A/N: Wahahaha, don't worry, I am not dead! This sure is a bolt out of the blue, isn't it? Anyways, this is my entry into the forum The Village Square's writing contest. The theme is Opposites. I hope you enjoy my awful prose!
All I Deserve
Barrett wasn't sure how it happened, or why. All he knew was that the feeling was there, a warm flickering in his chest that spiked up into a roaring fire whenever he laid eyes on him. Was it even right? Was it okay to feel this way? It was another man, after all. It's not like he had had any other close friends in his life; how did he know that what he was feeling wasn't just friendship and not something… more? His lack of experience in human contact certainly threw a wrench into figuring out what was going on. But the more he thought about it, the more he asked people what it felt like… the more he came to realize that maybe, just maybe, what he had grown to feel for that cheerful man who had wandered into Alvarna not a year ago could be love.
There were just a few problems. How would he know whether his feelings could be returned? Kyle was friendly with everyone, he had not noticed a difference in the way he had treated him from any other villager. Then there were the girls. They were all very obviously after him, most notably Mana, Alicia, and Cecilia. He had often heard them giggling and talking about the man while he was walking around town.
Then there was the ultimate question: Did he deserve him? They were so different. Kyle was cheery, emotional, caring… all the things he himself wasn't. Barrett was an introvert; awkward and sometimes unpleasant, simply because he never knew what to say. He was anything but sociable - not someone who could easily manage and support Kyle's friendly personality. How could he possibly support him as a lover? They were total opposites, through and through. Practically every other person in town would be more deserving of his affection than him.
But… maybe it was those conflicting personalities that made him love the amnesiac even more. He completed something inside him, made up for his faults. His insistence to talk to him despite Barrett's best efforts to push him away filled a void in his heart long left empty; when as a child he had abandoned trying to make friends with the children his age.
"Why do you talk to me?" He'd inquired one day during their daily alone time on a bench in Cherry Blossom Square.
"Huh? What do you mean?" Kyle had asked back, confusion littering his soft chocolate eyes.
"All the other villagers are scared of me. They never talk to me; they rarely spare a glance in my direction. But you're different; you take time out of your day to talk to me, even if it's out of your way. I… was wondering what it was that made you do so."
Kyle had shifted, leaning into the bench to look up into the sky, contemplating his answer. He sat there for what seemed like forever, and just when Barrett had lost hope in ever getting an answer, the man spoke in his usual quiet, gentle tone. "Because I think you're a nice person, Barrett. In fact, I'd guarantee it. I take the effort because I know this. I don't think a nice person like you should be alone so much."
Barrett had gazed at him for a long moment, watching as the man's tanned face stretched into the calm, gentle smile he nearly always wore. He was flattered that the man thought of him in such a kind way, despite his misgivings at Kyle's ability to judge his personality. But the last words stung in a way he hadn't expected.
'I don't think a nice person like you should be alone so much.'
Somehow it seemed to him that sentence proved he talked to him more out of pity than any genuine interest in him.
He had felt his face contort into one of pain, and quickly covered it up by turning away. Oh well, he decided. It was all he deserved, how could he even begin to hope that Kyle would feel anything but pity for his poor soul? There were plenty of people more deserving of his affection. And how could he hope that he would even be attracted to him in the first place? That Kyle could ever even think of him as anything but a friend? He had no idea on his orientation, although based on his interactions with the women of the town it was pretty obvious he was straight. He felt something inside him plummet, down into his gut. He had no doubts as to what it was.
Feeling Kyle's eyes staring at him, he gathered himself, steeling his face into its normal passive blank appearance and glanced back. Feeling the need to respond, he said: "See, That's exactly what makes you weird." Kyle had simply widened that goofy smile.
They were total opposites, after all. Opposites may attract, but that's only if you're talking about magnets.
After that day, Barrett had decided to just be content with being able to see his smiling face every day. It was all he deserved, all he could ever hope for. One day Kyle would fall in love, one day he would marry. And it wouldn't be him. He would be there to give his best wishes, because Kyle deserved that. He had opened a part of his heart that had been closed for too long, and despite how much it hurt, he was grateful.
He deserved the pain, after all.
"Hey Barrett," Kyle started, seemingly uncertain of his words. Barrett glanced over, watching as the wind gently rustled through his auburn hair. "What do you think of me?"
It was a loaded question, one that took him off guard. He panicked. What could he say? Should he confess? Or should he avoid the question? Simply not answering was certainly in his character, and he knew Kyle wouldn't push him for an answer, no matter how much he wanted to know.
He sat there, dumbstruck, icy blue eyes wide, at a loss of what to do. He watched as Kyle looked away with a sigh, leaning back into the bench and closing his eyes. Something clenched painfully in his gut, his guilt flooding through his body.
He wanted him to know with all his heart. But was it worth it? What if Kyle was disgusted by the prospect, by Barrett himself? What if it drove him away? What would he do after that? He couldn't imagine a life without his smiling face in it. And if he did decide to confess, how would he say it? He didn't have a way with words; they always came out wrong and offensive.
But before he could come to a solid decision, the words poured out anyway, making the choice for him.
"I… I think you're a very kind person, Kyle. You always take the time to talk to everyone, and are very generous, giving gifts to people. You've livened up this town with your presence, and I know that everyone appreciates that. I do too. I…" he paused, taking a slow breath.
"I really like you, Kyle." His face flushed, and he nervously clenched his palm on his lap. Would he accept? Did he say it right? His mind raced with hundreds of questions and insecurities as he watched the brunette, waiting for a response. Kyle slowly opened his eyes, studying Barrett for a long moment. Barrett's face reddened further under his study, and he nervously glanced away.
He was taken by surprise when he felt Kyle lean against him, his head resting on Barrett's shoulder. He looked down in wonder, watching as the brunette smiled warmly at him.
"Thank you. I really like you too." He answered with a blush.
They stayed that way for a long time, Barrett's mind reeling. He… accepted? And not only had he accepted his feelings, he had returned them?
His heart jumped in his chest, filling him with warmth. He liked him back. Oh God, he loved him back.
The wind blew, blowing Kyle's copper locks at him, tickling his neck and chin. He was assaulted with an earthy smell, a pleasant mix of fresh cut grass and soil. It figured he'd smell that way. Barrett breathed in deeply, relishing in his scent.
He leaned back; resting his own head on Kyle's as Kyle reached and grasped his hand. He was more than he deserved. But maybe he was just lucky that way.
A/N: Thank you very much for reading! I hope it was enjoyable, through all the angst and fluff. ^_^ This is the first shounen-ai/yaoi I've ever written, so I hope I did well. I won't ask that you vote for me, but I would greatly appreciate a review. Thanks again!