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distant and white and burning

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"I went out to for a ride and you're still on that laptop?" 

  

Ryo looked up from his work. Akira had on a rolled up white shirt that was tucked in behind black trousers that were (stylishly, recklessly?) ripped at the knees. He brought his attention back to the laptop. "Yes," Ryo replied, slender fingers flying over the keyboard, not ever making any typos. He was a strict calculation with no room for errors.

 

Ryo sniffed the air. "Is that . . . hamburgers I smell?"  

 

Akira nodded, raising a clear plastic bag stuffed with plump hamburgers. "Let's go out," Akira winked with a tilt of his head. "Too much of a good night to let it go unseen. It's cloudless — you can really see the stars." He pulled his laptop away from his lap and closed it with click. 

 

Ryo sighed, crossing his arms. "Again? You just went out." He'd also heard about a potential thunderstorm, but it mattered not to Akira. He already had him by the wrist, pulling him outside. Parked in front of them was the motorcycle, black and smooth as a bat's wings. It was an impressive, sleek vehicle. "Alright," Akira said, swinging his leg over the seat. He patted the spot behind him. "Get on." Reluctantly, he did.

 

Ryo wrapped his arms around Akira's waist and rested his chin on his shoulder. Akira smelled like gasoline, leather and midnight. "Where are you taking me?"  

 

He could hear the smirk in his voice. "Just hold on tight."

  

Like an animal, the engine roared to life.

 

 

 

+

 

 

 

Their motorcycle cut the air like knife. Street and stop lights became a blur of gold and cherry red, the silver stars stretching themselves out like the ocean. Akira laughed and his voice was thunder. Cars honked at them angrily at their reckless velocity, but it made Akira laugh even louder. The air grew saltier, his ears no longer full with the sound of cars, but the distant crashing of waves. They had arrived at an oceanside pier.   

  

The motorcycle tilted and steadied itself and Akira hopped off with a grin still full of adrenaline. "We're here!" he exclaimed, raising his hands up to the sky with enthusiasm. Ryo stood and took his helmet off and saw the distant ocean. The waters were dark. Night had bled from the sky and fell to the once sapphire blue waters, staining them black like ink. Oh, and the waves, moving and crashing, restless as insomnia.

 

He heard shuffling. "What are you doing," asked Ryo, turning his gaze towards a bended Akira.

 

"Takin' my shoes off."

 

"I can see that."

 

"I wanna have a race." Akira lifted himself up and put his hands on his hip, shoes dangling off his fingers. His raven hair was windblown and messy, but it was handsome. A wild and free type of handsome. "See who can get to the pier first." 

  

"The hamburgers would get ruined if I ran, but I can watch you instead." Ryo smiled a rare smile. "Show me how fast you can go."

 

Akira flashed a sporty white grin and sprinted off barefooted with the speed of, well, a devil. Maybe the reason why he went off barefooted was because he wanted to feel how the cool sand dampened as he neared towards the tides, how bits of seashells stuck to his feet, feel how midnight ran through his air.

 

Akira looked back, wanting to see if, by chance, Ryo was running, too. He did not. Ryo was very behind, but he could see him. He stuck out like a swan against the blackness of the night. Akira's sprint slowed, stopped. He looked at how the moon was right behind Ryo’s head, like some sort of crown or halo. He seemed to burn away at the darkness around him. Maybe he was a star — distant and white and burning. 

 

 

  

+

 

 

 

They reached the end of the wooden pier, sat down, and began to eat their burgers. Akira had ordered three and ate — no, devoured them down with ravenous hunger that rivaled a tiger's. He swung his feet, looking at the darkling, moon-pulled waves. They endlessly rolled and crashed against each other, creating white foam and bubbles. "I miss days when we would go out and see a little of the world." Akira said between bites. "You're always on your laptop now, always typing." This was true. "But at least not tonight." Akira laid on his back and Ryo mirrored him. He pointed towards the stars, marvelling at their superlunary geometry. "Look at how they shine, Ryo."

 

Ryo hummed in acknowledgement. Akira told him if there were any constellations he recognized, and he said yes. He traced them all while holding Akira's hand (rough, calloused, warm), and guided his index finger, helping him trace every constellation he could find. 

 

"That's orion, scorpius, pleiades . . ."

 

Akira guided his now, making him trace a round w. "That one looks like a butt."

 

Ryo slapped Akira's hand and called him childish. Akira cackled, saying, but am I lying? Ryo rolled his eyes but he found himself laughing a little, too.