Disclaimer: I do no own the characters or title that belongs to this fic. It is under the rights of Yoji Enokido and Gainax... Happy, copyright police? *glares bitterly in thy general direction*

Immaturity

"Legs spread, same width as the shoulders. Body tight, then hit the ball like you're defeating the enemy. Here, the pinkie finger's the key. And then you just hit, hit, hit! Ka-king! Bingo!"

"What are you talking about?" Takkun had asked, plainly puzzled and slightly irritated by my supposedly random rambling; I pressed on anyway.

"He who conquers the left side conquers the world, chief. Setting the parameters... That's really the hard part." I was now swinging the wooden bat with careful precision and effort, feeling its weight carry my arms and subsequently my body with it.

"Are you talking about a video game or something?" Ah, poor boy. Of course he didn't understand. Despite his obvious effort to keep up an adult demeanour, he wouldn't be able to grasp what I was saying. And I didn't expect him to. After all, he was just a kid. Not that it stopped me from wasting my time away with him on the riverbank under Mabase bridge that afternoon, or any afternoon for that matter. Takkun was, well, just that. He was my Takkun. Instead of continuing, I feigned ignorance. Might as well seeing as I've already come this far, I thought.

"Huh? Takkun, what are you doing?"

"Homework," he muttered, feigning boredom.

"Why don't you do it at home?" I wasn't particularly involved in the conversation, but I liked hearing his voice.

"It's not cool." I refrained myself from snorting. The "cool" factor had a play in this too, huh? Hardly believing this was the actual reason, I replied jokingly. He'd never know that, though.

"You can do my homework too if you want, huh?"

In retrospect, it was times like these that were the better parts of my days. The momentarily suspended time I'd spend under Mabase bridge with my Takkun doing practically nothing, apart from having meaningless conversation, or playtime. I really liked playtime. It was then we'd immerse ourselves in our own world – or, should I say, escape the one we were in during the rest of the day. Takkun once said that reality was a flat, dull world. I agreed with him at the time. Of course, that was before she arrived – before it happened, before Takkun's head fooly coolied and Canti came out, and before Takkun had inevitably grown up. No, it was indispensible times like these that had been the liberation from the grey, futureless world I was living, where everyone was a demon – even Takkun, and even me.

It was then I felt like leaving my mark again, so by dropping the bat I effectively cut off whatever he was saying and enveloped my arms around him, my hands travelling across the expanse of his shoulders and chest. I could feel him stiffen under me instantaneously; I caught him off-guard. Snickering to myself, I let my lips sweep across his neck and ear, opening my mouth to take his earlobe between my teeth as I bit it playfully.

I heard him whimper slightly in pain as his heart thumped marginally harder under my palm. Somewhere in my foggy mind I heard him say I smelled of cigarettes – the strong ones.

"I haven't been smoking," I told him. I lied. It was unnecessary, but for some reason it just seemed easier to lie than to confirm his observation. His ego was already up in the sky.

"Mamimi," Takkun began doubtfully, almost as if he was afraid to let the words that were to follow escape his lips – that, if he did, something in this limbo of liberation would alter ever so slightly, and we'd be sucked that much more back into the inescapable reality. A black hole. But he continued anyway, after the moment of hesitation passed. "Why do you do this?" He sounded expectant.

I almost laughed at his tone. Why I did this? It was the closest thing I could get to intimacy – real intimacy, that is, without crossing any lines that had already been set before this 'relationship' started, or breaking any silent promises

I made a deal with my conscious about with whom I truly wanted to be intimate. I'd never actually kiss him, or allow him to kiss me, on the lips. A minute, scornful voice in the untended and dusty corner of my mind surfaced. You idiot. You're not going to get intimacy from that Takkun. He stopped caring about you. In fact, he never really did. I ignored the voice, albeit painfully. This form of playtime, it signified that, in that moment, Takkun willingly submitted himself to me; he was mine, I was his, and he wouldn't abandon me. Ha! The voice cackled again, veering its horrid face in my direction. You're sure we're talking about the same Takkun now? I told the voice to shut up this time. But, in all other cases, I rephrased my thoughts in a cryptic, vague and confusing manner which was so far off from the original point that the implication was lost amidst a sea of riddles. For the most part. A little brain teaser for big boy Takkun.

"If I don't do it, I'll overflow." Well, I can't say it wasn't true. It pretty much stumped Takkun, though.

"What d'ya mean?... What'll happen?" he asked with a tone of sincere curiosity. I thought for a moment before replying.

"Probably... something amazing."

And with that, I leaned all of my body weight onto him and sent him tumbling to the grassy ground beneath us with a gasp. He grumbled in an unconvincing tone of protest before giving up. With my arm across his chest as I lay down beside him on my stomach, I could feel his chest heave up and down as he breathed in a steady pace.

Probably... something amazing. Those words echoed in the far corner of my mind where light was not an acquaintance, and I chuckled inwardly. Maybe it was true, maybe something "amazing" would happen, but maybe not for the better, or maybe for the better –I wasn't sure. The way things were at that moment, with half of my body moving along with every upheaval of his chest, as if his life traced the significance of mine, with the fooly and the cooly of our worlds, I could hardly say I was happy. But I was breathing. At least.