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Sawanobori used to touch Kazuhiko all the time, back then. A pat on the back. A hand on his wrist. A friendly arm on his shoulder. A tap on his upper arm. A smack on the head. A high five even when nothing remarkable happened. Anytime, anywhere. None ever asked about it. They just assumed they knew.

But really, what exactly was it that they thought they knew?

Out of all of them, Sawanobori had always been the most understanding, the most perceptive, the one they all turned to for advice. While Kazuhiko—Hikaru knew from experience—had never been one to announce his thoughts—at least ones that mattered anyway. That was why they used to match so well, back then. Because Sawanobori would always know what Kazuhiko needed without him having to voice it out loud.

And maybe, just maybe, that ability was what Hikaru envied most from Sawanobori.

Because he knew just how much every touch meant to Kazuhiko—someone who took assurances in touch, rather than in words.

Because he knew he could never do it himself—no matter what Kazuhiko said on the contrary.

Sawanobori and Kazuhiko were friends, and nothing more. Everyone knew this, including Hikaru.

He never believed it for a second.