Things he didn't consider liking a few months ago are the following:
- Late running rehearsals
- Kyomoto Taiga
The last one isn't a new one if he's being honest, but after months in quarantine, he's realized he might be liking the other male a bit more than he'd like to admit.
Which is why he's questioning himself how he got himself in this situation in the first place.
The place which is ultimately having Taiga straddling his lap, hands on his shoulders for support, and face slightly flushed - from embarrassment or alcohol, he doesn't know. The others are whistling at them, and he doesn't even know why he's not opposed to this. Why it just feels right.
He questions himself even more with every inch that Taiga leans closer, feeling his hot breath on his face, and every nerve in his body is on fire, ready to combust.
Then, there's Taiga's hand on him, gentle like newly washed bed sheets, tilting his head up, and he doesn't know if he's breathing out or in when their lips touch.
It's surprisingly normal. Like it's natural. A soft press of lips against his, nothing more but it ignites something inside him, something burning, something growing, something shining. It's running through his whole body and he's almost shocked at how his body screams at him how good it feels.
Taiga is gone before he can reciprocate the kiss back, way too fast, way too short, and way too good.
He blinks repeatedly, dazed, and flushed. It felt good. Better than expected.
It's not until later when they're heading home, drinks long are gone, food all eaten, all games played, and their minds in a happy place, that Hokuto realizes the fact that Taiga didn't have to kiss him earlier. It was just a dare.
The others might be assholes, but they're nice assholes and they would never force them to do something they didn't want to.
It's late evening, and they're done for the day, packing up their respective stuff from the chairs in the corner of the room, and that's when he decides to confront Taiga about it.
"Can I — can we, maybe—" he says as he tugs on Taiga's wrist to keep him from walking away like he usually does when they're alone.
Taiga looks around as if he's looking for someone else that Hokuto could be talking to before he understands that Hokuto actually wants to talk to him.
"What do you want?" Hokuto flinches slightly at Taiga's harsh tone of voice, so different from the soft okay? he heard back when he had Taiga in his lap, leaning in to kiss him like nothing else mattered.
He can feel the words get stuck in his throat, and he almost says nothing, almost.
“Why did you kiss me?”
Taiga raises one eyebrow at him, obviously not expecting him to ask that.
“Should I have not to?” The question is so genuine, so innocent that Hokuto doesn’t have a proper answer to it. He bites his lip, unsure what to say back when Taiga continues.
“I didn’t think it was that big of a deal,”
Of course it’s not a big deal to you Kyomoto , Hokuto wants to say. Because you’re used to people adoring you, shower you with love, whether you want it or not, and decide for yourself if you want that love or not but I’m not like that.
There’s a lot of things he thinks Taiga should know about but he can’t bring himself to tell him about them. He should know about the way Hokuto’s heart raced the moment before their lips touched, how he’d never felt anything like it before, not even when he experienced his first love, how intoxicating Taiga’s lips had felt, how much he’s been craving for more ever since that night. How he doesn’t want to admit that he wants to feel them against his own again, a bit longer, a bit harder, a bit deeper.
“Was that all?” Taiga asks, hoisting his bag over his shoulder, ready to leave any second, gripping the handle of it tight, and Hokuto can’t have that, he doesn’t want Taiga to leave, not when it’s finally just the two of them. No prying eyes, no alcohol involved, no dares or games. It’s just them. “Then, I’ll head out —”
“No, no, wait — “ Hokuto breathes out, realizing he’s been silent all the time and that Taiga can’t read minds, and even if he could, everything didn’t make any sense, not even to Hokuto. Don’t go.
“Do it again,”
Taiga stops and stares at Hokuto, eyes wider and mouth gaping in the middle of his sentence, so evident that he did not expect Hokuto to burst out that.
“Kiss me again,”
Hokuto, on the other hand, wants to get swallowed by the earth because he can’t believe he said it out loud, he can’t believe he did it. He really wants it though but he’s not sure if he wants to see Taiga’s laughing face when he rejects him.
Then, Taiga lets the bag fall on the floor with a dull thud, grabs him by the shoulders, and pushes him against the wall with strength Hokuto didn’t think Taiga possessed. When he opens his eyes he didn’t know he closed, he’s staring straight into Taiga’s - dark and dangerous. He feels Taiga’s breath hot on him, bringing him back to that night, sending his whole body and mind back in time, and the same emotions surge through him, and he has to hold his breath to not let out a moan.
“I’m going to kiss you now,”
Taiga barely gets to finish his sentence before his lips are on Hokuto’s, meeting somewhere in the middle, and Hokuto grips hard at Taiga’s shirt, trying to pull him closer as Taiga deepens the kiss, making Hokuto’s head spin with emotions.
He tugs at Taiga, trying to convey how good it feels, how he makes his head spin, how intoxicating it is, how Taiga makes his world spin even faster. A small moan escapes his lips as Taiga pushes his tongue around, letting his taste every part of it, barely getting enough air to focus but it’s alright because he doesn’t want to part from Taiga at all.
Even when they have to part, Hokuto still feels like Taiga’s kisses give him more life than oxygen ever will.
He leans in again, automatically trying to get more of Taiga while he’s still high on him, while he can still remember vividly how it feels to have his lips against his.
Then, Taiga moves away, almost as if he wants to run away, and Hokuto doesn’t want that, won’t let him, so he reaches out, pulls Taiga into an embrace, holding him tight and he’s staring at the floor with wide eyes as he tries to calm his heart down. He can feel Taiga’s heartbeat in time with his own, and at some beats, he doesn’t know which is which. He doesn't know what to say.
He clings harder at the mention of his name, not sure if he should reply or not, or if it’s going to be just another rejection in life. He still doesn’t know why Taiga kissed him back then, or why he agreed to kiss him again now. It's all so confusing but he'd do it all again if he could.
“Hokuto, calm down,” Taiga repeats his name, trying to calm him down with his voice, and it’s both working and not working because Taiga’s voice is too enchanting. Taiga pushes them apart, enough to cradle Hokuto’s face in his hands gently, running his thumbs over smooth skin, looking him in the eyes. “It’s okay.”
Taiga says that as he leans in to press a kiss against Hokuto’s furrowed eyebrows, soothing them into a straight line.
Then, he’s gone before Hokuto even gets the chance to get an answer.
He doesn’t get a reply when he tries to contact the other through LINE later either, total silence and he feels like he’s totally in the dark.
It’s frustrating how much of Taiga is in his daily life, how many things there are around him that reminds him of the older. How he can’t turn around in his bed without thinking of the sheets wrapped around Taiga on stage, his pale skin barely a contrast to the sheets, the lights casting an alluring light over Taiga, making him look more ethereal than usual, how the songs on the radio reminding him of the subtle way Taiga sings along to them when he thinks no one is looking, and how the tomatoes in his fridge glare at him, demanding him to let them know why he bought them in the first place, and of course, it had been because of Taiga.
He thinks of how the first time he brought a homemade lunchbox with him to rehearsals, how Taiga’s eyes had lit up at the sight of the tomatoes, and how happy he had been when Hokuto had shared them with him. How such a simple thing had made him so happy.
Now that he thinks back on it, maybe he had been liking Taiga ever since then, or even before. Maybe he’s just been denying it, ignoring it. It’s complicated after all.
The next day, for no reason at all, he brings his own lunchbox, half of his salad filled with small cherry tomatoes, and when he opens it, he wonders if he’s stupid. If he’s being unfair for bringing tomatoes to work to make Taiga talk to him again.
He believes that they’re still fine, that the kisses don’t mean anything between them, even if he wants it to mean something. He’s fine with it to be left in the dark. He tries to tell himself that at least.
When he’s done with his food, the salad only left to eat, he feels someone sitting down beside him, and he doesn’t have to look up to know who it is. No one else would sit down on a bench like they owned the world but Taiga.
He sees long fingers reaching over to pick up a tomato, and he lets him, following the tomato as he travels from his box to Taiga’s lips, watching how the older chews on it once, twice, then swallows it, bliss appearing on his face before licking his fingers one by one.
It’s not fair, he thinks even if he knows that everything Taiga is unfair. It’s not fair how such a simple thing as eating a tomato could make his heart jump so high he thinks it might never return back, how it makes him remember every other thing Taiga’s done with his fingers at their performances, shows, photoshoots, especially yesterday when they were kissing, when he had wondered how it’d feel to have them tangled in his hair, pulling him closer, tugging at his hair just enough to make it feel good. It’s not fair how much Taiga makes him desire the other, and it’s past the point of just physical attraction. He wishes it had been that only because that would be easy to handle.
The whole night after Taiga ran away, he had been thinking in circles about him. If Taiga meant it as something more, if he wanted to say something more, if they could be something more. He should feel like it’s going too fast but they’ve known each other for years now, and the parts they don’t know about each other are exactly these parts, the parts they’d only reveal to their partner they choose.
He nibbles on a leaf of arugula as he thinks about how he wants to that “ more ” to Taiga.
“You need to stop doing that,” he hears Taiga say, out of nowhere, and he finally turns to him, arugula leaf still hanging between his lips, and gives the blond a confusing look, blinking a few times to comprehend the current situation.
Taiga looks at him, equal parts confusion and frustration, and Hokuto doesn’t know how to interpret it.
“Doing things that make me want to kiss you,” Taiga steals another tomato as he says that, the tips of his ears red, even more obvious when he tucks strands of hair behind his ears too and avoids Hokuto’s eyes.
Hokuto can’t believe what he’s hearing because out of everything, Taiga says that? That should be his line.
“Doing what things?” he counters, genuinely confused because he’s doing nothing special that would have caught Taiga’s attention.
“Things like that,” Taiga gestures toward Hokuto, taking another tomato in the passing, trying to sound more indifferent than he is. “Things like being you.”
“Is that a bad thing? Wanting to kiss me?” Hokuto’s done feeling nervous, curiosity winning, and he just wants to know why Taiga is being confusing.
“It’s not,” Taiga admits, licking his damn fingers again and Hokuto draws a small breath. “On the contrary, I quite like it. Kissing you I mean.”
“Then why don’t you do it?”
“Because what, Taiga?” Hokuto sighs, part frustrated, part irritated. Taiga is not making any sense. “You’re not making any sense right now, and I can’t read your mind.”
Taiga looks at him as if he’s grown two heads, not quite believing his words, chewing on the inside of his cheek.
“Because I want so much than just that, last night, it wasn’t a mistake, I lost control, I got scared so I left and left you on read, and… I don’t think I should do it before we’re on the same page.”
That should be his line, and Hokuto can’t believe how stupid they are, both of them always running in circles with each other, trying to desperately catch up with the shadow of the other, when they’ve been right by their side in reality all along. It’s so clear now that he understands, everything makes sense. They've always been chasing each other.
He pulls on Taiga’s arm, pulling him in to crash his lips against his, bumping noses against each other, teeth getting in the way but he feels it again. It feels right.
“I think we’ve always been on the same page, I just forgot which one,” he whispers when he pulls back, smiling at Taiga.
No more running around.
Taiga replies to him that night when he writes good night to him.