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Where My Home Is

Chapter Text

The loud roaring laughter could be heard even through the closed doors of Taiga’s soundproof room. He’s been trying hard to ignore it and concentrate on writing song lyrics but it comes in random bursts that every single time he tries his train of thoughts are interrupted by the laughter outside. He could not take it any longer and stormed out of his room.

 

“Could all of you please just keep it down! You’ve been rowdy for the past three nights already!” He screamed at the three other people having a good time in the living room.

 

Their laughter stopped upon hearing Taiga’s furious voice and all their attention turned to him. Shintaro was wearing a funny mask and Jesse had a party popper in hand but still Taiga was not smiling, he just looked frustrated and threw a notebook in the middle of the room.

 

“Don’t you guys have your own apartment? Why are you here every single night!” He continued in a loud voice. “I have had it! Juri! I know this is our apartment and you found it first but I can not put up with all these noises all the time!”

 

Silence-filled the room as Taiga waited for one of them to answer him but all of a sudden Jesse’s hand slipped and pulled the trigger of his party popper that it blasted confetti on Taiga’s face.

 

“I want you guys out of here as soon as you can.” Still, there was no change in his expression and he flat out wanted to throw them out in a harsher way but they are Juri’s friends and he did not want to offend them any further. Not saying another word, he withdrew back to his room.

 

Juri cleaned up the mess at the living room before he went to Taiga’s room. He found him curled up on his bed over his blanket, the lights were turned off. He left the door slightly opened so that a little light from the living room could get in, he sat at the edge of Taiga’s bed. Taiga’s eyes were open and were staring at the wall, his expression was blank.

 

“Tai.” Juri was about to caress his hair.

 

“Don’t”

 

Juri’s hand stopped midway upon hearing that single word from Taiga. Taiga then closed his eyes, not even moving an inch closer or farther from Juri. Juri stood up, he looked up at Taiga’s aircondition’s temperature and noticed it was a little colder than how Taiga usually sets it, he re-adjusted the temperature. He pulled over the end of the blanket that Taiga was not laying on and put it over him gently before he left the room.

 

The next day when Juri woke up Taiga was no longer in the apartment. There was still some time before he needed to leave for class that he decided to make a sandwich for Taiga as an apology for what happened last night. He checked their food stock as well while he was at it and made a grocery list for later.

 

After parking his bike at the university, he went to the place he knew Taiga would be at before his classes. The rooftop of the music building, Juri never liked going there but he often went for Taiga. Even with his fear of heights, he did not mind being 33 meters off the ground if it meant being able to do things for Taiga. Sure enough, Taiga was there. He was seated on the floor, his back leaning on the wall while strumming his guitar.

 

“Here,” Juri handed him the sandwich he made before sitting next to him. “I’m sorry about last night.”

 

Taiga ate the sandwich without saying a word, it was filled with ham and tomatoes. More tomatoes than ham. Juri even cut up some more tomatoes and placed them inside the plastic container around the two slices of sandwich that he made. When Taiga ate up everything Juri took the container from him and placed it back in his bag.

 

“Juri,” Taiga sounded serious but he was not taking his eye off of the sky. “I think - ”

 

“Class is about to start.” Juri got up and took Taiga’s guitar. He helped him stand up and dusted off Taiga’s pants with this free hand.

 

The two of them walked to their class together, Taiga a few steps behind Juri. The hallway was filled with students scrambling to get to class, trying to avoid bumping into each other as some were reading their notes while walking. Juri stretched out his hand to Taiga but instead of taking it, Taiga quickened his pace and walked in front of Juri instead. Taiga sat at the only empty chair in the middle row and Juri sat behind him, carefully putting Taiga’s guitar between his table and Taiga’s chair.

 

“I’m going to the grocery later after my part-time job.” Juri said as soon as their lecturer left the room. “Do you need anything?”

 

“Nothing I could think of for now.” Taiga left for his next class.

 

The two of them took different elective courses and only shared their major courses together. The only time Juri sees Taiga lately is during their classes together as Taiga barely leaves his room for months now. He never complained about Juri coming into his room to check on him and that’s about it for their interaction at home lately. Juri could not confront Taiga up front about it, he believed that Taiga would still come to him whenever he needed to get something off of his mind. Juri still believed that after Taiga had his fill of taking everything on his own, when it starts to feel too much he would come to him. But for now, while Taiga still does not want to talk about it, he’d just take care of all the other things to not burden Taiga. He’d take care of their meals, supplies, paying the bills, cleaning up, everything and anything he could take on all on his own.

 

Jesse and Shintaro were starting to get worried about Taiga as well, they all used to hang out together. They thought that maybe if they went over to their place Taiga might join in on the fun as well to relax for a little while. But it backfired right to their face.

 

When Juri got home the first thing he noticed was the boxes beside Taiga’s bedroom door. He settled the grocery bags he had at hand at the kitchen first, gently so as to not wake up Taiga who was asleep on their couch. Juri looked at the open notes on top of the center table, Taiga scribbled a bunch of moving company contacts and rates. Taiga’s bedroom door was slightly opened, Juri went inside and found Taiga’s suitcase in the middle of the room half-filled with clothes. He took a step back and accidentally knocked over a box and the noise woke Taiga up. 

 

“Juri,” Taiga’s familiar sleepy voice was the next thing Juri heard. “You’re home.” He yawned.

 

“What the hell, Tai?” Juri threw Taiga’s notebook down at the center table startling the half-woke Taiga.

 

“It’s just about time, Juri. It’s long overdue, honestly.”

 

“No.” Juri was shaking his head. “No!”

 

“We broke up over a year ago.” Taiga picked up his notebook.

 

“You don’t have to remind me. You’ve been sleeping in your supposed studio for two years now. I even went ahead and fixed it up so that you can fit a proper bed in there. If this is about Shin and Jesse coming over too much I can tell them to stop.”

 

Taiga started picking up the things that scattered from the box Juri knocked down. “I already found a temporary place. It’s close to the university. It might take me a while to get all my stuff so please bear with it for a little longer.”

 

“No! Even if it is close to the campus. You, living alone?”

 

“Hokuto has a spare room he is willing to let me use for a while.” Taiga never took his eyes off of the box while speaking. “I’d get all my stuff as soon as I can.”

 

Juri scoffed. “Hokuto? You’re going to room with freaking Hokuto!” Juri slow clapped. “Wow, Tai, good trying to blame you moving to our break up when it isn’t even really about the break-up.” 

 

“What are you talking about?”

 

“Don’t play dumb, Tai! You’d have to be pretty damn dense not to notice it!” Juri clenched his jaw. “I see the way he looks at you and I know, I know because it’s the same way I do.” Juri kicked over an empty box.

 

“I don’t understand what you’re trying to get at, Juri.” Taiga closed up the box and secured it with tape.

 

Juri was seated on the sofa with his face buried in his hands, he rarely raised his voice on Taiga and everytime he does he feels bad about it. Taiga walked over to get his phone but as he turned around Juri grabbed his wrist, leaning his forehead over Taiga’s hand.

 

“Stay.”

 

Taiga looked up, trying to fight back his tears when he felt Juri’s on his hand.

 

“Stay.” Juri held on his hand tighter.

 

Taiga took in a deep breath before pulling his hand. For the first time in two years, Taiga locked his bedroom door.

 

The following morning when Juri woke up he was on the couch, his head felt like it’s about to explode, and there were ten cans of beer on top of the center table. He went to the kitchen to get some water and he noticed a glass at the center of the dining table, it was the same familiar juice Taiga makes whenever Juri drinks but underneath it was a note.

 

Thank you 

-KT

Chapter Text

Juri ran to Taiga’s room, his suitcase was not in the middle of the room anymore. He ran to their bathroom, Taiga’s stuff was no longer there. He fell to his knees, unsure if it was caused by his hangover or was it because of the fact that Taiga really did leave the apartment. He had to pull himself together as it was still a school day and he knew that he was sure to see Taiga in class. He drank up what Taiga prepared for him and some tears escaped his eyes.

 

He was in a daze as the warm water of the shower trickled on his skin. The scent of Taiga’s shampoo still lingered around the room, making it harder for him to move. The shoe rack had only his shoes, not that they had many but still the empty space of Taiga’s side made it feel incomplete. Juri opted to take the bus to the university, he can’t trust himself with his bike right now, not in this state, and his head was still pounding a little.

 

Taiga was already inside the classroom when Juri got there, he was seated in the middle row. Taiga’s guitar was not with him but he did have a duffel bag on the seat beside him. Juri remembered that it was a Friday and the theater club had rehearsals on Fridays. He took the seat behind Taiga’s, just as he always does. 

 

Taiga was scrambling to find something in his bag when Juri was finally seated. Taiga put down a bottle of water and ten pieces of Advil tablets on top of Juri’s desk and turned around again to face their lecturer. The two of them still went through the same routine Friday schedule they had as this was the only day their schedules matched, they walked to classes together and grabbed a bite in between classes but either one of them brought up Taiga’s moving.

 

Taiga was absorbed in his script during their breaks and Juri knew nothing else mattered to Taiga once he decided to pour all his attention into his script. Taiga was running low on page markers and Juri made a mental note to drop by the University bookstore to get some during rehearsal time. Juri has a copy of the same script as well, he marked all of Taiga’s lines and scribbled notes around it whenever he attended the rehearsals as well. Taiga liked reading the notes from the audience’s point of view and Juri tries to be as neutral as he can but he still slips in a few compliments.

 

“You’re still coming here?” Jesse plopped himself at the empty seat beside Juri.

 

The auditorium had dim lights on except for the stage. The theater club was busy with their preparations for the upcoming play: some were busy measuring the set, some were running around with different supplies at hand, and the cast was doing some vocal exercises.

 

“Why wouldn’t I when I am in charge of the voice over announcements.” Juri was focused on Taiga, bright and shining Taiga. He always loved watching him on stage and being there during his rehearsals. “Why are you here anyway? You rejected their offer to you, right?”

 

“Shin got a last minute role here. He was only supposed to be part of the chorus but an actor got injured, a drunk idiot broke his leg and so Shin got the role. Kochi’s busy with the costumes and then there’s you who’s busy stalking his ex.”

 

“I’m not stalking my ex.”

 

“Is what a stalker would actually say.” Jesse chuckled.

 

“Shut up.” Juri moved a seat away from Jesse but the latter simply moved to the chair Juri vacated. “What do you want, Jesse?” He slammed his script close.

 

“I saw Taiga earlier. Wheeling in his suitcase around Hokuto’s area.”

 

“Why exactly do you know Hokuto’s area?”

 

“Really, that’s your take-away on this?” Jesse leaned back on the chair. “You reek of alcohol, dumbass. You do know we’re here for you.”

 

“Don’t get dramatic on me now, Jesse.” Juri leaned back on the chair and closed his eyes. “He sprung his decision on me without saying a word about it before last night. I just have about the same amount of questions in my mind right now as you do so please if you need answers only Taiga has them.” 

 

Juri’s phone vibrated.

 

You don’t have to wait for me.

-KT

 

Juri let out a heavy sigh and placed back his phone in his pocket. He stayed until the rehearsals were over but he did not wait for Taiga outside the auditorium anymore and went to buy more beers as he drank all his beers at home in one night. It started to drizzle when he was just about to reach his apartment so he made a run for it.

 

He could hear the sound of the television when he entered his apartment, he took his shoes off in a hurry and ran to the living room anticipating seeing Taiga there at the sofa watching his regular tv programs but instead he was greeted by the sight of two heads bobbing up and down.

 

Jesse and Shintaro were both covering their mouths to muffle their laughter but all their efforts failed at some point and the apartment was yet again filled by their roaring laughter. Juri took the remote control of the television and turned it off.

 

“Hey!” The two complained at the same time.

 

“What are you two doing here?” Juri dropped the remote on the table.

 

“You might be lonely.” Jesse took the remote once again and turned on the television. “Besides, you’re used to cooking for more than yourself anyway and we could use some properly cooked food.” The two trespassers were tapping on their stomach.

 

Juri let out a deep sigh before resigning to the kitchen. He knew more than anyone that once these two had something on their minds nothing can change it anymore, both of them were comfortably seated at the sofa enjoying their show as if they were at their own home.

 

Even the mere gesture of opening up the refrigerator brought in memories of Taiga, with their vegetable keeper half filled with tomatoes Juri restocked on last night. He took out half of them and boiled water for the noodles. Even with the two rowdy boys at his living room the apartment still felt empty for him. When setting the table, unconsciously he placed Taiga’s plate on his usual chair. Jesse took Taiga’s plate and cup and placed them back in the cupboard.

 

“Wow, as expected of you, Juri!” Shintaro was already seated and was taking pasta from the serving plate. “You used pure tomatoes on this! Whoa~” He poured in Juri’s homemade pasta sauce and his eyes opened wide as he took his first bite. “Jesse, it’s better if you don’t eat some. We have microwave dinner at our apartment anyways.” Shintaro shoved another bite of pasta in his mouth.

 

“Shut up!” Jesse took a seat and got himself a serving of the pasta as well. “Uwah~! This is really dangerous. I might just eat off of the serving plate.” He placed some more on his plate.

 

It did not help that the two of them were showing just as much enthusiasm as Taiga normally does when Juri cooks for him.

 

“You guys know how to clean up, right? You were able to show yourselves in, might as well show yourselves out.” Juri washed his hands and headed for his room.

 

“Juri - ”

 

“I’m fine.” Juri did not even turn around to look at them.

 

He curled up in the middle of his bed, not even changing his clothes. There was too much space as it was still the bed that he used to share with Taiga when they still slept in the same room. Every corner of the apartment reminds him of Taiga, every time he closed his eyes their memories flash before him. What the hell was he supposed to do with his repertoire of tomato based recipes? He opted to close his eyes, at least in his dreams and in his memories Taiga was there. He held on to himself tighter as he felt himself breaking down every minute that passed.

Chapter Text

Juri rolled over on his bed to try and reach his phone from the nightstand without opening his eyes, he slowly sat up when his phone was finally in his hands and he opened his eyes, he had slept for a full 12 hours and now his body felt heavy, his room felt warm. He could hear the sound of the vacuum from outside his room and he wondered if Shintaro and Jesse stayed over last night. He got up from his bed and went out.

 

He could not believe his eyes, he blinked twice and tried to make sense if he was dreaming or not but Taiga was there in the living room cleaning it up with the vacuum. 

 

Juri walked towards him and hugged him. “You’re here.” He leaned his head on Taiga’s shoulder.

 

Taiga turned off the vacuum and patted Juri’s head. “Juri.” Taiga’s voice was alarmed. Juri felt warmer than he usually was which was unusual as he just got out of his room, knowing how high he usually sets the air condition he should not be this warm if he just came out of his room. Taiga took off Juri’s arm around him and turned around, placing his hand on Juri’s forehead. “You’re burning up!” Taiga helped him sit down on the sofa.

 

Taiga hurried to the bathroom and came out with a damp towel in hand, he wiped off Juri’s face first before going around his neck. He had another towel, a dry one, which he used to dry up Juri’s face and neck. Taiga went to the kitchen and boiled water. Juri stood up from the sofa, Taiga’s bedroom door was wide open, there were some boxes stacked up together and there were some that seemed to be empty as they were merely assembled and not closed up yet. 

 

Juri went inside Taiga’s room, it seemed like he was about done boxing up most of his stuff. The bed only had a cover on it, gone are Taiga’s pillows, no more stuffed tigers, and his tomato shaped stuffed toys. Only Taiga’s recording equipment stayed in the same state as they normally were.

 

“What are you doing? You should not be walking around!” Taiga held him gently and took him to his own room. “First you got drunk, now you have a fever. You have to take care of yourself more, Juri.” I won’t always be here to take care of you.

 

He settled Juri down on his bed and adjusted the room temperature, Juri’s air conditioner was turned off and Taiga wondered if Juri fell asleep without turning it on last night. Taiga brought in a basin of water and settled it on the nightstand. He took some fresh clothes from Juri’s dresser, he helped Juri to sit up from his bed and took off his shirt. He wiped him off with lukewarm water first then dried him with a different towel before dressing him in his oversized white long-sleeved shirt, he changed Juri’s pants as well with sweatpants before he settled him down back on the bed. Taiga squeezed a towel dry making it damp, he checked its coldness first before placing it over Juri’s forehead.

 

“Thank you.” Juri’s voice was weak.

 

“Get some rest.” Taiga put his hand over Juri’s eyes, he checked if he had closed them before taking his hand off.

 

Taiga brought everything back to the bathroom. He washed all the towels he used and hung them over the balcony before he went back to packing his stuff. He checked in on Juri once in a while, his temperature was not dropping yet and Taiga changed the towel for now.

 

When all his stuff was properly boxed, he dragged his swivel chair to Juri’s room. He searched for a place to order porridge from, it’s bad enough that Juri has a fever, he did not want him to suffer from his bad tasting porridge and figured he’d better just order take out. Once the order was placed, he dialed Shintaro’s number.

 

“What’s up, Kyomo?” There were gaming sounds in the background.

 

“Shin, I know it’s short notice but could you tell them I won’t make it to rehearsals today?” Taiga kept his voice low so as not to wake Juri up.

 

“You’ll need more time to pack?”

 

“No. Juri has a fever. It hasn’t gone down yet so I might take a while before I could leave him.”

 

“Oh. Do you need help?”

 

“He’s pretty much just going to sleep all day and I ordered food so don’t worry about me burning the place down.”

 

Shintaro chuckled. “Enjoy your time together then.”

 

“That’s not - ”

 

Before he could even finish Shintaro hung up. Taiga checked Juri’s temperature again, it was still at 39 degrees. He got off the bed and Juri suddenly grabbed his wrist.

 

“Where are you going?” He tugged on Taiga’s arm, if he had his usual strength it would have made Taiga fall down on the bed.

 

Taiga gently sat beside him and took Juri’s hand off, he wiped off Juri’s sweat with a towel. “I’ll just go check if we still have medicine here so you could have some after eating. I’ll be back.” He tucked in Juri under the blanket before leaving the room.

 

It was pretty easy to find anything around the apartment as Juri put in small labels on each drawer for when Taiga was left alone when he had to work extra shifts. Fortunately, there were still enough tablets in the medicine drawer for the whole day.

 

Taiga started moving his boxes towards the doorway for when the moving truck comes the workers won't make a lot of noise. He scrolled through his contacts: he knew he could not ask Kochi for a favor as he was busy with preparing costumes, Shin was probably in the middle of rehearsals along with Hokuto, which leaves him with Jesse as an option even though Jesse was hostile to him yesterday when he saw him leave Hokuto's apartment.

 

"Jesse, I know this is out of the blue but can I ask for a favor?"

 

"Answer will be no." Even through the phone line Jesse sounded cold. "Shin already told me. Don't you dare leave Juri alone while he has a fever."

 

"That is exactly why I'm calling you. I was going to ask that you go with the moving company to Hokuto's place to take my boxes there because they don't allow last minute cancellations. I don't want to leave Juri alone but I also don't want to leave him with anyone else."

 

"Could you repeat that last line just one more time?" Jesse teasingly said.

 

"Shut up." The doorbell rang. "Food delivery's here. I'm hanging up. Make sure to be here by 2pm."

 

"I can handle some boxes. Just take care of Juri."

 

Taiga hung up the call, worried that the delivery crew might ring the bell again and it might wake Juri up. He transferred Juri's porridge from the takeout container to one of their bowls. He placed it on a tray along with the medicine and a cup of water. Taiga was feeling a bit thirsty himself and wanted something sweet, opening up the refrigerator he saw bottles of his favorite drink. Juri must have restocked on it recently.

 

Taiga looked around the apartment, the place was filled with their memories. Both the good times and the bad. Half of him doesn't really want to go but he knows he has to for both of them to move on. He took in deep breaths before taking Juri's food to the bedroom.

 

Juri was seated on his bed, fiddling with his phone. Taiga put down the tray of food with a little more force than necessary and took Juri’s phone from his hands. He placed a hand over Juri’s forehead and he was still burning up. He put Juri’s phone inside the nightstand’s drawer.

 

“You should be resting.” Taiga pulled his chair closer to the chair. “Here’s your porridge.”

 

“Aren’t you going to feed me?”

 

Taiga scoffed. “You have strength to hold your phone but you don’t have strength to hold a spoon to feed yourself?” He blew off a spoonful of porridge before feeding it to Juri. They did not even get to half of the bowl when Juri started shaking his head. “You can be a really baby when you’re sick.” Taiga said as he popped one of the tablets in his hand and gave it to Juri, he helped him with the glass of water as well.

 

“At least I can swallow my pills.”

 

“Ha ha ha funny man.” Taiga forcefully put him back down on the bed.

 

“You should get some food as well.”

 

“I have it right here.” He waved his onigiri around in front of Juri before settling back to his chair, pulling it closer to the bed. “Stop worrying about me.”

 

“I can’t. I never will.” Juri reached for Taiga’s hand. “I can’t not worry about you, Tai.”

 

Taiga held Juri’s hand tightly. “Juri, you need to rest.”

 

“I hate how heavy my eyes feel right now. I can’t even open them for long to look at you.”

 

Taiga pulled over the blanket to cover up Juri. “Sleep for now. I’ll just be here eating my onigiri and studying my script.”

 

“I’m sorry you. You’ll miss rehearsals if you stay long. But please don’t leave me.”

 

“If you’re sorry then go to sleep.” Taiga put his hand over Juri’s mouth.

 

Juri woke up, the room was dark and the chair beside him was empty. He was wearing a different set of clothes from what he remembers to have been wearing before falling asleep. He went out of his room, Taiga’s boxes were no longer at the living room and his bedroom was almost empty as well except for the bed, the recording equipment, and the built-in desks and cabinet. Taiga was really out of the apartment. Juri took a deep breath and sighed as he closed Taiga’s bedroom door.

 

The door to the bathroom opened. “Ah! You’re up.” Taiga greeted him with a warm smile and Juri was stunned in place. His hands were still wet so Taiga leaned his forehead to Juri’s to check his temperature. “Your fever seems to be gone.” He stood up straight.

 

With such a close proximity between them Juri could not help himself, he pulled Taiga closer to him and kissed his lips. To his shock Taiga kissed him back, making him pull him tighter, closer to him. They pulled back to catch their breaths, both of them staring straight at each other’s eyes. Taiga warmly smiled at him, his eyes bright as they always were when he feels loved. Juri’s eyes were full of longing, he did not let go of Taiga. He pulled him in for another kiss, a more intense and passionate one. Their hands all over each other, taking small steps leading to Juri’s bedroom.

Chapter Text

The first thing he saw once he opened his eyes was the delicate feature of Taiga’s sleeping face inches away from his. He kissed him on the forehead before reaching for the thermometer. His temperature was back to normal, but it was stupid of him to pull in Taiga last night as he might catch his fever. He caressed Taiga’s head and checked his temperature as well, thankfully it was normal.

 

Both of them did not get the chance to have dinner last night. Juri carefully got off the bed and went to the kitchen to get started on preparing their meal. He was just about to finish setting the table when Taiga appeared from the bedroom, yawning as he took a seat.

 

“I figured you should at least have a proper meal before you leave.”

 

“Wow, throwing me out immediately the morning after. I didn’t expect that from Tanaka Juri.”

 

“If it were up to me you'd never get to leave here, but you already took all your things out while I was passed out from my fever.”

 

“I never left you alone while you had a fever. I asked Jesse to take them for me.”

 

Juri did not know what to say. The two of them shared the meal in silence. Taiga never left the kitchen and waited until Juri was finished washing the dishes before approaching him.

 

He wrapped his arms around Juri’s waist. “I’m glad your fever’s gone, Juri.” He buried his face on his back. “Don’t turn around.” 

 

Taiga held on to him tighter, Juri held on to Taiga’s arms.

 

“I have to leave, Juri. I’ve been in a slump for a while now and you don’t deserve that. You've been nothing but understanding with me and you put up with almost anything. My every whine. My petty requests. Everything."

 

"Taiga." Juri wanted to turn around but Taiga tightened his arms around him every time he moved.

 

"I'm sorry, Juri." Taiga was sobbing and his grip was growing weak. "I'm sorry that I'm being selfish again. I'm sorry."

 

Juri was finally able to break free from Taiga's grip. He faced him and held him close, letting him rest his head on his chest. "Calm down, Tai." He caressed Taiga's head. "Go and do what you think will be good for you. I und -"

 

"Don't say it." Taiga looked up and kissed him roughly.

 

Juri cupped his face and held him closer. Their kiss felt different from the one they shared last night. It felt more intense, it felt more...final.

 

Taiga pulled away. He took his coat from the sofa and left without saying another word. Juri was left in the kitchen in a daze. He leaned on the kitchen counter taking in deep breaths. He wanted to come running after Taiga bit his feet won't move, half of him knew there's nothing that could change Taiga's mind.

 

******

 

Arriving at Hokuto's apartment none of his boxes were in the living room, Jesse did a proper job of stacking his boxes inside the room Hokuto said he could use. There was a note from Hokuto saying he was out to do the grocery and will be back in the afternoon.

 

Taiga took a shower first and changed into fresh clothes before he started unpacking. He did not have much stuff anyway, he mostly owned things he shared with Juri and he left those with him. He did not take out all his books, just the ones he still needed for university. Jesse had set up a bed in his room, it was a bed that was not being used in their apartment and could be disassembled anytime.

 

Tired from unpacking and organizing his stuff, Taiga fell down on the bed and dozed off. The next time he opened his eyes his room was illuminated by the lights that came in through the window, he has not set up his blinds yet. He turned on the lights and put a curtain over the window for now.

 

When he went out of his room, he found Hokuto studying in the living room. There were some notes and writing materials scattered all over the table and Hokuto was on the floor. Taiga walked up to him and sat on the sofa.

 

"Midterms aren't scheduled until two weeks from now and you're already studying?" Taiga asked.

 

"Ah, I tend to rewrite notes early." Hokuto tried to organize his mess a little but instead he dropped most of his pens off of the table. "I got you some take out food. You can reheat it if you want."

 

"Thank you. I'll leave you be then. I'm a little famished."

 

Taiga ate out of the tonkatsu meal foodbox and used the disposable chopsticks that came with it. He was still a bit tired and did not want to clean up a lot of things. And honestly he was still a little shy to ask Hokuto about the things around the apartment he figured he'd check the drawers when Hokuto is not around instead of pestering him with questions.

 

"Is it okay if I join you here for a while?" Taiga asked before taking a seat on the sofa.

 

"Sure."

 

In contrast to the beige and white apartment he was used to, Hokuto's was more shades of gray and black all around except for the white sofa set. The things around Hokuto's kitchen were the same.

 

"Ah, before I forget." Hokuto handed him a sheet of paper. "That's a guide of what drawer or cupboard has what inside just in case you have a hard time finding things when I'm not here."

 

Taiga took the paper. It was meticulously made. "Thank you."

 

"I posted the contact numbers you might need on the fridge but you already have my contact so it will be alright if you just tell me about things concerning the apartment."

 

"I wouldn't want to trouble you too much."

 

Hokuto shook his head. "It's fine. Moving is not easy, you'll need to start over again with everything. How was Juri?"

 

"His fever is gone. Hopefully he stayed in the apartment today to rest. He has a scheduled practical exam on Tuesday for his elective so I hope he'd be all better by then." Taiga checked his phone but there was no message from Juri. "Thank you for letting me stay here for a while. I'll try to find a place soon."

 

"But the play is inching closer. It's alright with me if you wait a little until it's over." Hokuto was hesitant but gathered up courage to ask anyway. "Does he know where you moved?"

 

"I told him about moving here a night before I did." And he did not take it well. Taiga added in his head. "I was not able to tell him the whole reason. But, the bottom line is this is just another one of my selfish whims. I don't want to disturb you any longer and I also feel a little tired so I'd go to bed now."

 

"Good night." Hokuto's voice was gentle and soothing.

 

Taiga resigned back to his room. He laid down on his bed and covered himself with his blanket. He dialed Juri's number.

 

"Taiga?" Juri answered on the second ring. "Are you okay?"

 

"Good night, Juri."

 

"Good night, Tai. Dream of wonderful things."

 

A smile spread across Taiga's face before he hung up the call.

Chapter Text

Juri almost did not see Taiga for the whole Monday except for their two classes together and their only interaction was when Taiga placed down a bottle of water on Juri's desk during their first class. Taiga had to run around all day: going to Kochi to get his final measurements for the costumes and meeting people for change in some of their blockings that he missed from being absent on Saturday's rehearsal.

 

Juri almost felt guilty for having fallen ill but Taiga sent him a message to reassure him that nothing's his fault and that everyone in the theater club was pretty much frantic as the playdate drew near. The theater club always took their December play to heart and it's mid-September already.

 

Juri tried to call Taiga Monday night but he did not pick up. He left him a voice message instead. Taiga had just gotten out of the shower when he saw Juri's voice message notification. He listened to it immediately.

 

Good night, Tai. Dream of wonderful things.

 

A smile spread across Taiga's face as he dried his hair. He went through his script one last time and checked the reminders for tomorrow before lying down on the bed. He listened to Juri's voice message again before closing his eyes.

 

******

 

Juri was pacing back and forth at the back of the gym. He had been rapping for quite a long time now but somehow doing it for a practical exam, which was a first for him, was making him feel nervous. It doesn't help that he happened to be unluckily chosen as the first one and he has no example performance to follow.

 

He checked his phone in hopes that Taiga might have sent him a good luck message as he knew it was his practical exam today. But there was nothing, Taiga was probably busy anyway. Juri took in deep breaths before he walked to his class, it was not a class he shared with Taiga so there's no chance that he'll be there. He sat at his usual chair in the middle of the class, when he was called and was already standing in front he was shocked when he looked out the window.

 

He could see the blond hair but the face was covered by a sign board that had "break a leg" written in the middle and a drawing of him holding a microphone. The drawing was so familiar it could have only been done by one person and it made him smile. Taiga moved the signboard a bit to show Juri his smile before he left. That was enough to get him going and rid him of his nerves.

 

******

 

“You guys are the weirdest broken up couple.” Shintaro said as he lay flat on Juri’s sofa. “The only thing normal about you two is the fact that Taiga moved out. But other than that you don’t seem to be broken up. Right, Jesse?” 

 

“Well, they were friends before they got together so maybe it’s not that unusual to still be hanging out together.”

 

Shintaro hit Jesse’s shoulder. “How will they move on if they continue with all this? Taiga even still has his keys.”

 

“And how do you even know that?” Jesse was still focused on his game. “Are you stalking Taiga too just like his ex boyfriend?”

 

“Idiot. I have rehearsals with Taiga. I spend way more time with him than you lately.”

 

“I’m getting jealous by the way so I’m going to steal Juri from Taiga and make him my new best friend.” Jesse joked.

 

“Like you have a chance at that. Anyway, Juri what do you intend to do?”

 

“Nothing.” Juri was fiddling with his phone. “Taiga will still have his keys, this is still a place he could come home to anytime. It’s not like we ended on bad terms really. I don’t intend to move on and jump on the next guy that shows me a hint of interest so please both of you stop spreading around my picture. Taiga will be back, he just needs to sort things out for now.”

 

“Juri, what if he doesn’t?” Jesse placed down his controller and faced Juri. “What if he decides not to come back?”

 

“Can we not talk about this? My head is filled enough with thoughts of Taiga without you two bringing him up.”

 

******

 

If it's Kyomoto he can do it!

 

We expect a stellar performance from you, Kyomoto.

 

Kyomoto could pull it off, those high notes are nothing for him.

 

Let's not hold auditions for the lead anymore. Kyomoto could do it without breaking a sweat.

 

Having Kyomoto in the cast already secures ticket sales.

 

Let's not have Kyomoto as the first performer for the practical, he raises up the bar too hard.

 

Kyomoto can do it.



The voices kept on growing louder and louder. Taiga woke up covered in sweat, panting as though he just ran a five kilometer marathon. He raised up his knees and buried his face in them, tears running down his eyes. His phone started ringing, Juri was calling him. He wipes his tears and clears his throat before answering.

 

"Taiga… sorry, were you sleeping?" 

 

Hearing Juri's sleepy voice actually made him smile. Taiga shook his head even though Juri couldn't see him. "Why the late night call, Juri?"

 

"Are you crying? What's wrong?"

 

I'm scared, Juri. "No, I just finished running lines and got too much in character." Juri, I'm scared.

 

"You don't have to do it perfectly, Tai. Just be you and enjoy doing the things you love to do."

 

Why do you always know what to say? "Do you miss me, that's why you called?"

 

Juri laughed. "There it is. You could always see right through me."

 

No, it's you who see right through me. "Can you stay on the line for a little while?"

 

"Until you fall asleep?"

 

"Is it too much?"

 

"I only have stories of Shintarou and Jesse though. Life isn't at all exciting for me lately. I did learn how to bake Japanese cheesecake lately though."

 

"I'll listen to whatever."

 

Juri told him stories about what Jesse has been up to lately and how he escapes him by getting extra shifts at his part time job. There were occasional reactions from Taiga but when the line suddenly went silent Juri knew Taiga had fallen asleep already.

 

"Good night, Tai. Dream of wonderful things."

Chapter Text

It's been more than two months since Taiga moved out but Juri still hasn't touched anything in Taiga's room apart from the days when he did general cleaning. The spaces that used to be for Taiga's things remain empty. They've been interacting with each other less, mostly because Taiga was always preoccupied by the upcoming play that will have its opening date in four weeks. Juri often dropped by rehearsals for his voice overs whenever they asked him to. When he's not coming to rehearsals he picked up a couple extra hour shifts at his part time job.

 

Taiga still occasionally called him, sometimes only saying his name before the line went silent. There was a time when he called him and all he could hear was Taiga reciting his lines and then he'll apologize saying he did not really mean to call but Juri would just laugh and then compliment him before they end the call.

 

While grocery shopping he spotted Taiga and Hokuto from a distance, all smiles and laughs while doing their grocery as well but he noticed that they had separate carts. He still thinks Hokuto has a thing for Taiga and his suspicions grow stronger every time he sees them interact in class and during rehearsals. He moved to the opposite direction to avoid getting noticed by them. The only consolation he had was that at least Taiga was not alone.

 

When Juri arrived at his apartment there was a paper bag hanging on the doorknob of his front door, a tiger was drawn on the paper bag. At the doorway he could already hear the volume of the tv which was probably the reason why Taiga did not come inside even if he still had a key to the apartement. He put down his grocery bags at the dining table first, completely ignoring the two trespassers, headed for his room and locked the door.

 

He opened the paper bag, inside was a black shirt with a penguin print in front. The penguin was wearing a hoodie and a cap and had a microphone in hand. There was a card inside the bag. 

 

I thought this might look good on you.

Also, a thank you gift for always answering my calls.

KT

 

Juri folded the shirt and placed it in his dresser. He changed his clothes before going out again.

 

"At least this time you guys brought food." Juri took one of the chopsticks and ate a piece of gyouza.

 

"Are you still getting dragged around by your feelings for Taiga?" Jesse bluntly said without taking his eyes off of the screen as he was already losing to Shintaro. "Shin has something to say."

 

"Hokuto and Taiga have been awfully close lately. Hokuto sort of reminds me of you around Taiga. But Taiga is different around him."

 

Juri continued eating, pretending to be uninterested when in fact he wanted to ask more.

 

"But," Shintaro continued. "Taiga seems guarded around him. If Hokuto doesn't approach him first Taiga would hang around with me during rehearsal breaks."

 

"Oi, Juri, are you even listening?"

 

"What are you guys getting at anyway?"

 

"Darn it!" Both of Jesse's feet leave the floor as he frustratingly puts down the controller after losing to Shintaro. "Shin thinks that Taiga is putting both you and Hokuto on his leash but I keep telling him that Taiga is so dense he doesn't notice Hokuto's feelings. Much like with you at first, if Shin and I didn't play around with the two of you that night he would never have noticed your feelings."

 

"And I wanted to call bullshit if only I wasn't there during your two year unrequited love when we were in high school." Shintaro turned off the gaming console and the television. "We were there when it started but we never did know why it ended. We did not even notice since both of you acted almost the same minus the spontaneous hugging."

 

"And?"

 

"We don't want you to get hurt, Juri." Shintaro shoved a whole kaarage into his mouth.

 

"I'd be lying if I say I don't love and care about Taiga anymore." Juri rested his arms on his thigh. "I still long for him but I don't want to force him to come back."

 

"Why did the two of you break up anyway?" Jesse leaned back on the sofa, gone was the frustration from losing the game earlier but instead his face was painted with worry.

 

Juri shook his head. "He just said he wanted a break. That he was being unfair. It was all pretty vague. Honestly I’m a  little lost if this is a break up or Taiga just wants some space for a while or… I don’t know."

 

"I caught him listening to your voice message." Shintaro said. "I got a little worried that he always disappears a few minutes before running lines so I followed him. He forgot to bring his earphones so he had to listen in speaker mode, I only caught parts of it but I swear it was your voice."

 

"Kochi went to the same high school as Hokuto. Apparently they are pretty close and Hokuto told him about his feelings for Taiga."

 

"I don't think Tai is keeping the two of us on a leash. He's not that type of person."

 

The two fell silent. Juri's phone rang and he answered it at the balcony, closing the door behind him. Shintaro and Jesse cleaned up the mess in the living room and watched a variety show while waiting for Juri to come back inside.

 

"Was it him?" Jesse asked as Juri plopped down on the sofa.

 

"It was the theater club. Some sort of changes with sponsor names to be called out during intermissions."

 

“We’re not sorry for what we said tonight.” Shin said. "I don't like doubting Taiga but you know… Hokuto's nice and Taiga's pretty and I don't want to give you false hope but still… I do think Taiga only sees Hokuto as a friend."

Chapter Text

Juri kept rolling around his bed while scrolling through his phone. He had neither classes this weekend or a shift at his part time job. He arranged his November weekends to be free to be at Taiga’s beck and call as the theater play was nearing its first show date. Not that Taiga ever did demand anything, it was always Juri who took the initiative fully knowing what Taiga needs at certain times. He wondered what Taiga might be doing now but he was restraining himself from sending a message first, Taiga hasn’t been sending him any lately and he hasn’t called him as well for almost a week now. Juri’s thoughts were interrupted when he heard the sound of his doorbell.

 

When he went to answer the door he was greeted by the person he least expected to see, Hokuto.

 

"Can we talk?" Hokuto asked.

 

Juri nodded his head and let him inside his apartment. Hokuto's colorful ensemble popped out even more in contrast to Juri's beige sofa.

 

"Would you like some tea? Or water? Anything to drink?"

 

"Ah, no, I won't stay long."

 

Juri took a seat. "What do you want to talk about?" He was trying not to show it but he was worried if something had happened to Taiga.

 

"It's about Taiga."

 

His heart almost dropped and his head was about to go overdrive but he waited for Hokuto to continue.

 

"He…" Hokuto noticed a picture frame with Taiga and Juri in highschool uniforms on the left side and another picture of them in front of the university on the right side. His hand clenched. "Taiga's not leaving his room lately."

 

"How long?"

 

"Almost the whole November. I only got him to leave the apartment when we went grocery shopping. But while we were out he seemed like his normal self."

 

I know because I saw the two of you. Juri let out a sigh. "It's because the playdate is almost here."

 

"What should I do?"

 

Figure it yourself. "Just be there for him." Juri was hesitant but he had to think about Taiga too instead of just his selfishness of wanting to be the person who knew Taiga the most. "Keep stocks of tomatoes at home and maybe a few bottles of his favorite drink." He fiddled with his phone. "I sent you some pictures of the drink he likes and also some snacks."

 

"Thank you. I'm sorry for bothering you on a Saturday."

 

"On second thought," Juri stood up. "Could you wait for me? I'll just go change and buy those things for Taiga."

 

******

 

Taiga has been staring at Juri's picture on his phone for over an hour now since he decided to take a rest from memorizing his script. He pulled up Juri's number a couple of times, wanting to call him, but that would defeat the purpose of why they broke up and why he moved out.

 

He went out of his room to get something to drink. Hokuto was placing things inside the refrigerator and Taiga waited for him to finish.

 

"Ah, you're awake." Hokuto folded the emptied grocery bag. "I ran into Juri at the grocery and he asked me to bring some things for you." No, scratch that, I went to ask him about you. 

 

"Did he say anything?"

 

He was really worried about you even if he tried to hide it. Hokuto shook his head. "He was in a hurry for his shift. We didn't get to talk much." I'm worried about you too, Taiga.

 

Finally a smile spread across Taiga's face when he took out one of the bottles from the refrigerator. Hokuto hadn't seen him smile for almost a week now, not even at rehearsal breaks when Shintaro was fooling around.

 

Is something wrong, Taiga? Hokuto really wanted to ask but he did not want to appear meddlesome. "Is there something you'd want to eat?"

 

"Hm," Taiga drank some of his tea. "I haven't had sushi in a while."

 

"Let's get some delivered then."

Chapter Text

Taiga was asleep on his desk when Juri got to their class, his head resting on top of his duffel bag and Juri wonders just how exhausted Taiga was to fall asleep in class. Juri took the seat beside Taiga this time instead of his usual seat at his back, he gently patted Taiga's back when their lecturer was already inside the room. He placed Taiga's duffle bag in between them. 

 

He stole glances at Taiga during their lesson, he wasn't writing down notes and seemed to be in a daze.  It was a good idea that Juri decided to record the lecture today, Taiga doesn't trust anyone else's notes but his. They had three classes in this room for today, the first class ended early. Juri raised up Taiga's bag again so he could rest his head on it. 

 

Juri made a run to the convenience store. He got back to the class before the second lecturer came. He opened the pack of raw ham and split a chopstick before gently patting Taiga's back to wake him up. Taiga reached for the chopsticks weakly and got a piece of ham from the pack.

 

Taiga smiled at him while chewing his ham and Juri couldn't help himself and ruffled Taiga's hair. For the rest of the day Juri stuck around with Taiga and even brought him to his rehearsals.

 

"You don't have to wait for me. I won't be going home alone anyway."

 

"Break a leg, Tai."

 

"Juri." Taiga wanted to hold his hand but stopped himself. Stay .

 

"You can be selfish, Taiga. Say whatever."

 

I knew you'd say that. Taiga shook his head. "Be careful on your way home."

 

******

 

"If you told him to stay you know he would, right?" Shintaro said as soon as Taiga was seated beside him at the stage.

 

"That's why I didn't." Taiga flipped through his script. "How is he lately? You and Jesse still visit him often, right?"

 

"Are you worried about him?" He teasingly poked Taiga's shoulder and when Taiga was not showing any reaction he stopped. "We often visit him because he's a damn good cook. Even if we don't come over he still cooks a little too much so when we come there's food in the fridge. He’s probably anticipating company so he cooks more than he could eat."

 

"He's eating well then."

 

"Do you even plan on coming back soon or are things really coming to an end for you guys?"

 

I want to come back. Taiga shook his head. "Juri deserves a whole person. And right now… just… I don't know."

 

The last costume fitting was set today. When Taiga went for the weight in, he lost some weight but not too much since his costume still fit. Just not as well as it did at first so he was asked by Kochi to eat a little more and that they'd fit Taiga's costume again in a week just to be sure.

 

They had to rehearse with the whole cast present starting today. Bento dinner delivery was made for everyone and they were able to wrap up by 10pm as most of them had early classes the following day.

 

Hokuto and Taiga were the last to leave the auditorium. On their way out, Hokuto walked beside Taiga. He tried to gather up courage and hold Taiga's hand, thinking this might be the good time to tell Taiga about how he felt as Taiga doesn't seem to notice it. He was just about to take Taiga's hand but Taiga's phone rang. Upon looking at the caller ID a smile spread over his face.

 

"Juri~" Taiga looked around. "Ah! I see you." He walked towards the fountain where Juri was standing by.

 

Hokuto stopped in his tracks. Even if those two had broken up, there was no place for him. He knew it but he still had hopes. He just didn't know how to really tell Taiga without making things awkward as they are currently living together. But seeing those two, how Taiga's mood changes when he sees Juri, and how Juri just knows what to do with Taiga makes him lose all hope that maybe one day Taiga will look his way.

 

Someone suddenly hit Hokuto on the shoulder. "I already told you how bad of an idea it was to offer Taiga your extra room. He tries to see the good in people, he probably mistook your affection for kindness that's why he never noticed or acknowledged your feelings."

 

"There's really no chance of me winning him over anyway."

 

"If you never make your move then yes."

 

Hokuto shook his head. "I might as well give up."

Chapter Text

It's two weeks before the playdate and Juri has not seen Taiga apart from their classes as he was hauled up in the auditorium. He rarely picked him up as well as Jesse kept dragging him everywhere whenever Jesse finds out that Juri doesn't have a shift at work. On days he was able to pick Taiga up, Jesse and Shintaro always tagged along for a free ride so Juri was never really alone with Taiga.

 

The rain was pouring heavily and it got darker earlier than usual. Jesse went back to his apartment when Juri kept on ignoring him and continued fiddling with his phone. Even broken up he was thinking of taking Taiga out on a relaxing trip after his playdates so they could relax and celebrate Taiga's birthday as well. He knew it might be a long shot but he browsed places still.

 

A little past ten and Juri suddenly got a call from Hokuto.

 

"Is Taiga there?"

 

"Isn't he supposed to be at rehearsals?" Juri looked out the window, the rain was still pouring hard.

 

"No, rehearsals ended early today because we were afraid we might get stranded by the rain. Taiga left before me but when I got home only his phone was here - "

 

Juri hung up the call without even letting Hokuto finish what he was saying. He wore his jacket and took an extra one with him as well as an umbrella before running out of his apartment. He knew there was something strange with Taiga lately as he often fell asleep inside their classroom to the point that there were times that he fell asleep even during class.

 

He drove his car as fast as the road would let him, he had to be careful because of the rain but he really wanted to find Taiga as soon as possible. He called up Hokuto.

 

"Is he back yet?"

 

"No. Should I -"

 

"Don't tell anyone."

 

Juri hung up. The university guard was kind enough to let him in without a pass after hours telling him of his suspicions that a student might be on the rooftop of the music building. The guard wanted to come with him but Juri assured him that he was not up to doing anything bad. He ran up the stairs as fast as he could with an umbrella in his hand.

 

And sure enough when he got to the rooftop Taiga was there, standing still under the rain. Juri opened up his umbrella and walked up to him, placing the umbrella over Taiga. He took off his coat and placed it over Taiga as he dragged him back inside the building.

 

He held Taiga by his shoulders as they went down the stairs. Taiga was not saying anything. Juri helped him get inside the passenger's seat and even put his seatbelt on him. Taiga raised up his knees, his feet stepping on the seat and his face buried on his knees. Juri drove at a considerable pace this time, worried about Taiga's state.

 

Even after they parked the car, Taiga was still silent. Juri covered Taiga up with a blanket and seated him on the sofa, he got the heater as well and positioned it at the right distance from Taiga. He prepared a warm bath for him.

 

Juri let Taiga soak in the water just enough to warm his body up. He blow dried Taiga's blonde hair when he finally got him dressed in dry clothes. Still, Taiga was silent. As Taiga's former bed did not have a mattress right now Juri had him lay down on his bed. Taiga moved close to the wall and curled up, Juri laid down at the other side of the bed leaving just enough space in case Taiga wanted to move around. He would have slept on the sofa to give Taiga more space but he did not want to leave his side, not in this state.

 

Juri woke up at the sound of Taiga's sobs. Taiga clinged to him with his right arm and his head was shoved on Juri's shoulder.

 

"I'm sorry, Juri. I'm sorry." His voice was breaking on every word and it almost became inaudible with all his sobbing. "You don't deserve this. You don't deserve someone like me."

 

Don't say that. Juri wanted to say but instead he moved closer to Taiga so he could let him lean his head on his chest while his hand caressed his back.

 

"I can't… I shouldn't… you deserve better but I… I can't meet everyone's expectations, they're getting higher and higher and I don't want to come out as a disappointment." Taiga's tears were soaking Juri's shirt. "And then there's you… always there… always ready… you always know what to say and do but I can't do that for you… not in my state…"

 

"Taiga." Juri caressed his back as he continued to sob.

 

"But still… I come running back to you… I'm being selfish but you welcome me anyway… but what if I can't meet your expectations too? What if I continue to neglect you as I am focused on musicals and stuff?"

 

Juri fought back his tears. He did not want to say or do anything that might add to Taiga's burden. "Taiga, you just have to be you."

 

"I didn't want you walking on eggshells at your own home that's why I left. I broke up with you because you deserve someone who is much more capable than I am… but still… you're my home, Juri. I feared that I'll disappoint you too much that I'll lose you or I'll get selfish too much that you lose yourself so I ran away before I completely drain you out…" Taiga gripped on Juri's shirt, pulling on him harder.

 

Why haven't you told me about it before so we could have a proper talk about it. Is what Juri would want to say but he knows it wasn't the right thing to say right now. "You will never disappoint me to the point you'll lose me because all I ever wanted was for you to be you. I like to feel needed so I don't mind your demands, you rarely make them anyway." He kissed the top of Taiga's head. "I might have been a little too much that I got you thinking all those things, I'm sorry."

 

Taiga was shaking his head. "It's me who's sorry… I should have talked to you about this sooner instead of running away."

 

"Things are still a little vague from your sob talk but at least you got it out of your chest." Juri pulled Taiga off of him so they could face each other. Taiga's eyes were swollen from all his crying and Juri wiped away some tears on Taiga's cheek with his thumb. "You can always talk to me about your worries, Tai. Talk to me about anything at all, even your weird alternate realities and parallel worlds. Don't take it all on your own, I'm here. Always."

 

Taiga doesn't know what to say and felt embarrassed that he buried his face on Juri's chest once again before talking. "Juri. Forgive me."

 

Instead of answering him Juri leaned down and kissed him softly. "You're my home, Taiga."

Chapter Text

The school's winter festival has started. Juri's boss was able to secure a booth for their café and Juri spends most of his time working there rather than going around the school to hang out with his friends especially since everyone else was rather busy. Taiga was hauled up in the auditorium as their playdate was set on Monday night, Wednesday night, and two shows on Friday, morning and night. Shintaro was at rehearsals too and Jesse got dragged in to helping the production staff with moving stage designs on each scene.

 

"I wouldn't even have to ask who made that special order you're cooking now." Juri's boss teased him. "Regular customers are allowed to make requests anyway." She laughed. "You may go take your break and go watch your boyfriend rehearse for a while."

 

Juri shook his head. "I'll just take his food to him and come back. I'll watch him later tonight though so we might need to pack up a little earlier today. Also, I told you already that we broke up."

 

"I knew you'd say that so I already made arrangements for all the days Taiga has a playdate. You don't have to come help me Friday, someone else will be coming. Also, I don’t believe in this break-up of yours, I’ll believe it when he stops buying coffee from me and asking about you when he knows you’re not around."

 

******

 

Juri took his car with him everyday, he wanted to drive Taiga back to the apartment he shared with Hokuto at night and he invited Hokuto to come with them as well. But for a whole week he ended up taking the whole crowd: Jesse, Shintaro, Hokuto, and Hokuto occupied the backseat while Taiga sat at the passenger seat. Everyone was exhausted that not even Jesse was rowdy on the drive.

 

Taiga fell asleep even before they were out of the university. On the first day Juri tried waking Taiga up when they arrived at Hokuto’s apartment.

 

"Taiga, wake up. We're here." Juri gently shook him.

 

Taiga opened his eyes and swatted Juri away before closing them again. "Stop joking around and take us home, Juri. I'm too tired for this."

 

"But, Tai -"

 

"Let's just go."

 

“I’ll just take him to my place, Hokuto.”

 

Hokuto nodded before getting out of the car.

 

Juri ended up taking Taiga to his apartment every night. He washed Taiga's clothes before lying down on the bed so that Taiga will have something to use the next day. Taiga snuggled close to him once he felt Juri was already on the bed.

 

******

 

Friday night, Taiga could even barely stand on his own and Juri had to half carry him to the bedroom. It was good that Taiga already showered at the university before they left, he could just fall down to sleep on the bed. They didn't have anything to do Saturday so Juri took the liberty to turn off all their alarms so Taiga could sleep in.

 

Juri woke up Saturday with Taiga clinging to him with both his right arm and leg, peacefully sleeping with his face between Juri's shoulder and neck. Juri lazily played with Taiga's hair while thinking about what he should cook for their breakfast. Juri tried to slip away from Taiga but when he did so Taiga pulled him over again.

 

"Are you even really still asleep or you just don't want to get up yet?" Juri chuckled.

 

Taiga pulled him closer with both his arm and leg. "Our vacation starts today." Taiga's voice was a little groggy. "Can't we stay in bed a little while longer?"

 

"Tai, it's 10am. Aren't you hungry?"

 

Taiga groaned. He slipped his left arm under Juri and rolled them over to pin Juri between him and the wall. "Just order something for delivery and we'll get up when it gets here." Taiga whined.

 

Juri laughed. "How can I when I can't even reach my phone?"

 

Taiga rolled them over again. They spent the whole Saturday lazily on bed, only getting up for food deliveries that came. When Juri came back to the bedroom after his shower Taiga was scrolling on his phone.

 

"Don't tell me you're already ordering food for tomorrow's breakfast?" He joked as he sat next to him.

 

"Brunch. I'm not getting up early tomorrow." Taiga put down his phone after he was done scheduling the brunch delivery for tomorrow. He snuggled over at Juri again.

 

“Taiga. About what you said before… about your troubles… I…” Juri was trying to find the right words to say as he drew circles around Taiga’s back. “I will always be here to listen to you, share your burdens.... And stuff..” Juri chuckled nervously. “Just… you know… if you’re afraid, tell me, if you're bothered, tell me. You will never drain me out, never think that. And if you want to….” Juri stopped himself, he was resolved to let Taiga decide whether he would move back in with him and try again or not. He knew if he were to tell Taiga to come back he would really consider it and move back in. He wanted to leave the decision up to Taiga.

 

Taiga was waiting for it, waiting for Juri to tell him to come back. He did not want to be the one to say it, he did not want Juri thinking that he would always come and go as he pleases. If Juri were to ask him to move back in he would say yes without even thinking about it. He was just waiting for him to ask him to come back.

 

"Tai, let's go on a trip. Let's relax a little and finally celebrate your birthday because we didn't get to since you were busy."

 

Taiga nodded. "I'm going to have to go to my apartment before we go though. To get some clothes. I'd say I'll leave the planning up to you but I guess you already made arrangements for it."

 

Juri didn't answer but instead locked their lips together.

Chapter Text

On their way to Odaiba, Taiga was giddy and arranged their itinerary for the whole day making sure he leaves enough time at night for them to laze around their hotel room. Juri let Taiga choose everything they were going to do including what they were to eat. Both of them turned their phone to silent mode and simply enjoyed the day to themselves.

 

"Thank you for this trip, Juri. I really needed this." Taiga said as they walked back to their hotel room from the onsen.

 

Once back in their hotel room, they changed into their pajamas and laid down side by side on the bed. They finally replied to the messages they received the whole day and looked through the pictures they took together. Taiga stood up and set the lights in their room to dim.

 

Taiga crawled back on the bed, straddling himself over Juri and he took his phone from him settling it down on the nightstand. Taiga leaned down to capture Juri's lips, gently kissing him as Juri eases up and places his hands on Taiga's hips. Taiga licks Juri's lips, asking for entrance and Juri parted them enough to let Taiga in. Their tongues danced around each other. 

 

Juri's hand tugged on Taiga's hair while Taiga worked the buttons of Juri's pajama. Taiga's hands were all over Juri's body and the way he rocked his hips was sending Juri into a frenzy. Juri was getting harder by the minute and more so as he felt Taiga's cock harden as well.

 

Both of them pulled away from the kiss to catch their breaths and rid each other of their clothes, stripping down until they were only with their boxers. Taiga started sucking on Juri's neck, he loved the way Juri moaned every time he did so. Taiga licked on his neck, upwards until he reached the back of his ear, biting on them lightly.

 

"You take such good care of me, Juri." He whispered in Juri's ear. "Let me take care of you tonight." He nibbled lightly on Juri's ear before he looked him in the eye.

 

"Tai, we don't have to if - "

 

Taiga cut him off by locking their lips again. Both of them fueled by arousal as they rocked their hips together. Slowly, he made his way down, kissing Juri on his jaw down his chest, lightly blowing on his stomach and before Juri knew it he felt the warmth of Taiga's mouth around his cock. He was licking and sucking him so good he clenched his fist pulling on Taiga's hair.

 

"Taiga." He called out in a hushed voice. He couldn't hold back his moans anymore as Taiga moved faster, Juri rocking his hips to meet with Taiga's movement. "Taiga." Using what little force he had, he pulled on Taiga's shoulder and locked their lips again, he could taste himself on Taiga.

 

Taiga pulled away from the kiss. "I haven't even made you cum yet. Or do you want to prolong things? Play a little more?" Taiga boop Juri’s nose with his index finger.

 

Juri's eyes locked with Taiga's as he cupped his face. "We don't have to do anything if you don't want to."

 

"Your mouth and your cock are contradicting each other, Juri." Taiga smirked at him, wrapping a hand on his cock and gently jerked him off, increasing his pace that Juri suddenly finds himself gasping for air.

 

"I - Taiga." Juri was having a hard time talking. Taiga was moving his hand faster and tighter. "I want you."

 

Taiga giggled. "Say it again." Taiga teased and pulled on him harder.

 

Juri rolled them over, getting on top of Taiga this time and it shocked Taiga that he lost his grip on him. Juri captured Taiga's wrists and pinned them over his head. "I said I want you." He said before roughly kissing Taiga, one of his hands worked its way down to rid Taiga of his boxers. He jerked him off and Taiga moved his hips in sync with Juri's hand.

 

Juri let go of Taiga's wrists and stuck his fingers down Taiga's mouth. Taiga sucked on them and got them wet with his saliva, his excitement and lust painted on his face as he knew what was coming next. Juri pulled out his fingers and started kissing Taiga's lips again. He felt them vibrate and Taiga's shiver as he put a finger inside him.

 

Juri pulled away from the kiss to hear Taiga's moans and whimpers as his fingers hit the right spots. Taiga was so flustered and aroused which made him want to pleasure him even more.

 

"Juri. Stop." Taiga gripped on Juri's shoulder. "Stop!"

 

Juri pulled out his fingers from Taiga. "Sorry, was I hurting you?"

 

Taiga gave him a naughty grin before rolling them over so he was on top again. "I said I was going to take care of you." His breath was hurried. He leaned into Juri's ear. "Tell me what you want, Juri."

 

Without hesitation Juri answered with one word. "You."

 

"You got it." Taiga opened the nightstand drawer and fished a lube and a condom. "I knew I needed these." He was about to rip open the condom when Juri took it from him.

 

"You don't understand." Juri's eyes were full of lust. "I said I want you." Juri rolled them over once again and took the bottle of lube from Taiga's hand. "Are you ready?"

 

Instead of answering him Taiga caught him by surprise and pushed his finger inside of Juri, gently at first easing him up before adding another one. Juri’s moans filled their room and the way Taiga’s name rolled out of his mouth made Taiga want to pleasure him even more. Finding a comfortable position to shift his weight Taiga took out his fingers, gently he pushed his cock inside of him. Juri was warm all over and eased up after only a few thrusts, their bodies moving in perfect sync.

 

"Touch yourself." Taiga said while slowing down his pace. "Touch yourself or else I'll pull out."

 

Juri cupped Taiga's face as he increased the rhythm of his hips to make up for Taiga's slow pace. "I thought you were taking care of me tonight."

 

"Oh right." Without hesitation, Taiga wrapped his hand around Juri's cock. Moving it at the same pace as their hips.

 

"Juri… I'm…" Taiga wasn't even able to finish his sentence and released inside of Juri making both of them feeling even warmer than they already felt.

 

Juri followed not long after. Taiga pulled out of him and Juri dropped to the bed. Weakly, he reached for the tissue to clean both of them up. They were both covered up in sweat so they decided to shower together.

 

Taiga snuggled up close to him in bed, letting his head rest on Juri's chest. Juri played with his hair, taking in the familiar scent of Taiga's soap and shampoo that he missed.

 

"Taiga."

 

"Hm?"

 

"Come back home."

 

Taiga leaned up to kiss Juri lightly this time.

 

******

 

Juri and Taiga went back to Juri's apartment the following day.

 

"Juri." Taiga said as they were by the doorway. "Why are all my shoes here?" He pointed to the shoe rack.

 

"I have no idea." Juri was shaking his head.

 

"Surprised!" Jesse and Shintaro shouted and pulled party poppers that scattered confetti everywhere. 

 

The two of them dragged Juri and Taiga inside the apartment. The living room had a welcome home banner over the television.

 

"We figured we should take matters in our own hands again." Shintaro proudly said. "Or else it might take you both 2 years again."

 

Jesse laughed. "So we took the opportunity while you were away on your trip. Hokuto and Kochi helped too."

 

Shintaro and Jesse took their bags and headed for the doorway.

 

"Where are you guys going?" Juri asked.

 

"To give you guys some privacy. We wouldn't want to be here when the welcome home sex starts. Enjoy yourselves." 

 

The two waved goodbye before leaving the apartment. Juri noticed the key and note they left on the center table of the living room.

 

"Looks like we're going to start opening the door for those two starting today. They gave back their spare key." Juri placed it inside the drawer near the television.

 

Taiga hugged him from behind. "I'm home."

 

"Welcome home."