“So Subaru and Rikiya…” Yasu trailed off, trying to wrap his mind around the newest factor in the confusing equation.
Ryo shook his head though. “I told you it wasn’t my business to tell you about what happened between Subaru and Rikiya. I just thought you should know that Ohkura was feeding you lies.”
“I’m so confused.” Yasu shook his head, a pained look crossing his face. “I need to talk to Subaru.”
And at this utterance, Ryo was crossing the room towards Yasu, looking fierce once again. “I think you’ve done enough. Just leave Subaru alone.”
Yasu was already shaking his head. “I know I’ve messed up. And I probably lost all chances of friendship with Subaru. But I can’t just let it go like this. I have to talk to him. I need to apologize at least.”
“He doesn’t need you getting his hopes up again. I’m serious, Yasu. Just leave him alone.” Ryo’s voice carried a warning tone and his fists were clenched tightly as he came within range of hitting Yasu.
But Yasuda just swallowed hard and shook his head again. “I’m going to go talk to him. I need to.”
Ryo raised his fist, getting ready to hit Yasu. In response, the shorter boy flinched a bit and squeezed his eyes shut, waiting for the impact. When it didn’t come, he cracked open an eyes, a chill running down his spine at the smirk Ryo was giving him.
“Aren’t you going to hit me?” Yasu asked, confused.
Ryo snorted, as though he was trying to hide a laugh, and walked over to the counter. He grabbed a piece of paper and a pen and began writing something down. When he crossed the room back towards Yasu, he held the paper up, just out of the boy’s reach. “Subaru’s address.”
Yasu tried to grab it, but Ryo raised it higher. “I didn’t say you could have it yet. Can I trust you, Yasu?”
Yasuda, without hesitation, nodded his head.
“If you don’t want to be friends with him, tell him honestly to his face. Got it?” Ryo ground out, lowering the paper slightly, but still keeping it out of Yasu’s reach. “And if you do, treat him the way he deserves.”
Yasuda nodded again, and Ryo finally lowered the paper. As soon as the shorter boy grabbed the paper, he hurried towards the door.
“Yasu, wait.” And when Yasuda turned around, Ryo was staring hard at him. “Don’t disappoint me again. If there’s a next time, you’ll be leaving on a stretcher. Got it?”
And Yasuda nodded, not doubting the sincerity behind those words. Nishikido Ryo had a dark side and he had no doubt that the boy could and would hurt him physically.
He rushed from the shop, trying to get as far away from the angry Ryo as possible before glancing down at the directions on the paper. Surprised, Yasu found that Subaru’s house was only a block away from his, and he wondered how many times he had passed Subaru’s house already on his way too and from school.
He considered dropping his school bag off at home before continuing on to Subaru’s house. At the last second he decided not to. Subaru was more important, and besides, he was afraid of what would happen if Ryo realized he had made a pit stop.
At the first intersection, Yasu took a right, staring down at the address on the piece of paper. And before he knew it, he was standing in front of Subaru’s house, nervously shifting his school bag. What if Subaru refused to see him?
Yasu knew that there was a strong possibility that would happen. And if it did, he would certainly deserve it. That didn’t make approaching his house any less scary. And as he lifted his hand to ring the doorbell, he realized that his hands were shaking.
Yasu took a deep breath. He crumpled the piece of paper with Subaru’s address, shoving it into his pocket, and quickly rang the doorbell before he lost his nerve.
After a few moments, the door swung open and a small woman, smiled back at him, the corners of her eyes crinkling the same way Subaru’s did. “Hello,” She called to him.
“Hello,” He bowed, trying to calm his nerves. “I’m one of Subaru-kun’s classmates. Is he home?”
“Yes,” she held the door open, and Yasu entered, taking off his shoes. “He said he’s sick today, but mothers know better than that. I should kick him for skipping class.”
Yasu found himself smiling as the woman led him up a narrow staircase.
She paused outside of a door, knocking on it. “Subaru!” There was no answer from the other side of the door, so she pushed the door open.
“I didn’t answer because I didn’t want to be bothered,” Subaru ground out, his back facing them as he lay sprawled out on his bed.
“You have a visitor,” his mother said in a sing-song voice.
“I don’t feel like talking to Ryo right now.” He mumbled, burying his face against his pillow. “I just want to sleep.”
“It’s not Ryo,” His mother replied, her voice becoming angry as she picked a random item off of Subaru’s messy floor and launched it at his head.
“Ow,” Subaru mumbled, sitting up and turning to face them. When he saw Yasu standing in the doorway, a look of shock crossed his face. “Yasu…”
Yasuda, not really knowing what to say or do, especially with Subaru’s mom watching, just smiled and waved in response.
His mom looked back and forth between the two boys, a smile spreading across her lips. “I’ll just leave you two alone…” And with that she nudged Yasu into the room and shut the door.
“What are you doing here?” Subaru asked, finally getting over the shock of finding Yasuda Shota in his bedroom.
Yasuda searched for the right words. He wanted to beg Subaru for his forgiveness, but he knew that he didn’t deserve it. And no matter how eloquently he put his apology into words, Subaru wouldn’t forgive him.
But Yasu wasn’t the type of person to give up so, naturally, when he opened his mouth the first words to tumble past his lips were, “I’m sorry.”
And when Subaru didn’t move, or yell or do anything, Yasu decided to continue. “I’m sorry for standing you up last night. I didn’t mean to treat you that way. You didn’t do anything to deserve it.”
Subaru still didn’t speak, but his eyes were locked on Yasu, his face apt with attention. So Yasu took it as a good sign and crossed the room towards Subaru. “I’m just so confused. When I went to Ohkura’s house he told me that it was your fault Rikiya left the band. And then I remembered how you told me not to change my mind no matter what Ohkura told you. I had so much on my mind that I couldn’t think straight. And I didn’t not meet you last night because of what Ohkura said. It was because my head was such a mess that I just forgot and…”
“Its okay,” Subaru spoke quietly. “I’m so relieved.”
“Huh?” Yasu spoke, disoriented now that his tirade had been interrupted and even more shocked by Subaru’s response.
“I was really scared.” Subaru spoke, staring down at his hands. “I thought that you hated me and that you had changed your mind after seeing Ohkura. And I couldn’t go to school today. Not when I imagined you there looking at me with the same glare that Ohkura and everyone else always gives me…”
“I don’t hate you. I thought you would hate me…” Yasu felt like crying as he plopped down next to Subaru on his bed. He was flooded with relief and happiness that Subaru had forgiven him, he was confusion over how their friendship would work, and guilt at how Subaru must have felt all day.
Subaru shook his head. “I don’t hate you.”
Both boys were silent as they tried to figure out where that left them. Yasu was the first to break the silence. “Subaru…” Yasuda started.
“Will you tell me about what happened between you and Rikiya?”
Subaru froze next to him. “So Ohkura did tell you?”
“No, well, Maru and Daisuke told me a bit. But then Ryo told me something else, and I’m just so confused…”
The long haired boy stood up and crossed the room, keeping his back to Yasu. “What do you know about it?”
“Well,” Yasu began, trying to ignore the fact that Subaru’s voice was shaking as he spoke. “Maru and Daisuke told me that you just confessed to Rikiya out of the blue. But Ryo said that you and Rikiya were…” He stopped there, not sure exactly what Ryo had meant. Were Rikiya and Subaru a couple?
“I see…” Subaru sat down at his desk, his back still facing Yasu. “Well, I guess neither of them are lying really.”
“What do you mean?” Yasu asked, desperate to know the truth of what had happened.
“Yasu,” Subaru finally turned around. “I’m afraid of what you’ll think of me…”
Yasuda shook his head, smiling at Subaru. “I don’t care about anything like that. If you were in love with him, I’m okay with that. Is that what you’re afraid of?”
Subaru nodded slightly, as though he was still afraid to admit his feelings.
Yasu smiled again. “That’s okay. You can’t help who you love. It won’t change my opinion of you at all…”
Subaru tried to return the smile, but he was so nervous that it looked more like a grimace than anything else. “I met Rikiya during the break before first year. I had just started working in the music shop and Rikiya came in one day. We both loved playing the guitar, so he would come visit me often to practice or talk about music.”
Yasuda listened patiently, trying to ease Subaru’s nervousness by smiling and nodding along with his story.
“It was Rikiya’s idea to start Revolver. He was so excited about it that I just went along with it. So when the school year started, Rikiya immediately started looking for others to join. Maru volunteered himself as soon as he heard that Rikiya was starting a band. And Ohkura came shortly after that. It was a lot of fun in those early days. I liked the other two well enough. Maruyama was really hyper and sometimes hard to get along with but he was nice. And Ohkura was quiet so he never caused too many problems within the group. A year after we formed, we added Ishigaki.
“Revolver was popular with the kids at the school since the moment it formed. Girls started hanging around us like groupies and Rikiya started to change. And maybe I only thought he changed because I was jealous. He stopped spending so much time with me. Playing with Maru and Ohkura was just as fun to him as playing with me.
“I don’t think that I realized back then that I had started to develop romantic feelings for Rikiya. I didn’t relate my jealousy to the fact that he was paying more attention to everyone else than me. I thought that I had grown bored of Revolver and I told Rikiya of my plans to quit.”
Subaru paused, turning his back once more. And Yasu sat at the edge of the bed, hanging onto Subaru’s every word.
“Rikiya tried to convince me to stay. He told me to give it a few more weeks before leaving. And then he entered us into a talent competition. And that night changed everything for me. Being up on that stage performing in front of a crowd was a high that I’d never experienced in my life. The feeling of the bright lights on me, the screaming from the crowd. I knew that I could spend the rest of my life doing that and I would be happy.”
Yasu felt bad again, listening to Subaru talking about how much he had loved playing in the band. In that moment, no matter what he thought earlier, he was mildly annoyed that Ohkura had kicked Subaru out of the band. Especially knowing exactly how much Revolver meant to him now.
Subaru continued. “That night, we finished in second place. The five of us went out to celebrate afterwards. It was late and Maru, Ohkura and Ishigaki had all gone home. It was just Rikiya and I alone in that booth at a quiet restaurant. And I don’t know what made me do it. Maybe because I was still on a rush because of the concert or maybe because I had finally realized my feelings for Rikiya. Before I could think clearly, I was leaning across the table, pressing my lips against Rikiya’s.
“At first, I was so scared. I thought for sure that I had ruined our relationship. And as soon as I realized what a mistake I had made, I was backing away from Rikiya, apologizing and trying to leave. But then Rikiya grabbed my hand and pulled me back towards him for another kiss.
“After that night, Rikiya would pull me into empty classrooms or abandoned stairwells at school.” Subaru looked embarrassed as he recalled this part of his story. But Yasuda tried to be supportive, nodding for him to continue. “For the first few months, it was exciting and new and I really didn’t care about anything but spending every free moment with Rikiya.
“But after a few months, the novelty of sneaking around wore off. Almost no one knew about our relationship. Ryo was the first one to find out after walking in on us in the store room at work. And my mom was the only other person who knew.
“I was having a lot of fun with Rikiya, but I wanted something more. I wanted to be able to tell Maru and Ohkura and the whole world that Rikiya and I were together. But Rikiya told me he wasn’t ready yet. He was convinced that Ohkura and Maru and Ishigaki wouldn’t understand. That our fans would feel betrayed. So I agreed to keep our relationship secret, at least until Rikiya graduated.
“So the months that followed were some of the happiest I could remember. In private, Rikiya was the ideal boyfriend. We could hold hands and cuddle and all of the things that couples did…”
Yasuda noted the bittersweet smile that crossed Subaru’s face as he recalled his relationship with Rikiya. And Yasu wasn’t sure why his stomach was churning so uncomfortably at the image of Subaru and Rikiya holding hands. He tried to push the image from his mind, however, as Subaru continued.
“Revolver was also gaining a reputation around Osaka as one of the best school-aged bands. We were finishing as finalists in every band competition we took part in and Revolver was becoming popular in neighboring schools too.
“Then late winter rolled around and we all knew that Rikiya would be graduating soon. No one knew what would happen to Revolver. When I tried to ask Rikiya about his plans, he would blow me off and change the subject. I was starting to get scare of what would happen not only with Revolver but with Rikiya and I.
“Suddenly one night a couple weeks before he was planning on graduating, he told me that he was planning on going to Tokyo after graduation. He wanted to try breaking into the music scene there. I told him to wait a year and we would all go with him, but he refused.
“I felt like I was talking to a completely different person. I thought that Rikiya loved Revolver, but he was going to abandon us all. And I was so desperate that I told him I loved him and would drop out of school to go with him. I didn’t want to lose him. But he refused. He told me that he didn’t feel the same way.”
The room fell silent then and Yasu could tell that Subaru was having a hard time keeping his emotions in check. Things were starting to fall into place. Ohkura and Maru and Ishigaki had believed that Subaru confessed out of nowhere.
And Yasu thought he would feel relief finally knowing the truth about everything that had happened. He had no reason to be mad at Ohkura. He hadn’t been lied to or manipulated the way Ryo had suggested. Ohkura’s actions were influenced by the fact that he had truly believed Subaru had ruined Revolver.
That thought brought Yasu back to the reality of the situation. Because no matter how he looked at it, Rikiya was the one who had truly betrayed Subaru. It was Rikiya who led Maru and Ohkura and Ishigaki to believe that Subaru had confessed out of nowhere. And it was Rikiya who had turned Subaru down and crushed his feelings.
Suddenly, Ohkura and Maru and Revolver and everything else meant nothing to Yasu, as he crossed the room towards Subaru. Dropping down on his knees in front of Subaru’s chair, he wrapped his arms around the dark haired boy.
The next day, Yasuda woke up with a strange feeling. Part of him was happy that everything had been made clear. He knew the truth behind everything that had happened between Revolver and Subaru. His mind was settled that he wanted both to be a member of Revolver and to be Subaru’s friend.
The previous night, he had spent over an hour at Subaru’s house. After Subaru had finished his story, there were few words exchanged between the two, but there was an inexplicable feeling of closeness that Yasuda felt with Subaru. He realized how stupid he was for ever thinking that Subaru’s feelings wouldn’t be hurt by his actions. Subaru had already been rejected by the person he loved, betrayed by him and then kicked out of the only other thing that meant something in his life.
Yasuda knew that he had already messed up with Subaru twice. He also knew that it was a mistake he would never commit again. There was a part of Yasuda now that wanted to protect Subaru and treasure whatever friendship they had.
He carried those thoughts with him as he left the house and met Subaru at the corner. “Good morning Subaru-kun!” Yasu waved.
Subaru nodded in response, keeping his head down. He seemed embarrassed over what had happened the previous night but all the same, he slowed his pace and allowed Yasu to catch up.
Yasu fell into pace next to Subaru. “I wonder what kind of bento we’ll have today, hmm?” And though Subaru didn’t talk much, he didn’t seem to mind Yasuda’s constant chatter all the way to the school yard.
“You should go ahead,” Subaru finally spoke up about a block from the school.
“What? No. Why?” Yasu asked, confused.
“Yasu!” He heard a voice call and when he looked up, Maru was rushing towards him.
And when Yasu looked around, Subaru had already disappeared. And he understood then, that Subaru didn’t want them to be seen together. He looked around once more, feeling slightly disappointed, before jogging forward to catch up with Maruyama.
End Chapter 6
A/N: Mystery solved. The end. Hope you enjoyed the story. Just kidding. Might be a while until the next update as I really don't know what's going to happen next XD