Disclaimer: Kazuya Minekura owns Wild Adapter. I do not.

Warning: Language, mild shonen-ai.

Notes: Just drabble to fill in this lack of new WA updates. Oh, and am I the only one posting here anymore?? I need more WA fics to read!!

Staredown

brkstrtrcr

July 2009

You're hopelessly lost.

Kubo-chan is always telling you in his not-quite-a-demand sort of way to stay close to the apartment, because you're naturally scatter-brained and clumsy on your own and you really don't know Yokohama as well as you think you do. But he hasn't been home in five days and you're too stubborn to call him even though you really want to, so you're lost.

You locked the front door behind yourself and stuffed your hands into your pockets with every intention of ignoring the rising worry in your chest and walking off whatever this tension is in your gut, and after a while you realized that none of these street names were familiar anymore. Now you're too pissed to care that you may have inadvertently wandered onto Tojou turf. You're also far too petulant to stop at one of the myriad mom-and-pop stores lining the block and ask for directions. If Kubo-chan can go missing for almost a week then so can you. You're all about fair and just and right.

You turn onto one of the wider streets, barely avoiding a speeding taxicab, with the logic that eventually you'll come across a subway station with a map and find your own way back home. But is there really any point in going back to that apartment if he isn't there?

That's a stupid thought, and you kick an empty soda can off the curb and into traffic, reveling in silent glee as it's flattened by a passing city bus. It helps cool your rising temper. You don't understand why Kubo-chan's absence is making you so goddamned angry, and you don't particularly care to figure it out. You're positive that you'll just get more mad if you do. Something in the back of your mind is gently shoving you towards the source of your discomfort when he's gone like this, but you're digging in your heels and fighting it, tooth and nail.

You were fine the first day. The second was mildly awkward, when an especially interesting infomercial came on the television and you called out reflexively for your roommate, only to remember that he wasn't there. The third and fourth days went by more slowly than you can ever remember forty-eight hours passing, and you got tired of checking your cell phone to see if maybe, just maybe you'd missed a call. By day five--today--you were pacing a hole through the living room floor and glaring at your cell as if it had personally insulted you.

When Kubo-chan's away like this you measure time in unnecessary trips to the 7-11 on the corner, where the clerk smiles understandingly at you while ringing up your ninth pack of gum for the day, and you experience the irrational urge to punch her in her kind old face. You haunt the local arcade, ignoring the money weighing down your jeans pocket--Kubo-chan's money, Kubo-chan's jeans--and growling at random strangers. You sit outside on your balcony four stories above the city and think that maybe you smell a burning Seven Star from downstairs and drive the knuckles of your good hand into the wooden railing behind you for being so stupid.

This nagging worry in your head is driving you fucking crazy, and you hang your head and scowl at your sneakers as you walk down this unfamiliar street in an unknown direction, snarling at the pedestrians that you accidentally walk into on the way. Eventually you'll have to sit down and really come to terms with these stupid emotions, but not now. Now you're walking, and brooding, and shooting angry glances at your cell phone, but you will not fucking call him.

It's common courtesy to call and check in with one's roommate so that he doesn't drive himself up the goddamned walls worrying, right? You don't know much about manners and etiquette, but you do know that Kubo-chan's an asshole for making you worry like this. You don't miss him. You're just worried. But he's a criminal, a former Yakuza leader, the kind of person who thrives in the streets of this dirty city; why are you worried? He picked you up out of the gutter and took care of you. Surely he can handle not dying on one of that quack's stupid delivery jobs, right? And it's not like he's obligated to check in with you or tell you what he's doing. Roommates mind their own business and stay out of each other's affairs, yeah? It's not like you have any right to pry into his life and demand to know where he is. He's not your fucking boyfriend...

Your mind gives you one last violent nudge towards that inevitable reality against which you've been struggling and your steps slow to a dead stop in the middle of this crowded sidewalk.

Oh.

Oh.

Someone shoves roughly past you on the sidewalk, cursing at you, and for once you don't bother telling him off or bristling at the provocation. This little epiphany of yours is far more important than an impromptu street fight. You turn this new idea over in your mind slowly, carefully, handling it like a finicky mental time-bomb. According to your subconscious, and you're still not terribly certain if this is the truth, you miss Kubo-chan because you have feelings for him.

More-than-friendly feelings. Very strong feelings.

You're sure beyond a trace of doubt that you care about the pervert, but you aren't certain why, or how much, or when this even happened. You don't have anything else with which to compare it, so for right now you'll just have to take it at face value that this is real. You just understand that in your gut, and in your chest, it hurts when he's gone, hurts like hell, hurts worse than your right hand when it acts up, and that's why you're so fucking mad.

You reach into your pocket and retrieve your cell phone and frown down at the bright digital display that says that no, Kubo-chan hasn't called, and no, he's probably not at home right now, wondering where you've sulked off to. You shove it back into your jeans with more force than is really necessary and start walking again. If nothing else, this little revelation of yours is only adding fuel to your mental fire, because Kubo-chan always figures things out before you do, and that means that he already knows about your strange feeling and he's been away for five whole goddamned days knowing that you hurt when he isn't around, and he still hasn't sent so much as a fucking text message.

The worry in you is being flushed from your veins and synapses, replaced with a roiling anger that floods your system like palpable adolescent hatred. You stalk down the street in the twilight, cursing under your breath. Direction is no longer tantamount. You're way too preoccupied readying the enraged tirade you'll no doubt unleash upon your unfortunate roommate once he drags his sorry ass home.

Twenty minutes later you're standing at the base of your apartment building with no recollection of how you got there, clutching your cell phone in your gloved hand and listening to the satisfying cracking of the plastic in your fist, and Kubo-chan is sitting on the stairs, smoking, looking up at you from behind askew glasses and a black eye. His lower lip is split in two places, fresh blood gliding down his chin, and you're fairly certain that he's had a much worse day than you have, but you rip into him regardless, your voice like a verbal barbed lash across his face.

"Where the fuck have you been?!" you roar, and he offers you a smile, getting unsteadily to his feet, and he ignores your ranting and flailing hands to lean down to your eye level and press his bleeding lips to yours.

The avalanche of swear words and insults die on your lips against his and you think your knees buckle. Maybe. And it infuriates you to no end that he has this effect on you, that this stupid simple touch makes you stutter and weak and all fucking girly, and you shove at his chest roughly, knocking him back a few paces. "No!" you shout at him. "Five days, Kubo-chan! Five! And you didn't call, and I went to the 7-11 like two-billion times, and I think I fucking love you, and then I got lost, and I didn't know where you were--"

He takes your angry face in his strong hands and kisses you again, this time more firmly, probably to shut you up. You know that you aren't making any sense right now, but it doesn't matter. You're worked up and angry and desperately relieved and god only knows what else, and his lips taste like Seven Stars and coppery blood and stale coffee and you grab him by the collar and can't bring yourself to push him off of you a second time. You missed his dumb smile and the smell of cigarettes, his squinting handsome face and his random, unpredictable behavior.

When you don't react violently again he smiles against the curve of your mouth and sighs, arching an eyebrow at you. "My phone died. I'm sorry," is all that he says, but his hazel eyes--one swollen halfway shut--tell you that you shouldn't have worried and wandered so far from home and he loves you more and you went to the 7-11 how many times? You roll your own violet eyes and push past him and up the stairs, muttering that he should have called you from a payphone and you hate him and you refuse to eat curry for dinner.

He follows contentedly behind you, flicking his cigarette butt over the railing and sighing "It's so good to be home," with an appropriate amount of genuine amusement. You toss your cell phone haphazardly onto the couch. You've won this particular stalemate with the damned thing, and you don't need to carry it around like a lifeline when the only person who's ever called you is standing behind you, arms wrapped securely around your waist, face buried in the back of your neck like you're the only thing in his world that matters.

You reach back and thread your fingers through his hair and tell him that he's stupid. You feel lost when he's this close, like his physical presence is overloading your mind and you think that it's too much to handle. Sometimes, like now, you can't figure out where he stops and you begin. It's not a bad feeling though, not the kind of 'lost' you experienced wandering the streets of Yokohama today. It's being lost in Kubo-chan, and that's really not being lost at all.

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I can just imagine Toki-boy cussing at his phone while ambling through Yokohama. He's so damned funny.