The next morning, Yasu woke up in an incredibly good mood. As usual, the first thing his mind wandered to was Subaru. And that brought a smile to his face as he stretched, stood up, and pulled the curtains open to let the morning sunshine in. The smile seemed to be permanent too, which only earned him relentless teasing from his sister at the table.
“Why are you so happy?” She asked, though it was clear she knew things had been patched up between him and Subaru.
“Shut up,” he said, still smiling into his bowl of corn flakes.
“No really,” she continued. “Doesn’t Shota look happy, mom?”
She smiled and nodded. “He does… must have something to do with Subaru…” she smirked, joining in on the teasing.
Yasu tried to look annoyed, but he was too far over the moon to let any teasing bother him. He was in love! And Subaru had agreed to finally try to return those feelings. Absolutely nothing could ruin his mood.
He was still smiling as he left the house and it only grew wider as he spotted Subaru waiting for him at the corner. The look on Subaru’s face worried Yasu, but he still reached out for the other boy’s hand.
Subaru smiled then and took Yasus hand, but Yasu couldn’t help noticing how quiet he was being. The walk to school was mostly in silence, and Yasu was beginning to wonder if maybe Subaru was already regretting his decision. When they came close to the school, Yasu dropped Subaru’s hand and Subaru looked over at him, “What’s wrong?”
“Nothing,” Yasu smiled. “You can go ahead of me.”
“Why?” Subaru asked, a confused look settling over his face as he reached for Yasu’s hand again.
“So no one sees us,” Yasu told him. “I talked to Ohkura last night. He’s not going to tell anyone about us. You don’t have to worry.”
Subaru looked relieved for a moment, but then he quickly shook his head. “We don’t have to hide it,” he said, trying to keep his voice from shaking.
“No, it’s okay, Subaru. It’ll only be a few more months until graduation,” Yasu said, smiling at Subaru encouragingly.
“Are you okay with that? With hiding it?” Subaru asked, searching Yasu’s face for the truth.
“If it makes you happy and more comfortable, then yes, I am,” Yasu answered honestly.
Subaru shook his head. “You don’t always have to be worrying about my feelings. What do you want, Yasu?”
Of course, Yasu wanted to be able to admit their relationship out loud. Or their friendship at the very least. He wanted to be able to help Subaru with a math problem when he grew frustrated, or sit with him at lunch, or maybe even reach for his hand when no one was looking. But he also didn’t want to scare Subaru away. He’d finally agreed to really give the relationship a try, so the best thing would probably be to take things slow.
“Let’s just walk together,” Subaru told him, falling into stride next to Yasu.
Yasu smiled and nodded, deciding to let Subaru determine the pace of their relationship for the time being. He had no idea what would happen that day, but he seriously doubted that anything could bring his mood down.
If anything, Yasu’s mood only escalated when he walked through the gates and saw Ohkura standing there waiting for them.
Subaru froze, fear crossing his face and Yasu hoped that it was just instinct that caused Subaru to take a step away from him.
“Good morning,” Ohkura called at them, his voice carrying across the school yard where several students were watching the exchange curiously.
“Good morning!” Yasu smiled brightly, and then nudged Subaru who seemed to be in some sort of daze.
“Morning,” Subaru squeaked when he finally found his voice.
With that, Ohkura nodded and turned back towards the school building. “See you in class!”
When he was gone, Subaru just stood there in a trance and muttered, “What just happened?”
Yasu gave Subaru a nudge towards the school and began walking, “Maru gave Ohkura a good talk last night. He kicked Ohkura out of the band.”
“Pretty cool, huh?” a voice piped up and when Yasu turned around, Daisuke had joined them and wrapped his arm around Subaru’s shoulder.
“It wasn’t that cool!” Maru interjected, a pleased blush covering his cheeks.
“It was,” Yasu agreed. He looked over at Subaru’s face and couldn’t help but smile at the look of wonder on it.
“We wanted to apologize,” Maru said, his voice soaked with guilt as he looked at Subaru. “Again.”
“It’s okay,” Subaru said kindly, offering a smile as an olive branch.
Yasu was more than a little amazed with Subaru. He knew how much this situation had hurt Subaru. First, he lost his boyfriend, then his band, and then he’d been excommunicated and shunned by the entire school. All for a big misunderstanding. Subaru had nothing to feel guilty about. He loved Rikiya, as much as that hurt Yasu to think. And just because of that, he’d been treated like dirt. It took a big person to forgive so easily. In that moment, Yasu wanted nothing more than to reach over and wrap his arms around Subaru.
At the genkan, Daisuke said his goodbyes and took off for class, leaving the trio to walk to their own. “Ohkura will apologize too. But the good morning is probably about as good as you’re going to get right now.”
But perhaps that good morning was the best thing Ohkura could have done to apologize because as soon as they entered the classroom, everyone turned to greet them, Subaru included. Yasu could see that Subaru was on the verge of tears as several classmates waved to him and Yasu was so touched he wanted to hug him, but he promised himself that he would hold off until Subaru grew more comfortable with public displays of affection.
And then, as Subaru took his seat at his desk, some sort of miracle happened and a girl walked over slowly and placed a bento carefully on top of Subaru’s desk. “For you, Subaru-kun.”
Subaru stared at the bento for a moment and then back at the girl, a ridiculously happy grin stretching across his face as he thanked her. And every time Yasu looked over at Subaru during class that day, he wore the biggest, brightest smile. And though Yasu was a little envious that he’d never made Subaru smile like that, he couldn’t help but smile too.
By lunch time, it seemed the entire school was aware that the ban on speaking to Subaru had been lifted and as a result, nearly everyone was greeting him as he walked down the hallway, cradling the bento he’d been given. Students of all ages and grades crowded around him, and Yasu was working his hardest not to be a little annoyed. He was happy for Subaru, but now that he was finally able to have lunch with his boyfriend, everyone else was getting in the way!
Yasu smiled happily though, as he kindly turned down all of the offers to sit by people during lunch. He grinned and leaned in close to whisper in Subaru’s ear, “ I didn’t know I was dating the most popular guy in school.”
Subaru shook his head and leaned away from Yasu, “I’m not!”
Yasu tried not to be offended by the distance Subaru put between them. He’d just gotten his popularity back, so of course he would be hesitant to venture back into the territory that caused him to lose it in the first place. Yasu would just have to be patient and understanding.
“Subaru-kun!” they turned to see Ishihara running towards them, waving her tape recorder in her hand. When she caught up, she took a moment to catch her breath before asking, “Are you planning on joining Revolver again?”
“No,” Subaru shook his head. Ishihara already knew about Subaru’s relationship with Yasu, but she didn’t know what Subaru had with Rikiya. As far as Yasu knew, no one did. So she couldn’t possibly understand Subaru’s desire to keep the band at a distance.
“But people have been talking about it all morning. They really want to see you in the band! And besides, you could play together with Yasuda-kun!” She pointed out with a smile.
Subaru shook his head more vehemently this time. “No. I’m not joining the band.”
Yasu bit back his sigh. He would be lying if he said that he had no desire to ever play with Subaru. It still hurt that they couldn’t enjoy music together just because of Rikiya. Music was the most important thing in his life besides Subaru, and it hurt that Subaru wasn’t willing to let the past go and play with him. To give Yasu something that would really make him happy.
Yasu turned to Subaru and said quietly, “I’m not that hungry anymore. I’ll see you after lunch.” He took off before Subaru could see his face. He didn’t want to make Subaru feel guilty. He understood why Subaru felt the way he did. And maybe it was selfish for Yasu to be upset by the situation, but he couldn’t help it. Every time Subaru cut one of the strings that bound him to Rikiya, another one of strings would just grow thicker and wind tighter around Subaru. And though the day had started off so well, he was already feeling down.
He went to the empty classroom, and sat down at his desk, putting his head down on his arms. He couldn’t find it in himself to complain. Maybe there were times when his frustrations showed, and for that he felt a little guilty, but he was human. He couldn’t keep giving and giving. He knew he was being unreasonable and even a little immature, but he wanted more from Subaru.
Subaru had just promised to give him more, and that was enough to make Yasu happy until he was confronted with Rikiya’s hold on Subaru once more. He wished that Rikiya had never been born. That he could have come to school this year and Subaru would have easily accepted him.
But then, he thought, maybe he never would have fallen in love with Subaru if things were different. The fact that Subaru seemed like such a lonely person is part of what attracted Yasu to him in the first place. If it hadn’t been for that, then what would have drawn Subaru to him?
Of course, when he thought about it, his attraction to Subaru wasn’t just that he was lonely. When Yasu had first laid eyes on Subaru, he had been carrying his guitar. And if Yasu hadn’t seen that, seen that there was a student with whom he shared a common interest with, Yasu never would have befriended him. Regardless of whether or not Rikiya had been born.
Yasu sighed. He just wanted Subaru to share that part of himself.
“I’m sorry,” a voice called, and when Yasu lifted his head, Subaru was standing there.
“What for?” he asked, playing dumb. “Shouldn’t you be eating lunch with your friends?”
Subaru paused, before replying, “But I wanted to eat with you.”
“It’s fine. I already told you I’m not hungry,” Yasu knew he was being childish, but he didn’t feel like having a Rikiya conversation at the moment. He looked away from Subaru, hoping that he would just leave so Yasu could have some time alone to pout.
Subaru stood in the doorway awkwardly for a few minutes before finally speaking up. “I know it hurts that I won’t play with you,” he started after what felt to Yasu like an unnaturally long silence. “I’ll get there someday and then we can play together until you get sick of it. But Revolver is different. It’s not entirely that it was Rikiya’s band. It’s also playing with Ohkura and Maru and Daisuke again. I’ve forgiven them as much as possible, but I don’t think I can trust them.”
Yasu still wouldn’t look up to meet Subaru’s eyes, but he nodded in understanding. He’d been hurt by them, it only made sense that he wouldn’t trust or want to work with them again. That made sense.
“I want to play with you,” Subaru said after a stretch of silence. “I want you to be happy. I don’t want you to regret knowing me…” he finished quietly, as though he had known where Yasu’s trail of thought had been headed.
Yasu took a deep breath and turned to Subaru, because this was really as much as he could ask for. “Okay.”
“So are you mad at me?”
“No,” Yasu shook his head.
“Then can we go eat together?” Subaru asked, holding his hand out to Yasu.
Yasu smiled and stood, crossing the room and taking Subaru’s hand, “Okay.”
A/N: So it’s been 4 months and this was a ridiculously short chapter, but I really didn’t think I was ever going to write this again. It’s anippan’s birthday today and I think this is an important story for us. If I’d never written this, we’d never be friends. So in honor of Ani, and our friendship (XD), I’ll try my hardest to finish this story. Happy birthday, Apples! XD