A/N I once said I could never believe in this pairing. Oh dear.
I've never written for this fandom before, but am now posting this at 4:28 am after staying up all night writing with MySapphireEyes. This could be a very good or very, very bad thing. I have a gig to be at in 8 and a half hours. I may not survive but at least I was able to start showing my love for the glory that is Itsukyon.
If any details are wrong, I've only watched the anime and read a light novel and a half although I've picked up quite a lot by scouring the web for shameful BL goodness. This is set post-anime and so please forgive any...strangeness. I've tried my hardest.
The second half shall be up in a few days, if I don't actually die from a combination of lack of sleep and moshing. I hope to see you then. XD
Disclaimer: The Melancholy of Suzumiya Haruhi and all characters belong to Nagaru Tanigawa and not to moi. No money is being made etc etc you all know the drill.
Someone had been missing from the party.
It hadn't been so pitifully small that one person made a big difference to the overall experience but it was noticeable nonetheless. It was more than noticeable, if Kyon was honest with himself. It was closer to upsetting than merely noticeable but not quite upsetting either. It was as though he'd gone for a long train ride through a beautiful countryside but had forgotten to bring his mp3 player to amuse him. He would enjoy the experience but spend the whole time knowing that something wasn't right.
"Shut up," Kyon murmured to himself, shoving his hands into his pockets as he walked.
He really did think too much when he'd been drinking and wasn't yet at that blissful point where his higher brain functions went to sleep, but stuck in overconfident know-it-all mode. His mind, which already provided a helpful running commentary to the joke that was his everyday life, was attempting to be poetic. It was painful to listen to, even inside his own head.
He turned a corner and was nasally assaulted by a large blossom tree. The heavy scent made the air feel almost palpable until he was virtually swimming through the sickly sweet atmosphere just to get past. Usually, trees like this made him feel nostalgic. He'd remember the days when he had never had enough time to stop and appreciate their beauty as a raging Haruhi would drag him past by his tie and he'd be forced to walk at the head of an eccentric procession. The good days, he supposed. It felt like a very long time ago.
His steps halted suddenly and he stood at the edge of the blossom miasma. Now he thought about it, those days had been a relatively long time ago. After thinking hard for a few moments, he remembered that he had just in fact been attending his own nineteenth birthday party and felt suddenly and painfully old. He started walking again, cursing the blossom tree for having given him such an epiphany and trying to recapture the feeling of youth that was slipping away as quickly as the last evanescent hints of blossom.
Nineteen wasn't old, right? It wasn't even an important date. Eighteen was important enough and twenty could be considered significant but nineteen was some sort of limbo age that shouldn't mean anything to anyone. He shook his head fervently, somewhat chaotic logic making sense through the - technically illegal - alcoholic haze.
No need to feel gloomy then, right? And there was no reason why he should have been upset that Koizumi hadn't turned up. Or called. Or even had the courtesy to text. Kyon fought the urge to facepalm, suspecting that he might miss if he tried. That again? What the hell was wrong with him? It was just Koizumi for god's sake.
It wasn't like he'd been deprived of company since the rest of the SOS Brigade had turned up along with Taniguchi and Kunikida – who he couldn't seem to get rid of, like an embarrassing disease – and a few new acquaintances from university, who could probably be called friends. He'd had a good time; Haruhi had been as normal as it was possible for her to be, Asahina had stunned everyone they passed on the street, Nagato hadn't freaked anyone out and although he had found himself plied with alcohol –Haruhi's idea – it had actually felt like a celebration. The mismatched group had spent the night sitting in the local park with too much food which had been mostly ignored and made more noise than they probably should have. When they'd decided it was time to head home under the pretence of Kyon studying for a test the next day rather than admitting they felt a little unsteady, Kyon had even been approached by a new female friend. She was cute, if nothing on Asahina, but one glance at Haruhi had convinced Kyon to decline.
He should have been walking home buoyed up by the ego boost and the usual warm feeling of having spent a night in good company. Instead, here he was being angry at the stupid esper boy. Kyon grumbled incoherently to himself and tried to walk faster. He needed sleep, that was all.
It wasn't as though they didn't see each other often, either. The move from highschool to university meant that they no longer met every day since their timetables clashed and they lived in dorms spread throughout the area. Despite this, they still found time to meet every week on Thursdays, a day chosen by Haruhi because it meant she would have time to organise weekend trips for the five if the mood took her. It often ended up this way and Kyon spent most weekends with the ragtag group too. They'd sit around a table like old times, usually in Kyon's room as it meant he then had to provide food for his 'guests' in place of paying the late fine, and listen to Haruhi's latest passion with the trusty Othello board laid out to provide a distraction. Nagato would read books which seemed to get progressively thicker and although Asahina wouldn't have to cosplay – tragically – she would wear outfits picked out for her by Haruhi. It was basically business as usual.
Which meant that not seeing Koizumi today wasn't a problem since it really was just another day, nineteen being such an unimportant age and all. Furthermore, he'd seen the smug bastard on Monday which was only two days before for an impromptu games evening under the disguise of a study session. So it wasn't a problem. It wasn't like he was possibly Kyon's closest friend or anything like that.
"Shut up," Kyon mumbled again. He really needed sleep. Haruhi would pay for getting him into this state.
The streets were virtually empty since it was verging on three in the morning so Kyon undid the top buttons of his relatively smart shirt with relief; the air was hot and sticky, promising an uncomfortably hot day ahead. He meandered dejectedly through the streets, absently wondering where his friends had procured so much alcohol from. It seemed to gravitate towards students their age without having to be sought for. Just as he was deciding that Haruhi had probably sought it out anyway, the silence of the night was broken by a strange yelping sound.
Kyon paused in his journey and listened hard, mind trying and failing to let him know that suspicious night noises were probably not something he should be sticking around for. Sure enough, another noise soon greeted his ears, the distinctive sound of people trying to keep their voices quiet and failing spectacularly. He couldn't make out any words, but it seemed as though one voice was doing most of the talking, while another made noises of hesitant agreement. Curiosity outweighing his sense of danger, Kyon walked forwards until he was level with an alleyway running between two tower blocks.
His eyes narrowed in confusion and he stood outlined against the street, thankfully going unnoticed by the men in the alleyway.
"What?" he murmured, taking a small step forward as his brain attempted to shift gear and work out just what it was that he was seeing.
It did this by breaking the situation down into simple stages and ran a little like the summary of a cheap mystery novel. Fact One: the source of the noise was two men leaning up against one alley wall. Fact Two: one of those men was leaning back against the bricks, arms hanging limply by his sides while the other seemed to be holding him there, face near the first male's ear. Fact Three: being in an alleyway and trying to be quiet at three in the morning was suspicious. Fact Four: the yelp from before probably denoted pain or fear. And finally, Fact Five sunk into his brain with surprising clarity.
Fact Five: the tousled light brown hair and handsome face could belong to no one other than the infuriatingly well-behaved esper, Itsuki Koizumi.
Kyon was already walking forwards as his struggling mind presented him with the first plausible conclusion. Koizumi was in the hands of some terrifying, violent night-thug who was probably threatening him for money or something equally cliché. It would explain why Koizumi hadn't been at the party and hadn't been able to call or text and therefore relieve Kyon of the shame of being annoyed, once this situation was taken care of.
He was already a few metres away and had shouted some sort of threat by the time he realised that Koizumi getting mugged at three in the morning would not explain where he had been for the rest of the evening and that the mugger in question seemed to be their age and wearing a smart outfit, rather than the desperate wear of a starving junkie.
"Hey, what are you-"
The shout of the 'mugger' was cut off abruptly as Kyon slammed a fist haphazardly into the youth's jaw. It was a badly aimed blow fuelled by nothing but slightly confused drunken anger but sent the male sprawling to the floor. Kyon took in the ruffled black hair and what looked suspiciously like a lovebite on the guy's neck before standing in front of Koizumi and waving a hand around vaguely.
"Get away from him," he snarled but felt his confidence slipping already. He sounded horribly like the hero in some childish drama. His knuckles hurt too. Seeking some confirmation to justify what he had just done, Kyon turned his head to the left. Koizumi was waiting for this and caught his eye instantly, honey coloured orbs shining with something that definitely wasn't fear or relief.
"Kyon," he said, tone clearly surprised but voice also strangely deep. "What are you doing here?"
His brain having finally managed to find the gear stick, Kyon was mildly surprised at the lack of '-kun' which Koizumi stoically insisted on using when addressing him. He had time to take in the slightly swollen lips and flushed cheeks that now faced him before the fallen youth pulled himself to his feet and pointed an angry finger at him.
"Who the hell are you?" he yelled.
Kyon turned his head away from Koizumi slowly, heart sinking into his stomach with dread. He didn't know what it was he was dreading exactly, only that he had done something very stupid that would probably require sobriety to understand. Thankfully, this wasn't likely to happen instantly.
"He's a friend, Akira," Koizumi said and Kyon was all too happy to let him answer. "From highschool."
"Oh, really?" the blonde asked loudly. "One of the friends that you go out to see every week that you don't want me to meet, right?"
"It's not that I don't want you to-"
"Fuck it, Itsuki. I should have listened to the others. Woulda saved me a lot of time and energy."
"Akira, wait for just one-"
"You can keep the three months I'll never get back. Have fun with your friend."
Kyon could do nothing but watch as the guy hurried down the alleyway, hands balled into angry fists, and was then swallowed by the network of city streets. He watched the now empty alley mouth for a few moments, not sure of what had just happened and unwilling to face his friend. A soft sigh warmed the skin of his cheek and he turned on impulse. Now the immediate threat or whatever it had been was gone, he had time to truly appraise Koizumi's appearance.
Hair that had obviously been styled and then pulled out of place. Lips that were unmistakably swollen from kisses. Smart clothes that were almost fashionably dishevelled. And more noticeable than anything, eyes that contained no trace of their usual perpetual amusement. It was clear, even to Kyon's fuzzy logic, that Koizumi was angry and more than a little upset. Feeling an uncomfortable wrenching in his chest looking at that expression, Kyon swept his gaze back down, coming to rest on one of Koizumi's hands.
"Since when did you smoke?"
This sentence broke the silence so powerfully that Koizumi jumped a little before raising the smouldering cigarette to eye level like a guilty child. After a long moment, one corner of his lips twitched up and he laughed softly.
"That's the first question you decide to ask?"
Kyon took a step backwards, realising he had been standing too close to the esper for a while now. He felt himself smiling in response quite against his own will and more as a defence mechanism to detract from the embarrassed blush he could feel heating his cheeks.
"Why not?" he countered, finding the words difficult to form. "It's as good a place to start as any, right?"
Koizumi's eyes widened for a moment and he leant forwards, scrutinising Kyon's expression.
"Are you drunk, Kyon?"
"There you go with that 'Kyon' again..."
"It is my birthday," he stated, remembering his anger from before. He was just riling himself up to righteous anger when Koizumi sighed again and lowered his eyes.
"I know," he said, with that Kyon selfishly hoped was guilt in his voice. "I wouldn't forget." The esper took one drag from the cigarette before dropping it and grinding it into the alley floor. "Filthy habit," he murmured before grabbing Kyon's wrist in a firm grip and beginning to walk away.
"Where?" Kyon would have sounded defensive and stubborn if he wasn't letting himself be dragged along behind Koizumi like a confused balloon.
"My room. It's nearby."
Koizumi turned back for a moment and flashed Kyon a smile which was unnervingly handsome when coupled with his current tousled appearance.
"You had some questions you wanted to ask, didn't you?"
Kyon sat on the edge of Koizumi's bed, trying to fight the undeniable beginnings of sobriety. Koizumi himself had vanished after saying something about water, leaving Kyon alone with his upsettingly clear thoughts.
He tried to distract himself by looking around the dorm room and comparing it to his own. It was small but not overly cramped, with enough room for a narrow standard issue bed, a wardrobe, a study desk and a small chest of drawers. It was mostly tidy, as Kyon would have expected from his friend, apart from a pile of clothes that had been scattered near the mirror hanging on one wall as though Koizumi had been choosing an outfit for...
Kyon closed his eyes and dropped his head into both hands, watching the slideshow of gathered images and impressions on the back of his eyelids. Three months. He kept hearing the words echoing in his head like a broken record. Three months.
"What the hell have I done this time?" he asked aloud as Koizumi quietly opened the door and slipped back in.
"Made life considerably more complicated," the esper answered without a hint of a smile. He sat in the desk chair opposite Kyon and handed him a glass of cold water. "But that wasn't the first question you've asked me tonight, was it?"
Kyon took the glass and sipped the water nervously, unwilling to meet Koizumi's eyes. He watched as a bead of moisture slid down the side of the glass. It managed to reach his skin before Koizumi gave in and broke the silence.
"You wanted to know about the cigarette?"
Kyon nodded, wishing his vocal chords hadn't stopped working, their ability to work apparently decreasing at the same rate as the alcohol in his bloodstream.
"I started smoking before we met, Kyon. And don't pull that face, I know it was too young. It's not something I'm proud of. Anything else you wanted to ask?"
"You weren't being mugged, were you?" Kyon asked, voice void of emotion. To his chagrin, Koizumi smiled softly.
"No. Unfortunately for you."
"Are you drunk?" Kyon asked suddenly, latching on to the idea like a drowning man reaching for a plank in the aftermath of a shipwreck. "Because you sound different."
"I had been drinking, yes, but I hold my alcohol better than you," Koizumi replied with the hint of a smirk. "No, I have not developed unhealthy habits since leaving highschool and no, I have not fallen in with 'the wrong crowd' so don't even consider suggesting it." Kyon closed his mouth. "I only sound different to you. I told you before didn't I? I'm not always as pleasant as you'd like."
"You mean as pleasant as Haruhi would like," Kyon mumbled, needing something to be angry at other than himself. Ignoring him, Koizumi continued.
"But no, Kyon, I was not intoxicated enough to lose my sense of reason. I'm sorry if this disappoints you."
Although he knew the answer already, something drove Kyon to continue asking questions. He didn't like the barely veiled anger in Koizumi's voice and was already looking back fondly on the days when he could believe in the perfect, smiling facade that Haruhi was undeserving of.
"What the hell were you doing then?" The anger was back. Not a pleasing development.
"The word would be 'kissing', Kyon. Something even you've been known to do on occasion."
"But not in alleyways at three in the morning with some suspicious guy!"
"Perhaps not, but in secret nonetheless," Koizumi answered quickly. "At least, you didn't tell the girls. Am I not permitted to have my own secrets?"
"It's not that, it's-"
"Then I'm not permitted to kiss whomever I wish? Is that it, Kyon? And who exactly would you prefer it had been?"
Kyon froze, mouth already open to answer. He held his tongue but the silence was heavy with words that arose unbidden. Someone normal. But what did Kyon know about this Akira guy? He could be perfectly normal, probably more normal than any of Kyon's friends, other than the fact that he had been pushing Koizumi up against a wall at three in the morning. So not someone normal then but someone female. Kyon met Koizumi's eyes and saw nothing but anger and disappointment. He wanted to wave it away and tell the esper that it was no big deal, in fact he had been expecting it but it was a big deal and he hadn't been expecting it, regardless of the constant invasion of personal space and suspicious comments. Half of Kyon had been convinced that it was all some act to provide Haruhi with entertainment; girls had strange tastes that confused Kyon but he couldn't deny they existed. True, Koizumi had never truly seemed to appreciate the glory of Asahina in full cosplay mode and had never admitted to having a girlfriend, even when Haruhi herself was irritating them all by complaining about her latest ex-boyfriend – they were never boyfriends for long, after all.
In truth, it was the surprise that was hurting Kyon even as he tried to pretend it wasn't. He couldn't get the image of the two of them out of his mind.
"Don't bother answering."
Kyon glanced up to find Koizumi leaving the room again and flinched as the door slammed behind him. While he was alone, Kyon sighed deeply and stared at the pile of discarded clothes. The anger slowly drained from his features and he just felt tired. He didn't move when Koizumi returned, looking up only as a tumbler was placed on the desk next to him. He turned questioning eyes upon Koizumi who was holding his own tumbler along with a newly opened bottle of vodka. The esper offered Kyon an apologetic smile, a pale shadow of his usual grin, and raised his glass.
"I won't tell if you won't."
Smiling weakly back, Kyon put his glass of water down and picked up the tumbler. He wondered if his underage liver could cope but then mentally shrugged and raised the glass to his lips. To hell with his liver; he needed this right now. The phrase sounded so stupidly cliché in his head that he cringed. After a few minutes during which neither youth spoke and the tension in the air drained away, Kyon glanced back at the pile of clothes and cleared his throat.
"Who was he?"
Koizumi seemed surprised at the question but answered promptly, pressing the glass against one cheek as he spoke.
"Less than my partner but possibly more than my boyfriend," he said in a matter of fact tone. Kyon was surprised when hearing the words aloud didn't sound as strange as he had expected. "He's one of my classmates."
Kyon couldn't stop himself from letting out a snort of laughter at the mere mention of Koizumi's course. The esper had started a course in Philosophy, to no one's surprise. The whole situation seemed less surreal if the suspicious blonde wasn't a mugger but a philosopher in disguise.
"Three months," came the expected reply. Kyon's chest ached guiltily. "Although we met at the start of the semester."
"Did I really screw things up?" Kyon asked, lowering his eyes and hating the uncharacteristic gentleness in his voice.
"If by that you mean 'will you see him again' then no, I doubt I will. I've used up my one chance, you see. I've got a reputation for..."
"No," Koizumi narrowed his eyes a little and Kyon wisely closed his mouth. "For having a bad track record. Not quite as bad as Suzumiya-san's but bad enough to be known. It's taken him months to trust me. He assumed you were my secret lover, the one he created to fill all the times I was away visiting you and the Brigade." He smiled softly and shrugged before downing the rest of his drink. "Akira is a wonderful person, just a little too paranoid."
Kyon swallowed past the lump in his throat and looked guiltily back at the clothes. Catching the look, Koizumi nodded.
"We'd gone out tonight, a sort of quarter-year-anniversary. His idea. I would have rescheduled it but he's very pedantic about dates and times. I didn't want to miss your party. I suppose karma has seen to it that my selfishness has been duly paid for. Was it good?"
Kyon blinked owlishly before draining the rest of his glass too and setting it down none too lightly on the desk. He had entirely forgotten his earlier gloom. Suddenly, Koizumi having been absent from the party meant nothing at all.
"Stop acting like you don't care!" he said hotly. "Why aren't you angry at me? Hell, I'm angry at me and I have nothing to be angry about!"
"Because," Koizumi said cryptically. Something about the intensity in his golden eyes worried Kyon. They were too sharp. He was missing something. The fog once more beginning to descend upon him, he was at a loss as to what it was.
In the silence that followed, Kyon stared at Koizumi across the room and tried to work out what was going on behind those eyes. He wanted to ask so many pointless, insensitive questions. How long had Koizumi been secretly dating? Did he think he couldn't trust his friends with something like that? Was it as difficult as teen dramas led you to believe? Was Akira as important as he sounded or was Kyon just being overly sensitive? He couldn't keep from returning to that blonde, all schoolboy good looks and anger that was on the line between too mild and too violent. Had he really wrecked something beyond repair just by being drunk? He'd never drink again if this was the sort of stupid issues it brought about. Haruhi was going to pay big time...
The question cut through his internal monologue and he focussed his eyes to see the bottle being offered towards him and a sincere, if less than vibrant, smile.
"Was it good?"
He held out his glass and nodded. There was nothing else he could really do.
It happened after five in the morning.
Kyon had definitely seen the digital clock on Koizumi's nightstand switch over because he remembered thinking that it really was Thursday and his birthday was well and truly over. The summer light was colouring the sky and leaking in under the curtains, casting everything in the room in shades of blue and grey. He wasn't sure why it happened. Through the mist of vodka, lack of sleep and shell-shock, Kyon could remember Koizumi moving from the chair to the bed and draping his arm around Kyon's shoulders. He could vaguely remember leaning into the esper, as he distinctly remembered how soft Koizumi's hair felt against his cheek. At the time, it hadn't seemed an unusual thing to be feeling. He couldn't remember turning so that he was sitting entirely on the bed, nor could he recall the exact movements he'd had to make until he was lying on his side, one arm trapped underneath Koizumi's body.
However, he could remember the moment he felt lips against his own. It was distressingly difficult to forget. And he had kissed back. He couldn't find any reason not to, not at that moment.
He could have blamed it on the alcohol but that didn't explain why he hadn't laughed it off or fallen asleep by the time the clock rolled over to six. By then, his mind seemed obscured by another mist entirely and he realised that he would now have difficulty working out which legs were his or when they had crawled under the thin duvet. He had no idea what had happened to his clothes. But it wasn't a problem, right? It didn't feel like a problem.
Kyon didn't want to remember what happened after. The room had been bathed in morning light so he didn't even have the cover of darkness to soften the reality. There were some things that, no matter how hard he tried, he couldn't make himself forget. Koizumi had tasted vaguely of smoke, something that wasn't as unpleasant as he had been led to believe. His skin had been soft, as soft as any girl Kyon had ever been with, and that had been surprising but welcome. His kisses had been tender which ruled out the possibility that this was some sort of twisted revenge for Kyon's mistake in the alleyway. Kyon wasn't sure he had ever been kissed like that before.
Another thing that he couldn't forget was the few moments when his senses had gone into overload and he was left with a vague memory of intense, but almost comforting, heat. He felt ashamed even thinking about it but at the time his mind had blissfully ignored anything except the sensation. He could remember his hands in Koizumi's hair and small noises and shallow breaths.
And there was one more thing, perhaps the thing that he could remember most clearly.
"Call me by my name."
The request had been made quietly, in a voice Kyon had never heard before. Somehow, this made it all the more poignant. A voice and a question just for him. He had waited before obliging, waited until his senses left him reeling and his mind slowly came back into focus. He was lying on top of the sheets now, with Koizumi's head resting on his shoulder, light hair in complete disarray and lashes resting against his flushed cheeks. As the dawn light grew brighter, Kyon had a moment of absolute clarity.
It didn't matter that he had been angry before. It didn't matter that he had been surprised. He had started to see it in the alleyway but now the fact hit him like a gust of warm air; for all his faults and secrets, the esper was special. Special and beautiful. It didn't sound so strange when he said it aloud. Koizumi smiled against his skin but remained silent. Kyon licked his lips as though suddenly nervous and closed his eyes.
Kyon could feel the smile this time, one as vibrant as the plastic grins he fabricated but entirely natural.
Kyon frowned almost imperceptibly.
"Because," he murmured before sleep enfolded him at last in its velvet arms.
It was a shock when he awoke and turned over to see the digital display reading ten in the morning. He stared blearily around, fighting against the urge to go back to sleep combined with a throbbing head and aching muscles.
Koizumi was still asleep. Kyon slipped out of the bed and stood on shaky legs.
With a silent groan, he realised that he had been nineteen for ten hours and had already missed an important test, been hit by his first serious hangover like a bag of bricks to the face and had slept with the guy who was possibly his closest friend. The guy. Closest friend. Shit. He was starting to feel old again.
Kyon had dressed and left within five minutes, not daring to look back. Once the door had shut softly behind him, Koizumi opened his eyes and stared blankly at the wall.
"Good morning," he whispered.
A/N Sleep now. Please. God. Please click the green button and let me know your thoughts! The last half shall be up very soon. Love and cookies to anyone who managed to get to the end. XD