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Theme Parks and Everyone Else

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Hokuto rolled over his bed from one side to another over and over again while looking at theme park tickets in his hands.

 

"Fucking ask him already! I'm getting dizzy and annoyed!" Juri complained without even looking up from his phone.

 

"How do you supposed I should ask him? Just out of the blue 'o Taiga I got these tickets from a friend and I was wondering if you're free that day' and make a complete fool of myself?" Hokuto lied on his back and spread out his arms and legs.

 

"First of all, enough with the fucking lies. I know you bought those tickets online."

 

"What? How the hell did you know that?"

 

"Never leave your laptop turned on in a shared space, man. Taiga almost saw it if I didn't divert his attention." Juri chuckled.

 

"What am I supposed to say then? 'Hey, Taiga, I got us tickets to the theme park. Just us because I want to spend time alone with you marveling at the beauty of your smile without any other rowdy members. I checked your whole schedule like the stalker that I am and found a day where both of us are free. So what do you say?' Do you think it's that easy?!"

 

"Did you hear that, Taiga?" Juri talked to his phone.

 

Taiga's laughter could be heard through the speakers. I'll have to say yes then. After all he went through all that trouble of checking my schedule.

 

"I'm hanging up now. You two talk on your own then." Juri ended the call. "Problem solved."

 

"Damn it, Juri!" Hokuto buried his face on his pillow out of embarrassment. "How do I freaking face him tomorrow!"

 

Juri laughed out loud.

 

*****

 

Hokuto arrived at the theme park before Taiga did, he couldn’t keep still where he was standing and kept looking around in case Taiga was already around the area looking for him.

 

“Hey there, buddy!” Juri placed his arm around Hokuto’s shoulder.

 

“Juri, what the hell are you doing here?”

 

“Aw what has got our Hokku in such a bad mood?” Jesse poked on his face.

 

“Jesse too?”

 

“Hey!” Two other voices called out to them, Shintaro and Kouchi were running towards them.

 

“Hokuto, you didn’t tell me about this being a group thing.” Taiga appeared behind Hokuto.

 

“I’m pretty sure only Juri knows what the hell this arrangement is.” Hokuto said, clenching his jaw.

 

“Come on, buddy. My friend gave me tickets that just so happened to expire today.” Juri winked at him.

 

“Are we going to hit the rides or not?” Shintaro called them all out as he went to line up at the entrance.

 

It was not at all how Hokuto planned out this day with Taiga. Jesse and Shintaro were somehow able to get Taiga to go wherever they wanted while Hokuto, Kouchi, and Juri followed close behind them like parents watching over their kids' playdates. The only consolation Hokuto got was that he gets to see Taiga relaxed and all smiles and laughs as he enjoys himself but honestly he would want to be the one making him smile and better yet be the one walking side by side with him.

 

“Wow could you guys be in an even sour mood?” Juri chuckled.

 

“Whose fault is it anyway?!” Hokuto and Kouchi said at the same time.

 

“That should have been me by Taiga’s side right now.”

 

“And I…” Kouchi thought about it. “Well, I still don’t know really Jesse’s so out of it he can’t take hints. Do you know how many different phone pouches I’ve made and given him already?”

 

Juri laughed at them. “Relax both of you. I’ll make it up to you later. For now, let’s just enjoy around with the six of us.”

 

It was getting dark and everyone seemed to have come down from their high as they ate some light snacks.

 

“Let’s go ride the ferris. The lights are really pretty way up high.” Juri suggested.

 

“Let’s get going then!” Shintaro led the way to the ferris wheel line.

 

“It’ll be really unfair if there’s a group of four and a group of two.” Juri said while they were in line. “It’s better to separate in two right?”

 

They did not have enough time to answer as the personnel already signaled them to get on.

 

Juri pushed Taiga and Hokuto first. “We’re not going together.” Juri said to the person closing the doors of the capsule.

 

Hokuto let out a sigh of relief when both of them got on and the door was closed. Finally he got some alone time with Taiga. The next one capsule was opened, Jesse got on first and Shintaro was about to follow him when Juri grabbed his wrist and pushed Kouchi over.

 

“Guess it’ll be you and me, buddy.” Juri tapped Shintaro’s shoulder.

 

“It’s okay. I’m getting fed up with Jesse anyway.” Shintaro stuck his tongue out.

 

“Oi!” Jesse complained just as the door closed.

 

Hokuto couldn’t really see the pretty sight Juri said earlier as all his attention was focused on Taiga, absolutely adorable Taiga. He was even more adorable as he was really fascinated by the sight of the theme park lights from above. God, what Hokuto would do just to prolong this moment a little longer.

 

“Hokuto, come here and look. The lights are really pretty.” Taiga said and Hokuto looked out the window. “I said come here and look. There’s something I want to point to and it’ll be easier for you to see it if you’re next to me.”

 

Hokuto obeyed, he got up from his seat and sat right next to Taiga.

 

“Look, over there.” Taiga pulled on him so he was leaning by Taiga’s side as they both looked out the capsule window. Suddenly, Taiga kissed him on his cheeks. “Told you it’ll be easier if you’re next to me.” He giggled and kissed Hokuto again.

 

Hokuto was dazed as he sat down next to Taiga again. Not knowing how to react or better yet even breathe properly. Taiga seemed unaffected and took his hand in his as Taiga looked at his face.

 

“This view’s pretty nice too.” Taiga flashed a smile.

 

“Stop it.” Hokuto flushed and covered half of his face with his free hand.

 

“Hey!” Taiga complained. “I won’t be able to stare at you for much longer. We won’t even share a ride home, my parents are picking me up. Let me have my moment.” Taiga took off Hokuto’s hand from his face.

 

“Why don’t you just take a photo of my face?”

 

“I already did.” Taiga let go of Hokuto’s hand and pulled up a photo on his phone. “See.” Taiga showed him a photo of him from where he was seated earlier, when he briefly looked out the window. 

 

Hokuto’s thoughts were so filled up by Taiga that he didn’t even notice Taiga taking his picture. “That’s not fair. I didn’t know.”

 

“Let’s take one now then.” Taiga leaned his head on Hokuto’s shoulder and took their photo.

 

The six of them parted ways at the front entrance of the theme park. Hokuto walked Taiga to the car waiting for him. Hokuto opened the door for Taiga and greeted his parents politely before he said goodbye to Taiga.

 

“Why are you saying goodbye?” Taiga’s mother asked. “You’re coming with us for dinner.”

 

“Ah, no, I - ” Hokuto was lost for what to say and looked over to Taiga for help but Taiga utterly ignored him and scooted over to the other side to make space for Hokuto.

 

“What are you waiting for? Get in.”

 

Hokuto could not say no to Taiga’s mother. Like mother, like son, whatever they say Hokuto should always say yes, no questions asked.