what we do to get by
itsuki/kyon.1,500 words. the fragile landscape of desire.
itsuki/kyon.1,500 words. the fragile landscape of desire.
First you set the scene. A strategy-heavy board game. Waiting until the perfectly brewed cup of tea arrives. The smile that borders slightly on cloying, so warm and harmless that it is a threat. Maybe a tilt of the head, and then-- the scrape of chairs, listening to the dice or plastic chips being jumbled by careless fingers. In the afternoon sunlight, watching his nondescript hair, his nondescript eyes. His nondescript face that you remember in perfect detail.
Always, one ear listening for her voice to call him away, and then while they banter, you think about all the ways you can arrange your pieces so you valiantly lose. Always, losing, losing, losing, and you'll laugh at every loss.
This is what you teach him: the first touch is always the most difficult. After that, everything is just a matter of flow. It is not a matter of what can or cannot be done, but what feels good. Quiet is hard. So is the floor of the gym storage room. Not there, here. There is no time for hesitancy. Don't be afraid. This is all natural. When you are warm, there are no gods, no time space continuum, no aliens, no espers, no time-travelers. Just body heat and you.
Sometimes you get to watch him running laps for gym class while you keep one-fourth of your attention on your physics teacher. Classical mechanics, kinetic forces and the effect of weight and strain. Meanwhile, his gym t-shirt flapping behind him in the merciless glare of the sun. You are probably the only one who knows that the insteps of his feet are unnaturally sensitive, the mole that is on his upper thigh parallel to his cock. You keep turning away when you think he is looking up at you. From this distance, his face is very small.
("I didn't know you had physics during second period," he says thoughtfully. "Ah, you can see the gym fields from your seat."
You pull the curtains, pull him in close for a kiss.)
You'll enjoy this, you say, your mouth on his neck, his collarbones, the stretch of skin across his stomach you will never see without secrecy. I promise, I promise. One hand pulling his shirt off his shoulders, trying to hold on so he can't see you drowning.
After SOS meetings, if he's in the mood, or if you're convincing when you smile and sling your briefcase over your shoulder in an imitation of him, or if you just happen to be lucky, so lucky, he'll double back from his route home. You'll be waiting at the station. No one was even paying attention, he says, bending down to tie his shoe. He hates all this paranoia. You smile. You don't have to remind him that the last time someone else got close to him, the universe almost ended.
Just in case, you say. Better safe than sorry, and then the two of you spend the next hour in the convenience store by your apartment reading Weekly Jump and mocking each other's snack taste.
You apartment has a huge balcony view. One day you will stop being terrified of being with him in places where there are windows. He raises an eyebrow at you as if to say, well? You have to keep yourself from trying to undress him as soon as the door is closed and locked. Waiting for him to slip off his blazer, undo his tie. Savoring your restraint.
Afterward, you watch him nap on your couch, completely exhausted, snoring as he slings his arm over his eyes. You want to shred his shoes, his clothes, keep him here forever, where only you know of his existence, where he never meets anyone from the future and no one has to explain Gosse's Omphalos hypothesis. But that would probably scare him. In your chest, you feel a repelling mix of tenderness and violence.
You don't want to do anything that will make him afraid.
The Agency calls for you. You leave him there on your couch without a note, just a key.
Shhh, you tell him. Trust me.
For Tanabata, Haruhi orders everyone to wear yukatas. "I'll be taking pictures!" she says, grinning, her eyes set on Mikuru. "Mikuru-chan, I'll personally find one for you!" Over the Chinese checkers board, you keep your eyes lidded and watch Kyon both sigh and perk up at the prospect.
True to form, everyone shows up in a yukata. You're early, waiting by the candy stalls in a white yukata patterned with navy blue bamboo and a tightly woven gray grid. When he appears, it's with everyone else in tow, Haruhi dragging him by his wrist towards you, waving frantically.
He is wearing a dark slate gray, tiny truncated lines of ancient poetry like snowflakes trembling as they fall. He has his hands folded in his sleeves when he finally comes to a stop, exhaling exhaustedly, and you want him, you want him.
"Everyone's here," Suzumiya says triumphantly. "All right! First, pictures!"
The two of you stand aside while Haruhi snaps an endless string of photos of Mikuru unsuccessfully scooping goldfish. "It's kind of depressing to see men in yukatas," he says, stretching and yawning. His sleeves slip down, revealing his arms. You understand, suddenly, why there are so many pieces of literature dedicated to geishas raising their sleeves to pour sake.
"What do you mean?"
"Only, it's not the same," he says and when he turns to look away from you, back at Asahina in her bright blue yukata and red obi, you lean towards him, put your elbow on his shoulder, your chin on your arm.
"I think you look good in a yukata," you say. You're not whispering, but your mouth is close to his ear, and you can smell his body wash, the sweat. For a moment, the entire festival slows down to the two of you standing under the feeble lights of lanterns. You are breathless, overheated, desperate. You can tell he is resolutely not looking at you. You were the one who told him, it's better if we don't do anything when anyone else can see.
(You idiot, he snaps, a blush rising to his face. Of course not. I don't even want to do anything when no one can see.)
Finally he answers, grimacing, "When you put your face that close to mine, Koizumi, I can't breathe."
Suzumiya is watching the two of you, or maybe just him, as she stands behind Nagato, who is steadily and surely destroy the targets of a rifle-shooting game. She is tapping her camera against her wrist with an impatient gesture.
You pull away.
Nagato hands you the stuffed animal she wins as a prize while Haruhi pesters Kyon into buying takoyaki. "Be careful," she says. This is how she always sounds, like a piece of ice in the summer air that refuses to melt. "What you're doing is dangerous." Her eyes are so calm they could smother you without blinking. But you have never been afraid. She probably knows, you think as she walks away.
"Oi, Koizumi, we're leaving now. We'll leave you behind," he calls out, turning his head just barely over his shoulder and grinning.
You've bitten that shoulder. You remember your teeth marks, how the next day he would absently touch that spot through his blazer and you could tell he was feeling them. You have to keep yourself from stroking the back of his neck when you catch up, remembering his flushed face, the first time he didn't refuse the hook of your fingers on the waistband of his pants.
As the five of you walk towards the fireworks, the back of Suzumiya's hand brushes against his arm. He doesn't pull away. You hold Nagato's teddy bear with both hands tightly. Hold your breath and count to five.You feel like the teddy bear in your hands is a ball of energy, like you could make this entire festival explode. You feel like you could create closed space, some sacred place where you could touch him and no one would see, the only place where it would be safe.
Still, though, you'll do him later in the genkan of your one-person apartment, his yukata hanging onto him by just the belt and the grasp of your needy hands, your tongue sliding up his thigh while he moans and writhes, saying no, wait, hold on, not here, don't stop over and over again. You imagine the fabric of your lives shifting invisibly with each stroke, each time your skin meets his. How you are probably, inexorably, undeniably sending everyone straight to hell, because nothing is secret forever. You want to know how it got this far, him panting while you move his sweaty bangs away from his forehead to kiss him softly on the cheek.
In the end, it is probably your fault.
A/N: This is what happens when you read 4chan's /y/ board and then go look for fanart :((((
Inspiration: Hot Chip - Boys From School