I have this terrible curse upon me which dictates that I rewrite everything. Even if there's nothing technically wrong with it. Usually this isn't the case, because my style is constantly changing and I tend to hate anything I've written more than a year ago, but whatever. This one did need some fixing up, some more focus and character development and random little bits of symbolism, but it wasn't really all that bad in the first place. There are much worse things that I could be fixing up (and am. … Slowly). Still! The fact remains that I am both a slacker and a perfectionist at the same time—in other words, I hardly ever do shit—and the very fact that this exists is surprising. … So.

Anyway! Still the same deal as before; bruvverly Kouji+Kouichi whatnot for those of us that like to go "awww." Takes place about six months after Frontier ends at Kouji's house. … They're bonding. It's cute. And there is no twincest to be found here, but I'm not entirely adverse to the idea, so it's somewhat possible that I'll write something of that sort at some later date (in fact, an idea's forming in my little noggin at this very minute. How very strange). I'm actually more for the Takouji, since it just seems more likely that Kouji would shack up with Takuya and have a dysfunctionally wunderbar time that way (since he's almost certainly gay as it is—there's this vibe), but whatever. … I have this terrible curse upon me which dictates I blather on forever in author's notes, as well. Read the fucking story.

OVER TOKYO

Twinnish bonding YAYZ! by Enkay

Yesterday we sat on the wall outside your house, bearing the cold together just to watch the stars.

I didn't know you were there until I felt the weight of your coat around my shoulders—it was only then that I realized I had been shivering. I gave you a lopsided grin to thank you, my already flushed cheeks burning a brighter red as if to show you I was sorry I was such a flake, but you didn't look at me as you swung your legs over the top of the wall and let your feet dangle next to mine. Your new black combat boots were coated in grimy brown snow, but I bet they kept your feet dry, at least; my old sneakers felt like they were soaked all the way through. "Hey," I said.

"Hey." You glanced at me out of the corner of your eye. "What the hell are you doing out here?"

"I dunno." I had just wandered out here sometime after dinner, needing some space—this wasn't the first weekend I had spent at your house in the six months we had known each other, but the experience had not yet lost its weirdness. Your stepmom was trying so hard, and your dad—our dad—was trying even harder, but sometimes it just got to be too much. "I guess I felt like it."

Your face tightened into that cynical half-smile that makes your face so different from mine—it always makes me feel like I've stumbled across some distorted mirror. That you're really some alternate version of me, and not you at all. "Kind of cold to be outside, though, isn't it?"

I smiled back at you, my own half-smile that my mother—our mother—had once said reminded her of a dog that had just been kicked. "Maybe."

We sat in silence for a little while, maybe a few minutes; you looking down at your dirty new boots, me staring off into the night sky; I was completely transfixed, since I had never seen so many stars, and especially over Tokyo—and I swear, that's why it took me so long to realize that something was troubling you. I mean, you can never see stars when you're anywhere close to a city; it's too bright and too polluted, and this was Tokyo, right, one of the brightest and most polluted cities in the world. Anyway, I was staring up at the ink-black sky, my head tipped back so far that I had to grip the wall hard so I didn't fall over backwards, when I heard you make this little noise in the back of your throat, like you were trying to swallow a laugh.

"What?" I said curiously, looking at you. I wasn't offended or anything—I haven't known you long, I know, but I do know you well enough to have realized that you don't laugh easily—that it would take something really special just to make you smile. And you would never, never laugh at me.

"I don't know." You were looking at your brand-new boots again, watching them swing back and forth as the toes gleamed in the light of the moon and stars. "I just… you're weird," you said, and it was in no way an insult.

I smiled at you but you still wouldn't look at me, and I think it was then that I suddenly got it—it might have been the way your face had clouded up, or maybe just that mental twin thing that we must both have despite our long separation. "… Kouji?"

"What?"

"Kouji?"

"What?"

I winced, and you immediately looked uncomfortable; you hardly ever snap at me. Not like you do at other people. "I'm… um… what is it?" you finished awkwardly. You aren't very good at giving apologies, either.

I watched you carefully for a moment—if I just asked you what was wrong you would deny flat-out that there was anything at all, and that wouldn't be getting us anywhere. You're so stubborn that I wonder sometimes why I even bother trying to break through your shell. And then I remember. "… Why did you come out here?"

You shrugged. "Why not?"

"You said it was cold."

"I'm fine," you said stubbornly. "I just… I thought you might have wanted some company, that's all." Your gaze flickered towards me before settling back onto your boots. "Someone to talk to, maybe."

I frowned at you, a little confused. If I had wanted someone to talk to I would have stayed inside. I said so and you glanced at me again, this time holding my gaze. "Yeah… well," you said.

And suddenly you were spilling everything and I could barely take it in; how our dad and stepmom were trying so hard to make me feel welcome even though they barely knew me; how you hated the fact that I didn't like being at your house when you really liked staying at my apartment, even though you knew that you couldn't stay there very often because our mother had to work really hard and could barely support me, much less you; and how sometimes you would wake up in the morning and would see me, and you could hardly believe that you even had a twin—

And then you stopped just as suddenly, watching me in astonishment as I began to laugh—at first I had been sort of stunned into silence, since I had never heard you say so much at once in my life, but then I realized what you had been worried about and I just couldn't help myself…

"What are you laughing for?" you said, a little grudgingly, and I made myself stop; it was harsh of me to laugh at you like this, especially when neither of us really laugh that much at all. "I was… I was just—"

"I know, I know," I said, grinning at you. "Don't. I'm fine. I like staying at your house, and I like your parents, and I like you—don't look at me like that; it's true." I sighed and ran my hands through my hair. They were beginning to go numb. "It's just… it's weird sometimes, you know?"

"Yeah." You cupped your face in your hands and stared off into the distance—I remember your face was slightly red, from embarrassment or maybe the cold, since when you exhaled your breath was visible, curling off into the night sky in tiny wisps, and as you escaped into your thoughts you began to chew on a strand of long black hair that had ended up in your mouth. And as I watched you I could practically see you withdrawing into yourself, the way you do sometimes—not as much as you used to, I think—I hope—but whenever you start to drift off like that I feel guilty somehow, as if it were my fault that you're the way you are, and that I should be able to do something, and…

And I really didn't mean to make you fall off when I pushed you. Really, I swear—you have to know that. I just wanted to… to wake you up, I guess, but you weren't really paying attention, and I must have pushed you harder than I thought I did—but anyway, you remember how much I freaked out when you hit the ground, even though you sat up and said you were fine.

"I'm okay," you said irritably when I started to check you for bruises. "No thanks to you… what the hell did you do that for, anyway?"

"I… I don't know," I said miserably and sat back on my legs, probably looking pretty pathetic—that was how I felt, anyway. I always mess up, especially when it comes to you. "Just… don't worry so much… okay?"

You just kind of looked at me for a few seconds, and I thought I had offended you for some reason—I always feel like I'm doing that to people—but then you smiled at me—your normal half-smile, although it didn't seem quite as cynical as it usually was. "… Ready to go in? It's getting pretty cold."

I looked at you for a moment as the two of us sat there in the freezing snow, and I felt something—even now, I'm not sure what it was. Like I was floating high above us watching the two of us watching each other. "… No."

You raised your eyebrows. "'No'?"

"No, I…" I grabbed your arm. "Let's make snow angels. Or build a fort, or have a snowball fight."

You stared at me like I was crazy—and yeah, I don't think I can blame you. "… What? Kouichi, wh—"

"Or we could make a snowman and make it a face out of sticks and stones, or just take a walk around the block, or… something…" I trailed off as I forced myself to look you right in the eye. Our eyes are the only thing about us, I think, that are completely identical—we've both suffered, we'd both become so accustomed to the same lack of something for so much of our lives that we're still both stumbling through this whole idea of being fulfilled. And happy. And although it can get weird and awkward and there's still so much I don't know about you, when I look into your eyes I somehow feel as if it'll all turn out okay. "… Anything… let's just do something that we've never done together before. Just the two of us."

You were still staring at me, but there was something in the corner of your eye—maybe it was just the cold. Maybe it wasn't. I'll never know, since I know you wouldn't tell me even if I asked. Finally you sighed and got to your feet, muttering something under your breath as you did so. You were trying so hard to look like you couldn't care less but I saw right through it, because acting is something you're not all that good at—I've already learned to know when you're sincere. "… God. Come on, then. There's lots of snow in the backyard."

I scrambled to my feet, intending to follow you as you began to walk away, and suddenly I found myself with my arms around your waist, tackling you to the ground; by the time we hit the snow I was already cracking up, my laughter muffled as I pressed my face into your shoulder blade. Maybe it was the shrill 'eek' you let out when I grabbed you, or the just the exhilaration of doing something so uncharacteristically impulsive and reckless, but that moment is one I can still recall with perfect clarity. Even now I can practically feel the snow sink into my clothes and see the unearthly glitter of the stars above our heads, twinkling stubbornly away despite all odds, and most of all the reflection of myself I saw in your eyes as you threw me off and kneed me in the stomach, beginning to laugh just as hard as I was.