Hopelessly Devoted 10.2- Tobira wo Akete.
"It's okay, it's okay, it's okay. Miracles are possible. Something's waiting for us to find it, somewhere, if we just open the door." -ANZA
It had been almost two hours.
If there was any possible way for this situation to be more terrifying for Mihashi, he didn't want to know what it was. It did not take two hours to get to his house from Abe's. Not nearly two hours, not even if you were taking your time.
Mihashi was almost hyperventilating, staring at the phone, and at his door in turn, again and again. Did he misunderstand? Was Abe actually at practice? No, he could rightfully assume he'd be on his way. Did he not unlock the door? No, he checked over an hour ago, he unlocked the door, for sure. Besides, Abe would have called if he couldn't get in. Oh God, Mihashi thought, damned near pain with fear, maybe he changed his mind. Furious that I walked out on him.
Mihashi slammed the phone on the side table. No, no, no, he thought. This was fine, there was a reasonable explanation for all of this. It was almost noon now. He was going to take a pee, and then sit down and call Abe and find out what the hell was going on. Yes. Good plan of action, Mihashi. You're a brave boy, Mihashi. You can handle this, Mihashi.
He stood up carefully, stretching his back on account of not having fully recovered from the painful tree nap. His heart was fluttering. He set his hand on the door handle and kept it there for a long second. He shook off the ridiculous notion that Abe might show up in the next particular minute while he was in the bathroom, miss him and leave. He almost laughed a little at himself for even thinking it, and when he pulled the door, it opened toward him with unusual ease.
And there he was, hand limp in front of him where his hand had been pressed against the door.
How long had he been there?
How long had he been planning to make him wait?
"You..." Mihashi said.
"Mihashi, I'm-" Abe began, stepping into the room. "I'm sorry I- I was so afraid to come in-"
Mihashi just shook his head, unbelieving.
"You..." he repeated.
Who was this guy? This boy standing in his doorway? This tall, dark boy– was it the same one who had guided him, confidently and possessively for more than a year? This one, who was too afraid to open his door? No matter how much bigger Abe was than himself, Mihashi couldn't shake just how young Abe seemed. How much like a child he suddenly looked.
"You..." he started one more time, beginning to tremble. He hung his head, and Abe closed the door behind him carefully, eyes fixed on the pitcher. Mihashi clenched his fists, hard.
"...bastard." Mihashi whispered as the first fresh tear rolled off of his cheek.
Abe deflated and reached out his arms to embrace him, but he was shocked to be pushed back against the wall by Mihashi's shaking palms.
Abe breathed loudly, terrified as Mihashi's hands clenched into fists in his shirtfront as tears rolled off of his downcast face.
"You bastard..." he quietly repeated, barely a squeak.
After an uncomfortable moment, Abe lifted his hands to try and touch Mihashi's arms, but suddenly Mihashi's slapped them away hard, the dam broken, and his fury poured- rushed out all over the room.
"What the hell were you thinking!" Mihashi shouted, choking on sobs. "Why would you touch me, Abe, why? What makes that okay?"
Abe's breath hitched in his throat, shaking his head back and forth slowly.
"What makes it okay?" He sobbed on. "I trusted you, I did, I trusted you, why-" he cried, and Abe reached out to grab one of Mihashi's flailing wrists in his hand.
"I hate it Abe! I hate it! I hate this feeling!" He struggled against Abe, sobbing, dancing, and when he wrenched his pitching hand free, he slammed his fist against the catcher's chest.
Soon they were on the floor, on their knees, Mihashi pounding on Abe's chest with his fists, sobbing undecipherable indignities. And Abe, crying only half as hard as his hysterical partner, clenched his teeth and waited for Mihash's violence to pass. Abe brushed his shaking hands over Mihashi's head as he was beaten, resigned to take the punishment for whatever sins he had aggregated.
It hurt. It went on for the longest minute of Abe's life. A flash of a tiny, white fists, a burning on his pecs, tears everywhere, frantic sobs, nails– nails now, Mihashi was gripping his shirt with one hand. He was getting exhausted. The sobs were fading into gasps for air. The other fist came to a stop on his chest, devoid of force. There was only panting now. Panting and the hot sting on his chest. Abe sat. Abe waited. Mihashi clenched desperately at Abe's shirt. Abe pushed his fingers through the back of Mihashi's hair.
After another heavy, silent minute, Abe spoke, voice shaking.
"I'm sorry. I'm so, so sorry."
Mihashi fell forward, nails scraping down Abe's shirt as he landed in his lap.
Crying much more quietly now, Mihashi whispered, "I hate it. I hate it so much." There was a pause for a hiccuping sob in between-
"But... but I can't hate you."
Abe stroked Mihashi's wildly messy hair lovingly. He had never been so relieved to hear something in his entire life.
"Mihashi, you're so good. You're too good. Too good for someone as awful as me."
Mihashi didn't know what to say, so he said nothing. All of his energy was drained now, and it was all he could do to just continue breathing.
Abe reached down and took Mihashi's face in his hands. He lifted him up, and Mihashi gave no resistance. Abe looked him in the face. His eyes were closed, delicate lashes laced with wetness. Face hot and red, damp. Erratic hair stuck to his cheeks where it had been soaked with tears.
And he kissed him. Abe kissed the wounded beast on the lips, gently, lovingly, but firmly, with no trace of desire. Mihashi's lips were cold, soft, sticky and salty. So soft– he had never really noticed how soft they were. After a second, Mihashi sobbed once against the kiss, and Abe pulled away. He pressed another brief kiss on this lips, for one last taste. Then Abe kissed Mihashi's right cheek, burning and damp. Slowly, he moved and kissed the left. His temple. The bridge of his nose. His forehead. He pressed his lips firmly there, lingering. Mihashi's hands were on Abe's arms now, but he still didn't resist.
Abe kissed a trail of tiny pecks from Mihashi's lips across his left cheek, across his ear, down his neck, and he rested his head there in the crook. He took a deep, shaking breath.
"I love you so much, Mihashi. So, so much," he whispered, his voice cracking at the end.
Mihashi wrapped his cold, damp, raw hand against the back of Abe's neck. He opened his eyes and shook his head. The rage Mihashi had felt was now a solid object, discarded in time. It was something he had left over there, an abstract place that was not here, but was a few minutes ago. Tears kept running down Mihashi's cheeks, eyes swollen and stinging. How much had he cried today?
"I feel like I could die, Mihashi. I'm so scared."
Mihashi's grip clenched intuitively on Abe's back. The catcher was trembling, breath broken. But Mihashi still couldn't speak.
"I don't deserve you, but I want you. I need you. Mihashi, I need you."
Mihashi nuzzled his wet face into Abe's shoulder. Potential replies floated into Mihashi's consciousness over and over, but none of them seemed right. He pushed Abe up and looked into his eyes.
Abe had looked better, but there was something about the big, vulnerable child that was perfect to him. Eyes rimmed with red, forehead knotted with fear, there was no doubt in Mihashi's mind that Abe had meant it.
It was Mihashi's turn this time. He moved in, excruciatingly slowly, hovering for just a second to feel Abe's hitched breath centimeters above his lips. He pressed their lips together. Abe's were hot and rough, as they had always been, as Mihashi remembered them from every single encounter. He could identify Abe's lips blind– that curl of the thick lower one, that tightness of skin at the edges. Mihashi kissed every part of Abe's lips, and Abe began to cry, wrapping his arms around Mihashi's back and pulling them close.
Mihashi didn't stop kissing. Abe didn't stop crying. It was strange and embarrassing. It was beautiful. It was wonderful.
The door was finally open.
They fell asleep there, Mihashi curled around Abe's back, legs entwined with legs, fingers laced with fingers, lips raw from tears and kisses. The room heavy with humid air, cicadas droning normally, as if a perfect love hadn't just bloomed full in the room above them.
What did cicadas know?
No, everything was right now. Everything was right in the cool curve of Abe Takaya's back, and in the calm, satisfied breathing of Mihashi Ren. In the slowly burning bruises on Abe's chest, and the mortifying, traitorous bite marks on Mihashi's stomach. Even that was right. Everything was right on the path that led them here, to this spot on the cool floor, where they shared their first kiss as true lovers.
They showed up at practice the next day, at 5:00 AM, hand in hand through the gate, unabashedly. Well, a little abashed, because Abe was blushing hard at the stares of his teammates, but Mihashi squeezed his palm gently to assure his confidence. The stares turned to smiles, and some, like Hanai's, turned away respectfully, while other's, such as Tajima's, grinned hard with approval.
Later, much later, after winning the fourth game of the spring tournament, and the celebratory love making that came afterwards, Mihashi asked,
"That day...Takaya. When I ran out...on you. What...made you...come after me?"
Abe closed his eyes and lifted Mihashi's bedsheets to his chest, bruises from that day long healed.
"Momoe spoke to me. She... seemed to be very good at...helping me."
"Ah," Mihashi said. "It makes sense that she would know how to help with things like that."
"Why is that?" Abe said, brushing his finger's through Mihashi's hair.
"Oh, Abe," Mihashi said, dissapointed. "Really?"
"What?" he said, indignantly.
"Because Momoe is a lesbian."
And just like that, even the last mystery came to a close.
Hopelessly Devoted: Part 1 End.
Don't fret. The saga will continue in "Hopelessly Devoted: Part 2"
Please add me to your watch list or check back to read it!
Thank you for all of the kind reviews! I hope you've enjoyed part one.
In Part 2, we find the Nishiura boys in their final year of High School, aiming one last time for Koshien, preparing for graduation, and managing new and old loves in between.