Hiroshi felt more disconnected than usual from his friends. His feelings for Keiji were starting to grow more, becoming unignorable and persistant. He yearned for the younger man, and he would almost damned near do anything to get him by now. Unfortunately for him, his pride wouldn't let him. He was sure that someone somewhere was making him rebel, making it harder for him to admit things in an open atmosphere. The bastards.
He didn't object to the motion of being pulled inside the arcade, the lighting becoming dark, replaced with the flashing lights of thousands of games that ranged from ski ball to racing games to air hockey. Every now and then a patch of fog could be seen from various fog machines, making the lights glare and shift about. He wasn't surprised to find that not five minutes after entering the darkened gaming palace, he had lost Keiji and Nami. They had almost instantly ran off to find the DDR machine for a new mix they had yet to play.
It didn't take a lot of time for Hiroshi to find the two. They had already jumped up onto the pads of the dance game and had popped in a few quarters. He sighed softly and sat nearby, watching them press the pads in sequence with the arrows flying up the screen in front of them. Seconds later a crowd formed around Hiroshi's chair and the gaming system that his friends were on. Both finished perfectly to the end of Freckles and reached for their waters as the crowd cheered lightly.
Hiroshi yawned, then realized that Nami was pushing at him to go up in her place. He didn't move. Keiji stepped off the pad and started pulling at Hiroshi's arms to get him up before the song started. Hiroshi momentarily couldn't move, then felt his legs turn to mush as he was hauled to his feet, thinking of Keiji touching him. He snapped out of it long enough to get up on the pads as Paranoia, one of the fastest songs on the mix, started up.
Hiroshi and Keiji proved to be very good as a doubling team, going across the pad one after another to the beat. Soon the game had been finished, and Nami stood with two quarters gleaming in between her fingers.
The three played DDR for a good four hours before getting refills on their drinks. They sat near the machine, sipping at their drinks, Hiroshi with his jacket slung over the back of his chair, Keiji sprawled in his chair, and Nami leaning softly on the table. Keiji finally caught his breath and sat up, only to become frozen to his seat, suddenly feeling unable to move.
The gang that had beat up Keiji earlier that very day was starting to come into the arcade. 'Oh God', Keiji thought. 'Not again...'
Hiroshi glanced at Keiji, then blinked and turned to see the gang. Nami followed their gaze, then turned towards Keiji. "That's them, isn't it..." Keiji nodded slowly.
"Them who?" Hiroshi asked, looking back questioningly.
"The gang he ran into earlier this morning," Nami said quietly.
"A gang you ran into?" Hiroshi questioned, lifting an eyebrow at Keiji. "Why didn't you tell me?"
"You've turned into a possessive bastard."
Hiroshi looked taken aback by this comment. "Huh?"
Nami looked stunned herself. "Hiroshi?...Possessive?..."
Keiji's eyes burned softly and he looked down.
The brown-haired boy sitting near him didn't wait for anything more. He stood up and started towards the gang without a word. Nami started to stand and go after him, followed in motion by Keiji. Keiji was the first one to follow Hiroshi, who was a good few dozen steps ahead of him.
Hiroshi finally made a move to stop the groups' leader from walking any further into the place. "Hey."
The group leader, a fearsome teen a bit shorter than Hiroshi and with broader shoulders and a powerful-looking glare, looked up at the towering lean man before him. "What do you want."
"You ran into my friend this morning, right?" Hiroshi demanded tersely.
"I hit up on a few people daily. I don't remember faces."
Hiroshi's fist clenched softly. "Keiji Kudou. Did you hurt him?"
"I don't remember names either."
His hands tightened. "If you are the ones that hurt him..."
Keiji finally came into view. "See Nami, this is why I watch what I tell you."
"I didn't know he was going to turn out like this..."
Hiroshi's hands unclenched and his fingers seemed to fall, his arms no longer tense, when he realized that the two were standing right behind him. And worst of all, he realized that Keiji knew. Why else would he tell Nami and not Hiroshi about the gang? Why had he only told her?
Hiroshi once again found himself answering. She's too scared to do anything irrational; she wouldn't do what I just did. Dammit, he knows, Hiroshi continued in his head. He knows. I'm screwed. Dammit!
Keiji stepped forward. "It was just a misunderstanding...I bumped into one of them, Hiroshi."
"Hmph..." came a soft grumble. Hiroshi turned his sight back to the leader who was sauntering past. He made no effort to stop him this time.
Nami looked on in silence as the gang walked into the arcade, then she looked to her friends. Keiji glanced back at her and blinked softly, then forced a smile. "Nami, why don't you stay here for a while, play some more DDR? We'll come by later, okay?"
She blinked at him, then looked hurt and angry. "You don't want me around, ne?"
Keiji's face became surprised. "I didn't say that, Nami.."
"I can see when I'm not wanted...I'll be playing ski ball if you need me." With that, she turned lightly and walked away, acknowledging the fact that some things were meant to be kept between boys.
Hiroshi watched her go, getting a sinking feeling in his stomach. He knew what was coming now...A long, hard speech from Keiji. 'Hiroshi, what the hell are you thinking, falling in love with me!? You're a sorry excuse for a man! Why go after me, you piece of scum!' Hiroshi stood still, waiting for it.
Instead, Keiji walked past him towards the door.
Hiroshi grabbed his arm with one hand. "Where are you going?"
"Away," was Keiji's simple response. He numbly jerked his arm away from Hiroshi's grasp, then looked back to his face with dim eyes. "We'll talk later."
Keiji ran out of the arcade, darkness starting to settle in the area around him with help from some thick, greying clouds high above him. He had gotten to the first corner away from the building just as the first drops of rain began to fall.
Within an hour, it was pouring down rain and Keiji had ran a good distance. He had gotten most of the way to his house already, with no use of real transportation. Because anything on foot was slower than biking or riding on a bus, Keiji wasn't surprised to see Hiroshi sitting atop the pillar of a private property 'keep out' gate in front of him.
Hiroshi jumped down lightly just as Keiji started to slow his running, and was promptly plowed into by the younger boy. Instinctively his hands went out and caught the boys' shoulders to steady him, and he was shoved away just about as much as he had expected to be. Before the moment ended, Hiroshi noted just how good it felt to be able to touch Keiji at all, how good it felt to be near the glowing essence of his obsidian-haired friend, and just how strong he was even when he was being held.
Keiji glared forward at his tall friend. "What the hell do you think you're doing?"
He blinked back at him. "Helping you get your balance, baka..." After saying nothing for a good few minutes, Hiroshi sighed, his normally swinging hair plastered softly around his face. "I hope you realize what an idiot you're being..."
Keiji's anger started to flare, and for the first time he didn't feel like swallowing it and playing nice. "What an idiot I'M being? Hiroshi, look at what's happening, you fool! I know just as much as you do and you act as if I know nothing! You looked stunned when I defended the gang when they did little more than beat up on me! It wasn't apparent, and there was no need for what YOU did in MY supposed defense! You've become so possessive over me, like I'm some damned treasure of yours! I know what you feel for me, and I know that Nami feels the same way, and you think I can just openly accept your feelings?! I bet you think it's wrong, don't you. Being in love with a man, not being able to find a way to express it? You call me an idiot, but I'm not the one-"
He was abruptly cut off by a hard slap to his left cheek. He hadn't been able to cut his speech off before the smack, but he had been able to remain with his head mostly forward to glare up at the man. No, I've had enough, he thought. If he's going to act like this with all of his feelings, then let nature and Nami be damned. Keiji all but threw himself forward, tilting his head up and standing on his toes to meet the older man's lips with his own, his arms wrapping fast around the others' neck. It was all Hiroshi could do to stand still, stunned by the connection Keiji had made without his knowing, and his sudden reaction...
Hiroshi suddenly felt pressure below his immediate consciousness, and refused to acknowledge the tightness in his pants that was starting to grow. Instead he focused on exactly what Keiji was doing. He savored the taste of the younger boy, the feel of them being so close but seperated, even the heat from the others' flesh. Hiroshi drank it all in, refusing to moan against the lips that were pressed so firmly against his.
Keiji felt Hiroshi's next-to-nothing response to his movement and begin to move away, lowering himself but leaving his arms around the chocolate-haired boy's neck, then slowly glanced up at the eyes that were ready to glare down at him. Instead, he found the lust-filled green eyes of Hiroshi, and for once he got to see the eyes up close, not behind the frames and shaded glass he always hid behind. Keiji found himself thinking just how beautiful Hiroshi's eyes were, and how much they accentuated his hair, making it hard for him to keep his hands away from the strands. He tentatively started to move one hand towards the chocolate pieces that were sticking to his neck when, quite suddenly, Hiroshi brought up his hands and, turning around slightly, pushed Keiji away.
Shocked by the sudden push-and-throw motion, Keiji fumbled softly before turning to land on his side and falling into a large mud puddle. Hiroshi's timing was a little off with his own movements, unfortunately, as Keiji's shoe snagged under a piece of Hiroshi's trousers, bringing the older man's footing off and making him fall in for the puddle as well. Both a little stunned, they laid in the mud, Keiji having turned onto his back, Hiroshi all but on his face. Keiji was the first to move, making it clear that the mud was disgusting him.
"I don't believe you did that!" he mumbled.
"I couldn't let you..." Hiroshi started softly, beginning to move to sit up.
"Let me what, Hiroshi."
Hiroshi lifted his eyes towards the young man, who was standing on his knees, trying to rid his outfit of the goo. He blinked a bit and looked away. "It doesn't seem right...It..it feels right...But it doesn't SEEM right. I couldn't let you do something you'd regret..."
"And how do you know what I'd regret and what I wouldn't, Hiroshi? Can you read my mind?" Keiji asked, glancing at Hiroshi. He just shook his head. Keiji decided to hell with the mud, and walked on his knees to Hiroshi, then promptly pushed him. "You jerk, you pushed me! You threw me into the mud, didn't you! On purpose!"
The earthy-haired boy lifted an eyebrow slowly, sliding in the mud a bit. "Not on purpose...But I also had to push you for not telling me about the gang."
Brown eyes blinked at him. "I knew you'd get all..protective. I didn't want you to make a scene."
"I made more of a scene when you didn't tell me and I ended up finding out."
"Hiroshi, we're sitting in mud debating." Keiji punched at Hiroshi's arm rather hard. "Can we go get cleaned up at least?"
The forest green eyes rose to regard the shorter boy, then stayed still as Hiroshi shook his head. His voice was soft, "Not just yet..."
With that, Hiroshi all but lunged at Keiji, catching him in mid breath with a fierce kiss, having slid through the mud on his knees and stopped inches from Keiji, instantly pressing against him and arching his back, becoming taller in an instant. Keiji, at first quite startled, slowly gave in to the kiss as it became painful to resist, and Hiroshi in turn made the kiss less forceful. He slowly started to sink back to sit on his heels instead of so tilted up on his knees, and he realized that with the same motion he slid forward and even closer to Keiji, the confining space in his pants becoming more apparent as one of Keiji's legs started to fit snugly in the space his crouching was allowing. Hiroshi couldn't keep himself from gasping softly at the realization that Keiji was so close to his growing arousal, and Keiji finally clued in and tried to back out of the kiss.
I'm not letting you, Hiroshi thought. I've come too far; I'm not letting you go...
Keiji realized this, too, when Hiroshi let his arms rise up and grasp his shoulders, pulling him closer. Every part of Hiroshi wanted him now, but now that he had him, he was unsure of how to go about with what he wanted without destroying his friendship.
Damnation. He figured it out all too quickly: he couldn't get what he had waited so long for without making two of his friends hate him. He couldn't handle that; not with everything that had happened, finding that his love had been beaten, that Nami was beginning to suspect, that Keiji actually loved him back?
Finally making sense of what his head was telling him and not his heart or his beginning-to-throb erection said, Hiroshi jerked his head away, leaving the poor boy in front of him breathless and seemingly confused, his arms poised to go about his love. Hiroshi slowly shook his head, lowering it in a half-bow, his hands still resting on Keiji's shoulders. "I can't do this...I don't want to hurt you..."
Keiji had paused in all of his movements, looking down at Hiroshi's damp hair, looking scared. "I won't be hurt, Hiroshi..."
Hands tightened softly on Keiji's shoulders. "Our friendships would suffer if we did this...We..No, I can't..I can't do anything to you..."
"But..." Keiji said softly, starting to lower his hands. "But...What if I want you to?" he said a bit louder, trying to find strength in his heart.
This brought hope to the younger boy. "Then maybe?..."
"Maybe..." Hiroshi lifted his eyes to look forward at the liquid auburn eyes staring back at him. He managed to smile softly, moving a hand from Keiji's shoulder to his face, brushing back a wet bang before kissing rosey, swollen lips. "Maybe another time...If we aren't in mud..." He managed to get a chuckle out of the boy before him.
Hiroshi slowly moved away from Keiji, and they both managed to get to their feet. Keiji glanced at his friend after a moment. "Are you going home?"
Hiroshi looked to him and blinked. "Yeah, why?"
"Can I come too?"
He laughed. "I have enough of your crap for you to."
Keiji grinned. "I knew it!" He strode over to him and grabbed his arm, looping his own through, and started to walk off towards Hiroshi's house. Hiroshi had no choice but to follow.