To think this was inspired by one simple line from a friend's story ^_^
The closer Camus walked to the greenhouse the more heavy his heart began to feel. With each step it was as if a flood of negative emotions poured into him and weighed him down. He almost didn't want to go to the greenhouse anymore. He wanted to turn around and head back to a place where he didn't feel so sick to his stomach, but he simply couldn't do that. Someone needed a friend and he couldn't abandon them and leave them to wallow in their misery alone.
He opened the door to the greenhouse and walked in, trying to be quiet as to not startle the other person in there. He walked farther in and saw the long ponytail and familiar grey uniform.
The Japanese boy jumped and dropped the canister of water he had been holding. Camus ran to him and picked it up, careful to avoid stepping in the water that had spilled.
"I'm sorry, Naoji. I didn't mean to scare you."
Naoji just shook his head. "No, it's not your fault."
Still holding the canister Camus walked to a nearby table and leaned against it. Those horrible feelings were coming from Naoji? Camus wanted to help him and he couldn't do that if he passed out. Why was Naoji feeling this miserable?
"Are you all right?" Naoji asked, walking a bit closer to Camus. "You look pale."
Camus didn't say anything as he focused on his breathing. He had to stay awake. He had to stay conscious if he had any hope of helping Naoji with whatever it was that was making him feel this way.
"It's me, isn't it?" Naoji said in a low voice. He lowered his head and turned away from his friend. "I'm so sorry. I'll leave so I don't make you even sicker."
"No, don't go!" Camus pushed away from the table and grabbed Naoji, though he barely had the strength to stand any longer. The canister had once again fallen to the ground and Camus would have too if Naoji's quick reflexes hadn't caught him. He walked the smaller boy to the table and sat him down.
"I really should go. I'm so toxic to you right now."
"What's the matter, Naoji?" Camus asked. He wouldn't give up. Naoji needed him right now and he refused to let anything get in the way of him helping his friend. He would stay conscious no matter what. He wasn't going to let Naoji keep feeling so terrible.
"Camus, please, I really shouldn't be around you."
"What has you feeling so horrible, Naoji?" Camus nearly cried. "How can you possibly feel this disgusted with yourself? What's happened?"
Naoji wished he could just turn away and run. He wanted to leave so Camus wouldn't feel what he was feeling. He didn't want Camus to get sick just because of his emotions. However, he couldn't deny the desperate concern in Camus' voice. He truly wanted to help him and figure out what was wrong. Naoji decided to stay, but he prayed that Camus would at least be able to hold consciousness throughout the conversation.
"I just…did poorly on a test, Camus. Really, it's nothing to be concerned about."
"Then why do you feel so undeserving?"
Undeserving? Naoji had thought the word plenty of times, but he really hadn't said it out loud. Undeserving really summed up everything he was feeling at the moment. Camus had hit the nail on the head.
"Because…I am undeserving. There are so many people who strive to be great and yet for some reason I'm here, holding the position of Strahl Candidate. I can't even pass a test. I don't deserve this title or to be at this school or…."
Once again…Camus had hit the nail on the head.
"Lui helped me study," Naoji had sat down next to Camus and stared straight ahead at nothing. "He took time out of his schedule to study economics with me. I don't really understand the economy here. It's different from back home. I'm getting used to it, but I still need help and Lui offered his hand to me. He taught me and I thought I was ready, but I took this test and…."
Camus was silent. Naoji looked so upset and yet there was nothing he could say to him. He was at a loss for words.
"I froze." Naoji continued. "I just got so nervous before the test that when it finally came time to take it I froze. I forgot everything he taught me. I was almost…scared to take the test. And when I got it back I saw that I didn't do well. I told Lui that he didn't have to teach me anymore. I don't want him to waste his time with me if I'm just going to fail."
"Did he say some harsh words to you?" Camus asked. He knew that Lui had a good heart, but he had an odd way of showing it. Sometimes he could come off as cold and downright mean even towards people he cared about.
"He didn't say anything," Naoji said, still not looking at Camus. "I wish he did actually. I wish he scolded me or made fun of me. He just looked at me…" Naoji shook his head and hid his face in his hands. "…so disappointed."
Camus could already tell that Naoji was more upset about Lui being disappointed in him than about failing the test. He also knew that Lui was disappointed not because Naoji failed, but because he didn't have any confidence going into the test in the first place. He was especially disappointed when Naoji had just given up.
"I don't deserve him."
Camus almost thought one of the flowers had said that with how low the voice was. Sadly enough, the words had come from Naoji's mouth. Camus knew it. Naoji was more upset about Lui than about the test. Camus had always known that Naoji felt he was less than Lui, but he also always felt love from him too. This time though, Naoji was almost lifeless. He reached a breaking point and his negative emotions had exploded and had taken over. What could Camus say to get him to go back to where he was?
"You and Lui showed me what true love felt like."
Naoji snapped out of it and turned his head to look at Camus. That was a twist in the conversation. What did Camus mean?
"I always feel such sweet love directed to Lui from you. You adore him and it's such a warm feeling. Your love for him is a lot like you. It's quiet and tender, but it's strong and honest and everlasting."
Already the atmosphere seemed to change. Camus could actually breathe again and he could feel some of those negative emotions get suppressed by different emotions, such as hope. Even if Naoji didn't realize it he was beginning to believe again.
"Lui's love for you is…so powerful," Camus said with a smile and a laugh. He turned to Naoji and looked him straight in his eyes. "I remember once when Lui and I were in here alone. Our conversation had steered towards you. Just when your name was said I felt like something had grabbed my heart and as we continued to talk about you I felt his love for you hit me like a bullet. For a second it hurt, but then it turned into…something so wonderful. His love was so overwhelming. It was deep and true and almost frightening. I passed out and a few hours later I woke up crying. I was alone in my room and even though Lui wasn't with me his love was so powerful that the emotion stayed with me. It was…the most beautiful thing I've ever felt, Naoji, and it was all for you."
All for him? Lui honestly felt that strongly for him? If it had been anyone else telling him this he would have questioned them, but Camus knew the truth. He had felt the intense power of Lui's love…and it was all for him...for Naoji.
"You should talk to him," Camus said. He sat a little a straighter and breathed a little easier, feeling all of the negative emotions disappear. Now Naoji's emotions were love, hope, and though there was a tinge of sadness Camus knew it could easily be taken care of.
"Thank you, Camus."
Naoji got up and ran to the door, leaving to go find his love. Camus touched one of the flowers and knew everything would be okay.
Standing outside Lui's door, Naoji did his best to raise his courage and face him. He had been such a fool earlier and now the time had come to admit it and apologize. He was about to knock on the door when it suddenly opened, Lui's stern eyes staring into his own soft ones.
Lui stared for a moment before opening the door entirely, allowing Naoji entrance. He walked in slowly and turned around to face Lui. He could see the disappointment still remained in his eyes and it crushed him. The last thing Naoji ever wanted to do was to give Lui any reason to lose faith in him.
"Did you come to tell me you failed another test?" Lui said harshly as he walked deeper into his room, sitting in his chair.
Naoji swallowed hard. That statement did deliver a blow to him, but he couldn't just curl up in a ball and give in again.
"No," Naoji said, keeping his eyes on Lui. "I came…to ask if you would continue to tutor me in economics."
Lui didn't say anything and Naoji almost felt naked under his gaze. "You…had confidence in me when you first started teaching me otherwise you would never have bothered. If you have confidence in me then there's no reason that I shouldn't have confidence in myself."
Was Naoji simply speaking about the test or was speaking about his life in general? It didn't matter. It had taken courage for him to come and say those things and Lui recognized that. It's not easy to get up after losing so much confidence and Lui could see that Naoji was ready to take a few, small steps forward again.
Lui stood and walked towards Naoji, putting his hands around his waist and lightly kissing his temple. A sigh of relief came from Naoji as he rested his head on Lui's chest. He could feel his heart beating and it amazed him how much Lui loved him. He never imagined someone could love him with such strength and passion.
"All I want is to meet your expectations of me." Naoji said.
Lui lifted his Naoji's face so he could plant a small kiss on his lips.
"You already have."