"Hey Bruno, I'm off to a party."
"Really? First weekend of classes and you're already going out?" Bruno doesn't really have a 'sarcastic' tone. His ability to sound petulant-as-fuck makes up for it.
"You act surprised."
Bruno sighs. He kind of wants to stay in and watch a movie with his twin brother Anthony - who preferred to be called Antinomy. But Antinomy loved to go out, party, get wasted, and get laid.
Bruno was pretty much the opposite. He liked to stay in and watch movies, play video games, educate himself on a great many topics and spend quality time with his brother, which was probably why he didn't have any friends.
Antinomy had tried countless times to get Bruno into partying. He even tried multiple times to get Bruno laid - a feat from which Sisyphus would have quailed away from -, but Bruno just wasn't interested in sex or booze or "fun in general" as Antinomy put it.
"Am I going to be sexiled tonight?" Bruno asks delicately.
"I don't know. Maybe."
Bruno makes a face.
"Come on, Bru. If you went out and got some, you wouldn't be so disgusted by it."
"I don't want any."
"Are you asexual?"
"Do you even masturbate?"
Bruno's face flushed a deep crimson.
"No, I'm serious." Antinomy sits down.
"You can tell me anything. I don't judge. Maybe I can help you."
"Help me masturbate?!"
"Well if you just haven't found the right kink yet I know some good-"
"No. Please. Stop."
"There's nothing to be ashamed of if you're asexual. It is a real thing, you know."
"I'm not asexual. At least, I don't think I am..."
Antinomy claps Bruno's shoulder.
"You just need to find the right person then. It's okay, I'll have twice the amount of sex to make up for the sex you're not having."
Bruno stares at his phone. He's lonely. He had given his number to that cute guy in his Mechanics class, but no texts or calls so far. What had he expected? That's what he got for actually trying.
/Maybe I'll go swimming or something.../ he thinks with a sigh, getting up. It was better than doing nothing.
"Oh! Yusei! I didn't expect to see you here," Bruno says as he dips his feet into the pool.
"I could say the same thing," Yusei replies cheerily.
"You know this guy, Yusei?" a pale boy with frosty blue hair asks, wrapping his arms around Yusei's neck from behind, surfacing stealthily. Bruno's stomach turns, and he doesn't know why.
"Yeah, he's a classmate of mine. Bruno, this is Kiryu. Kiryu, Bruno. Kiryu's my boyfriend. He's visiting from a different college." Yusei smiles sheepishly, but his jaw is locked into place. He was out, most people knew he was out, but there was always the niggling fear, surfacing when he mentioned it openly.
"Oh. That's nice," Bruno makes himself say with a fake smile back. Great. The one person he was actually interested in was taken. Suddenly Bruno doesn't feel like swimming anymore.
Kiryu dunks Yusei's head under the water.
"C'mon, drown a bit with us, Bruno," Kiryu offers with a slasher's grin as Yusei surfaces, spluttering.
"Kiryu, don't do that," Yusei coughs, giving his boyfriend a face.
"Oh, quit being a baby."
Bruno just wants to leave. However, he forces himself to smile and say, "Fine," and to hop in. The water is pretty warm and doesn't even cause Bruno to break out in goosebumps. He hovers in the water, staring blankly at the sky, when a sudden vice grips at his foot and yanks downwards.
Bruno's eyes snap open and he flails against the dragging, water splashing every which way. The vice disappears after a few seconds - and Bruno thinks he might have felt his foot connect with something that yielded - and the blue-haired man can push off the bottom of the pool and break the surface. Sweet air floods his lungs, his limbs moving him through the water to grip the edge and it's reassuring solidity.
"Kiryu! The hell was that for?"
Bruno turns to see Kiryu laughing and splashing Yusei, who is shielding himself from the spray, a 'not the time' look etched on his face. Bruno doesn't know if he should intervene or not, but Yusei seems to be really pissed off.
"[Kiryu! Seriously! Stop!]"
Bruno blinks. Was that Japanese?
Whatever foreign language that had been, it causes Kiryu to stop and pout at his annoyed boyfriend.
"[You're no fun.]"
Yusei looks really mad. His lips are thinned to form a dangerous looking frown and his eyes are narrowed and sharp enough to slice through stone.
"[You're unbelievable, you know that? Haven't you heard of a thing called drowning?]"
Bruno can't understand what he's saying but he knows by the tone that Yusei is pissed, a tinge of happiness at the fact that this guy was defending him. Then again, he did almost just drown, so maybe he's reading too much into things. He pretends to be busy watching other people while his ears are perked to the tones of Yusei and Kiryu's secret language.
"[Come on, Yusei, lighten up! Dude looked like he needed a dunk to splash away the sad.]"
"[It damn well was not just horsing around! You just up and tried to drag him under!]"
"[All right, chill, I'm sorry, okay?]"
"[No. You always do this, Kiryu. You step out of line and put people in real danger, and try to laugh it off.]"
"[Come on, let's not do this here. Your friend there is probably feeling awkward hearing us bickering in Japanese.]"
Yusei makes a face that clearly says 'you're an ass' and then turns to Bruno.
"Sorry," he says in English, "Kiryu is just being an ass."
"Yusei is just being a stiff," Kiryu replies lazily, swimming around. "And not even in the fun way..." Yusei shoots him a dirty look. Bruno doesn't know what to say, mouth opening and closing wordlessly.
"I won't splash you, I promise," Bruno ends up saying, which makes Yusei smile in relief. Maybe Kiryu could break his record of two weekends without the threat of an assault charge. Bruno's heart thumps but Kiryu's satisfied smirk disappears.
"[I don't like that guy, Yusei.]"
"[I just don't like his vibe.]"
Bruno is drying off and he can hear Yusei and his boyfriend talking quietly in Japanese. He wonders how hard it would be to learn. Maybe he should take some online courses.
"[You don't like him because he wasn't an ass to me and you were and you pissed me off.]"
Bruno steals a glance over and Kiryu is holding a towel around Yusei's shoulders. They are glaring into each other's eyes intensely.
"[I just don't like him, okay? I have a bad feeling.]"
"[You don't like him because you think he's a threat. Just for once, a guy who acts non-violent towards me might be straight and just looking for a friend, for fuck's sake.]"
Yusei ducks out of Kiryu's towel hold and walks over to Bruno.
"Sorry about him. I'll see you later though, Bruno." He claps Bruno's shoulder and then walks back to Kiryu, who shoots a nasty glare at Bruno.
It's four in the morning when Antinomy stumbles in shit-faced, his clothes looking as though someone had tried taking them off without knowing how to take clothes off someone. Bruno dryly looks up from his flickering DS screen.
" 'sup Bruno," Ant nods to him, tripping over his own feet.
"You'd better not throw up in our dorm," Bruno says without looking up.
"I'm not gonna, silly~" he begins giggling as he falls into his bed smiling stupidly.
"I had da besttt blow job-"
"I really don't want to hear about what kind of sexual favors you did or had done to you," Bruno says, a little harshly.
"WOAH. Woah. Woah. ...Woah. Wazze matter wiz yew?" Ant slurs.
"Yerina baaaaad mood Brunago."
Bruno doesn't answer.
"Yew can tell meeee~ Yew kin tell me 'needing. I looooove yew~"
And before he knew what was happening, Ant was smothering him in drunk hug and drunk pecks on the cheek.
Bruno tries to shift away from the affection that was shifting far beyond brotherly. "Ant, stop."
"Nodden till yew tell me wats wrong~" Ant says drunkenly, continuing to kiss Bruno's face.
"FINE. Fine." And Bruno's cheeks flush.
"S-So there's this cute guy in my Mechanics class and I gave him my number but he never called and I saw him at the pool earlier and he was with his boyfriend." Bruno doesn't look at Ant but suddenly he straightens up and comes out of his drunken state.
"So you like this guy and he's taken?"
Antinomy moves so that he's sitting across from Bruno and looking at him.
"Does his boyfriend go here?"
"No, he was visiting."
"Well, that gives you the upper hand."
Bruno takes a moment to put down his DS safely before the next wild hug knocked it onto the floor.
"You will see this guy more than he will see his boyfriend. Plus, you're in a class together."
"Actually we have every class together besides our FSP."
"And I think they had a bit of a fight at the pool," Bruno says hopefully.
"See? It's not so hopeless after all! Bruno, I'm gonna help you get into this guy's pants if it's the last-"
"I don't want to be in his pants!" Bruno huffs defiantly, "I just... I want a relationship."
There's a pause as what meagre brainpower drunken Antinomy possesses is digesting this idea of being near someone without dry-humping them when both parties are interested.
"You're so weird, Bruno," Antinomy sighs, getting up and flopping back down on his bed,"Are you sure we're related?"
"Well, considering we came out of the same uterus within five minutes of each other."
"Why would you want a relationship when you can just sleep with whoever you want whenever you want?"
"Why would you want to have sex with a bunch of people you don't know when you can cuddle into the arms of someone you love?"
"You're so weird."
Bruno picks the lit DS back up.
"So what's the name of this guy you like?"
"I'm not telling you."
"Oh come on~"
And no matter how many times Antinomy asked, Bruno refused to tell him, fearing that he'd come back from class and Yusei would be tied to his bed with a note on his chest reading, 'You're welcome *heart* -Ant'.
The next day Ant spends in bed with a nasty hangover. Like always, Bruno has to take care of him. He goes to the C-Store and buys microwavable soup for his brother. Of course, because fate hates him, he spots Yusei in the C-Store getting a milkshake.
"Hey Yusei," Bruno says casually when they line up together.
"Oh hey, Bruno," Yusei replies warmly, "What's up?" Bruno twigs that something's up from the warmth, considering Yusei's usual mood of iron-hard concentration during lectures.
"My brother has a huge hangover so I'm getting him soup."
"That's very nice of you. Does your brother go here?"
"He's my roommate. We're twins."
"Oh, that's cool."
"So uh... where's your boyfriend?" Bruno asks, willing his face not to turn red.
"He left this morning. He has a four hour train ride ahead."
There's an awkward silence that ensues. Bruno isn't sure what to say next.
"Hey, do you have the textbook for Physics yet?" Yusei suddenly asks.
"Huh? Yeah. I got it over the summer."
"Could I borrow it for the assignment? Did you do it yet?"
"I haven't done it yet. Did you want to do it together in the library or something?" Bruno asks hopefully.
"That sounds good. How about after dinner? I kind of just got a milkshake and I can't bring it into the library."
"Oh, I have your number, so I'll just text you when I'm ready."
Bruno left the C-Store with a spring in his step, the containers of soup in his bag hitting his leg.
"Did you understand this third part here?"
"Yeah. What don't you get?"
"What formula goes with that?"
"This one. See, they want you to substitute from the one two questions back..."
Bruno and Yusei are in the back of the library on the fourth floor, poring over their text book. Bruno's heart seems to have been replaced by a jackhammer, though fortunately he can blame the redness on his face on the heating being turned up too high.
"Does this look right?"
"Yeah, that's what I wrote."
They spent two and half hours on their work. When they were finished it was early evening and the sky was pretty dark.
"So you live in the Towers, right?" Yusei asks as the walk back towards the freshman dorms.
"Yeah. We don't have our own bathroom like you guys in Sunwise since we're not in suites. But we do have a sink in our room."
"Really? Cool! Could I see your room?"
Bruno's heart catches in his throat. Yusei wanted to see his room? Oh god, what if Ant was there and guessed that the guy he had talked about last night was Yusei? Antinomy could be really embarrassing sometimes. ...Make that 'all the time'.
"Uh, sure!" Bruno swallows.
Because it was past 8 o'clock, Bruno had to sign Yusei in. This operation required the showing of school IDs, name, room number, and phone number exchange. Yusei's card was taken and he was given a pass. To get his ID back he'd need to return the pass.
They took the elevator to the 9th floor. Bruno opened his door. Antinomy was watching a movie in bed.
"Hey Ant," Bruno said, and Antinomy looked up.
"Hey. Who's this?"
"This is my friend Yusei. He lives in Sunwise and wanted to see what our dorms look like."
Yusei waved to him.
"Hey, I'm Anthony, but everyone calls my Antinomy. I'm Bruno's twin brother."
Yusei bows, and his face when he comes back up is smiling brightly. "Nice to meet you, Antinomy. Wow, this room is bigger than mine! And you have an actual light on the ceiling!"
"You don't?" Bruno asks.
"Nope. We had to bring all our own lights."
Antinomy is trying to catch Bruno's eye for some reason, but Bruno is purposely ignoring him. /He knows... god damn it./
"Your desks are really nice too. Ours are smaller."
He kind of looks jealous.
"So Yusei. How did you meet my brother?" Antinomy asks, and Bruno's face grows hot with anxiety.
"We're in all the same classes. Same major, you know?" Yusei says as he flops down on Bruno's bed.
"Oh really?" Bruno sees his brother give him a suggestive look.
/Shit. Shiiiiiiiiiit. He knows. He fucking knows./
"Do you have a girlfriend?" Ant asks playfully, and Bruno wants to crawl into a hole and disappear.
"No. I uh... I have a boyfriend." Yusei's cheeks turn a light shade of pink. There it was again, the catch and check before the admission. Yusei stares at the ground, shoulders almost bracing against the words.
"Oh. Does he go here?"
Yusei visibly deflates, and as he exhales, Antinomy glances with a raised eyebrow at Bruno, who gives him a warning glare. "No. He goes to college in another state."
Yusei looks a bit sullen. Bruno wants to die.
"That must be hard on you two, huh?"
"Yeah, it's hard. But we text and Skype and he came over this weekend. I'm going to visit him next weekend."
"Listen, Yusei," Ant sits up, "I have a friend who had a similar situation to you. I won't sugar coat it; it ended badly because the distance was just too strenuous. They stopped trusting each other. They fell in love with new people. Do you think you and your man will survive this?"
Bruno is now contemplating suicide.
"I… I know it will be hard... But we've been through a lot already. I think we'll be okay. Thanks for the advice though." Yusei smiles at Ant.
/Surely I'm already dead now.../ Bruno thinks.
"Just what the hell are you trying to pull?!"
Bruno is very angry.
"You just HAD to say something, didn't you?!"
"Hey, I'm helping you out!" Ant snaps back defensively, "I planted the seed of doubt, and now it's only a matter of time until-"
"I may like him but I don't want to break up a perfectly happy couple!"
"You said they were fighting yesterday."
"So? Couples fight."
"Trust me. They aren't going to last long."
Bruno frowns, the sick devil of schadenfreude dancing on his shoulder.
"Don't do something like that again, okay? That wasn't fair."
Bruno makes a soft frustrated noise and flops on his bed. He takes out his phone and texts Yusei "Sorry about my brother. Don't listen to him. I think you and Kiryu make a great couple!"
A few minutes later, Yusei texts back, "thanks :)"
Bruno sighs and shuts his phone. He likes Yusei but he won't get in the way of his relationship. That's final.
"But, he might need a study partner at some point," Bruno muses to himself.
Antinomy overhears and pokes his head out of the fridge where he's burrowing for liquor to take on his nightly tour. "I didn't know he was a Bio major," he adds cheekily.
"Oh shut up!" Bruno throws a pillow at him.