* * * Chapter 7 * * *

A week later…

Ring

"Alright class, remember to study for the test tomorrow," the teacher announced as the students dispersed.

Yosuke started to pack up his things and tried to leave before Souji did like always, but Souji brushed right past him towards the door. He paused; feeling a little hurt, but continued to pack up. The fact that Souji sat in front of him made it hard to avoid him.

A week passed since then. Souji no longer invited Yosuke to be in his party while inside the other world ("you're weak to the monsters here. I shouldn't." he would say). Yosuke found himself hanging out with Kou and Daisuke at lunch with Junes brand food (and always had to share with Kou, "I looooove Junes"), and was too embarrassed to ask Souji the answers whenever the teachers call on him. And the two haven't talked since they confronted each other at the river. They were on non speaking terms.

He should be happy, he's getting exactly what he wanted. More space. It practically what he's been trying to do for the last two weeks; avoiding him.

But yet every night, he found himself thinking about Souji before he went to bed.


He didn't have to work at Junes today, thankfully, so he once again walked home alone, kicked off his shoes, and silently went up to his room. His room was missing a certain person. He remembered, Teddie was with Chie and Yukiko today…

"Oh no," Yosuke said in urgency and he pulled his desk drawer, scanning the contents. "Dammit, Teddie took my credit card!" He groaned and slammed his drawer. "Stupid bear… he's seriously gonna pay for this."

He laid on his futon, not even going to bother to try to study. He knows he couldn't. Not with Souji on his mind…

'Ugh, that sounded incredibly gay.'

He glared at the ceiling, desperately needing someone to talk to. His mom and dad were at Junes right now, and he won't risk being seen by Souji. Rise won't listen, he's sure. Chie probably would, but she's busy with Teddie at the moment spending his money (he scowled at the ceiling as he thought about it), Yukiko is… not really understanding and somewhat dense about love, Teddie doesn't really have a gender preference, and he won't be of much help anyway… Naoto is too straightforward and he can't handle with straightforwardness right now.

'Kanji. He knows about this stuff.'

Yosuke pulled out his cell phone, dialed Kanji's number and waited. Waiting? "What the hell could he be doing? It's not like he's busy. …Why is he taking so long to answer his pho—"

"Yeah?" Kanji's gruff voice spoke through the receiver.

"Oh, Kanji. Hey."

"…The hell's this?"

"…Yosuke."

"…Oh, Senpai. 'Sup."

"Didn't you program my phone number into your phone?" Yosuke asked rolling his eyes.

"…Actually, I washed my pants, and the paper was still in there. I kinda forgot to tell ya."

"Why does that not surprise me? …Anyway, Kanji, I uh, need your help."

"What is it?"

"It's about… Souji." He said reluctantly.

"Oh yeah, hey, what's up you two anyway? You guys broke up or something?" he said jokingly.

"W-What!? No—ah, well, you could say that," Yosuke said, sighing.

"What do you want me to do about it?"

"Can you uh… come over?"

Silence.

"…Kanji? You still there?"

"…Yeah."

"Well? Can you? I know you aren't busy."

"How'd you know I'm not busy?"

Yosuke sighed again, pinching the bridge of his nose. "Kanji, just come over. Please? I just need someone to talk to. And you're the only person… kinda."

"Well… I guess. I ain't got anything else better to do. What's your address?"


"So, this is your house," Kanji greeted.

Yosuke started to have second doubts.

Inside his room, Kanji and Yosuke sat on their knees across from each other at the small table. Yosuke cleared his throat, "Well, uh, Kanji, I invited you over today because no one else can help me… And you're… you know."

Kanji glared at him, "I'm what?"

"No, never mind," Yosuke said, not wanting to get him too excited, "Kanji first, answer this, do you think Souji and I like each other?"

"Heh, not anymore," He chuckled.

"Before this, idiot," he glowered, "Like, a week ago."

"Oh. Wait, what kind of like? It is like, like or like like?"

"Like like."

"W-Why are you asking me?"

"Please Kanji. Answer. I'm begging you."

"Uh, w-well… I guess? I dunno."

"Sigh, great. Just great. Why does everyone think we're gay? I don't like him!" He protested.

"Stop being in denial already, Senpai. It's annoying." Kanji said bluntly.

He raised his arms above him, "I'm not in--" But he stopped and seemed to give up. His shoulders slumped and his head hung low. "…Denial, huh? I've been in denial this whole time, haven't I?" he asked himself. "Maybe that's why it was bothering me that Souji didn't care… I wanted him to deny it… I wanted him to deny it so much…

"I was more worried about Souji not caring about the rumor than the rumor itself. It was annoying how he shrugged it off… but it hurt too. I just… I just wanted him to say no, that's all. But… aaaahhh…"

Yosuke dug his hands into his hair, "I'm so messed up. This whole thing is messed up… I can't believe this. I'm… I'm gay," he admitted.

Kanji intervened, "Well, you're gay for Souji."

"The hell's that supposed to mean?"

"Well, it's like… I dunno… you like chicks, but you like a guy. You don't like guys, but you just like a guy. Or something."

"… Have you experienced this?"

"N-NO!" Kanji objected, but Yosuke didn't believe him and left it alone.

"Argh! I'm such an idiot!" He said as he scratched his head. "Maybe it was that one dream I had a long time ago—" The boy looked at Kanji who had a look of disgust on his face.

"You… dream about Senpai?"

"F-Forget about that," Yosuke said quickly, "What should I do Kanji?"

"H-Huh? Oh… uh, well, dunno."

"Dunno? Dunno? Come on, you gotta have something." He begged.

"Uh… talk to him?"

"Is that the best you can come up with?" He groaned, "What should I say, 'Oh Souji, I actually like you'. No wait I guess it should be 'Oh, Souji, I'm actually gay for you. Let's make out right now.'"

"Something like that."

"Dammit Kanji you're no help at all!"

"It would help if you explain to me what going on first dumbass! You haven't told me anything but 'I like senpai, help me'. You could at least give me some details. Sheesh."

Yosuke turned red, "O-Oh, right. Well…"

Kanji shook his head sagely, "Oh. Yeah, go talk to him."

Yosuke stared at him in disbelief, "After all that, you still want to me to talk to him? Are you crazy? He just said he wasn't interested in me, and left. If I just go up to him and confess, he'll beat me up!"

"What were his last words again, Yosuke-senpai?"

"Huh? Uh, 'that's what you wanted to hear, right'. Why?"

"Think about it for a second."

Yosuke thoughtfully pinched his nose.

"Just talk to him."

"Wha—"

"So what if Senpai isn't gay. What's the worst he could do to ya?"

"Gee, I don't know… Oh right, punch me?"

Kanji shook his head, "He wouldn't punch you dude. Look, if you're too scared, just talk to him, try to get back to speaking terms. He's a pretty cool guy, he'll forget about it."

Yosuke thought deeply about this. "You're right, I guess. I won't confess. I'll just… talk to him again." He nodded to Kanji, "Err, thanks."

"Yeah, yeah." Kanji waved it off. "Now you know how it feels, don't you? A man's sexuality is never something to joke about. Now you know how it feels."

"I hear ya." Yosuke sighed and agreed.


After two failed attempts to stop Souji (He just walks too fast dammit), the third following day, afterschool, Yosuke stopped Souji reluctantly in the hallways. "H-Hey Souji. Um. Look, let's talk okay? I-If you have time of course, because if you don't, that's fine."

Souji nodded, "…I'm free today."

Yosuke nodded also, "Oh, let's not go to Junes, or the river. Let's… go to the roof and hang out there. Is that okay with you?"

Souji nodded silently.

"Alright, let's go."

It was an awkward walk to the third floor and finally the roof. They both stood silently, Yosuke facing away from Souji's cold stare. 'Just talk to him,' he heard Kanji's voice.

He exhaled and said, "I'm sorry." He turned to Souji, looking straight into his eyes, "I've been a jerk and all, and I was probably annoying the hell out of you. It was just… bothering the hell out of me when you know people are talking about you behind your back, and you don't care… But I guess that's just you, huh?

"I'm… really sorry, Souji," he finished apologetically.

He didn't say anything back Yosuke started to sweat nervously. Did he seriously listen to Kanji? Now he was regretting it, waiting for a punch of straightness plowing into his face.

Souji suddenly snickered darkly.

Yosuke held his breath, "A-Are you still mad at me?"

Souji shrugged, "No, I forgive you, Yosuke. I can't stay mad at you forever. Though, a whole week felt like it." He smiled half-heartedly.

Yosuke beamed back broadly, feeling as if a huge burden's been lifted. But he didn't feel quite right…


The two sat on the pipes on top of the roof, talking about a variety of different things, and how weird it was, not speaking to each other.

Souji yawned, "Ugh, I stayed up last night working that the hospital…"

"You finally started working there?" Yosuke asked, looking at him. He remembers Souji applying for the job, but he's never gone.

"Y-Yeah… the nurse… she's…" Souji couldn't finish his sentence.

"Yeah? She's… what?"

"Nothing, never mind." He said, yawning. Souji was dangerously about to collapse in any direction, and he fell to the most logical choice.

On Yosuke's shoulder.

"H-Hey! What are you—" Yosuke blushed furiously

"I'm tired…" he slurred.

"Lay somewhere else!"

"No way! I can't lay on the pipes or the floor, that'll hurt!"

Yosuke scowled at Souji's head, but looked forward, "Okay fine, but only this one time. Geez, I hope no one comes up here…"

And they both sat peacefully, facing the sunset. Yosuke felt uncomfortable and hot, and quickly put his hands in his lap, trying to cover his excited friend in-between his legs. "D-Don't fall asleep, alright?"

"Mmm," was Souji's response.

Each second became a minute, and it felt like hours to Yosuke. He was sweating nervously, trying not to move while Souji's heavy head rested on his shoulder. He looked over his bowl cut silver hair. It looked so soft and clean… Yosuke wants to touch it, but quickly held back his thoughts. He shook his head gently.

He gazed at the other boy's head again, he wondered if it was actually soft…

He slowly, hesitantly, laid his head on top of Souji's. He felt warm inside, and his hair strangely smelt like lemons…

Souji stirred and Yosuke hastily sat up, blushing intensely, "S-Sorry!"

"For what…?" Souji said drowsy like.

"For… waking you up."

"Oh."

And Souji returned to being silent.

Yosuke continued to look at Souji's head again and lowered his eyes. He shudder his head violently. "Dammit, Dammit!" He slid away from Souji, who almost smacked into the poles below him. "I can't… I can't do this anymore."

Souji gawked at him, thankful that he caught himself before he went head first into the poles, "Do what?"

"This, man! This whole… thing! I can't! I can't hold it in anymore!"

"… You have to pee?"

"NO! ARRAAGGHH!" Yosuke screamed. Souji stared as if Yosuke was going to lose it any second. "Why does your hair smell so good!?"

"My… what."

He looked away from Souji, then it all came out at once. "Why are you so good with your hands!? Why am I scared of going to places alone with you on the weekends!? I have to invite Daisuke or Kou or… thank god, Nanako showing up out of nowhere! 'To make people think we aren't dating or anything'!? Geez, I am the most obvious in the closet gay ever!"

Souji just stared at Yosuke silently, his mouth slightly open.

"Do you know why I was so angry at you!? Deep down, and I mean really deep down, I wanted you to say, 'yes'. I wanted you to put your arm around me, whisper in my ear and say 'it's okay Yosuke' and… god this is so messed up I don't even…

"I don't understand it either but, if you're going to care about one thing, I wanted you to care about me. About us. The fact that you were so uninterested and apathetic hurt me. And I hated you for that. And I when I avoided you, you didn't care.

"And even now! You just… shrugged and accepted my apology without asking questions or anything!" He said, waving his arms in the air.

He discontinued his rant and looked to Souji, who suddenly jumped. "I want you to care! I want your attention! Dammit, I want you, idiot!" He slid back over to him, grabbed the back of his neck, becoming face to face to him.

"Wha—"

Yosuke closed his eyes tightly, and crushed his lips on Souji's, whose mouth was slightly open. The kiss was short and sweet, and when they broke apart, Yosuke's face was blushing furiously, while Souji's was pink.

"I-I love you… stupid."

Souji's eyes became wide and shock.

Yosuke looked away quickly, "Look, I understand if you want to punch me or yell at me—" He stopped short, was Souji leaned forward to him and cupped his chin.

If Yosuke could blush even red, he was right now, "S-Souji…?"

And they once again pressed their lips against each other. But this was a gentler, tender, kiss. Yosuke's eyes were wide but were relaxed and he closed his eyes, savoring the moment he's been unknowingly waiting for. Souji inserted his tongue, revolving around Yosuke's mouth, who enjoyed it… at little too much.

Souji's kiss was… he can't properly describe it, but it felt right. It was different from kiss a girl. Though admittedly, his first kiss was just a peck to the lips. This kiss was totally different. What he wouldn't do to stay like this for a while…

Unfortunately for him, Souji broke away looked at him with a smirk on his face.

Yosuke was stunned, "Y-You…" he touched his lips. "You…"

"I love you too, Yosuke."

"Wait… wait! You're gay!?" He cried.

Souji raised his eyebrows. "…Yeah?"

"You've been gay this whole time, and you made me suffer for so long! You lied! You said you weren't gay! You said you weren't interested in me!" Yosuke continued to yell angrily.

Souji shrugged, "Yeah, but that's what you wanted to hear right?"

"Oh god you're such a jerk!"

Souji exhaled noisily and pulled Yosuke in for a kiss on his forehead. "But I'm a loveable jerk, right?"

Yosuke didn't think it was possible to blush any further, and calmed down, "…I hate you. You made me gay."

"'I hate you'? So that's translation for 'I love you' right?" Souji said innocently. "And besides, I make everyone gay. It's the bowl cut. Bitches love the bowl cut." He pointed.

"Shut up, idiot." He laughed.

Souji gestured to his lap, "I know you want to."

"What?"

"My lap."

"…What about it?"

"Lay down."

"N-No…" he said, looking away.

"Come on. It won't hurt."

"Alright f-fine." He turned red in the face as he slowly lay down on Souji's lap. It was warm, confortable, and he smelt like cologne…

Souji bent down to kiss Yosuke on the forehead again.

"C-Can you stop that?" he looked away; "…I'm still not very comfortable with this." He asked nervously. "Let's do it slow… okay?"

"Slow?"

"Yeah. Slow." He repeated. He leaned up from Souji's lap and stood up. Souji followed suit.

"So," Souji began, "What would be 'slow' to you?"

"I don't know…"

Abruptly, Souji took Yosuke's hand. "Is this okay?"

"A-Ah dude, no!" He started to feel like it was burning outside with all the blushing he was doing. "We just skipped like, 10 stages of love."

Souji laughed, "Stages? Well in that case, just minutes ago, we skipped to the last stage."

"…That doesn't count though," Yosuke said.

"Right, well, how does it feel?" When Yosuke looked at him, quirking an eyebrow, he finished, "my hand I mean."

"It's… soft," he colored, "And warm."

"It's not so bad skipping stages, is it?" Souji grinned.

"I guess not…" He said as he grabbed his partner's hand tighter. He felt so satisfied and pleased, that nothing can go wrong. It was a hard three weeks, but in the end, he thinks it was worth the trouble. "…Hey Souji?"

"Yeah?"

"Remind me that I need to thank Kanji."


**The End**

Thanks for reading! I've been done with this since january and I forgot about updating it here. Anywho, I hope you liked it! It'll be revised... someday. Maybe.

djhdfjkhfdfgk why is yosuke so adorable