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Sigh No More

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Hazuki sits and he drinks. 

It's been a difficult winter so far, and while he's managed to hold his band together, he finds himself feeling stretched thin and overtaxed in the face of his losses, his band's losses. He works hard to keep himself busy, taking on design projects in addition to writing more music, always more music, but there's still a vacancy in him that he can't quite seem to fill. His friends in the industry are sympathetic though, and he appreciates it; but sometimes he still finds himself seeking solitude, even in a pub full of other people, friends and acquaintances happy to offer words of support. 

But then Jun is standing beside the table he's tucked himself away in, and Hazuki's grateful for his presence, too tired to even be anxious as the older man drops down beside him with two fresh glasses of beer and an easy smile as he offers one to him. They've met before, of course, but never have their meetings felt so personal, and something in Hazuki's chest tightens when he thinks about it the next morning, head pounding during the commute to work. 

He sends Jun a text, short and polite to thank him for buying drinks and listening to his sob story, and doesn't expect to receive a response at all, let alone one that appears so quickly on his phone screen. hey, it reads, it's alright. i don't mind lending an ear. Hazuki lets out a breath then, one he hadn't realized he'd been holding, and it's out of relief more than anything. He doesn't like unloading on other people—it's something he's never gotten used to, and he ends up feeling guilty whenever he thinks he's taken up too much of somebody's time—but it's heartening, for Jun to let him know it's okay. They maintain a steady, easygoing conversation over text messages during the next few months, and the familiarity of it quickly becomes a comfort to him. 

Things go alright during the suspension, for a while: he works tirelessly, taking the last train home most nights and returning to the station early the next morning to continue his work at the studio or in the office. Sometimes he works from home, but the journey to Tokyo makes it possible to meet up with friends (to meet up with Jun) more often, and that's all the justification he needs. But then in February he loses another friend much too early, and the floor falls out from under him once more. It's been years already but Kei's passing is like an open wound that's never fully healed, and this is pulling it back open and rending it raw and bloody. 

He ends up at the bar with Jun once more and Jun, Jun knows a thing or two about loss, about the turbulence and uncertainty that can strike and threaten everything that's been built by a band. And he knows something of the sense of hopelessness that comes with it, worrying away at his thoughts at all times, try as he might to take his mind off it. They're both somewhat sober that evening despite the alcohol, but Hazuki's still more forthright than usual, meandering and slipping into almost unintelligible dialect when he becomes too emotional, too candid and too affected by the liquor. There's a loneliness gnawing at his bones even when he's surrounded by colleagues, by friends, but it's several drinks before he admits it to the older man, shoulders hunched from his spot at their booth. 

"Nothing's working," he says, voice dropping to a low, browbeaten croak, and he doesn't glance up from his folded hands to look at Jun, whose look of understanding is plain on his face. "Things seem like they're getting a little bit better and then this, and I can't focus, I can barely keep it together around the people who are counting on me to pull them through it all..." He pauses, takes a large swallow of beer that helps push back the lump in his throat; and when he continues he sounds exhausted, run into the ground. "I'm tired. I'm so tired, and things are fucking shitty and there's nothing I can do." 

"Yeah," Jun replies, because there have been times in his life where he's felt that same overwhelming hopelessness, and while it always passes, it's a heavy weight to carry. "Yeah, it's shitty. But you're talking about it, and that can help, at least a little. I know from experience." He reaches out to squeeze Hazuki's shoulder and it's brief but the pressure of his hand, large and warm, bolsters the vocalist, however slightly. 

"It just," he begins, haltingly, "I feel stupid, you know. Talking about it. I say what I'm thinking out loud and it feels like, like what right do I have to complain, or something. Like I'm just overreacting, and I should be sucking it up and—"

"No," Jun says firmly, cutting him off before he can continue that train of thought, and Hazuki winces at the force of his response. "You're not overreacting, and it's okay to speak what's on your mind. It's worse to keep it bottled up."

"I wish it felt okay," Hazuki says around the paltry imitation of a laugh, but then he falls silent, brows knit as he looks over at Jun. He feels lightheaded suddenly, whether from the beer or the conversation or a combination of both, and he takes a moment to shake the worst of the dizziness from his head before leaning in, hand curving around the older man's forearm. "Thank you," he adds, shifting until their thighs are aligned and nuzzling against his jaw. "For listening, all this time, you're really..." He trails off, lips urging to the corner of Jun's lips, and his eyes flutter closed when the other man ducks down to return the kiss in full, hot and open-mouthed with stubble rough against Hazuki's skin. 

Hazuki kisses him desperately, almost carelessly, and somewhere in his mind there's a voice trying to remind him that they're in public and they're both men and there's a good chance that this was a huge lapse in judgement on his part. But Jun's returning the kiss with lips that feel so good against his own, and their booth is nestled in a corner, away from prying eyes, so it's fine to keep it going for a little while longer. There's a hand cupping his cheek, tracing the line of his jaw, and he leans into the touch with a noise, deep and needy in the back of his throat. By the time they part they're both breathless, staring at each other in surprise dulled by liquor and exhaustion, and Hazuki runs his tongue over his swollen lower lip, still too taken aback by his own actions to be self-conscious quite yet. 

There's a lengthy silence as they stare at each other, chests rising and falling, and when they speak it's at the same time, Hazuki's stammered I didn't, I mean, that wasn't—was that alright— mingling with Jun's we should wrap up here, head out, my car— and Hazuki nods, swallowing the rest of his words and reaching into his bag for his wallet with a wavering breath. 

"Okay," he says after a moment, anticipation coiling in his stomach, and they close their tab before making a quick exit from the bar, pulling on coats and scarves to ward off the worst of the February chill. Hazuki's fingers feel too thick, too clumsy as they fiddle with the zipper of his jacket, and he crams his hands into his pockets afterward, fingers curling into his palms. 

They retreat to the darkened lot and Jun's right there at his side, leaning the younger man against his car and ducking his head down to kiss him, languid and deep. Hazuki's hands shoot up from his pockets to grasp at his shoulders, nails biting into the leather of Jun's coat as he returns it, mind foggy but reeling from the other man's weight against him. They continue kissing, lips roaming across each other's skin, but eventually the weather gets the best of them and they part wordlessly, studying each other with lidded gazes and clouds of cold air billowing between them. 

"You should get going," Jun says eventually, voice rough in his throat as he glances down at his phone screen. "It's getting late, and you have a long train ride, don't you." 

"Ah," Hazuki breathes, "that's right. I've got time to make it to the station, at least." It's only a few blocks away, thankfully, and Hazuki cranes his head to glance at the nearby street sign. "Are you alright to drive?" 

"I should be fine," Jun replies with a faint smile, fishing keys from his pocket and hitting the remote starter. He moves in for one more kiss, barely pulling away to speak when he reminds him once more that it's alright to talk openly with him whenever he needs to—and that it's alright if he wants to continue where they're leaving off. He catches Hazuki's lip between his teeth after he says it, pointed with just enough pressure to draw a gasp from him, but the younger man is still so stunned by it all that he doesn't quite process his words, not even once he's slouched on the train and later, when he's peeling off his clothes and dropping into bed. 

-

His alarm is a sharp, sudden buzz in his ears when he awakes the next morning, too loud and harsh when paired with the throbbing in his temples. He reaches out for it without opening his eyes, fumbles for the button but ends up yanking the cord out of its socket instead, and it isn't until he's stumbling into the shower that he remembers the previous evening. 

"Oh, hell," he says, halfway through squeezing shampoo into his hand, and it ends up spilling over and onto the shower floor before he has the sense to close the cap. "Oh god," he continues as he works it into his hair, "oh shit, oh god—"

He remembers talking to Jun last night about how miserable he's been, and he remembers the feel of his lips and the taste of his mouth, but it's hazy and he doesn't quite trust his own recollection. He's still fretting as he rummages in his closet for clean clothes, as he swallows down a power bar and an energy drink, and he calls Reo eventually, to let him know it's going to be a work from home kind of day. 

He boots up his computer and spends the next hour staring listlessly at the screen as he checks his emails, taps out short replies, checks Twitter. He wants to call Jun, to apologize for his embarrassing behavior and beg for him to forget the whole thing—but a wave of longing hits him then, because he also wants to kiss him again, somewhere private and with a head unclouded by too much booze. He studiously avoids his cell phone until it's later in the day, because he doesn't know what the other man's schedule is like and really, really doesn't want to wake him up on the off chance that he's still asleep, so he tries his hardest to focus on work until lunchtime. 

There's a message from Jun waiting in between scattered replies from his band mates, and his stomach twists anxiously as he swipes his phone to read it. hope things are better today, it reads, and honestly, Hazuki could die. let me know your thoughts about what i said.

About what he said... Hazuki thinks he knows what Jun means but he wants to be sure, and so he finally calls the older man after closing the message window, pacing across his living room as the other line starts to ring. 

"Hey, what's up?" Jun breezes as soon as he answers, and Hazuki grips his phone so tightly it might've snapped. 

"Morning, Jun-san," he begins, dropping down to his couch and immediately standing up again. "I hope this isn't a bad time." 

"Never a bad time," is Jun's reply, and Hazuki returns once more to the couch cushions because god, he might actually swoon. 

"Ah, good." He's so nervous, almost giddy, but Jun is calm and collected and reaffirming on the other line, and it's just enough to steady him. "I saw your text, you know, and to be honest it took me a while to remember what you said last night before I went home." 

"You've had a rough week," Jun says lightly, "they were justified drinks, at least." 

"Ha, yeah." 

"But you did remember," Jun continues, and his voice is mild but there's a trace of something there, something coaxing, hopeful.

"Yeah, I did. I'm down if you still are." As soon as he says it he wants to fling the phone across the room and yell because he's so bad at this, he hates it; but Jun's easy laughter is filtering into his ear and he exhales, relief washing over him in waves.

"Hell yeah I am," the bassist replies, and then it's Hazuki who laughs, bubbling forth unbidden as a smile spreads across his features. He's never really been with another man before, not steadily, but it's one undertaking that doesn't seem nearly as daunting as everything else going on in his life. And the fact that it's Jun, well, shit yeah

They meet a few more times during the next few weeks, at cafes and restaurants now in addition to bars, but it's a while before they're able to really move forward because Hazuki's so wrapped up in meetings with his label and his band mates that he's hard-pressed to make time for anything else. But finally, finally, there's a brief lull before the band's suspension is lifted and Jun takes the opportunity to invite him over one afternoon in early March, after they've finished lunch at one of their regular haunts.

Things have been stressful with the label lately but it's easy to push those worries aside when Jun leads him through the front door, pausing just long enough for them to remove their shoes before drawing him back into the house. They'd been kissing before that, still in the car but with Hazuki pulled halfway into his lap, fingers scrabbling at the upholstery as Jun's teeth scraped across his neck. Now though, Jun pushes the younger man's coat off his shoulders and it drops to the living room floor, and their shirts soon follow in the hallway outside his bedroom door. Hazuki grins when he crosses the threshold, nose crinkling despite himself, and when Jun's hands drift down to his waist and tug him flush against his chest, he smiles wider still. 

Their jeans are shoved down and kicked unceremoniously to the side, and when Jun's hands slide around from his hips to his ass he groans, hips rocking forward as fingers press and squeeze at him. "Fuck," he says with a shudder, but Jun only replies with a self-satisfied mmhm and nudges him towards the bed. They tip onto it together, kissing as their hands begin to roam in earnest, and when they finally come to rest on the mattress it's with Hazuki straddling Jun's hips, grinding against him through their underwear like he's a teenager instead of a man well into his thirties. 

Jun's hands are gripping tight near the tops of his thighs, fingers slipping under the fabric of his boxer briefs and pressing his nails into the sensitive skin there, and the sting of it has the singer rolling down against his hips with more urgency, hissing out his name as he hunches forward. His fingers splay out at his chest, raking his nails along the expanse of it to spur him on, and when one hand catches the metal of his nipple ring he grins once more, curving lower still to replace his fingers with his mouth. 

He reaches down to slip a hand beneath elastic, fingers circling around the head of Jun's cock, and what he really wants is to slide down and wrap his lips around him, taste him—but they're both so close already, worked up after weeks of tension, and so he saves the thought for later, for next time. 

It's rough and hurried and over too soon, Jun shuddering beneath Hazuki as he comes across his chest, and the younger man follows not long after, Jun's hand stroking at him insistently through the fabric. He falls against him then, cheek pressed against his chest, and he's sweaty, breathing hard and his underwear are a mess, but he can't bring himself to pull away just yet. 

"Fuck," Jun breathes, lips pressing idly to the top of his head, "I'm glad you took me up on my offer." It makes Hazuki laugh, breath warm against the older man's chest, and he lets out a content noise, a quiet hum low in his throat. 

"Yeah," he says, drawing back just long enough to squirm out of his sticky underwear, "yeah, me too."