A/N: I feel compelled to note that my fanfiction output has dropped significantly as of late as I am currently working on a real, live manuscript. Y’know… like… for a book. A real book! Something with my own characters! WHOOOAAAAAA. Yeah, my mind is blown, too!
In other words, you can expect longer wait-times between chapters, but not to worry – I’m not just dropping it =)
Happy Endings Are All the Same:
There was a careful two feet of floor between their futon, and he couldn’t help but be aware of the fact that Seishin was at the very edge of the far side of his own. It wouldn’t have shocked him had Seishin stood up and dragged his futon to the wall itself, although he knew he wouldn’t.
There was a nagging sense of guilt as he lay there, of knowing how selfish he was being. It wasn’t that he was trying to, though. He really wasn’t. It was just… just…
He didn’t know. Seishin. That sense of his presence. There was something in it all, although he wasn’t exactly sure of what the something was. Or, maybe, he wasn’t willing to commit to whatever that something was. He felt as if he hit a wall every time he did sit to consider it, and then his mind would wander off to something else… something to do with Seishin, usually, just not… this. This lying in the same room and trying not to hear the other man breathe.
What was he doing? What had he been thinking when he’d offered to help Seishin that morning with… well, his erection? Or even the night before when he’d ended up tangled with him in bed… Toshio was old enough to figure that one could only blame so much on alcohol. Especially when there was a bit of a pattern even without.
It was a bit startling, but it occurred to him that he wanted to be in the other futon, curled up again with his friend. He flushed, and chewed at the inside of his mouth. The mid-September air had a sharp coolness to it… it’d be warmer with two…
There was a lingering lag between the question and response, one that told him Seishin was lying facing the outside door, “What?”
“Seishin…” He cleared his throat, hesitating, “Am I… the first?”
“Oh. The second?”
“Oh.” He regarded the ceiling, “Seishin… are you…?”
“I don’t know…” It was muffled, and he glanced over quickly, saw the priest’s form all bunched up almost over the edge of the futon.
They lapsed into silence, the ticking of the small clock shockingly loud. Toshio cleared his throat again, drowning out the timepiece’s hands, “Who?”
“Hibari-sensei… and Kazuo…”
“Wait… your room-mate Kazuo?”
“Yes, that Kazuo.”
He realized he could almost hear a smile in Seishin’s voice, his own mind reeling, “You lived with him for five years…”
“And we dated for four…”
“What?” He sat up, staring over, “You never said anything!”
“I wasn’t sure how you’d take it…”
“Yes. And then I came back here, so…”
“You broke up.”
“…you really do hate this place, don’t you?”
Seishin shifted uncomfortably, “I didn’t say that…”
“You don’t have to.”
“I… I liked you in high school, too.”
He’d known it would derail the line of questioning, and it worked perfectly, “You didn’t say anything!”
“I didn’t want to be rejected.”
“No. Mikiyasu sent that chocolate.”
He laughed a little, “But not like that. It was just… well, he was still a kid, and you were cool because you were older and let him hang around with us.”
Toshio snorted, “He was good at sneaking alcohol from his parents’ cabinet.”
“You don’t give yourself enough credit.”
“Yeah, well…” He lay back down, pulling the blankets back up.
He didn’t say anything more, lost in thought. In hindsight, that Mikiyasu had been responsible for the candy no one would claim on Valentine’s Day was something he should’ve been able to guess at. He’d kept bugging him about it long after anyone else had, but Toshio had just assumed it was because he was so much younger – just the annoying phase thing. But Seishin was almost certainly right, he was sure; it made sense.
But sifting through his memories of Seishin in high school, even with the new knowledge, revealed nothing. He’d missed it entirely. Still did. And felt foolish for it.
Hibari-sensei… that he could see. He’d even teased him for being a teacher’s pet at the time. It was the only time Seishin had ever volunteered to be a class rep. But he hadn’t really thought much of it at the time. And why would he have? If it had been a woman, maybe, but it wasn’t something he would’ve noticed.
Well, and there was the answer – it wouldn’t have occurred to him that Seishin would’ve been interested in anyone other than girls or women. Stupid. He’d known him for something like twenty-five years, he should’ve noticed.
Seishin had met him their freshman year because they’d had the same major. And Toshio had even been a bit jealous of how much time they’d started spending together. When had they…? They moved in together before sophomore year had started, to save money they claimed. Before that, Toshio and Seishin and some other guys from the college had lived in a run-down boarding house with four and a half tatami rooms. The new apartment had been cheaper to split and in better shape, and they were two guys, so…
How much of it had been cost? Had they been involved already, or did that come later? He resisted the urge to ask Seishin. It was probably better not to…
Kazuo. How had he missed that?
He looked over at Seishin again, could heard him breathing softly and steadily. If he’d stayed in Tokyo, would they still be together?
A/N: I hate adding a note at the end, I really do; however, I wished to address the fact that Seishin did not commit to any particular sexual orientation, instead more or less dodging the matter. I feel a bit guilty over that, as I often rattle on about the lack of gay identity in BL and yuri manga… however, given Seishin’s character, I ultimately think it is more in keeping with his character for him to be noncommittal about it. So that is why I opted for his vague response.
…yeah, I still feel a bit guilty for it, though.