Title: Ten Ways It Could Have Happened, But Didn't
Author/Artist: athousandwinds
Pairing: Fujikake Shino/Itsuki Kagami
Fandom: Eerie Queerie
Theme: #10: 10
Disclaimer: All characters and situations property of Shuri Shiozu.

It happens like this:

Fujikake is staring at him and the feeling of dark eyes burning into him makes the pit of Itsuki's stomach twist into liquid heat, pleasurable and exciting and uncomfortable when he's supposed to be solving simultaneous equations. Itsuki pushes his exercise book away and turns round to stare back. Fujikake ducks his head quickly and pretends to be interested in what x equals.

Itsuki corners him after school. It's hot and messy and not very good, really, but it doesn't matter.

It happens like this:

"I like you," Itsuki mutters. "I like you. Why the hell do I like you?"

Shino blinks. It's not quite usual to be asked this on Valentine's Day, especially not by someone who's giving you a gift. "I like you, too," he tries, but Itsuki just scowls at him.

It happens like this:

"…" says Itsuki after it happens.

"I'm not sorry," says Shino, shrugging. "I was always going to do it."

"You're really weird, Shino."

"You like me."


"Please, Itsuki." Shino looks serious and desperate and Itsuki sighs. He lifts his chin and Shino takes that for a yes.

It happens like this:

"I'll be teaching Fujikake-kun to play the koto," his mother smiles. It doesn't reach her sad, sad eyes but nothing does, nowadays. Itsuki looks at Fujikake-kun and hates him instantly.

Fujikake looks back and Itsuki is viciously glad for one moment that Fujikake can sense his loathing. The next, he sees the hurt in Fujikake's thin face and something twists in his chest.

"Hey," he says to make up for it. Fujikake gets it, because he smiles.

It happens like this:

Itsuki is staring at the wall when Shino enters, shutting the door behind him with a soft click.

"I heard about what happened," he says and does a stupid thing by sliding his fingers along Itsuki's jaw line and kissing him. Itsuki is unresponsive at first, but he lets Shino push him back onto the bed.

Shino pretends that he doesn't see the tears.

It happens like this:

"You're leaving?" asks Shino and Itsuki looks up at him. Shino slides onto the bench beside him and stares at the ground. Somewhere above them, a computerised voice announces train departures and arrivals.

"So?" Itsuki demands, his voice louder than he intended it to be. "Why do you care, anyway?"

"I care," says Shino, his face dark. Itsuki knows that he's not exactly a beauty himself right now, with his face swollen and his eyes red-rimmed, but Shino angry and miserable and hurting is an ugly sight, so he refuses to look at him. They are silent.

Eventually, Itsuki gives in. "They're tearing the shrine down," he tells Shino. "I want to try and find work in Osorezan."

"Is that all?" Shino asks and he smiles like the world has finally burst into sunshine after a rainy day.

"What – " Itsuki snaps, but he is interrupted by his train screeching to a halt in front of them. He gets up and takes a step forward, but stops again when Shino picks up a rucksack and follows him. "What?"

Shino blinks at him and Itsuki knows he's enjoying this. "I'm coming too, of course."

It happens like this:

"Hey!" Itsuki yells. "Hey! You took my money, you bastard!"

The thief is grabbed by a guy who looks vaguely familiar and hands the wallet back before running hell for leather down the street. The guy – Fujikake, Itsuki realises with relief, and then, what's he doing here? – returns it to Itsuki and walks off without a word.

"Hey!" Itsuki calls after him. "Hey!" He follows Fujikake, confused and pissed off, back into the station, back onto the train and all the way to Osorezan.

"Fujikake," he says when they get there, really annoyed now, especially since he's blushing, "what was the point in that?"

"Shino," says Fujikake, the first he's spoken since Nara and with a brilliant, silly grin. "And I wanted to see if you'd follow me this time."

It happens like this:

"You're such a little kid, Shino," Itsuki says, and is horrified when he realises the amount of affection in his voice. Shino grins at him and thankfully doesn't seem to notice, preoccupied with his melting icecream. He licks at the drip running down the cone, follows it with his tongue all the way back to the point. He sucks at the scoop of vanilla and accidentally gets it on his chin. Of course, he starts laughing and Itsuki scowls ferociously. Shino calms down a bit and uses his sticky fingers to tousle Itsuki's hair.

"I know what you mean," he tells him, and Itsuki's never been so embarrassed in his entire life.

It happens like this:

Shino bends over the koto, face drawn in concentration as he plucks the strings carefully. Itsuki, lying on his side, watches him. Shino's crazy, travelling halfway across the country and changing his career just to chase him. Itsuki's never met anyone so stupid in his life.

He doesn't want to think about whether he'd do the same for Shino, so he taps lightly on the koto. "Are you ever going to be done practising?"

"In a moment," Shino replies, replaying the last three bars. He hits the wrong note for the fourth time and leans forward, frowning.

"You said that ten minutes ago."

"I'm sorry." Shino gets it right this time, but he doesn't look satisfied.

"Shino – " and mmph, Shino kisses him. Pulling back, his fingers find the strings again and Itsuki sighs. Shino furrows his brow, a small line creasing his forehead.

Itsuki might not go anywhere for Shino, but the corner shop is a good start and takes hardly any effort at all.

It happens like this:

Osorezan is a good place to be a medium and Itsuki does well. He misses Nara, although he'll never go back there, and he occasionally picks up the phone to call Shino's house, but puts it down after the first ring. He isn't a stalker, after all, and he can't bring himself to actually have a conversation with Shino.

The day he finds out that the entire thing was moot anyway is unremarkable to everyone else, but seeing Shino sitting behind a koto is enough to make him drop the bundles he's carrying. One of the shrine maidens is happy to introduce them and he suspects her of having a crush on Shino.

"You followed me?" he demands as soon as they're alone.

Shino blinks wide, dark eyes at him. "Did you expect me to do something else?"

"Idiot. I –" and they're kissing again. It's a relief after so long apart and Itsuki doesn't argue again.