LOADED SOUL 10/10
A/N: Well, this is the end. It isn't really a bang ending, just kind of sweet, I guess. I could have left it off at chapter nine, but this was already written, so I posted it anyway. Thanks to everyone who's supported me with this story up to this point! Really, it's amazing that you've stuck with it despite its many flaws!
And it's weird. Despite me hating on it since the very beginning, I'm strangely sad now that it's over.
PS: WAY too much kissing in this chapter. I don't know what happened, okay?
"We're going to miss the plane," Fuji shifted, his grip on the suitcase crippling. "Ryoma, if you don't hurry up-"
"I'm trying," Ryoma's voice spilled through the cracks of the shower. He hastily pulled a towel around his damp body, steam swirling through the slit of the bathroom door. It wasn't his fault they had both overslept. They'd been exhausted from the events of the night before. And just because Fuji had called the shower first didn't mean he had the right to –
"Ryoma! Five minutes and I'm gone."
"Fuji-senpai, you sound like my mother," he poked his head through the shower. His lips curled. "And you wouldn't leave your helpless little kouhai all alone here in America, would you?"
The eyes were dangerously bright. "Perhaps I won't. I'll just drag you there in your towel instead."
That didn't sound appealing. Ryoma quickly pulled on shorts and his Seigaku jacket, swiping a comb through his wet hair. He tugged at his collar, before glancing at himself in the mirror. Great – his hair was dripping into his shirt, and it felt cold and gross. Fuji was going to die on the plane. If they even got on it.
"You know," Fuji was steaming. Probably because it was somewhat his responsibility to get them back, considering he was the senpai. "If the plane leaves – "
"It won't," Ryoma burst through the door, glaring at Fuji. "Aren't you supposed to be all calm?"
The prodigy's eyes lit like a flaming candle. "You better pray the plane is delayed, Ryo-chan."
The threat didn't sound empty. Ryoma gulped, before throwing his pajamas and underclothes into his suitcase and zipping it up. He stumbled over to Fuji, who was tapping his feet by the door.
"Ready," Ryoma said breathlessly.
Fuji huffed, and turned the key through the door. But before the door closed completely, Ryoma felt himself being grabbed into an intense kiss, tongue in mouth, lips locked for over five minutes. He shivered under the thrill, legs trembling underneath him as he clasped onto Fuji's neck. He was aware of the ticking clock, but succumbed nonetheless.
When they pulled apart, Ryoma licked his lips. "I thought we were late."
"We are," Fuji clucked his tongue. "But Ryo-chan, you know I can't resist you when you're fresh out of the shower."
Ryoma blinked in disbelief, but Fuji was already leaving the room and strolling down the corridor.
The plane sent waves of emotion rolling through him.
Ryoma shifted on the seat, grateful that the plane had indeed been delayed and had saved them the mad-rush. He stared out the window, aware of Fuji watching him from the corner of his eyes, but ignoring the feeling. It felt weird, being in a plane, one week later. He felt a laugh clip at his lips, but held it back.
He remembered how he'd felt on the ride there – jittery, a wreck, knees weak, blush prominent. Fuji had made him into an emotional, nervous mess.
But now, Ryoma felt oddly calm with Fuji. Things had settled down, and now it was just him, Fuji, and their thrilling relationship.
No Alec, no insecurities, no I might hurt you because of how I acted with my old boyfriend.
"Hey," Fuji squeezed his hand, taking his fingers into his own. "Remember how you threw up on the plane ride here? Think it's going to happen again?"
His tone was all teasing and taunt – Ryoma scowled, and slunk down in his seat. "That was only because you were holding my hand."
"And that made you nauseous?" Fuji pouted. "I'm offended."
"That's not how I meant it," Ryoma rubbed the top of his nose, his hair still feeling wet against his neck. He turned his gaze back out the window, where he could see the other planes all lined up. His shoulders relaxed into the seat.
Fuji's hand played with his own. "You have callouses from tennis," he said.
Ryoma blinked, and looked down. It was true his hands were a bit rough from hours and hours of holding a racquet. He smirked.
"So are yours, Fuji-senpai. I guess you're not as much of a girl as you look like."
Fuji's eyes flickered open. "I hope that wasn't an insult."
"It wasn't a compliment."
Ryoma expected Fuji to do some kind of intense-glare-threaten thing, so he yelped when the boy grasped his hair and kissed him full on the mouth. Ryoma let the kiss engulf him, not caring that people were probably staring and commenting. The only part that felt weird was Fuji and him were kissing so much lately.
Fuji plucked apart quickly. "You're blushing."
Ryoma glared. "I'm just…flushed."
"That's the same thing."
"Um…mints?" the stewardess from behind them coughed awkwardly; face red from neck to hairline. She barely waited for them to nod before she shoved a couple in Fuji's hand and rushed off to serve the next seat.
Fuji chuckled, unwrapping them. "People get so disturbed when they see two boys kissing. I wonder why, hm?"
"It's weird," Ryoma said.
"Yeah," Ryoma sucked on his mint.
"Is that a bad thing?"
Ryoma gave him a dry look. "You're weird, and I was kissing you a while ago."
This time Fuji laughed, allowing Ryoma to savour the light, playful sound. He was really glad the whole emotional-mess they'd been was over. He glanced over to see the stewardess serving another waiter – she was pretty, with dark black hair and a nice smile. He much preferred her to…his throat went sour. Fulvia.
He almost smiled to himself. It was weird to think he'd been growling in his throat with envy when Fulvia had been hitting on Fuji.
It seemed so long ago, when it'd only been a week.
"Hey, it's about to take off," Fuji grasped his hand again. "Remember Ryo-chan: breathe."
"I'm not going to throw up," Ryoma scoffed. He yanked his hand away, placing it back in his lap. When the rumble of plane started, and the air rushed in his ears to block out all the sounds, he let himself reach for the hand again. Fuji smiled at him, sincere, and with no taunt, and he allowed himself to offer a grin back.
"I'm glad you didn't throw up."
Ryoma curled up, trying to sleep. "Let me take a nap."
"You're always napping, Ryo-chan. I'll be bored. What will I do if you sleep?"
Ryoma grunted. His eyelids pestered him, and he let himself drift further.
"I'm taking out your sketchbook. Is that alright, Ryo-chan?"
The twelve-year old honestly couldn't careless. "Whatever…" he muttered, pulling his blanket close to his body. He vaguely heard Fuji rummaging through his backpack, before the sound of crisp pages turning and a pencil stroking paper hummed in his ears. In a few minutes, he dozed off to Fuji drawing quietly beside him.
Ryoma groaned, and shifted. He willed whatever force that was trying to wake him up to leave, but the nudging only grew more persistent. Finally succumbing to his fate, he opened bleary eyes to see Fuji's boiling eyes on him, bright, blue, and striking as ever. Moving his mouth to form incoherent words, Ryoma managed only "Urggh" before he gave up and kissed him.
Fuji looked amused. "You can't resist?"
Ryoma yawned, stretching. He rubbed at an eyelid. "How long did I sleep?"
"Long enough." Fuji pushed the sketchpad towards him.
The preteen looked down to see a picture of himself – sleeping, curled up, looking warm and at peace. The details were vague, rushed, but the drawing captured the right essence of the moment. He touched the paper, feeling unusually touched by the gesture. But before everything became even more cheesy than it already was, he rolled his shoulders and sat up straight.
"Heh." Ryoma's hazel eyes slanted. "You're not just good at photography, senpai. You can draw too."
Fuji's lips curled. "I try my best to be perfect."
Ryoma didn't like the words, no matter how playfully they were said. It made his gut tighten, because, well, Fuji was already perfect. He didn't need to try. He sat up and gave Fuji a hard look.
"You're already close to perfect."
"If you get any more closer, you might almost be able to beat me in tennis."
"Oh?" Fuji turned to him with a twinkle in his eye. "Are you saying your better than me right now?"
Ryoma's smile was smug, and he licked his lips, before closing the large gap between them for yet another kiss. Between lip and teeth, he said:
"I try to be honest."
"Remember that game where you ask a question and the other person has to say the truth no matter what?" Fuji traced his fingers around Ryoma's neck, and Ryoma tiredly slumped his head against the shoulder. Despite his nap, the plane made him feel cramped, and without moving around, he simply felt exhausted and restless at the same time.
"It was a dumb game," Ryoma said.
"You said some dumb things," Fuji mused. "Remember how you take three baths?"
Ryoma groaned. "Ugh. Shut up."
"Let's play again," Fuji nuzzled his nose into Ryoma's silky mop of hair. "You can start."
Ryoma really didn't want to play this game again. He was tired, curled up to Fuji, and he was honestly too sick of the plane to participate in Fuji's stupid activities. But the prodigy's eyes held a warm flame, the kind of flame that warned him that if he didn't he may just get dumped in the head by the orange juice they'd ordered.
"Fine. Why does Fuji-senpai always keep his eyes closed?"
"If I didn't," Fuji said effortlessly. "Everyone would fall in love with me. It would be a bit of a hassle."
Ryoma scowled. "And people say I'm arrogant."
"You're only arrogant when it comes to tennis," Fuji pressed his hand against Ryoma's forehead, resting his chin on the top of his head. "That's the part about you I like best."
The words made him feel too gooey for it to be healthy for a male. Fuji wasn't healthy for people, Ryoma concluded. He was like…an incurable disease that wasn't bad. It was illogical – why was he in love with him, anyway? Ryoma swallowed at his own thoughts. It was still hard to come to terms with the fact that he was in…love with Fuji.
Maybe he wasn't, since he was only twelve, but he refused to call what they had simply a crush.
"Okay," Fuji said. "My turn."
"Don't ask anything weird."
Fuji's slim fingers tapped the hand rest. "Do you have any moles? Or birthmarks? "
Ryoma rolled his eyes – he should have known asking Fuji to refrain from being weird would only cause him to be more weird. It was like that thing where teenagers rebelled when their parents set too many rules. He knew that firsthand. If his stupid father said curfew was at ten, he promptly came home two hours later.
"Yes," Ryoma took a sip of his orange juice.
"Oh?" Fuji said. "Where?"
Ryoma coughed, and heat rose to his cheeks. "Nowhere."
"Is it somewhere naughty?"
"No! I – just, shut up."
Fuji's eyes crinkled in a smile. "I'm getting nice images, Ryo-chan."
His face couldn't have got any hotter even if he wanted it to. Ryoma ducked his head down, and hoped Fuji wasn't actually getting…nice images of him in his mind. It was so embarrassing. This was why he despised this game – it caused nothing but humiliation for him. As if sensing Ryoma's foul mood, Fuji brushed Ryoma's hair back.
"I was kidding," he said. "You get flustered so easily."
"No," Ryoma said. No one had ever said that to him.
"Not usually," Fuji's thin lips curled into a smile. "But on…ah, sexual topics."
Or, Ryoma though, still flushed, just around you.
Fuji put a hand on Ryoma's thigh, causing the boy to go still as a stone. "Are you up for something?"
Thump – thump – thump.
Ryoma wiped sweat from his forehead. "Something?"
"Well, it's getting quite boring here." The hand moved closer up.
"Not, uh, really."
"You don't want to?" Fuji shook his head. "Such a shame. Well, I'm afraid I can't take no for an answer."
"What?" Ryoma's voice felt weak even to himself. His skin felt burned from Fuji's soft fingers, and he itched to squirm and move away. What the hell was the prodigy talking about now? Before he could comprehend any of it, Fuji's hand flew off his thigh, grasped his neck, and pulled him in for a kiss. Ryoma leaned in for it, expecting it to be a short, quick one, but Fuji didn't let go after that.
It seemed, Ryoma though, feeling adrenaline pump through his body, that Fuji Syusuke had another hobby aside from photography, tennis, and drawing.
He liked that one best.
By the time they were going to land in Japan, it was cold, and dark. Ryoma looked out the window only to see a pitch, foggy black sky. He stared at it, the drum of the plane engine lulling him to take a nap. He blinked, and tried to stay awake. There was just a few more minutes until they reached Japan.
Fuji had his eyes closed, his hand resting overtop Ryoma's.
"Asleep, yet?" Ryoma whispered.
The lips twitched. "Not if you keep asking me every five minutes."
Ryoma smirked, before turning back to the window and watching the air move in motion around him. Most of the people around him were either quietly doing something, or sleeping. The plane felt cool, and only a single stewardess moved up and down the aisle for service. He wrapped the blanket Fuji and him were sharing tighter around himself.
"Cold?" Fuji opened an eye.
"Nah," Ryoma yawned. He rubbed at one eye. "Just tired."
Fuji was looking at him fondly.
"What?" Ryoma said.
"Nothing," Fuji shifted, pressing the barest kiss on his forehead. "You're so cute."
Ryoma tried not to feel flattered, and instead simply let himself snuggle into the warmth of the blanket. His mind wandered off to the first plane ride, where everything had been so different. Who knew one trip to America with the boy he had a crush on could gain him a relationship, an avid kissing partner, and…love?
It was love, right?
Ryoma frowned, and tapped his fingers against his cheek.
What if it wasn't love to Fuji?
He quickly shoved the thought away, as if it burned his mind. He didn't need to start up complications again. They didn't need them. All they needed was a break from any astray thoughts, and he wouldn't be the one to start them.
"Hey," Fuji's fingers traced up Ryoma's arm. "Can I tell you something?"
"Yeah," Ryoma shifted, closing his eyes and getting comfortable. He felt a smirk slink onto his face. "Is it my bedtime story, Fuji-senpai?"
Even though he couldn't see him, Ryoma knew Fuji had a smile cracked on his face.
"You can take it as that." The prodigy's fingers crawled back downwards, before slipping back through his hands and squeezing tight. They were warm, and Ryoma wished Fuji could engulf him whole in a hug. But he wanted to hear what Fuji had to say first. "Remember on the plane ride here, right before landing, I yelled something to you?"
Ryoma strained his mind. The memory found its way in.
"Ryoma?" Fuji yelled over the loud noise of the plane. Ryoma glanced to the side, and saw Fuji's mouth move as he spoke. The words were completely drowned out.
"I wasn't sure of it at the time," Fuji's voice was soft, barely comprehendible. "But I felt like I needed to say it. I didn't want you to hear, so I chose a time I knew you wouldn't be able to."
"What is it?" Ryoma was looking straight at him now, brow arched.
Fuji's eyes grew distant, before they returned back to Ryoma. The hand squeezed again.
"I think I love you Ryoma."
Ryoma stared at him. For a moment, he wondered if he'd heard wrong. But Fuji was looking at him with clear emotion in his eyes, and he knew he hadn't. Ryoma felt an overwhelming warmth, in almost slow-motion, wash over his body. Nobody had ever said the words to him before. His father was subtle about his affection, and his mother was always on business trips halfway around the world. It didn't matter that there was an I think in front of it. All Ryoma could hear was I love you, Ryoma – on repeat, until he couldn't help the giddiness that erupted into every pore of his body. Fuji loved him. He loved him. Ryoma felt faint with joy.
"I mean," Fuji glimpsed an anxious smile. "I know we're young, but I don't know what else to call it – "
"Fuji-senpai," Ryoma exhaled.
"Yes?" The prodigy sounded nervous.
"I think," Ryoma tried to smirk, but a grin came instead. "I think I love you too, Fuji-senpai."
The words were barely out of his mouth before Fuji was on him, kissing, hard, passionate, strong. Ryoma groaned, and wondered vaguely if it was bad idea to be making out in an airplane full of people. But then Fuji nipped his tongue in, and Ryoma ceased to care as he gripped Fuji's hair and moaned into his mouth.
As they kissed, shaking with thrill, the belt-on signal came on.
"Attention all passengers: We're landing in five minutes. Please buckle up.
Fuji fumbled for his belt through their kiss, strapping it ungracefully around his stomach. Ryoma clicked his own belt on, not once taking his lips off of Fuji. The cold had melted away, and now it was just him, Fuji, their lips, and the darkness of the sky outside them.
When the plane started to land, Ryoma pulled apart, panting – nearly heaving.
Fuji pulled him into a one-shouldered hug, his own breaths unsteady. "You alright? We're landing. Will Ryo-chan be okay?"
Ryoma felt the familiar whirring return, and closed his eyes. He smirked, and slipped his fingers through Fuji's.
"Even if I wasn't," he turned to the window. "I'll have you here, won't I?"
The plane roared as they neared the grounds of Japan. Fuji leaned into the crook between his neck, and said in a single breath of sincerity:
"Always, Ryoma. Always and forever."
EDIT: Haha, I just wanted to mention, now that this story's done, I'm ready to start a new multi-chaptered fic. I have a ton of ideas, so I put all of them up on a poll, and I'm letting you guys vote to decide which one I should do next from my pile haha! So please feel free to vote!