First story in the "Let's Matchbox This Party" series. Called If You're Gone. Please enjoy!

I think I've already lost you

I think you're already gone

I think I'm finally scared now

You think I'm weak - but I think you're wrong

I think you're already leaving

Feels like your hand is on the door

I thought this place was an empire

But now I'm relaxed - I can't be sure

"Hiroshi, are we... falling out of love?"

Yagyuu's hand paused on the door knob. He could feel Niou's eyes boring into his back from his spot on the couch. He let his hand fall, but he didn't turn around. He couldn't bear to see that look of pain in his boyfriend's eyes.

"I... Don't know." He said softly.

Niou was silent for several moments, but Yagyuu still refused to look at him.

"I... But... How, Hiroshi?"

It was Yagyuu's turn to remain silent. Because he wasn't sure how. They were twenty-five. Still young, sure. But that was so many years for them. Especially since they were involved since they were twelve. Thirteen whole years of friendship, love, lust, tennis, tricks, and confessions. Thirteen years of covering each other's asses with various excuses that they came up with off the top of their heads. Thirteen years of Yagyuu bailing Niou out of jail and Niou getting Yagyuu thrown in jail.


"I just don't know, Niou." Yagyuu said softly, turning around to finally look at him.

Niou bit his lip and recoiled slightly. "Yagyuu, we haven't done anything but fight this last month. We're always yelling for some reason or another. I haven't said I love you in a long time."

"You hardly said 'I love you' anyway, Niou." Yagyuu practically spat the sentence.

"You know me!" Niou snapped, standing from where he sat on the couch. "You fucking know me, Hiroshi! You fucking know that I suck at this kind of thing! You know I'm not an emotional guy, you fucking know that I have trouble saying things like that!"

"Even if it's true?" Yagyuu yelled back. "Even when both of us know it's true? You still have trouble saying it?"

Niou suddenly look defeated and fell back onto the couch. "Look at us, Hiroshi. We're arguing over something that we've never had a problem with until now."

"Ever thought if any of this was your fault?" Yagyuu asked quietly.

"Of course I have." Niou snapped. "I've been blaming myself this whole time. I'm too selfish, I'm too greedy, I too snarky, I'm too bitchy. I flirt too much, I complain all the time, I'm in jail every other day. I don't show enough affection, I don't show my feelings, I take and I never give. There are so many things I've come up with. So many reason that I think it's my fault." He turned on the couch to look at Yagyuu. "But what about you? You're not fucking perfect."

I think you're so mean - I think we should try

I think I could need - this in my life

I think I'm just scared - I think too much

I know this is wrong it's a problem I'm dealing

"I know I'm not perfect." Yagyuu muttered, turning and pulling open the door. "But I'm a hell of a lot better then you."

Niou watched with wide eyes as the door clicked shut behind him. He didn't move for several long moments. He just stared. He stared and tried to cope with the bad feeling in the pit of his stomach.

He stood finally and walked into the kitchen. "Fine." He muttered, kicking closed cabinet doors and yanking open the fridge to pull out a bottle of vodka. "Whatever. Fuck him. Fuck it all. I don't even care any more. I can live without him. I don't need him. Fuck this shit." He kicked a few more things around, dropped two glasses, broke one, and swore loudly before he finally managed to pour himself a proper glass of alcohol.

He sat down on the couch again and downed the whole glass within five minutes. In the end, he just drank it from the bottle while he watched some poorly written sit-com.

If you're gone - maybe it's time to go home

There's an awful lot of breathing room

But I can hardly move

If you're gone - baby you need to come home

'Cos there's a little bit of something me

In everything in you

Yagyuu slipped quietly into the apartment at around one in the morning. He shut the door with a gentle click and examined the room, which was only lit by the faint glow of the TV.

Niou was sprawled out on the couch. The empty vodka bottle (Which had been perfectly full and unopened when Yagyuu left) was sat neatly on the floor. Niou was still dressed his clothes, skinny jeans and a T-shirt. He had an arm slung over his eyes and his chest was moving up and down slowly.

He was asleep.

And he was going to have a hell of a hangover in the morning.

Yagyuu sighed and scooped him up in his arms and started carrying him to the bedroom.

Niou stirred a bit when Yagyuu sat him down on the bed and started pulling off his clothes to change him into a pair of pajamas.

"Mm, Hiroshi?"

"Shh, Masaharu, go back to sleep."

Niou mumbled something and brushed Yagyuu's hands away as he started pulling pajama pants up his legs. Niou finished the job himself before sitting up. "Hiroshi?"

Yagyuu stood beside the dresser. "Yes?"

"Will you lie with me tonight? Hold me, please?"

"Niou, I don't-"

"Please Yagyuu? Because I lied."

Yagyuu sighed and lied down on the bed, pulling Niou against his chest. He smelled strongly of alcohol, but he ignored that. "What're you talking about?"

"I lied." Niou said with a yawn, clinging to Yagyuu tightly. "After you left, I said I didn't need you. But I do."

Yagyuu kissed the top of his head gently. "Alright. Go to sleep, Masaharu."

I bet you're hard to get over

I bet the room just won't shine

I bet my hands I can stay here

I bet you need - more than you mind

Niou did indeed have a killer hangover when he woke up the next morning. Yagyuu was already awake. He had drawn the drapes, casting the room in almost complete darkness. He had sat out a glass of water and some pain reliever medicine before going off to cook breakfast and whip up a remedy.

He moaned and sat up, clutching his head in between his hands. He downed the medicine and water within seconds and buried his head under the pillow.

Yagyuu stepped in a few moments later. "Masaharu? Sit up, I need to give this to you." He spoke in soft tones as to not make Niou's head hurt any more.

Niou whined and squirmed for several minutes before sitting up with a wince and a complaint.

Yagyuu held the glass to his lips and tilted his head back gently. The mixture tasted fruity. Like bananas. He didn't know what it was, but it was tasty.

"This should start working in about... Half an hour to an hour." Yagyuu stood and started to leave, but Niou grabbed his wrist.

"We need to talk, Hiroshi."

"Not now, Niou, not until-"

"Yes, now. Right now. Right this second. We need to talk."

Yagyuu sighed and sat down. "What's there to talk about?"

"What's there to talk about?" Niou repeated in disbelief. "Are you kidding me? Hiroshi, we talked about not loving each other any more. There's plenty to talk about."

"I think it's simple."

"Yagyuu... Tell me the truth, please. Do you love me?"

Yagyuu didn't say anything for several long minutes. He looked at his fingers, intertwined and tangled in his lap. "I... Um..." He swallowed slightly. "Yes. I love you."

Niou nodded a little, ignoring the throbbing in his head.

"Do you love me, Niou?"

"Yes." Niou said simply. "And I know I don't say it often. And I know sometimes I don't show it. But I do. I love you. I have since we were twelve."

"Thirteen years." Yagyuu whispered.

"I often catch my heart speeding up when you promise to meet me for lunch." Niou said softly, casting his eyes downwards. "I feel butterflies in my stomach when I hear the front door open. My heart skips a beat when you say my name."

Yagyuu smiled softly. "My stomach does little flip flops whenever you say 'I love you' to me. My heart leaps out of my chest whenever I see you smile. I'm still very much in love with you, Niou Masaharu. There's nothing that can break this. This thirteen years of love we have."

I think you're so mean - I think we should try

I think I could need - this in my life

I think I'm just scared - that I know too much

I can't relate and that's a problem I'm feeling

Yagyuu laid down on the bed, pulling Niou with him and pressing his face against the back of his neck. "Remember that time... Back when we were fourteen."

"There were a lot of times back when we were fourteen, Yeahgyuu~"

Yagyuu chuckled. "When I was screwing you senseless in the locker rooms and Yukimura Buchou almost caught us."

Niou shivered. "Yes, I remember. He was really pissed off."

"He told the whole school about us."

"So we told the whole school that Sanada Fukubuchou lets Yukimura call him Gen-chan when no ones around."

"Not only that," Yagyuu continued, "But we also told the whole school they were sleeping together."

"Then we got laps for the rest of the year. For an hour after practice each day."

Yagyuu laughed. "You were so pissed off."

"Damn right I was!"

Niou turned in Yagyuu's embrace and kissed his jaw before snuggling against his chest.

"And what about when we were sixteen and you hopped a plane to Vegas?"

Niou smiled slightly. "And you grabbed a more expensive flight so you could get there first and meet me... I remember. You also rented a really fast car."

"Then we got chased around town by the cops for drag racing."

"And I won twenty thousand dollars in the casinos."

"You mean you stole twenty thousand dollars from the casinos."

"I only stole part of it." Niou replied with a shrug. "The rest of it I got by counting cards."

"Still illegal."

"Hey, this is me we're talking about."

If you're gone - maybe it's time to go home

There's an awful lot of breathing room

But I can hardly move

If you're gone - baby you need to come home

'Cos there's a little bit of something me

In everything in you

Niou felt that little flutter in his chest as he glanced at the caller ID on his phone. He flipped it open and pressed it to his ear. "Hey sexy. Aren't you calling a bit early?"

Yagyuu's gentle voice drifted from the other end. "Atobe let me leave for lunch early. The usual cafe?"

"Sure." Niou replied, glancing at his watch. "I'll beat ya there."

"I'm sure you will." Yagyuu replied with a light chuckle.

Niou flipped his phone shut and smirked. He was already at their usual cafe, sipping on a Gingerbread Late. Yagyuu had gotten to leave early because Niou had called Atobe, Yagyuu's boss, and threatened to tell everyone about the relationship he was hiding with pro tennis player Tezuka Kunimitsu.

Niou hadn't actually thought the two were dating, but when Atobe hastily agreed, he had been satisfied.

When he spotted Yagyuu step through the cafe doors, dressed in a business suit with a wool trench coat over it, he felt the butterflies swarm his stomach.

I think you're so mean - I think we should try

I think I could need - this in my life

I think I'm just scared - do I talk too much

I know this is wrong it's a problem I'm dealing

Niou read over the note that was left for him on the bedside table again with a soft smile.

Dearest Masaharu-

Happy birthday, Love.

You're twenty-six now, right?

Yet, you still look like you're eighteen.

And you still make my heart stutter and skip.

Just as you did when we were fourteen.

Except a wonderful present when I get home from work.

I love you,


Niou flounced off into the kitchen to get something to eat. Yagyuu had already made something for him and it was on the stove. He was happy and jumpy, and couldn't hold still. He wanted to dance, but he'd probably look like a moron. So he settled with going to hang out at the mall and play DDR with random people there.

The only person he happened to lose to was Zaizen Hikaru. But he was fine with that because the boy was an amazing dancer and had a wonderful body.

When he arrived back home, Yagyuu was already there. The lights were off and the only source of light was from the kitchen. He followed it, making sure not to trip over anything.

That small source of light happened to be from the candles on a cake. The best cake ever, in his opinion, considering it was in the form of a Rubiks cube.

And everyone was there as well. Yukimura, Sanada, Marui, Jackal, Akaya, and Renji.

"Bunta made it." Yagyuu said, crossing the room and wrapping Niou in a hug.

"It's the coolest thing to ever step foot in this house." Niou said, going over to the table to look at it.

"Hurry!" Akaya said, jumping up and down. "Sing happy birthday before he blows out the candles."

Yagyuu wrapped his arms around Niou's waist from behind while Niou leaned on the table in front of him eagerly.

He blew it out just seconds before the song ended,

"Cake!" He said, turning to grin at Yagyuu. "I love you!"

"Oh, I think you'll love me more after this." Yagyuu disappeared into the other room and came back with a small bundle of blankets.

"I swear to God, Hiroshi, if you've brought home another-"

"It's not what you think it is." Yagyuu said, rolling his eyes.

There was a quiet mew as a black kitten head poked out of the blankets.

"Kitty!" Niou lunched at it, wrapping it into his arms and holding it gently. "He's a tuxedo kitty! He shall be named James Bond and everyone shall call him Mr. Bond."

Yukimura laughed quietly and leaned into Sanada. "Happy birthday, Masaharu."

"Can we eat the cake now?" Marui asked as Akaya wrapped his arms around him. "Please? Akaya's getting clingy."

If you're gone, maybe it's time to come home

There's an awful lot of breathing room

But I can hardly move

If you're gone - hell baby you need to come home, come home

There's a little bit of something me

In everything in you

Sorry for any typos or mistakes. ^^; I read through it a few times, but I still might of missed something.