Dedication: Agatha – just because you’re a wonderful person, I love talking to you. And Razzy Rain – my Official Advisor for this fic. XD *Huggles* You both are the best!
Beautiful: Part Four - Bleeding for You
“I didn’t mean to fall in love with you
And baby, there’s a name for what you put me through
It isn’t love, it’s robbery
I’m sleeping with the ghost of you and me.”
-- BB Mak – “Ghost of Me and You”
Toshiya picked up the phone with a shaking hand. He had been staring at the phone, resting silently and harmlessly in its cradle, for a long moment. He tried to make his hands hold steady, but he failed miserably and finally gave up. He resigned himself to shake, to tremble. God knew he felt like the world around him, the world he knew, was falling apart. It was only fitting that he should tremble with it.
He slowly dialed the number that was dancing behind his weary eyes. < This is so hard... > He nervously twirled the cord around his finger, absently giving his hands something to hold on to, something to ground him.
< I don’t know what to do, I don’t know what’s right... Is there a right choice at all? >
The rings were distant and hollow. < I think I have to do this... I think it’s the closest to right that I can get. Close to right, but maybe not to happiness... >
< But it’s all my fault anyway. I must atone. >
Finally the ringing stopped and the other end connected. “Hello?”
He sounded tired, so tired.
“Hi... Kaoru,” Toshiya said softly. His eyes flickered silently around the room, as if affirming that he was safely alone.
“Totchi... Daijoubu?” Softly colored surprise, probably at hearing Toshiya’s voice, hearing Toshiya call him for once.
“Why weren’t you at practice today?” Concern. No anger. Only sweet, bittersweet, concern.
“I – I just couldn’t come, not after last night...”
“What happened last night?” With these words there was a sharp edge of steel that Toshiya did not understand.
“After you called – I mean, it was actually when you called, and also after – me and Die had a big fight, about... you know. And other stuff, sort of. And – and he left, and I didn’t know what would happen at practice if I saw you, saw him... I’m sorry.”
“Don’t apologize,” Kaoru rejoined immediately, voice soothing and gentle.
< Kaoru... Kaoru... > His thoughts wailed.
“I have to talk to you,” Toshiya said quietly, surprised at how steady his voice seemed. “There’s something – I have to tell you...” < I have to hurt you. > The knowledge brought pain like acid.
“Toshiya, I want to see you. I have to.”
His heart fluttered, he squeezed his eyes shut. His fingers were tightly clutched around the phone cord, had been that way for some time. “Demo...”
“I know you said you were fine, but – I have to see you, you sound lost, upset, hurt... Please.”
“You can tell me in person, whatever it is you have to say. But – please, let me see you...”
He kept his eyes closed, tight enough to see colors swirling behind the lids, to see the reflections of heaven and hell and his world around him, to see blacks and blues like the veins of flowers, like bruises, the reds and yellows of blood and sun.
< Kaoru... I can’t say no to you. I can’t... >
A sigh escaped his lips, a breathy escape of emotion. “Alright,” he agreed, voice very soft. “Wh...” His voice was dry, he had to start again. “Where?” he whispered.
A silent sigh this time, deeper, longer. “Can – can I come right now?” < Before Die gets here... >
“Aa. I’ll see you soon, ne, Totchi?” Kaoru’s voice was kind, gentle, worried; each softness woven within it made Toshiya’s heart burn.
“Ja,” he whispered, unwilling to let himself say more in response. He hung up.
For a long moment, before rising, Toshiya sat on the couch. He drew into himself, he pulled tightly together, shivering, seeking warmth in a life that was uncertain and watery. He pressed his hands against his face, breathing deeply, feeling like his breaths were shallow. He hid his eyes with his hands, tried to block out the light of the night sky and the lamps, but could still see the things he wanted, the things he had, the things that had passed, that were too far behind or ahead to reach.
Still trying to stop the minute tremble, he unfolded and forced himself to rise from the couch. Feeling tired and weak, anguished and anticipatory, he left to see Kaoru.
The stars were drops of a shattered moon in the sky, the moon was a shadowed pool of star tears, star pearls. Kaoru stared out the window, waiting. Waiting for Toshiya, waiting to hear what the bassist wanted to tell him but somehow unable to worry about those words, unable to fully care. He just wanted to *see* Toshiya, to see that he was okay, to know him as more than a wavering voice on the other end of the phone.
In practice he had accused Die of hurting Toshiya. On some level, he didn’t really believe Die would do that, not when he looked back calmly. But in the heat of the moment, he believed it could have happened; and part of him, deep down, still did, though not the rational part.
And he just wanted to see Toshiya.
“Is that so wrong?” he whispered. The stars peered back and he found no answers in their silent gaze.
The knock on the door pulled him from his swirling reverie, and he swiftly crossed through the dim, golden light of the lamps toward the front door. Toshiya had knocked only twice, quietly, but the sound seemed to reverberate in time with Kaoru’s soft footsteps, pretending to be a heartbeat.
Kaoru opened the door.
Toshiya stood outside wreathed in moonlight, haloed dimly but surely by darkness. He seemed somehow smaller, softer, the brightness in his eyes that made him confident and sparkling was missing. He was drifting into himself, his eyes were no longer nearly so bright.
It hurt Kaoru to see him like that. And yet – he was still beautiful, he was so achingly beautiful. Porcelain skin, porcelain perfection. Large, dark eyes. Shimmering hair.
“Konbon wa,” Kaoru greeted the other man softly, when at first, when the door first opened, Toshiya only gazed at him, eyes wide and shadowed.
“Hi,” the bassist returned in a whisper.
Kaoru stepped back, opened the door wider. “Come in.”
Toshiya shook his head mutely, eyes suddenly cast downward, hair swaying slightly.
Kaoru stared at him. “Totchi?”
The bluehead bit his lip, lifted his face. “No, I – I can’t.”
The guitarist studied him intently, stepped forward again toward the threshold, hand loosening on the knob. “You can’t...?”
Toshiya’s gaze wavered, it seemed like he almost looked away. He didn’t, though. Instead, he gazed back at Kaoru and, to the guitarists’ dismay, a tear escaped the pools of his eyes. “I can’t come inside, Kaoru. I – I can’t.”
“Why not?” His voice was a very soft whisper.
“I – just can’t. I came here just – just to tell you something.”
Kaoru’s throat felt tight, he let his hand fall limply from the doorknob, watched Toshiya in anguish. “What is it?”
Toshiya finally let his eyes slide away. “Die and I, we.... We talked this evening. A lot. And – and it’s not like things are okay right now, they won’t be for a while. But – but....” He trailed off, he seemed to choke on the words.
“We’re going to stay together. We’re going to try.”
< You – you and Die...? > The stars seemed to blur, scatter, fade away. He gazed at Toshiya with what he knew to be desperate incomprehension in his eyes. He didn’t think that Toshiya would come running to him, he didn’t think things would suddenly change, but now that Die and Shinya knew, he thought – he thought that things would be different. Somehow.
He thought he and Toshiya would be together. Somehow...
“You... and Die?” he finally whispered.
Toshiya seemed affected by the naked pain in Kaoru’s voice, he seemed struck by it. The single tear became the prelude to many, and a thin stream began to fall.
Toshiya’s voice only remained quiet, though, and steady. “Kaoru, you – you don’t understand. This is something that I have to do...”
< No... No... > Kaoru reached out and took Toshiya’s hand. He wasn’t so much pleading or trying to do something or make something happen, he just – he needed to touch him, to feel him.
Toshiya choked down a sob when Kaoru’s fingers laced suddenly through his, he let his arm be lifted slightly. But he never took a step forward.
“Why?” Kaoru implored softly, gaze pleading.
Toshiya shook his head helplessly. “Kaoru, I can’t – I can’t explain, there’s nothing I can say that will make this sound right. But... I... we...” He didn’t seem to know how to finish, maybe he just didn’t want to.
< I want to kiss you, I want to comfort you. To just touch you, hold you, be able to believe I can give you warmth that will not die... > Maybe Toshiya saw the plea in his eyes. Because after staring back helplessly at Kaoru for a long moment, he only, in the end, turned his face away.
Kaoru raised Toshiya’s hand, seeing the slivers of fallen, milky moonlight wash over the even, pale skin, creating an ethereal, almost translucent appearance. The guitarist bent down, brought Toshiya’s hand to his lips, and pressed a kiss to the back. The fingers in his hand were limp, but Toshiya did not try to pull away.
When Kaoru looked back up he saw Toshiya watching him with tears like mercury. “It wasn’t supposed to be this way...” Toshiya said, voice broken and shattered like the sky.
Kaoru turned his hand over, kissed the palm, tried to savor the sensation. He could feel Toshiya’s warmth, in spite of his translucency, in spite of the chill and the tremble that wracked the lithe frame. He wanted to remember that warmth, he wanted it to somehow sustain him.
“....Not for us. Not for us, Kaoru...”
The fingers slid out of his grasp, and Kaoru lifted his eyes. Toshiya drew his arm back to himself, absently clutching his fingers together in front of him, shaking his head slightly. Still silently crying.
That barrier was between them, the doorway to the night, the threshold stood solidly as a separation. Kaoru was inside, in the soft glow of artificial light. Alone. Cold.
Toshiya was in the evening. He was taking a step backward, then another, as the sky created that pale, wan glow. He was alone. Cold.
Neither of them said anything else, neither chose to taint an already imperfect night with words that were useless and wishes that were less. Kaoru only watched in aching silence as Toshiya slowly backed away, seeming as if he had words ready to fall but knew they were no use. He could only watch as Toshiya turned away.
As the bassist disappeared into the night, he never looked back, his head was tilted down and his eyes never returned to Kaoru. Long after his car disappeared Kaoru stared into the darkness.
Maybe he would regret this decision. But he simply couldn’t help it.
He had spoken to Toshiya early that evening. After practice had gone awry and been cancelled, he hadn’t really had much to do with himself. He had wandered around aimlessly, wondering about the others. Finally, toward the evening, he just felt obligated to talk to Toshiya, to see if everything was alright. He didn’t know the full situation with either Die or Kaoru, and thus didn’t know if either would check up on the probably distressed bassist.
Turns out Die had already talked to Toshiya. The bassist seemed to genuinely, almost desperately, appreciate Shinya stopping by to see how he was doing, and although Shinya insisted that he just stay for a few moments, because Toshiya looked like he might want to rest, the bassist still talked to him. He told him that he and Die had had a big fight, but that they had decided they would try to work things out.
Apparently Die went over to see Toshiya sometime after practice was called off, and from the impression Shinya got, it had been a long discussion, perhaps escalating into another fight. But the bottom line was that Toshiya and Die were going to work it out.
Toshiya also told Shinya that he was going to let Kaoru know. He said he thought that it was something he had to do, and Shinya could only nod helplessly, it wasn’t really his place to agree or disagree. He didn’t really know anyway.
So now here he was, walking up the path to Kaoru’s house late in the evening because he thought, just maybe, that the guitarist might want some company because of the things that had happened.
It was stupid, maybe he was setting himself up for hurt – Kaoru might not want to see him of all people, he might turn him away. And that would hurt, if his company was rebuked. But – he just *had* to. It was Kaoru. There was a particular compulsion upon Shinya, a pull like a magnet, drawing him to Kaoru.
He knocked lightly on the door, shifting nervously. < If he doesn’t want company, if he turns me away, that’s fine. But if there’s any chance that I can stay with him, help him when I know he’s hurting so much, I have to take it. I have to try. >
“Coming.” Shinya heard the call from inside float out to him, and he waited patiently. Soon there came the sound of footsteps falling, the announcement of an approaching presence.
Then the door was opening and Kaoru was peering into the night at him, blinking owlishly. He looked – tired, so tired. “Shinya? What are you doing here?” His voice was softly desolate, as if he was surprised by Shinya’s presence but somehow couldn’t find it in himself to care.
“I...” Shinya faltered slightly, flushing because he knew it was somewhat absurd to just show up on Kaoru’s doorstep late in the evening. Kaoru waited expectantly, not impatient or patient, but mere waiting, watching.
“Well, I spoke with Toshiya earlier,” Shinya finally began. Kaoru’s eyes flashed with a spark of pain. “And he told me about him and Die. And – well, he said he was going to tell you this evening, and I just thought... Maybe you didn’t want to be alone, or you wanted to talk to someone. Or something...” He knew he was beginning to ramble, and Kaoru was quick to silence his searching words.
“Shinya... You didn’t have to do this.”
Shinya’s heart fluttered hopefully. < He hasn’t turned me away. Maybe he’ll accept. Even though we broke up, he still might turn to me. >
“I know,” he answered quietly, “but – after seeing you at practice, and... And I just know this is hard for you...” He trailed off.
Then Kaoru gave him a very small smile. But it was still a smile, for him, to him, in spite of burdens, sorrow, and darkness, in spite of everything. And Shinya could feel himself falling so deeply into those eyes, always falling, falling again.
< God... I’m so hopeless. Pathetically hopeless... >
“Come on in, Shinya,” Kaoru said, stepping back and opening the door wider. Shinya gratefully accepted, stepping inside and pausing as Kaoru shut the door behind him.
“I know it’s late,” Kaoru began, “but I hadn’t really been paying much attention to the time earlier, so I was just making ramen for dinner. Do you want any?”
“Hai,” Shinya said with a duck of his head, having forgotten to eat as well, too wrapped up in everything else. “Arigato.” He followed Kaoru into the kitchen, eyes sweeping over belongings and places that were intensely familiar.
The air was only very slightly tense, and that tension soon dissipated as they sat on the floor at Kaoru’s coffee table to eat their ramen and Kaoru put in a DVD from his anime collection. During an episode break, however, Kaoru suddenly stopped it. Shinya flashed an inquisitive glance his direction, and he saw the pink head not quite looking at him, or at anything. His gaze was to the side and somehow distant, far away. He seemed hesitant to speak, but there were words dancing behind his eyes, his lips, his every minute action.
“Kaoru?” Shinya asked softly. “Is something wrong?”
It was something of an inanely stupid question – everything was wrong – but Kaoru didn’t seem to notice or to care. He finally focused his eyes on Shinya, and said quietly, hesitantly, both wanting and loathing to speak: “tonight... Toshiya came to see me.”
Shinya blinked, worried. This was not something he had known about, Toshiya had said nothing about seeing Kaoru, he had only said he would call.
Carefully, the drummer rose and sat back on the couch behind them. Kaoru followed suit, sighing softly. “What happened?” Shinya asked, wondering how much it would hurt him to know, how much it hurt Kaoru.
“He called me, to tell me about him and Die,” Kaoru explained quietly, eyes elusive. “But – but I didn’t let him finish, I said – I said I wanted to see him... I don’t know why.” Kaoru’s eyes met Shinya’s suddenly; he looked at him briefly as if to say with his eyes that he truly didn’t know why, he didn’t understand and couldn’t put it into words.
“I understand,” Shinya soothed quickly. < You’re like me, in a way... >
“So anyway...” Kaoru’s eyes slid away once more. “He came.”
< I’m like Toshiya, too, > he thought. < You ask, and I can do nothing but obey you... >
“He came, but... He wouldn’t come inside. He just stood there, on the front porch, crying...” Kaoru’s voice caught slightly at the memory, at the emotion. “And he told me he was going to stay with Die. And – that it wasn’t supposed to be me and him, not the two of us together.
“And – and I just don’t understand.” Kaoru’s voice was trembling, weary. Shinya studied his profile, his anguished expression, perfect features.
“Don’t understand what?”
Kaoru’s eyes remained away, away from him, away from the world. “Why any of this had to happen,” he whispered. “Why we”—Shinya knew by his voice that ‘we’ meant himself and Kaoru—“didn’t work, why things had to change. And now that they have changed... I don’t see why he has to be with Die, not now that this whole mess is out in the open...”
Kaoru let his head sink forward into his hands. Shinya could feel the questions and emotion pulsating from him like a need, an ache. His heart went out to him, cried out for him.
“Oh, Kaoru,” he whispered, shifting closer and putting one arm around the guitarist’s shoulders. Their sides were touching, legs pressed together, and Shinya suddenly felt warmer.
“I don’t know,” Shinya continued softly. “I don’t have the answers... All I know is that you don’t deserve this.”
Kaoru shifted slightly, slowly lifted his head, his eyes seeking Shinya’s. “Neither do you, Shinya.” He sat back – Shinya let his arm slip back to his own lap – and he turned partially, fingers closing over one of Shinya’s slender hands.
“God, I don’t know why you put up with me...”
“Because you don’t deserve this,” he repeated softly, immediately, insistently. “You don’t. You try so hard, you lead us so well....” One of his hands crept up of its own volition, touching Kaoru’s face, stroking his cheek.
“And you care...” Feeling the warmth of Kaoru’s flesh, trying, needing to soak it up, take it into himself, replace the new, ever-present chill. Their eyes were now locked.
“And you’re so beautiful...” Kaoru’s hand tightening ever so slightly around his chill hand. Intensity flashing in their gazes.
“And gentle...” His fingers brushing over those lips, lips that he used to know, that he would always remember. The air trembling between them, heat quivering.
And then passion. Sudden kissing.
There was no recollection of movement, there was no action of leaning forward. They were staring at each other, losing themselves. Shinya was falling into Kaoru’s eyes, then he was falling against him, pressed against him as their lips met fervently, passionately.
He melted into the sensation, submitting utterly, forgetting everything as they kissed, as he experienced that feeling that he thought he had given up, that he craved.
< I love you, Kaoru, I love you still... So much... > Thoughts running like a mantra through his head that felt light, his senses filled with a heady emotion. He couldn’t care about anything else, he couldn’t. What was right, what was wrong – it ran together. Because this *felt* right, it felt so right, he wanted it so much...
They needed warmth, they needed each other. They sought the heat they were both so desperately without in each other, and it didn’t matter if it was wrong or right. Shinya shivered as the kiss deepened, as Kaoru pulled him closer. Kaoru leaned forward slightly, tilting him backward, and Shinya let him, sinking down.
He shuddered at the feel of another body pressed against him, over him, kissing Kaoru back until he had no air left to sustain him, and then only breaking away when the breath shared, stolen, between them was gone.
Shinya left his eyes closed as he tried to catch his breath. He tilted his head back as Kaoru kissed his neck, mouth burning and fervent.
“Kaoru,” he whispered, moaning helplessly, Kaoru’s bangs brushing gently against the line of his jaw, teasing and tickling. When he barely had enough breath regained to breathe, he lifted his hands, catching Kaoru’s face and pulling his mouth back up, seeking another kiss.
He received it, Kaoru aggressively granted him a kiss, hot and thorough. Shinya whimpered, sliding his hands down Kaoru’s chest, then questing to slide his hands beneath his shirt, fingers fumbling for the cloth’s rim. He found it, and he slipped his hands inside the thin material, sliding them over warm flesh like velvet sheathing hard muscle.
But even that wasn’t enough, he needed more, more contact, more heat. He slid his hands out from beneath the shirt, fingers searching instead for the buttons. He could feel Kaoru’s free hand doing the same, but he could only dimly register Kaoru’s fingers fumbling with the buttons of his long-sleeved shirt, his emotions were focused intensely, helplessly, on Kaoru kissing him, on the feel, the taste, the heat.
Shinya moaned into Kaoru’s mouth as Kaoru freed him of his shirt and as his hand drifted across his bared flesh, his touch on Shinya’s chest light and electrifying. Their kiss was breathless but still passionate, searching, promising.
Shinya was trembling with the intensity of the situation, with the memory and the desire. And himself, he was still working on unfastening the buttons, and he was using two hands. But his fingers were shaking, he was overwhelmed, affected with a certain desperation.
He was halfway done when he gave up, resorting to sliding the material aside, pushing it down Kaoru’s shoulders. But when he reached to feel the warm, revealed skin, when his hands were searching and desperate for contact, for warmth, Kaoru suddenly, roughly, jerked away.
Kaoru sat back, lips pulling away suddenly and abruptly from their passionate kiss, and Shinya’s hands brushed only cold air. The drummer’s eyes slid open, stared up at Kaoru, slightly dilated, passion-clouded.
“Kaoru...?” he whispered, breathing heavily.
The guitarists’ eyes were slightly panicked, he quickly shifted off of Shinya. His shirt was askew, remained pushed off of his shoulders, baring tantalizing flesh. But Shinya’s eyes were on his face.
“Kaoru,” he tried again, more insistently. His voice was almost a whimper, but he didn’t care.
“No,” Kaoru said, “no, I – I can’t do this.”
< But... I love you. If this is what you need... >
Shinya pushed himself to a half-sitting position, eyes tearing slightly at the way Kaoru looked at him, at the way he got off the couch, movements rapid and almost frantic, at the way the heat was so rapidly abandoning him. Cold swirled around his skin, touching, probing, seeping inside.
“Kaoru...” He lifted a hand, reaching out, supplicating. < You’re not the only one who needs comfort... I need you... I want you to want me like this, even – even if it’s just for now... >
“No... Shinya...” Kaoru backed away, he looked hunted, haunted. “I can’t stay here.” The words fell from his lips, spoken like he almost didn’t mean to say it, but like it was the only thing he was thinking.
< Don’t leave me... >
Kaoru’s own breathing was still rapid, his skin was slightly flushed. He didn’t listen to the moan of Shinya’s thoughts, he seemed only driven away by Shinya’s lifted hand. He turned and he fled, leaving the room even after Shinya called out after him, voice a desolate cry.
Shinya received only silence in response, his thoughts were spinning and his heart was aching. He was cold, so cold, alone on Kaoru’s couch, shirtless.
“Kaoru...” The name escaped his lips like a moan, caught in his throat with a sob. He folded in upon himself, drawing his knees up to his chest. The sob spilled over his lips.
There was a clash of feelings within him, emotions were colliding with rationality. What he had wanted to do, tried to do... What he couldn’t do, what Kaoru couldn’t do. A certain helplessness overtook him, a certain self-loathing.
< All I wanted was to help you... I was going to let you use me... > Another sob, choking. < God help me, I still would... >
He was shivering, he wanted to pull a blanket around himself, but there was nothing nearby, and he didn’t think his legs could support him. His body was still affected by the kiss, weakened by it, his heart was still pounding. But his mind was clear, he was aware to a painful extent.
He could still taste Kaoru, feel him, he could sense him in everything because it was his house.
Shinya curled up on the couch, utterly alone. He didn’t know where Kaoru had gone, but he had heard the door slam shut, echoing in the entryway and reaching to Shinya.
< Kaoru... Kaoru... > The name repeated in his thoughts like a moan, a wailing litany. He ended the night cold and alone.
Kaoru returned to his house uncertain and weary. The cold wind wrapped around him, and he shivered as he slipped inside, entering and closing the door softly. The house was quiet, intensely silent now that the outside noises of the night – the wind, the distant cars, night life – were shut out.
He had gone out to a bar feeling sick and confused, and he returned feeling the same. His head hurt, his heart hurt. When he pulled up in his driveway, he saw that Shinya’s car was still there.
< But it’s so late... Why didn’t he go home? Oh, Shinya... > Kaoru approached his living room quietly, but all of the lights, save a dim lamp in the corner, were off. The couch was empty, barren and friendless, and the coffee table sported only their two bowls of mostly-finished ramen. Kaoru sighed, looking around and biting his lip.
Moving gracefully in the still darkness, he picked up the bowls and carried them to the sink, setting them in the porcelain basin and quickly, quietly, rinsing them. Then he turned to the hallway and followed it to his bedroom, slipping through the shadows.
It was then that he found Shinya. He paused as he stepped over the threshold, stopping in the door that was a void to blue darkness, gaze resting on the bed. The slim drummer lay curled up on top of the comforter, his arms around the pillow that his head was resting on, and his knees drawn up partially. His hands clutched the pillow tightly, either protectively or desperately, and his hair partially obscured his face, soft strands falling forward to drift in front of his closed eyes.
Kaoru could see him shivering, and he could only stare at him for a long moment, still guilty and confused because of earlier, still regretting things he could not change.
He breathed a sigh before his thoughts could send him too far down a spiral of darkness, and he shook himself into action. Taking a blanket from the closet against the side wall – moving very quietly, breathlessly – he approached the bed. He leaned over and spread the blanket gently over Shinya, thinking it was better to simply cover him than try to get him under the bedcovers and risk waking him.
As the blanket settled over him, Shinya shifted, seeming to feel it and reflexively reacting, feeling the new warmth and clutching it closer. One hand released the pillow as the edge of the cover brushed those long, slender fingers, and he pulled it to his chin. A breathy sigh escaped his lips.
Kaoru brushed the hair from his eyes, unable to resist. “Shin-chan... Oyasumi.”
He straightened, angled away from the bed and approached the door once more. But when he reached it he paused, turned around, and let his eyes settle back on the curled-up, now-covered figure. The silhouette laying on his bed seemed so forlorn, lonely.
He had seen Shinya in his bed before, and it had never been like this, it wasn’t supposed to be like this. It shouldn’t look like Shinya was hurting in his sleep, like he was crying out for someone that was not there. Kaoru wondered if he imagined it, or if Shinya was still shivering.
He couldn’t just leave him like that.
He returned to the bed, padding quietly across the floor. The drummer was curled up on the side nearest the window, the side that he had adopted as his. Kaoru slipped onto the bed next to him, distantly embracing the sudden, relaxing softness of the mattress.
Carefully, moving gently so as not to shift the bed much and wake Shinya, he shifted so that he was next to the slender man, almost touching but for the barrier of blanket. And then he reached his arms around him, and he curved against Shinya’s back, sliding into an embrace that was achingly familiar.
Shinya responded automatically, shifting back against Kaoru as he felt the other man embrace him warmly, protectively, seeking his comfort in sleep.
< Sleep well, Shin-chan, > he thought, tightening his arms slightly around the younger man. < Our worlds are completely different now... I know this is hurting you, everything is. But maybe, just for tonight, you can find some comfort... >
Closing his eyes, he drifted into dreams.
to be continued
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