Japan didn’t think that his feeling would be reciprocated. Sure, he likes Tanthai, but he was fine being able to observe the other from afar. It never came to his mind that Tanthai would have feelings for him. Or worst hit on him. Japan totally did not expect the other to be liking on him either. Kids nowadays are so daring with their feeling was what he thought the first time Tanthai held him against the tree in the public
The first time Japan saw Tanthai was during club registration for the freshman. It was a new year so that means new intakes were going to pour in. Their soccer team was not very well known but they created a name for the team. Tanthai was with his brother, Junior, who were walking together towards the booth. He was sure Junior was saying something stupid that made Tanthai hit the back of Junior’s head. Anything that came out from his brother’s mouth was stupid anyway.
“Fill up your name and LINE ID. We will send you details for the soccer tryouts” Japan informed them while trying not to make eye contact with Tanthai. He was pretty sure that he could feel his cheeks were warming up.
“P’Japan! Can you fill it up for me?” Junior said, trying to pull off the cutest actions he can ever do.
“Just because I am your brother does not mean I will be easy on you Junior,” Japan replied while rolling his eyes. Tanthai was just looking back and forth between the brothers. He could totally see the similarities in their facial structure but there were also differences. Junior features were more sharped while Japan’s were softer which makes him look cute. ‘Wait for a minute’ Tanthai thought to himself. He was having a reality check about what he was just thinking about.
Tanthai had always been sure of his sexuality. He came out to his mom when he was very young. He had always been very vocal about what he thinks about other people. His mom always supports what her son likes and has no hard feelings about her child being bisexual. In fact, she had a hunch her son was bisexual since young since he doesn’t mind being a partner with anybody during plays when the teachers say, “it should be a girl and a boy.”. Tanthai always hated that idea. He can be with anyone he wants.
“Are you done or are you going to stand there the whole day?” Junior asked him and gave him a nudge. Tanthai gave him a nod and thanked his senior. Honestly, even though he was bi, he never really fell in love with a boy before. He had a few flings here and there, but it was never serious. Japan is the first boy to make him feel whatever he feels in his stomach right now.
The moment Tanthai walked away with Junior, Japan let out the breath he been holding without even realizing it. He did not think that a freshman would have so much effect on him. His palms were sweaty due to what just happened. It was his first time. Japan was never really interested in relationships other than friendship. To him it was unnecessary at his age, so he never really focus on that part of his life. Until he saw Tanthai a few minutes ago. It feels weird. His stomach was having this feeling, but he is sure he is not hungry. If he could, he would have puke colors.
Things were actually pretty normal after that day. Japan saw Tanthai and his group of friends around the campus and exchange a few hi and bye when walking across each other. They did not have much interaction with each other even though Japan had Tanthai’s LINE ID. Japan was not going to abuse his power as the captain to approach some freshman he barely knew. Plus, Champ would not be fond of that idea either.
The next time they actually talk was during soccer tryouts. They had a few freshmen from different majors. Japan was giving out bottles of water to them to keep them hydrated. By chance, Tanthai was the last player he gave to. Japan kept his conversation with him short and not forgetting to wish him good luck on his tryouts. This year freshmen were more competitive than the previous year. There were more talented young players that are at the tryouts. He could see Champ and Dew observing hard and try not to make a mistake choosing the members. They could only select 10 players out of the almost 40 people who came for the tryouts. Deep down Japan hopes Tanthai would get one of the spots.
After the captains and seniors finish evaluate the players, they were called back. Names were being read out one by one for who passed the tryouts. Tanthai was one of the players. Japan tried so hard not to smile too brightly. The captain congratulated the players and gave his last speech to the others who did not make it. As they were dismissed, he approached Tanthai.
“Congratulations on being selected,” Japan said, trying not to sound so formal. He was known to be the strict senior by his juniors before him. It was rare for him to give out compliments compared to Champ even though Champ was the main captain. Champ approach was softer than Dew and Japan, but it does not mean he will accept rude behaviors.
“Thank you P’Japan!” Tanthai replied to him with so much enthusiasm. It had been a long day and the freshmen played a couple of rounds. However, Tanthai sounds as if he had a lot of energy left in him.
“If you did not realize, your brother who is me is also in the team. Where is my congratulation?” Junior broke their peaceful conversation. Japan glared at Junior for breaking his moment with Tanthai which made Japan jumped back a bit. Junior has always bad with social cues, so he was not surprised if Junior did not catch anything that is happening right now.
The three of them talked a little more before heading to the locker room. Since both Junior and Japan still stay with their parents, both of them would usually go to school together. Unless Junior woke up late, Japan would leave his unapologetic ass. At times they would ride together but at times not, depending on their schedules. That day, however, they did have a similar schedule, so they went to school together. Junior was feeling nice that day and ask if Tanthai need a lift since they stay near each other. Tanthai accepted the offer without a second thought.
Things were going as per normal as the month pass. Japan tries to keep his feelings at bay whenever he is near Tanthai, so does the other. Trying not to make it obvious. Both of them were really good at what they are doing since none of their friends suspects anything. A lot of things happen within the group of friends they have but nothing was serious. Other than how Saifah who is Tanthai’s soccer mate and Zon who is in Tanthai's group of friends, hates each other for no solid reason. The only thing Zon told them was that Saifah stole the girl that Zon dated. Zon saw them making out when he was going to meet the girl. From there on the both of them were at each other’s neck all the time when they meet. It does not help when they have the same friend who is Tutor. Seems suspicious if you ask Tanthai.
Japan kept his strict senior persona during soccer practice towards everyone, Junior included. It took him a while and rounds of running to get used to this side of his brother. Junior knows Japan means business when he made his run a few rounds for the first few practices. He learned not to annoy Japan during practices anymore. Japan sometimes finds it weird that Tanthai is very touchy with him. At first, he thought Tanthai does it with everyone, but he realized it was only with him. It started with just a pat on the shoulder. Soon, it escalates to small touches on the arms. Soon Tanthai started to call him P’J as a nickname. As time goes by, the touches stay longer, and it made Japan feel a little uncomfortable. Not in a bad way but it makes his heart race. Other than that, everything was how it is until the soccer charity event.
It was being done every year to collect funds so that they can donate equipment to the needy schools. Last year was a bit of a failure. They were not able to hit the target and were able to give a little to none. This year however Champ had an idea to collaborate with the Cute Boy Page to gain more attention. Names were put on polls and unfortunately, Saifah and Zon won and both of them had to do the collaboration. It would be a lot easier if they did not hate each other.
Though Tanthai tries not to skip practice, being influence by Junior at times gets very tempting. Most of the time he got away with it, but he thought this time he was dead. The moment he saw his captains were talking, he was thinking should he turn back. Heck, he just continues walking. If they say anything, he will just smile and continue dragging the soccer balls back to the storage room. Just in time, Japan stopped him. Tanthai had his words jumbled up trying to come out an excuse as to why he skipped the previous practice. Before he could even give a reason, Japan shut him by putting his finger on his lips. That action made Tanthai tense.
Japan started to talk about a soccer match that might happen soon. This sparks interest in Tanthai. The senior asked him he wants to be in the line-up for this game which makes Tanthai interested. Feeling happy that his senior feel that he is up for the challenge, he naturally held on Japan’s hand to show his gratitude. Tanthai was not sure when he had this habit on hold the other’s hand, but he is sure not going to make it die. Japan detached his arm from Tanthai’s touch and asked him, “You keep on touching me. By chance do you have feelings for me?”
It was his defense mechanism. He would say something he doesn’t mean when he feels shy or uncomfortable. This time Tanthai decides to take the chance and asked, “Can I?” which left Japan stun for a few seconds. He was sure the younger was just fooling around with his answers and try not to think too much into it. There is always an underlying reason when things get too good and Tanthai should have known. When Japan brought up the topic of Saifah and Zon collaboration, Tanthai sighed. He tried to reason out how this idea was rejected by Zon with much hatred. He tries to input more reasons for how both of them truly do not like each other and also how Zon can’t play the guitar.
All his reason went to deaf ears of his senior. If he made it happen, he had the chance to be on the team line up. Which is an opportunity that he cannot afford to miss? When Japan said he was counting on him, Tanthai felt it was his responsibility to make it happen. To Japan, he gave Tanthai a chance to get his name known. To Tanthai however, he the chance of him able to have feelings for the senior. Without Japan knowing, his and Tanthai definition of the “chance” that he is giving had two different meanings.
When Zon agrees to do the collaboration, Tanthai was super happy. Sure, he and Junior might have kind of use reverse psychology on Zon but that was not important. What is important that Japan makes sure to keep the deal with him being okay that Tanthai is going to hit on him. When Japan received the news that Zon finally agreed with the collaboration, he was relieved. Junior text him a couple of times saying how he made Zon agree with him. Junior might have left out a piece of important information that Tanthai helped out with the plan. Thus, when Japan was cornered between a tree and a certain taller junior, he was shocked.
Tanthai greeted him with a wide smile after pinning his senior to a tree. Being outdoors does not scare him making his move on Japan. When the senior said that he heard it was not his doing he was confused. Tanthai was certain he played a big role for Zon to accept to play. He then realized that Japan might want to discard the idea of him making a move on him. Tanthai felt dishearten and whined to Japan which makes Japan flustered. Never did Tanthai did that before towards him. This is totally a new reaction he is receiving from the younger boy.
All this while he kept his feelings at bay might come to a waste. Japan had been trying so hard to not react to his feelings. Honestly, he does not know the reason why either. It was not wrong for him to be together with the person he likes. Just maybe the idea of a relationship scares him. The idea of being responsible for other’s feelings and having to invest time not only for himself but also for another person. It makes him feel scared.
Japan lightly pushed Tanthai away saying he does not like it when he is close to him. The truth is, when their nose touched each other, he could feel his heart beating so loudly that it rings in his ear. Japan was afraid that Tanthai would catch on that he has feelings for him. When he walked away, he could feel a smile creep on his face. Even though he liked it, he can never admit it. Not at that moment.
After the whole incident involving Tanthai and tree, the younger one had been trying to get Japan’s attention. Some days Tanthai would come school extra early, in Japan’s opinion, to annoy him. Japan is slowly getting used to the attention but at the same time, he feels shy. It is the first time for him to receive such attention only dedicated to him from one person. One time after practice, Champ and Dew left him saying that they have some things to deal with, leaving him alone in the locker room. Japan was actually glad they left him since he could take his own time cleaning himself. He did not know there was another presence there.
Tanthai was sure it was fate that brought them to that moment. Junior told him he got to blast since he was meeting his high school friends for dinner that day. He told Tanthai that he can ride home with Japan. At first, he thought of going home first but when the idea of him being with Japan just two of them without Junior doing the devil work of cockblocking sounds nice for once. Tanthai was dilly-dallying cleaning himself since he knew the three captains were having a meeting. It was a routine for Japan or Junior to send him home after soccer practice. Japan would only send him home when Junior did not bring his car with him to school. That day would be the first time Japan send him home without Junior.
Right after Tanthai finishing washing himself, he left the stall waiting for his senior to finish cleaning up. He walked to the lockers to only realized it was only him and Japan left in that room. His mind wandered off thinking about what could happen to both of them without prying eyes of others. They were two raging teenagers. Tanthai shook his head not to think about things that do not seem to make sense. Right there and then, Japan came out from the shower, half-naked.
Tanthai saw him half-naked a couple of times for almost a year. This is, however, the first time he saw Japan half-naked, staring at him in the eye while he is half-naked. Talking about how awkward it was right now. Tanthai decides to break the tension, “Junior told me I could ride with you since he left to meet his friends. I don’t know if he told you that...”
Japan furrowed at what Tanthai said. It was a sign of him not knowing whatever Junior had in plan. Tanthai approached Japan and starts to whine. “P’Japan~ Please send me home... I promise to behave…” Tanthai whined cutely while latching on to Japan’s arm. Japan knows that he can never say no to the younger one when he acts this cute. He is sure that Tanthai put a spell on him for the past week. He had been very weak to the other’s action ever since Tanthai had been vocal on hitting on him.
Then he realized, both of them were naked. The only thing that is cover them is a piece of cloth covering their manhood. That information made Japan blush harder. “Yes, I will send you home. Now can you stop latching on me and let me go?” Japan responded while trying to move away from Tanthai. It actually made it worst as Tanthai’s grip got tighter. “Are you by chance, shy?” the younger ask as he caught on Japan’s reaction. Japan just waves him away and command him to get ready if he did not want to be left behind. Tanthai quickly wore his clothes.
The ride home was quiet. Tanthai was knock out since they had a very intense practice that day. Usually, he would still have the energy to joke around but that day he was super tired. Japan keeps glancing at the younger. ‘Was I too much during today’s practice’ he questioned himself. Looking at how tired Tanthai was a bit off. Normally, after practice, he would be talking about how his day with Japan. Like how Zon and Saifah almost fought at the Comm Arts canteen or about how Junior almost got the whole group in trouble because of how loud he was in class. That day seems like the younger energy was drained. Maybe he was keeping his word to behave…?
When they reach Tanthai’s house, he was still peacefully asleep. Japan was feeling disheartened to wake up the little one. He, nonetheless, did not pass the chance to observe Tanthai’s peaceful face. Without him realizing, he started to trace out his facial features. He started from his eyebrows toward the under the eye. Looking at how the younger’s eyebags were puffy. It must be from the projects that keep coming. Tanthai did complain to him on one of the mornings that he slept late but he did not want to miss his breakfast session with his favorite person. That made Japan melted for real. Then, he continues towards his puffy cheeks and then stops on Tanthai’s pouty lips. Unconsciously, Japan bites his.
Before he could have any further thoughts, Tanthai woke up. Japan was a bit too slow to detach himself from Tanthai. Tanthai wrapped his arms around his broad shoulders. “P’Japan… Were you going to kiss me…?” Tanthai asked him, not so innocently. Japan could only stare at his junior. None of them were going to back down from this mini-competition of staring into each other’s eyes until Japan realized what he was doing. He swiftly moves to his side and looks out the window, hoping Tanthai did not saw his red cheeks. Tanthai unbuckle himself and took his bag from the back seat.
Suddenly, Japan felt a kiss on his cheeks. “Thank you P’J for driving me home,” Tanthai said softly while giving him a cheeky smile. That sends Japan in shock mode and slowly he became shy again. ‘Tanthai just kisses me’ he keeps telling himself again and again. He kept thinking about it even after driving off from Tanthai’s house. He still cannot believe that the younger one kissed him.
It had been so long since Japan played with his cat. His cat sometimes sleeps with him but when he is not busy, he could play with her for the whole day. That day, however, he is very free. Talking to his cat is a way for him to distress himself from all the school work and soccer fundraiser. He would call the cat babe or baby when talking to her. When he is not available to play around with her, his mom would take his place instead. But Babe loves her owner than anyone else.
“Babeee~ Why are you looking me like that. Do you want to eat? Let’s eat this okay? Let me give you kisses too.” Japan says to his cat with so much fondness. Unknown to him, someone is looking at him while he is doing all of this. Tanthai was finding for Junior since the other told him that he wants to play his video game and in need of an opponent. Since Tanthai was free, he did not mind going to his house. When he arrived, he let himself in. Since Tanthai had joined the family for a couple of family dinner, their parents treated him like their other son. Since then, he had the free pass to come in whenever he wants.
Tanthai smiled at the scene that he is seeing. He did see Japan walking around the school by himself sometimes feeding the cats. However, this is very new to him. Japan had always been someone with little words but looking at how he is talking to his cat right now, was something new. Slowly, he tiptoes next to Japan and attached himself to the older one. Japan is beyond surprised. Tanthai gave him the cutest meow he could and Japan actually meow back. Out of instinct of course. Realized his real self is being seen by someone else, he started babbles out some stupid reasons. Tanthai gazes at him, knowing it is a way of the younger trying to cover up his act.
Honestly, it is not even embarrassing. It is actually cute. Super adorable. Especially when he has his fringe tied up. To Tanthai, Japan looks like an overgrown baby. After listening to Japan saying whatever his reason is, he looks at him in the eye and said, “Whenever when you are with me, you don’t need to act how you are in school. In fact, you look very cute right now.”
Words that came out from Tanthai astound him. ‘He thinks I am cute…?’ Japan thought to himself. No one really calls him cute other than his parents. Others usually describe him as laid back or chill but never cute. Tanthai seeing him like this did not come across weird to him either. Which is surprising since most of the time he is the upright senior. This shook something inside of him, as if he has shown more of himself to Tanthai, he would accept him wholeheartedly. This feels so different, but good kind of different.
“Why are you here anyway?” Japan asks Tanthai and without second thoughts he straight away complains about his friend. Telling him how they are supposed to be spending time together but Japan did not pick up his phone. But he finishes it off by saying that he actually finds something better than what he was finding – a big cat.
Japan dismisses him, saying that Junior actually went out with Soda instead. Adding in that he does not like it when Tanthai touches him while he is blushing. Tanthai continues on saying on how Junior choose girls over him while still grabbing on Japan. He asks permission to play with his cats though. Tanthai pets the cat’s fur and lookup. Their eyes met. Both of them sure that they both could feel the tension again. Tanthai compliments the cat but is looking at Japan. Japan is sure he was not talking about his cat but hopes not to understand it too deep.
When Tanthai says he is going home, the eye contact did not stop. Instead, Tanthai went nearer to Japan and rubs their nose together. Japan is sure this is going to be their thing. It is one of the ways that makes him blush and he is certain that Tanthai likes it when he is shy. That is why he keeps on acting this way. The cherry on top, Tanthai thinks that it is a good thing to ends things with a kiss on the hand. This action made Japan screams in happiness the moment Tanthai is out of sight.
The next time they see each other is when Japan was finding for the school stray cat to feed. Tanthai saw his senior walking around with a packet of snacks while meowing away finding for the cat. It looks very cute if you ask Tanthai. The moment Japan sat on the ledge, Tanthai ran towards his and gave him a back hug.
That same day Saifah and Zon have a public performance to get them ready for their stage for the concert. Tanthai volunteered himself to help Japan to bring the instruments while the rest will come a bit later. While waiting for the others to come, Tanthai was just murmuring some songs while flipping the music sheet file. Japan came beside him unannounced asking where were his friends since they were supposed to come a couple of minutes ago. Tanthai gave him a smile and says ‘they are coming soon so don’t worry P’J’.
Soon enough, they could hear loud noises from afar certainly it was Junior and Natee. Zon looks extra nervous so Tanthai tries to help him by telling him to be confident. He does not think that help him but he is sure that Saifah can help him out for that part. Tanthai returns back to his seat beside Japan while the others continue with the final touches and also for Zon to calm down. ‘Tanthai, thank you for helping me’ Japan thanked Tanthai for helping all this while with the fundraiser. Tanthai looks at Japan and smiles. He could feel genuine feelings from the other. It makes him explode in the inside. He feels as if he unlocks a new level to whatever they have right now.
“It is not a big thing. I can give more than helping.” Tanthai replies and that makes Japan feel warm and fuzzy. It feels like Tanthai is telling him he could rely on him on anything bigger or personal like his own feelings. This makes Japan feels like he is valid in Tanthai’s life. He is more than just a senior, more like someone that Tanthai wants to spend his life with.
As the concert is coming nearer, they got way busier than they were before. The soccer team is in charge of most of the things they need for the concert. Even though their team is not really big, they have the biggest responsibility. Posters have to be made and also the necessities for the concert have to order. Plus also, they have to check the number of guests that are coming to the concert.
In the midst of everything, Japan and Tanthai could not really find time to spend time outside school or even personal time inside the school. They did have fun as a team spending time together trying to make the concert a good memory, Maybe Tanthai and Junior tried to run away to get some rest but only to be found by Japan somehow which result in them getting their head hit.
The week after the concert, Japan asks Tanthai out on a study date since exams are coming soon. They agree to have it at Tanthai’s house so that Junior would not interrupt their peaceful time. They are sure that Junior would not understand that his friend and his brother are actually having a study date and would decide it is best to join instead. That is how they end up one of them being at the end side of the bed. Tanthai would sometimes disturb Japan by nudging his feet on the older which ends up Japan glaring at him.
It had been two hours since they study and Tanthai could feel his brain need some rest. He decides to put a pause on his study and check on Japan. He could see Japan is still concentrating on his study materials. Tanthai observes Japan’s studying habits. He has his eyebrows frowning, trying to understand what he is ready. He also has the habit of biting his lips which left him with peel skin on his lips. Tanthai approaches Japan little by little so that the other would not realize. Slowly, he wraps his arms around the other waist and places his head on his shoulder.
“P’Japan~ Aren’t you tired. We had been studying for two hours straight and I am tired!” Tanthai whines while snuggling on Japan's shoulder. Japan looks at the time and the other is right about the duration. He cannot believe they had been studying for two hours straight. It must be because this is his last exam before he has to go for his internship. Tanthai then places himself on Japan’s chest which caught him on by surprise. ‘Tanthai!’ Japan yelled softly but that does not budge the younger. “Let me rest for a while P. Your chest is very comfortable…” Tanthai whispers.
Knowing that he cannot get out of this, Japan figures that he should enjoy this moment. Japan places his head on the younger head and wraps his arm around Tanthai. A little bit of sleep won’t be bad right?
They woke up when they heard a knock on the door by Tanthai’s mother. Japan looks at the clock and realized they nap for almost two hours. A very fruitful day indeed. Looks like he has to study more when he reached home. Japan almost forget that there is another human that is beside him.
“P’Japan… Are you going to let me go so that we can eat dinner or do you want to cuddle a bit longer? I am fine with any.” Tanthai says, making Japan detangle himself from him. Tanthai gave him a smile and drag him to the kitchen. Japan did not even have the chance to decline the offer of dinner when Tanthai’s mom set up the table for the three of them to eat. He is sure that Tanthai’s mother knows whatever is between her son and him but did not ask. Maybe, Tanthai updates his mom about his love life.
Dinner was great. Just a few chats here and there. His mom did ask Japan why did Junior not join them. Tanthai simply answers his mother, ‘Mae! It is a study date. If Junior was here then it won’t be a date anymore!’. His mother smiles and accepts her son's answer casually. While Japan chokes on the water he is drinking. He did not think that Tanthai was very straight forward with his mother. Sure Japan’s parents were accepting too but he did not think that they can casually talk about this topic. Compare to his brother Junior, Japan was more private with his life.
After dinner, Japan helps Tanthai to wash the dishes before going home. At first, Tanthai rejects his help since he is the guest but then Japan insisted. So Tanthai gave him the easier job which is to wipe the utensils. They work in silence for once. After they are done, Japan packs his things and thank Tanthai’s mom for dinner. Tanthai walks out with him. Before Japan get into his car, the younger swiftly peak his cheeks and bops his nose on his senior. He doesn’t know how many times did Tanthai pull of these actions but it stills make Japan blush. Japan promises that he would fetch him the next day and Tanthai gladly accepts the offer. Tanthai stays out until Japan’s car was out of sight.
When Tanthai walks toward his house, he sees his mom is in the living room watching the tv so he decides to join her. He snuggles into his mom's embrace. “You really like this like this boy don’t you?” she asked. Tanthai looks at his mom and gives her a nod. She smiles and plays with her son's hair. “He seems like a good boy and I approve. As long you are happy my son”, she continues and kept her eye on the TV.
The next time they had a date was an actual date without books. This time Tanthai ask if Japan was free for the whole day. Since they had been spending their whole week studying, Tanthai thinks that is necessary for them to take a rest. Japan begs to differ but agrees with the younger one anyways. Tanthai surprise Japan when they arrive at a bowling alley. The older never really try bowling. They make a bet that whoever loses has to pay for dinner. This brought the competitiveness in Japan for sure.
The results came in and of course, Tanthai won even when he gave Japan a 50 points start. Later during dinner, Japan learns that Tanthai actually starts to learn bowling as young as ten years old since his mom loves bowling. Sometimes his mom and his other school mates would go bowling on the weekends to lose up some stress. That explains why the guy on the counter greeted Tanthai as if he knows him for very long. He did.
The next time they saw each other was after their exams. It was the last exam that Japan is going to take before his internship. Tanthai finishes his papers first and decides to wait for his other friends at the canteen. As he was walking, we saw Japan sitting at the staircase all alone while looking worried. Slowly, approach him. He did not even realize that Tanthai is beside him until he wraps his hand around his shoulders.
Japan smiled knowing there is only one person who would do that. He does not know if fate is playing with him right now but he is happy if it did right now. Other than Champ, he does not really talk to anyone else about his feelings. Having Tanthai beside him right at this moment brings him ease. ‘Are you nervous P’J? Tanthai asked, with much concern. Their match is coming in a week or so thus it puts so much pressure on the captain's shoulder. For the four years, he is in the team, they never won first place. They usually secure third place but it was never enough.
“Keep on fighting P’Japan! No matter what, I and the others will be there cheering you on!" Tanthai exclaims, giving Japan the brightest smile he can ever give. Japan looks at Tanthai with so much adoration. This is the first time Tanthai feels that the other looks at him in such a manner. It feels like the things he had done for the past few months are being fruitful right. Like how Japan trust him more or how Japan is more comfortable when he is clinging on to him even though Japan still blushes. To him right now, this is the best gift that he can ask for.
Japan continues the conversation telling Tanthai he has to make sure that he gets into an active player like himself. Tanthai does not mind he did not get in like what they discuss before. He had other things in mind like how to be Japan’s boyfriend. That is what important to him right now. “It is okay if I am not a real player this year but when can I be someone real significant other?” Tanthai asks, which made Japan broke out to a wide smile. Japan still cannot get used to how straight forward on how Tanthai can ask him such a question.
“What are you talking about?” Japan denies shyly to the question.
Tanthai holds on to Japan arms and gives more encouragement for the game. They look at each other and their eyes lock. None of them look away. Tanthai blinks a few times, trying to grasp the situation that they currently in. Neither of them broke eye contact. Slowly, their faces were an inch away from each other. Japan feels his palm is getting sweatier as they got closer and closer. They were so close that their lips slightly touch and they could feel each other’s breath on.
However, Tanthai pulled away. Tanthai got affirmation that both of them currently feels the same towards each other. Despite wanting to show his affection toward Japan, he decides that having their first kiss after their relationship is set would be more romantic. Japan would be lying if he did feel a bit disappointed. ‘Why do I feel this way if I did not want him?’ Japan asks himself as if he did not know his answer. There and then he could finally confirm his feelings. He really wants Tanthai to be part of his life. More than a junior or a friend. Japan wants Tanthai to be his other half.
Tanthai promises a reward if Japan could bring back the trophy. This totally drives Japan on. He is resolute to get the reward that Tanthai’s is offering. The fact that Tanthai won’t spoil what it is either, it brought his more curiosity. Japan has to win this game.
Finally, it is the day. The day of the competition. Japan and others are in the locker getting themselves mentally and physically ready for the game. Champ gave his final words as a captain since he needs to step down soon. This would be the last game for him as captain. It is heartwarming how much Japan has grown so much. He is happy he made it this far even as one of the captains. They were currently in discussion on who to vote for the next captain and Tanthai is one of them. Japan tries so hard not to break this news to his soon to be the boyfriend.
Talking about soon to be boyfriend, Junior announces to the whole team that he is there to wish them luck. Behind him was Tanthai following him closely. Japan smile when he sees Tanthai approaching him after talking to the other players. “Hey P’J! Good luck with today’s game!” Tanthai encourages him. Then he looks around if anyone is looking at them. Everyone is talking to each other or watching Junior doing something dumb. Swiftly, Tanthai presses a kiss on Japan’s cheeks and giggle. “Don’t worry P’Japan. That was not a reward. Take it as a motivation.” Tanthai said and gave him a wink. Tanthai says goodbye, not forgetting to give a squeeze on Japan’s shoulder. He then drags Junior out with him and said his finally good lucks to the other players.
The players get their final touch-ups and stretching before going out to the field. As they ran out towards the field, they got cheered by the other students who attend the game for the school spirit. Japan could easily find Tanthai amongst the crowd. Japan smile while waving at Tanthai. Tanthai smiled back.
“Did P’Japan just smiled at you?” Zen nudges his friend and Tanthai just respond to him with a wink. Zen is very fast in catching these things. Junior who is Japan’s brother and also Tanthai’s best friend has not asked or suspects anything even when he is with them most of the time. “Well, we are dating. Maybe more after today?” Tanthai tells Zen. Zen smiles at his friend while giving him a side hug.
The group of friends cheers loudly for the university soccer team. Saifah and Dew manage to score a few goals. This year with the addition of Saifah, the team is stronger than ever. Also, with the addition of Saifah, Zon is here this year to watch his boyfriend in this match. Japan is playing mid-field for this game and he is doing a good job at it. The timer shows fifteen seconds left and Japan is the one with the ball. Their score is currently tied. The audiences were holding on to their breath while watching Japan dribble the ball towards the goalpost. Steadily, he manages to run and dribble passing the opponent without fail.
And Japan scores.
The audience cheers loudly. After four years, they manage to obtain their first place. Everybody is so happy. Tanthai without realizing ran towards down the field with his other friend tailing him. Tanthai ran straight towards Japan’s arms and congratulate him. Japan hugs Tanthai hard, not wanting to let him go. Then, he pushes him slightly and asks, “Would you be my significant other?” and took out the ring that he been keeping in his soccer shorts safely.
Tanthai did not expect this coming from Japan. He is sure that he is going to ask Japan in private after the game but not in front of the whole campus. Japan is a very private person so it never comes across his mind that he would ask him out in front of everybody. “Yes of course P’J!” Tanthai exclaims with so much happiness. The crowd had another round of cheers for the new couple.
“And not forgetting your reward…” Tanthai said and sealed their lips with a kiss.
Japan wraps his arms around Tanthai and deepens the kiss. The cheers from the soccer team got louder and they are sure it was Junior complaining why he did not know about this. They did not care, it is finally their moment anyways.