AN: This was an experimental piece designed to get the old, rusty writing gears cranking. For future reference, I like to have multiple prompts for each piece. It's not because I'm too lazy to write all the ambitious prompts I sign up for (or is it?) but I find it easier to write fulfilling multiple requirements than trying to come up with stuff on my own. Prompts for the following LJ communities:

18coda: a cappella (Italian: a, in the manner of + cappella, chapel, choir)

one or more vocalists performing without an accompaniment~alone

30_romances: 1. Cold hands ; cold feet

30_kisses: 6. the space between dream and reality

Started 3/12/09.

I couldn't sleep.

It wasn't the overwhelming silence—that was typical for the boarding house at three in the morning. Yuki was probably snug in his fuzzy pajamas upstairs, Ranmaru unconscious from a long night of partying, Takenaga dreaming of neuroscience and The Four Kingdoms. Kyohei, lying on his bed, clothes scattered lazily on the floor…

Anyway, I was used to the silence. I liked the silence. It was at this hour, when even the screams of Freddy's victims on late night TV had stopped, that I could pretend my aunt had never let those four in here. I could pretend I was alone again.

I traced the cracks in the black paint on the walls, imagining the grooves deepening until the walls split; the prison fell away and it was just me, cradled in darkness, in quiet, in solitude.

A tiny pinprick of light suddenly reached my muted vision: harsh and hot, it slit my black comforts and singed my skin. Dark receded, day emerged. I cried out but I was slow, stupid, helpless, ugly.

My eyes opened. The room was still dark, comfortingly dark. No light would reach this place.

But it was strangely cold. I shivered in my thin T-shirt and shorts, the only things left in the bottom of my drawers. Tomorrow I would have to do laundry. The thought of rifling through everyone's dirty clothes for some decent pajamas… Yuki's cute J-pop T-shirts, Ranmaru's exotic cosplay outfits, Takenaga's school uniform, Kyohei's boxer-briefs…

I swung my legs over the edge of the bed; goosebumps appeared on my legs as my feet hit the cold wooden floor. My sluggish thoughts grasped for a reason why my room, my one solace, my only place of darkness in a house infested by creatures of light, was suddenly alien to me. The shadows were nice, but not necessary. The silence was not unpleasant, but it was… it was boring. I wasn't about to fling open the heavy drapes that kept my room so dark and paint the walls pink, but in my sleepless stupor I felt… lonely.

My door creaked like Jason was hiding behind it, waiting to cut me. If only. But I knew these floorboards better than anyone. Not even a ghost would have heard me. His door creaked more than mine, the result of an angry Kyohei kicking the door down. Why that was a necessary reaction after being fired from yet another part-time job due to sexual harassment… I had suggested he escape the outside world and join me in my dark wonderland, and he suggested a place I could stick my ideas and busted his door.

He slept prettily heavily once he was down, so I doubted he heard me come in. I was shivering so hard my bare feet thudded lightly against the floor like icy stumps—the numbness crept over me faster than I had expected. The house was never so cold this time of year. Was it just me?

Apparently. Kyohei lay with his upper body exposed, sprawled across his twisted sheets like a child. He took up the entire bed like that, the hog. In the pitch darkness of the room I could barely make out his bleached hair, his perfect porcelain skin, his smooth chest and the soft blankets into which the rest of him disappeared. But my eyes wandered. I felt that oh-too-familiar building of pressure at the bridge of my nose and wrenched my gaze from the shape beneath the sheets; a few moments of intensely examining the wall and I could look at him again. I was getting better, but he was still the brightest of the creatures of light.

Like a moth, I fluttered to the brightest light again and again, burning myself on something I could never obtain. Kyohei wasn't merely a light bulb. Kyohei was the sun.

I felt myself sinking slowly to sit on the edge of his bed, finding a tiny spot between his outstretched arm and the leg dangling above the floor. His expression was surprisingly calm. I had never seen him without a scowl or a smug grin. He was easier to look at with his eyes closed: there were no piercing eyes back causing my body to react in strange (and bloody) ways. It was like the sun during an eclipse. Like an eclipse, staring at him like this was more dangerous. Ever so gently, my fingertips traced the length of his bare arm.

Abruptly his other arm swung around and hit me in the back. I thought he was just flailing in his sleep, but his hand wrapped around my waist and knocked me onto the bed. His other hand was protectively cupping my head so I wouldn't hit the headboard.

That was definitely not by accident… Right?

As I lay stunned on my side, I felt him roll over and curl up against me; as he lifted his head to rest his chin on my shoulder, his lips ever so gently brushed against my back. Was that a kiss? Or an accident? My T-shirt was suddenly such weak armor. I desperately regretted leaving my room.

But I was finally warm. Whether it was the body heat or the companionship I couldn't tell, but going back to my cold and lonely room now seemed pointless. I lay there in the dark with that creature of light for several minutes before whispering his name to see if he was really awake or if he was dreaming very vividly. He didn't respond.

Thanks for reading!