facing him, and pinches his cheeks till his eyes open to find Miyuki’s face only an inch away. “Come on now, wake up, big boy. We have practice today, remember?”

Sawamura cracks an eyelid open. “…Five more minutes?”

Miyuki’s gives a laugh that makes Sawamura’s heart flutter. “Fine. Five only, okay? Then we really gotta get up.”

Woahhhhh. Woaaaah? Sawamura had meant it as a half joke; he didn’t expect Miyuki to actually be okay with that, because it’s Miyuki, but when his arms are around him again, Sawamura’s glad he asked.

He’d just closed his eyes, enjoying the moment, when he feels Miyuki’s hands slip under his shirt. Sawamura freezes instantly. He’d been so fearful of the storm last night he completely forgot the fact that this was, after all, Miyuki. The words he’d said to Sawamura a few days before replays in his mind, and his heart’s a thumping mess all over again. In a bad way. “Miy…”

The hands settle at his sides, and Miyuki’s fingers brush against a sensitive part of his skin he didn’t know existed. Sawamura lets out a surprised shout at the contact. That’s when Sawamura realised – the bastard was tickling him! He squirms, trying to limit Miyuki’s movements by curling into a ball, but he’s the one who’s stuck with his arms trapped beneath Miyuki’s, helpless.

“No– You bast– Hahahhah! – Stop! – Haha!” How was Miyuki finding his most ticklish spots?! Finding the whole situation unfair, Sawamura decides to run his fingers down Miyuki’s back, which makes the man give a boyish grin. “Nice try, Sawamura, but I’m not ticklish there.”

Why was everything about Miyuki so darned unfair? Desperate, Sawamura raises one hand to the back of his neck and Miyuki jolts, hands frozen. “…Miyuki-senpai?” Assessing that it was safe enough, Sawamura peeks up and Miyuki’s face was red. Wha…

Miyuki pulls away in an instant, palm easily covering the area Sawamura touched. “Okay, five minute’s up. Go wash up while I make breakfast.”

“Wai…” Miyuki’s already out of sight. Sawamura stumbles in his hurry to chase the man down the stairs, but then stops himself. What the hell was he trying to do? What would he say once he stops the man?

Absolutely nothing, his mind answers for him. Absolutely nothing, he convinces his legs. So Sawamura stops right before the first step down the stairs, turns back, and heads to his room to change, leaving Miyuki with his cooking duties (Sawamura wonders if they alternate occasionally? Miyuki’s cooking tastes, well, heavenly, that he won’t deny, but had he picked up some skills over the past three years under the same roof?).

Deep in thought, Sawamura’s hand reach out to nothing. He’d left his door open when he dashed to find Miyuki last night, and had completely forgotten about it. Thinking back, he had actually acted so embarrassingly in front of Miyuki – the one person he didn’t want to show his uncool side to – “Annnnd what the hell am I thinking, me?!” Thinking too much that he feels his brain frying, Sawamura throws himself onto his bed… and something hard jabs him. “Ow!

He rolls over with slight difficulty – this time he doesn’t fall off; he’s proud of himself – to check just what the hell was the object and it was his diary, still open and on his bed. Oh. He’d completely forgotten about it. Sawamura picks it up to find the pages it’d flipped to was folded at the ends. He swallows, hoping the 23 year old him wouldn’t be mad. He won’t, right? After all, they’re practically the same person. There’s the sound of eggs sizzling from the kitchen and Sawamura recalls that he should grab his clothes and go for a quick shower, so that’s exactly what he does. After he hides the diary under his blanket.

Sawamura manages to come out just as Miyuki drops the last egg onto a plate, and for that he’s thankful. He eats quickly, stuffing more egg and rice into his mouth when its almost empty. It was a good (and working) method that kept him from saying anymore unnecessary stuff he’d definitely regret later. Sure, he choked on his food a couple of times, and got nagged at, but at least he managed to finish without any problems, and they were off and away in Miyuki’s car. Which reminds him–

“Where’s my car?” Miyuki did mention that Sawamura could drive, so naturally he has a car too, right? Not that he’s actually seen it or anything.

“You don’t have one.”

“Huh? Why not?”

Miyuki does a half shrug, the movement restricted by the seatbelt. “You said we shouldn’t waste so much money on cars since I’m driving most of the time anyway.”

“Oh.” That does sound like something he’d do; why waste money where you can save? Then again, did that mean they’re almost always out together then? What about when he wanted to hang out with other people? It’s not like there’s any visible busses available anywhere nearby. No better way to find out than to ask the man himself. “Then what if I’m going out but you aren’t?”

“Mmm…” Miyuki gives it some thought, as if the thought of that sort of situation hardly ever crosses his mind. Which, Sawamura soon finds out, really doesn’t. “Well, we’re training most days, and with your stamina, you fall asleep five seconds into the seat, so I’m always driving. On our off days, which’s a rarity in itself, we mostly just spend it at home, training or reviewing our condition… The only time you drive is when you steal the car keys in one of your… fits.”

What fits, Sawamura opens his mouth to ask, then stops as he remembers his diary. Right, those fits. Then more questions pop into his head. What were the fights about? Why did he always go to Kuramochi? Is Miyuki even capable of getting into a fight? How do they make up? How… “Oi, Sawamura. We’re here already, snap out of it.” Sawamura’s vision sharpens at that, and true enough, they’ve already arrived at the facility. Most of the team were already gathered in a loose circle, the coach and head coach checking each member’s condition.

The head coach – Takahashi – was the first to spot them and the stern expression softens into a small smile. Just like Kataoka, Sawamura had a feeling the man didn’t smile often, and he grinned back as he gets surrounded by his teammates.

“Oh, oh? What’s this? You’re looking pretty good today, Sawamura. Think ya can handle the full schedule today?” The team captain (Sawamura’s certain it is; Miyuki mentioned about his unique hair and green eyes) winks, the casual challenge not lost. Sawamura feels himself getting pumped up. The chance he’d probably never get ever again as a 16 year old… “Hell, yeah. Bring it on!”

…So he says, but by the first break given, he’s utterly drained. He falls onto the ground, panting. Miyuki stands over Sawamura with his hand on his hips, smirking down at him. The man worked his fair share of sweat, that’s for sure, but it’s unfair how he still looked so good. “Guess you don’t have the same charisma. That’s what you get for slacking off for nearly two weeks…”

“Wha – It’s you who kept telling me to take it easy!”

“Kahaha, I suppose it is!”

“You –!!” Sawamura huffs out, but then he has to catch his breath. God, and he used to think Kataoka’s training was hell-like.

“Haha! It’s so strange to see you guys not getting along.” A teammate whose name Sawamura can’t remember at the moment – he’s the third baseman, he thinks – walks over, a casual smile on his face. He was perspiring as well, but seemed ready for round 2 anytime. Was Sawamura the only one exhausted? Damn it.

“What do you mean?” Irritation at his own poor performance and thoughts about Miyuki had Sawamura’s tone coming out sharper than he intended and he winced, hoping the man wouldn’t take offence. Of course we don’t get along. Getting along with Miyuki Kazuya is the very definition of mission impossible. No, wait, it’s on a complete different level. But the guy, either unfazed or not caring, continued with his words, as if Sawamura had not spoken.

“Well, usually, you’d be all over Miyuki. You two were inseparable like a married couple. Oh, rather, it’s more like an owner and his loyal dog…”

Wha–!

Katsuhiro pops up of nowhere, laughing as he slings one arm over the baseman’s shoulder and another over Miyuki’s. Sawamura feels his eyes narrowing out of reflex, and for the umpteenth time he wonders just what was up with him when it came to Miyuki. “That’s true! Now that I’ve seen it with my very own eyes, I have to believe what you said about you and Sawamura not getting along in high school.”

As casually as he can, Miyuki slips out of the “affectionate moment” (Sawamura’s just calling it what he sees). “Katsuhiro, I believe the descriptive word you’re looking for is fiend.” Sawamura mentally agrees as his head gives a physical nod; at least Miyuki had some sense of self-awareness.

“Hey, what are you guys doing? We’re resuming practice!” The captain calls from the field where most members have already gathered. Was 15 minutes up already? Sawamura hadn’t even caught his breath yet. Again, the fault obviously lays with Miyuki. This man gives me a headache. Yet, when Miyuki holds out a hand to help Sawamura up, all the irritation melts away. “Okay, we’re coming. C’mon, get up, Sawamura.”

Grumbling while his heart thumped in betrayal, Sawamura took his hand. “Got it.”


 

Sawamura makes a poor excuse about how tired he was from practice and that he didn’t want to be disturbed (it’s the truth, but he knows just how bad he is at lying) before leaving his plates in the sink and heads upstairs; it was Miyuki’s turn for washing the dishes today anyway. Tonight, he had tons of things to do. Namely: analysing his diary. Knowing himself, it likely documented most of the key happenings in his life. Which means there’s a 100% it’d include something about his lover, whom Miyuki had blatantly avoided talking about the entire time. Nope, he was definitely not going to spare Miyuki even a thought tonight.

Before entering his room, Sawamura made sure to check his surroundings, as though he believed there to be hidden cameras and Miyuki would be watching his every move from downstairs. Ah – he’d just thought about Miyuki again. Screw it. In a swift notion, he twists the knob, enters the room, shuts the door and locks it with a clicking sound. At last, alone and secure. 

He goes straight to his bed, pulls over his blanket, grabs his diary, and flops on the side of his bed. “Okay. Okay.” Finally. Taking in a deep breath, Sawamura flips open the diary. He skims the pages – drunk, work, first fight with Miyuki, late, late, sleepover, fight with Miyuki… Ten minutes in and nearly halfway through the diary, he’s beginning to believe that he might not have included anything about her in it. Then, near the end of the diary, he finds that one word he’s been looking for.

The words “Our 5th anniversary!!” were written with a marker, and just from the letters Sawamura can see how excited the 23 year old him felt for the day. At the bottom of the page, written in tiny, eerily calm letters Sawamura hardly recognises as his own:

We broke up. Didn’t even have a chance to see how she’d look on the ring.

Sawamura’s breath hitched then. He sees the date; the entry was made in May, few days after his 23rd birthday. A mere month ago. A person he’s been dating since his second year in high school. Five years. He’d mentioned the word “ring”.

“Had I planned to propose…?” It sounded weird to even say the word for a 16 year old like himself. To think at 23, he was thinking about marriage. It’s a weird feeling. Not to mention, he was rejected and dumped by the person he was proposing to (since there’s no way its the other way round, that’s definitely what happened). The thought made Sawamura flush red. H-how frigging embarrassing! He hangs his head, and notices a bunch of black near the bottom of the page. Two lines he seemed to have written and cancelled out with the same marker used for the entry title.

“Huh? What? Why?! What the hell, 23 year old me!” The cry softens into a mutter at the end as Sawamura smudges at the ink, hoping to get even one word visible. There must be some reason he did it, and he needed to know. Like, it’s part of his memories, right? Who knows, he may remember something… right? 

Just one hint, Sawamura thinks to himself as he rubs intensely against the smudging ink. Just one hint. “Come on, come on, come on…” If only Miyuki would just tell him. Why wouldn’t he? Ugh, Sawamura needs to stop thinking about Miyuki!

“Dammit!” In a moment of frustration, he rubs with too much strength and the paper tears. “Oh shit, shit, shit!” He didn’t think, just shuts the book and shoves it back under the blanket, lying deadly still on the bed with eyes squeezed shut, as if if he stayed that way long enough, the mistake will mend itself. For a long moment, he did believe that. Or, rather, he hoped it’d happened. But when he carefully flipped the pages –

Nope. Still ripped. Actually, it looked even worse since he’d slammed it shut earlier.

“Ughhhhhhhh! Screw this!” Too tired to care, Sawamura tosses the diary onto the dresser, and shoves his face into the soft pillow. He relaxes instantly, albeit raging on the inside.

Tomorrow, he promises himself even as he drifts off to Dreamland, Tomorrow, I’ll get everything out of that tanuki –!!


 

Day #11

“Sawamura, third base!”

“Got it!” Sawamura almost trips over himself when he feels his knee lose all strength, and the ball curves where it shouldn’t, missing the third baseman’s – Ichihaya, he finally remembered two days back – mitt, and bounces from the ground to the Coach’s knee. 

“Crap! Sorry about that!” Sawamura bows as the Coach smiles and tosses the baseball back to him. The practice’s finally getting to him after five days, making his movements sluggish. Add on his troubles about his ex, and you get a panda-eyed Sawamura. And to complete the sundae, a very cherry red Miyuki. With his eyebrows furrowed and jaws tightened, the catcher looked completely different from his usual self. Intimidating. Sawamura knew he was going to get it the moment he raised his hand.

“Time-out!” Miyuki’s eyes were focused on Sawamura even as Takahashi announced a fifteen minute break, which made Sawamura even more nervous. Oooooh shit. Oh shit. Preparing himself for one heck of a scolding session, Sawamura slow jogs to meet Miyuki with head lowered.

“Miyukiiiiiii-san! Eijunnnnnnn-kun!”

The voice, oddly familiar, had Sawamura lifting his head and he was almost blinded by the sun. “Gah!” He tugs his cap so it blocks the harshest part of the sun, and squints just in time to see a woman toss herself at Miyuki. What surprised him was the fact that Miyuki, Mr. Quite-Very-Awkward-With-Girls, hugged her back. Sawamura has to repeat: He. Hugged. Her. Back. Like, literally put his arms about her. What the hell? Something too close to anger wells up in Sawamura, and he realises his face’s all scrunched up. He picks up his pace, single-mindedly wanting to get that woman away from Miyuki. Yet when she spots Sawamura, she grins and waves, which reminds him: She was calling me by my first name. Confused, he slows to a walk as he nears them.

“Miyuki-senpai, who…?”

“E-Eijun-kun… I know you lost your memories, but you should be able to recognise me…”

“Hmmmm?” There was something about the way she addressed him that seemed familiar. But could he possibly know a woman like her in an expensive dress and makeup? He tilted his head at an angle where he could better see her face. “Oh! Manager?!” What was her name again? Something… no? Kayano? No, that’s not it…

“Yoshikawa Haruno,” she laughs, ending Sawamura’s dilemma by finishing the line for him.

“Oh, yes! That’s right!! Yoshikawa!! Woah, you’re so different I hardly recognised you!” The bitter feelings from earlier dissipated, and Sawamura takes in her appearance again. She carried herself differently from how Sawamura remembers; she’s full of confidence now, head held high as she walked and talked. The last time the 16 year old him had spoken to her, she was fumbling for baseballs that the batters hit. So they were still in contact too! 

Teammates who were on their way for a water break saw Yoshikawa and waved at her. “Heya, if it isn’t Yoshikawa! Visiting again?”

“Yup!”

“Damn, I’m so jealous of these two. I’d be motivated too if such a gorgeous model came to cheer for me…” Clapping each other’s shoulders and sighing jokingly, they walked away.

Sawamura’s ears had twitched at the word. Model? “Model? Yoshikawa?” He asked aloud. They could only be referring to Yoshikawa. Sure, the way she showcased herself definitely wasn’t any less than the way a model would, but still –

Yoshikawa lowers her head shyly. “Yeah. I got scouted in our third year on our date.”

Da –” Sawamura’s eyes widen to the extent that he thinks they may fall out, and seeing that, Yoshikawa raises her eyebrows. Within three seconds, the two unanimously turn to Miyuki, the man most likely to hold the answers to the blanks. Who also happens to be sighing right then, the same troubled sigh whenever he feels he’s being put in a spot.

“…Sawamura, Yoshikawa’s the person you were dating before you lost your memories. She currently also happens to be one of the top models in Japan.”

Dating. 

Top model.

Dating.

Top model.

Dating.

Dating…

Dating –

“I was dating Yoshikawa?!” 

That was beyond Sawamura’s expectations! He thought it’d be someone the 16 year old him didn’t know yet, not someone so close! That also means – “So you’re the one I broke up with a month ago…” He slapped his hands over his mouth the moment the last word left his lips. It’d slipped out as a whisper, but it was still loud enough that Yoshikawa and Miyuki surely heard him. Ohhhhh crap. He doesn’t know how their breakup went, and he hopes his words doesn’t create an awkward atmosphere that hadn’t existed.

Miyuki seemed surprise at Sawamura’s words. “How did you know? I didn’t tell you that.”

“Oh. Um…” Sawamura feels his cheeks turn warm; he doesn’t know whether they’re aware of his diary contents. Probably not. Was it even okay to let them know he got it from there? What would they think if they did? Thankfully, Yoshikawa cuts in the conversation.

“Yes. We’ve been dating for five years, since high school, but we broke up a month ago.”

“…Why?” The world slipped out before he could stop himself. Again. Definitely not for the first time, Sawamura silently cursed his stupidity. He swallowed as his mind came up with countless possibilities of Yoshikawa’s answer. Unsurprisingly, none of them turned out positive. It’s even more likely that the actual answer would be harsher. When Sawamura catches Yoshikawa shooting Miyuki a help me out? gaze, he reconsiders his question. “Um, it’s fine if you don’t want to say it...”

Yoshikawa brightens up at that. “Oh, really? Phew, that’s great!”

...You didn’t have to look that relieved. It made Sawamura feel guilty for asking, but even more than that, curious about the reason. Of course, it’s not like he intends to interrogate her or anything. Not her, at least. He focuses his glare towards Miyuki, who was doing a good job at staring at something -- what, Sawamura can never tell -- seemingly interesting on the ground. Then, as usual, he manages to shift the topic to something else entirely with just a question.

“Oh yeah. Why are you here, Yoshikawa? You just dropped by two weeks ago. You can’t just go taking breaks so often.”

That’s true, Sawamura finds himself reluctantly agreeing in his mind. Why was Yoshikawa here in the first place? If she’s as big a deal as Sawamura thinks she is, there’s no way she’d be allowed to just come here. Without any bodyguards, nonetheless! Both turn to Yoshikawa as the model digs into her handbag and pulls out two slips of paper. “Yes, yes; I’d completely forgotten! Thank you for reminding me, Miyuki-san! These are plane tickets for the two of you!”

Confused, the two accept the tickets out of reflex when it was handed to them. “Plane tickets?” Sawamura’s eyes scanned the ticket. Sydney... XX July... Woah, that’s tickets for a flight tomorrow

“Yes! I heard from Kominato-kun that there’s a higher chance of regaining your memories if you visit places, right? And my manager just happened to win two tickets to Sydney!”

“Why Sydney?”

“Well, you had quite a memorable trip there two years back with Miyuki! I’m sure you’ll remember certain things if you go there again. Oops -- I think that’s my manager calling. Gotta go!” With a quick wave, Yoshikawa runs in the opposite direction of Sawamura almost clumsily into a van waiting by the facility’s alighting area. Oh. At least she didn’t come alone.

“Huh. Guess she was pretty worried despite what she said after all. Makes me feel bad...” Miyuki has that troubled look again, staring at the ticket in his hand muttering words Sawamura didn’t catch.

“What was that?”

Miyuki looks up at his question, slightly wide-eyed, as though he’d forgotten Sawamura was there for those few seconds. Just as quickly, he regains his composure, as though his mask had never slipped. But Sawamura knew better. More than he did when he was 16. “What were you saying?” He tried again.

“Ah, you mean just now?” He rubs the back of his neck. Probably coming up with an excuse. “...I was just thinking about how poor Yoshikawa’s timing was.”

Not exactly the answer Sawamura expected. “What do you mean?”

“Actually, I booked us tickets to Sydney myself. Though mine’s next week...”

“What?! When?!” Sawamura certainly hadn’t heard anything about Sydney. Just what other things were Miyuki keeping from him?

“Straight after the talk with Kominato, actually. What he said gave me the idea. Anyway, we’ll talk about this later. Practice’s resuming.”  Sawamura opens his mouth to protest, then catches Takahashi’s eyes and swallows his next words down. “...Fine.”

Afternoon practice felt even longer than usual, and it wasn’t even because it’s Friday. Some members commented that Sawamura was on a roll, and asked whether anything happened during the break. He’d huffed, but didn’t say anything. He was keeping himself in check until practice ended, and when it did, he found himself having nothing to say. Even as he sat in the car, Miyuki driving past the scenery he’d slowly gotten accustomed to, all Sawamura did was open his mouth -- only to shut it again.

“--Sorry for not telling you about the trip.”

“Wha?” Did Sawamura hear correctly? Miyuki was apologising?

“I meant for it to be a surprise trip. When we went to Sydney two years ago, you were babbling about how you’d die to go back there again. Oh, not like you’d remember that... Anyway, that’s why, after Kominato’s visit, I decided to book plane tickets to Sydney.”

“Then why didn’t you tell me?”

Sawamura swears he saw Miyuki rolls his eyes even though he didn’t really see it. “Were you even listening? It was meant to be a surprise trip. Plus I had to wait for Coach Takahashi’s permission, which I just got yesterday evening. Still, I should’ve told you from the start. I’m sorry.”

“Oh. Um, it’s okay.” Just like that, Sawamura has nothing left to say yet again. “Again” being the keyword, because how many times has he used it already?

“Anything else?”

“I can answer other questions, to make it up to you, I suppose.”

“Then, can I ask for the reason why Yoshikawa and I broke up? I mean, it’s not like I’m suffering from shock now or anything, so it should be fine, right?”

“No.” Miyuki’s answer was instant. If it’s going to be like that, then don’t ask me to ask...! Thankfully, Sawamura’d thought it through in the changing room earlier. Sawamura Eijun, for once since he lost his memories, was prepared for Miyuki.

“Then now what? Counting the ones we just received, we have four tickets, right?”

“Mmm. I’m thinking about handing over the flight I booked to Kominato and Furuya. Furuya’s finally having a short break, plus his next match’s supposedly in Sydney anyway...”

“That’s great. Then the booking you did won’t go to waste.” He sounds calm, but on the inside, Sawamura’s head is starting to spin. When does Miyuki-senpai even talk to people? Sawamura hasn’t even seen him using his laptop once. Or his phone, on that note. “Wait, doesn’t that mean our flight will be tomorrow?! Isn’t that too soon?! We haven’t even packed anything!”

“The flight is tomorrow night,” Miyuki corrects, as if it made a difference. A few hours’ extra time isn’t enough to decide what to pack. Especially not when Sawamura doesn’t even know where his passport is currently kept. “We don’t have to worry about packing. We actually have a spare apartment in Sydney, managed by my friend, so we can stay there without worrying about clothes.”

He even has friends overseas?! This man... How frightening...

“Then... I suppose it’s okay...?”

“Good.” The car skids to a stop as they reach home, and they both get out, still talking. “Then let’s start gathering our essential items. Also, if you want, you can find the Sydney album in our room, in the first drawer.”

Miyuki turns again before entering the house. “Ah, yes, do pack some plastic bags. Apparently, you get motion sickness on planes for some reason, even though you’re perfectly fine with third rate six hour long bus rides.”

“Okay,” Sawamura answers automatically at Miyuki’s words. They go their separate ways once they’re indoors; Miyuki to do the laundry as usual, and Sawamura to their (it’s still weird that they shared a room) room to look for the Sydney album, which was conveniently the first book in the drawer. Miyuki must’ve been looking at it recently. The words “Sydney / two weeks” seems to be written in Miyuki’s handwriting, and beneath it, “Best trip ever!!” in his. Curious about how he and Miyuki fare as two friends on a trip, he hurries back to his own bedroom and flops onto the bed before flipping through the pages.

The first photo was Miyuki sleeping on the plane. He had an eyemask on; Sawamura realises he hasn’t ever seen Miyuki’s bare face. There were photos of the view from the window seat, a few at the Sydney airport, them at the beach with two huge ice cream cones, them at the entrance of Opera House, etc... With every page, Sawamura grows even more excited about the trip. Sydney seems like such a fun place; he’s smiling in every photo. Even Miyuki was laughing in a few. Genuine smiles from that man was rare.

“Okay, time to get packing!!” Shutting the album after nearly half an hour later, Sawamura’s up and yelling down at Miyuki about where his passport and stuff were kept. Somehow, he feels that he should’ve been angry about something. By the time he crawls into bed, the issue was long forgotten. Before he turns off the lamp, he types in a message: I’m going to Sydney with Miyuki-senpai tomorrow! and saves it to his Draft. When will his family finally give him a call...?

Chapter Text

Day #12

 

Sawamura doesn’t think he can do this anymore. He feels his stomach churn, and there is a persistent, sickening taste in his throat he can’t get rid of no matter how much water he drinks. There’s a sudden jerk, and his world spinning, Sawamura bends forward.

“Woah there!” Just when he thinks he’s going to barf on his seat, a plastic bag magically appears, covering his mouth completely, and he manages to save himself the embarrassment. He coughs a few times, making yucky noises whenever he tastes the remaining of his own vomit in his mouth. “Ugh.”

Miyuki sighs and leans back on his seat, tying a tight knot to the ears of the plastic bag and shoving it into a travel bag filled with similar contents.

“I even told you.”

That was about the sixth time this has happened. Thankfully, they were arriving in Sydney. The mere thought of being able to walk on land soon made Sawamura feel five times better.

“I didn’t know it was going to be this bad!” Shouting made Sawamura feel even more sick. Even as Miyuki shakes his head, his touch is gentle as he pushes Sawamura down so his head touches the soft pillow of the seat.

“Just lie down till we reach. Thank God Yoshikawa’s tickets were first class.” Sawamura doesn’t bother arguing; he felt too sick and there was point when he agrees with Miyuki. Lying down did help. He focuses his thoughts on land and only land. Just a while longer. He almost sighs when Miyuki’s hands reach for his hair, stroking it soothingly. It’s unbelievable how good Miyuki were with his hands, even when it’s matters outside of baseball. 

Sawaura doesn’t even realise he dozed off until the next thing he knows Miyuki’s lightly shaking him awake to inform him that they were (at last) landing. He sits up, surprised and thankful that the bad taste in his mouth was gone, his headache ceased, and buckles his seatbelt such as the announcement repeats.

“--We will soon be landing in Sydney. Passengers, please put on your seatbelts securely...”

“Can you stop with that expression?”

Sawamura whips his head to Miyuki, who leaned away when he did. “What expression?”

“The kind you make out on the mound when you walk a batter.”

“Wha--! I am not!” Leave it to Miyuki to ruin a day that was just getting better.

Miyuki chuckles. “You certainly are. Mmm? Oh, Sawamura. Look outside.” He gestures to the window and Sawamura turns his head and he gasps. Even though it was only half past five, the sky was a mixture of orange and blue, the stars beginning to shine brightly as it darkens into a deeper shade of blue. The clouds seemed to shine like they would in a fairytale as the moon becomes clearer to the eye. His eyes drift downwards, and he sees the city of Sydney, thousands of tiny lights, reflected off the ocean.

“It’s beautiful...”

Miyuki wordlessly hands Sawamura the portable camera he brought along at Miyuki’s suggestion which had been given to him for safekeeping as he... Well, you get it. “Why don’t you take a picture? The last time we were here, we missed the chance cause I was too busy taking care of you. I’m sure you’ll thank yourself once you regain your memories.”

Sawamura, his mood improved greatly, nods in agreement, hanging it back over his neck just in case and waited for when he had a clear shot before pressing on the Shoot button several times. He spends the entire landing time looking outside, mesmerised by the view he had and somehow forgetting the fact that he’s still on a plane, and that Miyuki was right next to him. Then there was a warm hand tapping his neck, and he nearly squeals as he jumps in his seat.

“Helloooooooo, Sawamura? In case you hadn’t realised though you’ve been staring outside, we’ve arrived.”

“Holy crap, I get it, so stop doing that!”

“Stop doing what?” Miyuki asks innocently with a smirk.

“Being an insufferable jerk,” Sawamura mutters as he unbuckles his seatbelt and helps Miyuki with their bags. Checking out didn’t take much time since there was a special counter for celebrities (Sawamura had completely forgotten they were actual celebrities, the past few days being so peaceful), and they were able to collect their luggages and be on their way within minutes.

“Huh. I guess being a celebrity has it perks even overseas,” Sawamura observes as they leave the queuing crowd behind them.

“Certainly does. You debuted in Australia, after all. Keep your head low, we don’t want to be seen. Especially not in an airport. If we’re noticed here, we’re as good as dead.” Miyuki pats down on Sawamura’s cap so it shields his face, and more importantly, his view. He swats the hand away, sulking. 

“I’m not a child!” He hisses as soft as he could.

Miyuki raises an eyebrow in mock amusement. “Aren’t you? You’re only 16! Be a good boy and listen to big brother, will you?”

It’s the tone Miyuki uses -- the kind one would use with a five year old -- that has Sawamura shouting in embarrassment. “Honestly, stop that!” Miyuki clasps his hand over Sawamura’s mouth immediately, but he was too late.

“OMG, is that Japan baseball player Kazuya and Eijun?!”

We were spotted! With a loud click of his tongue, Miyuki grabs Sawamura by the wrist and begins running. Despite crouching most of the time in games, his legs were still stronger than most and Sawamura lets himself get dragged along, eventually leaving the squeals of girls behind them. Sawamura swears he even hears a whistle somewhere along the way.

They only stop when turn into a strangely empty area for an airport, the voices following them long lost. Still, one can never be overcautious and they both listened for high pitched screams until Miyuki decided it was safe and they finally allowed their tense muscle to relax.

“What did I tell you, Sawamura?”

“...Sorry...” He can’t say anything back this time. It was his fault. Sawamura hears Miyuki give a loud sigh before he’s patting his head again, and this time Sawamura lets him, knowing it’s Miyuki’s way of telling him it’s okay.

Hey! Isn’t it Miyuki and Eijun?!” Sawamura jolts at his name. Please, don’t let it any more fans! He’s tired of running with so much luggage in tow! Unexpectedly, Miyuki smiles and waves back, beckoning the stranger towards them. “Eric!”

Eric? And who the hell’s Eric? “Oh wait...” Considering the circumstances, could he be... He turns to Miyuki. “Is he that friend of yours, Miyuki-senpai? The one who’s supposed to pick us upwaAHH?!”

Sawamura’s enveloped in a tight hug that nearly crushes his bones. “Eric” was a man of over 6 feet, taller than Miyuki, and a well-built man, and there was an odd smell coming from him that made Sawamura want to sneeze. “Why, if it isn’t cutie Eijun! Glad to have you back in Sydney! Ruff and I both missed you!”

“C-Can’t breathe...”

“Oops! Completely forgot about my brute strength!” With a laugh Eric pulls back, his arms spread. “Welcome back to Sydney!”

“T-Thank you?” Rather, Eric could speak Japanese? It sounded so natural too. Before Sawamura could ask his luggage was practically snatched from him and Eric was already walking away. “Come on, come on! My car’s right outside! Can’t have you two loitering here and let the fangirls find you again, yeah?”

Miyuki pats Sawamura on the back, getting his attention. He had a sympathetic look on his face, but his grin said otherwise. “You were like this two years ago too, but you’ll warm up to him. Eric’s good at making sure no one’s left out! Oh yeah, sure you’re wondering about his language -- he’s half Japanese.” With that, Miyuki gently pushed Sawamura to get him moving, and they were off to their apartment.

 


 

 

As usual, it went just as Miyuki said. It seemed their ride was going to be a while, and Sawamura and Eric hit off well. Turns out, Eric’s also a baseball player, though it’s only his hobby, and a pitcher at that! They spent the ride speaking about new pitches, and the kinds of batter they hate going up against. Before they knew it, they arrived at the apartment building. It’s taller than the places he’s used to sleeping in, but not as tall and luxurious looking as the one he currently stayed in. The lobby was similar to the apartments back in Japan too, and Sawamura wonders if it was designed to look as such...

“I have to get back to work, so make yourselves comfortable, yeah? Let’s have a mini party later tonight to celebrate the return of Eijun to Australia!”

“What about me?” Miyuki’s tone was that of joking, but Sawamura somehow sensed a little malice behind his words. Weird.

“Of course I didn’t forget you, Miyuki! Hard to forget a friend as good as you!” Miyuki’s smile as they bumped fists this time was sincere, and Sawamura relaxed. With a carefree wave, Eric sent them upstairs while he returned to his office.

“--Sorry about Eric,” Miyuki said the moment the escalator door shut and it begun heading up to the 6th floor. “I told him to tone it down because you have amnesia, but I guess that’s what makes him him.”

Sawamura shakes his head vigorously. “No, no! It’s really fun talking to him! Sure, I was a little overwhelmed at first... But hearing about another pitcher’s experience was nice!”

“Honestly, trust baseball to break the ice.” 

You’re the baseball freak,” Sawamura retorts flatly. “But he’s really good at Japanese! How did you even get to know him?”

The escalator comes to a halt with a ding! then and the door opens to reveal an overly spacious hallway. In fact, it didn’t even look like a hallway of an apartment building; it felt more like one from a high class hotel...

“Ahh, that? Actually, I came to Australia to study after high school, and this was where I stayed-- Sawamura?” Noticing that the younger man was not following him, Miyuki stopped in his tracks and turned. “Sawamura?” He asks again.

“Huh? Oh. Sorry, I was just thinking how... different it looks upstairs...”

“You mean the hallway? Yeah, Eric spent most of the money on ensuring the interior looks good. So even though the building looks plain from the outside, it’s actually pretty comfy. ‘It’s the inside that counts!’, or so the saying goes in English.”

No-- Sawamura definitely does not think Miyuki speaking English is hot. At all. Rather, he’s more shocked that he could understand what Miyuki had said.

“Well, there’s different types of memory loss. Like how you can still pitch the pitches you’d only learnt after joining the team,” Miyuki shrugs as he holds out the key and unlocks the door to their apartment -- number 606.

Oh. Well, true (as usual). Sawamura nods to himself as he absent-mindedly follows Miyuki into the dark apartment. When said man flips a switch, ceiling lights buzz to life for what may perhaps be the first time in two years and Sawamura looks up.

It’s... How does he put it, a replica of their interior back in Japan? Excluding the genkan, since that’s a Japanese thing. And the fact that this apartment was smaller; without the stairs the rooms were beside the dining table and kitchen. Sawamura turns to Miyuki but he’s already looking at him.

“Don’t look at me,” Miyuki shrugs with a knowing smile. “Our house back in Japan was remodelled after this apartment. Your idea.”

My idea? The apartment’s certainly pretty, yes, but to remodel such a huge house after this is... Had Sawamura let his riches get to him, even a little? He can just imagine himself not knowing what to do with all the money in his bank book, and having this impromptu idea which would cost millions. What’s even more surprising is that Miyuki was okay with remodelling his own house. Holy crap.

Sawamura’s gaze wanders about, connecting the interior to the one back in Japan, and... Yeah, it’s practically flawless -- Whoever did all that remodelling crap must be good. Miyuki, as if reading his mind, speaks.

“Our remodelling was done by Kanemaru’s team.”

“Kanemaru?” Sawamura can’t help standing a tad taller at attention at the mention of Kanemaru, another one of his good friends that’d supported him while he was trying out new pitches.

“Yeah. It’s too troublesome to explain to you since you won’t understand anyway, but basically he’s an interior designer.”

“Oooh~” That’s the only sound Sawamura comes up with, because it’s true -- he doesn’t understand much about things like that. But what he does understand is that Kanemaru’s probably an important person wherever he worked, and that he’s good at his job. Very good. As Sawamura’s eyes take in the full view of the room again, he notices one thing seems out of the place.

It’s... a vase. In it, a flower that looks somewhat familiar --

Sawamura’s hand unconsciously reach out to play with its petal, a faint blue glow captivating him. Where had he seen it? Unable to recall, he eventually asks Miyuki.

“Huh?” Miyuki raises one brow, slightly taken aback at the question. “We have tons of those in our garden!”

“Ah!” That’s right! Every night on the way home, Sawamura’d peek out the door glass, always wondering about the very same faint blue glow from the garden. So it was this flower...!

“Honestly...” Miyuki shakes his head, seeming almost disappointed. “You didn’t even go down to the garden once since you lost your memories?”

“Well...” Mainly because they weren’t even home most the time, and they always returned near midnight. Sawamura’s exhausted by then, and usually falls asleep by the time he’s finished with his shower. Miyuki gives him a look that says I-Know-That’s-Not-All, but he’s not pursuing the issue which Sawamura is thankful for. “It’s a realllllllllly pretty flower,” he opts to say instead, leaning down to give it a whiff. “Wah! It smells super nice too?!”

“Yeah. That’s kinda why you wanted to bring it home.”

“Huh? ...Wait, the garden’s because of me too?!”

“That’s right. And yet, you didn’t even bother to spend a few minutes in the garden I spend so much effort in maintaining...” Miyuki sighs, a somewhat hurt expression on his face. Sawamura knows he’s just kidding from his tone, of course. But then again, Miyuki’s the type of person who’d hide it if he was really hurt -- just like after that Semi-Finals --

“I’m sorry, okay?! I’ll walk in it as much as you want after we go back!!”

“You said it!” The full-on asshole smirk was back on Miyuki’s face again. That asshole...! He planned it from the start! No, no. Sawamura shakes his head to calm himself. He’s an adult, he can be mature about this kind of thing. He definitely won’t let himself fall into Miyuki’s trap! “So what’s the name of this flower?”

“It doesn’t have one yet.”

“No?”

“It’s a hybrid of Eric’s, and he hasn’t come up with a name for it yet.”

“A... hybrid...?”

“Yeah. Eric’s hobby is gardening, see.” Ah, that’d explain why he had a weird smell on him earlier. 

“This hybrid was born only a few months back, but it managed to bloom in three weeks. Yes, it’s amazing, I know,” Miyuki cut Sawamura off before he could even speak. “When he sent a photo you were totally not hinting that you wanted it in our house, you know. Eventually the idea turned into a garden, and he gave you the privilege of coming up with a name for it, which you hadn’t until you lost your memories and... yeah.” Deciding he’d been speaking too much, Miyuki stops there and turns away to check out the apartment while Sawamura remains at his standing spot.

It’s... all so weird. From all the things Sawamura’d heard so far, Miyuki treats him super good. Then what’s up with his diary? And the way he’s treating him now... 

“Hey.” With all his pondering, Sawamura didn’t even realise Miyuki come up to him, flicking his forehead. Since when was Sawamura frowning? “Did you even hear what I said?”

“Err, no?”

“I asked whether you want to go for a swim before the party later.”

“Swimming?” There’s a pool here too?

“Yeah. They have pools in the back. Music rooms on the higher storeys. Of course, there’s a gym nearby too. This is one of the hostels where Japanese of different backgrounds come to stay when they study here, after all. Those who already secured a position for the future, anyway.”

Craaap, Sawamura’s starting to think maybe this place isn’t anything like the good ol’ apartments in Japan after all... 

As usual, completely ignoring Sawamura’s internal dilemma and headed for the door, turning back one last time. “So, you coming or not?”

“I - I am! I’m coming!” Sawamura runs to catch up. “But swimsuit...” 

“That? It’s here.” Miyuki pats the bag he had slung over his shoulder with a smug grin. He already knew I would go with him...! Anddddd they ended up bickering their way to the empty pool (cause it’s the damned break!, Miyuki yelled), where the last moments they spent together were in the changing room -- backs faced, of course -- and then Miyuki stayed in the more shallow area with the reason that he’s tired from taking care of Sawamura the entire ride while said man swam his way to the 2m end. It’s not that Sawamura doesn’t feel apologetic -- he does, but... 

“If he’s tired, why did he say he wanted to swim? That weird man...” Still, he’s glad he came down. With (nearly) nobody around and the darkening sky, Sawamura’s able to just let himself float on the water and think about things. A lot of things. Like when he’d ever get his memories back, how memories even work, the things that’d changed, his life with Miyuki (no, he’s not going to touch on how he blushed when he saw Miyuki half naked just now!), the meaning behind his diary, the reason he and Yoshikawa broke up, his family...

His family. Gods, his fucking family. Before they left for the airport, Sawamura’d called them and again, no one picked up. So they’re not home. Yet, two weeks went without them trying to contact him. If he’s so famous Australians recognise him, surely they would know that their precious only heir’s injured? There’s no way they wouldn’t call, so it’s almost certain someone did something --

“Why am I even thinking so much?!” Exasperated, Sawamura sinks his head into the pool in an attempt to clear his mind. That’s right... Miyuki-senpai!! Now that he looks back, of course it’s all Miyuki’s fault, wasn’t it?! First of all, why should Sawamura back down when it comes to questions regarding his own family? Yes, it’s definitely, unmistakably, 120% Miyuki’s fault for dodging the question! The breakup with Yoshikawa’s one thing, but this is totally different. Sawamura has memories with his family. He deserves to know --

Yes. With that unshakeable reasoning, Sawamura swims his way to where Miyuki is in one breath. There, he finds the senior with Eric by the most shallow area of the water, chatting about what could only be trivial things and laughing without a care in the world. How dare he be enjoying himself like that while I’m suffering over here --!!

“MIYUKI KAZUYA --!!”

Sawamura allows himself a moment of triumph when Miyuki visibly jumps at the shout, then he remembers he’s supposed to be angry, so he puts on a scowl as he pushes his way through the water to where the two were. As if sensing the mood, Eric excuses himself to get them all some drinks.

“I demand to know my family’s whereabouts and when they’re coming back!!”

Hah?” As expected, Miyuki frowned. “At a time like this?”

Sawamura slaps at the water like how he would to a table if there were one. “They haven’t contacted me in two weeks!! They’re never done that before, and they definitely won’t stop till they’re dead!!”

“Listen, Sawamura --”

“No, I won’t! Unless you’re gonna tell me about my family!” He’s not being unreasonable, Sawamura tells himself. He has every right. He’s dying to hear his family’s voice, to tell them what’s been going on, and once he hears them laughing and telling him they love him, he’ll be okay.

“Oh, what’s this?” Eric chooses the worst timing to come back then, three cups in hand. Right -- there’s the party. “Speaking of which, it’s that time of the year, isn’t it? Did Eijun forget where’s the graves?”

Sawamura could’ve sworn his heart just stopped dead there, his body temperature feeling as though it’d dropped to the negatives. His vision’s warped, his breathing -- Wait, how do you breathe again? Right, you inhale, then... Then what? Eh? What’s next...?

“Sawa--” Even Miyuki’s voice sounded distorted to his ears.

Only one word kept replaying in his mind, like a broken tape, in that twisted, near mocking tone. “Graves...?”

“Yeah! It’s close to your family’s death anniversary, right? Isn’t that why you guys came?” Eric’s voice is so normal, as if he was talking about what he plans to do for the night, as if he didn’t just drop a bomb on Sawamura and killed him.

Family’s death anniversary...?

Family’s death anniversary...

Family’s death anniversary...?!?!

This time, Sawamura’s heart thuds so quickly, it’s a miracle how it hasn’t burst out of his chest. The pool water feels strangely warm all of a sudden -- or is it him that’s cold? Does it even matter? 

“Eric! What the fuck? Did you even read the mail I sent you, heard my voice message, and even read the damned note I just gave you?!” That sound’s clearer now; a panicking Miyuki.

“Eh? No, I didn’t. Whassup?”

“Shit! Nevermind, I can’t blame you -- this is my fault. Sawamura --”

Miyuki’s voice is drowned out by laughter. Why is there someone laughing? There’s nothing funny about Eric’s words. It’s a twisted sound -- with another forced, dry laugh, he realises it’s coming from himself.

“You’re kidding, right? That’s such a bad joke, you two...”

“--Sawamura,” it’s Miyuki again. “I’m sorry. I brought you here because I wanted to tell you myself --”

“Stop it already, Miyuki-senpai. This joke isn’t funny. My family’s overseas, having fun without me, right...? I know, it’s because, because... You told them it’s nothing, right?” Even he sounds pathetic to his own ears. But that’s all he can say. If he doesn’t deny it, he’ll break.

“They’re going back to Japan soon, right? Then I’ll get back my memories, and they’ll watch me in the match in August, then we can celebrate together after the win...”

“Sawamura, please --” It certainly sounds like a plea.

They’re alive and well, aren’t they?!

Sawamura only registers the sound in his ear was that of a slap when his face forcefully turns to the side -- from the way it echoed he knows it came down on his cheek hard, but he doesn’t even feel it.

“Get yourself together!” It was not the usual Miyuki, nor was it the Miyuki on the diamond. This was a Miyuki the 16 year old Sawamura didn’t know. He only realises then that the water rolling down his cheek wasn’t pool water, rather his tears. Miyuki doesn’t seem to know what to do. “No, what I mean is-- I’m sorry, Sawamura. I really didn’t mean to hurt you --”

I don’t want to hear it! But his throat hurts so much, he can’t get out the words out. He doesn’t want to be here, doesn’t want to hear anymore. With difficulty Sawamura makes his way out of the pool and begins running, entire body dripping wet, face an ugly mess. He doesn’t even care that he’s in swimming trunks. He’s running back into the building, then out from the main entrance. There's shrieks and whispers among the locals. Screw them. He has no idea where he’s going; all he sees is black, and he just runs with one objective in mind: 

I have to get out of here.

Chapter Text

Night #12

 

It hurts.

Where does it even hurt?

It hurts. 

His red eyes? His cracked lips?

It hurts.

His burning chest? His sore feet?

It hurts...

Eventually, the pain becomes too much for Sawamura to take, and when he turns the next corner, he stops running, leaning against the cold wall. Every breath feels as though it’s going to be his last, and he cursed the fact that humans needed oxygen to survive. Now that he’s stopped, he can feel the trembling in his legs, and the pain in the soles of his feet from running barefoot. Somewhere along the way, his tears had stopped, the last of them dried up on either side of his face. His adrenaline rush that had served as a form of protection thus far melts away, leaving him exposed as the miserable person he is.

Memories of his family flood his mind. The few seconds of a three year old him running for the first time. The family photo from his admission to elementary school. His first victory in a baseball match. Them overseas, posing silly poses and embarrassing Sawamura in public, carrying the oddest souvenirs. His grandfather hitting him, his parents just sitting a safe distance away laughing at his expense. Their daily meals together. He isn’t even able to recall the last time they’d met, the six years gap feeling terrifyingly real for the first time.

At the thought, Sawamura’s throat contracts again, suffocating him. He doesn’t know how he managed to do it, but fresh tears are streaming down his face. For a moment, that’s all he was -- reduced to a sobbing mess. He’s so wrecked he almost lashes out at the person who places a firm hand on his shoulder before he hears them speak.

“Sir, are you alright?”

Sawamura jumps and hurries to wipe at his tears; a futile attempt. The cap, the blue uniform, the way the man carried himself with authority. Police.

“I... I’m fine, so you can leave me be,” he lies with chattering teeth. It’s getting cold, his body hurts all over, and he’s definitely not fine. Even more than all that, he wants to be left alone. As expected, a police officer can’t do that. Those sharp eyes narrow into slits, giving Sawamura a once over. Or twice, depending on how you see it.

“I’m afraid I can’t do that, sir. Running on the streets half naked is an offence... even if it’s swimming trunks. I’m sorry, but you’ll have to come to the station with me.”

Isn’t this great. This has to be one of Sawamura’s best vacation yet. Getting airsick, chased by fans, finding out his family’s death from an acquaintance, then get called on by a police officer for roaming the streets in only his swimming trunks. All within the span of 24 hours. He almost feels like he’s the most cursed person in the world -- he might as well be. Losing all will to protest anything, he just hangs his head in a nod and lets himself be led away. 

It’s nice. Looking down, that is. All he sees is the concrete, and the shadow of the officer he follows, hears the sound of their footsteps, incoherent murmurs of onlookers. He isn’t unfamiliar with this darkness, similar to how he felt when he hit Inashiros’ batter all those years ago, neither does he think he hates it as much as he used to. He lets himself sink into it slowly, slowly... until he seems to be engulfed in the abyss...

A cry echoes in his head, one that causes him to gasp when he recognises it as his own. An image of him kneeling before a grave floats into his mind, his cries loud enough that it makes his ears ring. A whimper escapes him when he feels as though his eardrums were about to burst. Instantly, there was someone at his side.

“Hey, you okay?” The policeman. Right, Sawamura’s at the police station. He waits for the ringing to subside before giving a hesitant nod, followed by a firmer one moments after.

“Yes, I’m fine,” Sawamura breathes in relief, hoping his voice isn’t as rough as it feels.

“Good.” He hands Sawamura a towel. “Please use this to cover up for now. I need your ID -- Ah, then again, I don’t think you have it with you, do you?” 

Sawamura shakes a no. “Then, anyone I can contact?”

“...” If it was any other day, he’d have answered Miyuki without a pause. After all, he’s the only person Sawamura can rely on in the present. Now? He’s not sure he wants to see Miyuki at all, or whether he’s ready to face the man who’d been lying to him.

“Sir?”

“Ah, yes...” Knowing he has no choice, Sawamura begrudgingly begins to recite the number he’d spent hours memorising the first few days after he lost his memories. A loud screech drowns out the last two numbers, and both he and the officer turns towards the entrance at the hurried footsteps.

Eijun!

Miyuki-senpai?! Sawamura’s mouth hangs open, the place where he was slapped earlier throbbing, as though reacting to his presence. “Why... How...” 

Miyuki looks just about as wrecked as Sawamura does, just in a different way. His hair still wet, droplets of pool water dripping onto the tiles, his glasses foggy. He wears a crumpled t-shirt that’s oversized, his drooping jacket not helping at all. The shirt is half falling out from his pair of pants, and to finish the look were his slippers, worn on the opposite sides. It’s obvious he’d been in a rush.

The question is, why?

Instead of answering his questions Miyuki stomps forward, a glint in his eyes that causes Sawamura to stand at attention so they are at eye level. What now? Another slap? Maybe an apology? What’s he to expec --

A hug. Of all things possible, Miyuki’d chosen to do the one thing Sawamura’s weak to. A hug so tight, so warm, so real, he can’t help but be pulled out of the darkness and back into the blinding light. Just for now. “Goddammit, Eijun!”

So fucking unfair. Sawamura hates it that even now, he feels glad that Miyuki’s here, arms wrapped around him. It was a message, and it was clear: I’m here for you. I care about you. I’ll never let you be alone. No matter what. Feeling the urge to cry yet again, Sawamura squeezes Miyuki back, allowing himself to forget that he hated the man for a moment.

A throat clears loudly and they jolt apart. The officer was staring at them to and fro, his glare enough to make grown men shrink. No wonder he’s a policeman. Good thing Sawamura’s had the toughest training under Kataoka.

“Sir, who might you be? You cannot just barge in here and --”

“I’m sorry,” Miyuki bows deeply. “Sawamura here has caused you trouble. We’ll gladly pay the fine for the offence.”

The officer raises an eyebrow, clearly not expecting these words from the man who’d just came out of nowhere and caused a scene. “...First, I need to hear what happened.”

Exchanging looks in silent agreement to put down what's happened for now, they followed the officer to the sofa. Miyuki pulls a shirt out of nowhere -- “Put this on.” He mumbled some form of thank you and returned the towel to the officer, pulling on the shirt.

Sawamura did the explaining -- after all, he’s the one who was found half naked and looking like a piece of shit on the streets. Of course, they can’t state the exact reason why what happened did, so Sawamura tried to explain as close to the truth he could without revealing that fact. Miyuki only chipped in here and there to support his statements, which, one way or another, helped when the officer demanded further explanations Sawamura couldn’t provide. Sawamura’s just grateful he isn’t recognised here; he’s too exhausted to deal with that.

With a bit (a lot) of luck, they’re free to go with a warning and a fine since Sawamura didn’t cause any harm to people after twenty minutes or so of negotiation on Miyuki’s part. They stand and bow in thanks before paying the fine and leaving together in awkward silence, Miyuki leading and Sawamura lagging a few metres behind, mentally asking himself just why did he feel just a little better. There’s a car parked before the station, tyres tracks hinting it’d came skidding in and the driver barely managed to stop before it crashed into the lamp post mere inches away. Sawamura gives Miyuki a sideglance, the latter either not noticing or choosing not to.

“Get in.” Miyuki points to the passenger seat, and Sawamura swears it’s on purpose, but he nods anyway and gets in. It’s not like he has any chance of surviving out here without someone he knows. The engine is louder than usual when it starts up, and the drive begins in heavy silence with Miyuki looking straight ahead, and Sawamura with his head turned to stare outside blankly. He can see his reflection faintly on the window, and it’s almost horrifying how his face looked -- tousled hair, sore eyes and tear stained cheeks, one side of his dry, pale lips bleeding for a reason he doesn’t even remember.

Even if he wasn’t half naked, Sawamura’s certain the policeman still would’ve called out to him. A self-deprecating snort escapes him as he shakes his head at the situation.

“Sawamura? You okay?”

‘You okay’? Am I okay? Did he seriously just ask that? Sawamura almost stands in his rage, the only reason he didn’t being the seatbelt holding him where he should be; which also happens to be the last place he wants to be at the moment. He slows his breathing, recalling the moments when he made mistakes on the mound, what he’s supposed to do, how he’s supposed to act.

“Okay? No, I am most certainly not okay,” he forces out through gritted teeth, fists clenched on his lap to keep himself steady. “Not about the fact that you lied to me, and especially not about what you lied to me about.”

“...I’m sorry. That was really insensitive of me.”

They were way past that point.

“...Explanation.”

“Huh?”

“At the very least, I think I deserve to know what happened, don’t I?”

Miyuki’s grip on the wheel visibly tightens as he gives a stiff nod, expression a careful blank. “Whenever you’re ready, I’ll answer all your questions about your family.”

Whenever I’m ready, huh... Sawamura wonders just how can anyone ever be prepared to learn about their family’s death? By that moment, everything just seemed beyond the point of exhaustion for him. He can just feel his bones melting from its heat, his head burning from what could only be a fever on its way, his eyes so dry his skin felt like it’s cracked -- it probably is. Sawamura can already picture himself bedridden for the next two days. At least. 

But this is too important for him right now. He knows, he just does; if he doesn’t hear Miyuki out now, he’d probably never have the courage to ever again. That’s why despite the nagging at the back of his mind, Sawamura gives himself a moment to collect himself, to stop his shivering, to convince himself that he’s okay. I’m okay. He’s okay. He (has to be) okay. As if sensing his resolve, Miyuki shifts in his seat and turns on the heater; did he notice that Sawamura was feeling cold?

“When... --” He forces that annoying lump down his throat; it’s way past its due date.  “When was it? The day it happened...”

“The day you debuted. Here, in Australia.” As always, not a hint of hesitation on Miyuki’s part once he decided on something. Sawamura seemed but a wilful child in comparison. Dammitall.

“...How?” Sawamura whispers with an obvious quiver to his voice. Slowly, he’s coming to a realisation.

“It was the night before the match. The plane they were on got caught in a storm, and crashed just a few minutes away from its destination. No one survived.”

“Didn’t I see the news? How could I have played in the match if I knew?!” Ah, this is bad. I’m getting worked up.

The car makes a rough turn, and the sound of the tires screeching mirrored Sawamura’s inner screams. “You did. But you didn’t know your family were on board. They were planning to surprise you. Plus... You won’t remember, but I received a text from your mother, just a few minutes before the crash. She told me not to tell you until after the match, until our celebration was over.” Miyuki smiles a little then. “She never doubted our win in the slightest.”

“What else?” There’s no way his family would’ve just left like that, not them. Not while he knows them, who were obsessed with the concept of family.

“A voice message.”

Sawamura’s breath hitches. Voice message. They had a voice message for him. Can he handle that now? Hell --

“I left my phone in our room. Didn’t have time to grab it.” Well, that decided that, then. Finding nothing else to say, Sawamura turns his head to face the passing scenery; when will this drive end? He closes his eyes, taking in a deep breath, trying to absorb all he’s learnt so far. If he could, he’d be throwing a fit now, but he’s honestly just so tired. Tired, tired, and tired. Thankfully, Miyuki’s not trying to speak to him, and Sawamura lets him drift off for those precious minutes before they reached the only building he found familiar in Australia. Well, excluding the police station.

Eric comes running before Miyuki even pulls the car to a stop, tears streaming down his cheeks.

“Eijunnnnnnnnnnnn! Where were you? I was so worried, then Miyuki disappeared too, and --”

“Shut up, Eric,” Miyuki glares, and Sawamura thinks he’s never heard that tone before. It makes Eric close his mouth in an instant followed by a small nod, and for the first time since he found out about the lies Sawamura was grateful. The world was spinning around him. It’s getting even colder than it already was, so cold he’s shivering involuntarily. Miyuki turns to him sharply then, any signs of his apologetic self from moments ago tossed into the pits of Hell.

“Speak to me, Sawamura.”

He frowns. “Headache.”

“And?”

“Cold,” he croaks. His throat feels dry too. Miyuki leans closer to touch his forehead, and recoils with a hiss.

“Shit. Eric, can you call Io to come down? He’s having one heck of a fever, and God knows what else.” Sawamura distantly hears Miyuki panicking, like the first time he woke up in this body that didn’t even really belong to him, feels himself getting picked up in a piggyback. Miyuki’s back even smells like home and for that moment, it was just them. No lies, no hatred.

That was the first sign.

 

 


 

 

Day #13

 

Sawamura’s head was still throbbing when he woke up. He had been tucked into the double-bed neatly; he has fresh clothes on, a lukewarm towel over his forehead. He certainly hadn’t been feeling well enough to do that. Clearly, someone (Miyuki) had helped him changed and tucked him in, perhaps took care of him for hours even after he slept.

He sits up with slight difficulty, sets the towel on the small dresser next to the bed and looks around for signs of anyone in the apartment; nobody. Sunlight peeks through the pulled curtains, telling him it’s midday. Did Miyuki and Eric head out? Sawamura lies back down; his head still hurt, he still feels like crap, and he doesn’t want to move just yet. Not when there’s nothing to do, anyway. He looks around again, this time for a clock. He finds it on the far end of the room. It was a plain clock, blending into the beige painted walls, dutifully reading 1:12pm. He faintly recalls 7:25pm when he had been brought into the police station.

How many hours was he out for?

Sawamura lies about for an hour, rolling on the comfortable bed. Thinking. It seems that’s all he’s done recently. How should he face Miyuki now? Can he? Is it possible to stay in the same apartment as him now?

He can’t, he realises soon after. The thought of Miyuki only brought around anger, disappointment. So he stops. Stops thinking about Miyuki altogether. It’s hard, like he’d expected from his previous attempts, but doable now with his headache and thoughts of his family flooding everything else.

Of course the door has to open now, of course Sawamura has to hear Miyuki’s voice, and of course his heart speeds up and his face feels flushed. He suspects there’s something wrong with him; maybe he needs to go for another check up at the hospital? That was his thoughts as he got out of bed to meet Miyuki half way -- who he bumps into instead is a woman, so short he didn’t realise she was there; barely the height of his chest.

“Oomf!” They both stumble back, Sawamura half a step, the woman two, straight onto Miyuki’s toes. Being the calm man he is, he only frowned instead of yelping like people usually did and looked up to meet Sawamura’s eyes before the frown disappears and Miyuki did something he had never done --

He averted Sawamura’s eyes.

There’s a pang in his chest he can’t describe, then the woman spoke, her voice loud in contrast to her small build. “Sawamura-kun! You’re okay now?”

Japanese. Japanese?

“Y-Yeah, I am,” he finds himself replying in Japanese, which suddenly sounded weird. He recalls then that he had been speaking English without realising. It’d come to him naturally. If only it was as easy with his memories. The woman stands on her tip-toes, too close to Sawamura for comfort, and then he’s leaning back as she edges closer, peering into his face.

“Really? You look like you still have a headache. Could use a few more hours of sleep or more.” She turns to Miyuki and gives a good natured slap on the back. “Honestly, take better care of your boyfriend!”

Okay! You’re done here, Io. Thank you for your efforts. You can leave now, I’ll take over from here. Go say hi to Eric or something. Bye, see you! I’ll contact you again!” Just as sudden as she arrived, the woman named Io was out of the front door, and the silence that accompanied the sound of it being shut was uncomfortable, to say the least. Not that Sawamura was concerned with that. He’s replaying Io’s last words; did he hear correctly? No way.

Sawamura catches Miyuki stealing a glance at him -- yes, stealing, because once their eyes met Miyuki whipped his head in the other direction before the latter spoke.

“Io’s right; you still look like shit. Well, better shit,” Miyuki furrows his brow as he corrects himself. Not that it made Sawamura feel any better. “You should go back to bed. I’ll change the towel.”

As though afraid of what Sawamura may say, Miyuki hurried past him to the bedroom. Unsure of what to think, he simply follows, climbing onto the bed slowly as he watches Miyuki from the crack in the door connecting the room to a bathroom. He returns with the same wet towel Sawamura woke with, something close to hesitation in his eyes. They are speechless as Sawamura lays back down on the pillow and Miyuki presses a cool palm against his forehead before the towel rests in its place.

“What is it?” Sawamura finally asks when he can’t stand it, the tension.

“Nothing,” Miyuki replies hastily. Too hastily. Sawamura had taken him for a better liar. Or was he just better at reading the older man now? What did it matter?

Sawamura narrows his eyes and lets them give Miyuki a onceover. Again, and he finds the source of his nervousness. Something he held in his hand, something that caught Sawamura’s attention. Black, fitting nicely in his palm.

A phone.

And Sawamura knew. He inhales sharply and extends his hand. “Give me.”

Wordlessly Miyuki presses the phone on his palm -- pulling out earbuds from his pocket and places it gently on top of the phone and takes two large steps away from the bed, assessing the situation. Sawamura was, surprisingly, aware of the question in his eyes. No, the answer came to him naturally. A subtle sign on his part and Miyuki was out of the room in a flash, leaving Sawmaura alone. Again.

He doesn’t see that his hand holding the phone was, in fact, trembling. Swallowing thickly, he tightens his grip, if only so blood would flow to let him feel his fingers. Eventually, he finds strength in him that allows him to insert the earbuds and unlock the phone to see that Miyuki had kindly (feel the sarcasm) opened up the file for him, and had been replaying it. It seems he’d only succeeded 1:43 minutes in of the 2:03 minutes message.

Slowly, with more effort than anyone would’ve taken to do the same, Sawamura slides the little dot back to the starting line. Even more slowly, his thumb hovers over the play button.

And then, finally, presses.

The first sound was a blast of air, and Sawamura recognises it as the sound of the aircraft flying in the air. He closes his eyes, tries to imagine the scene.

“Eijun, Kazuya!” Sawamura almost falters at his mother’s chippy voice, at the sound of his name, the sound of Miyuki’s first name on her lips, said so smoothly it was clear she had been doing it for quite some time. Too smooth, Sawamura is able to tell immediately how scared she was.

“How are you two? It’s been a while since I last saw you. I’m sure Kazuya, being you, you’re taking good care of Eijun.” There’s shuffling, and Sawamura hears his mother sobbing into someone’s -- his father’s -- shoulder before she continued. 

“Eijun, we’re on our way to see your debut match. Your first match, on international stage!” No one would’ve doubted she knew what was happening to her, to everyone on board; but then again there is pride and excitement in her voice. Then she falls silent, as though she couldn’t go through with this. His father takes over.

“Eijun, we’re all very proud of you; me, your mother, your grandfather.” Sawamura’s heart sinks when he realised his grandfather did not have a part in this message. “We all want to see you on that field. We want to see the moment you win with your pitches. But it seems we won’t be able to do that. We’re so very sorry.”

Why are you apologizing?! It’s my fault you’re even aboard the damned plane to begin with! Sawamura wanted to scream that so badly, but the words are stuck in his throat. He had been crying since the first time his mother said his name. And he knows she was the same on the other end; it was probably the reason they did a voice message rather than a video. She takes over the phone again.

“We wish you all the best in your first game, Eijun. We love you --” She chokes on her tears. There’s a short moment of silence on her part, the background noise getting louder. The message was at 1:43 minutes in, where Miyuki had stopped previously.

At 1:53, the voice finally returned, steady. Sawamura can hear the smile in his mother’s voice.

“Also, Kazuya? We’re truly sorry to say this to you, but please, take care of Eijun for u--” The message cuts off abruptly, without his mother ever completing her last sentence. By then the phone had already been abandoned, dropped onto the soft carpets five steps around the bed, Sawamura openly crying on the bed, tears staining the mattress, snot dripping ungracefully from his nose.

Mom --” He chokes out. “Dad --”

With even more longing that he thought, “Grandpa --”

Sawamura doesn’t know how long it takes, but he just curled there in one small corner of the bed, and wept until he was too tired to do so, body pushed past his limits, and he slept.

 

 


 

 

Midnight #14

 

Sawamura is distinctively aware of where he is -- A dream. He sees himself far away, in the bullpen, practising his pitches. The him in the dream was smiling. Miyuki’s voice far away, teasing, also with the hint of a smile. He takes steps forward, unseen by them, as though he didn’t exist at all. He sees himself; younger than 23, but older than his 16 year old self. They are having a discussion in the dream. Sawamura can’t hear them, the voices an echo, and the scene changes.

He finds himself on the busy weekend street of a place he doesn’t recognise. This time, the scene is muted. Standing a few metres away was the him of the dream, in a casual shirt and pair of jeans, looking at his watch every few minutes. A date, maybe? Fifteen or so minutes passed, and a woman finally appears, bowing to dream Sawamura in apology. It’s -- Yoshikawa. Despite the disguise, sunglasses and scarf and a cute hat, it’s unmistakably her. Dream Sawamura smiles, says something, and they head off together.

When Sawamura blinks, he’s in a different place again. He’s in an apartment he doesn’t recognise. Dream Sawamura, only an arm’s reach away, looks older than the previous two as he sets down his bag, seemingly exhausted after a hard day. But he is smiling. From his jacket he pulls out an expensive velvet box, fiddling with it. Sawamura’s heart thumps, aware of what it held. As the dream him uses his thumb to open the box, the scene melts into darkness. 

First he hears the howling of the wind and rain, then a pull of a string and a clicking sound, and light fills the area. It’s a room, Sawamura sees. Different from the one he was just in; this looks more of a hotel room than anything. A pair of gloves, a baseball and bat, used tissues and a blanket  littered the ground. And on the bed, there was him again. Sawamura’s eyes widen at the sight -- him of the dreams had his face stuffed in the pillow, but his cries were reverberating in the small space. Sawamura’s heart ache at the sounds he made; there is no doubt. This is him crying after he learnt of his family’s deaths.

This time, the scene doesn’t fade. Sawamura just stands there, watching himself cry his heart out. He himself isn’t able to -- he’s long since drained himself of every teardrop. He just stands there, helpless. Wondering how he ever moved on from the hollowness he feels in his heart. How he can still manage to smile, move on with his everyday life. 

And, eventually, as all had done so far, the nightmare ends and Sawamura jolts awake, the final echoing cry from his dream haunting him as his eyes fly open.

It’s dark.

Is he still dreaming?

No. The dried tears on his cheeks, the burning of his eyes, the pain in his chest. They were proof that this is reality.

Sawamura hears rain pelter against the window glass. It’s night time, he realises. There’s a flash outside, and he jumps. He can’t deal with this, not tonight. He finds himself calling out before he knows what he’s doing.

“Miyuki-senpai?”

There’s a shuffle and the table lamp flickers to life, Miyuki coming into view. He had been sleeping on the ground, a mattress laid out for him. Sawamura’s hand flies out to hold Miyuki’s, hoping to stop his trembles. It does.

“Hey,” Miyuki murmurs, sleep heavy in his voice. “I’m here, Sawamura. I’m here.”

“Call me Eijun,” Sawamura blurts out. He sees but doesn’t register the widening of Miyuki’s eyes as he nods slowly.

“Eijun.”

Lightning flashes and in the midst of shock Sawamura fumbles out of bed and onto the tiny mattress, almost pushing Miyuki off it and onto the ground as thunder soon follows. He clutches tightly onto Miyuki’s shirt sleeves, leaning in close enough to feel his breath.

“Eijun. Won’t the bed be a better choice if you want to sleep together?”

Sawamura shakes his head mutely, unable to bring himself to say that he wants to be close to Miyuki. Don’t ask.

Miyuki doesn’t. Just pulls Sawamura closer so they’re lying in the centre of the single mattress, skin against skin, warmth seeping through from one to the other. His pats are gentle on his back, the rubbing down his shoulder soothing.

“I’m here. You’re okay, Eijun.”

Sawamura leans his head on Miyuki’s shoulders and inhales deeply, his scent calming. They just lie like that, Sawamura turned away from the window, Miyuki’s whispers drowning out the sound of the rain and coaxing him back to sleep.

Chapter Text

Day #14

 


 

 

Dawn breaks, 

Sawamura wakes.

He surprises himself when the first thing he wants to do isn’t actually to break down and cry. Contrary, he feels more refreshed than ever, and he wonders if it's because he has physically been through this once already. It takes him a few moments before he remembered he’d crawled (fallen, really) down to squeeze on a single mattress with Miyuki just hours before. He freezes momentarily, waiting for any signs. 

No out of the ordinary sounds. No movements.

Better safe than sorry, Sawamura slowly leans backwards. It’s probably the first time he’s ever seen Miyuki sleeping, he thinks. The current him, anyway. Miyuki’s arm is loose around his waist, his breathing even, soft. His hair’s just a little messier than usual, a few strands sticking out, the wilder ones tickling his cheek whenever his chest heaved. Because they’re so close, Sawamura notices his eyelashes, which are usually hidden behind his glasses. They are even longer than girls’, though Sawamura doesn’t know many.

Sawamura smiles before he can help it. Miyuki looks so defenseless like this. So innocent. He considers attacking Miyuki’s supposedly weak spot by his nape of the neck, but decides against it. He’d let the man sleep. Instead he raises the free hand that isn’t being used by Miyuki as a makeshift pillow, and brushes the wild strands behind his ear. 

He notices it again, the scar on his left brow. He brushes his thumb down the skin faintly, not wanting to wake Miyuki. He wonders how it got there. He tries to dig through his memories for a moment, but is unable to recall. From a game, probably? Maybe he got tackled again like that semi-final and the helmet dug into his skin? The thought makes Sawamura’s blood boil, and he decides to focus elsewhere instead.

So upclose, one can tell why he was nicknamed Pretty Boy Catcher in his high school days. While in no way lacking as a man, there was… something about Miyuki that is oddly appealing to men themselves, including Sawamura.

Given the time, Sawamura allows himself to venture into an area of thinking he never did. How it would be to date Miyuki. How Miyuki would be like as a boyfriend. Would he be as teasing as he is to Sawamura? Or would he actually be the kind type? Sawamura shudders at the possibility of Miyuki smiling, holding his lover’s hand as they decided what to do on their date.

The possibility of that lover being him.

Sawamura starts at the thought, heart thundering louder than the actual thunder he’s so afraid of. This, he decides, scares him even more. He recalls Io’s words. ‘Take better care of your boyfriend,’ she’d said. Boyfriend. The more Sawamura repeated the sentence in his head, the more he’s sure the word she had said was boyfriend.

The second sign.

Miyuki stirs and Sawamura all but pushes him off the mattress. Of course, said man doesn’t take it nicely, groaning as he rolls himself up with difficulty.

What the heck?

Sawamura opens his mouth to apologise, and shuts it slowly when no sound comes out. He hasn’t – is unable to – forget about Miyuki’s lies. No matter how much he wants to, he can’t bring himself to forgive the man just yet. So he remains silent, instead extending his hand to pull Miyuki back onto the mattress, even closer than before. Their noses touch, and when their eyes meet, go rigid.

“…Good morning,” Sawamura whispers, voice somewhat rough.

“Morning,” Miyuki murmurs back, sounding just as hoarse.

Sawamura doesn’t know who initiated it, but the kiss happens because they can’t help it; the close proximity, the intensity Sawamura sees in Miyuki’s eyes, the thumping of his heart, the whispering of the devil, not to mention Miyuki’s stupid, stupid, stupid attractive looking lips. Hands reach to cup Sawamura’s cheeks as the kiss turns into something more. It was a burning desire, a need, filled with desperation words cannot fill.

Miyuki slows so Sawamura slows, until the movement of their mouths (even more slowly) come to a stop, and they part, lips moist and tingling. Sawamura licks his nervously.

“Miyuki-senpai, wha…”

The door creaks open and a bright voice echoes in the small room. A little too loudly for Sawamura’s ears, too.

“Eijun! Miyuki! Sun’s shining on ya butts, boys! Up and daisy!”

They both groan in protest at Eric’s over chirpy voice this early in the morning and fall off the mattress this time, Sawamura landing on top of Miyuki in an awkward position. Sawamura scurries away, his skin burning wherever it’d come into contact with Miyuki. He hears the spring of the bed protest against Eric’s jump onto the bed, followed by his face popping into Sawamura’s view.

“What are you guys doing?”

With a silent scream Sawamura takes a shocked step back and trips over Miyuki’s foot, and this time he’s not so lucky, landing on the cold floor. Thank God for baseball reflexes; he put out his hands so the landing was not as hard, silent, but all the same, painful.

What another great start of a day.

 


 

 

It takes a long time to convince Eric that he’s forgiven. That if anything, Sawamura was grateful he found out now and not any later. 

He meant every word. He would’ve never forgiven either Eric or Miyuki if they’d waited any longer.

Breakfast is eaten in silence, except when someone needed more water or a pass of salt. Otherwise, only the sounds of chopsticks and spoon digging into Eric’s cooking can be heard. The reason is simple: Nobody knows how to start a conversation, the events of the previous day still leaving a bad aftertaste in everyone’s mouth.

Also, Miyuki’s lips has been in the back Sawamura’s mind the whole time. Their eyes meet a few times, only for a short moment before either one turns away to continue absent-mindedly chewing their food. Sawamura doesn’t even taste it, even though he remembers it smelling as good as Miyuki’s cooking.

Eric is the first to finish – “I need to check how’s the kitchen doing,” he’d said before hurrying out of the apartment. As though he sensed the mood. He probably did.

Their eyes meet again as the door clicks behind them and this time, neither looks away. Sawamura’s heart starts thudding again. He feels himself warm.

“Eijun.”

He starts at the casual use of his first name. Truthfully, he hadn’t expected Miyuki to continue using it after they woke up. Even more truthfully, he’s happy the man decided to. 

“Hmm?”

Miyuki just stares him for a moment. A long moment, long enough that Sawamura’s almost ready to make a joke about having something stuck on his face before he continued.

“Do you want to go visit your family later?”

It takes Sawamura only a split second to understand what Miyuki meant, and he gives a slow nod even as he registers the information.

He’ll be visiting his family.

The anniversary’s actually the next day, Miyuki explains on the long ride. But he thinks it’d be better for Sawamura to go now, while his emotions are still raw, and will be able to say the things he want to say. Sawamura agrees. The earlier he goes, the better. If he spills his heart out, it’d probably hurt less. That’s how it always worked in dramas. It can’t be that different in reality.

Yet, when the car eventually enters a car park, Sawamura feels himself start to panic. He feels his palms turn sweaty, his head starting to throb as images from his dream come back to him. Him, crumpled up so his presence is as small as it could be, trying to stop his sobbing but failing, dampening the pillow and silky bed sheets. The sounds of his cries still a fresh pain, it makes Sawamura doubts himself.

A hand opens the door and reaches for Sawamura’s own, fingers intertwining naturally as it gently pulls him out of the car. He allows it, returning the squeeze of their joined hands, his other holding tight onto the flowers he’d bought. An unspoken reassurance.

They walk for what seems like forever. Up and past shades after shades of grey, grey, and even more grey tombstones, some older than others. Seeing an endless stretch of grey makes Sawamura’s chest burn in pain and he gives another hard squeeze of his fingers just to feel Miyuki’s warmth. They climb up the hill. High, higher, even higher. Then they enter a smaller area separated by a slope, where the tombstones are spread out more evenly. 

“This area is for those who died in the same crash your family did,” Miyuki explains softly. It makes Sawamura feels like he should be as quiet as possible too, from his breathing to footsteps. He immediately recognises his family name carved on a stone not far from where they stand -- he breaks free from Miyuki’s grip, forgetting about being silent as his shoes makes crunching sounds against the grass.

His grandfather, mother, and father, in that order. Side by side. Sawamura tears up again as he reads the names carved on the grey stone. They’re really gone. He’d known, he knows, but it hadn’t felt real. Not until this moment, when he sees their graves, the carvings just slightly faded. Willing himself not to shed tears, Sawamura wipes at his eyes and sets down the flowers for them, having a silent conversation with each of them for a moment before he does. He says conversation, but it’s really 20% shouting and crying, 65% conversation and 15% praying for their happiness in the afterlife.

Sawamura is highly aware of Miyuki’s presence, standing a considerate distance away from him. When Sawamura turns after he finished paying his respects, he’s surprised to find Miyuki with his eyes closed, face the softest he’s ever seen, mouth opening and closing quickly as he whispers words too quiet for him to hear.

Words he aren’t supposed to hear, Sawamura realises soon after, and he finds himself smiling. Somehow, the idea that Miyuki got along with his family makes his chest warm.

Then Miyuki’s eyes flutter open, and the grin he gives makes Sawamura’s heart leap. The way his lips curl seem more playful as they reveal a set of perfect teeth and Sawamura feels himself drawn to them even as he takes in Miyuki’s eyes, a mischievous glint as they seem to beckon Sawamura closer.

Miyuki’s lips seem a little dry, Sawamura notices. His lips. The memory of their kiss from the morning flashes past his mind, quick to go as it’d come, but it’s enough to make him lower his eyes, unable to look at Miyuki. Said man doesn’t seem inclined to point that out despite noticing (because really, everyone knows Miyuki sees everything), time moving and leaving Sawamura behind.

The third sign.

“So. Do you want to go anywhere now? It’s still bright out, as you’ve definitely noticed.”

With that one question, Sawamura’s transported back to the present, with slight jet lag.

“Huh?” He asks stupidly, not grasping the meaning behind the casual question.

“If you don’t have any place in mind, let me take you somewhere?” It isn’t a demand. Sawamura can say no, and he has no doubt Miyuki’ll take him right back to the apartment building. So he nods and follows Miyuki back to the car, though not without a final glance and whispers of goodbye to his family, between them a hidden question he asks only because he knows there will be no answer.

The drive is comfortable this time, with music -- Sawamura’s favourite band -- playing in the background. It’d be the perfect drive in this perfect weather if not for Sawamura being fully awake no thanks to all the blood rushing from his heart up to his head and back. He’s way too conscious of Miyuki next to him.

So as to say, it wasn’t comfortable at all.

Sawamura considers the ways he can bring up the topic of the kiss without sounding too suspicious. Casually? Try to get onto the topic of kissing, probably. How does one do that?

...What even counts as suspicious? Do two guys even just -- kiss -- and then go on like nothing’s happened? No, wait; Sawamura’s read BL before (at the encouragement of his classmates), it’s possible. It’s the same as kissing anyone else you love.

But this is Miyuki, and going by the book won’t work with that ridiculous man. Probably never will.

“Eijun, breathe.”

“Huh? Oh.” He was out of breath, gears that aren’t used to thinking hard overheating from the amount of brain juice he’d had to squeeze out the past week. How embarrassing

“Breathe,” Miyuki says again and Sawamura turns to roll down the window before he even knows what he’s doing; Miyuki had that effect on him.

They’re back in the city; it’s a little before noon, and the streets are quiet, the calm before the storm which is lunchtime. Miyuki slows the car and taps on the glove box. Confused, Sawamura opens it -- some packets of tissues, half finished Tic Tac, and two black caps. The ones they wore in the airport.

“Put it on.” Sawamura does.

Turns out the place Miyuki had in mind was a small cafe not far from where they are staying. From the outside, it looks like any other cafe, but the interior reminded Sawamura of home. The walls either painted clumsily by people who were clearly not paid for the job, or hung with photos of friends and people who were here for mini parties. There’s a few people scattered around different ends of the shop chatting away as soft music plays from speakers positioned discreetly.

There’s only two staff tending the place -- one cleaning up the tables, and another behind the counter. They give friendly smiles, and instinctively Sawamura smiles back as he follows Miyuki to the seat furthest away from everyone else. Precautions, he realises.

The menu’s in full English, but Sawamura finds himself able to read the words easily, the same way he was able to speak the language. He mentions that to Miyuki, who only gives a half-hearted shrug.

“Kominato mentioned it before. Different sorts of information are stored in different parts of your brain. So even if you lost all your memories, you’d probably still be able to run and eat.”

Huh. “The brain is amazing.”

“It is,” Miyuki answers shortly as he raises a hand to call the man who was clearing away plates to place his order. “I’ll have an Italian roast, and a White Chocolate Frappe with whipped cream.”

Sawamura’s jaw drops. How did he know what I want? 

“Do you want any dessert? How about caramel cake?”

“Oh... Yes. Please,” he adds immediately after, always forgetting his manners around Miyuki. The waiter -- his name tag read Cas -- repeats their order, before collecting the menu walking away after a bow to deliver the order. If he thought it was weird that they were still wearing their caps indoor, Cas revealed nothing.

Their orders are delivered promptly, and before Sawamura can begin squeezing out brain juice over the kiss again he’s refilling his dried up brain with perfectly made White Chocolate Frappe. He relaxes almost instantly, feeling all his tense muscles loosen at the same time. It felt like one huge boulder off his shoulders. He peeks at Miyuki in time to see him sip his coffee and grimaces -- how can the man drink something so bitter? Then again, it wasn’t like Miyuki’d ever been seen drinking anything sweet, Sawamura realises.

--And so he relearns another thing about Miyuki. Followed by another as they drove to a zoo. Then a third past the beach, and the list grew.

There are so many things he wouldn’t have known as who he was before; as a teammate, as pitcher and catcher.

Like how Miyuki’s a super good cook, or that he doesn’t really like sweet stuff (--is that why the man seemed much more mature, despite only being one year older?), or the fact that he’s probably happy when he talks more than his usual one word sentences.

How Miyuki is really observant, kind, caring, and gentle.

Facts that make Sawamura’s chest swell. He is as silent as it goes, mind processing all the information at a consistent pace, soft music put on as the car heads back to the apartment under the darkening skies.

Can it be...?

 


 

 

Day #17

 

Sawamura wakes to the calling of Eric less than an hour after he finally managed to doze off. He hasn’t gotten much sleep, rings dark under his eyes.

They were heading back to Japan tonight. 

How are the two related, one may ask. And Sawamura’d answer:

They’re both because of Miyuki.

Because they are.

Every night... Screw that, every moment he’s been thinking about that kiss nonstop. He’s been thinking about it so much the K-word comes to him naturally, and he almost believes he’d be able to say the word as smoothly as he thinks it. Be it from the time they get into the same bed and wake up on it the next day, eat at the same table, ride in the same car, breathe the same damned air.

And, less often, that --

That --

He --

May just be in love with Miyuki Kazuya. 

He’s never wanted to hear advice from his grandpa more than he does now.

Miyuki elbows Sawamura then, sitting next to him as they ate. Today was western style, the amount of calories and nutrients carefully balanced at Miyuki’s instructions. “You look like your brain’s getting fried.”

It is, Sawamura gnaws his teeth in reply. His fingers itched, the way they always itched when he was thinking too much. He needed to hold a baseball, to feel it in his palm, to feel the satisfaction as he hears the sound of it slamming into a catcher’s mitt. A strike that’ll be engraved in audience’s minds for games to come.

Miyuki’s mitt. A game with Miyuki.

No, Sawamura is definitely not letting himself think about that for any longer. He swallows the remaining of breakfast, handed a glass of milk when he choked on half-chewed bacon. He even does his dishes, and Miyuki’s and Eric’s when they’re done. Tasks that keep him working keep him from thinking.

When he’s done with the dishes Sawamura moves on to cleaning the room, even though it wasn’t technically his job, nor was he excellent with it, but he did it. He made the bed and dusted the shelves and swept the floor. He wiped the window glass and rearranged paintings on the walls and adjusted the timing on the clock.

Sawamura was safe from Miyuki for a few short lived hours before he’s cornered outside the toilet, when he decided he finally couldn’t take it and that his bladder was about to burst.

“Eijun.”

Miyuki’s eyes said they know it all. Damn this man. Then the calculating glint in his eyes fades and there’s an easy smile on his lips.

“Do you want to go batting?”

Sawamura nods without thinking at the mention of a word associated with baseball. He’d do anything.

“Then let’s pack up our stuff and go.”

“Huh? Pack up?” Not really catching up to Miyuki’s words.

He’s given a weird look. “Yeah, well. It’s already four. And the batting cage’s near the airport anyway.”

It’s already four? How? Is what Sawamura thinks, but he answers:

“Oh. Okay.” Then promptly, makes his way upstairs to begin packing as he was told to, because that was how they worked on or off the diamond. In the room he finds their bagpack unzipped, Miyuki’s items already organised neatly inside -- right, the man was a neat freak as well. 

Sawamura packs with a blank mind, his brain in fact still trying to start up its engine. His passport, a nice shirt he’d like to bring back to Japan, and... that’s it? He doesn’t even remember what he brought. As he reorganises some things in the bag to fit his items, though, something catches his eye.

A frame. In it, a photograph. It was him. And his family. It was new; Miyuki must’ve gone to have had it made when he wasn’t looking. Sawamura bites on his lips, willing himself not to tear up over this. Enough of crying in the month, already!

Miyuki steps into the room soon after, wearing a long sleeved shirt, similar to those he wore in Seidou, and a pair of dark cropped pants. In one hand he held their caps, ready to leave. He raises an eyebrow as he gives Sawamura a once over, and he looks down at himself, still in his pajamas. Oh. His face turns a light shade of pink as he hurries to pick out decent looking clothes from the closet and speed walks to a corner of the room hidden from view to change.

When he emerges, Sawamura finds Miyuki suppressing his laughter. Miyuki comes forward to put Sawamura’s cap on for him, or so he thinks, then his hair is suddenly a ruffled mess and then both of them are laughing. It doesn’t make sense, and strangely enough Sawamura doesn’t care that it doesn’t. He’s only aware that he feels comfortable around Miyuki again and thank God for that. Every new thing Sawamura finds out about Miyuki just makes him like the man even more, as if that was possible.

But it makes him guilty, Sawamura thinks even as they politely decline Eric’s offer to drive them to the airport (the man hasn’t been doing his job at all since they got here) and opted for a taxi instead. Sawamura was dating Yoshikawa. For five years, nonetheless. If he likes Miyuki as he is now, then its almost certain the 23 year old him is head over heels for the man. The intimacy he feels with Miyuki is too much, the symptoms of love spelt out even more clearly than in a shoujo manga. If so, then why did he and Yoshikawa date for so many years...?

Now that he thinks about it, Sawamura doesn’t even think he’s the type who would date anyone when he’s focused on baseball, no matter how great the girl was. No offense to Yoshikawa -- she’s clumsy, but Sawamura could see she was always trying her best, and he respected her for that. They’re similar, in that sense. Still, that isn’t enough a reason for them to date -- he hasn’t felt anything more than camaraderie for her, and he doesn’t think a few months is enough to change that.

Not understanding, and hating himself for that, Sawamura swings his bat hard. Most unfortunately, he misses, and the bat drops on the ground, earning several chuckles from batters in other cages. Having enough of mockings from himself and others, he gets into positioning for bunting and a 150mph baseball shoots out of the machine. His bunt is perfect, the ball falling slowly and away from the fielders. This time Sawamura hears gasps in awe and he grins, pleased. In the cage next to his, Miyuki sighs and shakes his head before speaking in Japanese.

“Eijun! Bat properly!”

Sawamura so badly wants to tell Miyuki to stop calling him that, but he can’t, because he really doesn’t want him to stop. He loves the way his name rolls off Miyuki’s lips. It sounded right.

“Then why don’t you show me how to?” He taunts as he picks up his bat and holds it over his shoulder, but he really just wants to see Miyuki batting.

The catcher gives a wide smile and a thumbs up. “One homerun, coming up!”

Miyuki delivers as promised, the sound of the metal bat coming into contact with the baseball music to Sawamura’s ears. The ball flies up and high, before it hits the very corner of the net, spins for a moment and drops onto the ground. Onlookers clap and whistles, throwing out praises; of course, this kind of player in a batting cage must be a rare sight for them. Anywhere, in fact.

Then it happens.

“Hey! I know him!” A man calls out, pointing at Miyuki. “That’s Kazuya, baseball player for Japan! The Genius Catcher!”

Suddenly everyone is pointing and nodding, recognising Miyuki beneath his helmet. It’s not longer before they realise who Sawamura is, too, and he just stares at Miyuki, his eyes questioning what now? Smiling and pointing out the cage, Sawamura understood Miyuki’s message. On a mental count of three, the both of them drop their bats and helmet and runs past the people, stopping only to collect their belongings. 

People chased, their smartphones flashing and excited screams echoing. Neither pause as they run to the main streets, blending into the crowd with their casual outfit and caps, full speed ahead to the airport. Somewhere behind, Sawamura can still here the people. He doesn’t know how he finds it in him to laugh along with Miyuki; being a celebrity was exhausting. How is it that they seemed to be more recognisable here than back in Japan?! It’s only when the airport was in sight that Sawamura managed to catch his breath and -- see that they -- were holding hands. For the second time that week.

It’s casual, a loose hold with Miyuki in front and Sawamura being tugged behind. If he wants to, pulling away would be as easy as blinking. Now that he’s calm, Sawamura feels that Miyuki’s hands are indeed larger than his. Rougher. Warm. Human. Unconsciously, his thumb brushes across Miyuki’s knuckles.

They stop in the middle of the airport. Without turning around, Miyuki oh so slowly lets go of Sawamura’s hand and it falls to his side. They’re silent for a moment, and Sawamura curses himself for that utterly unnecessary movement on his part.

“...I’ll go get us checked in. Can you go wait at Mcdonalds?” It was a huge outlet, just to his left.

“...Okay.”

Miyuki starts walking away with their baggage. Sawamura wonders why he called out to Miyuki, but the man does stop, still within earshot.

“Hmm?”

“Um... Er...!” I don’t know, Sawamura screams in his head. He doesn’t know what to say. He just...

“I - I don’t want to be alone?” It comes out more like a question, because it’s really more of he doesn’t want to be away from Miyuki. It just didn’t sit right with him, seeing the man’s back as he walks away, as if something similar has ever happened before, and even not remembering his mind is warning him to not repeat history.

The fourth sign.

Miyuki does turn then, a little surprised, a little concerned; Sawamura sees him doing the math in his head. He bites the insides of his lips as he waits for the answer. This was like a crossroad -- depending on whether Miyuki says yes or no to this silly question, it’d make some kind of change to their relationship.

Finally, Miyuki nods. “Okay. C’mon.”

A harsh breath Sawamura doesn’t know he was holding is released, and he jogs to meet Miyuki’s steps as they went together. He stuck close; checking in, queuing to buy an early dinner, going to the bathroom...

He sticks even closer on the plane, shoulders and elbows touching. They have their own little corner way back of the plane, just so they can relax. Courtesy of the airline they took itself. Miyuki allows him to lie on his shoulder as the plane takes off, something Sawamura would be grateful for. Focusing on his own heartbeat and Miyuki’s scent helped him forget he was flying, even if it was only for a short moment. Of course, the plastic bags are still stashed in their pockets.

Sawamura doesn’t lift his head, even when it got uncomfortable. He just lays there silently, pretending to be asleep as Miyuki watches a cartoon on the small screen provided, visibly trying to stay as still as possibly, likely not to disturb Sawamura. That goes to his growing list of Things That Make Not Loving Miyuki Impossible.

More time passes and Sawmura grows sleepy as the sky outside turns dark after a simple snack. The screen is idle and the lights shining on their seats dim; is Miyuki already asleep?

“Miyuki-senpai...?” Sawamura whispers experimentally. Nothing. He snuggles closer. Miyuki’s breathing is as calm as it always is, his shoulder now relaxed. Definitely asleep. Sawamura daringly links their arms together, hiding them under the blanket provided.

“...I like you.” Sawamura admits it softly. So softly there’s no way Miyuki, let alone anyone could’ve heard. The words take away with him 99 of his 100 problems, and Sawamura manage to let himself catch some sleep at last. He thinks he’ll have pleasant dreams, about him and Miyuki...

Chapter Text

Midnight #18


 

Sawamura doesn’t remember how he managed, but finally they reach home.

Home. Huh. Weird how he considers that… that building his home, but somewhere along the way the thought has settled down in his mind, and has become a natural part of his life. He even finds the scent of the place comforting; probably has the instinctive part of him to thank for that.

Sawamura jumps when he hears Miyuki breathe next to him – how did he even hear that? He’s been (quite blatantly too) avoiding Miyuki since that silent confession he made on the plane. He waits impatiently for the man to unlock the door, only because his own keys are left inside. The moment he hears the click and the door is pushed open, Sawamura dashes in and up the stairs to his old room, not even pausing to remove his shoes or wash up after that long flight.

He’s never felt safer. Well – Miyuki’s arms are where he felt safest, but that isn’t exactly a choice in this situation. Not when the cause is Miyuki himself. He throws himself onto the cool sheets, burying his face in the pillow. Then he finally let out the squeal he’s been holding in the entire time.

“I can’t believe I did that!”

Thank God Miyuki wasn’t awake then. Or maybe he was – he’s an A+ actor after all. Still could’ve fooled Sawamura. But if he’s pretending that didn’t happen, Sawamura will go along with it. He’s not ready to confess to the man face to face! How can he ever face Miyuki again if he’s rejected?

Sawamura draws in a deep breath. Okay, relax. Now, what would the usual course be from this point on? He thinks back to all the shoujo manga he’s read – ironically enough, his life was playing out right like one. And he settles on one that seemed to work every time.

In a swift motion he jumps out of bed and pulls out his phone, its batteries dying at a narrow 4%. Its enough, he thinks as he speed dials the number #2.

There’s ringing for two seconds, then the line connects. “Yo, Sawamura. What’s u–”

“Kuramochi-senpai! Are you busy right now!”

“…I’m having a movie night, but what’s wr–”

“I need your advice on something!”

“Stop shouting! My ears hurt!”

“Oh. Sorry.” Sawamura hasn’t realised he’d been shouting. Maybe it’s just his heartbeat that’s too loud? A sigh over the line.

“Listen, it must be important if you’re calling me, at this hour nonetheless. About that idiot Miyuki, right?”

He’s right! Kuramochi-senpai is so sharp! Sawamura nods even though Kuramochi can’t see. 

Another sigh. “Got it. I’ll call you back after we put Yui to bed.”

“Yes!” Sawamura straightens his back and bows to his wall. “Thank you very much, Kuramochi-senpai!” 

But the line’s already dead. Seeing his phone with a warning at 1%, Sawamura stumbles out of the room, downstairs where Miyuki is unpacking, grabs the charger, dashes back up to the room, and plugs his phone in. Good. He managed without having to make conversation. Sawamura sits back down on the bed with folded arms, simply waiting. A knock on the door has him jumping.

“Eijun? You’re inside right? The bath is ready; do you want to go first?”

Translation: Did Sawamura go first, or did he go later, which means Miyuki would use the bath first, and Sawamura’d have to deal with the man freshly out of shower, and bathe in the same water Miyuki had?

He flings the door with just a little too much force. “Yes, I will!”

Sawamura doesn’t bother enjoying the carefully prepared bath; his mind is filled with the promised phone call with Kuramochi. He soaks himself in the perfect temperature for a short moment, resting his stiff bones, washing himself hastily with soap flying everywhere, then he’s out and showering himself clean, ready to dash his way back to the room.

Of course, Miyuki doesn’t let him off easy. The man never does. This time, Sawamura’s prepared. Before Miyuki could open his mouth, he speaks first. 

“Miyuki-senpai! You can use the shower now! You’re probably tired from the flight, so I’ll sleep in the guest room tonight! Have a good night!!”

“Eij–” But he’s already up and running up the stairs to safety. Perfect timing too; he finds his phone vibrating. Kuramochi-senpai. He practically pulls the entire plug out and slides his finger across the screen.

“Yo, Sawamura!”

The feeling’s as though Kuramochi’s on base, his lead as wide as he can get. Reliable. Sawamura feels tears begin to form at the the corner of his eyes, somewhat touched.

“Kuramochi-senpai–!! What do I do???”

“For starters, what about what the heck is the problem?”

“I!” Sawamura almost chokes on his own words; it’s become even more cringey to say it after he admitted it before the man himself. “I like Miyuki-senpai!”

Silence. Sawamura’s physically frozen despite the acceleration of his heart, his mind whirling. What if Kuramochi gets grossed out? That’s quite a high possibility, isn’t it? Like, he just admitted he has a thing for their ex-captain and his current roommate. Crap, why doesn’t Sawamura ever think before he speaks –

“And?” If anything, Kuramochi sounded disinterested, and how is that possible? “Sawamura, I don’t think there’s anyone left in the world who doesn’t know you do. What I want to know is what’s the problem?”

But that is the problem!” Sawamura wails into the speakers. With the bottle uncapped, the words just keep pouring out. Sawamura admits how he can’t stop thinking about Miyuki, can’t stop noticing everything he does, can’t stop imagining things, can’t stop wanting him. How they’ve kissed and how that’s when Sawamura truly understood he’s in love with the older man. How he’s even confessed (though Miyuki wasn’t awake for that. Probably.), and how he’s currently stuck in a slump because he doesn’t know how to face Miyuki anymore.

Kuramochi doesn’t say anything throughout his entire rant, and Sawamura thinks he may have even already hung up. He’s huffing by the time he finishes his last sentence, and that’s when he looks down and sees that he had been pacing around the room. That’s how worried he was over the entire thing. This was looking to become something even worse than his yips, dammit. “–What do I do, Kuramochi-senpai?”

“…So,” Kuramochi begins after a long moment. Sawamura has to chew on his lower lip to stop from spurring his senior on. “You’ve kissed?”

Sawamura feels his body flush at the memory. It feels so far, even though it was really less than a week since it happened. “Yes.”

“Miyuki kissed you back?”

His flush deepens. “Yes.”

“Then you’re fine.”

“Kuramochi-senpai, do you even care!” Sawamura’s spoken so much his throat is dry and his voice is hoarse, but that’s all Kuramochi has to say in return?!

“Sawamura, it’s two in the morning and I have work later unlike you two. The answer is no, not really. Plus we’ve already had this conversation before…”

Wait.

“Kuramochi-senpai, what does that –”

There’s a static sound, then nothing. Sawamura can’t even hear Kuramochi’s breathing. What the hell? “Kuramochi-senpai?!” He peels the screen off the side of his face to check whether they’re still connected and – oh. His phone’s dead. What did Kuramochi say earlier? That it’s two? Sawamura glances at the clock and holy crap it really is two! He’s been talking for over an hour, of course his throat would be dry! Habit has him plugging his phone back in to charge, opening the door to go downstairs for some water, and he’s surprised to find that the lights are still on, the door to the room he and Miyuki shared closed.

Is Miyuki still awake? Weighing the possibility, Sawamura decides to play safe and tiptoe his way down the steps. Thankfully, he’s had much practice back in Seido, with Kuramochi being such a light sleeper. At the back of his mind he wonders how the man deals with sleep now, when he has a child as energetic (and cute!) as Yui. He lowers himself to a crouch once he becomes visible to anyone on the first floor, and – 

Aha. There, on the couch, sits Miyuki Kazuya, the culprit behind 100/100 of Sawamura’s problems, looking as perfectly annoying as always. Keyword being perfectly, because Sawamura can’t remember a time Miyuki isn’t perfect in his eyes. Gah, is Miyuki turning him into a sap now? When he slips his way down the rest of the steps none too silently, he sees that Miyuki’s actually asleep. Indeed, behind those frames lay a pair of closed eyes, the man’s chest rising and falling in a gentle rhythm, an open book in a loose grip of his hands.

What did Sawamura say earlier? Perfect. That’s right. Perfect.

Unable to hear anything past his own heartbeat and breathing, Sawamura tiptoes his way to the couch and leans over Miyuki’s face to carefully, carefully remove his glasses and set them on the dresser. He can’t help but focus his attention on that scar again. Who was it? Who was the one that left this never fading mark on Miyuki, unintentionally or not? Feeling an odd sting, Sawamura presses his lips to the darker patch of skin. He should ask Kuramochi about that too next time.

The sound of something dropping, and the opening of Miyuki’s eyes.

“…Eijun?”

Sawamura jumps three steps back, almost tripping over the book on the ground. So that’s what fell. “M-Miyuki-senpai! I just came down for water, and you happened to be sleeping, so I was thinking whether to wake you up, and then–!”

He’s blabbering. Calm down, Ejiun! But Miyuki just rubs at his eye and, seeing that his glasses are missing from his face, reaches for the dresser automatically and grabs it to fit it back where it belonged. “Mmm.”

Also, Miyuki most likely has low-blood pressure. Stop noticing those things!

“Sleepin’?” He murmurs, sleep heavy in his voice, and it did things to Sawamura he won’t ever be able to admit to anyone. He nods, not trusting his own voice, and jogs his way to the kitchen for water, contemplating whether to get a glass for Miyuki as well. Turns out he didn’t need to, because Miyuki’s already making his way upstairs. To their room. Swallowing down the last drop of his second refill (for several reasons), Sawamura hurries to rinse the glass clean and follow Miyuki up.

Miyuki pauses with his hand on the doorknob, turning to Sawamura. “Coming in?”

“Um, er…” Sawamura stammers, because he wants to, but at the same time, he doesn’t. Miyuki gives a lazy one shoulder shrug.

“Come in any time you want, yeah? G'night.”

“Oh. Yeah, okay. Good night.” Smiling awkwardly, Sawamura waves Miyuki into the room as he returns to his own, clicking the door behind him almost too hastily. He looks down at himself, and groans even as his body gives the honest reaction of a rise in temperature. Is he for real? He has a hard-on, now? From seeing Miyuki Kazuya asleep and face inches away, from that stupid husky envelops him all over voice? Unbelievable, but real all the same. What’s happened happened, and he’s not naive enough to not understand that there’s only one way to take care of his current situation.

With stiff movements Sawamura reaches for a box of tissues that were thankfully present, and sits himself on the edge of the bed. Is he really doing this? No, it’s not like he has a choice. He can’t exactly go to sleep when his pants feel like they’re about to explode. Hands trembling, Sawamura pulls down his shorts to find his briefs already soaked. What is he, a virgin?

…He probably still am. Why else would he have such a reaction to something like that? A gasp escapes him when the fabric catches on his tip, and the stimulus was almost too much. Just how long has Sawamura been keeping it to himself that he’s this pent up? He grabs the closest pillow and bites down on it as he finishes off quickly, a few hard strokes before he’s staining the tissues he prepared.

Sawamura pitches the crumpled tissues to the makeshift trashcan in the corner of the room (a strike because he’s a pitcher with good control even when he’s tired) and allows himself a minute to cool down. The embarrassment catches up and he drops onto the bed with a muffled scream. The guilt is real, and Sawamura is sure he’ll never be able to look at Miyuki in the eye ever again.

The throb he feels in his throat moves up until he has a headache, and Sawamura hisses in pain as blurry images flash past his mind, hollow voices echoing in his ear. Through the pain Sawamura manages to catch certain images, certain words, recognising the process as one of his Random Memory Comeback.

He, Kuramochi, Furuya, Haruichi. Someone’s house? They’re laughing at him. What is he saying?

“What should I do!” 

“Well, why...... just confess!”

“What?! ...... But what if he rejects me!”

It’s almost identical to the conversation he just had with Kuramochi on the phone. So that’s what Kuramochi-senpai meant. Even before he lost his memory, Sawamura had already been in love with Miyuki. So, the real question was: What did he do? Sawamura strains to focus on certain parts of the memory roll, hoping to find something helpful. He needs to hurry, or the memories will fade, leaving him with bits and pieces that don’t quite fit.

“...... suceed!”

“Okay!! Yes, ...... do it!”

Miyuki walks in on them then, and with an embarrassing squeal the memory fades into darkness. Sawamura collapses onto the bed, exhausted. He’s all sweaty again, despite the shower not long ago. Why can’t the memories just come back normally? If this happens every time Sawamura’d die from exhaustion of trying to remember his past.

Still, the memories have made it clear: The adult Sawamura was also in love with Miyuki.

What an idiot to be falling for such a person! …But it’s proof that this isn’t just a short term thing. The question now is, did that Sawamura confess? Judging from what he gathered, he certainly seemed to be considering it, especially with the way the other three were edging him on. Sawamura trusted them – still does, even though they have a large mental gap between them now.

A nagging at the back of his mind kept repeating Yoshikawa, and Sawamura shut that part off. He can’t. Can’t get a firm grip of this situation. He needs to let his overworked brain sleep. As always, there’s always tomorrow to stress over it.

Tomo–

It’s suddenly bright, and it just gets brighter to the point that it’s blinding. Which is ridiculous, because his eyes are closed, so Sawamura opens his eyes to the sound of cheers. He’s standing on the mound. Again? Another memory again between such short intervals? Could this mean he may be regaining his full memories soon…

“Focus, Eijun! One out!”

His body nods even though Sawamura doesn’t ask it to. Right; this is a visual memory playback. Sawamura doesn’t play a part in this. He feels himself draw back his arm, the grip’s that for a pitch low and away. But something’s off. His expression is stiff, not relaxed. He’s not looking at the mitt, eyes focused on the batter’s grip of his bat. There’s something heavy weighing on his chest –

He’s going to hit it.

Sawamura pitches, and for a split moment it seems as though it’d land in Miyuki’s mitt like it’s meant to, but it curves where it shouldn’t have. The ball hits Miyuki square in the face, and Sawamura wakes shouting.

“MIYUKI-SENPAI!!” Sawamura’s breaths come painfully, his heart trying it’s hardest to pump so he can actually breathe, and when he touches his cheeks he finds them tear stricken. His surroundings are still dark; he’s been asleep two hours max. The door to the room bursts open, and a flustered Miyuki rushes in and grabs Sawamura by the shoulders. Flustered, because his hair is tousled, his glasses missing, him leaning against the door for support.

“Eijun? What’s wrong? Are you okay?”

No, Miyuki-senpai. Are you okay?

“I -- you --”

Miyuki pulls him into an embrace, his hold loose so Sawamura can breathe, but strong enough that he won’t even think about pushing Miyuki away. He doesn’t. With shaky breaths he lets himself be held, and Miyuki whispers into his ears the words that always helped: I’m here. You’re okay. Eijun. Sawamura’s mind slowly but eventually registers the fact that Miyuki is here, is okay, and he’s able to breathe easy again. He nuzzles against Miyuki’s chest to tell him that, and after lingering a moment too long, they release each other.

Sawamura’s hand instantly reaches out to Miyuki’s face -- Miyuki’s scar that he’d kissed only a few hours ago. It was me.

“It was me,” he whispers aloud. “I gave you this scar.”

Hands instantly reach out to cover his own. Something almost close to panic -- and a glint of hope? -- in Miyuki’s eyes. “Do you --” He stammers, a rare sight in itself. “Do you remember?”

Sawamura opens his mouth soundlessly. He forces the words out.

“O...Only the part where I hit you with the baseball -- Then -- Then I woke up.”

Miyuki’s gaze drops, as though disappointed. The tenseness in his body that leaves suggest something else, but Sawamura knows better than to press. “...Oh.”

“I, I’m sorry?” Sawamura isn’t exactly sure why, but he feels the need to apologise. For the scar too, of course. Miyuki looks up with a smile that masks his feelings well enough that Sawamura can tell something’s wrong, but not what exactly. Likely recognising the worry written clearly all over his face, Miyuki ruffles his hair till it matches his own, a tangled mess.

“Why are you apologising, silly? Let’s go back to sleep, it’s only 5.” As simple as that, Miyuki falls onto the spot where Sawamura laid and -- and touched himself earlier.

“E-Eh?” He’s not going back to the other room? He doesn’t realise he says that out loud until Miyuki chuckles. “I can’t exactly go back when you’re gripping me so tightly, Eijun.”

Huh? Ah. Sawamura looks down and finds his hand holding onto Miyuki’s shirt unconsciously. He flushes and jerks it back, hanging his head in embarrassment. “I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to...”

Miyuki pulls him down anyway, holding Sawamura to his chest. This has been happening a lot recently, things that make Sawamura feel like his heart is going to burst at any moment.

“Don’t apologise, Eijun. That -- That match was the first after you learnt of your family’s passing. From practice we thought you were really okay, but... Well, you know what happened. If anyone should apologise, it should be me. I didn’t watch you close enough, I...”

Sawamura squeezes Miyuki. It’s enough, he hopes to convey, hopes to soothe the hurt he feels emitting from Miyuki. I forgive you. I’m sure the adult me does too. He wonders how long it takes, that they finally relax, finally able to let their heavy lids shut. The last thing that crosses Sawamura’s eyes this time is the fact that he just may be unable to do without Miyuki anymore, and it scares him.

 


 

 

Day #19

 

It scares him when he wakes up and there’s no one next to him, until he remembers that this is Miyuki and he is hardly ever in bed after 7. Sawamura stretches himself, relieving himself of leftover tension from the previous night. He catches a whiff of breakfast -- Japanese style, and his stomach growls. Of course; he’d slept through dinner on the plane and ate nothing upon their return.

“G’morning,” he greets.

“Mornin’,” Miyuki’s back returns. 

He’s not looking at me. Sawamura feels another prickle. He shakes it off, opting to wash up instead. It has been one hell of a night, after all. His look in the mirror proves it, and he hopes he didn’t look this bad when Miyuki came into his room.

Breakfast is eaten in silence – yet another thing that has been happening too often recently. Sawamura openly glance at Miyuki. Not even stealing glances, because the man wouldn’t even look up, focused on chewing his food. Upon watching for minutes, Sawamura notices something. Miyuki’s shoulders are slumped, even though they never are. He’s not lifting his left shoulder, not if he doesn’t need to. Sawamura frowns.

Not for the last time, he curses those pair of spectacles. Every time Miyuki had them on, it was like a way of shutting him out without any form of explanation.

Sawamura Eijun ain’t letting that happen. He leans over the other side of the table to get Miyuki’s attention.

“Miyuki-senpai?”

Clattering of utensils as Miyuki jerks. He looks up, but with those shielded eyes Sawamura has come to hate. That forced smile. “What is it?”

Sawamura slaps his warm hands on Miyuki’s cheeks, squeezing and kneading just because he can. This close he can clearly see the beads of sweat on Miyuki’s forehead, the subtle dampness of his hair. “Nghhhh, didn’t I say to stop trying to act all cool just cause you’re captain, Miyuki Kazuya!! If you’re injured, you gotta tell me!” 

It’s unfair if I’m the only one who’s always under your care! 

“...Huh.” Sawamura doesn’t expect Miyuki to give a genuine smile then. Just what on earth is wrong with this man? Then Miyuki’s eyes warm as well and Sawamura almost melts into him. “It’s been a long time since I heard those words.”

And Miyuki goes limp, falling against Sawamura. He’s warm. Hot. It wasn’t his hands that were warm, it’s that Miyuki has a fever. For him to collapse like this, just how bad must he be feeling? Thinking that Sawamura supports the man to the couch and lays him in what he deems as a comfortable position, removes those glasses again, then rushes to the kitchen for a wet towel to place over Miyuki’s burning forehead.

The man wakes up once, groaning and Sawamura pulls down the aching part of his collar. A sore muscle, purple and swollen. It must be what caused the fever, but while Sawamura doesn’t have the knowledge to treat it, he can’t possibly carry Miyuki all the way to the nearest clinic, which, unfortunately, he doesn’t even know where it is.

So he goes back to the room for his fully charged phone and calls up Haruchi. The doctor picks up at the last second, when Sawamura thinks the voice operator will come on. “--Eijun-kun?”

“Harucchi!” He can’t keep the relief out of his voice.

“What’s wrong, Eijun-kun?”

Sawamura stammers out Miyuki’s situation, but Haruichi seems to get it perfectly fine. “Miyuki-san’s shoulder again? He must have been neglecting medication since it’s hard to apply it himself -- It’s in the second drawer in the bedroom.”

“Wait, this isn’t the first time?”

Sawamura can almost visualise Haruichi shaking his head. “Miyuki-san told me not to say, but it’s been a persistent problem since he gets hit by baseballs a lot as the clean up batter. You used to help him with the medication, but I think he doesn’t want to burden you more than necessary.”

A person in the background calling out his name, and Haruichi’s affirmation. “I’m sorry but I have to go for an emergency operation now. Please make sure Miyuki-san gets sufficient rest, Eijun-kun. I’ll speak to you soon!”

The line is cut off and Sawamura rushes to the room next door for Miyuki’s medication. A persistent problem? What the hell? Is that why he seemed to be more tired than usual since yesterday? Is that why Miyuki’s been going to bed later than Sawamura since the beginning?

Just how much does that man want to carry by himself before he breaks down completely and utterly? Or is the current Sawamura simply not reliable in Miyuki’s eyes, being just a kid that hasn’t even yet to experience Koshien. Biting down on his lip, he follows the instructions given and rubs the medication around the affected area, never forgetting to check Miyuki’s temperature all the while.

It’s not just Miyuki. Despite how he looks, Sawamura’s good at caring for others too. He moves about the house tirelessly, changing towels and cleaning up the house, doing the laundry and fetching Miyuki water even when it’s just an unconscious demand on the man’s part. 

By evening, Miyuki’s temperature is down to an acceptable range, and his breathing is more even than it had been, brows no longer furrowed as he sleeps. His shoulder’s looking better too, but as a whole, this is probably the weakest the high school Sawamura has ever been allowed to see of Miyuki. A sound cuts through the hours of silence. Sawamura’s stomach.

“...Ah, right, what about dinner?” He can’t cook half as well as Miyuki, but the older him can. Sawamura wonders if it’ll come back to him if he tries? Haruichi did text to say Miyuki needed to go easy on the food. Well, it’s cook or delivery, and there’s no way Sawamura’s giving out their address. 

“Cooking it is!”

Giving himself words of encouragement, Sawamura nods his way to the fridge, which is filled with ingredients. He picks out healthy looking ones -- carrots, fish, minced chicken, a potato. Yeah, he’s certain those go in porridge. He boils the water, adds in the rice and goes to chop up the ingredients before adding them into the mixture of a pot. It doesn’t smell bad, at least. He scoops up a spoonful and tests it. Decent enough. If Miyuki isn’t picky, it’s edible.

When Sawamura brings a bowl to Miyuki, he’s surprised to find the man awake, still laying down but the cushion beneath his head pushed further up. He still looks like a patient, but there’s color on his face, and a grin that spells Miyuki Kazuya.

“M-Miyuki-senpai?! When did you wake up?”

“Mmm, maybe about when you were struggling with peeling the potato?”

T-That’s good as being awake the entire time?! The hand holding the bowl of porridge trembles, and Sawamura almost drops it. With puffed cheeks he moves to remove the towel and check the temperature. Good; it’s normal now. The swelling on his shoulder has eased too. Relieved, he makes to sit on the small space Miyuki made for him, then freeze. 

This is it, isn’t it? This is where he’d blow on the food, and feed Miyuki every spoonful until he’s finished with the food. Can he do it? This embarrassing shoujo trope. But! If he doesn’t, who will? He can’t possibly have Miyuki starving, no, not under his watch!

With shaky fingers he raise the spoon --

“I can eat by myself,” Miyuki mumbles, but there’s a pout on his lips. It’s okay if Sawamura pushes a little more, right? He pushes the spoon to Miyuki after an exaggerated number of blows.

“Come on, come on! Open up, Miyuki-senpai!! Harucchi tasked me to take good care of you!”

Sawamura’s venturing into unknown land. He doesn’t know how Miyuki will react to a spoon probbing at his lips. Then those lips part and accept the spoon, Miyuki licking the contents clean. O... Ooooooooooooooooh?! Immediately Sawamura serves another spoon, and that, too, Miyuki takes without complaint. With the pace they set, the bowl of porridge was finished in a matter of minutes.

“How... is it?” Sawamura dares to ask as Miyuki swallows the last bite.

“...Hmm,” Miyuki ponders. “Well, I can definitely tell you’ve improved the past six years... At least the taste matches the look...”

“I-IT WASN’T THAT BAD, WAS IT?” No, it could be. Sawamura had only been looking on the brighter side of things. There’s always the chance that Miyuki is in fact super picky when it comes to homemade food since he’s such a good cook?! Suddenly cooking was a big mistake. He shouldn’t have cooked. He should’ve just called for delivery to save himself the embarrassment --

Hands touch his as they gently take the empty bowl from him to place it on the table. Miyuki’s thumb rub soothing circles around the back of his hand. Their eyes meet and time stops.

“Sorry, I didn’t mean that. It was really good. Thank you, Eijun. You really saved me.”

This time it’s Sawamura who leans in for sure; it can’t be Miyuki, who is obediently lying there and staring at him as he presses their lips together. His own lips are dry, and when he inhales he can register Miyuki’s scent mixed with his cooking. He draws back shortly after, but not completely. He’s still close enough that he can feel Miyuki’s every breath, knowing it’s the same for Miyuki.

“Eijun, what are you doing, kissing me again?” Miyuki’s eyes are searching, as though for once he doesn’t know what’s going on. Sawamura’s heart skips a beat at Miyuki’s confession that he’d been awake.

“Miyuki-senpai,” it comes out more of a croak than anything.

“Yeah,” Miyuki answers, as if it’s the most natural thing to do. Ah, crap. Towards this man, I really do...

“I love you.”

Sawamura watches as Miyuki’s eyes widen, watches as the color fade from his face again. In that moment he would’ve given anything to take back those words, and even as another memory flash before him, all he sees is one thing:

Regret.

Mercilessly, time goes on. Mercilessly, sadness shows on Miyuki’s expression. Mercilessly, his lips part to speak two words.

“Me, too.”

Chapter Text

A story that takes place some time before the current timeline.

 

It’s a rare day that training ended early, and the two decides to do a last minute grocery shopping for dinner. Sawamura does the driving -- another sign of a rare day. Miyuki sits in the passenger seat, enjoying the summer breeze as he puts together a list of what to get.

“What do you want to get, Eijun?”

“Eh? I can choose tonight?” Sawamura’s hardly given days to choose their meals; as his Catcher Miyuki is responsible for his diet as long as they’re under the same roof.

Hearing the surprise in his voice, Miyuki chuckles. “Just for tonight, yes. You managed to maintain a cool head despite being in a pinch in the practice match earlier, so it’s probably okay to let it go tonight, hmm?”

Uwahhhhh! Miyuki being so open with praise is the rarest among rare, and in his daze Sawamura almost drives into the car in front. Whoops.

“So?” Miyuki asks again when they turn into the neighbourhood. Sawamura’s been thinking the entire trip, his muscles doing all the driving for him. He’s contemplated between healthy food, junk food, food he likes, food Miyuki likes, etc...

“Nabe sounds good.”

Miyuki blinks twice. “Nabe?” It’s a repeat of what Sawamura said, but what he picks up is After so long, that’s what you thought of?.

“Well, it’s easy, right? Just throw things in the pot.” It’d be tiring for you too, he thinks but doesn’t say out. He turns into the supermarket carpark, aware of how Miyuki is still staring at him. Stop staring, dammit. He feels the heat rise to his cheeks and Miyuki finally looks down to scribble out a quick list of ingredients.

Shopping doesn’t take long; the market has become like second home. It’s out and a 20 minute ride away from the rest of the city, so the people are smaller in number. Caps and a large sweater is enough as disguise, and they toss in whatever is on the list into the trolley before pushing it to the counter. The cashier is one they’re familiar with, and they exchange greetings. Sawamura swears he catches him eyeing Miyuki, but says nothing.

They bring four bags worth of ingredients back to the car (of course, including a month’s worth of supplies), and Sawamura takes the wheel again. The sky’s just turning orange, and he puts on music of a band they both like. Miyuki begins to sing along, and Sawamura is once again in awe at the fact that the man can sing. Following the trend of talented bespectacled boys, he should be tone-deaf, or at best average, but he can sing.

As intended, dinner is centred around the word simple. Miyuki boils the vegetables, carrots and the sweet corn first, adding flavor to the soup. Add in a packet of rice noodles, and they sit at the table. The good thing about nabe is that they don’t have to wait; Sawamura’s starved from training.

“I’m digging in!” He grabs pieces of meat and tosses them into the pot. Miyuki is more calm (as usual), adding in tofu, and chunks of salmon, simply because he doesn’t like it raw as much as cooked. Damn, it smells good. Sawamura fills his bowl with the soup first then makes a grab for a floating fishball with his chopsticks -- it slips from his grasp.

“Why you...” He makes a grab at it again, but it bounces out of his way. The pattern repeats a few more times, and he’s frustrated, only pride not letting him give up. Then another pair of chopsticks intervene, and suddenly the fishball behaves, letting Miyuki clasp around it and dropping it in Sawamura’s bowl.

“...Thank you,” he mutters in embarrassment, biting into the stupid round ball that obediently tore under his teeth. Only now do you listen, huh! Chewing loudly, Sawamura sticks his chopsticks into the pot again, this time for meat and vegetable. It’s just nabe and common ingredients everyone uses, but Miyuki just knows how to bring out the flavor. If it comes down to it, it’s as though Sawamura only seems to be able to beat him in Shogi...

“Eijun, your prawn’s gonna hop out the pot.”

“Huh? Oh, oh!” Sawamura snaps out of it and scoops out his half burnt prawn, spilling the soup all over the table. Well, that’s one thing bad about nabe, he supposes. Can’t daydream. Miyuki just sighs, grabs a cloth out of nowhere, and leans over to clean up Sawamura’s area.

“Sorry...” This was supposed to make things easier for them.

“Don’t look so down.” Miyuki flicks Sawamura’s forehead when he hangs his head. When he looks up Miyuki’s face is so close his heart skips a beat. Or two. Or three, for that matter. Curls cover his eyes, and Sawamura is tempted to brush them away so he can see the brown in his eyes.

“Your hair’s gotten long,” he chooses to say instead.

“Yeah. I’m thinking about getting it cut soon.” Miyuki's moving away, back to his seat. Sawamura doesn’t know why his eyes follow the movement, doesn’t know what he’s trying to do. So he stuffs a tofu in his mouth instead. The nabe is certainly boiling, but that’s the only sound there is. 

Dinner was somewhat awkward that night, but Sawamura’s arms around Miyuki was as tight as ever when the sky was clear that night.

Chapter Text

#Night 19

 

He is frozen. 

Sawamura doesn’t even think he’s breathing, doesn’t even think his chest is heaving. Only his eyes, wide as they are, staring at Miyuki – Miyuki isn’t frozen. Sawamura can see the way his cheeks pale and the way his eyes show raw emotion. It’s the only sign that he’s alive, and that this is reality. Happening. Live.

I love you, he had said. Confessed.

Me too, Miyuki had answered.

Their feelings were mutual. 

Sawamura loves Miyuki, and Miyuki loves Sawamura. This is where they’d hug each other, kiss, laugh, announce it to the world. Go on dates. Do the stuff lovers do. They’d be happy together, maybe exchange rings and vows, and stay with each other till they sprout grey hair and couldn’t walk without each other’s support.

That’s how it’s supposed to go – how Sawamura wants it to.

So why does Miyuki look like that? Like he’s in pain. Like he wishes he hasn’t returned Sawamura’s feelings. His head throbs, and he hisses out a curse. Not now. He doesn’t want to black out now. What happened before doesn’t mean crap now, does it?! Just as he thinks that, the memories come crashing down on him, a big fat Yes, It Does! printed on every frame.

A ghost of an image, intercepting with the present. A similarly troubled looking Miyuki, a similarly distressed looking him. Sawamura fights to focus on what’s most important – this moment.

“Miyuki-senpai… you… you like me?”

The man gives a dry laugh, one easily distinguished from the kind given out from a sick man. “Eijun. Do you think I’ll kiss people I don’t like?”

It’s because I do that I’ve been so confused! Sawamura bites down on his lower lips, it’s taking all he has to stop the choking feeling in his throat that he’s grown so tired of. In Miyuki’s eyes he sees his own reflection. What an ugly expression he’s making. He hates it. Hates it like how despite not wanting to, he’s seeing snippets of memories he’s forgotten, memories he doesn’t want returning now.

“Then why…” Sawamura begins with a croak. “Why do you look so pained?”

He knows. He already knows the answer. It’s replaying right now, an old tape only he sees and hears. But because he is foolish, Sawamura hopes. Perhaps, he will be given a different answer. Perhaps, Miyuki will take his outstretched hand this time.

Then he sees the exact moment Miyuki retreats into his godforsaken veil of a shell.

“Because we can’t be what you want us to be, Eijun.”

Sawamura clenches his fists, hoping to ease the trembling just a little. “Why?” Why not? Why “you”? Is it only Sawamura who wants to get something out of this? Wants to be more than what they are? Miyuki simply hangs his head in silence, not offering anything more. Never offering anything more.

Sawamura bumps his forehead against Miyuki’s for the briefest of seconds, ensuring the man is actually okay and he’s up and heading for the bedroom to pack his things. He takes more than the usual – more than necessary. Five sets of clothes. His phone. Baseball uniform. His diary. He’ll be intruding on the Kuramochis without notifying them beforehand, but it’s not like this is the first time, nor did they ever reprimand him for doing so. Always so accepting of him. If only Miyuki was a quarter like them.

“…What are you doing?” Miyuki asks when he sees Sawamura dragging his baggage down the stairs.

Sawamura doesn’t think before he answers -- he’s stopped thinking the moment Miyuki dropped the lousiest rejection onto him. “Going to the Kuramochis’. We’re both obviously not in the right state of mind, so I’ll come back when you’re ready to talk.”

A sigh, and the troubled hair raking that has Sawamura wanting to kiss all of the man’s thoughts away. “Eijun, we’ve had this discussion before –”

Sawamura slams his fist against the wall, because if he didn’t, the fist would be landing on Miyuki’s pretty face, and he hates himself in that moment for thinking that the man might even look good with bruised cheeks. “What discussion? All you’ve done is avoid the topic at hand!” 

He pulls the bag over his shoulders and makes for the door. “This is stupid.” And pointless, his mind whispers harshly but he cuts that part of him off. “I’m leaving.”

“Eijun, wait–”

“If I knew it was going to come to this, then I shouldn’t have fallen for you!

If I stop now, I lose. They’ll never talk it out, and they’ll never return to how they were before. He won’t stop, for their sake. With that as parting words, Sawamura slams the door behind him, not once looking back to see what sort of expression Miyuki might be making, not wanting Miyuki to see his tears as he made for the Audi.

Miyuki was stupid. He was stupid. The entire thing was stupid. Heck, the universe was stupid.

Stupid, stupid, stupid. Sawamura tosses his bag into the passenger seat of the Audi, gets into the driver’s seat, and he’s driving out and away from the house he and Miyuki shares. It’s more habit than anything that has him making turns on the streets when he’s able, and soon he finds himself in the familiar neighbourhood of the Kuramochis.

He takes the stairs -- they live on the 5th storey, and he needed the workout or the adrenaline will kill someone. He knocks on their front door, the coat of paint already slightly faded. 3 swift, solid knocks. It’s me.

The door swings open wide, almost hitting Sawamura in the face. A wide-eyed Kuramochi is staring at him. “Sawa… mura?”

He bows deeply, stiffly. “Kuramochi-san. I’ll be in your care for the next few days.” 

He walks in, like he owns the place. He almost does, with the number of ‘camping trips’ he makes here. It even smells warm. He heads to the guestroom, his room, a safe haven, stopping only to greet Wakana and give Yui, whose eyes were fixated on the movie on the large screen, a peck on the cheek. As he drops his bag by the bedside, Kuramochi appears by the door.

“Sawamura, you...” There’s a short pause. “You drove here.” It wasn’t a question, though the tone implied it might as well be.

“Yeah.”

“You remember?”

Remember? 

Sawamura hasn’t given it much thought, but yes, he suppose he does… remember. The days, weeks, months… six years’ worth coming back to him in swift succession. Koshien, the freshmen, his final summer. Graduation. Yoshikawa. Part-time jobs. Scouted by a national team. Accepting. Seeing Miyuki again. Miyuki. Forming a battery with him again. His first match. His family. Crying. Being comforted. Moving in with Miyuki. 

Miyuki, Miyuki, Miyuki. A certain memory pierces his mind, and Sawamura has to sit on the bed before the headache killed him. The pieces all jumbled up, messy, almost unbelievable.

“Kuramochi-san… All these memories… Are they… Are they even real?”

Kuramochi snorts. “If you’re reacting like that, they must be.” Then, a little kinder, “You okay?”

“Yeah, just… Need a moment.”

His next words are so gentle Sawamura dreads the kind of expression he’s making. “I’ll be around, okay?”

What has Sawamura ever done to deserve people like Kuramochi? The door clicks softly, and the tears are free to flow. Of course he’d cry. Even though he’s tired of it, it’s impossible not to cry when six years (2190 days, his 23 year old brain finally managed to calculate) just return without so much as a warning like his past memory returning processes.

He manages a dry laugh as he recalls Miyuki’s words not long ago -- And oh wow, it really isn’t long ago. Not even a damned month since he lost his memories. The doctor was full of bull. ‘Shouldn’t tell him anything that might trigger negative emotions’? Well, guess what; it’s exactly that that returned him his damned memories!

It takes him a long while to set the memories in place, chronologically. It’s easy at first, the high school memories to the moment he got scouted into the same team as Miyuki. From the moment Sawamura moves in with him, it gets a tad tougher to fit the pieces where they belonged. Some memories feel so far, but they were in fact events that took place simply weeks before his little “incident”, and vice versa.

Say, the first time he and Miyuki kissed. It was a year into living under the same roof, when Sawamura was 21. When Miyuki had already started to call him ‘Eijun’. 

Miyuki had initiated it, of course. The kiss. But Sawamura’s reaction wasn’t the reaction he had during the time of memory loss. Far from it. This Sawamura had been shocked, even felt somewhat betrayed at Miyuki’s action, had pushed the man away, declared that he had a lover, shutting the man down completely.

Even now the hurt on Miyuki’s face haunts him. Things he’d failed to notice then. The way Miyuki’d looked resigned, withdrawn from Sawamura, all light from his eyes fading, and whispered with a broken voice, “Of course you do”. The way he’d avoided Miyuki so blatantly the man had to come up to him three days later and tell him to forget the entire thing ever happened and slowly returned to their normal lives. The fact that he made Miyuki look like that. Made Miyuki say something like that.

Dragging an innocent, (overly even) understanding Yoshikawa into their matters. A stupid lie like they’d been dating since high school. The doubt on Miyuki’s face even as he accepted Sawamura’s reasoning because he must have seemed so fucking desperate. Promised it wouldn’t affect their performance as a battery. Didn’t let it affect their performance as a battery. 

Then Sawamura’d gone and fallen for a man he rejected. Confessed afterwards without a second thought for Miyuki’s feelings, thinking things would be smooth sailing. Thinking Miyuki would happily accept that their feelings were mutual when he didn’t even explain a thing about Yoshikawa beforehand. 

He sees now, crystal clear. No one with a brain would’ve accept someone like him, let alone Miyuki Kazuya. He falls onto the bed and thrashes about like a child, giving a barely controlled, strangled cry as he recalls that Yui is probably being put to bed.

Eijun, the voice from his memory whispers in his head, you’re not thinking straight. Maybe you should head to Kuramochi’s for a while.

Another voice intrudes, this one much more fresh, more clear, filled with so much raw emotion. I shouldn’t have fallen for you!

He slams his head into the pillow. “Goddammit! Are you a fucking idiot, Sawamura Eijun?!”

Yes, yes I fucking am, he answers himself, a bitter thought. Clenching on his jaw in an attempt to ease the headache even by 0.01%, he drags his feet towards the work desk and pulls out a stack of paper and pen from the drawer. 

It’ll be easier to list out the events, won’t it? At least, while they’re still fresh. He never knows when they may be gone again. He begins to wonder whether he even wants them to remain, then slaps himself across the face as images flash in his mind, reminding him of the good times and the bad. Memories that can never be replaced, that brought him to where he is today. Steadying his hand, Sawamura begins to pen.

--After graduation. Sawamura had chosen to stay in Tokyo, pursuing baseball at day and a three jobbed part-timer by night. With his family’s support, of course.

His night job was much closer to Kuramochi’s old house than his own, so he tended to crash there after a long night. (He tried to lessen his trips after Kuramochi’s off the shelf, but because it was Wakana, nothing really changed.) The time he bought his diary at a book sale, for that was all he could afford after a luxurious lunch.

It was during a informal coaching session he had with neighbouring kids that got him scouted to play for the same team Miyuki was on.

He meets Miyuki for the first time since graduation.

Then what was there? He remembers a lot of training, mainly just training. Never once staying behind because he’s still too green for drinking with his idols and crashing at Kuramochi’s almost always, because he stayed too far and couldn’t afford any of the houses nearby. 

His first match. Sawamura’s head throbs harder as he goes through that particular period. Maybe there was some truth to the doctor’s words after all. But still he makes sure to absorb every detail, not wanting to forget the pain of losing his family again, not wanting to forget their love and support, that he is so damned grateful for that and loves them so damned much.

--He should’ve known since Miyuki offered for them to stay together after the funeral. Should’ve put one and one together during all those times together under the same roof, in the same bed, sharing the same air. But he didn’t, and now here they are in this dilemma.  

Now what do he do?

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

Midnight #20

 

Clock knows how long Sawamura’s been muddling over what he should do now before there’s a knock on the door and he hears a voice, at the same time coming up with his solution. He leaves the desk to open the door, spilling everything out. “I don’t know what to do anymore.”

“I don’t get it.” Kuramochi paces around the room – the guest room where Sawamura stays, because it’s late and Wakana and Yui are asleep. “Miyuki’s liked you since high school. Everyone knows that.” 

Well, everyone seemingly with the exception of Sawamura.

“And now you finally decide you like him back. You confess. He affirms the feeling’s mutual. But then instead of cradling you in his arms, he rejects you? Is he nuts? Maybe his fever just fried his brain and he thinks it’s a dream?”

“I doubt so.” Though it pains Sawamura to say it. “He must have been thinking about this for a while before coming to this answer again...”

“Again?” Kuramochi frowns. “I don’t get what you mean.”

Sawamura inhales sharply. “Before– Before I lost my memories, I confessed to him once.”

What?! When?!”

“May 20th.”  A month before he made his latest diary entry. Miyuki Kazuya is an idiot!!! He’d written, but he was the idiot. I didn’t grow at all. “You were on vacation with Wakana and Yui, so I didn’t tell you. Didn’t get the chance to afterwards either, since the incident happened just a day after you returned.”

“What did Miyuki say then?”

“That he’d think about it.” That after a month, his answer was no.

“But why?” That’s the part Kuramochi can’t understand.

“I lied about dating Yoshikawa,” Sawamura confesses. He’s never told anyone, not even Kuramochi. Just like how he didn’t consult anyone about his feelings before confessing and getting rejected like an idiot. He’s not making that mistake, not again.

Kuramochi snorts. “Please, as if anyone believed that from the start. You don’t even talk about her as much as you do Miyuki. I hate to admit it but that guy’s smart, so he definitely knows. I can’t think of any reason why he’d...” He slows his steps till he comes to a complete stop. “That fucker.” 

Kuramochi suddenly pivots and makes for the door, eyes sharp. He’s onto something, and Sawamura isn’t sure how he feels about that something. “I’ll go knock some sense into that idiot. Then you two idiots can talk this shit out.”

And without another word, he was gone.

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

Miyuki is holding a cup of water to his lips when the house phone rings. He sighs and sets the cup down, no doubt it’s him calling. He rubs his eyes before proceeding to pick up the receiver, a smile on his lips even though no one is there to see. It helps him mask his feelings better. It’s always been that way. There’s the awful sound of the line connecting, and he regrets his choice immediately.

“–Oi, Miyuki. I already heard everything from Sawamura.”

Where’s the surprise? He sighs and holds the receiver away from his ear. So loud. He’s still sick, dammit. “So you did.” 

“I can’t believe you rejected him, fuck. I’m on my way over now, so you better keep that damned door unlocked or I’m breaking in.”

“You’ll break in anyway.”

“Idiot.” The line goes dead and Miyuki falls back onto the still warm couch, pulling the blanket up to his chest. As if that’d fill up the emptiness he feels.

Kuramochi arrives too quickly, leaving no time for Miyuki to come up with excuses. Not like they ever worked with his friend, but he would’ve at least tried.

“So, was that it?” Kuramochi stomps past Miyuki into his house, clearly agitated. Ever so calmly, Miyuki drags himself back to the still-warm couch, positioning himself comfortably before answering.

“Was what it?” Just because he hasn’t come up with anything yet, doesn’t mean he can’t stall time to.

That argument! You know, the one Sawamura mentioned then? On 20th May?”

“Ah, that.” So Kuramochi saw Sawamura’s diary (because Miyuki knows every entry he’s made, because Sawamura was a fool for leaving it there where he could easily find it).

“Don’t you ‘ah, that’ me, dammit! I didn’t hear anything about it being because Sawamura confessed to your shitty ass!” A kick to his dangling leg. 

Miyuki’s eyes widen when he understands what Kuramochi’s words meant. “He remembers?

Seeing his expression calms Kuramochi by a little somewhat and he huffs. “Yeah, he does. He told me he confessed to you once before he lost his memories, and you rejected him. You, who always looked at him in a way that made me want to vomit out my lunch!”

“He didn’t mean it.” Miyuki’s reply is curt, direct, coming straight from the cracks of his heart that was busy reliving the past.

“Did Sawamura say that himself?”

Miyuki sighs, knowing where this is going. “No, but–”

“If he didn’t say it, then there’s still a chance he did, right?! “He didn’t mean it”, that’s your excuse? Don’t give me that crap, Miyuki. You’re not the one who gets to decide that, especially not when you two did no shit, like, oh you know, talking it out?” 

An emotional Kuramochi was a concerned Kuramochi, Miyuki knows that much, and he is thankful, despite what it may seem, that Kuramochi has remained his friend throughout all the while. That he cares enough to force his way into his house in the dead of the night. But… 

“Mochi, he was attached when he said that. He was probably just confused because of my actions and his inexperience in this kind of thing.”

“Fuck, you two are insufferable.” Kuramochi gives a roll of his eyes, raking a hand through his hair, but it’s Miyuki who should be frustrated. What did Kuramochi know of how he felt? To love someone who would never return his feelings, to watch as he speaks of another, to only smile and lie that he’s okay when it’s so, so fucking obvious he isn’t.

To be rejected clearly, cleanly, after a confession he never planned to happen and having his heart shattered into a million pieces no one picked up for him. To bleed as he put back together his own broken heart, to remain broken for there were pieces of himself he never found, pieces Sawamura took with him the moment he said no. Even now the scars are all so clear, and he sees them whenever he looks into Sawamura’s eyes, a broken man reflected in them. I’m hopeless.

“You don’t to try so hard for us, Mochi.”

The glare would’ve gotten some form of reaction out of Miyuki if he wasn’t so tired. “And what the fuck do you think friends are for? It’s been 8 years, dammit. Start relying on me a little already!”

He gives a slow shake of his head, a small smile. Kuramochi has no idea how much Miyuki’s been relying on him already. “There’s nothing even you can do to improve this situation. Give it up.”

“Oh yeah?” Kuramochi huffs. “Even if I say the bullshit about Sawamura and Yoshikawa dating was a lie?”

Miyuki’s heart skips a beat before he remembers, and he narrows his eyes. “That’s not even funny, Mochi.”

“Well, here’s a plot twist: it’s not a joke.”

“Then you’re mistaken. They most definitely were dating.” He says it firmly, through clenched, because he knows that it’s true and it hurts to remind himself of that fact.

Kuramochi’s eyes rolls so far back, Miyuki wonders for a second whether they’ll return. Then he kicks his leg again. Dammit, he’s still a Catcher worth millions to the country, he shouldn’t be getting this kind of treatment. 

“Miyuki, you know that’s bull.” Of course Kuramochi contradicts his beliefs. “We all know it’s bull, an excuse he made up to get off your radar. Heck, he talks about you 10 times more than he’s ever done Yoshikawa! He doesn’t even look half as excited to see her than when he sees you. Heck, Sawamura himself said it was a lie!”

Miyuki says nothing. Well, he thought it was bull, but there was proof.

“...What makes you so sure?” 

“What?”

“Why are you convinced they’re dating?” Kuramochi sounds genuinely curious. Miyuki only wants to be left alone so he can continue his self pity party until he’s okay then he can go pick Sawamura up and end this once and for all. Then nobody will come bother him and be picking at old wounds again. Then everything will be back to normal. Then he can move on with his life. Well. look like he’s moving on when he’s actually trapped in time, anyway.

“You know that diary of his?”

“Yeah. And of course, you do too.”

“Inside, there’s an entry marking their 5th anniversary. And he mentioned about their breakup.” Miyuki gnaws the words out. They leave a bitter taste in his mouth as he recalls the last time he flipped the diary open. That page had slithered through the tiniest vulnerable cracks Miyuki allowed, to his recovering heart, slicing it and causing it to bleed anew.

“…Oh. That.”

Miyuki nods. “Yeah.” Now that Kuramochi gets that he’s mistaken, maybe he’ll leave Miyuki alone now. But he doesn’t. In fact he drops onto the couch, a stiff movement, almost onto Miyuki’s legs if he had not moved away in the last second.

“Er.”

Miyuki picks up the blanket that’d dropped on the pulls it over his waist. It gives him the illusion that he’s hiding himself well. “It’s fine, you don’t have to apologise. Not like I was having my hopes up, you know?”

Kuramochi gives another roll of his eyes. “Not for that.”

“No?” Miyuki can’t keep the surprise out of his voice. “Then what for?”

“Just…” Kuramochi tugs at his hair, frowning. “It seems like this major understanding mighta sorts maybe partially be my fault. Okay, well, largely my fault probably if I think about it.”

Narrowed eyes narrow further. “What’s that supposed to mean? How can any of this possibly be your fault?”

Kuramochi’s frown deepens. Miyuki can almost see his gears running, and he waits patiently. Unlike him, Kuramochi is a fairly straightforward person, and with patience will come his reward. If only that worked with Eijun, he thinks before shoving the thought away.

The determined “Okay!” of Kuramochi’s still come too abruptly, and Miyuki jumps and they stare at each other for a moment before bursting out laughing. God, to think Miyuki can still give a real laugh in his situation. Amazing that he could, and amazing that Kuramochi was able to make him do so. Their laughter dissolve and Miyuki can feel the heaviness in the breath Kuramochi releases.

“So. About Sawamura’s diary. You know how it’s basically a record diary all about the times he comes for a ‘sleepover’, as he calls it? His reasons?”

Miyuki gives a long, slow nod, the list of entries easily flowing through his mind, considering how many times he’d reread the entire book. Yes, that’s true… so what? Their eyes meet as he asks the question silently, and Kuramochi fidgets in his seat just slightly. Miyuki chews on his lower lip, wishing he'd just get on with it already.

“Don’t you think it’s weird, then? That he’d mark an anniversary in this kind of diary?”

Miyuki’s breath hitches. “…What do you mean?”

“I mean, have you considered the possibility that it wasn’t Sawamura who wrote that particular entry?”

Miyuki’s mind almost overheats as he absorbs Kuramochi’s words, dissecting them and trying to understand how each word connects to each other. He concludes that Kuramochi can only mean exactly as he said.

“Explain.”

“Have you considered the possibility that... You know, it’s someone who knows about the diary who wrote that particular entry?”

You’ve got to be fucking kidding me. “Mochi, this isn’t even funny.”

“No wonder I’m not laughing,” the dry reply was all the affirmation he needed. Miyuki groans out loud. How is this possible? What the actual fuck? He thinks back to the day he saw that entry. In a handwriting that was familiar but not entirely recognisable as Sawamura’s, the doubt he brushed aside as pain settled in its place. Who the owner of those words really were --

“Mochi, you wrote that entry?”

A nod. “You remember when Wakana broke up with me cause she thought I was cheating on her. Sawamura came over to express his concerns.”

Yes, Miyuki does, of course he does, but --

“The dates don’t match.” His heart is thudding so hard against his chest at the possibilities that it was, in the end, a lie. But he can’t get his hopes up, not for them to just be crushed again.

“Fuck, Miyuki, I was dumped after five years. Do you think I care about which page I was scribbling on?”

“But...”

“Stop with the buts already. Now you know. The entry wasn’t talking about Sawamura and Yoshikawa, it was Wakana and me. So do you have any other reason for rejecting Sawamura now?”

Miyuki must look hilarious now, eyes wide, jaw hanging, index finger half pointing towards Kuramochi. Kuramochi wrote that entry, destroying the one solid evidence Miyuki clung onto the entire time that told him Sawamura’s taken, Sawamura can never be his, Sawamura doesn’t like him --

“Am I living a fucking soap opera?” It’s so funny Miyuki laughs. But it’s not funny. Not at all. “Jesus, I fucked it up.”

“Honestly? You idiots both fucked up so bad I’m in disbelief,” Kuramochi offers, then, after a moment, “Sorry. It probably wouldn’t have gotten so complicated if not for me --”

“No, Mochi. It’s not your fault.” Rationally thinking, there’s no way Sawamura and Yoshikawa were dating, no way he bought her a ring with the intention to propose, no signs of heartbreak after their supposedly broke up, not like how Miyuki felt for years after Sawamura rejected him. He just made himself buy that shitty reason, saying it’s all for Sawamura’s sake, when it’s really for himself.

If they’re really dating, then Sawamura would naturally reject him. Not because Sawamura was repulsed. Not because he didn’t want to give Miyuki a chance. Rejecting Sawamura afterwards because knowing if he said yes, he’d be admitting that he was, indeed, rejected back then. His defence mechanism that didn’t allow him to believe Sawamura was speaking the truth, knowing his heart would be beyond repair if he found out it was a mistake.

“Miyuki?”

He snaps out of his daze at Kuramochi’s voice, so close to him.

“You talk it out with Sawamura, okay? I mean, if you still want to reject him then there’s nothing else I can do, but at least talk to the guy. Figure it out yourself whether you think he really loves you.”

His heart still can’t calm down. Thinking about seeing Sawamura and discussing about that again... He’s not sure his heart can take another ‘the end before anything began’ plot. But he nods, because that’s the right thing to do. “Yeah. Yeah, okay.”

“I’ll let Wakana know I’m staying out tonight. And you’re going to come get him on Monday. Before you nag, I will keep him in shape in your stead, so no complaints there.” Miyuki is uncharacteristically still, unmoving from when Kuramochi goes to make the call till he returns.

“Hey, you sure you okay? You’re a little too pale, even with all this shit dropped onto you.” Miyuki thinks Kuramochi is frowning at him, but his vision’s getting a little blurry.

“Just... having a little fever.”

It was immediate that he’s tucked back onto the couch, head on pillow and a cool towel over forehead, blanket securing his toes and fingertips. “Mochi?”

“What?”

“...Thanks.”

He might’ve imagined the blush on Kuramochi’s cheek.

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

Day #20

 

Sawamura jumps up from the chair when he hears the front door click open.

“Kuramochi-san!” The man looks absolutely rekt. “You went to find Miyuki, didn’t you --”

Kuramochi holds out a hand, telling Sawamura to keep quiet.

“I did what I could.”

“Wha?” Did what?

“I’ve explained to him to the best of my abilities. Honestly, I’m too lazy to re-enact the entire conversation, so drill everything out of him when he comes fetch you on Monday, ‘kay? All you need to know is that there should be no more misunderstandings. I made him promise to talk it out, so it’s up to you here on out. I pray for the both of you.”

The man only stops to pat Sawamura on the shoulder. “He loves you, you know? I’m going back to bed. Don’t fuck it up, Bakamura.”

Sawamura doesn’t have the heart to stop Kuramochi from returning to his bedroom when he looks so drained, but wait.

Miyuki’s coming on Monday? To fetch him? To talk things out?  He was the one that hoped to have things sorted out, but -- Monday... Monday’s three days away! 

“He loves you, you know?”, Kuramochi had said. “Don’t fuck it up,” he warned.

These three days, he’ll need a shit ton of help.

Chapter Text

Day #23

 

 

 

 

 

His phone rings early in the morning. Only two people as of current has his number, and only one would be looking for him now.

 

 

 

 

To: Eijun

From: Miyuki

I’m coming to get you now.

 

Sawamura’s fingers tremble as he rereads the text.

Again.

And again.

And again.

And – Someone steps into the room. “Sawamura, you up?”

Sawamura opens his mouth to find his throat dry and his words stuck, so he swallows and tries again. “Kuramochi-san, Miyuki texted me.”

“It’s finally Monday? Thank fuck.” Joking sarcasm. Sawamura manages a smile; it’s been a while since Kuramochi spoke like that to him, and it makes him think he’s glad to be back as 23 year old Sawamura Eijun. “Come out and have breakfast, then you can start packing up before he arrives.”

Ah, yes. Back on topic - Miyuki’s coming so they can “talk things out” like he wanted. Whether he’s ready or not. Swallowing the lump in his throat, Sawamura nods and gets out of bed.

It’s obvious that he’s nervous, because he took Kuramochi’s tooth brush, used soap instead of tooth paste, and almost guggled his mouth with washing water. Kuramochi calls him out several times even after that, much to Sawamura’s embarrassment, but he can’t help his tingling nerves at the thought of seeing Miyuki soon. The first time he’ll be seeing the man as him. How ironic that his last memories as the 16 year old him is practically the same as the him before he lost his memories.

Sawamura bites down on his food, and it’s - hard? Something sharp pokes his tongue and he yelps, dropping his cutlery and shocking Yui who sits next to him. He sticks out his tongue, trying to inspect where he thinks he’s hurt, and of course he fails.

“Ei-chwan?” Yui tugs on his sleeve, those large brown eyes spelling concern. It melts his heart, and along with it his anxiety. He smiles and pats her head, feeling her soft hair against his rough palm.

“I’m okay,” he assures her, though it comes out more as Um Olkay because his stinging tongue is stuck out. They both burst out laughing until Wakana joins in and, with a roll of his eyes Kuramochi pulls out cream for Sawamura’s tongue. He manages a Dank Gyu to Kuramochi, who stares at him for a moment before giving a sigh and walking back to his seat.

Thankfully, the rest of breakfast goes somewhat smoothly. Smoothly, meaning no more poking fork on tongue, or trying to drink rice like it’s soup. I.e., regaining his ability to function like a normal human being. Sawamura keeps himself busy for a short while like that, chatting with the Kuramochis about the short lost time, helping to clear the table, helping Yui with her braids.

Then suddenly it was time for Yui to go to preschool. It’s a short drive, but too long a walking distance, so Kuramochi has to drive them and get to work himself. Meaning, Sawamura will be alone.

Until Miyuki comes.

Miyuki.

Oh God.

“Don’t forget to lock up, ‘kay?” Kuramochi presses what is most likely the house key into Sawamura’s palm, but he’s frozen and can’t feel his legs, let alone his hands.

Footsteps are approaching. Footsteps he’d recognise even in a mall on Sunday afternoons. He swallows, eyes fixated beyond the open door, beyond Wakana’s smiling face. A figure appears, darkened into an almost silhouette state by the rays from the sun, but it was unmistakably,

“...Miyuki.” It comes out as a choked sound, and Sawamura slaps himself mentally.

“Eijun.”

“For fuck’s sake,” Kuramochi groans and turns away from Sawamura, key back in his hands, pushing past Miyuki to pick Yui up over his shoulders and scowling at them both. “Hurry up and get out so I can lock up before you two start grossly making out in my house.”

Miyuki smiles, and even that is enough to send Sawamura’s heart into a turmoil. “Thank you, Mochi.”

...It’s almost strange to look at Miyuki now, the time of his memory loss and his current self clashing. Sawamura’s familiar, used to this Miyuki. This Miyuki he sees, interacts with every day. Has done so for the past three years. This Miyuki he’s been out of the country with, playing matches, travelling for fun. Shared with the good times and the bad.

Looking at him now, it’s like a dream that he had forgotten these days he’s come to grow used to. But Sawamura knows it isn’t. He knows it from the things he notice for the first time - the dark circles under Miyuki’s eyes, the way his hair is dishevelled and unlike his usual neat self, how his smile doesn’t seem to reach his eyes and make them shine, the square of his shoulders tense as though there is an invisible weight on them.

Sawamura wonders if it’s conceited (or even somewhat twisted) that a side of him thinks it’s because of him. He got Miyuki like that. Then Miyuki catches him staring, and his heart nearly leaps out of his chest, only willpower keeping him from turning his eyes away.

“Let’s go?”

Sawamura takes a while to process Miyuki’s words. “Huh? Oh, yeah, okay.”

“Just FYI, my vote’s on him,” Kuramochi suddenly states in the short lift ride down, causing Miyuki to chuckle. It was a tired sound, but to be able to hear it in his ears again is almost dreamlike, more than what he can ask for.

“Yes, I know. I hope his is, too,” Miyuki replies. Not understanding whatever the deal is between them, Sawamura just follows Miyuki out and into the Audi he’d used to drive here.

“You drive,” Miyuki says simply. Sawamura doesn’t question, just quietly gets in the driver’s seat and starts up the car the moment Miyuki’s seatbelt is buckled. They meet Kuramochi’s own car by the exit, and they roll down their windows to shout their thanks and byes, for each turning in different directions.

Being early as it is, there’s jam as far as the eye can see, and Sawamura is thankful for the morning chatters. At least the silence in the car won’t be as awkward as when it’s the dead of the night. And in that moment, Sawamura wonders if that was the reason why Miyuki chose to come as early as he did. To be able to get away with silence. 

That possibility has him frowning so hard his head hurt, and he steps on the brakes where he can, a voice nagging at him to hurry up and get home.

It’s only when they turn into the small street that conversation strikes.

“So, I heard from Kuramochi that you got your memories back.”

Sawamura slows the car down enough that he’s able to sneak a peek to his left but Miyuki’s head is turned away, the only thing shown to him the gentle sway of his hair in early summer breeze. “Yeah.”

“...How?”

“It just came back halfway throughout our fight.” He makes a right turn, and he sees afterimages of he and Miyuki’s routine morning jogs on the sidewalk. Concentrate. He keeps his eyes on the road, suddenly finding it too bright.

“When you --” Sawamura swallows, trying to get the word out. “When you rejected me, I saw it. The first time I told you I liked you. Then the memories just kept coming back. But they didn’t sink in until I reached Kuramochi-san’s.”

“I see.” After a short pause, “Welcome back, Eijun.”

“I’m home.” Oh? Ooooh? Things seems to be going unexpectedly well...? 

“Yeah. And I’ve notified the team about your recovery.”

“Oh. Thanks.” Sawamura doesn’t point out that yes, he knows, because Miyuki had sent the message in their Telegram group. His teammates’ reaction stickers had managed to keep his mind off Miyuki for a few precious moments (Miyuki hardly replied to those stickers).

“It’s been quiet without you around.”

He frowns, not understanding the statement. “But I was around.”

“Not you. The one around was the high school Eijun. Nothing but trouble did he bring,” Miyuki let out a sigh Sawamura knew was dramatic without needing to see.

“Hey!” That was uncalled for!

“You were so clingy --”

Oops. “I’m sorry.”

...Wait.

“-- You even came into the same bed like it was nothing --”

“…Miyuki.”

“– Always going on about the smallest of things –”

Miyuki.

The babbling stops as the same time Sawamura does with the car. Babbling. Miyuki was babbling on. Nervous. Miyuki Kazuya is nervous. He swallows; he can feel his hands on the wheel tremble, despite his attempts at willing them not to. He’s nervous too, almost as nervous as the first time he stood on foreign soil, playing for Japan as representative for his country.

Silently Sawamura lowers his left hand to his side, not once turning to look in case Miyuki realises what he’s up to. He’s fumbling, heart a galloping horse, fingers scrambling for skin. Then his fingertips find Miyuki’s, and both jolt in their seats. Miyuki’s fingers are cold, but when Sawamura tentatively links their hands together, it warms to the extent of a feverish temperature. 

He squeezes, more of an umpteenth attempt to stop the trembling, but Miyuki squeezes back, and he thinks he’s about to faint. Gripping the wheel tightly, Sawamura has to stop himself from bypassing the speed limit. 

“I want to get home already,” he mutters to himself.

Miyuki’s thumb rubs soothing circles around his palm, doing a perfect job at calming Sawamura. Then, with the softest of whispers, “...Me too.”

Though the conversation dies down quickly after that when Miyuki showed no signs of saying another word, Sawamura is content as he focuses on only two things: the road, and their entwined fingers. 

Soon enough, he’s driving past the gates of their house, and the smell of Eric’s flowers wrap around him, calming him with their scent. Speaking of which, it’s been a while since I went to walk in the garden... Before the memory loss, he used to talk constant walks, enjoying himself till Miyuki had to physically come down and drag him back indoors. Remembering those moments has him smiling at he parked the car.

“You’re creeping me out with your smile,” Miyuki comments but when Sawamura turns, retort on tongue, he finds the man smiling as well and they both look like goofs as they only untwine their fingers to be able to get out of the car. This time it’s Miyuki who finds him first.

“The garden?”

Miyuki’s eyes soften, looking almost sheepish as Sawamura stares back at him in surprise, as though saying “I told you I love you, so naturally I’d know things about you, right?”. (At least, he hopes that’s what Miyuki is saying with that look.) He nods in affirmation and when Miyuki doesn’t move he takes the lead, taking Miyuki along by their joined hands.

Because their house is ridiculously huge, the garden is a frigging 2 minute long walk from the garage. Sawamura’s palm is sweaty, and he knows Miyuki can feel that its sweaty. Words of advice he’d gotten from the Kuramochis, Kominato brothers, Furuya, and even Yoshikawa overlap.

Miyuki’s actually a big worrywart, Kuramochi’s voice echoes loudly. It’s hard to convince him you really like him, so work on that.

Also, Wakana’s supportive voice chips in, I guarantee that he really really loves you, so don’t muddle over that too much, okay?!

Right. Don’t muddle over it too much. He tries his best to focus on the scent of Eric’s flowers (he remembers now, he’d wanted to name it Blue Crown Lily, after the color and shape of the flowers), but it’s not working as well now with the number of things going through his mind. What do he say? What usually even goes on between them?

Eijun, his mother’s voice emerges, Don’t rush! A step at a time!

That’s right. Rushing won’t get him anywhere, not with baseball, nor with life. Since he just remembered about the flowers, that’d be a good starting topic, won’t it? So he stops in the middle of the garden, where the baseball diamond fountain designed by Kanemaru stood. With the sun and water raining down on the flowers, it’s the perfect scene for a confession.

He turns to face Miyuki, and at the same time their hands fall to their side.

“Miyuki, you know something?”

“Well, I won’t if you don’t say.”

I actually came up with a name for the flowers. “I love you.”

Oh. That sure went well.

Sawamura can see it clearly; how can he not, when it’s so bright out? The darkening of Miyuki’s pupils, the clear disbelief reflected in his eyes. The way his mouth twitches, the way his Adam’s apple bobs as he swallows thickly; the same thing from that night about to repeat itself if he doesn’t do something --

Huh? Weren’t you and Miyuki-san going out...? Gah, this isn’t the time for Furuya’s words to come back to him! He needs something more useful!

“Um... Er... That’s...” 

Nothing’s coming to mind. Oh Gods, he’s going to ruin it already. It hasn’t even been an hour since they reunited. Fuccccckin’ kidding.

But then the unexpected of the unexpected happens - Miyuki reaches out, takes Sawamura’s hands in his. Then he takes a step forward, shoes almost pressing against Sawamura’s own, and hair tickled his neck as Miyuki’s head come to rest on his shoulder.

There is a gasp and there is a sigh, and Sawamura’s eyes dart about anywhere but Miyuki, hands hovering over the large, warm back, sure about what he wants to do, but unsure of what he’s supposed to do.

“Eijun.”

“Y-yes!” He unconsciously straightens his back at attention, a small part of his mind still living in the past.

“I’m sorry.”

Sawamura’s heart sinks. Is he going to get rejected a third time? 

If Miyuki rejects you after all, you can come file a lawsuit against him for breaking your heart, the older Kominato’s evil smirk flashes past his mind. 

No, no, no, that’s not what’s important. But if that is it, then he’d rather –

“For running away,” Miyuki continues, and Sawamura holds his tongue. Miyuki’s arms squeeze around him, and taking that as a signal Sawamura squeezes back, and two grown men are hugging in broad daylight in a garden by a fountain. Okay, so it seems he’s not rejecting Sawamura.

“You know, Mochi actually came to me yesterday.”

“Yeah?” Sawamura didn’t even notice Kuramochi leaving the house yesterday; he had been out with the Kominatos.

“Mmhm. Gave me a hell of a lecture.” Miyuki chuckles, seemingly recalling the events. “Made me realise how much of a coward I really was when it comes to you.”

Imagine, the Great Miyuki, given a lecture on love by Kuramochi. Under any circumstances, Sawamura would’ve burst out laughing, mocking material for the next five years. But now he just lets the side of his face press onto Miyuki’s chest, enjoying the way he feels the rise and fall of his chest, the way his voice reverberate in his ears. Miyuki’s hair has gotten long. So has his. 

Without thinking Sawamura raises his head and kisses the exposed skin of Miyuki’s neck, and said man lets out a soft sigh.

“Eijun, I do love you.”

“I know,” he answers with eyes closed, mouthing at the same spot he’d kissed, because he does now.

In a more light tone, “More than you know.”

“Ass.”

“Your ass.” They both chuckle then Miyuki sighs again, and Sawamura can tell it’s a different kind of sigh than the one just seconds before. Miyuki’s hold tightens almost painfully, but Sawamura says nothing, understanding that this is the man’s way of gathering courage. This time, he’ll be the one doing the waiting. It is one thing he still needs to work on. 

“I’m scared,” Miyuki finally says after a long moment of silence. “Ever since I found out I have… feelings for you, Eijun, I’ve been afraid. I don’t do feelings well. You know that. It was worse back then; when all I wanted to focus on was baseball. But you happened. You were a distraction I didn’t need.”

Ouch. Sawamura lets out a small, hurt whine and there’s a hand in his hair, stroking it gently as the owner continues.

“I know you didn’t feel that way, knew – thought? – you never would, so naturally I tried to bury them. It was easy and hard at the same time, to be honest. Easy to hide it from you because of how dense you were, but hard to erase because of the exact same reason.”

Miyuki pauses to catch his breath, speaking too much at one go. Sawamura wonders for the briefest of moments whether he should suggest they head inside, but decided against it since the 2 minute walk there might change Miyuki’s mind about saying what he thought. For once.

“…A part of me was probably relieved when I graduated. That I’d likely never see you again when I went abroad to study. That I’d be able to forget you easily because your face wouldn’t be popping up in my sight every 5 seconds.”

Ah, that’s one mystery solved. Sawamura never understood why Miyuki went missing after graduation. (Though, to be fair, he never was one to follow the news unless reminded.)

“Did you?” Sawamura whispers, wanting to know but afraid of the answer. “Did you forget me?”

“I tried,” Miyuki answers just as softly. “I really tried. For a while it felt like it worked, but just a look at an old photo or a text from an old friend, and my mind was filled with you. It drove me nuts because you just wouldn’t go away. I couldn’t focus on baseball for days.”

“I’m sorry.”

“You’re not.”

“You’re right. I’m not,” Sawamura admits. In fact, I’m glad... “But I’m sorry.”

“Thank you,” Miyuki mutters drily, though there was no malice in his words. “It was getting too hard, so I decided to just return to Japan where I could find out what you’re up to. Kuramochi mainly kept me up to date, but I was still shocked when you were scouted into the same team as m…”

“Wait wait wait wait wait.” Sawamura pulls back then, so that their eyes meet. “You’re saying you knew what I’ve been up to? The entire time?

“Yes?”

“What?! That’s not fair! I didn’t even know what you were doing after graduation until I joined the team and saw you again!” He has a right to be angry, he decided as he recalled how embarrassingly elated he had been when he found out that he would, once again, be playing on the same field as the genius catcher.

“Can’t blame me, really,” Miyuki shrugs before snuggling up to Sawamura again as though it was the natural thing to do. “Not my fault you’re not updated. You could’ve asked.”

“Well, yes, but…” True, he could’ve asked. Why didn’t he, though? Screw that, there’s more important things right now. “You could’ve contacted me...”

“I was trying to forget you, remember?”

“...” Still. Does that mean if I hadn’t, by chance, got scouted, you wouldn’t have contacted me? Ever? The thought crushes him, and Sawamura wonders if that’s how Miyuki feels every time he spoke to him after he rejected the man.

“...As you were saying.”

“When I saw you again,” Miyuki resumes smoothly, “I knew I was doomed, really. It’s like falling into a hole with no way out. There’s just no way I could stop liking you, with your sun-like smile, unbelievably good bunts, being attractive as heck without realizing you’re doing it…”

Woah, woah, woah! Embarrassing things spill out from Miyuki’s parted lips like casual greetings, completely ignoring the rising temperature of Sawamura’s skin with every line. If Miyuki had been looking at him like that the whole time, how dense was he to have not realized his feelings? Christ. He buries his face deeper into Miyuki’s chest, wishing he can just sink into it like quicksand.

“...But you didn’t notice a thing, as expected. I was hurt, you know. Though I was even better at hiding that than my love for you.”

So I have noticed.

“I told myself there was no better chance to put those feelings down. If I just spent enough time with you as a teammate and nothing more, maybe those feelings would fade. Then your family passed.”

Sawamura’s expression turns grim. Right. Thinking about it still hurt. Certainly, not as much as it did back then, because nothing can compare to the emotions he felt when he first found out, but it still hurt. His hands curl into fists, gripping onto the back of Miyuki’s shirt.

“I know how it feels to lose family,” Miyuki’s voice is a whisper again and once more Sawmaura wonders just how much he didn’t know of the man, “So there was no way I could’ve just sat back and watch you suffer. I knew your family, Eijun. Knew the kind of people they were, the love shared between you.”

If Miyuki doesn’t stop, Sawamura will start crying. Tears wasn’t on his agenda for the day, but screw that too for water is already welling up in the corner of his eyes.

“That’s why I offered you to stay with me. I was aware that I’d regret it, that it’d be nothing good for me, but that’s what love is, isn’t it? To get hurt if it meant bringing your loved one happiness. To put the one you love before you, always.”

“Miyuki. I –” Sawamura chokes on his words. He didn’t know, didn’t know that he wasn’t the only one who was suffering. Yet while Miyuki was there for him, no one was there for Miyuki, and the realisation is killing him inside.

“Shh,” Miyuki rubs his back in slow circles, “But I don’t regret it, Eijun. Sometimes I think I do, but ultimately, I know I made the right choice. Not just for you, but for me too. I was so used to the solitude that you were a welcome change to my life. You’ve become a constant I never want to have changed.”

Miyuki pulls back to kiss his forehead. “At least I got to do things like this to you before you shot me down.”

“Idiot,” Sawamura coughs up a laugh between tears as hands come to brush them away, every touch warming him. Sawamura’s hands crawl up to clasp Miyuki’s own, squeezing them tight to hold them on both his cheeks when Miyuki tries to pull away. He has to say it. It’s now or never.

“Miyuki. I just want you to know that I... I was being a scoundrel. Maybe more, but not anything less. I didn’t even consider the possibility that you of all people would like me. I rejected you when you confessed, not just out of shock, but because I thought there was the slightest chance that you were mocking me.”

“Yeah.” Miyuki holds still, doing nothing, simply staring into Sawamura’s eyes, silently encouraging him to continue.

“When I said no, I could see the hurt in your eyes. I wanted so badly to take back my words, but I convinced myself there was nothing that could’ve been done. I couldn’t even face you after that. I’m so sorry you had to come to me yourself. I’m sorry I made you say something like forget about it. I’m sorry that I only realised I love you after that. I’m sorry that I dropped that on you without any explanation. I’m sorry…”

A thumb presses onto his lips, silencing him. “I know, Eijun. Believe me, I know. I want us to work, I really do. My mind knows that what you tell me is true, that but my heart still can’t take this. To be perfectly honest with you, I don’t know what I should do.”

“Should?” Sawamura’s hands land on either side of Miyuki’s cheeks, holding his face so close that if he takes a deep breath, they’d kiss. “Miyuki, you’re asking the wrong questions. What do you want to do?” Because all that matters is that.

“I...” Widened eyes narrow. “I don’t know. No. I mean, I want this to work. But I don’t know how.

Finally! They’re getting somewhere!

“I’ll do all the work,” Sawamura offers, because it’s about time he did the chasing.

Miyuki simply frowns. “Eijun, a relationship doesn’t work that way.”

“Oh. Then, at least, give me a chance to prove my feelings for you aren’t just a temporary thing.”

“I don’t follow.”

Sawamura takes a moment to consider, giving shape to the idea that’d formed in his head.“…Until the match in August.”

Miyuki’s frown simply deepens, but Sawamura’s become good at pretending he don’t see those things.

“If, after our victory you still can’t get yourself believe me, then I’ll drop it and we can forget about this if you want to. How’s that?”

“After our victory?” An eyebrow raises in amusement. “What happens if we lose, then?”

That’s what Miyuki has to comment on? “That won’t happen! Not when I, Sawamura Eijun, will be standing on the mound! So? Do we have a deal or not?”

Miyuki pinches his nose. “Cheeky idiot. ...But yeah. Okay. That sounds good.”

“I’m your idiot,” he points out. Miyuki just rolls his eyes and holding Sawamura’s hand in his, they head back into the house.

“So, we have a month.”

A month, the two words echo in Sawamura’s mind.

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

Night #23

 

Considering all that’s happened thus far, Sawamura doesn’t think it odd that he’d want to go take a soak in their pool. So he does, and it only takes ten minutes before Miyuki joins him, staying on the shallow side like it was a hot spring. They’re both only in trunks, and Sawamura slides down so his nose is half buried in the water, distracting himself by blowing bubbles into the water.

It’s summer, so the water feels even colder than usual at night. Which makes Sawamura all the more self conscious of the way he’s definitely radiating off heat at being in such close proximity with a bare chest Miyuki. Not the first time, but the first time as a Sawamura Eijun in love with Miyuki Kazuya.

“Eijun.”

He almost drowns in the process of lifting himself back up into a standing position. “Yes?!”

Miyuki seems almost hesitant to speak. “Are we considered... dating now...?”

“Yes,” Sawamura answers automatically before his muscles tense warily. No one knows what’s going through Miyuki’s mind, and you can never be too careful when it comes to dealing with him. Especially when he looks as deep in thought as he does now, eyes boring into his reflection on the water surface. What if he changed his mind? Sawamura will go crazy.

“Then, it’s okay to kiss you, right?”

“Huh?” That… That wasn’t even close to what Sawaura had been expecting. Rather, “It’s – It’s not like you’ve asked whether I wanted to before this, so why the sudden reservation...?”

That beautiful pair of eyes find his, moonlight reflecting in his pupils. “Because I think I’m drunk in the hope you’re giving me now, that we might actually work out.”

“It’s the same for me,” Sawamura answers truthfully. “When you say things like that, it makes me think I can get your heart by the end of the match in August.”

It doesn’t matter whose lips found whose then, only that they met in fiery passion. Their mouths speak for them, the emotions they cannot find words to express pouring out in the form of pushing, biting, sucking.

When their tongues touch Sawamura can’t help a jolt and Miyuki’s hand slide down his back to hold their bodies closer, chests touching. The pool water may be cold, but the warmth from their bodies seem to make up for it, to the point where he feels he's on fire, with Miyuki’s every touch lingering on his skin as a burn.

Though Sawamura thought it impossible the kiss deepens, and he’s pushed up against the side of the pool as Miyuki pushes him up to tiptoes and he has to put his arms around his shoulders to keep himself upright. Eventually it proves too much and a leg slips, Miyuki catching him with a loud splash that gets them both wet.

“...We should get out of the water.”

“...Yeah. It’s about time for dinner, anyway.”

Neither moves. The way Miyuki’s eyes bore into his is beginning to make him squirm a little. Like that of a predator looking over his caught prey.

“Um, Miyuki?”

“Hmm?”

“Maybe you can let go of me now?”

“Oh. Right.” Miyuki lets go so suddenly Sawamura ends up falling face first into the water anyway.

“Oooops.” But Sawamura can hear the grin in his voice, and he’s using his trained legs to kick up water at Miyuki, who protests and hurries out of the water. Sawamura crawls out after him, chasing him in a speedwalk all the way to the entrance where there is no choice but to stop and dry themselves with a towel first.

“You did that on purpose!”

“What do you want for dinner?” Again, Miyuki effectively ignores Sawamura. 

“How about something with chocolate,” he deadpans.

Miyuki makes a face that, by no means, is adorable. But it’s adorable. The word that love makes one stupid is true. “Eijun.

“Well... I do feel like having some sushi tonight.”

“Deal.” The face that can only be described as a pout melts into a smile and Miyuki brushes his lips against Sawamura’s for a nanosecond before making for the phone.

Things are going so damned smooth, and Sawamura isn’t even bothered, because he worked hard to get here. He just knows things’ll turn out okay in the end for them. This story will surely have a happy ending.

Ah, right. I have to text the rest to let them know how things went. 

With the brightest smile he’s had, 23 year old Sawamura turns the knob into the house he shares with Miyuki, anticipating whatever may come after today.

Chapter Text

Dawn #24

 

When Sawamura opens his eyes, he finds a pair of bespectacled eyes staring right at him. The opposing face is a tad too close for comfort, and the crazed look in those eyes makes Sawamura recoil.

“No, Eijun,” the voice surrounds him, wrapping him in a tight cocoon, suffocating him.

“No, Eijun,” it says again, more forcefully, and Sawamura recognises it clearly. How deep it sounds, how it makes every hair on his body stand.

“Mi…yuki…?”

“How could you ever think that I would love you after what you did to me?”

He forces his eyes to snap open, because that is not Miyuki. Yes, Sawamura sighs in relief when he sees light floating in through the undrawn blinds, the way Miyuki likes it. Said man is a mere three inches away, back turned to Sawamura. But his arms are wrapped around Miyuki’s bare back, and there is warmth above them, meaning Miyuki is holding onto them with his own.

Without trying Sawamura has a grin on his lips and when he realises that he tries to wipe it off his face to no avail. He smiles until his cheeks hurt, but he still can’t stop, the bad dream from only moments ago long forgotten.

God, I’m a lovesick fool, but even as he thinks that he’s smiling.

Accepting that this grin won’t be going away anytime soon, Sawamura snuggles up closer to Miyuki, close enough that skin presses against skin and their breaths are as one. With his chin resting on Miyuki’s shoulder, Sawamura can see the alarm clock they have on the dressing table.

6:20am, it reads, a little surprisingly. Usually, they’d automatically be up by 6, making breakfast, warming up and the like. But then Sawamura recalls last night, where they had hidden under the bed sheets in the dark though there is none but them, and he remembers how Miyuki had kissed him; his lips, his cheeks, his forehead, his neck, down his chest.

Nothing could’ve stopped the flush that creeps all the way up to the tip of his ears. Maybe that heat that transferred from him to Miyuki was the trigger, or maybe Miyuki had been awake from the start, Sawamura’d never know. All he focuses on is how, in that moment, Miyuki shifts in his arms and his heart takes a leap when he hears the soft, drowsy groan from those devil’s lips.

“Good morning, Miyuki,” Sawamura breathes against the stubble not yet shaved in an attempt to kiss Miyuki, who chuckles when Sawamura fails because he turns his face away on purpose.

“Stinky,” Miyuki says simply, and Sawamura thinks even that cute, because Miyuki hardly talks like that, easily, without much thought.

So Sawamura replies, “Like I care,” and pushes himself up so he manages to catch those lips anyway. Miyuki’s chuckles soften into a smile and he turns himself flat on his back so Sawamura straddles him and turns the casual lip to lip greeting into something deeper.

He coaxes Sawamura’s mouth open, and his tongue slides in, and both the insides of their mouths are dry and likely “stinky”, as Miyuki put it, but neither cares.

Or at least, Sawamura doesn’t. With his flexibility he doesn’t mind kissing in this position, enjoying how his chest is bent flat against Miyuki’s and how one hand slides down his back as another fists his hair lovingly. He teasingly nip at Miyuki’s lower lip, and Miyuki nips back, both smiling as they playfully growl at each other midst kiss.

It was the perfect moment until a sound goes off and it’s so close to their ears that they jump, Sawamura rolling off of Miyuki from the shock and down onto the floor with a thump.

“What on earth…” Sawamura’s head hurts, supporting the weight of his body, with only his feet barely dangling off the edge of the bed. He blinks until he no longer sees double, but the sound persists, a kind of ringing, a sound he can’t say he’s familiar with.

Above, he hears as Miyuki tries to feel for his glasses before looking for the source of the sound by slamming every flat surface. For a horrible moment which felt like eternity, the ringing continues until there is a ding and it dies down.

“Christ, it was the alarm clock,” Miyuki’s gruff voice sounded in the room and Sawamura feels him fall back onto the bouncy bed with an almost sigh.

The alarm clock. No wonder. As a precaution they set an alarm clock daily, but since they’ve hardly (or never, Sawamura dare says) overslept, it hasn’t gone off since the day they bought it and needed to test the volume, which was forvever ago.

Sawamura doesn’t know what’s so funny about it. It just is, so he laughs from his awkward position on the floor and he hears Miyuki laugh too.

This morning is definitely looking up.

Sawamura feels the bed creak, and hands wrap around his ankles, pulling him back onto the bed. He’s met with a quick, unexpected kiss and a smug grin on Miyuki’s face. Who allowed this man to look so good even with horrendous bed hair?

“Alright, time to get up.”

“We are up,” Sawamura points out and he’s ruffled in the hair as they make their way to the bathroom.

It’s silly, the way they manage to argue even over toothpaste or whose towel they’re using (not Sawamura’s fault their towels look exactly the same), but it’s this silliness that makes Sawamura so happy.

He can’t say he’s never considered the possibility of his dream happening in reality. In fact, he’s envisioned it even before he regained his memories, of what it would be like to be with Miyuki. To have what he does now.

More than that, he’s thought about being rejected. There was always the possibility when it came to Miyuki, and after remembering what happened to them? Well, it didn’t help. He felt like a complete ass, and had prepared for the absolutely worst rejection he could’ve gotten from the moment Miyuki entered Kuramochi’s house, to ‘fetch him’.

Yet, here they are, past the talking, past the confessions. Here they are, back in the same house, sleeping in the same bed, arguing about the smallest nothings. Just like they usually would. And it’s the most amazing thing, to still be the way they were, and more.

A hand waves before his face, and Sawamura how long it’s been repeating the action. When he looks down he finds himself on a chair and steaming breakfast consisting of a textbook healthy diet served.

Look up, and he sees Miyuki staring at him quizzically. “What’re you thinking about?”

He grins again before he can help it. “Just about how it’s great to be in love.”

Sawamura might’ve imagined the light tint of red on Miyuki’s cheeks, but let a happy man be happy.

His happy mood keeps until they change and pull their sports bag over their shoulders and step out to the entrance.

They are making small talk, giggling over silly things they’ve done and said over the years, things they’re able to talk about freely now. Then, midst laughter, Miyuki unintentionally reminds Sawamura of something of utmost importance:

“Man, can’t wait to see everyone’s reaction to having you back.”

Ah, right. Their teammates. He does faintly remember something about notifying the team of his recovery in their Telegram group. Oh Gods, and they’re heading for practice. That means seeing everyone, and explaining… explaining all this.

By now Sawamura should’ve expected Miyuki to see through everything, and their fingers entwine, much to his surprise.

“Maybe I’ll announce to the team how my pitcher is wooing me?”

Miyuki!” Beeting red, Sawamura doesn’t pull his hand away. He squeezes Miyuki’s hand and leads the way to their Audi, because he’s too embarrassed to be walking beside or behind him. 

Automatically, he seats himself in the passenger seat, because he thinks they’ll end up in another accident if he drives knowing any word and action of Miyuki will drive him crazy. Another more selfish reason is because he likes being able to look to his right and watch the way Miyuki’s hair blow with the wind, and the way he will hum a happy tune like he does now when he’s in an exceptionally good mood.

They only put on their sunglasses when they reach the main road, and no words are needed for music telling of summer and first loves play on their radio, singing all that is needed to be communicated between them.

 

Day #24

 

Truth be told, Sawamura wasn’t sure what he was expecting, but it certainly wasn’t getting ambushed by their teammates in the carpark.

They suspect nothing at first; this isn’t the first time they’re first to reach, considering the kind of early birds they are from the tough training in Seidou. Miyuki drives past the gate to the gym, smiling at the security guard who returns the greeting with a mock salute. 

Perhaps Sawamura had found it weird how the lights are already switched on though no one comes out to greet them, but there are also days where the cleaners decide to give the place a nice sweep in the mornings. Not to mention with him being a bundle of nerves and all.

So he says nothing and Miyuki doesn’t either, and their car enters the carpark, headed towards their usual reserved spot in the far corner. 

It happens the moment their engine stop and they set their first foot out the car, figures jumping out of nowhere (which is really just from the gap between the wall separating the carpark and the training room).

“Well, to be perfectly honest though,” Katsuhiro says with a grin and hand looped around Sawamura’s shoulder some minutes later at his Welcome Back Party before the start of official practice, “The high school Sawamura was quite a cutie.”

“Ugh, forget about that!” No, Sawamura doesn’t exactly want to remember about his first year in high school, especially before experiencing Koushien. He was such a brat, and the most insensitive creature walking on earth.

Another hand rests on his free shoulder, and Sawamura almost trips over his feet at the unexpected weight. It’s one of the more senior batters, and also the vice captain, Matsuba.

“C'mon, don’t go dissing your past self by blushing, you’ll hurt him! It’s not like I asked how good Miyuki is in bed, y'know?”

And that was a strike Sawamura would’ve never seen coming, and he turns a shade of red darker than the blood moons they describe in books as images of just how good Miyuki is.

Everyone in the room stops dead, regardless of what they were doing. Be it holding a drink to their mouth, shoving chopsticks up each other’s nose, or even nosily chewing on meatballs. All eyes are on him.

Then they all burst into chatter, or shouts of disbelief, at once.

“Are you serious?!”

“No way!”

“Miyuki really did it!”

“And Eijun got it?”

When they see that Sawamura isn’t going to be saying anything any time soon in his condition, they turn to Miyuki, who had been calmly folding party animals with origami paper (and holy shit was he good at that).

“Well, Miyuki?” Their head coach smiles, though in that moment Sawamura can see his eyes sparkle, like that of a child who spotted something he will definitely get his hands on no matter what he has to do.

And Miyuki, being the tanuki jerk he is, finishes folding just that - a tanuki - and sets it next to the animals he’s folded before leaning his chin into the open palm of his hand.

Fingers tap on his cheeks almost thoughtfully, and he has the most attractive grin on his face, and Sawamura can’t think about anything but those lips that is literally sin itself.

“Well, Eijun did say something along the lines of wooing me by our victory in the August match.”

Sawamura gasps. He didn’t, the asshole! But though his mouth opens there are no words, and he can only watch helplessly as their teammates whistle and gives him more back claps, this time chorusing “Good luck, dude!”.

“Now we’ve really got to win, don’t we?”

“Oh, the pressure,” they tease, voices dripping with confidence. Miyuki just watches from his seat with an amused smile, as if nothing that’s happening this moment is related to him when everything is.

Sawamura’d show him.

 


Day #29

 

“Eijun, is that your best ball? Two runners on base, and the opposing team is now three runs ahead of us!”

I know, Sawamura snaps in his mind. It’s evening, the time where the sun is low enough to pierce one’s sight. Meaning it’s piercing his, even with his cap and he feels disgusting with the sweat that covers his body.

They’re having stimulative practice, and Sawamura is still not back to 100% with his pitching yet. It’s not just the memory loss that’s the cause, but also how he has been at least 20 out of it since.

Miyuki gives him another sign and he shakes his head. Bring it, he says with his eyes. From where he stands on the mound he can see Miyuki smirk, changing his sign to exactly what Sawamura wants. He nods, and pulling back his arm in his unique form, pitches.

It takes only a second to hear the satisfying smack of baseball into a trusted mitt.

The referee, their coach, blows a sharp whistle. “Three outs! Practice’s over, boys. Good job!”

Miyuki instantly sprints from his squatting position to Sawamura, all business. “Your pitches are good when they’re good, but really bad when they’re bad. We need to work on the basics tomorrow.”

“Right,” Sawamura answers steadily because he knows it’s true, and because it’s true and he wants to win, he’s in no place to argue. Abruptly he pulls Miyuki into an embrace, muddy uniforms pressing together and getting even more mud on them. He squeezes tight, and just as abruptly he let go. Miyuki looks stunned.

Sawamura thinks he may laugh, then he notices all their teammates staring, and it’s suddenly twice as embarrassing as it is funny. 

“I… I just had an urge to do that, okay? I’ll go get changed first.” With words that sound like mere murmurs Sawamura dashes to the lockers faster than he’s ever run for base.

 

Night #35

 

As he’s taking a quick rinse home after practice (his motto is that one can never be too clean… among dozen others),  Sawamura suddenly begins thinking about Miyuki. Not about Miyuki, he must emphasise, but about the things that have happened with him since his confession.

…Which technically, is still about Miyuki. Which is also not the point.

He’s thinking about how they are going all so smoothly. They bicker during practice as they always do; Miyuki still teases him, only in more ways in one now, and Sawamura is still the defiant junior who talks back.

And then back home Miyuki will cook food that always makes Sawamura’s steam cool and affection rise and even when they talk about baseball there is a different kind of intimacy in the air. The casual slide of fingers past fingers, the close proximity of shoulder pressed against shoulder, the looks exchanged that tells a different story than what to do when they are cornered by the opposing team.

Sawamura feels like he will be needing the hospital soon at this rate, with the countless times Miyuki has made him hold his breath longer than the norm, or made his heart race like Furuya’s pitch is right behind him, threatening to split his head in two. One memory loss is enough, thank you very much.

And even more than everything is the way Miyuki smiles at him in a way he doesn’t even think the man himself knows he’s doing. It’s the way Miyuki softly strokes his cheek, the way he whispers ‘Eijun’ which makes the man shudder.

It’s the way they wrestle in bed, the way their lips will just meet in the most natural of ways.

Sawamura doesn’t think he can wait another month for Miyuki’s answer.


Day #40

 

It’s a Sunday morning, meaning their off day, but there’s nothing sunny about it. The sky is a miserable grey, so miserable it cries and it is the people on earth that suffers along with it. Looking outside, all one can see are howling trees and flooded ground.

And Sawamura, being Sawamura, decides to pick this exact moment to go up to Miyuki, who’s sprawled on the sofa reading a sports magazine (he wonders how Miyuki managed to develop this habit?).

“Miyuki?”

Not even a glance. “Hmm?”

“Wanna go out?”

He does get Miyuki to look at him then, but with brows raised and a ‘What?’ look. “In this weather?”

“Um. I was thinking maybe we can just go for a drive to the nearest shrine? To pray for our victory and all that?”

“Pray for our victory,” Miyuki repeats.

“Yes…?”

Why is he making everything sound like a question? Miyuki just chuckles, and Sawamura’s willing to bet their victory that the man saw through his intentions. Though Sawamura wills himself not to flush over this, he does.

“Sure. Let’s get changed.”

Within ten minutes, they’re changed into casual outfits and are driving out in this weather. They don’t even need their caps; the rain drenches the outside of their car, like a flawless artwork the visibility into the vehicle is… less than ideal.

It’s so cold that Sawamura shivers, and Miyuki turns on the heater instead, and they both make themselves comfortable. The rain pelting against the window makes for the silence, and Sawamura must say that he likes the sound. Leaning against the window he doesn’t even remember falling asleep, but the next moment Miyuki’s tapping on his shoulders.

Sawamura opens his eyes and he sees light; the rain’s stopped and the sun’s come out. Within walking distance he sees the shrine, looking even more majestic under the sunshine after rain.

They climb the short set of stairs - short compared to the usual practice amount, anyway - up the shrine and they clap their hands together in prayer for victory and God knows what. Sawamura doesn’t know how long he spends but when his eyes open, Miyuki’s found on a seat, with frozen yogurt in hand.

Two cups of frozen yogurt. Sawamura practically dashes to the empty space next to Miyuki, plops his ass down, and grabs the uneaten cup. 

So good,” he moans in bliss as the dessert melts in his mouth. This is exactly the kind of thing one needs in summer.

“What were you praying for so long?” 

“Hmm…” With the plastic spoon in his mouth, Sawamura begins counting with his fingers. 

“Our victory, of course. That’s number one. Then, to not get another head injury in future matches. Memory loss sucks. Oh, and to be even better than the pitcher I was before!”

Sawamura does realise that everything is related to baseball, but that’s his life, and he knows his family sees his passion for it as well.

“Anything else?”

Sawamura whips his head away from Miyuki. “Not telling!”

“That means yes, right?” From the shadows on the ground Sawamura can see Miyuki shrug. “Well, fine with me if you’re not sharing.”

What if I did and it doesn’t work anymore? That’s the one thing Sawamura doesn’t want to risk. He turns back to Miyuki. “What did you pray for?”

“Happiness,” Miyuki answers without a pause. And even when Sawamura probed him, Miyuki never said anything more, only giving a low, thoughtful hum. So they left it at that.

 

Day #54

 

One week left before the match. 

For a quick catch up, Sawamura and Miyuki decided to invite Haruichi, Furuya, along with the Kuramochis to their house for dinner.

It’s also their first meet up in a long while with everyone together (the number of times the older Kominato can have a moment off are so few they can be counted on one hand, and as expected even tonight he has a drunk, clingy client to deal with).

The four arrive together, and it’s quite a crowd to welcome at on your front door. Sawamura greets the Kuramochis as he usually would, giving Yui a bonus kiss on the cheek which is returned fondly by the girl.

“Eijun-kun, for you.” Haruichi presses something onto his hand, and when he looks it’s a wedding invitation. His eyes widen past comical effects, because he’s truly shocked and dumbfounded, and Haruichi is blushing while Furuya looks almost bashful.

 

To

Miyuki Kazuya-sama and Sawamura Eijun-sama

Invitation to the wedding of

Furuya Satoru . Kominato Haruichi

 

“YOU’RE GETTING MARRIED!”

The sound of pots and pans and cackling fire comes to an abrupt stop in the kitchen and Miyuki pops his head out, still in apron.

“What? Who?”

“Harucchi and Furuya!”

Miyuki’s questionable look melts into a grin. “Finally!”

There was only the main left when they arrived, so everyone helped to set up the table and they had perfect timing; Miyuki comes out with a steaming hot pot of soup as the last chopstick is laid down.

Everyone clasps their hands together. “Thanks for the food!”

Then the questioning begins, starting with the most surprising news of all. Sawamura’s literally jumping up from his seat and spilling the contents of his bowl all over the table. Ever since Furuya and him found common footing, it’s been much easier to like the guy. Sometimes.

“So, when’s the wedding!”

“Eijun, you can actually open up the invitation and check.”

“But what if I damage it!”

Miyuki laughs, and despite his words Sawamura can hear the happiness in his voice.

“Oh, Eijun-kun,” Haruichi chuckles. “It’s after your match, in three weeks.”

“Three weeks!” God, all the shopping he’d have to do. For being such a great friend, Haruichi deserves only the best of gifts. He’d even get something for Furuya, because he’s the one making Haruichi happy, after all.

“We’ve also extended invitations to the rest of the Seidou members, so you guys are the last. Please come!”

“…Come.”

It’s the first Furuya’s opened his mouth since arriving, and it’s enough to make Sawamura grin, because for Furuya to say that means it’s an event important enough to make him say what he means, and proof that he does see Sawamura as a friend. It’s one of the things between them that don’t need words, but still it is always nice to hear him say.

“Come, come!” Yui imitates Furuya, but coming from her it just sounds adorable, and Sawamura’s almost surprised that Miyuki actually stands and walks over to pick her up in his arms and sits her on his shoulders. 

Damn would Miyuki be one of the best dads out there.

Kuramochi takes that opportunity to elbow Miyuki, and none too subtly he asks, “So those two lovebirds are getting hooked. What about you guys?”

They are not going through this again.

But because Miyuki’s eyes find his, and everyone’s follow, Sawamura knows there is no escape from this conversation. Miyuki tips his chin, as though saying ‘So, what are you going to do?’. Sawamura can only blame himself for not updating them with this piece of information.

“We’re… getting there,” he stutters out, because to explain everything is still too high a hurdle for him to clear, especially when nothing is certain yet.

“Details,” Kuramochi smirks, and Sawamura can tell then that he’s going to end up spilling everything regardless. Well… at least he tried.

 

Day #60


It’s the first preliminary match. Sawamura is asked to sit out of matches until they’ve secured a position to prevent the media from flooding him, and so he is watching the life broadcast on TV from home, unwillingly.

Even though he knows they’ll breeze past these rounds, there is still the ache in his feet that reacts whenever the camera pans the to mound, hands that desires to pitch whenever he hears the sound of the ball smack into the mitt. Miyuki’s mitt.

They win, a stunning victory of 11-0. The moment both teams bow and say their thanks, Miyuki is swarmed with the media. The team tries to usher him behind them, but it’s a complete 360 surround attack. The only consolation is how the stands are still relatively empty for a match in the neighborhood.

“Miyuki! The team was flawless today as usual; congratulations for the victory! But we are all dying to hear about the condition of our favorite pitcher, Sawamura. What’s the word?!”

“Well,” Miyuki begins, grinning. “He’s recovered fully, and will be making a comeback soon.”

Cameras flash, and Sawamura will never understand how Miyuki doesn’t flinch at all the blinking lights in his face. Then one reporter gives a loud Oooooh, getting everyone’s attention.

With the excitement of a child she points her finger towards Miyuki’s neck, unusually exposed due to sweat and aggressive gameplay.

“Has our heart breaker Miyuki finally found a lover? I’m certain that’s a kiss mark on your neck!”

That creates a buzz, and everyone’s focus is suddenly on Miyuki’s slender neck. Even the broadcast camera cuts to a close up of the tempting skin, and sure enough, the HD camera manages to capture the mark Sawamura left the night before.

It was an accident, he tells himself even as he feels his body begin to steam. Sulkily he had unintentionally began nibbling at Miyuki, which ended up as a short make out session with results… A mark in a visible area.

Credit goes to Miyuki for being able to remain so calm as he brings his mud stained hand over the mark, rubbing the area.

“You can say I’m falling,” Miyuki’s voice sounds distant even through the speakers, as though he’s reading the monologue of a movie right off a script. “There’s someone who once, some time ago, rejected me.”

The cameras don’t stop flashing, but other than that the reporters are silent, mics shoved up until only Miyuki’s head is visible. No one dares to disturb; a rare moment when the catcher ever talks about himself. Sawamura is holding his breath, not wanting even that to come between him and Miyuki’s next words.

“You can say I was broken since then. You can say my heart was a shattered mess that was never cleaned up, for the pieces were so fragile that they crumbled if you tried to pick them up. Regardless, I tried once, and naturally I failed badly.”

The flashes stop, and Sawamura can only guess why.

“It’s only recently that I convinced myself to piece it back together anyway. A man has to move on, so I picked cheap tape and got to the task. It took a long time, and I lost many pieces in the process, but at the end of the journey I was proud to say it’s a heart comeback to life. I was functioning again.”

Sawamura knows that this was what he put Miyuki through. But to hear it put into words… it’s different.

“But, you know…” Sawamura has to refocus himself at the change of tone in Miyuki’s voice.

“There’s only so much I can do when that person comes back with the pieces I thought I’d lost for good, and more.”

And that’s when Sawamura finally makes a choking sound from the lump that’s been forming in his throat since the beginning and allows a few tears to run, and the flashes don’t stop from there.

As the reporters try to push for more information, the camera cuts to a widezoom, and Sawamura’s left wondering how to face Miyuki later.

 

Midnight #64

 

They lie in bed and it’s 2am, but they’re both unable to sleep. Sawamura wonders if it’s for the same reasons, however.

Text from countless newspaper articles clutter Sawamura’s brain. For the past few days, if he so much as stepped out of the house, or just happened to press on a news channel, it’s about the words Miyuki said.

“Good to have all the attention before the real comeback, isn’t it?” Was what Miyuki cut off all potential questions with.

When he flips and roll about for the umpteenth time, Miyuki finally decides to turn himself to face Sawamura. There’s a lazy grin on his already cheeky face.

“Can’t sleep?”

“Yeah. You too?”

“Yeah.”

Are you thinking about us? Sawamura wants to ask, but doesn’t. He knows Miyuki wants to put all his focus on the match, and Sawmaura won’t forgive himself if he doesn’t either. So many things he wants to say, but he has to - will - hold off. Instead he opts to brush wild strands of Miyuki’s hair behind his ears, and when Miyuki leans into his touch, his heart swells.

“Miyuki.”

“Yeah?”

“You know, I really love you.”

“Yeah. I know.”

And then he forgets how he falls asleep.


Dawn #65

 

Sawamura’s phone is flooded with well wishes.

“Go get em!”

“We’ll be watching you!”

“Win and get your man’s heart!” That’s from Yoshikawa, and he has to chuckle at her choice of words, and all the emojis that follow her message.

Even if he doesn’t get Miyuki, he has full intentions of getting the match. Completing his stretches, Sawamura heads on to the batting cage. 10 hits, he tells himself. He’ll stop once he manages to get 10 hits.


Day #65

 

The bottom of the last inning. Their team is on the offense, and both teams are at a tie of 2-2. There are two outs with one runner on base; a crucial moment.

Still, this is their home, Japan, and by no means are they going to lose.

Sawamura stands in the batter’s box, testing his bat. He’s in a good condition today. He can feel it all the way in his bones, how he’s so hungry to score. The pitcher is smirking at him, and he glares back, not in the least intimidated.

From the bench, the coach gives him a sign, and he tips his helmet in affirmation. If he doesn’t score here, what kind of ace would he be?

“And this is the crucial moment,” the MC’s voice echoes through the stadium. “Will ace Sawamura be able to break through here, or will the team proceed to an extra inning without scoring a run?!”

The crowd goes wild, cheering for their favored team. The opposing pitcher gives a nod to his catcher, and Sawamura tightens his grip on his bat.

It happens quicker than one can blink.

“Foul!”

“Ball!”

“Ball!”

“Strike!”

Dammit. The pitcher has complete control over the corners, plus a sinker. Even though they’ve finally seen through his pattern, he’s going random for this inning, meaning it’s all dependent on Sawamura’s own eyes. They’re both taking huge risks here, and it’s all about experience now.

“Strike!”

The count’s 2-2. Sawamura glances over at the bench again. The coach does nothing, trusting his call. It is then that the feelings of a naive Sawamura of age 15 invades his mind. Yes, he has worked hard to get to this point, and he’ll be damned if he doesn’t hit.

So he waits. The ball comes to him in slow motion, and he holds himself from swinging early with all he’s got, and even though it’s a terrible sound, Sawamura’s bat comes into contact with the ball and he’s sprinting for base.

Go, the hand signal of his teammate screams, and Sawamura goes. He moves on from the first to second, second to third without a moment’s pause.

And from the corner of his eyes he sees the ball flying back to home, but his teammate is faster, feet touching the white box before the catcher. The crowd erupts. 

“And they score! With his will, pitcher Sawamura brings his team victory with his swing!”

Sawamura stares into space for a long moment before it registers.

Fuck yes, they won.

He joins his teammates in their roar of victory, and his eyes naturally go on a lookout for Miyuki. When they spot him Miyuki’s already throwing his arms around Sawamura and it’s a full kiss before the masses.

Squeals mix in with cheers but Sawamura’s busy kissing Miyuki back. They have all the time in the world but the kiss is fire, fiery passion that makes one turn away from its heat. Miyuki only pulls back when Sawamura does it first.

“Eijun, that was amazing of you.”

“Wha -” And Sawamura thinks himself capable of frying eggs on his skin now. They’re instantly surrounded by media, wherever the hell they came from. Cameras flash, blinding them.

“Miyuki-san, was that a kiss?! Do you perhaps kiss your teammates for good luck?!”

“Is that a good luck charm you learnt from overseas?!”

“Or... Could it be that Sawamura’s the one who broke your heart?!”

The microphones press up so closely that Sawamura inches backwards. Miyuki’s arm come to loop around his waist. This is such a bad, bad idea.

“Actually, as of now, I think the correct phrase to use is that we’re officially dating.”

At his words all the cameras go off at once, and because they’re surrounded, there is no way for them to run. They’re stuck in the middle until security comes to form a oath, and they are escorted out of the field as the people chant their names.

Sawamura just let himself get dragged by linked hands, deep in thought about Miyuki’s words. Miyuki walks so fast, they leave the team far behind - or perhaps they just have enough tact to leave them alone? - and they reach the locker room provided and he locks the door behind him.

They both sit on the bench, the smell of sweat and mud instantly filling the air-conditioned room.

“Miyuki?” Sawamura’s voice finally comes out. “What was that?”

Their fingers are still joined. Miyuki untangles them, only so he can rub Sawamura’s finger between his thumb and index.

“Wasn’t it obvious enough?”

“No,” because he still thinks he’s dreaming. Because he hasn’t heard the words. Because he thinks once he does the next time he opens his eyes he may be back in a bed where Miyuki isn’t next to him.

But Miyuki leans towards him, their foreheads touch, nails gently scrape their way into his wet hair, their heads tilt into a soft kiss, and when Sawamura opens his eyes Miyuki is still there.

“I love you, Eijun.”

A high pitched sound escapes Sawamura. 

“I love you,” Miyuki repeats, as though he knows Sawamura is still in disbelief, and that he needs to hear it again.

“I love you.” 

And again.

“I tried so hard to move on from this idiot, but the only thing I can do is fall deeper into love.”

“I really love you too, Miyuki Kazuya!!” 

Hands press against his chest, stopping him mid hug.

“No hugging until we’ve showered.”

Ugh!

“You’re still an ass, but I love you, dammit!”

 

Night #65

 

They hold off the celebration.

“We can celebrate after we win the championship, and you lovebirds can make out during the afterparty!” And that was the final decision.

Sawamura doesn’t know what part of that translate to ‘And you lovebirds can make out tonight in the privacy of your house!’ but that’s exactly what happens. Miyuki had been acting perfectly normal until they enter their premises, and before they even reach the entrance Sawamura’s being devoured in a kiss nothing alike the one they shared in the locker room.

He can taste pure hunger in the way Miyuki pushes, and pushes, until their tongues are fully entwined and there is no place in Sawamura’s mouth Miyuki has yet to explore, and once the main door clicks shut behind him Sawamura’s shirt is already pulled off. 

Miyuki’s eyes are darkened, and Sawamura suspects his are too. He reaches for the hem of Miyuki’s shirt.

Are we really doing this?

“You don’t want to?” Miyuki’s voice is deep and husky, and at this distance Sawamura can feel his breath. He shakes his head and leans forward to suck Miyuki’s lips before pulling the man’s shirt off, dropping it on the floor.

“I want to.”

 

Day #66

 

Sawamura wakes up asking.

“Miyuki?”

And Miyuki answers, because this is another day and Miyuki’s always up earlier on these days. “Yeah?”

“You know what you said the other day? About how I ‘came back with the pieces’ you lost and more. What did you mean by that?”

“Hmm. I wonder.”

Sawamura pokes Miyuki’s cheek, which is surprisingly soft and squishy, he discovered last night. “Tell me!”

“Well, it’s exactly as you think it means. Probably.”

Probably isn’t good enough, and Sawamura wants to press for more, but their alarm goes off again, an abnormality and as both of them flinch and try to hurry off the bed at the same time their feet tangle and this time they both roll off the bed. They look at each other and burst out laughing before quickly untangling themselves.

This is how they should be. 

 

It’s almost forever later that Miyuki whispers into Sawamura’s ears midnight,

“It’s how you hold the pieces I lost like they are the most important thing in the world, and let me hold some of yours.”

 

End.

Chapter Text

Sawamura Eijun is a walking bundle of nerves. Make that pacing. Or is he jogging? His heart is racing wildly, and Kazuya’s not even here yet.

Kazuya. The thought of his fiancé has him groaning again, and the man isn’t even here yet! Eijun glances at the huge clock hanging on the glass wall, and there’s still ten minutes before Kazuya’s flight arrives.

This is silly. It’s only been two months since they last met, which is an exaggeration of its own. They’ve been video calling almost every night. Eijun had finished his own part of the winter training and returned to Japan first, but Miyuki’s stay had been extended. Truthfully, it’s meant to end in March, but they’d both applied for a special leave.

It’s Valentine’s Day.

In the bag pack he carries, Eijun has his gift for Kazuya prepared. It won’t seem suspicious since they’re heading out for dinner straight and the food’s with Eijun, but he can’t help but still worry something will go wrong. Something always goes wrong with his plans.

Eijun hears the announcement of the arrival of the flight, and his mind is sent into overdrive mode. Tipping his cap, he does a slow jog to where Kazuya had asked to meet, and while the distance was nothing, he’s breathing hard because he’s nervous.

Eijun’s hand automatically goes to fondle with the band on his ring finger, which helps calm him down. Then he snorts, because it’s stupid how their engagement ring is calming him from the very person who put it there.

In fact, Eijun thinks he might be more nervous now than when he realised Miyuki Kazuya was proposing to him.

The phone that’s always been held in his hand vibrates, and he almost drops it in shock. Obviously, it’s a message from Kazuya.

Change of plans. Fans. Meet at Exit E.

Fans? How on earth did they get the Intel? Eijun lowers his head even deeper and makes a u-turn to said exit. It’s Valentine’s, please don’t let him get caught by fans on a day like this.

Exit E’s annoyingly far from where Exit G is, and Eijun nearly sprints there. He only slows because he catches the eye of a intimidating looking security guard who doesn’t recognise him. He briefly wonders if the guy was just unlucky enough to get the shift for tonight and has to see all the couples around?

Then he’s there, at the exit. It’s much more quiet compared to where he was before, likely because it’s so bloody damn far. Still, he finds the most deserted spot by the exit and sends a quick text to Kazuya, I’m here. Where are you?

There’s no immediate reply, and Eijun wonders if he’s still hiding from their fans. He feels bad for them, for a second, that they are here in hopes to get a glimpse of Kazuya while he’s snooping around to meet up with his fiancé. Sorry, he apologizes in his heart.

The reply comes just before he’s nervous enough to start pacing again. Behind you.

Eijun’s taken by shock even as he turns and is pulled into a familiar kiss. Kazuya. They press up against each other, tasting home on each other’s lips. Eijun inhales deeply, missing Kazuya’s scent, and his fiancé wraps his arms around his neck, deepening the kiss.

Then Eijun remembers where they are. He pulls back so abruptly there’s an embarrassing trail of their actions still connecting the offenders as evidence.

Eijun takes in the sight of Kazuya fully. It’s different than video calling. His hair’s gotten long at the sides, and he looks a little tired. But his eyes are smiling the way his lips are. “Welcome back,” he whispers.

“I’m home.”

 


 

They call for a confidential cab from the company their team’s been partners with for years. Their driver is a man who looks in his late fifties, with greying hair and kind eyes. When it seems like it’s be a long ride with the jam, he puts on the radio, which Eijun is grateful for. If he had anything to say when he saw their linked hands, then he said nothing.

When they arrive at the beach, the driver gives him a wink before driving off, which leaves him flushed. He definitely knew.

“Eijun?” Kazuya holds out his hand, grinning. Eijun takes it without hesitation as they begin to walk for an empty, available spot. Yeah, that’s the good thing about beaches and Valentine’s and nighttime. No one can see you, or they simply don’t care.

“By the way, where’s your luggage?” Eijun swings their joined hands. This is nice, once in a while. He would’ve never imagined that there’d come a day, Valentine’s nonetheless, that he’d be here, at the beach, holding hands with Miyuki Kazuya with a promise slipped onto their fingers.

Kazuya chuckles at that. “Took you that long to realise it’s not here? I asked my manager to send it home first.”

“Yikes, being your manager must suck,” Eijun teases.

“Says my fiancé,” Kazuya teases back, then points into the distance. “There’s an empty spot, far enough from other people.”

So they head there. It’s a nice spot, close to the ocean with trees setting the mood. Eijun is careful as to not let Kazuya get a look into the bag, so he zips the bag after he takes out the picnic mat to help set it up. Kazuya literally collapses right on it once it’s flat on the sand, his arms behind his head.

“This is nice,” Kazuya voices out Eijun’s thoughts from earlier. He joins Kazuya, lying down and staring at the starry sky. His heart’s calm again after seeing Kazuya, which doesn’t make sense. But he supposes nothing much really makes sense between them.

He wonders if this plan is okay? It’s their first Valentine’s together as a couple, and Eijun had refrained from seeking advice because he wants it to be special. He frowns suddenly at the thought; Kazuya never really liked special. He rolls his body sideways so he’s facing Kazuya.

“Are you tired?”

Kazuya turns his head and they’re close enough that their noses touch. He gives a lazy grin that reminds Eijun of their weekend mornings. “Just a little.”

Hmm, maybe this plan wasn’t such a great idea after all? He should’ve just stuck with going home. Celebrations work fine at home, too.

As though sensing his thoughts, Kazuya kisses him, quick and soft. “I’m hungry, though.”

There’s a goofy grin on Eijun’s face as he reveals the bento he made earlier that day. It consists of Kazuya’s favourite food, and he sees the exact moment the man’s face lights up. “Loving you like there’s no tomorrow right now, Eijun.”

It still makes Eijun blush, how Kazuya is so casual about saying the words nowadays. He’s a very different lover from what Eijun thought, but not in a bad way.

They eat and catch up on details they weren’t able to say over the phone, and even play with the water for a while before it got a little too cold. Then they just sit on the mat, leaning against each other.

“So, Eijun.”

“Hmm?” Eijun answers with his eyes closed, enjoying the sound of the waves.

“Am I going to get my present now, or are you going to wait until we get home?”

His head practically jumps off Kazuya’s shoulder at the question. “H-How did you -”

Kazuya leans back too, completely relaxed and a knowing smirk on his annoyingly attractive face. “How did I know? How many years have we known each other, Eijun? I know you like the back of my hand.”

Now that’s embarrassing. Has Kazuya been waiting this whole time? Eijun’s suddenly really glad it’s nighttime, or he’ll never hear the end of it about how red his face must be. With jerky movements, he reaches for the bag pack again, feeling for the neatly wrapped present. It’s feeling very silly right now. He wonders if he can get away with saying he left it at home?

He sneaks a glance at Kazuya, who raises his brows expectantly. Ugh. When he makes that face, Eijun can’t do anything. He pulls the medium sized box out and thrusts it at Kazuya. “Thisisforyou,” he mutters.

“Can I unwrap it?”

Does he even have to ask? Eijun nods.

Grinning all the while, Kazuya skillfully peels the layer of wrapping paper off. Inside it, an ordinary cardboard box, with the words in marker and poor handwriting, To Kazuya.

Kazuya flips the lid, and blinks. Eijun knows what he sees: three bottles, two filled, and one empty.

“Eijun?”

He clears his throat. “Um. When I was thinking about what to get you, a lot of things came to mind, and I wondered what was the best gift you could receive. But then I realised this is Valentine’s, and not your birthday, so.”

He’s babbling and he knows it, Kazuya knows it, but he’s listening intently without interrupting.

“I just decided to put what I thought in words, you know? We’ve been separated quite a lot recently in preparation for summer, right? So there’s three bottles here. The first one is, um, some of the things you’ve said that made me think I love you. And I really love you, Kazuya.

“The second bottle is filled with the many things I love about you. I thought about this since I lost my memory once. If anything like that were to ever happen again, I don’t want to forget why I love you.”

That’s a lot of I love yous, Eijun realises. Kazuya still hasn’t said a word. Oh God, is it too cheesy? Like, they’re gonna get married. Do married couples do things like these? Maybe Eijun should’ve sought advice.

But this is the answer he reached after agonising since he returned to Japan. For this man who disliked any form of celebration, Eijun thought he deserves his whole heart on this day.

“...And the third bottle?”

He flushes deeply at that. “I was wondering if you could write something for me too, so I can read them when you’re overseas.”

Kazuya crashes against him, sending them both rolling onto sand in a flurry of kisses. They said so many things Kazuya doesn’t put into words. Thank you. I love you. I love you. I love you.

“Thank you for the present, Eijun. I really love it.”

Eijun swallows. Kazuya’s voice is already hoarse, and his gaze could melt the entirety of Antarctica. “You’re welcome.”

Kazuya rolls off him then, standing up. “Let’s go home.”

Eijun’s heart thuds at that, knowing what Kazuya’s suggesting. “Okay.”

Yeah, he totally loves this man.

Chapter Text

A certain couple’s big day

 

“Announcing the groom, Furuya Haruichi.” One half of the hall put their hands together in polite, congratulatory applause. Work friends of Haruichi’s, mostly born and raised from a prestigious background to become a doctor.

The other half, where Eijun and Kazuya sits with Haruichi’s ex schoolmates, bursts into loud applause, rowdy at best. Eijun is proud to say that he thinks he claps the loudest, overwhelmed with emotions for his two best friends.

Haruchi is clearly radiating happiness, eyes sparkling, only looking ahead where his husband stands waiting at the end of the aisle. Eijun can’t take his eyes off them, even as they take each other’s hands, say their vows -

“I do.” Filled with so much certainty and love in those two simple words.

“You may now kiss the groom.”

-Even as Satoru smiles one of his rare smiles, caresses Haruichi’s cheek, and leans in for the kiss. This time, the entire room erupts into cheers and whistles. They are now pronounced husband …and husband. Eijun sniffs before mucus can drip from his nose like it would if he was sixteen.

A hand slip into Eijun’s own, and he starts. Kazuya’s somewhat blurry in his vision. The man chuckles, the sound full of affection. “Eijun, you’re crying.”

Ah. No wonder. He hasn’t even realised it. He’s just… so happy for his friends. More tears spill, and Eijun tries to rub at them. He only manages to get his arms wet; he turns to Kazuya for help, near panic. Kazuya’s thumb rubs circles around the back of his hand, his other hand stroking Eijun’s hair. “There, there.”

All that runs through Eijun’s mind in that moment, is how he wants to share what Satoru and Haruichi now have with this man. Miyuki Kazuya.

 


 

 

That same night

 

Ahhh , this is bliss!” Eijun flops himself onto the freshly changed sheets, loosening his tie. He’s tipsy and he feels warm, but the room is chilled, and everything feels perfect. They’re in a room prepared by the grooms for those like Eijun and Kazuya, who travelled a long distance for the marriage (Oh no; their marriage is by no means in Japan!).

Kazuya sits by the edge of the bed, causing the area to sink and Eijun to slide a bit closer to him.

“Oi, oi. You sure you okay? Wouldn’t want to lose a place to sleep because you vomited on the bed.”

Eijun rolls himself till his body presses against Kazuya’s back, and wraps his arms around the man’s waist. “Mmm. Feels great, actually. I’m really happy for them.”

Perhaps it’s because it hasn’t really been that long since his memories came back, but Eijun feels like the days when they were year one students at Seidou aren’t so far away. He remembers clearly; the him then, Satoru and Haruichi then -- He’s been there throughout the entirety of their relationship, one way or another. He sees that clearly now.

Eijun takes in a deep breath, inhaling Kazuya’s familiar scent. The image of the two Furuyas at the reception earlier comes to mind again.

“They’re really come so far.”

Kazuya twists his head to smirk down at Eijun. “Just like us?”

Eijun can’t help but chuckle at that self satisfied look on his lover’s  face. “Yup. Just like us.”

They both burst into laughter at the same time, a kind of odd chemistry they’ve formed with time. Kazuya rolls them over in bed so Eijun is pinned under him. He leans down to kiss his forehead, then the sensitive spot under his ear, down his collar…

Eijun sighs, but it’s one of bliss. He suddenly recalls another detail from the reception party, the reason why he’s drank as much as he did to forget Satoru’s words.

“So, when are you two going to get married?”

“Marriage, huh…” The word slips out of Eijun’s mouth before he realises, and he flushes. God, I hope Kazuya didn’t hear that?! And as usual, he’s wrong.

Kazuya takes Eijun’s hand, kissing his ring finger. The look in the catcher’s eyes sends shivers down his spine, the same kind of feeling he gets when he knows Kazuya’s got something big in store for them.

“Be prepared, Eijun. One day, we’ll get married too. Hmm?”

 


 

Some time after the wedding…

 

There’s finally an upcoming long weekend off for the team, seeing as it’s off season and they’ve been training extra hard throughout winter. Kazuya comes out of the shower, his hair still dripping wet, damping his t-shirt, which is unlike him.

He trots over to where Eijun lays against the sofa armrest, leaning close to his ear, “Eijun. I’ve booked a restaurant for us on Sunday. Don’t forget. It’s important.”

Eijun leans away, his cheeks heating. “O-Okay, I got it. You’re too close!”

Somehow, Eijun feels like he’s reverted to his old, novice-in-relationship self. It’s Kazuya’s fault for saying something like that!

One day, we’ll get married too.

“Gahhh!” Eijun flails his arms about in the tub, causing water to splash all over the bathroom. There hasn’t been one second where Kazuya’s words isn’t replaying in his mind. It’s driving him crazy! Whenever he hears or sees anything related to marriage, he goes haywire. Truthfully, it’s tiring as hell.

What if he’s going to propose to me on Sunday?!

He shakes his head wildly, feeling his body heating all over again. No, no! Don’t think about it! This topic is forbidden!

Right. He just has to clear his mind!! Filled with new found resolve, Eijun stands to get out of the tub… Only to slip and hit the marble floor face first. The door immediately slams open.

“Eijun, what was that sound?!”

“I - I slipped…” Eijun tries to get up, his nose numb and head spinning, but his right arm gives and he falls against the floor again.

Eijun!

Please hold on for 30 minutes…

Eijun sits obediently, Kazuya on his left, Haruichi on his right. The doctor was called and rushed down to their house immediately, and Eijun feels bad, because he can hear Satoru sulking in the background as Kazuya thanked the younger Kominato.

Haruchi lifts the arm, gently twists it, squeezes, pinches it. Eijun has to bite on his lower lip to refrain from whimpering at the pain. He feels his body trembling. God, why is it that the smallest of things tend to hurt more than a wide, gaping wound?

His arm is finally wrapped in almost familiar bandages. “It’s a light sprain, and you’d be okay in a few days or so with rest.”

Kazuya releases a breath Eijun hasn’t realised he’s been holding. “Thank goodness… If you saw the way this guy was acting earlier, you’d think he broke a few bones.”

And whose fault do you think it is!

Haruchi laughs, and wags a finger all too close to Eijun’s face. “ But! Resting means no excessive training before the long weekend, understand?”

Eijun nods, pouting. It’s not the team has a rough schedule for the remaining of the week anyway. “Fine, fine.”

Haruchi grins then, and Eijun can almost hear the alarm bells going off in his head. “Of course, night activities are prohibited until you’re healed as well!”

Eijun feels like a dormant volcano finally erupting, his mind overheating. He’s suddenly overaware of the way Kazuya’s shoulder is touching his. “W-W-W-We won’t! More like, it’s been a long time since -”

Kazuya’s hand covers his mouth, muffling his voice. “Thank you for coming down, Haruichi. You should get back before Satoru burns my house down.”

“Eh?” Satoru? Why?

Haruichi gives an apologetic smile and pulls out his phone. Eijun stops trembling. Haruchi makes a call to Satoru.

Oh. Not him trembling, it’s Satoru and his endless calls…

“Sorry, Satoru’s been clingy since we got back from our honeymoon and we returned to work.”

“No worries. Thanks again.” Waving, Haruchi gathers his things and leave. Eijun finally relaxes into the couch, practically sinking into its coolness. He may need an ice pack or two to cool himself down. Kazuya’s hair tickles his neck and he presses a soft kiss to Eijun’s cheek.

“Don’t go around exposing our sex life like that, Eijun.”

Just like that, Eijun’s reverted to an active volcano. “I wasn’t! I was just -”

Kazuya kisses him, effectively shutting him up. He’s so good at making Eijun melt. “No night activities allowed for now, huh… Well, I guess there’s other ways.”

“Um… K-Kazuya?” Kazuya leans back, hands reaching into Eijun’s pants. Oh! Ohhhh. Yeah, there are other ways, alright…

 


 

That Sunday night

 

As Haruichi diagnosed, Eijun’s arm recovers within the week, and he hasn’t caused any major problems for the team (thank God for that, or he’ll never live it down).

Now that that crisis is over, a new one waits, only hours away. And Eijun’s nervous. Heck, he’s way beyond nervous. Even though they stay under the same roof, Kazuya and he are meeting outside, like an actual couple!

I-I mean, we are a couple, of course, but… He’s gotten used to the domestic life, as embarrassing as it is to admit. Kazuya’s left earlier with some ‘business’ to take care of, which only makes Eijun more restless.

Preparing his script for tonight, perhaps? Is Kazuya seriously gonna propose?! His phone vibrates and he almost jumps out of his skin. It’s the source of his dilemma -

Don’t be late.

Oh, and dress smart.

“D-Dress smart?” Is it a high class restaurant or something…? Well, if Kazuya’s going to propose, that’d make sense, but is he really? Eijun wonders if he should just ask. But he can’t sound suspicious.

Miyuki Kazuya, what are you plotting!!

Yeah, that sounds Eijun enough. It is rare for Kazuya to bring them to an expensive dinner.

A few moments later, his reply comes.

You’ll know soon. Stop glaring at the phone and get ready, okay?

“What the hell? Does he have cameras installed here or something?” Eijun’s glare fades, and he’s smiling so wide his cheeks hurt. Kazuya knows him so well.

So, does this mean he knows I’m panicking because of him over here right now, that idiot?!

Eijun ends up over thinking and getting himself exhausted, leading up to him being twenty minutes late. Kazuya’s scowling at him when he finally arrives, though his facial features suggest he’s not really mad.

“I told you not to be late.”

“Sorry...” Eijun’s apology is halfhearted at best, his gaze glued to the suit Kazuya’s wearing. A suit. Eijun just picked a button up and a plain jacket. Kazuya takes his hand, and he squeezes it tightly out of habit.

“Come on, everyone’s already waiting.”

“Huh? Everyone?” Everyone who? Kazuya just tugs him into the restaurant, leading him to the back… that’s where the private rooms are. Chattering reaches Eijun’s ears, and Kazuya finally stops at a door, sliding it open.

“Sorry we’re late.”

“E-Ehhhh?!” It’s a group of the old Seidou baseball team, all already seated and comfortable. As they sit at the only empty seats left, in the dead middle of the crowd, Eijun hisses into Kazuya’s ear.

“You didn’t tell me it was a reunion!”

“Reunion?” Kazuya seems stunned for a second, then chuckles. “Ah, I suppose that’s what it looks like. I guess you can call this a reunion. But that’s not the main event tonight.”

The main event? Eijun shuts himself down before his presumptuous mind can wander off course again. Kazuya’s called by some of the seniors to chat, so he sits and decides to snack. There’s a tap on his shoulder, and he turns to his right, coming very close to Jun’s nose.

“J-JUN-SAN!” Eijun flinches away in shock. Oh my Gooood, he reeks of alcohol. Jun’s face is already flushed, his eyes misty. Has he always been such a bad drinker? Eijun remembers him doing fairly well at Satoru and Haruichi’s wedding.

“SawamuRAAaaa,” Jun slurs, the way he speaks the same as Eijun ever remembers, “How ya doing with Miyuki, eh? He giving you lotssss of LOve?”

“HUH?! Um?!” It’s the words of a drunkard, but Eijun’s still caught off guard. Anyone hardly ever asks things like these. He’s barely used to being this open with Kazuya himself!

Jun throws an arm around Eijun’s shoulder, his grip stronger than steel. “OoooOooH, sure seems like it, huh! That’s good, that’s good! Be happy, got it?!”

“Yes, sir!” Eijun can’t help himself from shouting his reply when he hears the senpai tone in Jun’s voice.

“Good, good - Gah, the fuck?!” Jun suddenly pulls away… Rather, he’s pulled away by none other than Tetsu.

Eijun straightens his posture. Even in a suit, the ex captain has an aura that demands one to give him full attention. “Tetsu-san! Ossu!”

He smiles back, gentle. The scene’s somewhat comedic with Jun flailing like a child in his arms. “Sawamura. It’s been a while.”

“Damn you, Tetsu! Lemme go!”

Tetsu only seems to hold Jun tighter. “Sorry about him. We’re kind of in the middle of a fight, so he’s been acting like this.”

“O-oh. Don’t worry about it!” So even these two gets into these kinds of fights? Eijun’s always known both of them are stubborn bulls, but they’ve always come off as so understanding about each other. It makes him realise he actually doesn’t know much regarding their relationship. As Tetsu forces a cup of water down Jun’s throat, he can’t help but grow curious about them.

Jun eventually falls asleep, and Tetsu excuses them, leaving early for the night. Eijun hopes they make up soon - he’s sure they will, actually. He’s remembering the kinds of fights he and Kazuya have gotten into, and can’t help the snicker. Alone again, he begins to daydream, his hand just grabbing at food and putting it in his mouth in a robotic cycle.

Another shadow approaches. Eijun knows, instinctively, that it isn’t Miyuki.

“Sawamura! How’re you doing?”

That voice is… “Toujou?”

“Hehe, you got that right!”

Eijun beams at Toujou’s grin. They’ve yet to see each other in, like, forever since Toujou is a manager at the company he works and is more often on overseas trips than work in Japan. As they chat, a drunk looking Kanemaru flops his head onto Toujou’s shoulder, nuzzling against his neck roughly. “Hideaki, how long ya gonna talk to Wamura? Ya finally back and ya don’t wanna spend more time with ya husband?”

“I’ll spoil you as much as you want later at home, okay?” Toujou pats his husband’s hair, and Eijun can’t help but notice the shining ring on his finger. Woah, woah, woah!! Is everyone in the room actually already married, save him and Eijun? That can’t be! That can’t be, but… as Sawamura looks around the room, it seems to be just that…?

He doesn’t even realise he’s drunk until someone comes up to him, asks if he’s okay, and it takes him more than five seconds to see it’s Kazuya.

“Eijun? Eijun, heyyy, are you drunk?”

“I’m not,” Eijun mumbles. His mind’s clearer than ever. His vision’s just a little blur. That’s why Kazuya looks even better than he already does -- Okay, nevermind, I’m definitely drunk.

Kazuya pats his cheek lightly. “Really? I have something important to tell you, so don’t knock yourself out before that, okay?”

Something important? “What is it? You can just tell me now if you want to?” The words he would’ve held back on few minutes ago came naturally. The adrenaline coursing through his veins, drumming in his ears makes him think less, act braver. Instead of agonizing over the issue, he can just simply get the answer now, right?

The sparkle in Kazuya’s eyes has him thinking otherwise. Eijun isn’t sure he’ll ever get used to such an adoring daze being directed at him. While those eyes remain fixated on him, his left hand is gently held and pulled to Kazuya’s lips, who kiss it softly. The room may or may not have gone silent; Sawamura can’t hear a thing beyond his own heartbeat.

“I love you, Sawamura Eijun. Marry me.”

On hindsight, it’s probably the simplest, most unromantic seeming proposal happening in the midst of a reunion. It may seem so unlike Kazuya, who loves scheming grand things. But to Eijun, this is the Miyuki Kazuya he’s come to know and love. Simple and straightforward and sincere.

He may never get used to the adoring gaze directed at him, but he’ll spend the rest of his life trying.

“Yes.”

Loud cheers and a good cry later, Eijun blacks out.

 


 

The next morning

 

Eijun wakes, feeling refreshed… Then remembers his dream and his entire body flushes in embarrassment. Oh my God, I dreamt about Kazuya proposing! Has he been thinking about it so much that he’s even dreaming about it?

Aahhhhhh.

Eijun needs to cool himself down with a morning shower. That’s what he thinks, but when he tries to move he realises Kazuya has his arms wrapped around his waist, their fingers entwined. Careful not to wake the man, Eijun lifts their joined hands in an attempt to disentangle them as slow as possible.

He sees it after ten seconds or so. Matching silver bands, reflecting light that should’ve blinded him with its brightness. On each of their ring fingers. It takes another ten seconds or so for Eijun to register the sight.

“That wasn’t a dream…” It’s the softest of a whisper, meant more for his own mind than the ears of another, but just as he does every time Kazuya stirs and Eijun feels him wake. Kazuya kisses his nape in lieu of a good morning, and Eijun leans into him.

“Good morning, Eijun.”

“Good morning, Kazuya.” A fifteen second intermission as Eijun wriggles to face Kazuya, whose eyes are still misty from a good night’s sleep. He has the urge to run his hands over the man’s growing stubble. “Kazuya… Are we getting married?”

“Yeah, we are.”

“Even though you proposed when I was drunk?”

“You said you weren’t,” Kazuya gives a lazy smirk and Eijun kisses it away, a perfect, lazy morning kiss.

“You’re such a jerk.”

“Well, you are more agreeable when you’re drunk. And I love that you remember everything of the night before. I love you .”

“Um.” So many loves in one sentence still throws Eijun off course. “I love you too.”

Kazuya kisses the ring, a perfect fit. When did he even get my size? “Finally. Now we completely belong to each other.”

Eijun can’t remember why he was so worried over the possibility of Kazuya proposing. Was he unsure of whether he wanted this? Was he afraid of a day where they wouldn’t be together anymore? They are probably dozens of other reasons, but looking at his life, his present, Eijun can care less. As long as they’re together sounds like such a cliche line, but perhaps it’s truer than people think. This is what they call happiness, right?

“I’ll be in your care.”

~The End~