The Seventh Summer
Sometimes Masamune forgot how it felt to breathe. He would find himself holding his breath for anything—a call from his estranged parents, the newest manuscript from some miserable artist, or for the elevator to stay open for just five more measly seconds—and the burning in his lungs would signify just how much he wanted said thing, how much he needed to be loved, or for his job to go smoothly or his luck not to run dry…
And he had realized one chilly day in December, years ago, as he watched his beloved little boyfriend march angrily toward him like some frazzled cat, that he'd never held his breath for anyone or anything as long as he'd held it for Ritsu Onodera.
As the young teen kicked at him, far too weak to pack much of a punch, and screeched something about being played, or liars and cheaters and the usual insecure Ritsu bullshit, Masamune stood there, contemplating the severity of the situation – 'we're really over' coursing through his head like the blood rushing in his ears—and took a deep breath, exhaling slow and shaky, and realized, much to his disappointment, that breathing hurt like hell.
Ritsu loved books in the same way that he loved his senpai. They were always in the library, for one thing, and the best ones were always just out of his reach. It wasn't particularly fair to judge either by its cover, but sometimes the cover was just so beautiful and dazzling that he couldn't help but stare (this tiny musing, however, rung true more often about Saga-senpai than any literature, but the boy's beauty was so novel that it would be insane not to notice). Both could hold his attention for hours without ever becoming boring. His love for senpai was as effortless and natural as his passion for reading, but he discovered, one chilly day in mid-winter, that books couldn't really break his heart, but Saga-senpai definitely could.
Masamune wondered if losing his feline companion was an all-time low, even for himself. He was well aware that it was still technically his cat, and if he had any problem with it, he could go take him back and no one could rightly say anything to him about it, and sure, it wasn't nearly as serious as losing a child or a loved one, but… His cat had always reminded him of Ritsu, and he was sure that dirty bastard Yokozawa was well aware of that when he had taken him away.
On the seventh summer since Saga-senpai first broke his heart, Ritsu regarded love as artificial. He'd walked in on his fair share of office romances in the year and a half since his father welcomed him to his publishing company, and he wondered, bitter, jaded, 'Do they know that everything will inevitably go up in flames?'
That notion, however vehement, couldn't stop him from awaking sweaty-faced in the depths of the night, heart pulsing a rushed rhythm as something else throbbed between his knees, and he scolded himself for the thousandth time, 'Stop dreaming of him! He's probably forgotten all about you by now!'
Years later, when he reunited with his beloved Saga-senpai once more, he wondered fleetingly if maybe the man had become as jaded and damaged as him. 'Of course not,' He would chide himself, angry for even thinking about his ex-lover, 'Takano-san is strong—too strong to be weighed down by some petty little breakup.'
Masamune would sometimes catch these fleeting glimpses of the real Ritsu—the one unburdened by the weight of his family name and the thousands of apologies that had been bubbling in his throat since the very first day they met. These little moments when Ritsu's faces was lax, completely void of any stress or anger or embarrassment usually only occurred when the younger man was reading a particularly fantastic novel, but sometimes he caught Ritsu staring at him with that exact glint in his eye, and he always found himself thinking the very same thing:
'You're just one step closer to falling for me completely.'
These have been sitting around for quite some time now, so I thought I should probably get around to posting them. I wrote them as a sort of push out of writers block while I was working on 'Words', and sort of forgot about them once it was posted.
So tomorrow I work… twelve to seven, and then I'm staying with a friend for the night so we can go to Pridefest and the Gay Pride Parade and all that fun stuff on Sunday—AKA: my day off. So looking forward to that!
Anywho, thank you so much for taking the time to read this and please feel free to leave a review and let me know what you thought!