It was better this way, he kept repeating himself. It was better to pretend nothing had ever happened, pretending that what he felt for Arata was just a figment of his imagination, or even better pretending that he didn’t exist at all.
And yet, as much as Shingyouji had always been good at making fun of himself like this, he didn’t believe the lies could really come to this point.
He had been walking aimlessly around the school for a while now, and he still couldn’t feel tired.
He wished he could’ve stopped thinking, focusing on everything but Arata Misu, but he already knew he wasn’t going to be able to.
It had been since the first time he had set foot inside the Shidou Gakuen that he had developed that sort of obsession for the older one, and he didn’t see why thinks would’ve had to start changing now, just because reality had put him in front of facts he couldn’t ignore anymore.
He would’ve liked that Arata would smile to him the same way he was doing for Sagara on the phone. He would’ve liked to see him so happy because of him, without having to be content for those glimpse stolen from fate, just because he was there.
But of all the things that he had wanted during all that time, he had obtained too few, and also those he had had weren’t going to be enough to keep convincing him that Arata somehow cared about him.
He thought, he remembered every moment spent with him, he analysed his whole behaviour and he liked less and less the conclusions he came to.
Arata didn’t care. Or, likely, he thought of him as a bother when he couldn’t take advantage of his presence.
Shingyouji wished he could’ve thought otherwise, but the older boy’s attitude took him to that; he never failed to show himself distant, annoyed, often forcing himself to do it, as if he didn’t want to give him anything to hold on to.
Now he just had to ask himself if he loved him enough to go away, to deprive him of his presence, letting him feel free to take a step without Shingyouji following him like a shadow.
He felt a sharp pain in his chest just thinking about it, but he saw no other solution.
He had been good telling him he loved him, telling it to him often, less in keeping secret how much his indifference hurt, but in the end he knew it wouldn’t have changed much.
Arata Misu didn’t have a use for his love.
And if what he wanted was a toy, now that toy had grown tired, and Shingyouji could do nothing but be that good pet he had been until now and leaving his life without making a noise.
It would’ve hurt, worse than he could bear, but it was what he had to do.
He still wanted to see that smile on Arata’s face, he always wanted to see it, he didn’t want it to disappear because of his presence.
And if he would’ve had to settle with looking him from afar, he would’ve done it.
He stopped walking.
He had had enough with thinking, and with the conclusions he had come to.
Noiseless, he thought again.
If he would’ve been discreet enough, perhaps Arata wouldn’t even have realized he wasn’t there anymore.
It was hot, that night.
Shingyouji couldn’t say whether it was actually that hot, after all it was the 7th of July, or if instead what had happened the day before was what made him feel that way.
For once he felt like he didn’t believe to Arata’s words when he had told him he was just his property, when again Shingyouji had told him he loved him and hadn’t received an answer, when Misu had kept showing indifference toward him.
No, he hadn’t believed him, because if he really didn’t matter to him, then they wouldn’t have been together now.
Arata wouldn’t have stopped him while he tried to go away and would’ve stayed with Sagara to spend the night with him, just like he had planned from the beginning, showing that smile that he still didn’t want to use for Shingyouji.
He followed him, one step back, because he was used to it and because he liked to see him walk.
There was something... elegant, in him. Something he had never seen in anybody else, that something keeping him clinging to the love he felt, day after day.
“Let’s go back inside, I’m tired.” Misu said after a while, and Shingyouji nodded, even though the older boy couldn’t see him.
When they were inside the building he got slightly closer, never stopping smiling.
“Arata-senpai?” he called him, while they kept walking toward his room. “Did you hang the tanzaku this year?” he asked, curious. Misu stopped abruptly, a few steps from the door.
He couldn’t see his face, but he felt like he was smiling, even if just for a split second.
“Yes, I’ve written it.” he answered, opening the door and getting inside the room, letting Shingyouji in.
“And what...” the younger asked again, stopping on the threshold and leaning against the wall, while the other boy sat on the bed.
“That” Arata interrupted him before he could finish “is none of your business, is it?”
He laid down on the bed, staring at the ceiling, his expression neutral.
Shingyouji wondered what he was thinking about, but he was already resigned. It was a feeling he was quite accustomed to, that of not understanding what was going through his mind.
“I’m sorry I’ve interrupted you. With Sagara-senpai, I mean. After all he was your guest, and it hasn’t been fair that you’ve left with me and left him alone.”
Arata raised an eyebrow, and gave him a half sarcastic smile.
“I wouldn’t have gone away if I hadn’t wanted to. You should’ve understood at least that. And then what, are you complaining?” he provoked him, pulling himself up on his elbows.
Shingyouji shook his head, embarrassed.
“No, of course not. I’m glad you’ve decided to spend the evening with me.” he said, now with no traces of shame.
Thinking back at how insecure he had felt during the past few days, at how he had been determined to let go of what he felt for Arata, now he felt like the happiest man on earth.
Perhaps he wasn’t going to get from him all he wanted, but any concession the other made to him was more than well accepted, and that day he had shown that as cold as he could appear, Shingyouji was still a part of his life. He was never going to admit it, but this awareness was enough for now to keep him smiling.
“Come here, Shingyouji.” he asked then, moving aside to make room for him on the mattress; the younger boy looked nervously at the door, biting his lower lip.
Arata shook his head, snorting.
“He was with Saki, wasn’t he? Since he’s decided to concede him some of his precious time, I don’t think he’s going to come back any time soon.” he said, and Shingyouji was convinced.
Not that he needed that much persuasion. It had been since they had left the changing room of that store that he had desired to feel him close again, to feel him next to him and on him, but he knew what his place was, and that if he wanted something he could do nothing but waiting that the other decided to give it to him.
He laid down next to him, looking straight in his eyes, while Arata did the same, and then sat back, moving Shingyouji toward the centre and then climbing on top of him, making himself room between the younger one’s legs.
Shingyouji was almost fascinated with his actions, so much that at some point he stopped breathing, as if he couldn’t remember how to do so.
He watched him unbuttoning the shirt he had bought for him, leaning to kiss his chest, then keep undressing him, staring at him with an expression that the boy found illegible.
When Arata took his clothes off as well, the younger one tried not to stare at him with too much attention, having already experimented how usually his docility with Arata wavered at times like these.
Instead he brought his eyes on Misu’s hands still caressing him, making him shiver, quickly moving between his legs, touching him with more confidence, forcing him to close his eyes when he felt them moving lower and starting to prepare him.
Misu had never liked to waste any time, and yet that night he seemed to have decided to change his rhythm, to give him something more, and Shingyouji could do nothing but be grateful to him for that attempt of provoking him, which Arata was a master of.
He moved to meet his hand, in slight movements, almost imperceptible, knowing that the other would’ve stopped completely at any attempt from him to steal the reins from him.
But Arata was smiling now, not that happy smile the younger had already seen on his face, but it was still a smile.
Then he saw him get more comfortable on him, bringing a hand under his leg and taking it to his hip, moving against him without getting inside, looking at him straight in the eyes, as if waiting for his reaction.
“M-Misu...” Shingyouji moaned, biting his lip while the other amused himself, showing a greater desire to play with him than he had ever seen.
“What’s this?” he said, moving a little further, bringing a hand on his shoulder and holding on to it.
“I’m sorry, Arata-senpai, I...”
“I didn’t say you couldn’t do it.” he corrected him again, and he didn’t give him time to say anything else; he thrusted all the way inside him.
The younger boy screamed, rolling his head back on the pillow. When he looked Arata again he saw him with his eyes closed, motionless, but he knew it wasn’t going to be long before he started moving. And he didn’t mind it at all.
He wanted for him to move, he wanted to feel him deep inside, because it was in those moments that he felt like they had a normal relationship, as if there was nothing else he could desire from him.
He raised his head in a clear invitation, and Arata didn’t rebel to this initiative, but leant on him to kiss him, opening his lips and searching his tongue, biting it softly, still moving quickly inside of him, suffocating any moan inside his mouth.
It was like Misu had taken his heart and was now keeping him enthralled in that mouth and his every gesture and movement, and it was a feeling so annihilating that Shingyouji didn’t know how to fight it, had he wanted to.
He moved to meet his thrusts as good as he could, but he let the older one in control, for they both were okay with it, for that was his place and, at least in this circumstance, he liked to be completely subdued to his desires.
After a few more minutes we moved as to take his hand on his own erection, incapable of resisting much longer.
When Arata moved it away harshly he was about to protest, thinking he should’ve had to wait longer, but any complaint died in his throat and was replaced with a sharp moan when Misu wrapped his hand around his cock, moving it at the same rhythm of the thrusts inside of him.
Shingyouji memorized every single sensation given from that touch, not knowing when the other was going to have another rush of generosity like that, and it didn’t take him long before arching his back, reaching his orgasm, screaming his name, relishing the feeling of having him still moving inside until he came as well, hot inside of him, and Shingyouji couldn’t help but bring his arms around his neck, keeping him close.
It didn’t last long, Misu moved to the side, sighing and laying down, staring once again at the ceiling.
They kept quiet, and Shingyouji could hear nothing but the sound of both their breaths, and when he was about to decide to start talking, Misu did it instead.
“What about you?” he asked, careless.
“What did you wring in the tanzaku?”
The younger one couldn’t help but chuckle, shrugging.
“You know what I wrote, don’t you?” he whispered, knowing he didn’t need to add anything to it.
“Idiot.” Arata muttered. Still, he smiled.
Shingyouji made as to stand up, but the older one stopped him, pulling his arm to have him against himself, letting him close without giving a sign that he wanted to let him go.
Shingyouji wasn’t about to complain about that.
That relationship with Misu was far from perfect, and it was never going to be; yet right now he felt sure of something he wasn’t before, and he felt that since they had first met he had misunderstood him more than once.
Arata wasn’t going to leave him behind, like he hadn’t left him alone that day, like now he wasn’t going to let him leave.
It didn’t matter if it was an incapacity of expressing something, or if he really didn’t want to, but he was going to respect that way of being, without asking for more.
He would’ve kept living that desperate dream, calling it love once again without waiting for nothing in exchange. This was his choice, he didn’t even have to think about it, and he thought about how foolish he had been for thinking he could kept living without what Arata unknowingly gave him.
Because if he was going to expect nothing from him, the day when Misu would’ve finally decided to gift him even a single smile would’ve seemed to him like the best thing in the whole world.