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Smoke and Sand

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We could probably get in trouble for this, Yuki thinks briefly. It’s not quite the red light district - (he’s still not Ayame, though he may be a little bolder than he used to be) - but all the same, he’d really rather not get caught huddled in an Okinawa alley with half a joint and 40% of the student council. 

He breathes in as deep as his lungs will allow and passes the joint off to Kakeru. 

“I’m cold,” Kimi whines. It's no wonder, since she's wandering around in just a thin silk pajama set. She tries to tug the sleeves over her hands to no avail. 

“You should’ve worn a jacket,” Kakeru tells her, but he hands the joint to her so he can shrug his coat off his shoulders. 

“No,” she pouts. “I don’t want your jacket. I want Yun-Yun’s jacket.”

Yuki feels a faint chill remembering a tantrum the likes of which he had never seen outside of a grade-schooler, and he offers Kimi his jacket without any further negotiation. 

“Now Yun’s gonna be cold,” Kakeru complains. “C’mon, Kimi.” 

“Give him yours, then,” she says, snuggling deeper into Yuki’s peacoat. 

“Fair enough.” He holds out his own jacket to Yuki, who would refuse but then he starts hearing Tohru’s disembodied voice in his head, worrying over him. 

It's heavier than Yuki expected when he settles the jacket onto his shoulders. 

“Smells like you,” he mumbles, a little amused that the sleeves reach the tips of his fingers. Had Kakeru gotten taller, or had Yuki just never noticed it before? 

“Huh?” Kakeru looks up from unrolling his sweater sleeves. 


“I want to go for a walk,” Kimi announces. 

“Isn’t that what we’re doing?” Yuki asks. 

“Oh.” Kimi scrunches her nose, perfectly drawn eyebrows pulling together in confusion. “I guess.” 

"No, no, she's onto something." Kakeru frowns. "We went for a walk, and we walked here, and now we're not walking anymore."

"Oh." It all sounds a little like semantics, but Yuki doesn't argue. 

"I want to walk to the beach!" 

"Ugh, but I hate the sand." After an exaggerated groan, Kakeru reaches out to take the joint from Kimi, and takes a drag. 

"Come on. Don't be boring." Kimi’s hands are soft where she slides them into Yuki's and Kakeru's, pulling them out of the alley and into the empty street. 

“The pier is closed,” Yuki tells her. Or at least, he’s pretty sure it is. Yeah, the pier definitely closes at night. Right?

“We don’t have to go to the pier.” Kimi soldiers on, still dragging the boys along. 

Yuki isn’t totally sure how they make it to the beach. He looks up, trying to make out the stars behind thin wisps of cloud, and when he comes back down his shoes are half-buried in the sand. 

Kakeru plants a firm hand on Yuki’s shoulder while he balances, taking his own shoes off one by one and rolling up the legs of his pants. When he’s done, he leans back down and taps Yuki lightly on the calf. “Lift up. Let me do yours.” 

It’s strange letting someone else remove his shoes and socks; Kakeru rolls Yuki’s pants legs up with an unexpected sort of delicacy. Kimi stands by, digging her toes into the damp sand, her slip-ons dangling from two fingers. 

“We should come back sometime,” she says. “So I can get a tan."

"Yun-Yun probably gets all crispy in the sun, don't you?" Kakeru jabs. 


"You know. Sunburnt." Kakeru leans in to pinch Yuki's cheek, and Yuki's too slow to stop him. "Because you're so pale."

"Yun-Yun is so pale," Kimi agrees, but this time Yuki ducks out of the way before she can grab a handful of his face. 

"Stop," he says, blushing slightly at the fact that it comes out a little more like a whine than he anticipated. "Come on. Let's go."

The water is freezing; if they ever come back, it'll have to be in the summer. No one can tan when it's this cold. Yuki wades out until he's calf-deep and the tips of the waves skim the rolled-up hem of his pajama pants. Lights from some distant pier dance across the water. 

Kakeru throws one arm around Yuki and the other around Kimi. “Too bad Nao and Machi aren’t here. Then it would really be a party.” 

“Who needs them,” Kimi says. 

“Be nice,” Kakeru chastises. “Or next time Yun-Yun and I will leave you at home.” 

“Yun-Yun! Tell Kakeru to stop being mean to me.” 

“Stop being mean to Kimi,” Yuki says flatly. 

“Betrayal!” Kakeru cries, but he pulls the two of them closer and ruffles a head of hair with each hand.

Quiet moments with Kimi and Kakeru are few and far between, but Yuki manages to snatch one ankle-deep in the water with them like a quick breath gasped in between the rambling run-on sentences he’s become accustomed to. 

“Alright, I’m cold,” Kimi announces. “Let’s go back.” She turns on her heel - as much as she can in the water - and smacks both of the boys with her hair. 

Kakeru laces his fingers with Yuki’s as they follow her out of the ocean and back to the street. 

Hopefully, the teachers won't notice (or care) when the President and Vice President stroll in from their informal “rounds.” There is, perhaps, a different issue they might take note of. An issue currently wrapped in pink pajamas and Yuki’s peacoat. 

“You can’t just walk into our room,” Yuki says. “The teachers will notice.” 

“Yeah.” Yuki is momentarily pleasantly surprised at Kakeru’s agreement, but then he adds: “So we’ll have to sneak you in,” and Yuki thinks he’s going to have to start realizing that some things really are too good to be true.

"Perfect!" Kimi claps her perfectly-manicured hands together. "I'll climb in through the window. Make sure it's unlocked, 'kay?" She gives them both a kiss on the cheek and steps into the foliage. 

Yuki almost punches Kakeru when he gives her an exaggerated double-thumbs-up. 

Maybe he needs another hit. 

None of the teachers are lurking when they wander into the boys’ room, so it’s possible Kimi could have really just walked in with them. Yuki tells Kakeru as much, but he says “You know, this will be more funny anyway.” 

They pick their way over futons of sleeping teenagers and pull the window open. 

Kakeru helps Kimi hoist her leg up over the sill, and she flings herself into Yuki's arms, nearly bowling him over. A year ago, that would have ruined everything. Now, Yuki is almost pleased at the mild inconvenience. 


"Careful, Kimi," he hisses. "Everyone else is sleeping."

"Sorry," she stage-whispers, though he's got a sneaking suspicion she's not actually sorry at all and would in fact be quite pleased with herself if the other third year boys woke up and found her tiptoeing amongst their futons. 

"C'mon, ours are over here." Kakeru takes her hand and pulls her toward the corner they had picked at the beginning of their trip. 

"Jesus, Yun-Yun," he gripes. "Couldn't have gotten tidied up for our lady guest?" 

T-shirts and sweaters and socks sprawl out over Yuki's futon, debris from trying to find something to wear this morning. Almost everything was wrinkled when he went to get dressed. Go figure. 

He shoves his clothing haphazardly into his duffle. "Better?" 

"Slob," Kakeru says, but not without affection. 

They shove their futons together and Kimi flops down in the middle, immediately laying claim to Yuki's blanket. 

"No," Kakeru says sternly. "I get middle this time."

She sticks her tongue out and rolls over, taking Yuki's blanket with her to Kakeru's futon. 

"You’re going to wake everyone up," Yuki drops down to his own futon, feeling strangely naked until Kakeru drops a blanket on him. “Shh.” He puts a finger to his lips. 

“We only have two blankets,” Kakeru says sternly, “so you’re both going to have to share.” 

“Is Kimi’s body heat not enough for you?” She fans her lashes at him as Kakeru lowers himself to his futon. 

“What can I say. I’m delicate.” 

“You’re annoying,” Yuki says, stifling a yawn. 

“I love you too,” Kakeru quips. He drops down between Kimi and Yuki. 

“There are only two pillows,” Kimi pouts. 

“C’mere.” He pulls her down so her head rests on his chest. “How’s that?” 

“Fine,” she grumbles, “but I get to be in the middle next time.” 

“Whatever,” Kakeru says breezily. He reaches over to ruffle Yuki’s hair. “How about you, President?” 

“Fine,” Yuki says. He finds himself aware of the few inches between them, a trip wire and a canyon all at once. Tentatively, he reaches out to grip the hem of Kakeru’s beat-up T-shirt. Less tentatively, Kakeru pulls him closer. 


Yuki wakes to find himself sprawled half-over Kakeru, who’s got one hand buried in Yuki’s hair and the other scrolling Twitter on his phone. “Hey there,” he says. “You’re awake early, for you.” 

The noise that follows could possibly be construed as a “good morning.” Kakeru, to his credit, understands it as such. Yuki sits up and immediately wants to curl back up on the futon. “Where’s everybody else?” 

“Breakfast,” Kakeru tells him. 

“Why didn’t you wake me up sooner?” 

“I like my head attached to my shoulders, actually, thank you.” 

Panic like electricity shoots down Yuki’s spine and draws him up straighter. “Where’s Kimi?”

“Relax.” Kakeru stretches his arms over his head, twisting his body with a sickening array of popping joints. “Agent Orange was the first one up and he sent her back to the girls’ room before any of the teachers could see.” 

“Oh.” Yuki blinks, cursing himself for forgetting to take his contacts out last night. They’re dry and itchy. “That was nice of him.” 

“Right?” Kakeru stands, rooting around in his bag for his pants. “He wasn’t even, like, that much of a dick about it.” 

Maybe if Yuki’s feeling generous, he’ll thank Kyo for it later. Maybe. 

Kakeru procures his toothbrush and toothpaste from his bag. “Up and at ‘em, President. Today’s another adventure.” 

Adventure. Yuki rolls the word around on his tongue after Kakeru disappears into the hallway. It means something different than he used to think it did. It’s not car chases from the action movies Haru likes to watch or the epic battles he hates to see in shows like Mogeta. It’s not even fighting bears in the mountains, and it’s only sometimes breaking curses. 

Yuki can’t exactly distill it into a definition, but he can certainly follow Kakeru out and find out what adventure means today.