Following the Bull's Eye
Disclaimer: I don't own Jet Set Radio Future or any of their characters. Not even Yo-yo and Beat!
Author's Note: First fanfic, mind you. Oh, and I recognize that the Yo-yo and Beat in my head are a bit different from the accepted norm. Probably due to the fact that I played JSRF first rather than JGR, so I immediately pictured Yo-yo as really being a young, confused, and vulnerable boy. And he's got Beat to look up to, thus creating this story. Yup, there's some boy/boy here, so enjoy!
I've been stubbornly staring at the light for four seconds longer than I should be. This way, everything I don't want to look at burns away into an endless white mesh that presses into my head and dissolves behind my eyes.
My brain finally figures out that this is masochism, and my pupils dilate and then contract to specks of dust. The pain gets so great that my eyes cry "the horror!" and my hand shields my eyes without my really wanting. I finally turn from the god-awful beautiful dump yard of scrap-metal houses towards a soothing silhouette of the boy I'm in love with. I shove my shades in my pocket. I want to see it without plastic tints.
Beat was talking (and still is) about how his skill is far superior to mine. He doesn't move save his lips that mumble around an almost-spent joint, grip it with cheeks sucking, and then blow twin streams out his nose. I've already blocked that out, which is when my attention flitted to the immediate world of Rokkaku-dai Heights. It's quite a view we have here, atop the molding smokestack.
They say this area had been famous for its sunsets, until the large-scale industrial corporations moved in. Wanted to stay on the public's good side, so they didn't even make contracts to boot out the town's inhabitants. There wasn't really any need for paperwork, anyway. Living there just wasn't possibly after a while, so those with enough money high-tailed it to Neo-Tokyo, or maybe even the Skyscraper District. No compensation, no nothing. With only the dirt-poor and hobos left, the corporate giants plowed over the parks in weeks and surrounded the old neighborhoods in a metal straitjacket. Wouldntcha' know? After five years riding the cycle of economic ups and downs, the whole thing crashed, taking all the life there was left.
I used to play in those parks.
It's quarter to six and the sun's burning a hot orange, like a cigarette. Yeah, a giant cigarette that's putting itself out on the edge of this giant ashtray. Many things have been snuffed out in this graveyard of steel, but these sunsets are still beautiful.
It's quiet now, so he must've stopped talking and I don't know what to say, so I turn to him. He's nodding like he's agreed with something I said. Have I? He pulls a slow drag from the paper between his lips and flicks it away. Eyes closed, he spreads his arms wide. He's taking in the sun's rays. I think that I notice he does that a lot. Like in the garage, he'll lounge on that old couch in the afternoons until slipping into a nap. Even then, his arms will stretch slowly over his head to stay in the sun's path. That pulls at his shirt and it'll inch up his stomach to reveal pale skin that teases me. He's even purred a snore once or twice. I know this, because I've stopped often to watch him nap.
I had been too curious, so I stood in the way one day, but he woke up and I stopped watching.
"Let's do it, then." Before I can say anything, he grabs my wrist and steps off the edge of the smoke shaft. My heart already bumps against the back of my throat, but I have to move. If you don't move, you fall and break.
My legs kick automatically for a surface, because Beat's already let go and is skipping easily from wall to wire to pole to eave. He loves to show off like that. I hate him for it sometimes, and I hate when I catch myself watching the way his legs bend and glide and dance effortlessly in a grind. Even now I'm watching.
Half of my mind is already devoted to examining his well-defined calves, and thighs, and ass.
I hide a burning blush behind my oversized pullover, and skate harder on the thin black wire. The screech-owl hiss of metal on metal is a thrill to me. Only the fit survive this game, and I'm determined not to be forgotten in his perfect shadow forever. My eyes leave the telephone wire to move up to his ridiculously bright rave shirt. Like all Rudies, he's had his name custom-graffitied on his front, and sports a personalized bull's-eye on the back. I've managed to catch up to him now, barely, and can see the clear contrast of the lines. Black to white to black to white to---
Suddenly, he's gone, and I've just run out of grinding surface.
The ground's given me a formal kick in the gut, my empty lungs screaming red in protest. I'm clawing at the ground when he glides over with smart-ass grin plastered to his face. "I'm tellin' ya'. Don't fight it, man. You're just green. And probably always will be by the looks of it." He laughs and I know I have dirt smeared across my cheek. I open my mouth and shudder and close it again. Lungs still haven't kicked back in. I look at the ground, and I know my whole face is burning with shame and anger and the lack of oxygen. I'm angry with him for standing, laughing over me, like I'm a kid. Just a kid...
I'm more than a bit thrown off when a gloved hand appears in front of my face. I take it without looking in his eyes -- I couldn't even if I wanted to. He wears those goddamn goggles all day. The first time I found him, I told him he looked like a bug like that, but he punched me in the gut, so I know that I can't make fun of them anymore. He doesn't wear them when he sleeps, though. I was relieved that night, because it reminded me that he's still human; that he doesn't save the city by night. He's still just a kid like me (okay, a little older), and he likes to make people laugh, and cause mischief, and stay up late, and watch the night sky, and think. I don't know what he thinks at night like that, he'd never think of me like I do of him. But I'm mischievous that way, and if he is too, then maybe he's thinking the same way. And I wonder why we have all that in common, and we don't get along.
His laughter breaks through my thoughts, and before I know it, he's slammed his headphones down over my ears. I guess that's what's making him laugh. That, and the stench of weed that's brushing off his gloves. By instinct, I put my hands to the large sides, wanting to throw it off, wanting to get rid of the part of him that's touching me. But I hesitate and listen to the noise that cuts him off from everyday. It's a deep techno bass punctuated with sharp peaks of synthesized screams. His body dances to this music so I get a kind of thrill just listening to it. It's distracting imagining how he dips with the crescendos.
"Look. Let me show you something." His voice is scattered. I focus my eyes on him again, but he's already gliding away backwards and salutes me with a wave. There's a pole that sits right on the edge of the residential district here in Rokkaku-dai Heights. After that, there's only the polluted-pink water that mothers warn their children about. It's the newest feat he's run through countless times. He's going to do it, I know it, but I don't mind watching him move for me.
The muscles, stretched over his back and abs, pull tight and he lands the jump at a 90-degree angle. The magnetic coating of his skates clings to the smooth metal pole, and in seconds, he's whizzed up thirty feet to the top. He does an elegant turn on the slim peak, wind from the narrow buildings' channels tugs at his hair and sleeves. Even from the ground I can make out his fox-grin. I want to say something to throw him off, something strong enough to shove him off his perch and maybe he'd fall on the ground like I just did back there, and then I could laugh at him. Or maybe, if he let me, I could pull him up from his fall and say the soft words that I've only said in my head at night. They're like lines from a script now; I've said them so many times. And then, maybe he would soften, and we wouldn't have to compete and we could both just watch the night-sky –
"Yo-yo!" He calls me by name, not just 'hey kid'. He's a silhouette against the setting sun again, but the clean-cut repetition of his motions is easy enough to follow. "You gonna try or what?" He then promptly seats himself and pulls out another paper, rolls it, and puffs contently, sending off smoke-signals into the endless blue. He spreads his arms wide as though to everything around him, but he is all there is to see.
The sun has taken its leave when he glides down again, a pale cloud of dust where he lands. "It's too late now," he says, and doesn't ask me what we'll do. We'll stay here for the night; he's made that clear by kicking off his skates, so I do the same. In an awkward rush, he loops a shaking arm over my neck and drags me to the ground, under a tin canopy.
His face is contorted, not its usual smirk. It's the same look I saw that day that I stood in the way. When I had stood in his light and he was napping on the couch in the garage, his nose crinkled up like he was in a nightmare, or smelled something bad. Here, I can't do the same thing I did back then. It's just not the time or place for it, ya' know? He coughs out strange promises with his eyes closed, blurry with a buzz.
Beat's breath is heavy and hot on my ear. He takes a few slow breaths of air, as though the mix of chemicals is forming weights on his lungs. He takes a lot of time for this one because I think he must want me to understand it. "Did you ever wonder why I joined your team anyway?" He ends with a high giggle. I almost shove him off with a shrug, but he's leaned too far over me. There really can't be anything too funny about this, but his mind's already gone. Then he answers his own question. "Yo-yo, you. You're why."
A bomb goes off in my heart, but instead of expanding, it's like it contracts on itself till there's nothing left there. Just get rid of it all. And it hurts. It's stronger than the times I daydreamed of him while I'm jerking off. Much more real here because his voice has said my name with his confession and I can still hear its echo around us. High and mighty founder of the GG's -- too good for his own gang, so he left us all, and I had to find him again. Maybe I never really had to go out to find him anyway. He was the one waiting there to race.
Hesitantly, I rest my hand on his bright red hair, which makes him laugh again and grabs me. His grip on my wrist is stronger than I expect, so I tug automatically but he moves with me. He's still grinning when he crushes his lips to mine.
For always seeming in control of everything, his lips tremble more when he's awake than I had imagined. Slight nostalgia there, making me think back to that day in the garage. I had been standing in the way of the sunlight, because I was curious of what it would be like not to have to be myself for a bit. He was sleeping, shirt inching up his stomach, and like that, he was beautiful and I wasn't myself. So I kissed him. When he opened his eyes, they were still blurry with sleep and he smiled and said something. Then he fell asleep again, and I stopped watching.