Kurogane went out with the twins that Bonfire night – something he wasn't too happy about mostly for the reason that this made life awkward. Not that he can't tell the difference between them or anything, he can tell them apart better than anyone, but whenever he was with them he always felt that he shouldn't be there, as if there was a bond between them he always seemed to intrude on. Things never appeared to work like that though… in fact the twins may be seen as welcoming, inviting him to spend time within their special group. But it wasn't as if Kurogane particularly wanted this and not merely for the reason that he wasn't one to get close. It was the twins themselves.
Fai was the one he found easier to get along with. Kurogane talked to him the most out of a 'select' group of friends. His mind was a lot more practical and concise, he was very clear-headed and thoughtful, the kind of guy who mostly keeps to himself and doesn't say too much so he comes across as quite serious. In truth though Kurogane found him quite comfortable to speak to, not being the world's most natural conversationalist either and at the very least he had quite a few interesting things to say.
He sat further away from the other two that night, on a drier spot to avoid the autumn damp, that silent drizzle within the chilling air. A puff of steamy breath emitted from his mouth as he stared into the overcast sky, eyes narrowing as he tried to gauge the November weather.
His brother, on the other hand, was a completely different matter and there was something about him that made Kurogane feel uneasy. Gazing upwards, eyes wandering dreamily, compared to his twin he seemed very distracted and it was that aloofness that made him a difficult person to get along with. It was almost as if Yuui hit his head off something hard every now and again just to create the effect. He was a daydreamer, his head caught in the clouds. And in those small moments where he would return to the ground it felt like he hadn't entirely managed to find his way back; another part of his brain had remained in the sky and become swept away. Then, rather like a house-sitter, a beaming smile would overcome his face, standing in temporarily and creating the impression that he'd lost his head… perhaps he had.
They shared a fish supper unevenly between them with Kurogane and Yuui polishing off the majority of the take-out. Fai had had the common sense to eat before he left the house but Yuui had been away training at the swimming pool – Kurogane could still catch the faint scent of chlorine clinging to his hair. So when he'd said that he was hungry, it had been natural instinct to buy it, share it between them. Only at the time, Fai had neglected to mention that he'd already eaten, leaving Kurogane to share with his demented brother, so annoyingly confident and outgoing. Actually, outgoing was perhaps not the best word to use. He kept himself within a close group, refusing to expand his social circle as far as his friendly nature and social skills could take him.
But it was more than slightly apparent that Kurogane held a grudge against him and Fai could pick up and act upon that with ease.
Kurogane swore in his head. It had been a ploy.
That was the only annoying thing about Fai – he was crafty. And he would use every ounce of cunning to bring his friend and his brother together, never having liked the notion that Kurogane resented his twin. So there was a sense of determination within him – a desire to push them together at every given opportunity for no particular reason that Kurogane could figure out at least.
This latest scheme was probably one of his more subtle attempts and, realising he could say nothing against the decision, Kurogane loathed the consequences.
Yuui was picking bits of fish from his lap, reaching in and out, leaning forward and back again. He could feel the heat of his body against his - that's how close they were. He would bring his arm across him, quickly without warning, pricking at chips, removing them slowly, carefully placing them in his mouth and eating, staring distractedly again. His plastic fork was spending too much time in his mouth and it was irritating Kurogane.
'It's a good night for fireworks,' he commented, dangling the offending fork and gesturing towards the sky.
His brother responded, chin in hands, 'Yeah, very clear, and not too wet or windy. No stars though.'
Yuui shrugged, asking in a rather blasé manner, 'Do we need them?'
'It'd be nice, that's all.'
Kurogane remained quiet. That is, until he stuck his fork down to pick up a piece of fish and discovered it wasn't there. It was halfway to Yuui's mouth.
'Hey, that's the last bit!' he snapped in frustration.
Yuui's eyes drifted over to him, his eyebrows lightly raised, before he smiled softly and brought his little wooden fork over to Kurogane's mouth. 'You can have it if you want it that badly,' he said gently, yet teasingly.
Kurogane's eyes narrowed, drilling into him. There was something wrong with this guy but…
'Tch, it's alright. Have it.' He pushed Yuui's hand back over, flicking his head back around to face the other side now.
Fai was staring at them.
He stole a chip and glanced towards his watch. '15 minutes to the fireworks, we should leave soon. It won't take us long to get from the square to the park but it's a small gate and the queues are long.'
Kurogane nodded, half listening.
In that mere second as he had turned to Yuui and Yuui had stared back in mild surprise, his heart had fallen with a blunt thud and he'd found himself frozen. Framed against the light of the street lamps, Yuui's golden hair shone in fragile, beautiful flicks, his blue eyes shimmered, his breath curled into elegant clouds as they formed from his mouth, his gently curved mouth with its soft, delicate lips, and his smooth, pale skin, slightly flushed pink at the cheeks with the cold.
Yes, try as he may to doubt it, in a strange way he is not entirely sure of, he's attracted to Yuui.
He finds this disturbing on several different levels. For one thing, he's not gay – he's thought it through over and over, Yuui's smile taunting him in the dark, and he decided that he definitely likes girls and women. That's one of the reasons why he dislikes being around Yuui – this feeling belongs to him and only him amongst every man in the world, and even women for that matter.
The other thing he finds strange is that this feeling does not belong to Fai. Despite looking absolutely identical, he has never looked at Fai and felt the same way as in that strangely divine moment. He's never even thought about the way he looks or physically compared him to Yuui. The two twins are entirely separate people to him, leading their own individual lives, owning their own unique personalities and, to a certain extent, different images. He seems to be the only person to think that way though.
The last thing is perhaps the idea that gets to him the most: for all the fleeting moments where he is tempted to reach over and kiss his friend's identical twin, they cannot overcome the near constant temptation to reach out and punch him.
As they made their way down, pushing through the chill air, damp and thick, causing them to shiver deeply as it pressed around them, Fai began to wonder when if ever Kurogane would accept his brother. If there was anyone who could protect someone special to them it was Kurogane and this made him a valued resource for Fai. Perhaps not so much as an object, foremost he was his friend, but he created a perfect link in a vague, frighteningly uncertain master-plan. He depended on him in this way, refusing to let his link detach and his ideas to fall apart, for Yuui to crumble and fall to pieces.
It was a pity that Kurogane still wasn't getting along with his brother and that wasn't exactly an easy problem to solve as an outside spectator. He would admit that, yes, there was something about Yuui beneath the surface and that strange entity had taken him a while to discover and figure out – asking the same and more of Kurogane seemed almost too much to ask for. But still, Fai remained adamant that he was the only one who could help.
He sighed. He realised that he was scheming but he felt certain that Yuui, the bright image shining before them, would be lost fairly soon, the worry was burrowing into him, and it was as if only Kurogane could help that. He needed someone to support Yuui.
He could see him now – glancing towards Kurogane, smiling, pursing his lips as he glanced away. Yuui had fallen for him and it was simple as that. It had arrived suddenly and grown slowly – his twin's adoration of the Japanese boy, a year older than them. And even though the feeling was not his own, he could almost feel Yuui's heart skip a beat whenever Kurogane's skin brushed against his.
He only hoped that Kurogane would recognise his own feelings before Yuui's…
Yuui stared up into the fireworks. He made sure to point towards the ones bringing the most light and colour to the sky, exclaim how bright that one is, elbow Kurogane and ask him what his favourite was. He varied it, of course, it came very naturally.
He felt very fortunate for this skill – it meant he could create a compelling picture, acting as usual, talking as usual, while his mind was elsewhere. Where, he isn't too sure. It felt as if he were holding a map, intricate in detail, searching and attempting to pick out a route, a bridge between that world and this – the real world where he stands beside his brother's friend and the fake world where he stands beside him forever.
In this bizarre reality, what he desires the most by far is for someone to hold him and to tell him that he truly matters to them. Of course, he knows that he is loved but somehow he feels strangely disconnected and within him he feels a deep longing for something physical to tether him to the ground after floating in the harsh air for so long, to reconnect him with that loving warmth he remembers beating within the ground. He's grown so desolate that it feels awkward and ultimately hopeful to feel love pinpricking against his skin.
A wave of earthly warmth overcomes him as he stares toward his tether, as he elbows him in the ribs for the third time. And he knows that, although perhaps not the most willing bond with reality in the world, Kurogane must be someone quite special to have given him these precious emotions.
His hand trembles slightly and he rubs his arms, exclaiming how cold it is despite his three layers.
Kurogane felt sick looking at him full of cheer. He is unnatural and no matter what Fai wants him to do he will avoid Yuui as much as is physically possible before he really does kiss or punch that demented, pathetic, beautiful twin.
This is an edit of the first chapter because I looked at it and cringed =)
Thanks to L for having fish and chips with me on Bonfire Night!