Believe

Disclaimer: I don't own Josh Groban's recording of "Believe" or Ai Yazawa's manga Nana.

The nights were dark and cold, but not lonely. Never lonely. Even when you had to create a family from scratch, especially when you had to create a family from scratch, you were never lonely. Naoki had his mother, Reira had hers, and Yasu was back at home with Nana and Nobu. Ren was here with Takumi. His father was a miserable drunk, and his sister had her husband and children, but Takumi had Ren.

It had been a hard month recording and training, practicing how they would interview with the press once their single was released. It was exhausting, but Takumi was thriving. Even so, he had to sleep sometime. And that time was now. His arms were firmly around Ren, even as he lay splayed out on their futon beneath the window. Ren turned over slowly, as to not wake the other. He could see the iron fire escape and grey winter sky above him. It was gorgeous.

The sky looked so endless, so expansive, that he could dive right into it. It was strange to just lie beneath it this way. Takumi kept trying to keep the curtains shut at night so the neighbors wouldn't see them, but they couldn't see in when the lights were out, at least not when the couple left before dawn.

For some reason, even though he was incredibly fatigued, Ren could not sleep. Their session last night had been perfect, better than any he'd had before, with anyone. Better than even the first, magical time he played guitar. Better than sex...better than sex with Takumi (well, probably not much). It had been ethereal, and he had no idea why. He concentrated on the cracking plaster of the white ceiling. No hidden message seemed available in them, no clue to hit him like a ton of bricks, like a train.

Takumi was dreaming of a train. It moved lazily, slowly, over deeply-embedded tracks on top of a frozen river. All around him was the stark white and green and brown of the northern forest and fleks of confetti-like snow...where was he? Russia? Canada?

"Shush. Don't think," whispered Ren's voice in his ear. Takumi whipped his head around but could not find a source. Sighing, he closed his eyes. Less sensual input meant less to think about, and instead he focused on the pleasant warmth of the car and the swaying of the locomotive.

"That's better..." the voice said, and he could feel a warm hand encasing his, caressing it warmly. He could sense the mass of the other's body lying next to him, the head leaning slowly toward his shoulder. Seconds, minutes passed in silence, and the train continued. Ren's head came to rest on Takumi's shoulder, a familiar weight. It was always nice to be alone with him, to just be silent and not think. It was so unlike him, unlike either of them, that it made perfect sense.

They had been working so hard and so much lately, and even though music was his life Takumi had to admit, at least to his subconscious, that he was growing tired of it. There had to be more to life than just writing music and playing bass, even for Reira's beautiful voice. There was something more, he knew that truly and deeply, to his core at that moment, on the train with Ren radiating warmth. That was enough for him to put up with everything and not just sell out completely, just take the money and run and not see the whole damn process through.

Out of the corner of his eye, Ren saw movement from the window. Tensing, he edged closer to the sill until he realized it was just snow. The first snowfall of the year...it was unusually late. There was less than a week until Christmas, but this season had been unusually dry and warm, as if October nearly ended. Takumi stirred, struggling into a sitting position. Well, shit, I woke him up.

"What's wrong?"

"Just snow."

Takumi glared. "You woke me up for snow?" He could have had that, did have that, back in his quiet and comforting dream.

Ren shrugged. "Sorry. Didn't mean to."

Expecting the other to sit down, he was surprised when Takumi moved closer to the sill and moved Ren's legs over so he could sit right under it. "Well, I might as well watch it. I thought we'd never get any this year."

Ren sat up to join him. It was pretty, whirling and spinning aimlessly, taking its sweet time, and very, very real, not at all papery.

They sat like that for a few hours, not touching but just watching the snow accumulate on cars, sills, floor, and rails outside, the tracks of rubber wheels through the side street below forming perfectly smooth tracks. It was almost like being a child again, Ren realized. It was just like sitting on the edge of his bed in the orphanage late at night, when all the other boys were asleep. He would watch the snow fall in the silence, just like this. He wondered if Takumi did this as a child, too, then shook off the thought. But if he was doing it now...Ren touched the other's hand softly.

And, after all, now Ren was not so alone.

Takumi leaned closer fractionally in response. It really was amazing how far they'd come from their shameful, forgettable childhoods. As life passed and the hourglass shortened, they lengthened it, made the most of their time together, their time in the studio and here in the tiny apartment. They just had to.

"We're really going to make it," Ren whispered softly.

As musicians. As lovers.

Believing was half the battle, he realized, as Takumi silenced him with a kiss.