AN: Thank you very much to the wonderful RollingOffHeads to beta'ing everything I throw her way.
More Yuki x Kyo to contribute, as always. Pfff.
Enjoy, my darlings.
YukixKyo, light YukixMachi
Yuki inhaled the smoke along with the deep chill of the November evening. He let it sink in. The tobacco, the cold air, the crisp hours before dawn approached. How long had it been since he slept? Truly slept? Probably as long as it had been since he had slept in his own bed. So that meant as long as he had had that kink in his neck. Not to say Kakeru's futon wasn't comfortable, it was just about as comfortable as Haru's couch, but it never quite gave him the level of comfort a bed would. Though his bed didn't give him the comfort a lover would.
He finally let out the smoke rooting itself into his lungs. He stared pensively at his cigarette and leaned his head against the wood railing outside Kakeru's apartment. His forehead seeped in the cold the wood had absorbed for what seemed like hours before he heard the door slide open and a warm hand slap his back comfortingly.
"How's cancer going?"
"Not fast enough." Yuki moaned. "Sorry, did I wake you? I think I knocked some stuff off your coffee table when I got up. But in my defense there's so much crap around your place I doubt you'll notice."
His friend let out a laugh before punching Yuki lightly in the arm. "Jerk."
The two stood out on the balcony, watching the blue in the sky turn lighter and lighter in complete silence. Yuki finished his cigarette before flicking it off the two story terrace and prepared to pull out another when he felt a hand cover his pack as it was exposed from Yuki's inner coat pocket.
"You had enough, man." And Yuki was too tired to protest, so he shot him a weak glare before putting them back in his pocket. "This isn't healthy, Yun. You need sleep."
"I know I do." Yuki stated simply, rubbing his eyes in exhaustion.
"And, I mean, I don't want you to think that I don't enjoy your sorry ass crashing on my sofa every other night, but I'm thinkin' you may need to fix some things up in your life, bro."
"Just tell me how." Yuki sighed. Because he wanted to fix his life. He wanted to race into that damned house where Shigure wouldn't look him in the eye and Tohru would be on the verge of tears, and grab that damn cat by the collar and yell at him, screamathim,for ruining his life. To give it back because he was tired, so, so tired, and Kyo wasn't willing to help with that. He wasn't even willing to hate him.
Give it back. Give it back. Give it back.
Or please just look my way.
"Screw it." Yuki pulled out his cigarettes and shakily lit it up, taking the tobacco in as complete relief.
"Dude, do you know how long I've been wanting to febreeze your ass? You've smelled like a dirty chimney for months now."
"Don't you dare come near me with that stuff." Kakeru laughed but it was weighed down by the bags under his friend's haggard eyes. "Man, I wish I could do something for you."
"Heh. I wish Icould do something for me." Yuki replied bitterly. "Why can't I... I just want to stop thinking about him." Yuki said putting his head back on the railing. "That's all I want."
Kakeru shifted, rubbing the back of his neck.
"Y'know. I don't know how you feel. Maki and I were head over heels for each other the moment we crossed eyes in middle school." Kakeru said with an inappropriately cheery tone. Yuki shot him an unimpressed glare. "But... I do know someone who's been going through something similar. Someone who wishes that a certain princess would just hurry up and notice them."
"What are you talking about?"
"Well... since things aren't working out with Kyon, and I happen to know someone who would love to accompany you to a meal and a relationship..."
"Kakeru, speak like a human being. Please."
"You remember my sister, right?"
Yuki blinked before exhaling the smoke festering in his body. "Are you trying to set me up with your sister?" Yuki took another drag. "Isn't that kind of creepy as her brother?"
"Hey, we're only half siblings, so it's only half creepy!" Yuki laughed at that. "But seriously, what do you think of her?"
"Machi?" He took a drag to buy him time to think. "I never really thought of her that way." Yuki arched his back in a stretch. "But she's nice. She's..." He took a moment to look out at the rising sun. "She's... not him."
"And that's exactly what you need right now."
Yuki couldn't argue with that.
"Oh Yuki! You're back!"
"I never left, Ms. Honda. Your cooking is far too delicious for me to leave for good." Tohru smiled, an honest and relieved smile.
"That's good to hear." She said placing a hand on his shoulder out of reflex and heading back to the kitchen to grab the rest of the food.
"It's good to see you back, Yuki. Kyo was beginning to worry." How was it that Shigure always knew how to say the exact wrong things every time?
"Oh, I'm sure." Yuki replied dryly.
And then the door slid open. Yuki hesitated for a moment, chopsticks half way on the course to his mouth. But he pushed down the bile he could feel rising up his throat and chewed the rice thoughtfully, not even looking up at the newly arrived presence. Silence filled the room for a moment, which Shigure aided by flipping the pages in his newspaper. Kyo kept his head down, not even greeting the rat with a shout or curse. Yuki felt the crick in his neck act up again and he rubbed it roughly.
Tohru entered once again, trying her best to be as oblivious as possible to the scene happening or, she supposed, not happening there at the dinner table. She bid Kyo a quiet "good morning" which he responded to with a near-silent grunt.
"Oh, I forgot I put the kettle on." She quickly left the room, having truly forgotten the appliance, and without realizing Kyo lifted his head to collide gazes right with Yuki. The gray haired boy swallowed what he pretended to be food and tried to ignore the fact that his heart stopped beating and his mouth went dry and his ears began to ring.
Instead he held Kyo's gaze and very swiftly stuck out his tongue much to the surprise of the other boy who only retaliated with a shocked expression.
Yuki hated that.
So he collected his half eaten food and brought them to the kitchen sink.
"It was wonderful, Ms. Honda."
"Oh I'm glad you liked it!" Tohru said brightly. "Will you be joining us for dinner?" She asked so hopefully that Yuki couldn't help but give her a smile.
"No, not tonight."
"O-Oh? Are you, uh, are you going to Hatsuharu's tonight?" She asked cautiously.
"Nope." Yuki gave her a warm smile and brought his finger up to signal her to come forward so he could whisper in her ear, "I've got a date."
She backed away and covered her mouth with her hand.
"Really?" She said, her worry melting away in the response. Her eyes suddenly darted toward the door to the dining room. "...With-?"
"With a girl from the student council."
"Oh really?" She asked curiously. "Is it that nice black-haired girl?"
"No!" Yuki coughed, trying to reel back his reflexive response. "No, she's a second year. I have a feeling you would like her."
"I'm sure I would!" Tohru said with a beaming smile. "I'm so glad for you."
Yuki smiled at her and gave her a quick kiss on the forehead before escaping out the other kitchen door to head for school. She smiled as she watched him leave. And just as brightly she walked back to the kitchen, tea in hand.
"Where'd Yuki go?" Shigure asked, putting his paper down.
"To school, I think."
"Damn rat gonna stick around for dinner tonight?" Kyo mumbled into his food more than he asked Tohru.
"Nope!" She said brightly. Shigure raised an eyebrow.
"Well that was rather cheery. Do you know something we don't, Ms. Tohru?" Tohru chuckled softly.
"Yuki said he has a date with a girl from student council!"
"Oh really?" Shigure said with a smirk, eyeing Kyo. "That's wonderful news, isn't it, kitty?"
"Why the hell would I care?"
Tohru's smile faded and Shigure smirked into his paper.
Kyo didn't finish his breakfast, either.
"I don't know what the hell you want me to say."
"I don't want you to say a damn thing. I don't want you to follow me because Tohru asks you to. I don't want you to come near me."
"Hey, I'm the one trying to be a good guy here!"
"I didn't ask you to!"
Yuki exhaled the smoke from his lungs and pressed the palm of his free hand into his eye. Kyo gave him an unsure glare, his hands shaking and his stance wavering, as if he would run away at any minute. Yuki wished he would.
"Look, Kyo. You don't have to fix anything. You don't have to deal with me. Because you already made it clear that you want nothing to do with me."
"I didn't... I didn't say that I just...!" Kyo couldn't meet Yuki's eyes and every word just punctured a hole in Yuki's already breaking facade.
"Stop. Please. Just stop."
"Stop what? Stop trying to check on your sorry ass? After all that... all that shit you said?" Kyo took a step closer. "About not being able... to sleep, about how you've bee-"
Kyo still couldn't look Yuki in the eye; even with Yuki's hands buried in the collar of his shirt, and his face so impossibly close. He focused on the cigarette burning away on the sidewalk.
"Please... please stop it. I can't take it, Kyo. If you hate me, hate me."Yuki said in a way that even his forgotten tobacco wouldn't help him subdue. "But don't do this to me."
He was holding on to him so tight.
Kyo gulped and finally looked at Yuki's eyes clenched shut. "...You're the one who said all that shit."
"So what? That shouldn't make any difference to you."
"Yeah, well. It does." Kyo bit back.
"...Not in a way that could fix anything."
"Yuki..." He let him go and turned to walk away.
"Just leave me alone."
They had been dating two weeks when Machi began to notice how distracted of a man Yuki truly was. He smiled at her, and looked her in the eye when she talked, and even expressed interest and maturity in their discussions, but there were times where he seemed to drift off.
His mind was somewhere else. And Machi soon realized that so was his health.
They were together, amongst the clutter in her room, watching a movie that she had already forgotten because she hadn't even realized that she had dozed off. She had woken up to the sound of heaving. The sound of Yuki getting sick in her already filthy bathroom, and Machi hoped that it wasn't so dirty that Yuki found himself too disgusted.
Machi wanted to say something. Always wanted to say something. Because Yuki reminded her of a more improved and developed version of herself. Of a more content version. But she felt as though she could see through so much that he did and said.
But Kakeru urged her not to. He pleaded with her to just ride out the first few months of the relationship, which he promised would not be easy, but she should be happy because Yuki liked her. He did.
But she doubted it was in the right way. His lack of physical contact was enough to make her believe that.
It was only when that boy, that red-headed angry boy, had approached her that things really started to piece together.
She had been waiting for him outside the school, waiting for him to finish up last minute paper work, and Machi always liked the outdoors, the feel of the cold winter breeze that chilled her to her very bone, so she waited for him there. She was so entranced with watching her own breath fade into the wintery sky that she had hardly even noticed that someone was standing next to her.
"Hey." Her eyes snapped open as she jumped back to look at the sudden presence. "Uh. Sorry. I didn't mean to scare you." The boy said sheepishly, though the scowl didn't disappear off his face.
"No, um, I'm sorry." Machi said relaxing once more. "Can I help you?"
He looked into her eyes and gave her a weird gaze with a quirked eyebrow and an air of condescending disbelief. "Yeah, uh... no. Never mind." He began stalking away when suddenly she had grabbed at his coat. He flinched away but stopped in his tracks to look back at her.
"You're, uh, you're Yuki's cousin, aren't you?" He gave a slow nod.
"Sort of." He said slowly and she wrung her hands in her coat. He sighed and rubbed the sides of his mouth before letting his shoulders droop. "Look, I only wanted to know how the guy was doing, that's all." His tone was sharp and unfriendly but Machi rather liked that. Unfriendliness.
"He's fine." She was pretty sure that was a lie. "Is there usually something wrong?"
"No. I wasn't saying that." Defensive too. "What the hell makes you say that?"
"It's just... he always seemed so lonely, before." She chuckled. "Not very princely, I suppose."
She hadn't even realized that he had started walking away until he was almost ten paces away from her. She snapped her head back up and started to walk behind him.
"Who the hell are you to say something like that? What the hell makes you think he was lonely?" The boy snapped at her, his voice just about to rise to a shout. "You don't know a damn thing about how hard that fucker tries! And you just go on saying shit like that!"
"I didn't mean-"
"Machi!" Yuki said in delight as he began to walk out of the building. Machi looked at the red haired boy in the eye before turning back toward her supposed boyfriend. She could already hear the running strides of the strange relative of Yuki in the creaking snow. Yuki was suddenly at her side with a bright smile, but not any closer than he usually was. "Was that Kyo that I saw?"
"Um. Yeah. He was just saying hi."
"That hardly sounds like him." He chuckled and it seemed empty, but maybe that wasn't all that it seemed. Machi couldn't decipher it any more than that, though.
Yuki was happy. Maybe not content, maybe not in love, maybe not satisfied, but he was happy. Even though the curse was still surging through him like boiling water through his veins, he was glad that he was allowed a bit of peace.
And that's what Machi gave him. Peace.
Of course the curse restricted him from anything more than a quick peck on the lips and hand-holding, but that was okay. She was becoming important to him, and that was nice. He was sure at one point that no one else would ever be important in his life again, but he was glad to be proven wrong.
And Machi was good company. Wonderful company. She was fun to talk to, easily embarrassed, and very sweet.
And after a month he was glad that she was able to clean up the overflowing emotions that still seemed to fill him. But they weren't overflowing anymore. They were just... flowing. It was as if she was cleaning up the excess with her simplicity. She knew nothing. So she couldn't give him those pitiful eyes that he seemed to receive from everyone else. She was like a fresh start, a breath of fresh air, something he hadn't screwed up.
And after awhile, he had convinced himself that he might be able to learn to love her. And that was better than nothing.
But it still hurt.
Kyo still hurt.
Especially when he knew that Kyo didn't hate him, but at the same time couldn't love him either. He couldn't love Machi right now, and even if he ever did, he was sure he wouldn't stop being in love with that beautiful, beautiful, disgusting man.
It was against everything in his already screwed up being to love him, but he did. He did so much. And it hurt so much. There were nights, after perfectly pleasant evenings with his sweet and gentle girlfriend that he could hardly make the walk home.
His knees would go weak. His stomach would turn. His hands would shake. And his head would go dizzy, so much so that he couldn't even handle the smoke that usually calmed him from a stick of tobacco. Every part of his body, every part of that beast living inside of him screamed at him.
Stop loving him.
Turn away from him.
But Yuki knew he was bad at giving up. And so his dinner would return in the form of vomit in the perfectly white snow. The knees in his pants soaking up the melting ice and his hands holding on to whatever tree stump was closest. It hurt. His whole body hurt at being in love with what every part of him screamed was disgusting and unlovable, and to be rejected by something so lowlyalmost made him just as forsaken. And his innards couldn't handle that.
Love wasn't supposed to be this hard.
But Yuki was so bad at giving up even if he wanted to so bad.
And he knew Machi worried when those few nights he would lay a comfortable distance away from her on the neighboring futon and he would wake up from never sleeping, when his thoughts got the better of him, and he would rush to her bathroom and let his body try and purge the emotion from his body.
It never worked.
Yuki had learned to deal with it.
Even if the first time he ever saw Machi cry was the day she had to call an ambulance for him.
It was too much for his system, this unnatural love. But Yuki refused to let it get the better of him.
So Hatori promised not to tell anyone when he collected him from the hospital.
But that was starting to stop. Machi was helping with that. And she didn't ask questions, which he adored about her. And so he went about his days slowly healing. Slowly covering up his love for a man that destroyed every part of his being.
But he was happy now.
Machi made sure of that with her quirks, her messy room, and her suppressed curiosity.
And after a month he was happy. Not content, but happy.
Kyo was in love.
Oh, was he in love. And thus, he was frustrated, miserable, filled with hatred, and disgusting emotions that made him want to swing his fists at every passer-by, and sometimes even Tohru. And then he felt worse so he would bury himself in training and schoolwork.
His lack of a love life was doing wonders for his history grade.
But he was in love, and it only took the man he couldn't stop thinking about falling in love with someone else for him to figure this all out. There were days and nights where he would scream, curse, and shout until his lungs were dry and his throat was cracked into the nothingness that was the surrounding woods.
Yuki had loved him. Had told him. Had told him everything. Had confessed so much, and Kyo had turned it all away because... because...
Well, he hadn't. But Yuki took it that way.
Perhaps he had overreacted, he had yelled and shouted, but didn't Yuki know that that was normal? That was just how Kyo had to be? But Yuki had been expecting his anger and so he had prepared for it in advance. And that's what had ruined him.
He just needed time but he didn't know how to ask for it.
He needed to think, needed to sort his brain, needed to wrap his head around this absolutely ridiculous situation that Yuki had so gracelessly presented him along with vomit-stained shoes, and biting words that still wrung in his head even nearly five months after Yuki had originally confessed.
But Yuki didn't allow him time. He had answered for him, though he supposed he didn't help. But he never knew what to say. And then a month passed and Yuki wouldn't sleep in the same house as him. Wouldn't eat at the same table as him. Wouldn't look him in the eye when they were in the same class which was, probably, pure torture for him.
And he had time to think but he was still so confused. And after awhile he had come to the conclusion that he didn't hate him.
That was the best he could do under the circumstances.
That wasn't good enough for Yuki, because everything hurt him. Kyo could see that so clearly.
But did he have to start... did he have to start dating?
The boy who turned down confession after confession?
Who showed no interest in anyone in the school even though girls and boys threwthemselves at him.
And now this guy had a girlfriend?
After all those wonderfully tragic things he said to him.
"I love you!"
"I need you!"
"I haven't been able to stop thinking about you since twelve years ago and you told me to kill myself."
"I've never fallen harder for anyone in my life."
"My whole body screams at me to hate you but I can't... I just can't..."
"Dammit." Kyo mumbled viciously.
He wondered if he was happy. He wondered if he was spoiling this girl that wasn't even their age. Talking with her cheerily, forgetting every last emotion he had for him.
He wondered what it was like to kiss Yuki. To feel him. To be felt. To be touched because he knew the feeling would be foreign. To be held. He wondered what it would be like to pant, and whine, and moan, Yuki's name.
Kyo felt himself shiver at the thought, something sinking into his stomach that resembled disgust and hatred. But he pushed that aside and indulged in the feeling. Hatred was to be expected. They were born to hate.
So how could he have fallen in love with him?
He wanted to destroy whatever happiness he had with this nobody, because that would hurt Yuki, and that was something that was acceptable in the pit of his stomach. But if he were the one to pick up the pieces and heal him, well, that would be acceptable to him.
He felt disgusting.
"Kyo?" The soft voice was so kind, his ears almost didn't register it. "What are you doing here?"
"Shishou... Can I stay here for a little while?" Those were not tears welling up. Kyo refused to shed a tear over this. "I just... I need to stay here for awhile. Please."
Kyo choked back a sob and Kazuma held him close.
Why did it have to be him?
"Here's my grandparents' number if you need anything while I'm away. My cell phone doesn't work there." Yuki chuckled as she plucked the piece of paper from the girl's fingers.
"I'm not completely incompetent on my own, you know." He gave her a warm smile but her serious gaze didn't waver.
"If you need to talk." The bright spark from Yuki's eyes faded a bit but his smile remained. He broke eye contact with her to look at the number before letting his eyes narrow a bit.
"Thank you." Yuki let out an awkward cough. "Go, don't worry about me. It'll only be a week. You're going there to support your grandmother, not to dwell on your stupid boyfriend."
She smiled. "You are stupid."
"Ouch." He laughed before putting her chin between his fingers and giving her a light kiss.
It was March, and there was still a nip in the air, the trees didn't dare to dress themselves in the beautiful colors that blanketed the city just yet. But winter was over, even if it didn't feel like it. The worst was over. That's what it felt like. Yuki had counted the days, and he celebrated the fact that he had been able to keep his dinner down for a little over two weeks consecutively.
Machi was nice. He liked nice. It was comforting. And so he waved pleasantly as she walked down the stairs to the subway. He let his smile stay with him as he walked home, thinking of how nice it would be to have Tohru's cooking for a week straight as opposed to take out and pre-made bento boxes from the convenience store (he and Machi were not the best of chefs).
He let his mind wander down this course aimlessly until he reached the path in the woods that led to his home.
And the head of bright hair that was walking along it.
His first instinct was to run in the opposite direction.
But he needed to prove to himself that he was okay. He needed to prove that he could love him and still function in society. He needed to prove that he was fine.
"Kyo!" He called out as nonchalantly as he could possibly manage. The man stopped in his tracks and turned toward him, his hands shoved deep in the pockets of his pants, his long sleeves only exposing a sliver of his tanned wrist.
"Hi." It was curt and tense, but it was the most conversation they had had in months.
Yuki matched his stride with Kyo's once he caught up to him and they continued down the path home.
They both were taking in the March air deeply, trying to keep their minds on breathing before something made them forget again. And Yuki tried his best to start conversation once more.
"Haven't seen you around lately." Kyo shrugged at the comment.
Yuki nodded at that as if he understood, but he didn't and he wanted to know. He wanted to ask him how his day was, how his month had been, what he had missed. He let out a breath.
"Shigure said you've been going to the dojo a lot lately."
"I'm sure Shi-han is happy about that."
"I guess." Kyo mumbled and they continued on their way. It was getting harder and harder to breathe with each step. But Yuki continued on, forgetting how much he had missed just being near him, how addicted he had truly been to this feeling of being close to him, of wanting him.
It hurt, but he missed it.
There was a battle going on inside him, a war, and Yuki had forgotten how much he had missed the fight. Kyo was the most unhealthy thing that had ever happened to him.
"Have you gotten the schedule for your entrance exams yet?"
"Yeah, uh, can you cut the bullshit?"
"What? What do you mean what? You're the guy who has hardly even lived in this damn house for what seems like half a year, and all of the sudden you come up and talk to me like all that shit didn't even fucking happen!" Yuki felt himself glare in disbelief at Kyo's burning words, but there was something inside him that rejoiced.
Oh that's right.
He had missed fighting this fight.
"What the hell are you talking about?" Yuki snapped back. "Of course it fucking happened, but are you saying that I can't get over it? That I can't move on?"
"No! I'm not! But, Christ, Yuki, could you make up your mind?"
"You aren't even making sense! So, you're saying that you don't hate me, you don't love me, and now we can't even have a damn conversation?"
"NOT WHEN IT'S COMPLETE BULLSHIT."
"WELL THEN WHAT DO YOU WANT ME TO SAY, YOU STUPID CAT?"
The two had their fists clenched and were looking at each other dead in the eye, something falling in the pit of their stomachs, something happening, something changing, something clicking.
"I don't-I don't want you to say a damn thing. I just want you to stop fucking up my life." Kyo said honestly, his gaze not wavering from Yuki's.
"...I didn't mean to fuck up anything." And he didn't. "I promise. It was the last thing I wanted to do." And just like that he was the first one to look away. It was too small a loss to be counted, but it was enough to make him feel queasy again. Kyo rubbed the sides of his mouth and Yuki found himself entranced by those lips. How soft they looked, how he wanted to touch just one, even if it wasn't with his own lips but with the pad of his thumb.
"I know you didn't." Kyo said firmly and it snapped Yuki out of his trance. He looked at Kyo carefully, subconsciously taking a few steps forward. "But you did."
"I didn't do anything to you but tell you that I loved you."
"...Loved?" Kyo rasped and Yuki couldn't tell if that was hopeful or not. It was enough to make him stop in his tracks and break out into a cold sweat. He took a deep breath.
"Love. I love you."
Kyo scratched the back of his head in agitation and paced away from Yuki only to turn back around and shove a finger into his chest. "You know what really pisses me off about you?"
"Tell me, please." Yuki challenged.
"You spent months fucking flirting with me, acting like a total jack-ass in front of who the fuck ever you felt should see. You say these... these things and mess my head up! And then you tell me all this shit and when I say I don't even fuckinghateyou,you completely flip out! You practically move out, leave me to deal with Tohru freaking out over your damn sorry ass! YOU END UP IN THE GODDAMN HOSPITAL-"
"How do you know about that?"
"-AND THEN YOU GET A FUCKING GIRLFRIEND LIKE NOTHING EVEN HAPPENED." Kyo poked him hard in the chest and out of reflex Yuki snatched the offending hand and squeezed it hard enough to cause pain. Kyo didn't even wince.
"How do you know about that?" Yuki asked again darkly.
"I JUST KNOW, DAMMIT. THAT'S NOT THE POINT."
"WHY DOES ANY OF THIS EVEN MATTER TO YOU?"
"IT JUST DOES."
"IT DOESN'T HAVE TO."
"YES IT DOES."
"BECAUSE YOU TOLD ME THAT YOU LOVED ME."
And that wasn't a confession, but it was the closest Yuki was going to get out of him and at this point he was completely positive that he had absolutely nothing to lose except this moment. A moment that he would never admit to having missed, to having yearned for. A moment where Kyo yelled at him. Worried about him.
He pressed his lips roughly against Kyo bringing him closer by the vice grip he had on his hand. And Kyo responded immediately. Yuki almost couldn't handle the sensation, but refused to pull away, taking it all in, grabbing at his hair and pulling him closer by wrapping his arm around his back.
Kyo let himself be pushed back into a tree roughly, allowed himself to be devoured in Yuki's burning desire that had been suppressed for so long that it almost hurt to let it out, so he grabbed Kyo rougher, moaned a bit when Kyo yanked at his hair to pull him closer. His tongue invading Kyo's without consent or warning and Kyo didn't care either way.
His mouth was so warm as he explored freely, pushing him rougher and rougher into the tree, his mind racing and wanting and disbelieving and so in love that he could hardly stand it.
They pulled away and for the first time in such a long time Yuki remembered to breathe, but only because he was breathing the same air as Kyo, directly from that abused mouth that he had just claimed as his own. His eyes shut, his forehead pressed against Kyo's and his mouth returning every so often to press small pecks against his lips or just to the side of his mouth.
His hands couldn't stop wandering through his hair, over his chest, to his sides, over his arms. He wanted it all, but he had stopped himself, because it was just too good to be true. So therefore it couldn't be.
"Why... why did you let me do that?" Yuki asked, still panting, and still wanting more.
"Does it matter?" Kyo responded his voice raspy and his breath still caught in Yuki's.
The silver-haired boy leaned forward in response, his lips meshing with Kyo's once more, much slower, but still just as passionate as he brought his hand to where neck met the back of his head and let his tongue invade Kyo's mouth once more, savoring every bit of Kyo that he could before he knew it had to end.
He pulled away.
"It matters." He said softly. "It matters more than anything in this world." Kyo took a pause, and Yuki knew he was trying to say whatever it was that he couldn't put into words but he could put into that kiss that kept going and going.
"Because..." He took another deep breath. "Because you've completely fucked over my life."
"Kyo..." He breathed, leaning forward, his forehead now resting on the tree so that he could whisper into Kyo's ear. "That's the most wonderful thing you've ever said to me."
The cat let out a snide laugh and Yuki couldn't help but smile in return.
And for some reason, that was so much better than an "I love you," than an "I need you," or than all the poetry in the world.
But that was why he had fallen in love with Kyo in the first place.
He was someone so beyond poetry.
"Oh God." Kakeru said in horror. "How much am I going to hate you?"
"Well that depends on how much ten grocery bags of junk food makes up for." Yuki said with a wince, handing his friend the bags of food.
"Oh no, this feels like there's meat in here too."
"What did you do, kill my mom?" Kakeru asked looking into the bags of food as he motioned for Yuki to come in. Yuki sat down at the island in the small kitchen in Kakeru's apartment and watched as his friend methodically put everything away.
"You're surprisingly neat."
"I'm stalling, I don't want to hear whatever it is you need to say." Kakeru closed the cabinet doors before leaning on the island as well, across from the silver haired boy who was shaking his head with a smile. "All right, so what happened?"
Yuki took a deep breath. "I'm still in love with Kyo." Kakeru nodded. "And last night, I kind of found out that... he may also be in love with me." Yuki's voice wavered and he looked away from his friend who gave him a scrutinizing look.
"How do you know?"
"Ah. I see. This is an 'I cheated on your sister' visit."
"I would prefer you didn't give it a title." Yuki said burying his face in his hands. Kakeru let out a sigh as he shifted to sit next to his best friend on the neighboring high-rise stool.
"I guess I can't be too mad at you." he said with a smile. "I kind of figured something like this would happen anyway."
"That's a good point, why did you set me up with your sister when you knew I was in love with somebody else?"
"Woah there, cheater-cheater, let's not go pointing any fingers now." Yuki gave a smile as did Kakeru. "Machi aside, though... I'm happy for you, man. I mean, you are happy now, right?"
Yuki couldn't help but smile. "Absolutely not. But that's what I need right now." His heart fluttered just at the thought of the red-haired boy, it was hard to control.
"You're a weird guy, Yun."
"I've heard." He laughed and gave Kakeru a pat on the back. "Thanks for understanding."
"Hey now, you're not breaking up with me." Kakeru said poking Yuki in the forehead. "Speaking of, though!"
And the next thing Yuki knew he was on the floor clutching his quickly bruising eye from the sucker punch Kakeru had landed on him.
"WHAT THE HELL WAS THAT?"
"That's for cheating on my sister!" Kakeru said triumphantly. "Now get up, asshole, we're having a movie night with all this food you bought."
Yuki didn't protest because he knew he deserved it.
Maybe not the movie night.
Yuki loved Machi, he really did, he just wasn't in love with her. But she had helped him more than anyone could with just her presence, just the fact that she was there, something different from Sohma life.
A breath of fresh air.
And so he nearly cried tears of relief when she understood.
It must have been something in Kakeru's family that just made them people he could feel completely at ease with. She had cried and told him that she loved him, and that had broken Yuki's heart. But she had smiled and gave him a kiss on the cheek, and that had reassured him that she would be fine, because it wasn't a fake smile.
He made her promise him that she would be all right, and in return she made him promise her to have lunch with her and Kakeru on a regular basis.
Yuki left with his heart a little torn, and almost completely confused.
Wondering how it was possible to be in love with someone and still want them in your life when they weren't right there next to you.
It was slowly dawning on Yuki how truly fucked up their lives would be, his and Kyo's, together. And how he was, from the bottom of his heart, completely ecstatic about that.
"Where the hell have you been?" Kyo asked when Yuki walked through the door, because it didn't look good that he had left for two months, come back with a girlfriend, made out with Kyo, and then left again for the night only to return with a black eye. And Yuki knew that. But he smiled at Kyo and gave him a kiss that melted them both, right there in the front entrance of the house. His hands sliding in and out of Kyo's hair, the same hair he had longed to touch for years.
"Why? Did you miss me?" He asked against his lips before Kyo pushed him away.
"I'm not saying that, asshole!"
"So loud in the morning," Yuki practically sang as he entered the dining room table for lunch with a family restored.
"Is this what I'm gonna have to deal with now?"
And Yuki turned around to look him the eye, his thumb reaching out to graze Kyo's bottom lip. "Only if you want to."
Kyo let out a grunt and pushed him aside.
"Wouldn't let you kiss me if I didn't, fucker."
That was so much better than I love you.