French is anything italicized and in speaking format, as I cannot speak or write it fluently enough to do its beauty any justice. Please forgive me on that.
"I'll get them," he says, picking up the plates from the glass top table. He had smiled, making his way over to wash them. The four of them had all met at Natsuki's house for dinner, Natsuki had cooked, and Yuki had taken the liberty to do any work cleaning up to show his thanks.
But he slipped up, just a little bit.
The three only stare him in silence, Haru's mouth agape just ever so slightly.
"Yuki!" Haru shouts.
Yuki himself flinches, gripping the plates rather tightly. "Y-yes?" He's too frightened to look back in fear at what had prompted such an accusing but curious tone.
"That wasn't Japanese, Yuki!"
It was only a few simple words!
Yuki blushes before setting down the silverware and plates into the soapy water, refusing to turn around and see anymore reactions to his mother tongue.
"Yuki," Akira spoke. "You speak French?"
'Well at least he's bit more polite about it—'
Yuki nods, hesitantly, turning around and swallowing. "I—I do," he says, trailing off.
And oh, how he hated this. Hated slipping back into that language as he'd done so many times before in many conversations; luckily, most of them were with Kate, who would simply giggle and ruffle his hair.
"You sound so lovely when you speak in French, Yuki." She would say. "So very mature!"
Others were a little more… harsh, would be a good word to describe it. At several schools before his current one, in Enoshima, he had slipped into French any number of times, and each time getting glares or laughs. He wasn't sure why they would laugh, or make fun of him for something as simple as that, but whatever the reason, he slowly strayed away from the language all together.
Even though he particularly enjoyed speaking it—the accented words, the elegance of sentences tumbling forth… but he cast it aside in favor of not being taunted.
"Yuki Yuki Yuki! Say more, Say more!" Haru had bound over to where Yuki was, standing frozen at the sink.
"N-no, that's okay! I don't… I don't really want to say anything more," he coughed a little, looking down.
Akira looked him inquisitively. "Where did you learn it?"
"A-ah, I lived there for some time, France that is- with Kate." He finally forced himself to turn around, looking at the table instead of Akira and Natsuki, who were staring at him with full attention. "I try… I try not to speak it anymore, but it occasionally slips out—even just now, it was a simple few words." He shut his eyes and exhaled nervously. "You must think it sounds stupid, I'm sorry—I'll try not to-"
Natsuki cut him off, quickly. "You sound nice when you speak it, you know." And after that, it drew quiet, and the conversation had slowly drifted elsewhere, much to Yuki's appreciation.
The four had gone fishing, talking and laughing, until the dark took over the day, and everyone that had been around the docks had gone home.
Akira stood yawning, reeling in his lure, before casting back out, and getting a small bite.
Haru was asleep next to the tackle box, a bright broken lure nestled in his hands.
Yuki was casting back out, reeling back in, casting back out, and reeling back in.
Natsuki stood patiently, reeling in slowly.
It was quiet and it was peaceful, a good afternoon, growing a little colder as the sun had disappeared.
"I think I'm going to go home now," said Akira, a small sleepy tone in his voice.
"Thank you for letting me join you both today." He said with a small smile, taking apart his fishing gear.
"Ah, thank you for joining us!" replied Natsuki, nodding. He and Yuki both then stared at Haru, still sleeping quietly.
"Maybe we should get going too," Yuki laughed a little. "Haru should get home and rest."
Akira eyed the sleeping blonde, watching him yawn and bring the broken lure a little closer to his chest in a protective motion. He smiled half heartedly, sighing.
"I can take him home, if you'd like," he said, quietly. "Your home is on the way to mine, after all, Yuki, so it won't be trouble."
"I-if you're sure! He's a hand full sometimes," Yuki laughed.
Akira nodded, picking up Haru, who stirred ever so slightly before going back to sleep. And like that they had left, heading home.
Natsuki and Yuki stayed at the docks, talking about nothing in particular, which suited them both just fine. Yuki wasn't fond of hard pressing conversations, and found the nights with Natsuki to be quite pleasant no matter where they are or what they spoke about. They would fish, or walk, or have dinner together, anything at all. Over these past few months, they grew closer and closer, and Yuki wasn't so shy around him anymore. Talking and joking were now ordinary things, and no longer amazing feats for himself, and having a friend… saying he had a best friend, wasn't so strange anymore. It wasn't nearly as foreign as it had been such a short time ago.
Yuki had long since put down his rod, laying on his back and staring up at the cloudy sky. There wasn't really much to see, just the blackness of the night and a few stray clouds separated from the others. Eventually Natsuki did the same, resting on the cool wood of the docks, relaxing in the quiet.
"I don't feel like going home, tonight." Yuki said, turning over onto his stomach and gazing at the sea.
"Well where do you feel like going?" Natsuki lazily replied, shutting his eyes.
"I don't know," he said, shutting his own as well.
"Come to my place tonight?"
'I—I'm not used to staying over at others houses—'
"S-sounds okay to me," he said quietly. "I'm a little… I'm a little nervous. I don't even have clothes to sleep in, and your house is pretty far from mine. Traveling there and back just for a set of clothes-"
"I can lend you some, I'm pretty sure we're roughly the same size." Natsuki replied, amused at Yuki's nervous behavior.
Yuki sighed, and they packed up and left, walking away from the sea.
They walked along the short path, talking about nothing very important.
"I've never seen your room before," Yuki spoke. "We always stay in your living room or the kitchen."
"Mm, it's nothing really special. Rather basic." He replied, cheeks reddening lightly. "It's pretty boring."
Yuki nodded as they approached the door. "Well I want to see it anyways," he said, all nervousness pretty much gone from earlier, knowing Natsuki must be hiding something, that blush had given it away so very easily.
Natsuki sighed and unlocked the door, stopping to kick off his shoes before walking further. Yuki followed suit, and walked behind him up the stairs. He stopped at door, turning the knob and stepping inside.
"Ah, so this is it…" It was pretty basic to say the least.
Light blue walls and a beat up desk, a newer looking swivel chair and a small stack of magazines and books on a shelf. Yuki walked around, glancing here and there, as Natsuki grew more and more uncomfortable. Finally, he came to a small cork board.
"Natsuki," he began to ask."Who's this?"
He was pointing at smaller boy in the photo, no glasses, straight black hair with a hat a little too big for him and small fishing rod, smiling up at the camera as if he were the happiest kid alive.
"Ah… that's me."
"What's that supposed to mean!?"
Yuki laughed a little, trying to conceal his smile.
"Nothing, nothing! You just looked… really cute as a kid, that's all." He said, giving him an apologetic look.
Natsuki shook his head, looking at the other photos.
"This one was taken the same day as that one on the poster in Hemingway," he started. "That one's of Sakura on her birthday a few years back…"
Yuki listened and took note of the series of things on the board, quickly cut short by Natsuki himself. "Sorry, I must be boring you." He sighed and smiled up at Yuki. "I get kind of caught up in those photos."
"Ah, no, it's okay!" He replied, kind of happy he at least knew a little more about his friend.
Natsuki offered to make tea, and after that, the night went by smoothly. It was quiet, small chats, relaxing.
"What kind of pajamas do you want?"
"E-eh- oh! Ah… something warm if that's okay?" he toyed with the hem of his shirt.
Natsuki dug out a pair of flannel pants and a long sleeved t-shirt from his dresser, tossing them to Yuki.
He slipped them on, holding his arms out, watching the sleeves fall over his hands.
Natsuki laughed, apologizing. "Sorry sorry, it's a little too big for me too, but it's pretty warm. If you want, I can find you another?"
Yuki blushed red, hiding his face. "No no, it's okay! I like it, it's really soft." Natsuki changed into a pair of sweatpants and an old t-shirt, sitting beside Yuki as they spoke about school, and the day that had gone by so quickly.
"Earlier, you spoke French."
'No, please don't bring that up again…'
"Could you say more?"
Yuki hid his face, sighing.
"It's quite embarrassing…"
"Why is it embarrassing?" Natsuki asked, growing only more and more curious.
"I sound so stupid, that's why." He muttered the foreign words before quickly covering his mouth, shutting his eyes. 'No no no…'
"Ah, see? It sounds so nice coming from you!" Natsuki was completely fixated now, all attention on Yuki.
Yuki sighed and took a breath.
"At least you make me feel better about it," he spoke cautiously, listening to the way the language sounded as he spoke. "I don't feel so ashamed about it when I'm around you, I think."
Natsuki paid attention, tilting his head a little, looking at the boy's nervous expression inquisitively. "What'd you say? You sounded kind of sad."
"Mm, it wasn't sad, just a simple phrase." He smiled slightly and looked down at his lap, picking at the fabric of his pants.
Natsuki looked around hesitantly before asking again. "Could you say one more thing?"
Yuki nodded, becoming less shy about speaking French in front of his friend. "What do you want for me to say?"
"Nothing in particular, whatever you'd like." He answered, not really minding. 'As long as it's you saying it.'
Yuki nodded again before carefully arranging the words in his head.
'It's not like… he'll understand, right?'
"…I really like you. I'm not sure what kind of like it is, but I really like you. I like being close to you, I like staying near you. I really… I really like you."
He took a breath before blushing bright red, all attempts to conceal his small confession quiet. Natsuki simply smiled. "You sound so nice," he complimented. "Thank you… for speaking for me."
The night continued on, a little more shyly. The air grew warmer, there were more "sorrys" and more accidental touches, only existing to make things even more uncomfortable for the two. A simply hand accidentally touching a finger tip was enough to pull back with wide eyes and a short apology, though it had never been like that before.
Natsuki had set two blankets and pillows on the floor, flicking out the lights.
Yuki had already buried himself under his blanket and shut his eyes when he felt a hand brush over his hair.
"I like you, too," he heard, so quietly, a light whisper.
Slowly, hands intertwined, fingers lacing with each other, hearts beating so very quickly—
"You knew what I had said?" Yuki asked quietly.
Natsuki smiled and held his hand a little tighter.
"I knew bits and pieces. Don't get too complex, I don't know much more than a few basic words." He answered.
Yuki smiled and blushed brighter than he had all night.
And room stayed dark, and their hands stayed together, clasped and gently pressing.