Yamada Ryosuke & Chinen Yuri
Yamada x Chinen
Yama is an idol
Yuri is a student/barista
little bit of angst
Music Inspiration: We’ll Be A Dream–We The Kings featuring Demi Lovato
Dinner ended up being a lot of fun, despite Yuri being a huge ball of nerves for the first twenty minutes or so, he stayed mostly silent, nodding his head and answering in monosyllabic responses as they settled down and looked over the menus, ordered food, and waited to be served. He was pretty amazed by the way Ryosuke just sort of seemed to be so self-assured and relaxed—taking control of pretty much everything and handling ordering and everything. The only thing Yuri could think was that it was a byproduct of being an idol…it was no telling the kinds of situations that Ryosuke was thrust into on a regular basis, so it wasn’t really surprising he seemed to take most everything in stride.
The only time he really showed any nervousness was when the ticket came.
“I know we didn’t discuss this,” Ryosuke had swallowed roughly, his eyes sincere when he looked up at Yuri who had no idea what in the world he had become so serious over, “…but…I would like to pay for your dinner. I mean, I am the one who asked you to come here with me.”
Yuri tilted his head, not completely sure what the proper etiquette was for this moment—like was he supposed to initially turn this offer down? The way he’d seen in movies, was like the person denied it and then they would go back and forth, and the person would relent. Is that being polite? Is that how he should handle it? Or…was he supposed to immediately thank him for his generosity? To say yes up front? Because he was right, he did invite him, didn’t he? Was he supposed to insist on paying half? Was he supposed to offer to pay all of it?
His mind buzzed with all of the possibilities, nervousness feeling like it was suffocating him, trying to calculate how much money he actually had in his pockets and whether it would be enough to pay for the meal or not—and then would he still have enough to get home—an entirely other issue, as he had no idea where they even were but given the distance they’d traveled he figured his apartment definitely wasn’t within walking distance.
He was so confused, after all, in reality, this was his very first date.
Ryosuke immediately sensed the panic that was flooding Yuri, reaching his hand out to squeeze Yuri’s under the table, “Hey…it’s not a big deal. I’ll pay this time and next time I promise that we’ll discuss it and make sure we’re on the same page before we get to the end of the meal…will that be okay?”
Yuri wanted to say no…he wasn’t sure why, but he suspected it was a pride issue, he wasn’t used to people taking care of money things—he’d lived on his own for so long now and insisted on being self-sufficient, the very idea of someone paying for his food felt like an insult.
But…aren’t dates different…isn’t this okay?
What if it’s because he feels sorry for me though?
What if it’s because he pities me?
“Yuri?” Ryosuke’s voice was soft as he leaned closer to him, “I really wanted to take you out for so long now…please let this be my date, and next time we can discuss it. It’s not because I think you can’t pay or don’t want to pay or anything like that—it’s because I want to do this and it’s something in my head about the order of things—I just…I guess it’s stupid and old fashioned, but…I just want to pay…please…just let me this one time?”
“Okay,” the word was just a whisper, and Yuri didn’t even realize what he’d said because he was still stuck on the words that Ryosuke had just said.
and next time…
He wants to go out again.
Yuri shook himself out of his internal musings when Ryosuke shifted to move out of his chair, apparently having paid for the meal while Yuri was lost in his thoughts, his smile beautiful when he turned to to wait for Yuri to be ready, his hands grasping a small box that contained the piece of pizza they couldn’t eat, “I had them box this up for you…”
“Thank you,” Yuri felt his cheeks become warm, standing, and moving with Ryosuke toward the exit, “For the pizza and for this…all of this…just thank you.”
Ryosuke was studying him, his brows drawn down, “You’re welcome, and I want to say thank you as well…”
“I didn’t do anything,” Yuri admitted weakly, shaking his head but Ryosuke shushed him immediately, “You gave me a chance, you came here with me, that’s everything.”
Yuri shook his head, wondering how Ryosuke knew how to say everything so perfectly, wishing he had some of that ability as it felt like he was more or less constantly putting his foot in his mouth and embarrassing himself. Turning away from him, as he didn’t really know what to say, he was feeling weird about the fact that he’d only just realized that the probability was that Ryosuke was that seasoned at this because he’d probably been on tons of dates before.
Of course, he has, he probably has a line of girls…or…guys? I dunno, but he probably has a whole line of them waiting to go out with him…
He felt like his whole body was on fire as a wave of pure jealousy spread through him, his fingers clenching tightly at the thought but then he chided himself because he had no rights to have any kinds of questionable feelings about anything in regard to Ryosuke.
He’s him, and I’m me.
Don’t be stupid.
Don’t get carried away.
Though, the very idea of Ryosuke dating other people was a surprise to Yuri really, because he thought the idols weren’t allowed to date, but if Ryosuke’s behavior was any indication—then he’d surely done this plenty of times. There was a small voice in the back of his head that argued with him, replaying the words from earlier that afternoon to remind him of how sincere and nervous Ryosuke had been, trying to measure this current Ryosuke side by side with that one.
Yuri glanced up at the sky, surprised to discover it was completely dark, “Oh my gosh, how long were we in there?”
Ryosuke laughed, “A while I guess,” glancing at his watch, he smiled, “It’s almost ten!”
“Wow!” Yuri was amazed they’d talked that long, it had felt like minutes—not hours, and then, suddenly he felt a yawn coming on moments before it actually burst out, his apology distorted as he waved his hand in front of his face, “I’m sorry, I swear I’m not bored…I had classes this morning and then work right after so…”
“I’m so sorry I didn’t even think about how early you must have gotten up today, seriously, let me take you home,” Ryosuke waited for Yuri to answer, glancing up and down the street to see if there was a taxi available.
Let me take you home.
Yuri felt a brick settle into the pit of his tummy, because he was not prepared for this date, and he certainly wasn’t prepared to have Ryosuke see his home.
His eyes widened as anxiety spread through him, his expression worried for a moment before he could school his expression, but Ryosuke saw it, “What’s wrong?”
“Nothing,” Yuri tried to keep the panic out of his voice, shrugging, shifting the box that held his extra slice of pizza from one hand to the other nervously, “I just don’t want you to be put out, I can get a taxi and head home, there’s nothing for you to concern yourself with.”
He wanted to kick his own ass for being so weird, honestly, who is so formal with someone on a date when they’d spent five hours talking about stupid stuff including the most mortifying time in his life when the first time he’d gotten drunk at a party then promptly confessed his undying love to the most popular boy in school.
Ryosuke stared at Yuri for a moment, clearly trying to read the situation, shrugging, his voice soft, “We can do whatever you want to do, there’s no pressure here…” Ryosuke shuffled his feet, glancing down at the ground between them, “…but…I mean, I really don’t mind…and it’s…quite a ways back to the café…and I don’t know where you live…so…”
You don’t know where I live, and it will be a cold day in hell before you do…
Yuri tilted his head, trying to think of how to explain something, anything to Ryosuke that might make sense, “I don’t know where we are to be honest,” he felt bashful suddenly, “I don’t really go very many places, mostly from home to school to work to home to school and so on…then to my Mom’s and my Grandmother’s but otherwise…I am more or less a creature of habit so to speak. So, I guess, it’s good taxi drivers know the city so well.”
“Well, at least I can take you to a taxi,” Yuri could tell by Ryosuke’s voice that it wasn’t what he really wanted to do and he had to wonder how far Ryosuke would go to make him feel comfortable?
Ryosuke held his hand out, “Would that be okay?”
“Alright,” Yuri nodded, his eyes looking at Ryosuke’s hand for a long moment before he tentatively reached out, not closing the distance between them, but not particularly surprised when Ryosuke reached further and grabbed his hand, turning to lead him to the corner where they could wait for a taxi.
As they stood together waiting, Yuri wondered about each of the people who were passing them by, certainly there weren’t all that many out at this hour, but he was still really curious, tugging on Ryosuke’s hand, causing Ryosuke to glance over at him, “Is…is this okay?”
Ryosuke looked at him curiously, “Is what okay?”
“This,” he wiggled their hands, “I mean…is it okay for you to…be…so open like this?”
Ryosuke finally caught up after his expression had twisted into the cutest little confused face Yuri had ever seen, laughing, “It’s just a rumor we’re not allowed to date.”
“Really?” Yuri tried to make sense of that, because he’d always heard that the idols weren’t allowed to have relationships at all.
Well, you idiot, you already decided he’d been dating a lot of people before now, obviously, he’s allowed to date, duh.
“Yeah,” Ryosuke shrugged, glancing down the road to see if there was a taxi approaching yet, “I mean, we’re supposed to be…discreet…but there’s no real policy about it. It just sells more products if we keep that illusion, that’s all…”
“Isn’t it important for you to keep that illusion?” Yuri asked, unable to stop himself because he knew Ryosuke—Ryosuke the Idol.
Hell, everyone knows Ryosuke…he’s a national idol…he’s stupidly famous.
There’s never been a single rumor about him and any girls.
Which means the girls he went out with were really good people…because…
He’s never been caught on a date before.
He’s the prince character in his group.
He’s the one all the girls wanted to marry.
Wouldn’t him being discovered dating be destructive to his career?
Wouldn’t dating a guy be even more destructive?
Ryosuke had been staring at Yuri while he considered what it was Yuri might really want to know, “I won’t get in trouble for taking you out, if that’s what you’re wondering,” he carefully released Yuri’s hand, gesturing to the bench outside the restaurant behind them, “Sit for a moment?”
“Alright,” Yuri followed him to the bench where Ryosuke sat, turning his body sideways so he could look at Yuri while he spoke.
“I…it’s just…You make me forget who I am,” Ryosuke blurted the words out, laughing nervously after he said it, “Like…I don’t mean to be so…direct…or…yes, I mean….it is true about the way we’re supposed to be, and I’m not…I mean there’s no rule, but I have been…advised.”
“Advised?” Yuri was curious what kind of ‘advisement’ Johnny’s would give to an idol of Ryosuke’s stature.
“Yeah, like…we have these meetings and stuff and of course, my manager knows everything, it’s impossible to keep anything from him—and it’s like…you make me want to forget all of that, to just not think about it.”
“It must be hard?” Yuri had wondered about this, about this kind of life and what it must be like for someone like Ryosuke.
“It can be, but I mean, I made the choice, I want to be where I am, right? I want to be who I am, I’m happy and satisfied, so…it’s just so confusing.”
Ryosuke tilted his head up to look at the stars in the sky, sighing, “I know it is wisdom to not be involved with anyone…that I should you know…”
Yuri felt his heart clench, these words not ones he wanted to hear, not now, not after this evening.
Ryosuke glanced back at Yuri, his brows drawn down as he shook his head, expression sad, “I just…I know I should be careful and it’s probably a really bad thing for my career…”
Yuri felt like he could burst into tears, his eyes instantly stinging from the imminent rejection he felt coming on.
Ryosuke shifted, his body turning toward the road as he tried to gather his thoughts, chewing on his bottom lip and he chastised himself for not having this already figured out, for not already addressing this. He’d been so focused on just getting Yuri to let him take him out he hadn’t really thought much further than that in reality.
He turned to look at Yuri, taking in his expression, his eyes widening, “Oh my gosh, Yuri…I don’t mean…”
“I’m sorry, it’s not like what you’re thinking,” he sighed, shaking his head as he pressed the heels of his hands against his eyes, “Honestly, I am just not very good at this, am I?”
Yuri was confused, trying to think of what to say, wanting to make sure Ryosuke knew how much he had appreciated even this one night, the one chance to go on a date with him—something he could treasure forever, “It’s alright, Yamada-san,” Ryosuke’s body jerked at the formal name, his mouth opening to speak, but Yuri raised his voice, “Thank you for today, it was a sweet gift, but you really need to take care of yourself, and your career, and I understand that, I really do.”
“What…” Ryosuke was dumbfounded, “What do you think we’re talking about here?”
“Umm…how you need to be careful and not date someone like me, so you don’t mess up your career?” Yuri said the words as plainly as he could, trying to be sure that Ryosuke wouldn’t feel guilty and understand that he was thankful for this moment in time.
“Or,” Ryosuke shifted to move closer to Yuri, his voice low as a couple passed them by, “Maybe what I am trying to say is that I’ve never wanted to be with anyone who made me need to figure this out before, so I don’t know what I’m doing or how I should be doing it…”
Yuri’s eyes were wide as he stared at Ryosuke, blinking when he smiled broadly, “It’s your fault anyway, isn’t it?”
Yuri sputtered, “M-my fault…”
“You make me want to be who I really am, who I want to be, and I feel more me when I’m with you than I have ever felt in my whole life.”
His fingers grazed Yuri’s hand, but he didn’t take it in his own, instead, he pulled his hands in, crossing his arms as if to stop them from acting on their own accord, “I don’t know why I keep touching you…I just…I guess I want to make sure you’re real, to keep you close…I’m sorry.”
“You want to b-be with me? To—to keep me close?”
Ryosuke laughed, his eyes twinkling as he teased Yuri, “I know you’re an absolutely brilliant guy, Yuri, but seriously I don’t know how I need to say this so you will actually understand.”
“I’m sorry, it’s just all so…confusing.”
“Let me clear this up for you,” he shifted, freezing when a taxi slowed down in front of them, the window rolling down and the man asking him if they needed a ride.
“Yes, sir, we do,” Ryosuke looked at Yuri apologetically.
They approached the car, Ryosuke opened the door for Yuri and gesturing for him to get in.
Yuri nodded, sliding into the taxi, turning to look at Ryosuke who was leaning in the door but not getting in, “I can get another one?”
Yuri had the same panic from before tickling at his nerves, but he figured they could at least go back to the café, so he shrugged, “He can take us to the shop, and I can go home from there, I walk to work and…I figure—your ride is there, right?”
“Yeah,” Ryosuke nodded, sliding into the taxi and instructing the driver on the address of the café to take them to before he turned to look at Yuri, his voice low as he spoke, clearly trying to ensure the driver could not hear him, he leaned close to Yuri, the scent of his cologne nearly as intoxicating as the way his breath brushed his cheek as he spoke, “I want to take you out again…tomorrow, the next day…I want to be with you as long as you’ll allow me.”
Yuri startled, the words were so blunt, so forward, his eyes wide as Ryosuke bumped his chin into his shoulder, and Yuri could tell he was smiling even though he couldn’t see his face, “Do you understand that?”
“I-I think so,” Yuri guessed he did understand but he didn’t know why, it didn’t really make sense to him, his eyes wide as Ryosuke drew back, his palm sliding up his leg to grab his hand, entwining their fingers together and Yuri felt like he should remind him that he literally had said they should be discreet not even five minutes ago, but at the same time, he didn’t want to because it felt so nice to have his hand holding his own.
He figured the driver couldn’t see what they were doing with their hands anyway so he stopped worrying about it and just decided to enjoy it, twisting his head to the side to try to look at Ryosuke, but he was so close their noses bumped into one another.
They both laughed, and Ryosuke leaned back a bit, “Sorry…it’s just…you smell really good.”
Yuri turned to look at him again, surprised, “What?”
Ryosuke was glad for the darkness inside the taxi that made it so that Yuri couldn’t see how embarrassed he was, heat spreading all the way up to his ears, “I was…smelling you.”
“Smelling me?” Yuri laughed then, he didn’t mean to, but he just couldn’t help it, amused, “What do I smell like?”
He was sincerely curious because he didn’t really use anything except soap and shampoo in the shower—not really able to afford other products and certainly not any kind of good smelling cologne.
Ryosuke shrugged, biting his bottom lip for a moment before he responded in a whisper, “Cupcakes.”
“Hmm…that makes sense,” Yuri admitted, considering that the smells from the bakery surely did get on his clothing and things, “Do you like cupcakes?”
Yuri felt stupid, he knew it was the worst attempt at flirting in the history of all romance, but he said it without giving it even a small amount of consideration, chewing on the inside of his cheek because he already wished he could take it back.
“You know I love them,” Ryosuke smiled at him, thinking the teasing was cute because he always purchased strawberry cupcakes as part of his normal order every single time he came to the café–and Yuri almost always served them to him, so he knew they were both fully aware of how much he enjoys them, his lips twisting into a grin as he leaned a little bit closer, “But I definitely prefer this more…”
“What’s ‘this’?” Yuri tilted his head in confusion.
“How the cupcakes smell on you,” Ryosuke leaned closer and Yuri realized he was actually inhaling, “You smell so sweet, but it’s like more than a cupcake…it’s…”
Ryosuke shook his head, shifting toward the window, clearly overwhelmingly embarrassed at the whole conversation at this point, setting the words firmly, “It’s good.”
“Well, that’s good then I guess?” Yuri wanted to console him but he didn’t know what to say or how to say it so he just settled for squeezing his hand softly, to which Ryosuke squeezed back, his eyes soft when he turned to look at him, “You were there all of those times weren’t you? The times when they said you weren’t?”
Oh, we’re just gonna dive into all of this now then.
“Yes,” Yuri confirmed immediately, “I was, but I felt like it was better for me to put distance between us instead of encouraging you.”
“Because you thought I was not someone who could care about you?”
“I guess…it’s like I really don’t understand even now,” Yuri admitted, his voice soft, his eyes moving past Ryosuke to watch as the lights zoomed by outside the window,
“Understand why I wanted to take you out?”
“Yeah,” Yuri’s eyes moved to look at Ryosuke against his will, only to discover Ryosuke was staring intently at him, his expression filled with an emotion he couldn’t quite put his finger on but it seemed like it was related to aggravation.
“Did someone hurt you?” Ryosuke asked the question his brows drawing down.
“No,” Yuri shook his head, “No one has hurt me, it wasn’t like that…even the guy I drunk confessed to was actually really nice to me, even after that we talked some and he never made fun of me despite it being awkward as hell given the fact I hadn’t actually come out at that point. He stopped people from making fun of me actually, like got into a fist fight with one of the other guys on the sports team he was the captain of—he was…he was really nice, and we hung out a lot after that…he ended up going away to college though so I haven’t talked to him since graduation.”
Ryosuke hummed softly, his brows drawn down, his voice heavy as asked, “He liked you then?”
“What? No…no…he didn’t,” Yuri couldn’t help but laugh at the very idea that his friend had like liked him, “No, it wasn’t like that at all, he just was a really nice guy, that’s all, he dated a lot of girls, like the head of the cheer squad, girls like that, he was the prom king and he was in a two year relationship with the prom queen by our Senior year.”
“Okay,” Ryosuke laughed softly, shaking his head, because every new discovery about Yuri was a delight, and his pure heart was one of the parts of him he was fascinated with, “You say all of that like it negates the fact that he clearly was into you.”
“Between you and I—not to be rude—but I think I know the guy and you’re absolutely wrong, he didn’t like me he was jus–”
“Kindness does not make someone hang around with a person who has shown overt interest in them, it also does not make them protect them, that’s not kindness, that was him going a step further than kindness…he probably was one of those guys who was going to be in denial his whole life, huh? Like family expectations, stuff like that?”
“I don’t know what you mean,” Yuri was confused, tilting his head as he replayed Ryosuke’s words through his mind but discovering that did not give him any more insight into what he was trying to convey.
“He wouldn’t be able to come out because his family or whatever would not be okay with it, so he’ll like…have a token wife and pretend to be happy but he’ll be sad and lonely no matter what…”
“Because you think he was into me?”
“Yeah, I know he was,” Ryosuke answered with such a firm tone, like it was just a matter of fact, Yuri couldn’t help but wonder how he could be so confident.
“Why do you think that?”
“He sounds like me? Doesn’t he? I mean, he was willing to put his own needs to the side to be close to you, to be your friend, because to him being your friend was going to have to be enough. I can fully understand that, after all I spent six months coming into the café to see you with zero indication that you would ever even consider going out with me—in fact, I started coming in at the start without confirming that you even liked guys just because…I mean…I wanted to be near you, it’s like the overflow of your heart is…”
Ryosuke shook his head, feeling himself getting carried away and certain it would overwhelm Yuri, so he shook his head, “Just know, I understand guys like that guy—that’s all I am saying. Whatever he felt it wasn’t just ‘average’ friendship—you should just trust me on that.”
Yuri contemplated this, the very idea that his friend had maybe had some kind of feelings for him, an array of memories assaulting his senses—and incredibly, through this new way of thinking about things, it felt like maybe Ryosuke wasn’t so far off the mark after all…certainly, in his innocent naivety Yuri had never once imagined that his friend could have had even the most remote of feelings for him, but if he was going to look at it from this new perspective—then…maybe, just maybe, he did.
“Huh…” Yuri glanced back at Ryosuke, “I dunno for sure.”
“Well, I do,” Ryosuke laughed, turning to see that they were pulling up to the sidewalk outside the café, “And frankly, I’m relieved he left to go away to college.”
Yuri blinked at that declaration.
As if there’s any competition, my God, he carries on about ME not seeing things clearly.
He released Yuri’s hand, stepping out of the car, holding the door for Yuri, then closing it after he’d stepped onto the sidewalk, leaning in to pay for the taxi, and then thanking the man as he pulled away.
He turned to look at Yuri, who was standing there on the sidewalk looking so small, so tiny, all Ryosuke wanted to do was hug him. He knew he’d undoubtedly already made Yuri feel uncomfortable with such a high level of affection already, so he wouldn’t do it, but man, he really wanted to.
He ran his hands down his sweater nervously, “Anyway…”
“Yeah,” Yuri smiled at him, sensing that he was a little out of his element now that they were standing here at the end of their impromptu date, and for his own sake, he had to clarify, just to be sure, just so there was no misunderstanding at all, “So…about the stuff you were saying before…it’s…not a problem if…I mean not to presume anything but you did say you’d like to…see each other…”
“I said I want to be with you as long as you’ll allow me,” Ryosuke corrected him gently, stepping a little bit closer, “I don’t just want to see you…that’s too…small.”
He paused, swallowing roughly, his brows drawing down as his expression took on a gentle nature, “I’m sorry to be so…forward…or intense, I don’t want to be too much, I just…” he shrugged, “I don’t know how to explain it to be honest.”
“It’s okay,” Yuri couldn’t help but smile at how precious he was, “I think I understand it just fine myself, even if I’m not showing it outwardly, internally, I get it, believe me…”
Ryosuke nodded, tilting his head when Yuri continued, “But…what if….I mean, like you said, there are complications and…I don’t want to hurt your career or anything li—”
“Don’t worry about that,” Ryosuke interrupted him, sincerity clear in his words, “I’m sorry, I mean, I really am because I was flustered and I couldn’t think,” he laughed lightly shaking his head, “I mean you have a curious effect on me to be honest, and I’ve never been one to be…flustered I guess is the right word, but you make me all kinds of ways confused.”
They both laughed and whatever tension had been in the air fueled by uncertainty seemed to dissipate with their combined smiles, Ryosuke stepped closer still, “There’s plenty of ways to handle things like this and while I respect and understand your concerns, the truth is, being with you will be far easier than being with a girl in a myriad of ways.”
Yuri wondered at this, his head tilting as he tried to consider how this could possibly be true. He also filtered the comment through the thoughts he had about how many dates Ryosuke had undoubtedly been on and for some reason felt far more threatened by the idea that he’d been on those dates with boys and not girls.
“I mean, if I liked girls, which I mean you didn’t specifically ask but I’ll just make it clear to you that like your description…what was it? ‘Girls are not my type’? Yeah, that’s about it for me, I think girls are pretty and soft and that’s all great, but to be honest I have never felt any kind of genuine attraction to them on any level other than a strange association with my Mom which we definitely don’t need to get into on our first date.”
Yuri giggled as he nodded, liking the way Ryosuke’s cheeks pinked at the words he’d said, reassuring him, “I’ll file that away to bring up on another day then.”
“Please do,” Ryosuke laughed at himself, shrugging, “There’s some unpacking to do there I’m sure. Still, the whole point is, no one will question us hanging out together, we can go where we want, do what we want, as long as we don’t act romantic, honestly, no one could ever say anything about it. I couldn’t get by with that with a girl, not in a million years.”
“Huh,” Yuri understood what he meant, “That’s…actually really clever…so,” he hated himself for the way he cringed at the thought but asked the question anyway, “If you went with a girl to pizza tonight?”
“If pictures had been leaked it would have been a fiasco, but I mean, I guess pictures of me holding your hand would have also created quite the sensation—so I mean, that’s why I said as long as we refrain from affection in public then we’ll be fine to go and do whatever we want to do.”
Yuri hummed in understanding, blinking rapidly when Ryosuke took a step closer, “I recognize that I am responsible for all of the crossing lines and making a mess of things today, and I’m really sorry for being…such a handful… but I will do my best to do better—” his grin was positively mesmerizing and Yuri felt like the world was spinning when he spoke the words so softly, “You kinda drive me crazy though, so…I might need reminding.”
Yuri wanted to scoff at him, like he had some supernatural level of self-control or ability to keep his impulses in check but then, he instantly realized that he’d do whatever Ryosuke needed him to do, so he supposed that if this was it, he’d do it, nodding his head, “I’ll remind you.”
Ryosuke nodded, his fingers reaching up to brush gently across Yuri’s cheek, his words soft, “And when you get all dumb and forget how utterly amazing you are, I’ll remind you.”
Yuri was just about to tease him for such cheesy words, and to probably insist they weren’t exactly true as far as amazing goes and all that, when he was suddenly overtaken by a violent yawn, causing Ryosuke to frown, “You need sleep, enough talk for tonight, my car is in the lot around the side there…do you…want me to drive you to your house?”
“No!” Yuri practically screamed it, laughing nervously, and suddenly feeling wide awake, “I mean, no..no it’s not a problem, I live close, so don’t worry a bit about it, you go home now.”
“If you’re sure?” Ryosuke just wanted a few more minutes with him but he knew it was stupid and of course he couldn’t really insist he let him drive him home so he was trying to be as normal as he could about all of this but frankly, it was a whole lot harder than it should be.
“I’m positive,” Yuri confirmed, leaving no room for misunderstanding.
“Well, then…at least you can send me a message when you get home? I can put my number into your phone so you ca–”
“I don’t have a phone,” Yuri blurted out, “I mean…there’s a phone I can use, but I don’t actually have a cellphone.”
Yuri felt embarrassed, all of his concerns about how different the two of them were feeling like it was shining a spotlight on him at the moment, fully prepared for Ryosuke to ask him how he could possibly live without a cellphone.
“How will I know you made it home safely?”
That definitely wasn’t what Yuri imagined Ryosuke saying, and measuring him, he knew he was being completely serious, he really only wanted to be told he was home safely.
“I can email you? If you have email? I have a laptop through my school at home, so I do have the ability to send an email…would that…work?”
“Yeah,” Ryosuke nodded, relief evident in his expression, “That would be great.”
Yuri couldn’t help but tease him, “You know I managed to go home by myself every single day before today, right?”
“Yes, yes,” Ryosuke rolled his eyes, “I get it, I get it! I know it doesn’t make sense, and I can’t explain it so just…please, indulge me in this one thing.”
“Alright,” Yuri nodded, “…but I don’t have anything to write it down on—I sort of…” he couldn’t help but look down, his cheeks pinking in embarrassment, “I sort of ran out of work without really thinking about grabbing my stuff out of my locker.”
Ryosuke laughed, shrugging as he gestured for Yuri to follow him, “It’s no big deal, I have paper and a pen in my car, I’ll write it down on there for you.”
Yuri nodded, following Ryosuke as they went around the side of the building where the café was located. There was only one car in the tiny parking area, and even if Yuri hadn’t known it was Ryosuke’s–somehow, it felt like he would have imagined it. He didn’t know anything at all about cars, in fact, to his recollection he had only ever been in a car once before when his Grandmother had taken his family on a vacation to the sea—and it was a tiny rental car even then.
This is no rental.
Yuri watched as Ryosuke dug in his pocket, producing a set of keys as he approached the car, the sound of the alarm being disengaged loud in his ears. Ryosuke was interacting with this car so casually.
And why shouldn’t he?
He’s wildly successful and deserves every single wonderful thing he has earned through his hard work.
Yet…Yuri couldn’t shake the feeling that he shouldn’t even be breathing in the mere vicinity of it. He was positive, even not knowing anything, that this car probably cost more than his entire education…probably more than his Mom’s house…hell, his Mom’s and his Grandmother’s house together, maybe.
Ryosuke opened the passenger door, leaning into the car to retrieve something, then moved over to use the hood of the car to prop up on while he wrote something, then he turned to Yuri who was still standing there staring blankly. Ryosuke was confused by his expression, looking at himself and then the car and back to Yuri confusedly, “Do I have something on me?”
“Wh–what? No!” Yuri snapped out of his internal monologue, taking the paper from Ryosuke’s outstretched hand, “I’ll send a message to you as soon as I get home.”
Ryosuke smiled, turning to close the car door, glancing back at Yuri as he held it open, his head gesturing to the car, “You sure you don’t want me to take you home?”
“I’m sure,” Yuri confirmed, “Thank you though—for everything.”
Ryosuke nodded, closing the door before he walked back to stand in front of Yuri, “It was my pleasure, really—and thank you for going with me…”
There was a moment, a weird sort of moment that seemed to waver on the line between soft and awkward, and probably it could have went either direction, likely awkward if Yuri had anything to do with it, but before it could go that direction Ryosuke stepped forward, hesitating for only a mere second before he pressed a quick kiss onto Yuri’s cheek, shuffling back just as quickly, ducking his head to avoid Yuri’s eyes, hiding his expression, his words far less confident than before, “I’ll see you again…we’ll talk…I don’t…just…yeah…”
He was in his car in the next breath, and Yuri was still standing in the same place, his hand raising slowly, blinking at Ryosuke as he waved bye to him, his car barely even making a sound as he reversed to pull out of the parking lot, driving away.
Yuri watched him until his taillights disappeared in the distant landscape, his hand touching where Ryosuke had just kissed his cheek, his lips stretching into a slow smile.
He likes me.
Yuri didn’t really remember the walk to his apartment, discovering himself standing in the middle of the room before he felt like he woke up from the dream that was today.
He giggled, covering his mouth quickly as if his giddiness might break the spell when he thought about how Ryosuke had snuck that surprise kiss to his cheek and then quite literally ran away.
It might be the cutest thing I’ve ever seen in my whole life.
Yuri glanced down at the paper he had clutched in his hand, his fingers white from the death grip he had on that one piece of paper that was a very real connection to Ryosuke, stepping over to the table to lay it out there, carefully pressing on the paper to smooth out the creases he’d made with how tightly he’d been holding it.
“firstname.lastname@example.org,” Yuri stared at the email address for a moment, fascinated with every aspect of the paper because it revealed so much about Ryosuke in such a tiny little powerful punch. First of all, the paper itself looked like it had been ripped out of a planner or something, as there was a very faint gridline on the paper like it was part of pages meant for notes—and maybe Ryosuke didn’t realize it, but there was something written on the back of the paper. It appeared to be part of a list for groceries, and Yuri could only read a few of the items that were visible.
Then there was his handwriting, it was really pretty—the grocery list was rather messy, clearly scribbled in a hurry, but the email address was written with great care, probably to ensure the email went to him and not someone else at Johnny’s–but even so, the writing was very nice. The ink was red, which kinda made Yuri laugh since he knew that was Ryosuke’s member color and he absently wondered if that might be his favorite color. The note had not been ripped but carefully separated from the rest of the page, a nearly straight line instead of a tear—which he couldn’t even imagine how Ryouske had managed to do.
Yuri glanced up at the clock and wondered where Ryosuke actually lived and how long it took him to get home from the café. He figured he probably lived up town in the arts district where all the wealthy types lived. Yuri hadn’t ever really been there, only passed through on the bus a few times when he was going to visit his Grandma. It was beautiful there though.
He moved to sit down at his computer, turning it on and waiting for it to load up and connect to the internet. He opened his email, smiling when he saw a message from his Mom and another from Saya, his older sister.
He opened the one from his Mom who was asking him about his day like usual. He wrote a quick response, telling her he would call her after classes the next day to catch up but that he was heading to bed soon, it had been a long day, and he was exhausted. He sent the message and then opened the one from Saya.
Hey idiot, I have called your house phone like eighteen times and you’re not answering. I was making plans to go see Grannie this weekend and wanted to see if you had to work or if you could go with me. If you’ll just let me know then I will buy your train ticket when I get mine tomorrow. Where are you? Anyway, let me know! RIGHT NOW.
Yuri rolled his eyes at his sister’s flair for the dramatic, glancing over at his answering machine to discover that there were indeed eighteen messages waiting for him.
He quickly typed a curt message to Saya telling her to kindly kiss his ass and that he’d let her know the next day what his schedule was. He also indicated he would not be listening to the 18 messages she left because he was positive that they slowly degraded into nothing more than insults and name calling by the last one and he wasn’t in the mood. He hit send, grabbing the paper with Ryosuke’s email address on it so he could send him a message and head to bed, he was absolutely exhausted, jumping with a yelp when the phone rang beside him.
He jerked the phone off the base, rolling his eyes, “What do you want, Saya?”
“Where have you been?”
“OUT. What do you want?”
“Right now, butter vanilla ice cream, but in general, I want to know if you can go with me to Grannie’s house—I mean if you’re not going to tell me why you weren’t home.”
“You know…contrary to what you think, I am a pretty busy guy, you know? I have school and work and I mean I know it’s hard for you to underst–”
“I knew your schedule today, and you don’t have any friends, and you never go anywhere or do anything at all outside of school or work so you’ll have to excuse the hell right out of me if I panic when I can’t get ahold of you when you’re supposed to be home.”
Yuri closed his eyes for a moment, feeling badly for snapping at her, “Right.”
“I was worried about you, it’s almost midnight!”
“I know, I’m sorry, Saya…”
He tried to listen to her, but he really didn’t need another lecture about how it would be better if he’d just move back home, that it wasn’t safe where he lived and that he could get ahead and save a bunch of money if he’d just return to the house and on and on it would go…
He carefully put in Ryosuke’s email address, trying to say ‘uh-huh’ and ‘yes’ and ‘I understand’ at the right times to keep Saya satisfied as he began to write the message to Ryosuke.
I’m home now. Thank you again for a fun
Oh my God.
I thought I would let you know I am home like you asked me to.
Thank you for a fun night.
Thanks for the pizza and fun night out.
It was really nice, and I enjoyed getting to know you better.
He knew he’d sit there for another five hours trying to come up with the exactly perfect words, so he just shrugged, “Yes, I understand, Saya.”
He hit send.
The screen flashed and then the sent message popped up.
He tilted his head, his mind trying to make sense of what he was looking at, his eyes widening in realization, the word coming out of his mouth in a near scream as he panicked.
“FUCK!” he flew straight up, dropping the phone, the sound of the chair tipping backwards deafening as his fingers flew into his hair, his voice frantic, “Oh, fuck…fuck…”
He frantically clicked buttons, trying to go backwards, to undo the sent message, to undo EVERYTHING in his life since he turned twelve years old.
He faintly heard Saya freaking out where the phone was dangling down from the base, spinning slowly like he felt the world was.
He sat down in the floor, grabbing the phone and holding it up to his ear, tears prickling at his eyes.
“Yuu!!!??? What’s happening!? Are you okay??? Answer me or I’m getting on the bus right now to come check on you! Yuuuri!?”
“I seriously just screwed up so bad, Saya….”
“What? What happened, what is going on?”
“I sent an email to a friend from the wrong account.”
“I meant to change to my school email, but I was distracted by you and I sent the email from the account that I use for my personal stuff, like with you and Momma.”
“So? Honestly, Yuri, what the hell? You scared me to death just now!”
“I know, I’m sorry, I’m sorry but…Saya…”
He heard her taking a deep breath, her voice softening, “Fine, explain to me why this is such a big deal…if you’re emailing a friend from your personal account isn’t that okay?”
“No, not really,” Yuri groaned, pressing the heels of his hands into his eyes, “It’s fine, don’t worry about it Saya—everything is fine, I am too tired to think about this, I have to go to bed, I have class at 8 in the morning.”
Saya hesitated, not sure she should let him go without getting to the bottom of whatever was happening, “Are you going to be okay?”
“Yeah,” Yuri nodded even though she couldn’t see him, taking a deep breath, “Yeah, I’ll be fine.”
I’m going to never leave my home again and hide away from the world, but I’ll be fine.
“Okay, but…call me when you get home from school, you have a few hours after classes before work, yeah?”
“Okay, then call me, promise?”
“Yeah, sure…I promise…tell Mom I love her.”
“Alright, just…get some rest…stupid.”
“…’kay, you get some rest too, dummy.”
He lifted the phone to set it back into the cradle, his body shuddering as the thought of what had just happened ran across him again.
I’m a damn idiot…I cannot believe I did that; he is going to think I’m the most cringe worthy person in the world.
He did in fact, physically cringe when he heard the notification from his email make the tell-tale sound indicating he had a new message.
He frantically prayed to all the saints and gods in all of history that it was Saya getting in a last little jab before bedtime, or maybe one of those emails asking him to wire money into some foreign account, or like…something…anything, but he knew before he grabbed the chair, setting it upright and moving to sit in it, he would never be so lucky.
His suspicion was confirmed when he saw that the email was indeed from none other than Ryosuke.
His hand shook as he moved the cursor over to click on the email, hovering there for a moment before he built up enough courage to open it.
The screen blinked and then the message popped up.
Thank you for letting me know you made it home safely! I know it was a weird request, but I really do appreciate you going along with me about it.
I didn’t think to ask you what your schedule was or well, anything really…you might have noticed I was a little flustered but…well, please let me know when you work again so I can come to see you, alright?
I mean…if you want to. I don’t mean to presume anything. Yeah…so….anyways, thanks for the fun evening too, I had a really great time.
Have a good night!
He didn’t mention the email address at all.
Yuri read through the message again, wondering if he had somehow glossed over the part calling him out, but, no, there was nothing.
He smiled, glad that he didn’t have to deal with any of it tonight at least, stretching as he stood up, moving across the room as he stripped off his clothes to throw on his pajamas, falling into bed, laying there for a moment as the weight of the day fell away and all that was left were the feelings of butterflies in his tummy and the gentle cadence of his heart beating to a new rhythm. He wasn’t a romantic sort, not one to be caught up in fantasy and dreams–but somehow, Ryosuke made him want to believe that the fairy tales he clung to so desperately were real, and that his dreams had just as good of a chance to come true as anyones. He didn’t necessarily believe in such things…yet…but he thought, maybe with Ryosuke involved–maybe, just maybe he could.
As he drifted off to sleep he wondered if Ryosuke might be thinking the same kinds of thoughts as he was, filling his night with sweet dreams of pizza, warm hands in his own, and soft gentle kisses against his cheek.