For as long as he could remember, Mukahi Gakuto found darkened rooms comforting, especially when lit only by the dim glow of a TV set. The mat he laid on at that moment was a familiar comfort, too. How many nights had found him sprawled across the floor with a game controller in hand while he tried to tune out his parents' screaming matches down the hall? Funny how he was doing it again, because of them and things were supposed to be different now. He didn't even live at home anymore so why was he hiding from his parents in the dark?
But that wasn't the only thing he was hiding from and he couldn't pretend otherwise, not in his own mind.
Gakuto pressed the circle button on his controller almost viciously, trying to ignore the eyes he knew were watching. Things were different this time around, he wasn't alone in the dark anymore. There was someone watching this time and it made him throw his controller down on the mat, shoulders slumping. He shouldn't even be up this late again, he had class early in the morning.
The nasal accent filtering in through his ears were starting to annoy him now and Oshitari Yuushi pulled off his headphones with an irritated sigh. Kitamura sensei had given out sample tapes of different Chinese dialects and it was their homework to memorize and categorize them according to vowel and tone usage. He never really had problems not understanding though, but today he couldn’t concentrate, couldn’t classify even the simplest of accents. Today was different. The tension in the air seeped under his skin, like needles and barbed wires.
Nudging his iPod and headphones away with his leg, Oshitari leaned back and pulled at the cricks in his neck, half-closed dark eyes watching Gakuto absently. He knew of course, that Gakuto wasn’t sleeping properly, that he went to school looking like a zombie and twice as strung-up, that his parents called everyday, bugging him about their relationship.
The last part left a sour taste in his mouth as he thought about it.
“Gakuto~, come to the couch?”
For a second, Gakuto debated feigning deafness; if video games could cause seizures, why not that? It'd be really convenient, wouldn't it? He and Akaya could write letters to Sony and everything and get lots of money - no, that was a stupid thought, even for him. Finally, he sighed and scooted around, not quite meeting Yuushi's eyes before slowly crawling across the floor to sit crosslegged in front of the couch. There was no trace of Gakuto's normal animation that moment; his face could've been carved of stone just then.
Long fingers curled themselves easily around wine-red hair, it was almost comforting, the way those silky strands felt against his hand, warm, always warm. Oshitari wrapped one red lock around his finger as he hummed the annoyingly addictive jingle from Gakuto’s game and admired the way the red almost glowed in the dark room.
Unwrap. Wrap. Unwrap.
Da daaa da daaa da daaa.
Oshitari frowned at himself; the jingle absolutely refused to leave his head. He hoped that he wasn’t going to be singing that in class tomorrow.
Gakuto closed his eyes, biting his lip to stop from whimpering. It still felt nice, he still liked it when Yuushi did that but... he shouldn't. He really shouldn't. It's not fair, he thought, teeth sinking in deeper as he felt tears begin to well underneath his eyelids. You deserve better than this, Yuushi. This time a tear did trickle out, catching on the corner of his eye but he stubbornly kept them closed. It didn't feel right anymore, looking Yuushi in the eye. But not looking at him hurt even worse.
"I don't know what to do," he said softly. "This isn't fair to you."
Uncurling his finger and wrapping his arms around familiar slender shoulders instead, Oshitari tilted his head leaned against Gakuto’s cheek. Fair? Nothing in this world was exactly fair wasn’t it. If it was fair, they would’ve been the best doubles pair in Tokyo U by now. If it was fair, Gakuto’s parents wouldn’t be calling everyday. If it was fair…nothing was ever worth fighting for.
The tensai they called crafty smiled slightly and pressed his lips against Gakuto’s eye, kissing away the tear, “Do what you want to do, Gakuto, don’t listen to anyone else.”
Not even me, Oshitari mentally added, but the unspoken words hung over them, closeting them in their apartment.
Gakuto leaned into Yuushi on instinct, distantly aware that he was beginning to tremble. Yuushi always felt so warm, safe, even when Gakuto was at his worst, which was more often than not. He knew he wasn't the best person to be around, he knew he couldn't say things right and flew off the handle over dumb things. It was little wonder that no one had liked Gakuto for so long and even now, he wondered why they did. His own family would never accept him, he'd learned that long about but the team had always been different. Yuushi had been different. Just like Jirou, and even Bunta later on.
"I don't know what I want except you," Gakuto mumbled into Yuushi's shoulder. "But I shouldn't, it's not even about Mom and Dad anymore because they don't fucking matter, they've never mattered. They can bitch all they want about you and tennis, I'm not listening to them anymore."
“Then don’t listen, stay here all you want,” Oshitari murmured against Gakuto’s ear, “This is our apartment isn’t it? Ours and ours alone.”
Yuuki once called him manipulative. Shishido called him calculative. Atobe called him crafty. Kantoku called him a genius. His fan club called him gorgeous. Girls called him mysterious. Gakuto on the other hand, called him stupid and retarded. Oshitari always found it fascinating that he was called stupid when people called him a genius. Maybe that was why he gravitated towards Gakuto. Doubles or no doubles. He never liked things that fit into pretty perfect little boxes of identification. He liked things that he could dissect, things he could analysis, things he could never ever lose interest in. Problem was, everything was dissectible into little boxes. Then Kantoku made him play doubles. And it seemed like everything started to fall into place after that.
Oshitari nuzzled against Gakuto’s neck, lips curving into a small smirk, “How was Jirou? You talked to him last night right?”
Gakuto's blood ran cold, despite his statement to Jirou, he'd figured Yuushi had been sound asleep by the time he'd snuck out. His face turned white and he jerked away, breaking free of Yuushi's hold completely to scamper off to the opposite end of the couch. He leaned his back against the armrest, hugging his knees to his chest. Now he shook like a leaf about to be torn asunder by a sudden windstorm, staring wide-eyed at his boyfriend as the words he'd said to Jirou filled his mind again, clouding him with even more confusion.
Oshitari blinked once. Then blinked again. Was it…something he did? Something he said? He was quite sure that he didn’t do anything, so it must’ve been something he said. Only, he was sure he didn’t say anything out of place or anything…wait.
Dark eyes the colour of coal turned towards Gakuto, huddled in the corner, but never moved closer. Oshitari exhaled once, quietly, before tilting his head.
“Something happened with Jirou?”
Gakuto opened his mouth to say something - anything - but only a strangled little squeak came out. He tried again, with a similar result. He turned red with frustration - What the fuck, it hasn't been this bad in years! - and tried to force out a word, any word at all, but he couldn't. Not a single syllable. He gaped at Yuushi, mouth finally clamping shut when it finally sunk in that this wasn't working, and began flailing his hands wildly in an effort to communicate something. All thoughts of Jirou, Yuushi, or relationships with either flew out of his mind completely as it became increasingly apparent that all of a sudden, he couldn't fucking talk.
I can't believe this is happening... came one last panic-filled thought before Gakuto finally jumped off the couch and bolted out of the room, heading straight to his own bedroom and firmly shutting the door behind him.