Title: Kiss and Embrace

Summary: It took them eight kisses to finally admit how they feel

Date Finished: June 14, 2012

Date Published: June 19, 2012

Warnings: BL

Disclaimer: I own nothing.

a/n: Writing relaxes me. I swear. Inspired by meme pictures. Oh, and can someone explain to me the image manager feature in . I don't really get it XP

A kiss on the lips

It couldn't have really been counted as a kiss. It hadn't even been on purpose. An accident. A sweet heart-thumping accident they continued to deny. They'd been playing soccer like usual. Running, kicking, blocking, training. A preparation for their upcoming practice match. Nobody could have expected that to happen; not that many noticed.

Tenma was kicking the ball, skillfully dribbling through defenses. He was like the wind, breezing through his teammates with strong and graceful steps. Pass Kurama and through Kirino and Kariya. Drive to Shindou, Hikaru and then back to Tenma. With God's Baton, Shindou and his team were able to bring the ball across the field. Tenma was ready to shoot, to make a goal. But with a tackle he did not anticipate, he came tumbling down, trapping his tackler beneath him.

It had been short and quick, like blinking. But he felt it. The soft touch of lips against lips, the faint warmth of subtle panting breaths, and when he opened his eyes, he saw amber. Pure wide amber eyes staring shockingly into his own. And he was speechless. Simply speechless. Talk about awkward.

A kiss on the cheek

It had been a dare. A horrible gut-puking dare. And he hadn't thought of a plausible excuse to escape it.

"I dare you to kiss Tenma!" It had been said so sickeningly sweet and innocent it made Tsurugi wanted to strangle the girl. Oh how sweet that could've turned out.

"No." And really, he wasn't going to do it. It was sick, and wrong and –

"You can't say no. You chose dare." And she was smiling. Their manager was smiling so candidly it ticked him off. He looked at Tenma in the corner of his eyes and saw the reddened cheeks. He looked uncomfortable. Tsurugi felt uncomfortable. With one last glare at Aoi and an uncomfortable shift in his position, he darkly threatened the girl and leaned towards the brunet.

"Sorry," He'd said it so softly Tenma was sure he wouldn't have heard it if the other wasn't so close. But he was. With his eyes shut, Tsurugi pressed his lips against the other's cheek. It was soft. Tenma's cheek was soft. And even if it only lasted less than half a minute, Tsurugi thought it felt nice. Not that he'd ever admit that out loud.

A kiss on the ear

They sat on the riverbank downing the silence that came with the night sky. Each drowned themselves in their own thoughts, falling into a comfortable hush. It was quiet and easy, the epitome of serenity. Even so, Tenma still felt disoriented. He looked briefly at his friend, confusion marring his face. Maybe...

He bit his bottom lip and pushed his body forward. It had been shy and hesitant and Tsurugi's head snapped to look at his teammate. Tenma just kissed him... on the ear... and he could still feel a light tingle in its wake. What...?

"Just wanted to check something," Tenma smiled. And he didn't know why but he let it slide. Both of them looked back at the darkness and stared at the twinkling lights above. Neither noticed the soft smiles settled on their face.

A kiss on the head

He didn't know why he did it, but he did. And he didn't really feel as horrified as he thought he would be. The soccer team had just finished a day in their training camp and was ordered to rest, requiring them to sleep together in the same room with futons scattered on the floor. It had been a messy arrangement with feet and arms draped over bodies carelessly like they'd all been part of the floor. Tsurugi felt irritated and uncomfortable, and after failing to bring himself to sleep, he opted to stare at the closest thing beside him. Tenma.

The other was as messy of a sleeper as the other guys, but he still held some peace. He looked lax and contented and really, Tsurugi couldn't help but act on his instincts. Chocolate bangs fell from their places on the other's forehead and he pushed it aside. Tenma's hair was soft. Not soft like a girl's but soft like... a puppy? Yeah, it was soft like a puppy's. And Tsurugi couldn't help but keep petting it.

Tenma shifted from his sleep and his head moved closer to Tsurugi. And he already said it right? He couldn't help but act on his instincts. So he did what he felt he wanted to do. He tilted his head and pressed his lips against the other's forehead. He stayed like that for a few long seconds before he pulled back flushed, and turned the other side.

Blue eyes opened in the morning and stared at the ceiling contemplatively. He thought he'd just had a dream of someone kissing him on the forehead.

A kiss on the arm

Tsurugi could have died in embarrassment. He'd let himself get tackled and scraped his arm, he'd allowed himself to be accompanied by a teammate in the infirmary to get bandaged, he'd let out a groan when they dabbed medicine on his wound (damn it was deeper than he thought), and the last and worst of all, he'd allowed Tenma to take his hand and kiss the bandaged arm.

No, he did not like it. No, it didn't leave another tingly feeling on his arm the rest of the day. No, he did not remember the incident whenever he looked at Tenma. And no, he did not feel the boiling anger and need to scream bloody murder when Shinsuke and Aoi called him on denial.

A kiss on the eye

Tsurugi hated a lot of things. He hated the fact he couldn't play in their next game. He hated that he'd gotten into an accident and fractured his leg. He hated that he got into said accident because of the team they were playing against on their next game. He hated that it'd take a month and a half for him to be able to kick a ball again. But most of all, he hated the fact Tenma was crying. He was sobbing. And Tsurugi didn't know what to do.

He looked at Shinsuke and Shindou silently standing near the door, pleading them to help him calm the brunet. The two frowned, looked at each other and then Tsurugi. Their eyes held sadness and resignation. Even they had no idea what to do.

With a silent sigh, Tsurugi looked at the hospital sheets draping his body before running through words in his head. He listened to Tenma apologize over and over again, 'hics' and sobs cutting through each apology he'd utter.

Tsurugi saw himself in Tenma. The injured teen closed his eyes and remembered how hard he'd cried after his brother was hospitalized. Nobody had been able to hush him, not the nurse, not the doctor, not his dad. And then he remembered his mom. He remembered how she'd held him in a hug and rubbed his back saying sweet nothings in his ear. He remembered how she'd wipe his face and tell him everything would be alright. And then...

He opened his eyes and looked at Tenma. He was still crying, just like how Tsurugi was when he'd been a child. Reaching out, he grabbed the nape of Tenma's neck and brought him close to his face. And just like how his mother had done it, he placed his lips softly over the other's eye and whispered with a soft voice, "It's alright."

And then there was silence. The sobbing stopped. Tenma held the other tightly, burying his face on the other's shoulder and crying quietly. Tsurugi awkwardly rubbed the other's back, listening to the other's soft murmurs.

"I'm sorry...I promised that we'd win the game, even without you...we were so close...I..."

And Tsurugi just whispered "It's fine." It's fine 'cause they'll kick their ass when he finally felt better. It's fine 'cause it wasn't Tenma's fault; nobody was at fault. It's fine so he should stop crying.

Their next match, Tsurugi gave no mercy. Someone broke their leg, and no, Tsurugi did not do that on purpose. Seriously. It was their own fault. Not his.

A kiss on the neck

Tsurugi considered that Tenma hadn't even realized how affectionate he was. Hugs. He liked hugging people out of joy from gratitude, a game and a victory. Very innocent, but sometimes, the other would go too far. And he wouldn't even notice.

They won. They've won the nationals and Tenma was happy. He was so happy he jumped on the closest person beside him. His classmate, teammate, companion and friend. Tenma was cheering and Tsurugi felt the other pressed against him tightly, their warmth softly mingling. Tsurugi felt hot.

Someone else jumped. The force pushed Tsurugi to take a step back. It was Shinsuke. He was also hugging him. And then it was Hikaru, Hamano, Nishiki, Kariya, Gouichi, Sangoku and as soon as Daichi joined in, they all fell to the ground. Laughing. Cheering. Tsurugi smiled a warm smile. He felt Tenma shift and press his face against his neck.

Tenma spoke and Tsurugi felt every word of it, lips grazing the soft skin of his neck. "Soccer must be really happy right now. Ne, Tsurugi?" And Tsurugi had to agree. Soccer's happy. He had no doubt about it.

A kiss on the lips

The second time was no accident. Everyone knew that. Everyone saw it. They heard the screaming and saw the fight. They watched Tsurugi ignore Tenma for a full week before the latter gave and demanded an explanation. It was tense. Hard. A heavy atmosphere hung in the air. Everybody was worried. One wrong move would have been all it took for them to break apart.

"Just tell him the reason why..." Tsurugi gritted his teeth. It came from Shinsuke, Aoi, Kirino, Shindou, Endou. And worse of all it came from his brother. They constantly left their words hanging, leaving the wind to whisper their last thoughts. "Tenma won't hate you," Straightforward. It stung. And when the screaming started, he gave in.

Tsurugi clenched his fist, eyes narrowed dangerously close. "You wanna know why I'm avoiding you?" He was screaming. Anger. And for a moment, everyone was reminded of the past, before Tsurugi could have been called a teammate.

Tenma opened his mouth to cry. To yell, 'Yes!' He did want to know why. He wanted Tsurugi to look at him again, to play soccer with him. To talk, laugh and smile with him. He wanted to be friends again. Comrades. Teammates. He wanted Tsurugi back…

A hand on his shoulder. Pull. There were gasps. Tenma's eyes widened. Lips against lips. His heart skipped a beat.

"I like you," Tsurugi whispered the words on his lips. And then he left, bangs shadowing his eyes. Tenma felt lightheaded.

"I like you too…"

A kiss and embrace

1/1/2013. 12:00 A.M.

Tenma smiled into the kiss savoring the feeling of Tsurugi's lips against his own, the latter's arms wrapped around his waist. He could hear the distant sounds of igniting fireworks brightening the sky. He could hear the cheers and smell the saccharine scent steaming hot chocolate inside the apartment a few feet away. Sweet. He wasn't talking about the hot chocolate.

He felt Tsurugi lean back until a wall supported both of their weights. Tenma pulled back, smiling and pressing their foreheads together.

"Happy New Year, Tsurugi,"

A pleasant curve of the lips.

"Yeah…Happy New Year."