Kita wasn’t living. He was eating, studying, smiling but he wasn’t quite living. Osamu could see that he was dragging himself to classes, he was forcing himself to talk, he was forcing himself to eat. Kita wasn’t one to act, he would tell you if he was sad, happy, annoyed or excited. He never hide his feelings, especially not from Osamu. Whenever they were together Osamu could always tell what Kita was thinking, he always knew what was bothering him. He wasn’t afraid to share his feelings, he wasn’t afraid to cry, he wasn’t afraid to smile freely. He was blunt, didn’t like secrets and being friends since forever didn’t let them have any secrets.
Osamu was afraid. Kita not telling him that he is sad meant one thing, that even Kita wasn’t admitting himself that he was sad. He was acting like everything was all right and he didn’t need help. Osamu didn’t want to fight with Kita but didn’t know how to help him without telling him that it is not living, you are not happy, you are just fooling yourself.
One month after Granny died, Osamu couldn’t let Kita be just himself. He wasn’t answering him, he wasn’t visiting him to eat. Osamu was worried and didn’t want to leave him alone. Maybe leaving him alone at first was a mistake but he didn’t know what to do. How do you console someone who lost the most dear person to them? Osamu didn’t know the answer but he knew the pain. Granny was important to him too, she was there all along their journey, she was the one who inspired Osamu to open Miyas Onigiri. She was like a parent to him and he adored him. But she wasn’t his parents, he had parents and a brother. Kita only had his grandma and no one else. Osamu regretted leaving him alone for so long but even if he wanted to he knew Kita wasn’t gonna let him.
After funeral all he got was ‘I’m okay’ texts, then after he would get some calls to make him believe that he was okay. Till this day, they never mentioned the funeral or the feelings. It was daily lives, Osamu’s family, Osamu’s business, Kita’s exams, Atsumu’s career. Atsumu said the same stuff, he too tried to reach Kita but got the same responses. He was okay, he was studying, no one had to worry. This didn’t make Osamu worry, quite opposite it made him worry more.
Osamu was at Kita’s door, ringing the bell and waiting for a response.
“Shin-chan, please open the door, it’s Osamu.”
Osamu had a key but he didn’t want to use it now. This apartment was basically his second home, he would spend his free times just hanging around, watching Kita study, sometimes cooking for him, chatting for topics that are not relevant to their lives in any way, sometimes just sitting next to each other and watching something. Kita would do the watching and Osamu would try watching him without getting caught, sometimes put his head on Kita’s shoulder and act like he fell asleep. Kita didn’t mind cuddling, Osamu falling asleep on his arms, it was something they did since they were kids but it wasn’t exactly the same. It was different for Osamu. Osamu didn’t remember when did it begin it or how did it happen, all he could remember was slight changes in his feelings. It was the before Kita’s high school graduation, they were preparing stuff for their little picnic because Granny said ‘I trust you with foods, I feel a little tired’ and they had to feed both families. Osamu liked cooking and he was good at it, Kita liked baking and they worked good as a team. Osamu was frying some vegetables and gave some Kita to taste. Kita looked at him and smiled softly after saying ‘Amazing, like always’. It was the moment Osamu realized that, shit, I’m in love. It was a simple moment, it wasn’t something romantic or special but it was them. It was them, being themselves and Osamu didn't need a groundbreaking moment to realize his feelings. He needed to admit it to himself and nothing was more perfect than a normal moment between them. Their 'normal' moments were the most special thing to Osamu. They had a routine for everything. Their movements were predictable and some would say that it would get boring at some point. Osamu would oppose, being predictable issn't something boring when you are with the right person, he would say. Being with the right person just makes everything more exciting, he would say, they just make everything fit perfectly.
Kita graduated, went university, Osamu and Atsumu graduated, Atsumu continued playing volleyball, Osamu opened his onigiri shop. They were now on different pats but were never apart. Osamu tried to suppress his feelings, when it didn’t happen he let them overflow and let his heart and hoped that one day they’d vanish. They never did but he learned how to live with them, Kita was near him, he loved him dearly and it was enough, it had to be enough.
Kita’s voice was cut off with some crashing sounds and after that Osamu didn’t wait for anything. He used his key and opened the door. Kita was sitting on ground, his hand was bleeding and Osamu didn’t know how the describe the mess. The books were everywhere, there was a broken glass on ground and the saddest thing was that Kita was a mess. Wish he could tell that the living room was just a mess so he could solve the problem with cleaning. He crouched down to Kita’s side and held out his hand.
“It is not deep, I just need to wrap it.”
“Shin-chan, please let me see it.”
Kita opened his fist and let Osamu see it. Osamu knew what to do in this situation, his brother was a mess and he was a mess like his brother so they often ended up in these kind of situations. He knew Kita is prepared for this kind off stuff but he didn’t think that Kita was in right emotional state to care about it.
The cut wasn’t deep and after wrapping some clothes to wound, he cleaned the blood. Kita wasn’t looking at him, which wasn’t a Kita thing. He would directly look into your eyes, see through your soul.
“Shin-chan, would you like to explain me what is happening here?”
“My vision just blacked out a little, it is not important. I’m okay.”
“When was the last time you eat?”
“Osamu, I said I’m fine, I’m not hungry.”
Osamu was getting angry. He didn’t know how to deal with this Kita. Kita that didn’t clean, eat, take care of himself.
“You are sitting on that couch, I’m making you food and while you are eating, I’m cleaning here, okay?”
“I don’t need this! I don’t need you to baby me! I can take care of myself! I told you I’m okay!”
Kita was so close to breaking apart, he was too tired even try to hide it, he wasn’t fooling himself and Osamu could see it in his eyes. The eyes he has known since forever, the eyes that he could read like an open book.
“You are not okay. But it’s normal. You don’t have to be okay. I’m here. You don’t have to pretend. I know how you feel.” Osamu wanted to hug him, ease his worries, ruffle his hair while whispering him sweet words.
“You don’t know how I feel! I don’t know how I feel! I don’t know how to continue! I don’t know how to feel good! I don’t even know how to pretend. I don’t feel hungry, I don’t feel sleepy, I feel nothing. I just miss her, I miss my family. I have nothing, I have no one!”
“You have us! You have me! I’m not her, I can’t replace her, but I’m here. I love you, Shinsuke. I know you love me too, you are not alone, you were never alone. I loved her too, I miss her too but we have to continue living. It won’t be same but you can’t just continue starving yourself and surrender yourself with this mess.”
Kita made a sound that Osamu never heard from him. The scream hurt Osamu’s soul, it was too much. There were too much things bottled inside Kita. It hurt to let them out and it hurt to listen it. Osamu hugged Kita tightly and let him cry. Kita was mumbling stuff that didn’t have a meaning, he was shaking so much that Osamu felt weak while holding him. He didn’t know when but at some point he started crying too. He was crying because he was missing Granny, he was crying because Kita was in unbearable pain and Osamu didn’t have anything other than being beside him.
After half an hour Kita finally calmed down. He wasn’t making any sound and his eyes were closed so he assumed that he got too tired. Osamu knew he was tired and hasn’t been sleeping for god knows how many days. He took Kita to his bed, kissed his forehead and let him sleep. He hoped that he could get a good sleep after all he has been through.
He started with cleaning living room. It took more than he thought he would spend on cleaning. He was getting tired and hungry. When he looked at Kita’s fridge he was shocked that there weren’t anything. There were just some colas Osamu put there a month ago. He checked on Kita once more and left house to do some shopping. He couldn’t stop himself from worrying too much. He is sleeping right now, he reminded himself. You are gonna cook for him, the worst is over, you are not gonna let this happen again.
Osamu prepared himself a plate and sit down on couch. He opened some random channel and let it play. He wasn’t focused on the tv or his food. Which was a shame because he knew the food was good, he just didn’t feel good.
After a while he heard water sounds then there was a small person standing next to door. A small, Osamu thought, he wasn’t small, he was just smaller compared to Osamu.
“Can I hug you?”
Osamu had to admit that this wasn’t what he expected but having Kita in his arms was always a good idea.
Kita settled in Osamu’s arms and put his head on Osamu’s chest. Osamu hoped that Kita wouldn’t notice his heart going crazy over this. It never got better, having him close always had the same effect on him. You could say that Kita was a calm sea but he always felt like a hurricane to him and Osamu was just trying his best to not to drown.
‘’I’m sorry for the way I acted. You didn’t deserve it, any of the words I’ve said. I know I have you, I was just too blinded by my thoughts to see that. I hurt you and wish I could take the things back. Also, thank you. I was hurting myself and wasn’t even fully aware of it.’’
‘’You don’t have to apologize, not to me. I’m sorry that I didn’t come sooner, I thought if I let you grieve alone maybe you’d get over it faster. But you don’t have to get over it, not now, be sad but let me be sad with you too. As long as I live, you are not alone.’’
Kita hummed and snuggled closer.
“I made you food. You must be hungry, go eat.”
Kita leaves unwillingly and searches for foods. Osamu could see that Kita was lighter, he wasn’t slumping, he wasn’t trying smile to make Osamu think that he is okay.
“I hoped that you would make a tofu burger. Guess I was wrong.”
“You have to earn it first, I’m not making a tofu burger for a loser.”
Kita brought his plate and settled beside Osamu. While he was eating Osamu started talking. He was talking how businesses was going well thanks to Atsumu’s matches but he is thinking opening a place, a place near here, because his place now is not big enough for demand and he often leaves it closed because he goes after Atsumu. He talks about Atsumu’s matches, and reminds Kita to call Atsumu because Atsumu was worried about him too. He talks about a new recipe he found while he was mixing things for no reason, which Kita was volunteering to try. Then
Kita started talking. He was talking about how bad he felt after funeral, how bad he felt about not contacting both, how he just focused on studying so he can forget all about these. He talked about how alone he felt and how he couldn’t call Osamu because he thought it would be selfish to call after ignoring him all these times.
You are wrong, Osamu thought, I’ll always wait for you, I will always be there for you.
When clock hit 1 am they decided it was time to sleep. They have been talking for hours and at some point he doesn’t even remember what were they talking about. Osamu was listening Kita talking about some movies, agreeing on some stuff he didn’t have any idea so he could show that he was listening. It was always the same, Kita would talk about the stuff he wanted and Osamu would be by his side listening carefully, not understanding a word because he was focused on the sound, not the words. When Osamu thinks about what is peaceful, this kind of moments come to his mind. He is beside Kita, Kita is talking to him in a soothing voice and he is just listening. It’s just them, lost in the moment they share, finding comfort in their companion, sharing anything that’s in their mind, it’s peaceful. Kita is peaceful and Osamu doesn’t know if he is okay with having this moments with him just as best friends.