An ode to your innocence.

Written to match the prompt "We've all got our junk, and my junk is you". The title is taken from the 31 Days theme for September 12, 2007.

Ever since they graduated from school, Kayashima and Nakatsu meet at the same time every year, on the day Kayashima comes down from a particular temple in the mountains to mingle with the regular folk and put himself to the test by immersing himself in human needs and desires (his Superior's talk, not his own words). Nakatsu waits in the same chair at the train station, bundled up against the cold, barely feeling it either way – he's too busy looking off to the tracks, and later, when the train arrives, scanning the crowd for that familiar face. Kayashima always greets him the same way ("You didn't have to wait out here") and Nakatsu always grins and gives him the same old answer, every single time ("That's what friends are for, right?").

They eat dinner at the same diner, and they're exactly the way they used to be when they were still studying together: Nakatsu bright and noisy, Kayashima quiet and listening. Since they see each other every year, Kayashima only notices the passage of time in brief moments by noting the little ways in which Nakatsu has changed. One thing, though, always remains constant: Nakatsu is still as painfully good-looking and painfully oblivious as ever.

The first night is always torture, because it's the only night they'll be in the same room of some motel before they take the long journey back to Osaka and Nakatsu's apartment. Kayashima never sleeps well – the sound of Nakatsu's quiet breathing on the other bed just two meters away from him keeps him up well until sunrise. When Nakatsu gets up and notes the eyebags under Kayashima's eyes, the other man always smiles and apologizes and insists that really, everything's just fine.