"What the hell," the voice repeated.
As Yasu turned around slowly, his heart sank at the familiarity of the voice.
"What the hell is this?" Maru asked again, staring back and forth between Subaru and Yasu.
He could hear Subaru retreating behind him, so Yasu turned around, reaching for Subaru's hand and pulling him back.
"What are you doing here?" Yasu asked. Panic hit as he realized that it was all over. Maru knew now, and he would tell Ohkura. Yasuda would get kicked out of Revolver. The entire school would grow to hate him with the same unwarranted hatred they aimed at Subaru.
He still had Subaru. He could handle the isolation, the hatred from his classmates. He could handle almost anything with Subaru as long as he was able to turn to Subaru.
But when Subaru finally followed through on his plans to move to Tokyo and be with Rikiya, what would he have left?
Yasuda Shota would have no friends. He would have to deal with the hatred alone. There was nothing he could do now but face it.
"What are you doing here?" Maruyama asked incredulously as soon as he was able to speak. "I mean, obviously you're making out with Subaru..." he mumbled under his breath. Maru's face was screwed up in confusion and it looked like his head would explode. "How... why are you two...?
If Yasu wasn't so worried about Subaru and himself, he would have felt bad for Maruyama. As it was, Yasu was looking back over his shoulder for some kind of support, vocal or otherwise, from Subaru. But Subaru, who looked like he was about to cry, was even more pathetic that Maru.
Yasu sighed, realizing that no one was going to help him. He turned back to Maruyama, trying to figure out how he could satisfactorily explain anything that had happened in the short months since he had met Subaru. Even if he had the time, there were no words that could explain the relationship.
How he had ended up where he was with Subaru was still a mystery. He had not made any conscious effort to fall in love with Subaru.
Yasu was willing to admit that it was love now. He wouldn't risk his reputation on some silly crush or a cheap physical attraction. He wanted Subaru, needed him, and the thought of not being with him was painful. Only love could explain staying with someone despite being hurt again. Or cherishing every moment knowing that it could all end any day.
But Maruyama was waiting for an answer, and Yasu couldn't spend all day trying to think of one. "Subaru and I are together."
Maru's mouth fell open and he made a strangle choking sound as he stared back and forth between Subaru and Yasuda. When it seemed that he had finally pulled his thoughts together, he asked quietly, "How did this happen?"
Yasu looked back at Subaru, grabbing his hand. Subaru met his eyes, squeezing his hand and Yasu suddenly felt less scared. He turned back to the bassist, shrugging. "It just happened."
"But..." Maru still looked completely lost. "I didn't even know you knew each other."
Yasu bit his lip, before answering, "We've kind of been keeping it a secret."
Maru plopped down on the floor, running a hand through his hair. His brow was furrowed in confusion as he tried to put everything together in his head.
Yasu and Subaru could only stand, exchanging worried glances, and watch as he struggled to understand. After several minutes of watching Maru's inner-battle, Yasu stepped forward, crouching down in front of Maruyama. "Are you okay?"
Maru looked up. "Does Ohkura know?"
Yasu paled, shifting uncomfortably under Maru's imploring eyes. "He doesn't. If he did, do you think I'd be in Revolver still?"
A silence fell over the room once more, and from the corner of his eye, Yasuda saw Subaru lean awkwardly against a shelf.
"How long has this been going on?" Maru asked, looking up at Yasu.
"Well," Yasu scratched his head. "What you just saw... the kissing, that is," he blushed. "That's fairly recent. But I've known Subaru since the beginning of the school year."
Maru nodded, staring down at the floor. "This is bad."
"You're not going to tell Ohkura, are you?" Subaru spoke up, rather quietly.
Maru looked over at Subaru, his eyes widening as though he had forgotten Subaru was still there. "I... don't know."
Subaru stood up, coming closer. "I know that you hate me. I deserve it for what happened with Rikiya and the band. That's why I never fought Ohkura when he kicked me out. But Yasu hasn't done anything wrong. Don't punish him because you hate me."
"Subaru," Maru looked up. "I don't hate you. I never hated you. You know how Ohkura is. Even if Daisuke and I disagreed with his decision, there was nothing we could do about it. I'm sorry."
Subaru shook his head, smiling a bit at the knowledge he wasn't completely hated by everyone at the school. "There's nothing to apologize for."
Everyone became silent once more and Yasu shifted uncomfortably. "So are you going to tell Ohkura?"
Maru bit his lip. "I'm sorry, but this is really weird for me."
Yasu nodded, glancing over at a worried Subaru. Even if he could turn back time and take back the entire relationship with Subaru, he wouldn't do it. He was happy being with Subaru, even if it was going to end in an instant. That small amount of happiness, to Yasu, was worth all of the pain. Just being able to hold hands with Subaru for a few more seconds would make all the consequence of their actions worth it.
He stepped forward, towards Maruyama, realizing that it was time to face the music. "I understand. I don't want you to do something you're not comfortable with. If you feel like you need to tell Ohkura..."
Maruyama shook his head. "I won't tell Ohkura. As long as you two keep it secret, it's no one else's business. I don't want to see Revolver fall apart again." He glanced guiltily towards Subaru.
A grin stretched across Yasu's face and he reached forward, pulling Maruyama into a hug. "Thank you so much, Maru!"
Maru patted Yasu's head, laughing a little. When Yasu finally pulled away, Maruyama's smile was dazzling. "So this means that there really is nothing between you and Sara-chan?"
"I already told you there's not!" Yasu scolded him.
The bassist smiled sheepishly in response. "I know. But you were being suspicious! And I overheard Sara-chan say something to you about a secret rendezvous after school. I just needed to make sure."
Yasu's mouth fell open as he nodded, finally understanding what had led Maru to discovering his secret.
"But obviously, you weren't meeting Sara-chan..." Maru snickered.
The door to the shop opened again, and Nishikido Ryo froze as he glanced around the room. "What's going on?" he asked cautiously.
"Ah!" Maru's face lit up in recognition. "You're Ohkura's friend, right?" He snapped his fingers as though he was trying to recall Ryo's name.
Ryo scowled at Maruyama, "You must have me confused with someone. I'm not friends with Ohkura."
Maru looked confused. "Sure you are. You came to our band practice with Ohkura a few times. I remember. Aren't you guys childhood friends?"
Ryo rolled his eyes and clicked his tongue in annoyance. "I'm not friends with Ohkura."
Subaru shifted uncomfortably, avoiding eye contact with Ryo , and Yasuda found himself staring back and forth between the other three men in the room. He must have been misunderstanding something, he thought. Ohkura and Ryo were childhood friends?
"I'm Subaru's friend." Ryo went to stand next to Subaru, putting his arm around the shorter man's shoulders.
Maruyama still looked confused, but he shrugged, apologizing for the confusion, "Sorry."
Yasuda was utterly confused as a silence fell over the room. He had always thought that Subaru and Ryo had met through the music shop, but perhaps there was something more to it than that. Maruyama seemed fairly certain that Ryo and Ohkura had been friends.
He wanted to ask Subaru about it, but the tension in the air was so thick as Ryo stood with a protective arm around the shorter boy's shoulder that he knew it wasn't appropriate. He would have to wait until Ryo was gone to ask.
"What are you doing here anyway?" Ryo asked, glaring suspiciously at Maruyama. "You gonna go squeal to Ohkura now?"
Maruyama looked offended by Ryo's unwarranted hatred for a split second, and then trying to avoid a hostile situation, he quickly shook his head. "I don't think what Yasuda does on his free time is any of Ohkura's business."
Ryo's face slackened a bit as he calmed down. Still, he seemed unsure whether or not Maruyama could be trusted.
"I should go," Maruyama stood up, scratching his head. "I'll see you tomorrow. Bye, Yasu. Subaru."
Yasu waved goodbye and Subaru, a smile in his voice called out, "Bye Maru!"
The moment Revolver's bassist was out of the store, a collective sigh of relief rang out in the shop. "Is this really going to be okay?" Ryo asked quietly, dropping his arm from Subaru's shoulder.
Yasu chewed his bottom lip, wondering if it would be okay. He had mixed feelings over the situation. On the one hand, it felt good that Maru knew about their relationship. He had someone to talk to, someone on his side, even if it technically couldn't be considered support.
But this was also proof that he and Subaru were not being as careful as they should have been. In the same week, they had been caught by both Ishihara and Maruyama. As much as he enjoyed the time he had alone with Subaru, the kisses, the touches, the way Subaru would look at him with lust-filled eyes, he knew they had to be more careful.
They had to be careful because next time, it could be Ohkura.
Staying away from Subaru was difficult, especially now that their relationship had moved on to the next level. It was especially hard when every time he looked over at Subaru during class he was chewing seductively on his pencil, or groaning sexily (okay, so the groans were ones of frustration, but to Yasuda's ears they were still sexy).
As soon as his mind started roaming down that path, when he found himself staring just a little too much, he had to pinch himself. Ohkura's desk was only feet away from his. All he had to do was turn around and just see the way Yasuda was looking at Subaru and it would all be over.
When Murakami dismissed the class for lunch, Yasuda gave a heaving sigh of relief. Lunchtime meant a reprieve from Subaru and his subtle seduction.
As Yasu stood, however, Subaru gave him a meaningful glance that was just missed by Ohkura as the tall boy waltzed slowly towards the door. "Are you coming?" he asked, glancing back at Yasu.
"Um," he started, watching as Subaru also stood, dropping a folded up piece of paper by Yasu's foot before leaving the classroom. "You guys can go ahead. I think I'm going to go to the library and study during lunch. I fell a bit behind when I got sick last week."
Ohkura glanced suspiciously at Yasuda, but Maruyama tugged his sleeve, pulling the drummer out of the classroom as he winked at Shota.
When all of his classmates had cleared out of the room, Yasuda bent over and picked up the piece of paper Subaru had dropped.
'Meet me on the rooftop' was all it said. Yasu folded the piece of paper and shoved it in his pocket, trying to decide whether or not to go. The chance to be alone with Subaru was tempting. And the forbidden nature of the entire situation made it all the more appealing.
The previous day, he had told himself repeatedly that he needed to be more careful with Subaru. That was especially true when it came to meeting during school hours.
Although he knew it was a bad idea, that didn't stop him from stealthily climbing the stairs towards the rooftop. He carefully looked over his shoulder to make sure that no one was behind him as he pushed open the door to the rooftop.
Once the sunlight hit his eyes, he blinked rapidly, unable to see. When his eyes finally adjusted to the light, he saw Subaru sitting on the edge of the rooftop, looking over the edge. Yasu's breath caught in his throat as a breeze kicked up, sending Subaru's loose hair blowing around his face.
Subaru must have sensed his presence because he turned to Yasuda then, a smile spreading across his face. "I was beginning to think that you weren't going to come."
Yasuda walked across the rooftop towards Subaru, stopping in front of him. He returned the smile, gently brushing Subaru's wild hair behind his ear before leaning down and placing a kiss against his lips.
When he parted, Subaru reached down to a bag sitting on the floor and pulled out a folder. "For you."
Yasu sat next to Subaru on the ledge, taking the folder from the other boy's grip. Setting in on his lap, he opened it.
Subaru watched Yasu open the folder, and after a pause he offered an explanation. "Lyrics."
"Huh?" Yasuda pulled the papers, covered in Subaru's messy handwriting, from the folder.
"For the song you were working on," he replied quietly. "I know it's your song. But I wanted to give you something."
Yasuda's eyes darted across the paper, his heart beating quickly as he took in the words. The lyrics were the complete opposite of the dark, sad verse he had read in Subaru's notebook those long weeks ago. His eyes continued floating over line after line, his chest swelling with hope.
"Subaru..." Yasu looked up at Subaru, unsure of what to say.
"It's not much. I know I hurt you by refusing to play with you. I hate that look on your face. I know you said you were fine with being second to Rikiya, but I don't want to keep hurting you. I want to be able to give you more, so from now on I'll try harder."
Yasu felt like he was going to cry, and he wasn't sure why.
Part of him felt so happy now that Subaru had promised to try harder. For so long, he had wanted Subaru to make an effort to forget about Rikiya. Yasu knew that he could make Subaru happy, and he would definitely treat him better than Rikiya ever had.
But the other part of Yasu, the part that was nagging him as Subaru took the folder from his hands, couldn't help but feel that what he'd heard was too good to be true. That the only reason Subaru had done this was out of guilt. The part that knew no matter how hard he tried, he'd always be second to Rikiya.
"Do you want me to sing it for you?" Subaru asked, a blush crossing his cheeks.
Yasu only nodded, afraid that if he spoke, Subaru would be able to hear the tears in his voice. He let his eyes fall closed as Subaru's voice reached his ears. He tried to focus on the lyrics, the tenderness in Subaru's voice, meant only for him. He shut out Rikiya, and Ohkura, and every other force in the world that was preventing them from being happy together.
Right now, it was just him and Subaru on the rooftop. For all Yasu was concerned, being here in this moment with Subaru was all that mattered in the world. Whether he had written the song out of guilt or not, there was an honesty in the lyrics, in the way Subaru's voice sang sweetly for his ears only. He loved Shibutani Subaru more than he ever thought it was possible to love another human being.
He knew Subaru would hurt him again. He knew that Subaru would leave him, and probably very soon. He was aware of the fact that he always came second, and always would for as long as the relationship lasted. But he didn't care. As long as there were moments like this, where he could hear Subaru's beautiful voice, singing a hopeful song of love. Where he could feel the breeze against his cool cheeks as Subaru's clammy hand slipped into his. Where he could spell Subaru's shampoo, feel the heat of his body, the way Subaru's boney kneed kept nudging his.
Everything about the moment was perfect. He pushed away the unhappiness, the fear, any lingering regret he had, and leaned over, sealing Subaru's lips in a kiss.
When Subaru's arms wound around his waist, Yasu leaned against the long haired boy, pressing their chests against one another. Subaru sighed into Shota's mouth, wet tongue sliding against wet tongue.
"Give that back!" a girl's voice rang out, and Yasuda pushed away from Subaru, blinking in confusion.
A few moments passed before he could figure out what was going on, but as Maruyama came running into sight, Yasuda felt a wave of relief wash over him. For a moment, he had thought that they were caught in the act once again.
"I said give it back!" Ishihara came into view then, stomping after Maruyama.
Maru rounded on the journalism club president, and Yasu had never seen him that angry. Even when he thought that he had been betrayed by a fellow band mate, there was still something gentle in his demeanor. "I never thought you were that kind of person," He clicked his tongue at her.
"Why don't you mind your own business?" She replied, her response quieter than her previous shouts.
Yasu noticed, for the first time, that Maruyama was holding a camera above his head, out of Ishihara's reach.
"I think you should mind your own business. I know you're in the journalism club, but I never thought you'd stoop this low to get a story." Maruyama spat at her, disgust in his voice.
She fell to the ground, pulling off her glasses and wiping her eyes. "This isn't about getting a stupid story. He humiliated me. Do you know what it's like to get dumped? For a guy? I've never felt so stupid."
If Maruyama felt any sympathy for her, he didn't show it. "So because he didn't return your feelings, you're going to ruin his reputation?"
She didn't say anything, and as she sniffled, Yasu realized that the pair had forgotten that he and Subaru were both still there.
Yasuda understood the situation, however. Ishihara had been spying on the moment he shared on the rooftop with Subaru. Worst of all, she had taken pictures and was planning on publishing it in the school newspaper. If Maruyama hadn't come along, the entire school would know about their relationship by the time the school paper came out the next day.
"I guess I was really wrong about the type of person you were. I'm glad you didn't return my feelings, because it makes this a lot easier." Maruyama opened the camera, pulling out the roll of film and pocketing it. "Here," he said, handing the camera back to her.
She didn't look up at him, or take the camera, so Maruyama knelt down next to her, pulling a handkerchief from his coat pocket. He set the camera down next to her and handed her the handkerchief. She took it from him, using it to wipe her tearstained cheeks.
"If you really like Yasuda-kun, if you really care about him, then at least try to be happy for him. I understand the feeling of liking someone who will never return your feelings. But he's happy with Subaru. His happiness, if you care about him, should also bring you happiness."
He sighed, looking over at Yasuda and Subaru finally as he stood up. "And you two should really be more careful of where you make out." With that, he dusted off his pants and headed towards the door.
When the door slammed shut behind Maruyama, Ishihara suddenly looked up at Yasu and Subaru as though she'd just remembered they were there.
With wide scared eyes, she stood up, covering her face with Maruyama's handkerchief. "I'm so sorry."
Yasuda didn't know what to say. He had thought that Ishihara could be trusted, but she had been planning to betray him the whole time. Glancing out of the corner of his eye at Subaru, his heart dropped in disappointment at the look on his face.
Moments before, Subaru had promised that he would try harder in their relationship. He had stepped out of his comfort zone in singing for Yasuda. He had shared something that had been precious between him and Rikiya. The song, Subaru's good-will offering to their relationship, was ruined now.
But Yasuda recognized that look of fear on Subaru's face. Any promises he had made were forgotten. Yasuda knew that he would retreat back into his reluctance. The fear of getting caught, of ruined reputations, maybe even of forgetting about Rikiya were all coming back.
He had known it was too good to be true. He knew, even at the front of his mind, that Subaru would end up hurting him again. That no matter how much he hated hurting Yasuda, it was the vicious cycle of their relationship.
No matter how many times the cycle repeated itself, or how much Yasuda's heart hurt, he would always go back to Subaru. He would always try his hardest to convince the long-haired boy that the relationship was worth it, and that he would withstand any pain or hardship. He knew that, in the end, Subaru would come back to him, because they needed each other. No matter how unhealthy it was, the constant cycle of reluctance, and passion and rejection, they would keep coming back to each other.
When he reached over to take Subaru's hand, the other boy shot up, running towards the door Maruyama had just escaped though. Yasuda could do nothing but sigh as the cycle restarted itself once more. And it would keep repeating itself until the day Subaru grew tired of it all and decided to go back to Rikiya.
a/n: I've been avoiding posting this for two reasons. 1) it's not very good XD and 2) I don't know when I will be posting again. This week is looking really hectic for me so I may not get a chance to update this coming week. So please be patient with me until the next update. As a gift, I didn't really leave it on a cliffhanger this time.