As Yasuda followed Maruyama up the sidewalk towards the school, he couldn’t help but look around for any sign of his missing friend.
“So then I was thinking that for the opening, we could each do a solo. Like it could start with my bass solo, and then Ohkura can come in on the drums.” He paused. “Who are you looking for?” Maru asked, watching with amusement as Yasuda continued surveying the school yard.
“Huh?” Yasu asked, then finally comprehending the question, he answered quickly with, “No one.”
Ohkura joined them at this point, greeting them with a friendly smile. He frowned as Yasuda looked around the school yard, preoccupied. “Who are you looking for?” he repeated Maru’s question.
“Eh?” Yasu stopped searching. “I’m not looking for anyone!” With that, he hurried into the school, leaving behind a very bewildered Maru and Ohkura.
“Is he acting weird or is it just me?” Maru asked before following the short boy into the building.
Ohkura stood for a moment, sighing over the situation. He had a feeling who Yasuda was looking for and it didn’t please him at all.
Inside, Yasuda and Maru were already changing into their uniform shoes. Maru was talking fifty miles a minutes into an inattentive Yasu’s ear. And Yasuda was still looking around, searching for someone.
“Yasuda,” Ohkura called. “Can we talk?”
When Yasuda turned to look at Ohkura, he froze. The tall boy was staring at him, a serious look on his face that made him wonder whether Ohkura knew what had happened between him and Subaru. But then Yasu shook his head, reminding himself that nothing had happened between him and Subaru. Sure, they had hugged, and in Yasu’s mind, Subaru’s body had felt quite nice against his. But, he reasoned, that was because he was happy to be able to comfort Subaru in some way, and glad that Subaru had managed to share his story and feelings with him.
Besides, what was the point in being secretive about what had happened? He didn’t understand why Subaru was hiding. They would just tell Ohkura everything that happened and it would all be water under the bridge. Maybe Ohkura would even let Subaru come back to Revolver.
“After school?” Yasu suggested, hoping to convince Subaru to come with him.
Ohkura nodded, agreeing that talking about Subaru in the middle of the crowded hallway was not a good idea. He honestly preferred to discuss the matter in private. And though he hated the thought of telling someone who they could or couldn’t be friends with, Ohkura knew what he had to do.
He didn’t want to be the bad guy. But he needed Revolver to stay together. And if Subaru and Yasuda were to become friends, Ohkura was sure that the ex-lead singer would try to convince Yasu to leave the group. They had already lost Rikiya because of Subaru, and he wasn’t going to let the same thing happen with their new guitarist.
Subaru chose that moment to walk through the doors. Yasuda opened his mouth to say something, but Subaru was avoiding eye contact. He sighed and was about to say something about the whole situation when Yasuda felt Ohkura’s hand wrap around his arm. “Let’s go,” He commented, sending a glare towards Subaru.
“But,” Yasuda started. His protest was cut off though, as Ohkura’s surprisingly strong grip on his arm tightened and Yasu sighed as he let himself be dragged away.
And when he looked back over his shoulder, Subaru was standing alone by his cubby, his shoulders slumped and a look of rejection across his face.
Yasuda tried to pull his arm away from Ohkura. “Wait, Ohkura…”
The drummer was not listening though, as he pulled Yasuda into the classroom, sliding the door shut behind him. And Yasu moped all the way to his desk, thinking about the look on Subaru’s face. He wondered if the talk with Ohkura could wait until after school that day because he was tired of being the reason for that disappointed look on Subaru’s face.
When Subaru walked through the classroom a few minutes later, his eyes met Yasu’s, and there was a barely visible nod. Yasu sighed in relief at the acknowledgement. He didn’t have time to worry over things, however, as two second year girls entered the room, pushing their way to his desk.
“Yasu-kun,” they smiled, and Yasu tried his hardest to smile back, though his mind was still on Subaru. The two girls each placed a bento on his desk and he smiled.
“Thank you so much.”
The door slid open then and Ishihara Sara entered, carrying a bento with her. “Yasu-kun!” She called, waving at him.
“Ah, Ishihara-san,” Maru smiled. “How are you?”
She nodded acknowledgement at Maruyama but her attention returned immediately back to Yasu. “I brought you a bento.”
“But it was our day to bring him bento!” One of the second year girls complained.
“Ah,” Yasuda looked panicked as he tried to avoid another fight. “That’s so nice of you, Ishihara. But the other girls already worked out a schedule and…”
“Oh,” Ishihara’s face dropped. “I didn’t know. In that case, maybe I’ll bring it to Gaki-kun then…”
“I’ll take it,” Maru shot out of his chair.
“Huh?” Ishihara looked at him for a moment. “No, I think I’ll bring it to Ishigaki…”
As Ishihara turned and left the room, Maruyama sunk into his chair, pouting. Ohkura, who had been watching the whole exchange with mild amusement, patted Maru on the shoulder.
“Why do you always pick girls with no interest in you?”
“But she’s so cute. I just want to take off her glasses and lean in…” And as Maru vocalized his fantasy he closed his eyes and leaned forward towards Ohkura, pursing his lips.
Ohkura shoved him back, “Stop that. Besides, she’ll never go for you. She only likes smart guys…”
“Oh yeah.” Maru replied. “But when she acts distant, it just makes me want her more.”
Yasuda tuned Maru and Ohkura out, watching Subaru from the corner of his eye. He wanted to catch the other boy’s attention, but Subaru seemed intent on ignoring him.
Then the bell rang, and Ohkura stood up, returning to his seat. The chattering throughout the classroom came to a stop as Murakami entered the classroom.
Yasuda tried to focus on taking notes as Murakami started writing English sentences on the board, but he was having to much trouble paying attention. And it had nothing to do with the fact that he was pretty sure that “today tomorrow tomorrow” was not a real English phrase.
The reason he was having so much trouble paying attention was because next to him, Subaru had fallen asleep at his desk.
His first thought was how cute Subaru looked as a puddle of drool formed on the notebook that he had fallen asleep on. And as he started snoring softly, Yasu had to hold his hand over his mouth to keep from laughing.
His second thought was about how tired Subaru must have been to fall asleep in the middle of class. Yesterday had been a stressful day for Subaru and a lot of old feelings had been dredged up as he talked about Rikiya. Yasuda had to wonder if he had gotten any sleep the previous night.
As Murakami turned back to the class, Yasuda nudged Subaru’s foot with his own. And Subaru sat up quickly, blinking in a daze. Realizing that he had fallen asleep and was about to be caught, Subaru nodded his thanks to Yasu.
“We’ll finish after lunch,” Murakami commented, and chatter filled the classroom again as students stood up and filed out of the classroom towards the cafeteria.
“Come on, Yasu,” Ohkura commented, grabbing Yasu’s arm.
“I’m going to eat here today,” Yasu said, pulling his arm away from Ohkura.
“Don’t be silly. Come on.” Ohkura smiled, but there was an unmistakable commanding tone to his voice.
Yasuda sighed, leaving the extra bento on his desk and looking apologetically towards Subaru as he allowed Ohkura to drag him from the classroom.
After Subaru was sure that Ohkura, Maru and Yasuda were gone, he got up and crossed the short distance to Yasu’s desk. Sitting on top was the usual note from Yasu and a smile stretched across Subaru’s face as he opened the folded piece of paper.
‘Subaru, are you free after school today?
P.S. Did you know that you drool AND snore?’
Subaru carefully folded the piece of paper, sliding it gently into his back pocket. He touched his cheeks as he felt a warm blush spread across them, and he wasn’t sure if it was because of embarrassment or happiness.
In the cafeteria, Ohkura kept an uncomfortably close watch on Yasuda. When the short boy stood up, Ohkura immediately asked, “Where are you going?”
Yasu, annoyed by the constant unwanted attention, muttered, “I’m just going to get a drink.”
Ohkura nodded and Yasu rolled his eyes in response, wondering when and why Ohkura thought that he needed permission to get a drink. He quickly bought a drink and noted that Ohkura’s eyes were following him across the crowded cafeteria.
When Yasu sat down at the table, Ohkura was about to open his mouth and say something when Maruyama cut him off. “Yasu?”
“Yeah?” Yasu responded, poking a straw into his container of coffee milk.
“You don’t have a thing for Ishihara, do you?”
Yasuda made a horrified face, and then realizing that Maru had a crush on the president of the journalism club, he quickly shook his head. “No. She’s all yours.”
And Maru smiled brightly, until Ishigaki opened his bento and decided to tease Maru. “Ahhh, look at this delicious kinpira Sara-chan made for me!” He picked some up with his chopsticks, quickly shoving it into his mouth. “Ah and this shrimp tenpura!” He gently waved the open bento under a miserable Maru’s nose.
“I don’t know why you’re bragging, Gaki,” Ohkura commented, picking through the three open bento in front of him. “You were Ishihara’s second choice. That was Yasu’s bento until he turned it down…”
Ishigaki Daisuke’s face fell and Maru started laughing at him. “Shut up!”
Yasuda smiled, eating his own bento and watching Ishigaki and Maruyama’s fight with amusement.
“Yasu,” Ohkura’s deep voice came from next to him, and when Yasuda turned, the taller boy had moved his chair closer.
“Where’s your other bento?” Ohkura asked seriously, making Yasu sigh again.
He considered lying and telling Ohkura that he had forgotten it in the classroom. But there was no point in lying when his friendship with Subaru was nothing to be ashamed of. And besides, Ohkura’s over protective treatment was wearing on his nerves. “I gave it to Subaru.” Yasu commented lightly.
“Yasu,” Ohkura said, a warning tone to his voice that made Ishigaki and Maru’s fight stop dead in its tracks. “I told you it’s a bad idea to hang around with him.”
Yasuda felt his blood begin to boil as he realized that Ohkura was about to tell him that he couldn’t be friends with Subaru. “You did. And who I choose to be friends with is my own choice.”
Ohkura stood up then, his chair falling backwards as he clenched his fists angrily at his side. The cafeteria fell silent as everyone watched the exchange between Revolver’s new lead guitarist and their drummer. “We’ll talk about this after school,” Ohkura commented.
With that, Ohkura Tadayoshi turned and stormed out of the cafeteria. When Yasu turned to look at Ishigaki and Maruyama they were both staring at him with wide-eyes and open mouths.
“I haven’t seen him this mad since the whole Subaru/Rikiya thing,” Ishigaki commented.
“Yasu, you should just leave Subaru alone before Ohkura…”
“What? Kicks me out? And then he’ll be screwed again. He won’t get rid of me.” Yasu hated thinking that way, but he wasn’t trying to push Ohkura’s buttons. Ohkura needed to understand that he was going to be friends with Subaru. And that was why he needed Subaru with him after school to smooth things over.
Ohkura needed to know what a mistake he had made in kicking Subaru out of the group. And likewise, Subaru deserved an apology for the way he had been treated over the past few months.
Maruyama and Ishigaki exchanged nervous glances with one another, fearing the worst. Just when they thought that Revolver was making good progress, Subaru swooped in to cause chaos once more.
When Yasu returned to the classroom from lunch, he was surprised to see that Subaru’s desk was empty. Furthermore, when class started and Subaru still had not returned, Yasu started to feel nervous.
The rest of the day, Yasu repeated glanced at Subaru’s desk, wondering where the other boy could have gotten to. He checked his desk and backpack for some kind of note, but didn’t find anything.
By the time the bell rang, signaling the end of the school day, Yasu had worried himself to the point where he felt sick to his stomach. He hurriedly grabbed his school bag, and hurried from the classroom.
“Wait!” He heard Ohkura call. “We have to talk! Besides, we have band practice today!”
Yasuda didn’t stop running as he called over his shoulder, “Sorry. It’ll have to wait until tomorrow. Something important has come up.” And he ran straight past his cubby, not bothering to put on his outside shoes before sprinting down the sidewalk.
The music shop was the first possible place he passed on his way home from school, and one of the most likely places that Subaru could be found.
When he yanked the door open, panting heavily, Ryo looked up at him with surprise. “Yasu, are you okay?”
“Is Subaru here?” He managed to say between pants.
Ryo shook his head, a look of concern on his face as he crossed the room towards Yasuda.
Yasu turned and headed towards the door, disappointed that Subaru wasn’t there.
“Wait,” Ryo called. “What happened?” He handed Yasu a bottle of water from behind the counter.
Yasuda took the bottle, draining most of its contents in one long gulp before turning back to Ryo. “Subaru… disappeared.”
“What?” Ryo asked, raising an eyebrow.
“After lunch, he was gone and I’m worried about him.”
“Did something happen at school today?” Ryo asked, sighing as he grabbed his jacket.
Yasuda shook his head. He couldn’t think of anything that had happened to Subaru. The only thing that had happened that afternoon that would cause any stir of excitement within the student population was his fight with Ohkura at lunch.
And then Yasu froze as he realized that Ohkura had stormed out of the cafeteria, angry, just moments before Subaru went missing.
Ryo didn’t miss the way Yasuda’s eyes widened at the revelation. A panic rose up in him as he grabbed Yasu’s arm and locked up the store. “Let’s go find him.”
The next most likely place to find Subaru was his home. Yasuda jogged behind Subaru the short few blocks to his house and when Subaru’s mother opened the door, she smiled warmly at them. “Ryo, Yasu-kun. Here to see Subaru?”
Both boys nodded as she held the door open for them and Yasu sighed in relief at the realization that Subaru was there.
“He’s upstairs in his bedroom.”
Ryo nodded, leading Yasu up the stairs towards Subaru’s bedroom. From outside of the door, they could hear him inside playing his guitar. Ryo raised his hand and knocked on the door.
The guitar playing stopped and a few moments later the door was opened to reveal a rather disheveled looking Subaru. “Oh,” he nodded at Ryo and Yasu. “What are you guys doing here?”
“Yasu was worried about you. You just disappeared after lunch today.” Ryo commented, pushing Subaru out of the way before stepping into his bedroom.
“I’m just not feeling well. Can you guys come back later?” Subaru put his guitar back in its case.
Ryo shook his head. He was no stranger to when Subaru was passively trying to get rid of him. He had been by the older boy’s side through the Rikiya situation and knew how to deal with him.
Yasu, on the other hand, was nervous. If Ryo hadn’t been there, he surely would have left. But since Ryo seemed to know what he was doing, Yasu followed him into Subaru’s bedroom and joined him on the long-haired boy’s bed.
“Yasu,” Ryo looked over at him.
“Huh?” Yasu nervously replied, and when Ryo gave him a strange look, he remembered why they had rushed over there to see Subaru. “Um, Ohkura didn’t talk to you today, did he?”
And Subaru, who was still bending over his guitar case, stiffened.
Ryo stood from the bed, “I’m going to kill that bastard.”
Yasu began to panic, because no matter how annoyed he was at Ohkura today, the drummer was still his friend. He grabbed Ryo by the shoulders, pushing him back onto the bed, before turning to Subaru. “What did he say?”
Subaru kept his back facing his only two friends, and when his voice came out it was unnaturally quiet. “I don’t think we should be friends anymore, Yasu.”
And then Yasu’s panic increased tenfold. “What? Why not? Just forget what Ohkura said.”
“What did he tell you?” Ryo ground out, and Yasu flinched because he remembered what it was like to be on the receiving end of Ryo’s anger.
Subaru finally turned to face them, but kept his eyes on the floor. “He just told me that I would ruin Revolver again and to leave you alone. And I agree with him. Being friends with you is only going to complicate everything else. You’ll get kicked out of the group, the kids at school will start to hate you too.”
“I don’t care,” Yasu shook his head, starting to feel as angry as Ryo looked.
“I do care,” Subaru finally looked up and when he made eye contact with Yasuda, he looked rather pathetic. “I know what its like to lose everything. To be hated by the people you thought were your friends. To get treated like dirt by everyone in the school. You don’t deserve that.”
“You don’t either,” Yasu stood up, crossing the room to where Subaru was standing. “That’s why we have to tell them what really happened, Subaru. If they know it’s all a misunderstanding…”
But Subaru shook his head, pushing Yasu away. “I don’t want them to know…”
“But why? It’ll solve all of your problems…”
Subaru shook his head again. “It won’t. Ohkura has too much pride. He’ll never apologize, and he’ll definitely never let me back into revolver.”
“He will. I’ll talk to him. Even Maru and Ishigaki think it was a mistake to kick you out.” Yasu’s voice became desperate.
“That doesn’t matter. If I go to them and explain everything then everyone will know about Rikiya and I. Being hated for ruining Revolver is better than everyone hating me for being gay.”
Yasu was about to say something, but Ryo pulled him back, shaking his head. “If Subaru doesn’t want anyone to know that’s his decision to make, Yasu.”
“Fine. But it’s my decision who I’m friends with. I don’t care what Ohkura says. If he kicks me out of Revolver, that’s my choice. If the kids at school start hating me, that’s my choice.”
“But,” Subaru opened his mouth to protest.
“If you want to sneak around, then I’ll deal with it. I don’t like it, but I’ll deal with it. But I’m not going to stop being friends with you, so you deal with that.” Yasu crossed the room towards the door. “I’ll see you at school tomorrow.”
Yasu hurried down the stairs, feeling slightly silly for his tirade. Subaru’s mom stopped him in the entryway as he put his shoes on.
“Leaving already?” She asked.
Yasu nodded. “I have to get home. But I’ll be back. Definitely!”
Subaru’s mother returned the smile, waving as Yasu opened the door. “I’ll see you soon then!”
And as Yasu closed the door behind him and walked the short distance home, he honestly felt worried about the future for once in his life. Being friends with Subaru was important, but he wondered if all the trouble would be stop being worth trying.
End Chapter 7
A/N: Finished 8D Much earlier than expected. I forgot how much easier it is to write when you don't really know what is going to happen. Which probably also makes for boring, pointless conversation. But at least now that Yasu has figured out that he wants to be friends with Subaru, their relationship can finally progress 8DDD I'm on a writing binge right now so the next chapter will probably be up within a couple days.