candle wax, neon-bright
with suna rintarou, gn!reader, cigarette smoking, vague angst, non-linear narrative, sort-of-exes to lovers, suggestive
“What are you doing here, stinking up my kitchen?”
Suna pushes up from the counter, half-curled over the sink (there are ashes in it), blowing smoke through the blinds you leave closed except on slow mornings you’re home and the bug screen that stays diligently cleaned.
His posture is as terrible as ever, hair shorter than when you saw him last. Still as strange-looking against the backdrop of your cozy kitchenette, all black and silver swimming in warm beige and pea green, but you suppose you’re that way now too, an odd figure in your suit and tie and shiny shoes among worn hardwood and age-stained tiles.
Maybe you have more things in common, after all these years.
“Waiting for you to get back,” he says, putting the cigarette out against his pack, sleek and black and displaying no brand label you can identify it with.
“Couldn’t warn you I’d be dropping by without your new number… so I hope you aren’t too pissed that I used a key.”
You take your time setting everything down. Keys, wallet, the travel cup you fill with whatever you can. “What key?”
Suna’s nails are painted when he brings his hand out of a pocket. “This one.”
“You still have that.” Not a question or an accusation. It sits lonely on its key ring, dangling from around his finger, and is a completely non-startling surprise. “I almost forgot there were three.”
“That’s dangerous. What if I was some burglar?”
“You’d be a shitty one. Smoking inside the apartment you’re hitting?” He shrugs and you point at the alarm on the ceiling. “You’re lucky that’s broken.”
“You’re irresponsible for letting it stay broken. And forgetting that I still have a key.”
The five feet between you has never felt so dense to wade through. Molasses roiling at your feet and around your ankles, curving up to lap at your wrists. Suna doesn’t react, ever immovable.
“Yeah? Well you’re a punk for keeping it this long.”
The banter comes easy, though. Like muscle memory. Or old habits.
You stop shy of his toes and ask “why were you waiting for me?” like you should have within the first minute. How long’s it been already? Three? Four years and three minutes, and Suna still has a way with packing time to the brim.
“I was hoping I could get you to make me a drink.”
You’re not sure what to say to that, if you should say anything at all. You could laugh. Get angry or frustrated, perhaps even cry at the absurdity of it because that’s what it is, an absurd request in the middle of this dream-like sequence you’re not sure how to shake yourself awake and out of. The Suna in your kitchen is too real and too different to be a memory.
The laugh comes out of your chest, stale but shockingly calm. “Like old times?” You are not nervous. Not a single atom that builds you into being is off-put.
Suna makes a face that tells you you’re going to be amused or offended, exclusively or not. “Um… I’m praying that you’ve gotten better than old times, actually.”
This one, this next laugh comes out like an ambling stream. It’s five in the afternoon and coffee in the late day has never been good for you, but you can’t say the same for everybody. If memory serves you right, Suna can easily knock out two and a half hours after a cup, black or filled with sugar.
It’s quiet while you set about making him that drink, momentarily disturbed by the screech of a chair at your small dining table that makes your mind curdle and Suna wince. He only watches for a while as you bring out the coffee, the moka pot, and a measuring cup for the water. It doesn’t feel awkward just yet.
“Have someone else’s clothes in your closet?” His jaw doesn’t drop at your rueful smile and shake of the head, but his mouth cracks open. “No? Why not?”
There’s a spark of pride when he clicks his tongue at the smell of home-roasted, freshly-ground beans wafting up from the tin you open. “Why not?”
“You’re young. Gorgeous. You make sizable bank,” he waves a hand at your getup while you spare one more second to stare at him for gorgeous. “Like I get the lack of appeal for the cramped apartment,” he ignores your fleeting glare, “but I think most people can look past that just fine.”
Pouring just enough water into the bottom of the pot, you snort. “Maybe you should speak for yourself.”
“I do. I am,” Suna says, tapping the table with his fingers. His rings keep winking at you as you settle the grounds, metal catching the light dripping through the blinds as you turn on the stove. “I usually am.”
You could break underneath the weight of his gaze. You probably cracked and fissured before, porcelain facing an ice pick, but maybe you didn’t shatter completely. Just enough to feel it. Lost parts of you that’ll never grow back, shaved away, and you made it work. Filled in all the fractures with mortar, or something prettier, grander like gold— kintsugi— not glue.
But you’re a little stronger now, today, even if you woke up at six-fifteen on the dot and spent the last eight hours slogging away at a modest company you actually-fortunately love, yet at the same time can’t help but want to escape from. You’re a little older than you were when the cracks first settled, and Suna is too. He isn’t trying to break you now, wasn’t even trying to back then, and maybe that’s what older people really mean by wisdom.
“How are you, Suna?” you ask, just as the coffee begins to expand and foam, filling the top of the pot. You should grab a demitasse. His order will be done any minute.
“It’s really been too long.”
The moka pot is, at its core, an irrevocably arrogant purchase. You’ve never made anything more complex than a simple teaspoon-and-stir-and-taste mug of coffee in your life, unless counting the time you humored Fukunaga at his place of work by stepping behind the counter during a lull in business, and proceeded to be half-taught, half-handheld through the use of an espresso machine.
If given another go, you don’t think you’d be able to produce a consumable cup.
The promise of utility was hard to pass up though. Especially since you’ve somehow developed an interest in making your own drinks.
Still, you feel a little out of your depth as you readjust your grip on the brand new pot, safe in its box, and wait for the train to arrive and pass. It’s early morning but the sun’s out, so you have to blink every five seconds or else feel like a candle left by a window. Or, you know. One of those strange wax replicas of celebrities, slowly melting under a stage light.
The bell tolls as you scuff your shoe against the ground before immediately regretting it, leaving you staring at your feet and part of your black pant leg, now artfully tinged with the dirt you’d kicked up.
“God damn it.”
Footsteps. You lift your head and find yourself joined in your wait by a beautiful man. Your age? He looks it, but the way he moves and how he’s dressed seem timeless. Liquid and understated, cemented in this era by the quick flashes of silver jewelry. A personification of the statement, out of your league.
You’re staring, you realize, and giving him a head-to-toe scan while you’re at it.
He glances down at your feet and smirks. “Did god do that to you?”
“Might as well have,” you say, the response coming easy, “if they didn’t make me so impulsive or self-aware, I wouldn’t be in this situation.” This isn’t a first date or a formulated meet-cute, you’re probably never going to see him again, and that’s fine. The nerves stay out of your way.
“Impulsive… at first glance I wouldn’t think that word fits you.”
“I look too boring?”
He shakes his head, smiling slightly as he leans a little forward, trying to will the train faster with his eyes. “You just look like you know what you want.”
You huff a laugh. “Like I know what I want… yeah. Okay,” you shake your head when he leans forward even more. “Sometimes the gate barriers lower really early, don’t strain yourself.”
Blinking at you, he asks, “Then why wait it out and not just… run?”
He sounds genuinely curious, and to be frank, he has a great point. Normally, and by that you mean ‘before your fear of death can rear its ugly head’ kind of normally, you’d step a little closer to the tracks and examine the path forward for any surprise obstacles. There have been times when you slipped under them and made a run for it, when you weren’t wearing a coat or backpack that could get caught or shoes that would make sprinting across rocks nigh impossible. With the train still far in view.
“While I’m lugging this bad boy?” You raise the box in your arms. “I’m not risking it.”
The guy hmm’s, before peering down the railroad again. “I’ve got this.”
You have no clue what his name is yet and he’s ripping the box right out of your arms, making a break for it as the sound of horns get louder, as the first car starts to curl around the corner.
“Wh— heeeeeeey!” you yell. “What the hell are you doing?!”
Over a shoulder, even at the growing distance, even in the bright, spring haze, his eyes twinkle at you. “Stop shouting and chase after me!” He trips a little, right after he finishes crossing the tracks. With your brand new, never-been-used moka pot.
You can’t believe him.
“Someone’s dressed up.”
The sound of feet padding in through your bedroom door turns you away from the mirror and to Suna who ambles into view, holding an iced coffee by the lid, making you slightly anxious. He’s cleaning up that mess if it comes to it.
“Getting there,” you say, realizing that your pants are on but your socks aren’t. No wonder your feet are cold. “There’s a party at the office tonight. I got persuaded to attend.”
You smile, “free food,” and you chuckle when Suna says, “easy.”
“I guess you’re gonna kick me out, huh? Now I’m glad I swung by a cafe before making my way over.”
“You should really start texting me before you even leave.” You shake your head, wondering if you should put on jewelry. “I gave you my phone number, and for that reason.”
Suna purses his lips. “Not because you were trying to pick me up?”
You bite down on a smile as you slip the necklace under your shirt, “Didn’t know you wanted to be picked up.” You fix him with a look of amusement. “Was just making sure you had a way to ask for more drinks.”
It’s a short laugh, muffled by the hand he sets over his mouth once it starts and shoves into a pocket once he’s calmed. It’s a reflex you recognize, and still wish it kind of didn’t exist.
“Your coffee is probably better than the stuff served at the shop by my place.”
You’re grinning, teasing, buttoning your blazer before thinking that it’s best left open.
He picks out an earring from one of the colorful pairs laid on the counter and holds it up to you. It stands out against your clothes, and by the satisfied look on Suna’s face, that’s the point. “Wear these,” he shakes it and the gem swings with a faint rattle, catching light, “even if just one.”
Your fingers brush as you take it from him, your eyes meeting in the mirror as you click it into place. Just the one.
He lingers by the bathroom entrance while you sit on your bed, quickly pulling on some socks. “Is it a party where you can bring plus-ones?” You take too long to answer, you think, and suddenly Suna is saying, “bring the house down,” at the door, seeing you off, and you remind him to make sure it’s locked when you leave. When he leaves.
“Always do,” you say, trying not to think anything of it when he reaches out again, toying with your earring as you step into the second shoe.
There’s an indignant huff when you bring the mug to your mouth and take a careful sip. Suna is sitting there, at your rickety little dining table with his feet on the edge of his chair, knees pulled up against his chest like a child, pout and frown and mussed hair and all.
“I thought guests got first taste.”
You stare at him. Sip again.
“Now that’s just cruel.”
Grinning crookedly, you point at him. “I met you today… and you’re only a guest because you wouldn’t stop clinging onto my new pot until you calmed down from laughing and sprinting and shaking so hard.” You stand there, leaning against the counter and stirring your drink, every clink of the spoon on the ceramic like a metronome keeping time. “I was worried you’d start hyperventilating.”
He shrugs. “Nothing that different from after a volleyball game.”
“Mmm, is it?”
“Yeah,” he lets one of his legs slip down, foot to the floor, and lets his chin rest on his knee, “now gimme.”
You let him take the mug because it’s the only serving you made, afraid of ending up with too much and finding out your efforts were for naught, but there are no butterflies in your stomach when Suna has the mug to his lips. No buzzing nervousness like you’re waiting for a paper to be graded in real time, and you wonder if that’s because of the late hour, or him. He’s got a calming presence, you think… and not even the pinched expression he puts on after one swallow gets you down. It makes you laugh.
“This is so fucking strong.” He sets the mug down and you swipe it up, still snickering. “Are you crazy? Forget this helping you stay up for the rest of today, you won’t get any sleep tonight.”
“I don’t have work tomorrow.”
Suna mhm’s as you continue to drink, already planning on staying up through the night to catch up on shows and assignments. You wonder what he’s going to do after this. If he has class. If he has a job. He mentioned volleyball.
“How long are you going to stay here?” you ask, watching his hands play with a fake flower he’d stolen from the thin vase decorating the odd stretch of counter between the microwave and sink. It’s fake petals are pale yellow and worn, but with the dazzling sunlight sliding in from outside, hitting it just right… it looks good enough to be more than real.
Kind of like the man in your home.
The smile he’s wearing is fine, knife-sharp. “How long do you want me to stay?” You look at the clock. When you turn back to him, the smile has softened. become a bit unsure.
“It’s almost rush hour.” You evade. You ruminate on his words, “Don’t have a train or bus or a cab to ride before the traffic gets too bad?”
“No ride,” he says, slightly trailing off as he bends over the back of the chair to put the flower where it came from. The steam curling up from the cup in your palms hits your eyelashes and you blink. “Just my two feet.”
“So you’re staying.”
Suna curves forward. Inward. Lays his forearms flat on the table and hunches over, settling his chin in the crook of his elbow. “Yeah.” He looks like he’s about to go to sleep. Give him a patch of sunlight and he’ll be like the pet cat you never had, never really wanted enough to ask for. “Is that okay?”
Strays come around here sometimes, to sit on your window sills and nap on the tiny balcony you like to pass time occupying yourself. You’ve fed them food prepared by following articles online, making sure to cross-reference, and sometimes they continue to pay you visits. With and without full stomachs.
You wonder if Suna would appreciate being likened to those friends of yours.
“That’s fine,” you say, dipping into your bedroom to retrieve your laptop before making your way to the living room couch where you have a view of him curled up in a half-ball, faint green eyes trained on you as the earbuds untangle in your hands, and it’s only much, much later that you realize the comparison fits. Almost too well.
Never open your door to strays, they say.
They’ll never leave even if you do it “just this once.”
“At some point, your place became a second home for me, you know.”
Your hands pause over the bag of rice you were about to pick up and gently toss into the cart. He doesn’t look at you so much as look through you when you twist to face him, so maybe he’s embarrassed. Or proud. Questioning why he said it. Nervous about what you’d have to say to that, and if you’ll walk away without a word. Maybe he’s indifferent.
“I could tell.”
The bag is deposited easily, stowed away with the vegetables and fruit and other things you’ve been pushing off shopping for until the kitchen was empty.
Suna crumples the list you gave him earlier— I’m going out for groceries so unless you want to tag along, get out— and you wonder what it means.
“You could tell?”
“Mmm… Spending so much time at a place that isn’t yours isn’t actually subtle.” You stare each other down from opposite sides of the cart, not a smile in sight but no scowls either. “Tell me you knew that.”
Okay, maybe just the slightest hint of a smile. If you’re looking for one.
From him or you.
“Shut up,” he says and the grocery list unfurls. The creases are smoothed out across a tight abdomen and at least two items are crossed off when the pen slides out from behind an ear, unmistakably red-tinged.
It doesn’t feel right to make fun of him for it so you don’t. You take a mental image instead. Catalog it carefully, safely, painstakingly within your mind like you’re packing it into a box you hope won’t just collect dust. Doesn’t feel like you have to worry, though. By the time you get back, hands full of groceries and toes afraid of getting crushed by them, you’re already thinking of opening the box.
What does it all mean, anyway? What does him helping you shop for food, what does him sticking around to help you put every perishable and non-perishable away mean? When he keeps running his hand through his hair and asking where you keep things, only to forget, rinse, and repeat? When you step through the sliding door with him at your heels, back aching and tummy faintly rumbling, you wonder if it has to mean anything at all.
“You started smoking.”
When you exhale, three consecutive perfect rings that disappear into the quickly descending evening air, you cock your head and pass the cigarette back. “Socially.”
“Bullshit,” Suna says, huffing a laugh. “Rings, fucking rings… Not every casual smoker can make those.”
“Surely some of them can.”
“Well, yeah, but—” Suna laughs again, punches your arm, nearly drops the cigarette on the floor of your balcony and earns your ire. “So long as you aren’t going through four packs a day…”
“Then three’s fine?”
He jokingly grabs a fistful of your hoodie while you laugh and shakes you with it, pulling you close enough to bump his nose against yours. He’s telling you to shut your mouth for the second time today and you’re giggling, leaning into him like you can’t hold yourself upright. You feel a little weak in the knees. His arms and chest are as solid as ever.
“Stick to one or none,” he whispers, shivering when you say okay, baby, “don’t make me worry about your health.”
You stare him in the eye, I won’t.
Thank you, and he puts his head on your shoulder, leaving it there until the timer you left ticking on the kitchen counter rings.
Suna peels himself off of you with slow and lingering movements. Like an old sticker scraping itself off, leaving residue. Leaving warmth.
The first time you kiss him, it’s almost on accident. A happy one, you think, born from you thinking he looks good with a headband pushing his hair back and you thinking ah, right, he’s close enough to kiss, and it ends with him in your lap, arms around your neck, lips feeling a little singed, but not from a smoke or a too-hot stove.
“Is it gonna happen again?” he asks. You leaning in, eyes half-shut and wordlessly seeking, Is that going to happen again?
You tilt your head so you can peer up at his downturned gaze. “If you want it to,” you say, and Suna is lightning-quick. Every press to your lips, a yes.
if you want, if you want, if you want.
Every kiss, a claim.
“What do you want?” What is it? Your voice sounds dreamy to your cotton-filled ears. “Suna, do you want something?”
You’re half out of your mind with a fever when he comes by, his hands cold with winter and the damp towel he uses to ease your smoldering forehead. He doesn’t answer and as heat-fried as your brain feels, you don’t pester. You just groan as he wipes the sweat away, and let him help you onto your elbows so you can sip from the bottle of water tipped into your mouth.
Neither of you bring it up when you meet a week later. You, recovered and unforgetful. Him, exhausted yet neon-bright.
You kiss against the front door of the apartment (his, why is it that you’ve never been here before now, before you started feeling like all of this was sand slipping through your fingers) like it’s going to kill you. What is?— you aren’t sure, and Suna probably isn’t either, but you know it will. You know it will, so you burn yourself on him to prove the danger is real. Candle wax, neon-bright.
He kisses like he’s melting too.
When he makes for the tracks and the lowered barriers, you pull him back, smiling and sparkling and bouncing, just that little bit, on the tips of your toes.
“You aren’t holding anything,” Suna says, looking at your empty hands. The silver hanging from his ears glint under the moon and the streetlights.
“Nothing except you.”
The train’s steady approach is signaled by the tolling bell. It’s still out of sight, still a block away or maybe more, and you could make it across. If you wanted. Even at a walking pace like you’ve done countless times before.
Suna relaxes, heels finding the ground again, and he shakes his arm until you loosen your grip around his wrist, but he doesn’t let you stray too far.
You could tease him, you know. For the way his fingers hook with yours; clumsily messily innocently like he’s never done this, not once in his life, his thumb finding the awkward space between your ring and middle and nearly cementing itself there before he realizes that it’s completely wrong.
He rights himself with a little tsk shooting from the corner of his mouth, and the snicker is more involuntary than not. The following snort is more voluntary than not, when Suna gives you a glare that isn’t real.
“You aren’t letting go.”
Around the corner and under the bridge, the front car appears.
“Why would I want to?” He took your hand, didn’t he?
“To run across the tracks.”
“Hm. Maybe I changed my mind?”
As the train roils past, the lights inside offer you a glimpse into the lives of the passengers. There is a mother and her child, who she bounces in her arms to make them laugh with glee. In the next car over, there’s a trio having what looks to be an argument, words flying or being hurled above late dinners but not maliciously— they’re all smiling too hard for it to be serious. In another, a group of more than a car should carry sleep, against the window, on each other’s shoulders, curled in laps and over backpacks, blind to the world outside of their bubble.
You see all of these lovingly vibrant moments and grin yourself, knowing that any of those looking out their windows are bearing witness to your own. You wonder what they see in the hand you’re holding, what they get from the hand you hold it with.
“I really… really want to kiss you.”
Maybe there’s a bubble around you both that Suna is incapable of looking past. And it might just be that he doesn’t want to. This one… This one isn’t going to be an accident.
You meet his gaze and it’s like he melts. Eyelids drooping, mouth falling open just a crack with shoulders curving inward and downward; honey dripping from a spoon. “Then,” you start, feeling your heart soften very much the same, “by all means.”
The back of his neck is hot to the touch, and so is his cheek when he moves in too fast and bumps your nose with it. You chuckle, “Have you ever kissed anyone before?”
“Shut up.” Suna’s pink in the face even in the dim light; soft white lamps and cloud-covered moon. “You know the answer to that.”
And you do, honestly. Incredibly. “But it’s fun to tease you,” you admit, and he has nothing to respond to that with except the careful way he presses his lips to yours, all chasteness and scrunched eyes, a whisper of the milkshake he’d shared with you once it was almost gone.
It feels almost inevitable that you take him home.
Suna likes you enough to kiss and cuddle and stay the night and warm your bed.
You return those feelings. On the rare days he asks you to come over, you happily repay the favor.
He tries out your increasingly bettering coffee exploits. Sometimes you drive him to university.
You like him a lot more than he does you, you think. You know. But he asks you what you’re brooding about, with a frown as deep as yours, and you know you can’t lie. Say nothing. Say something not wrong but not right, either, like I’m thinking of you.
These words, different ones, strong ones, fit correctly in your mouth. They feel good going out.
There was never going to be a right time. There was never going to be a right time.
Not then, but maybe—
Bathed in morning light, you lean over him; no sink, no cigarette, just his mouth that glistens with the lip balm he’d smeared all over the night before, saying he’d kissed you dry.
“What were you thinking, that first time I said I loved you?”
A leap you’re not sure you’re ready to take, but it’s done now. You hope you stick the landing.
Suna brushes his fingers over your cheek, nails long enough to lightly scratch, and you breathe. Barely. Harshly. You take an inhale like you’re taking a knife between two ribs that stops shyly before piercing your lung; a fearful, testing scrape.
“I… I don’t,” he starts, thumb drawing thoughtless patterns down your jaw. He’s blinking in that fast, erratic way when his mind is racing, and his hand is almost restless as it maps you with its fingers. One traces your chin, becomes four as he curves over the shell of your ear and behind it, goes down to three when he pinches the lobe. “I’m sorry,” Suna says, smoothing around to the back of your neck, his palm clammy against your skin. “I don’t remember.”
You smile softly. “That’s okay.”
“No, I,” huffing, Suna shakes his head at you. “No, it isn’t. I lied.” You keep smiling and Suna looks like he wants to flick your forehead. “Stop being so understanding all the time. You’d be saving yourself the trouble.”
Using light taps of your finger, you play with the ring hanging from the chain around his neck, making it glide across his chest, wrinkling the worn fabric. It’s a shirt from the bottom of your bottom drawer and it isn’t his, but looking at how it hangs off of him, how much you might like how it hangs off him, it can be. “I could’ve used it back then, you know.” Your smile sours. “The empathy.”
Suna’s fingers wrap, light and warm, around your wrist when you say, “I pushed you away.”
“I ran away.”
“And why did you, exactly?” The laugh isn’t bitter. You’ve grown. Your mistakes are yours, and you know that now.
You try to lean away, pull yourself out of his private space to give him room but the hand on the back of your neck fists in your shirt, a plea. The other settles on your leg, an it’s alright. I want you right here.
So you stay, suspended for a kiss.
“We both had problems, Suna. It was never going to go down well.”
“You’re probably right about that,” he doesn’t look happy about it, “but that doesn’t change anything.”
The smirk is surprising.
“I still think I win, though.”
“I was a little shittier than you back then.” He shrugs as best he can, lying down in your bed. Under your watchful eyes. “Still might be.”
The laugh can’t be helped, so you shake your head. You hang it. You let him take your hand to bring up to his lips and he presses a kiss to each fingertip. His eyes fall shut and he looks angelic like this, hair spread out around his head and over your pillow, the light from the sun peeking in through your window to paint his hair a lighter brown.
“Might be,” you echo, and watch his brows twitch, feel his lips linger on your skin, pressed to the center of your palm as you loom over him further. “I like you anyway.” Suna shifts and his hip presses against your thigh, the corners of his mouth pulling up and pulling down. “You heard me, Suna? I like you anyway.”
His other hand shoots out and you chuckle when it grabs your face, hoping to push you away. He squishes your cheeks, your nose, obscuring your view of his reddening skin.
“I was thinking… I was…”
He’s trembling. Voice barely above a whisper, steadier than his hands. “I thought maybe it was some kind of mistake.”
You take his hands and slip your fingers through the cracks. Interlocked, held, stilled. He isn’t cold to the touch, not really, neither is he burning hot.
A mug of something poured from a pot and left to sit.
“That you were just saying it… because it felt right in the moment,” Suna still doesn’t look at you when you curl forward, inward, “or something.”
“Or something.” He bites his lip. He says it one more time and then it’s your turn to bring his hand up to your lips, his wrist instead of his palm but just as intimate. The full-face blush he’s sporting now is unbearably charming. You are horribly charmed.
“You thought I was lying,” your breath must be hot against his skin, “I wasn’t.”
Suna smiles up at you. “I know that now.”
It’s always a loud kind of quiet where you live. A complex teeming with singles and couples, bikers and strays, just outside a road frequented by cars and cabs and more bicycles, and even with the fragile moment being spun by you two, the loud kind of quiet persists. It’s eight in the morning. The world is already alive.
“I don’t expect you to say it back now,” you whisper, focus drawn away by the birds that find a place on your windowsill. Their chatter muffled by the double-layer glass. “Especially since I can’t really repeat what I said, right here, right now.” He grins when you say, “I really would be lying this time.”
“You like me honest.”
His fingertips skate across your cheek again, and the birds are forgotten, their space in your mind and vision replaced by the openness of his eyes. The life there. The silent plea.
“I hope you will, though,” Suna huffs. He laughs— at himself, you, the pit he and you are in and have been in since he let himself back into your apartment like he’d promised to leave for a trip that went on for a little longer than planned. “I hope you will repeat it, eventually.” His eyes are like his lips, glossy.
“Eventually,” you parrot and he nods, making an even bigger mess of his hair.
“And I hope I’ll get to say it back, this time.”
The smile pains you a bit. It smarts and it threatens to stutter to a stop, your jaw nearly creaking with tension… but it all smoothes out in an instant. This time, he says, this time, I hope I get it right this time around—
“Okay,” you sniffle, “alright,” and he’s cupping your face with his hands, asking what’s wrong and saying I’m sorry.
Suna carved out a hole in your heart four years ago, crude and incomplete like the pick or the shovel was old and covered in rust, but he’s filling it in now. With his jeweled hands, with his own heart. A fine kind of mortar.
“Nothing,” really really really, and he believes you. He just worries.
You drilled into his chest like a diamond jackhammer four years ago, straight for the heart, for the kill. You’re probably never going to stop proving that it was never meant to hurt him.
There’s a crack between the door and the frame when you get home where a little evening light has begun to spill through, despite your knowledge. You closed the window after breakfast. You shut the blinds right before you headed out.
“What are you doing here,” you ask, letting your eyes wander, letting them linger, not letting them get misty— but close, “stinking up my kitchen?”
He moves like a cat woken from its nap. Loose and languid and powerful. A little the same, a little different.
“Waiting for you to get back.”
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