He hated being late. He was almost always late, and he hated it. Keiji Kudou cursed himself as he ran down the sidewalk towards Koyou Gise High.
Hiroshi Matsu sat patiently outside of the building, balancing carefully on a rail, his arms folded across his chest, head dropped with his chin touching his chest lightly, eyes closed, legs carefully crossed. His bag rest upon the ground, slackening against one of the railing support beams. Upon the other rail, in a similar position but with her legs bent at the knee on one side of the rail, sat Nami Ai.
Keiji ran up the stairs and nearly past them, but instead slid around on one foot, the other coming about in an arch, and stopping perfectly centered in front of the double doors into the school, his left arm behind his back holding his bag, and his right hand coming up to press against his hair. "Gomen nesai...My alarm clock..it..I.."
Nami opened amythest eyes that slid in their sockets to glance, without turning her head, at the stammering black-haired boy. "Stop making excuses. You're late again."
"And if you're late, we're late," came Hiroshi's dark voice. "Arigatou."
Keiji still chuckled lightly, his toothy grin becoming a wide-brimmed smile. "You didn't have to wait for me again..."
The two on the beams sat still, casting shi-NE glares towards Keiji, and then towards each other in question. Nami, the hyperactive and nearly clumsy one of the now three, jumped off the rail and landed neatly on her feet, hands behind her back, her face in a light all its own. "It's alright, Keiji-kun. We didn't mind waiting."
Nami still smiled, ignoring Hiroshi's objection. "Come on, before we're any later." She swirled around a bit to pick up her bag from the ground.
Keiji stayed put, then lowered his hand from his hair. Hiroshi slowly let his eyes get off the track of the shi-NE glare as he let his long legs allow feet to touch the ground, picking his bag up in a smooth bend. He lifted an eyebrow, realizing for the millionth time since knowing the other two that he was definately too tall. He glanced at Nami, the ever-short young girl he knew so well..How she wore different clothing from other girls that could be found in the school, how her long, golden hair fell about in mild curls going past her shoulders, how glistening purple eyes held behind them a sadness hardly visible and a happiness that couldn't be taken away, and how the slim girl stood well-balanced.
Hiroshi let his gaze wander from Nami to Keiji, who stood a few inches shorter than the older boy looking at him. Keiji's fine, straight black hair came just past broad shoulders, and his eyes were a lucent brown, a coffee-with-creamer color that stood out vividly from the darkness of his hair. He was well built, a sports player but not quite a jock, muscles tight but practically unseen because of the loose blue suit he wore.
Hiroshi himself was around 6'6", with chocolate brown spikey hair that sprouted out in several directions, pieces falling in his eyes and around his head. If his bangs weren't covering his eyes, reflective glasses, clear and doing nothing but giving him a 'business' look, did. He was well built, and showed this aspect of him off subtly. He would sometimes wear a tightened shirt under his suit jacket, and unbutton it on hot days, quite often making others hot quickly, though he dared not say who he got the idea from. His lower-classman would have gotten all of the credit for the brilliant scheme.
Several people wondered when he had gotten a sex appeal, and he admitted that it wasn't quite like him to be so flaunting, but this year seemed different. It did to all of them. The year was fresh, and life had seemed to take a full 180* from the hell they had all experienced the year before. Now they were juniors, and they had better things to worry about than the juvenile things that had seemed so important last year. Not only this, but..
They had made new friends, bringing two new boys into their social 'ring'. During the course of the summer, Shan Tri and Rue Destre had moved into the neighborhood, and each had bumped into the trio in search of boredom relief. They were practically enducted into the circle, and they added a new grace to the group.
While the five had been out and about, Julia Lon had stopped them, laughing smugly and beaming brightly. 'Nami, what are you doing, hanging out with these idiots? They're just boys.'
Nami had lifted an eyebrow at the tall airhead. 'They're my friends. Whether I'm the only girl here or not is none..'
Keiji had covered her mouth with a free hand then. 'It's none of your business. Get going, pop-sucker.'
Julia looked hurt and had stepped away, looking like a school girl who had scraped her knee in a slap fight that was lost.
'I was taking care of it...' Nami had said, looking towards the tall youth.
'Thank me. Hey, slurpies!'
These two new friends, Shan and Rue, weren't in sight at the present time. They had already gone inside, and they were not discussed as Hiroshi, Nami, and Keiji went inside.
Hiroshi disappeared to go to his locker, despite the fact that he was pretty late to class as it was. Nami and Keiji continued on their way towards their first room. Nami eventually looked over to her tall friend. "So...Why were you late?"
Keiji glanced at her and smiled solemnly. "Ran into some guys..."
"A gang." He blinked at her. "Why?"
Purple eyes flickered to meet his. "I was just curious. What happened?"
He shook his head as if mildly irritated and instantly tried to force away the memories of his being pushed up against a wall by a boy a few inches taller than him and definately built, of his being punched repeatedly in the stomach, kicked at and spit at, and how he had run into the nearest store that would allow him to enter without buying anything and cleaning himself up before running off to school. "A misunderstanding, I guess."
Nami blinked softly to regard him, looking him up and down in mild question, then she stopped outside the classroom. "What are you going to do if you run into them again?"
"Hope I'm not alone."
She blinked again. "Hn. Hope that works." Nami stepped to the door and opened it, stepping inside to a silent room. Eyes turned to the pair, including a set that couldn't be seen because of the shine on his glasses.
Keiji pushed past her playfully, then saw Hiroshi looking at them, but seeming just at him. Keiji's jaw dropped at the sight of the older boy. Nami, equally confused, went to her seat, Keiji walking across the room and lightly sitting next to Hiroshi's desk.
Hiroshi pulled himself lightly out of a slouch to regard Keiji with a raised eyebrow. Keiji could only return the look, bewildered suddenly. "How did you get to class so fast?"
The older boy just smirked and looked ahead to the teacher who was starting to teach once more.
"No, really...How did you.."
"Sh!" came a voice from one side. The person was met with a mild glare.
"Don't worry about it, Keiji."
Keiji blinked and saw his reflection in the glasses, then quickly looked away to start taking notes, feeling his face flush.
Nami looked over towards them curiously, wondering just how Hiroshi had gotten there before she and Keiji. She shrugged it off boredly and started writing.
Well after class had ended, Hiroshi stood alone in the courtyard of the school, not seeming to have any classes during the time before or right after lunch. The tall boy looked out and up towards the sky, looking pale in the bright afternoon sun. His clothes were starting to wear down, his jacket unbuttoned and his muscle shirt practically glow-in-the-dark, as white as it was. His hands stayed in his pockets as a wind picked up lightly around him, swirling his hair about softly, rusling his clothes a bit. He considered for a brief moment if he should free his feet from his shoes and just lay back and enjoy the light, or go to an art room and brood.
The problem Hiroshi found with being left alone as he was was the eternal factor of thought. He was left alone with his thoughts, left to think and consider and solve and think even more. The more he thought about it, the more he was beginning to realize startling things about himself and his friends. When he was allowed the precious moments to stay still and think, he was able to remember anything he wanted, from the time he was an infant to what he had eaten for breakfast in waiting for his friend. He usually thought back to the times he had with others, picking up on anything he could to learn more about them, to find their habits and their hopes within the small, everyday actions they did, and he was making progress slowly.
He had learned over the years that Nami was a girl of the world, trying new things carefully and never limiting her fun because of someone else. She wasn't exactly stubborn, and she wasn't submissive. She was a very neutral person, never really seeming to take sides. She adgitated the hell out of a lot of people. He had learned recently that she had taken a liking for Keiji in a way he had guessed at near the beginning. Nami had started to worry more extensively about Keiji's well-being, to fear for him, moreso than even a best friend should. Hiroshi didn't mind that Nami liked someone. Of course not. That wasn't why he was mad at this particular situation.
Hiroshi found his new friends, Shan and Rue, an interesting pair. They had moved in at different times and had seemed to hit it off themselves rather well. They had met because of the moving trucks, Rue having come by first, and noticing the truck at Shan's new home. They were both interested in the gaming industry and were taking classes that would help them. They were now friends with Hiroshi, Nami, and Keiji because of gaming entirely. Keiji had always been into the games, arcade and home styles, loving the immature violence and gorey plays that he could find, as well as the creative pieces when he could find them. Nami would be laughing, as always, as headshots were made.
Keiji...There was an obvious carefree attitude that anyone could find immediately from Keiji's presence, and Hiroshi had at first repelled the younger boy. They were very different, and Hiroshi could hardly stand the family he lived with being carefree all the time, let alone a boy close to his own age. But, because of Nami, he had met Keiji under good terms. He had found a depth to Keiji that he couldn't describe even now, after years of being around him. Keiji was indifferent but opinionated, happy but having a wry sense of humor, dancing on ice without caring about the water below. He walked to a different beat, a slightly off rhythm that was hard to ignore and even harder to hate. Everyone seemed to love Keiji.
Including Hiroshi. He had just realized it in the last few months that he, Hiroshi Matsu, was beginning to fall in love with a guy. No, it's wrong, he thought. How could I of all people be in love with a man?...
Because he's irresistable, he found himself answering numbly. He seems so innocent and carefree, so different without standing out...He's what everyone wants or dreams to be.
That's what made this difficult. One of his best friends was starting to love the same man he was. A small triangle was forming, and he didn't like it. Not one bit. Nami wouldn't understand it had he tried to explain slowly. This kind of thing wasn't known for happening. Hiroshi, the great Hiroshi of the Silent, in love with a man? Bahhumbug, you must be joking.
Hiroshi shook his head slowly. Not only would Nami not understand...Keiji wouldn't, either. Keiji had given every sign and will of being straight, a life after a lively girl, an aire that wasn't apparent. How would HE react to knowing that his best friend was in love with him?
Hiroshi finally started away from the courtyard just as the lunch bell rang. Students began to file out of classrooms and down the stairs toward the cafeteria.
Keiji grinned widely at the tray of food he had set down on a table and started to stuff his face, not seeming to care that he was in public. Rue looked across the table at the black-haired boy, then looked up towards the ceiling, exasperated. Keiji lifted his head to glance at Rue, who just had his head tilted back when Hiroshi came by and, unseen by the new boy, started to reach for his hair. Keiji's eyes trailed Hiroshi's movements slowly, no longer chewing his food and forcing himself to keep his mouth shut so food wouldn't spill everywhere. Hiroshi's hands slowly sank into Rue's hair and the boy let out a startled gasp and started to move, but Hiroshi's hold on Rue's icy locks kept the boy from going too far.
Hiroshi smirked softly, clueless on where he had gotten a sexually joking personality. He kept his hands in Rue's hair, then finally came into view for the poor boy who looked unaware, and looked down at his bewildered face. Rue registered quickly that it was indeed Hiroshi who held him still, and his face turned into that of an angered one.
"Hiroshi, what the hell do you think you're doing?"
He smirked down at the poor boy. "Don't look up unless you expect to see me, love."
Keiji felt his jaw drop, and quickly moved to shut it before anyone could see. Rue looked just as startled as he was, his eyes wide, neither boys having seen Hiroshi making jokes in this manner before. Keiji then decided that Hiroshi was joking and stood up, swallowing what was in his mouth and firmly smacking his hand down on the table, no one around them really noticing. His other hand formed a fist that was lifted but obviously not to strike at Hiroshi.
His face became twisted as if seriously ticked off, his eyes closing. "What do you mean, love...He's mine, you twisted jerk!" With the last syllable, his fist was gone and he pointed across the table at the older man before him.
Hiroshi blinked slowly back at Keiji, then laughed. "You must be joking! After all the nights I've spent with him?!"
Keiji smirked back. "He loves ME, though."
"Well if he loves you so much, what would you say if I said that *I* love you instead of him?" Hiroshi smarted back, not realizing what he was saying.
The black-haired boy blinked and laughed again. "I'm up for a threesome!"
Hiroshi stayed silent, then played it off with a grin. "Bah." His hands withdrew from Rue's hair.
Rue sat in silence, blinking every now and then, then glaring at the two. "You guys are sick."
Keiji grinned. "Yeah we are. You are too, you just don't realize it yet."
Hiroshi sat quietly, feeling tired but sitting with his back straight. Keiji glanced over at him, then tilted his head. "You feeling okay, Hiro?"
The taller man blinked at the nickname. He was used to it, sure, but he still felt awkward being called Hiro, since it sounded so much like 'hero' in English, and he wished that Keiji meant it that way when he said it. Having thought that for the millionth time, Hiroshi nodded in response. "I'm fine, Keiji-kun. Just more tired than usual."
"Then take a nap," Keiji grinned.
A fair-skinned pair of hands covered Keiji's eyes. "Guess who."
"Sibin?" Keiji asked, tilting his head jokingly. Rue laughed softly.
"Come on, Keiji!.."
Keiji laughed and brought his hands up to cover the offensive ones over his eyes and took them away. "I know who you are, Nami." She grinned down at him.
Hiroshi tried not to let this movement get to him and sat still. "Have anything planned for today?"
Keiji laughed again. "I say hit the arcade. They said they were getting a new DDR machine a couple of weeks ago, and we haven't been in a while."
"You really like that game, ne?" Nami asked, moving away from him.
"Hell yeah! It's an excellent game, if you bother to stretch ahead of time." He grinned at the last part, since he and Nami were the only ones who really played that game. Neither had bothered to try to get the others to play for decent scores.
"I might actually try it if we go, then," Hiroshi said, surprising himself as he committed effort through his speech.
Nami blinked at him. "Really?"
"Can I try?" Rue asked softly.
"Don't you have something planned with Shan after school today?" Keiji asked.
"Oh yeah...I forgot..."
Hiroshi shrugged lightly. "I'll give it a try. Hell, I might like it."
"The arcade it is!" Keiji declared, lifting a fist in the air triumphantly.
"Put your arm down, stooge."
"Oh, sorry, Nami."