Building Bridges

 

The Party

 

College parties, Yata decided, were not nearly as awesome as he'd been led to believe.

Of course, he'd probably feel differently if his friends weren't acting like jerks. Can't believe they all ditched me. He swallowed a mouthful of the beer he'd snagged from the fridge - another thing that wasn't nearly as awesome as it should've been; it was fucking gross, actually - and scowled around at the people in the tiny building that apparently was the meeting place for whatever this club happened to be. There were six people crammed onto a three-person couch, one guy perched on the back with his legs hanging down; a group in the kitchen laughing about something or other; a couple of people dancing sloppily in the middle of the hallway; and various others milling around in various states of drunkenness.

Chitose, whose idea this had been in the first place - as a way for Yata to supposedly get talking to women in casual situations before he started his apprenticeship and "stepped up into adult life" - was cozying up to some girl in a corner. Dewa, Fujishima, and Eric were all nowhere to be seen.

Fucking assholes, all of them. Yata leaned against the wall behind him, glowering out at everything in the general vicinity. They were supposed to have his back, and instead they all flaked off, probably finding girls of their own and heading off for drunken makeouts that he was never going to get.

Too bad Kamamoto couldn't make it. Then at least someone would've had the decency to hang out with him. But Kamamoto had a date. With his girlfriend. Which made him One Of Them, so he got a piece of Yata's (completely justified) resentment, too.

This had been a dumb idea, anyway. Yata had known that at the time – he was fucking underage (not that anyone cared, since no one was policing the drinks anyway) and he was moving into the dorm tomorrow, which was going to suck if he ended up hung over. Granted, he was - supposedly - crashing on a futon at Fujishima and Eric's dorm tonight and his step-father wasn't even available to help tow all his stuff over until after noon, but still!

I should just leave. It wasn't like he was making any progress; his few interactions with any of the girls there mostly involved accidentally being jostled, stammering apologies, and staring at the ground like a complete idiot. And there wasn't anything interesting going on. Maybe if he'd had friends with him, it'd be different, but...

Yeah. Fuck it.

Decision made, Yata pushed himself away from the wall and started toward the exit.

His timing wasn't good. He was just passing by one of the doors along the hallway when a tall girl in a very revealing outfit turned in from the kitchen, nearly colliding with him. Yata instinctively dove to the relative safety of the wall, stammering out an apology – but instead of flattening himself against a solid surface, he fell backwards through the door and missed the three steps leading downwards into the room entirely in favor of landing flat on his ass on the floor.

The door, which had hit the wall when he crashed through it, swung back over to slam shut.

"Shit..." Yata pushed himself up to his knees, wincing.

To his right, someone snorted. "Idiot," whoever it was mumbled, almost under their breath.

With all the crap he'd already had to put up with that evening, there was no way Yata was feeling civil enough to let that pass. "What was that?" he demanded, hands already curling into fists as he jerked his head around to glare at the stranger.

Said stranger, a dark-haired guy with glasses, pale skin, and a slender frame, raised a condescending eyebrow at him. He was sitting cross-legged on a couch that looked awkward and out-of-place in what was obviously a storage room, surrounded by varying towers of boxes. "You've got another word for someone who can't walk down a hall without falling into open doorways?"

"That - that wasn't my fault! There was a girl..." Yata could feel an uncomfortable heat rising on his face, and quickly steered away from that subject. "Anyway, what about you, hanging out in empty rooms at a party, huh? Creep."

Glasses Guy clicked his tongue at that, looking vaguely annoyed, and deliberately turned his eyes back to the cell phone in his hand. "Go away."

"Yeah, don't have to tell me twice." He scrambled to his feet and hurried up the stairs to the door, eager to get the hell out of the whole stupid place. Fuck Chitose and all of his dumb ideas. Grabbing the doorknob, he gave it a confident turn.

... only to have it twist right off the door into his hand.

Yata stared dumbly at the object on his palm for a moment, unable to quite fathom the extent of his bad luck. As the reality started to sink in, though, he felt his frustration rising. "Fucking goddamnit!" He hurled the offending object across the room, barely registering the loud crack it made when it hit the cement floor, and turned back to pound on the door. "Hey! Hey! We're stuck in here - someone open up!"

Glasses Guy let out what sounded like a long-suffering sigh. "Of all the idiots in this house..." he muttered, and then raised his voice a notch. "They can't hear you."

That much, Yata had more or less reasoned out for himself - the heavy base from the music seeped through into the room, making it feel like the whole place was vibrating. "Shit!" he swore, and kicked the door, slamming his hands against the frame with helpless aggravation. "This fucking sucks!"

"That's one way to put it," Glasses Guy mumbled, and made another annoyed-sounding click of his tongue.

Great, and I'm stuck here with this stupid asshole... Yata turned his head to give his fellow prisoner a baleful glare. He might as well have saved his energy - that unimpressed gaze was still fixed on the cell phone and didn't spare him a second of interest. He scowled for a moment, without noticeable effect, and then turned his gaze back to the door and considered his situation.

One - there was a slim-to-nil chance of anyone at the party opening that goddamn door before the next morning. The room was obviously being used for storage, and unless there was beer stashed in among the boxes or someone needed a place for a quick booty call or something, there was no reason to.

Two - he'd forgotten his cell phone at Fujishima and Eric's dorm, and to be honest, he wasn't sure if his friends would even pick up if he called them. Except maybe Kamamoto, who wouldn't be of any real help.

Three - there was no TV, book, or even a goddamn magazine anywhere in sight.

Four - Glasses Guy was sitting there with the only method of communication with the outside world in his hand, and he didn't look inclined to share.

Fuck my stupid life.

Yata sighed, feeling his shoulders slump as he turned away from the door and made his way reluctantly over to the room's other occupant. "Hey," he said, trying for a more conciliatory tone - maybe they'd just gotten off on the wrong foot, right? And they were in this mess together now, so there had to be some way to get along. "Do you think you could maybe call someone to let us out?"

"I don't have a phone with me," Glasses Guy responded in that slow, bored drawl, still without raising his eyes from the device in his hand.

Yata felt his eyebrow twitch. "What the hell do you call that, then?"

"This?" At that, he did look up, and turned the item in his palm. There was no logo visible anywhere, although the simple touchscreen design did look like a typical cell phone. "It's not a phone - it's a custom console with data collection software built into it."

"A what?"

Glasses Guy was giving him a flat stare, clearly not happy with the interruptions. "It pulls information from various available sources in response to simple queries," he responded anyway, turning the device back around to fix his attention on it again. "I didn't bother bringing my phone to a place like this."

"Huh." Curiosity overrode irritation. Yata sank down onto the couch, craning his neck to look at the screen. It looked like just a bunch of random text on a white background. "Looks confusing. What does all of that mean, anyway?"

The corner of Glasses Guy's mouth turned down; he clicked his tongue again, lowering the device. "It's code, not the front end," he muttered, and swiped his finger across the screen, revealing a plain text entry box. "I'm still making adjustments."

"You made that?" Okay, now that was kind of impressive. Yata stared down at the custom whatsit with something like awe, watching as its owner typed something into the box one-handed and images and text flashed across the screen in response. Okay, so he didn't totally understand what was happening and it didn't seem all that great compared to some of the gadgets out there, but hell - he'd never met someone who could actually make things work like that before. "That's so cool! Hey, did you actually build it, or did you just do the programmer stuff?"

Glasses Guy glanced at him sideways, frowning a bit. His tone was less reluctant when he responded. "I built it."

"Oh, wow, awesome!" Without thinking, he scooted in closer on the couch for a better look. "That's seriously amazing! You really built it, like from scratch?"

"It's not that hard." Glasses Guy slid his gaze away again, directing his frown at the device in his hands.

"Still, it's really cool!" Yata watched him type rapidly into the text entry box again. Something about functions? He didn't really get it, but the screen changed to another listing of items and pictures. "Hey, how does it work? Can you show me?" Belatedly, he realized that he hadn't actually introduced himself to this person he was asking all these questions of yet. "Oh yeah, my name's Yata, by the way. How about you?"

That vaguely bored stare turned his way again; ignoring the other questions, Glasses Guy instead asked, "Yata what?"

That was enough to dampen his enthusiasm. Yata studied that impassive-looking face, wariness seeping in through the edges of his previous interest. "Just... Yata is fine, right? No one calls me by my first name." Hoping to turn the subject away, he prodded again, "What about you, what's your name?"

"Fushimi Saruhiko." A lazy sort of smirk tugged at the edges of his mouth; he raised a condescending eyebrow. "See, it's not that hard."

The sudden switch in the mood caught Yata off-guard; he could feel his cheeks grow hot, and scowled back. "Sh-Shut up! Why do you need to know so badly, anyway?"

"True - I guess I don't." Fushimi raised the device in his hand again, his eyes on the screen as he continued to type one-handed.

Yata watched him for a moment, a little disgruntled at how he'd been effectively brushed off. Fushimi was apparently content to ignore his existence altogether, his attention fixed on the screen of his custom device, effectively cutting off the only option that would make the night anything less than mind-numbingly boring.

Outside the room, the sounds from the party didn't seem to be letting up or winding down in the slightest.

There's gotta be something else in here... Yata pushed himself up off the couch again, glancing around at the boxes in the room with something like desperation. He normally wouldn't go rooting through someone else's stuff, but given that he was likely to be stuck in this room for hours with someone who clearly didn't want to give him the time of day, this definitely counted as an emergency situation.

Anyway, if they didn't like it, maybe next time they should fix their goddamn shitty doors before having a party.

Whatever. He picked a shelf and a box at random, and reached out to pick it up, lifting the whole thing out and setting it on the ground to open up and rifle through. Let's just get this started.

Unfortunately, most of what was in the boxes wasn't going to qualify as ‘entertainment'. There was obviously a reason why most of this stuff was still in storage rather than unpacked and out in the main section of the house. Within about five minutes of searching, Yata had unearthed some of the weirdest bookends, lamps, figurines, bongs, and questionable-looking items that had him wiping his hands on his pants reflexively after brushing up against them.

He didn't actually know much about the club that used this house (hell, he didn't even know what club it actually was), but he was now just a little too uncomfortably aware of some of its members' personal habits (past personal habits?) to ever consider joining.

"The fuck even is this?" he muttered, pushing back a box with a vaguely dragon-like object that he really hoped was a countertop decoration. After some of the things he'd found, he wasn't sure at all. "These people are weird as hell."

That earned him a derisive snort from the direction of the couch. "Someone who casually goes through other people's things shouldn't make judgement calls, should he?"

Yata scowled at the back of Fushimi's head. "Shut the fuck up - what the hell am I supposed to do, since you're being all pissy and not talking to me?" He turned back to the shelf he was currently making his way through, bending to look at one of the lower tiers. "I need to find something - aha!"

At the back of the shelf, hanging out all innocent-like, was a crate with some promising-looking bottles. Yata dropped to his knees and hauled it out, relieved. Fucking finally. Alcohol wasn't exactly entertainment - but at least it was likely to take the edge off, if the things he'd heard about getting drunk were actually true.

Hopefully this crap doesn't taste as awful as that beer did. Not that it would stop him if it did. He pulled out a bottle and checked the label - sparkling wine. Fucking score. And the cap wasn't one of those stupid corks, either; he could just twist it open and drink.

Fushimi glanced over at him when he made his triumphant return to the couch, frown deepening when he noticed what Yata was holding. "Doesn't that count as theft?"

"It's not like anyone else is drinking it!" Somehow, that dull tone put him on the defensive. "Anyway, I'll pay it back - this isn't exactly super expensive. The price tag's still on it, see?" He tilted the cap over so the little white sticker was visible.

The expression on Fushimi's face was typically unimpressed. "And what if it's a hundred years old?"

Yata scowled at him. "Does that sticker look a hundred years old to you? Seriously, fuck off."

Fushimi clicked his tongue, turning back to his data-whatever with obvious irritation. "You're the one complaining I'm not talking to you," he mumbled, then after a brief moment of hesitation, threw in, "Misaki."

All at once, Yata's blood seemed to run cold. He stared at Fushimi, something like outraged shock building within him. "When...? How...?"

"Hmm?" The hum he got in response was drawn out, low and mocking, and it came with a smug set of raised eyebrows. "Something wrong, Misaki?"

Something about the way this guy said his name - his first name, the one he hated and took every opportunity to avoid using - curled into a little pit of annoyance in his stomach. Yata glowered back, scowl deepening. "Don't call me that! How'd you even get that name, anyway? I never told you."

"'How'?" Fushimi repeated, in that bland, unconcerned tone, and turned his gaze back to the device in his hand, as if dismissing the question. "I wonder..."

Everything about this whole night fucking sucked. "Damnit!" Yata aggressively twisted off the cap on the bottle. "Screw this place, and screw you, too!" He raised the bottle and defiantly tilted it back to take a generous swig.

Next lesson of the night: wine fucking burned on the way down.

A large portion of what he'd poured into his mouth ended up spewed out onto his shorts, and the rest felt like it had scratched right down the back of his throat. Yata coughed for a long minute, eyes watering as he struggled to recover.

Beside him, Fushimi snorted derisively. "Idiot."

Yata glared at him as he wiped off his mouth with the back of his hand. "I wasn't expecting it, okay? It's not like I drink this crap every day." Or ever, seeing as how he was underage and even one of his older friends owning a bar didn't get him any kind of access to alcohol. But he wasn't going to admit that. "Anyway, I can handle it now." He took another - smaller - gulp from the bottle, bracing himself for the burn, and still couldn't help but make a face at the bitter-sour taste.

"You look like you just swallowed a live scorpion," Fushimi commented, managing to somehow sound pointed and uninterested at the same time.

This guy is so irritating... Yata scowled back. He could feel the burn from the alcohol still, but it wasn't so bad now. It was starting to feel a bit warm, but not uncomfortable. "Yeah? You give it a try, and see how you do." He held out the bottle, shaking it a bit for emphasis.

Fushimi eyed it with obvious distaste. "Why would I do something like that?"

"Don't want to? Fine." The warm feeling was making him a little more loose and relaxed; he didn't really care anymore what this rude guy was going to think of him. It wasn't like they knew each other. He could say whatever he wanted. "But, just so you know, you're stuck in here, too." That came with a grin. "All night long. Just you and me." He could feel the grin widen even as his eyebrows came down. "And I am getting drunk as fuck."

He got the satisfaction of seeing one of Fushimi's eyebrows twitch. That irritated gaze shifted from the bottle to him and back again, as if he couldn't make up his mind about which of the two was more repugnant.

Then he made another of those aggravated-sounding tongue clicks, and reached out to abruptly snatch the bottle from Yata's hand, lip curling as he wiped off the mouthpiece. "How annoying," he mumbled, and tilted his head back to take a drink.

It was kind of disappointing that he didn't spit it right back out like Yata had done, but the obviously pinched expression as he lowered the bottle kind of made up for it. "See? You just made the same face I did."

"Shut up," Fushimi muttered, and tipped his head back for another drink.


"... and after that, the whole class totally turned against me! The rest of the semester was hell!" Yata vaguely waved the nearly-empty bottle to emphasize his point. He was feeling pleasantly light, and it was easy to talk about whatever random thing came into his head. "Junior high school was the worst!" He turned his head and looked at his conversation partner earnestly. "Don't you think so?"

Fushimi shrugged in response, and reached for the bottle. "Give me that." His voice sounded more drawl-y than usual, each word drawn out in an almost comical way.

"Oka~ay." Yata handed it over without argument, beaming at him. "You know, you're not such a bad guy. I've been talking all this time, and you listen real good." He bumped his shoulder against Fushimi's, feeling strangely connected to him - but not in a bad way. "And you make cool things, and you seem really smart, and you've got this super cool aura, it's like..." He leaned onto Fushimi, waving his hand around without restraint. "Shhhha! You know?"

"Who would know from that?" Fushimi pushed back against his shoulder, forcibly moving Yata back to his own side of the couch. "It's just a random sound you made." He tipped his head back to take a drink and then fixed Yata with a blurry-eyed squint. "You're annoying, and you talk too much, and the things you talk about are boring and stupid." Then he blinked, and for a moment looked vaguely confused. "Why does it feel warm when you talk?"

Somehow, that struck Yata as hilarious. "Warm!" He laughed almost giddily, leaning back against the couch and rolling his head back. "Talking isn't warm, stu~upid."

"Shut up," Fushimi mumbled in response, shoving the bottle back at him. "Drink."

"Thanks! You're the best!" He took another long drink, letting out an exaggerated sigh when he finished. "And, y'know, if you want a turn to talk, you should just say it." Impulsively, he leaned back in and threw a friendly arm around Fushimi's shoulders. "Feel free to tell me allllll about you, I'll listen."

The expression on Fushimi's face as he looked slowly back and forth from the arm draped around him to Yata's face was pretty much a perfect cross between 'I just squashed a bug with my bare foot' and 'what the hell is even going on?' "Why should I have to do that?"

"Well, I just sorta kept talking... I feel bad, ya know?" It had just been so easy to talk somehow, and Fushimi actually looked like he was sort of listening, even though at first he'd tried to pretend he wasn't and had just gotten worse at pretending as the bottle got emptier. "I told you about my family, and about my best friends, and stupid classmates who were jerks, and how I'm doing welding with the greatest welder ever, and I can't talk to girls..." For a second, he forgot what he'd been trying to say, and just blinked at Fushimi's face - then it came back, and he grinned. "... and you listened real good, but then you said shut up, so that means you wanna talk now, right?"

"... so annoying." Fushimi's mouth twisted as if he was trying to make that tongue-clicking sound, but he couldn't seem to manage it. He tugged the bottle out of Yata's hand again and took another drink.

"There it is again - shhhha!" Yata waved his free arm with enthusiasm. Being close like this was making him feel kind of excited. He couldn't remember why he'd been so annoyed with Fushimi before - wasn't he an interesting guy? Making custom devices from scratch, and figuring out Yata's name without being told, and acting so unruffled even when everything went wrong... "If you don't wanna talk, it's okay - but I really wanna know about you."

Fushimi eyed him blurrily for a moment. "Why?"

The question made him blink. "'Why'? I'm interested in you." It was such a simple thing; he didn't know what made it so difficult. "You're really cool, and I want to know more." It struck him that maybe he was being kind of pushy, and he scrambled for a moment, a little edge of panic somehow spinning up through the fog over his brain. "Youuuuu don't have to tell me if you don't want to! I'm just - I'm just saying..."

The way Fushimi's eyes narrowed, eyebrows coming together against a line above his nose, it was like he was looking at some kind of tricky puzzle or something. "What 'more'?"

"Huh? Oh." For a second, Yata's train of thought kind of derailed - he quickly tried to put together something to ask about. "Uh... uh... uh, so, what - what are you going to school for?"

There was a noticeably relaxing of tension in Fushimi's shoulders at that. "Computing Science."

"So, like that stuff you did earlier!" Yata grinned a little to himself, feeling his mood go up with the successful exchange. "Is this your first year or second? You're the same age as me, right? I'll bet you didn't skip a year like I did, though, did you?"

"Shut up. Stop asking so many in a row." The bottle was shoved back into his hands again. "Second year. Nineteen years old. And you talk too much."

"You're just saying that because you don't" - he took another drink in between words, without really thinking about it - "talk enough." Still, he was answering, and that was good enough. "Hey, okay, so where are you from? Does your family live near - ?"

"Why" - The sudden interruption was a bit startling; Fushimi reached over and yanked the bottle back out of his hand, more forcefully than he probably needed to - "did you say you came here?" He shifted in Yata's hold as if to put some distance between them, pointedly focussing on draining the rest of the wine into his mouth.

"Uh... right. Um." Somehow, his thoughts had scattered; he settled for mumbling out the first thing that came to mind. "I think... drunken makeouts... or something..."

"Huh?" The look Fushimi shot him in response to that seemed to be trying for scornful - and somehow had hit closer to 'are you some kind of alien or something?' "'Drunken makeouts'..." he repeated slowly, and snorted. "Idiot virgin."

"Wh-What?" Yata felt a rush of heat rising to his cheeks at that. "You didn't have to say it like that..." He withdrew his arm from around Fushimi's neck, hunching his shoulders defensively. "A-Anyway, it wasn't my idea! I told you I'm bad with girls, so - "

" - so you made plans to get drunk and make out with them," Fushimi interrupted, in an overblown imitation of his earlier bored drawl.

"That's why... like I said..." It was hard to organize his thoughts when he was this flustered - and his head felt like it was covered in cotton. Yata balled his hands into fists, scowling at Fushimi. "It wasn't my idea!" he repeated, hotly.

Fushimi adjusted his glasses, turning to look him in the face again. "That's what you said you came here for, right?"

"That was just..." Yata flushed again and deepened his scowl, feeling a little bit tingly under that cool-eyed gaze. He didn't think it was all from the alcohol, and it was kind of weird. "Whatever, never mind!" He snatched the empty bottle from Fushimi's hands. "I'm gonna go get us another one."

Pushing himself abruptly to his feet, he very suddenly learned two things he'd never known about alcohol.

One: a single bottle of wine between two people who had never drank before was more than enough.

Two: trying to stand up quickly after drinking it was a bad idea.

Yata's vision swam alarmingly; his knees gave one feeble, warning wobble, and then, with a yelp that sounded embarrassingly high-pitched, he toppled sideways across Fushimi's lap. The breath left his lungs with an audible 'whoosh', and he lay there for a second gasping for air and trying very hard not to puke as the world spun around him uncomfortably.

Fushimi made a kind of halfway strangled-sounding noise, and then abruptly started to laugh.

"Hah..." Yata braced a hand on Fushimi's knee and shakily pushed himself up, turning his head in time to catch a somewhat blurred close-up view of his conversation partner's face as he continued to snicker uncontrollably. For a moment, he just stared, blinking rapidly to clear his vision. Fushimi's pale face was flushed, head bent forward slightly, eyes closed behind his glasses, and mouth twitching as his shoulders shook.

It was a sight that blanked out Yata's brain and made him gape, and he couldn't say why.

Fushimi's fit seemed to subside then, and he opened his eyes to meet Yata's gaze. There was still a hint of a smile on his face. "Why are you looking at me like that?"

The question didn't sound hostile. Yata shrugged, feeling a bit awkward about it. "Dunno. You were laughing and... stuff. I guess." He realized he was still halfway across Fushimi's lap and hastily moved to push himself back into his own seat. "Ah, my bad - sorry!"

He was still in the process of clumsily shuffling away when Fushimi said, in such a quiet mumble that he almost didn't catch it, "Misaki."

"Eh?" That brought his gaze back up - Fushimi's face was still really close to his, which was kind of startling, and Yata blurted on without thinking, "I told you, don't call me that."

"Mm," Fushimi responded, not really agreeing or disagreeing. He seemed to hesitate for a moment, eyes wavering a bit, and then jerked his head forward, tilting it to the side just in time to avoid bumping noses before pressing his lips to Yata's.

The contact was like a sudden jolt of clarity through the foggy haze of Yata's thoughts. The stinging-strong scent of alcohol assaulted his nose. He could see the red-tinged side of Fushimi's pale face and one of his closed eyes. A warm huff of breath brushed against his cheek. And Fushimi's mouth touched his, softly, clumsily - a very brief and very awkward bump of a kiss where neither of them had properly puckered up or anything.

He still felt it with his whole being, as if the sensation echoed all the way through to the tips of his fingers and the ends of his toes.

Fushimi pulled back after barely a second had gone by, as jerkily as he'd gone in, opening his eyes to staring at Yata with a mix of confusion and fascination, like he couldn't believe himself that he'd just done it. "So it's like that..."

It took a few tries for Yata to find his voice. His brain was practically a war-zone, and his face was already heating up like a furnace. "Wh-Wha... Wha... What was that?" he blurted out desperately, despite the fact that he knew exactly what that was. He'd been kissed. Fushimi had kissed him.

His first goddamn kiss. Ever.

The expression on Fushimi's face seemed to close in on itself; he frowned, and successfully made the tongue-clicking noise. "Who knows," he mumbled, and turned his face forward deliberately, reaching up to push his glasses up over the obvious flush on his cheeks that may or may not have just been from the wine. "I felt like trying it."

"Hah?" Yata gaped at him. His first kiss, and that was the reason? For real? "What the hell kind of reason is that for k-k-kissing someone?"

"Feel free to make up your own if you don't like it," Fushimi drawled back at him, and pulled off the glasses he'd just finished pushing up, folding them up and stowing them in the breast pocket of his button-up shirt. "I'm going to sleep." He crossed his arms and deliberately sank back against the couch.

Somehow, Yata managed to recover his wits at that. "Like hell!" He grabbed a handful of Fushimi's shirt, giving it a harsh tug. "You can't just kiss someone and then go to sleep!" His efforts were ignored; Fushimi was limp in his hold, eyes closed, apparently content to be shaken like a rag doll rather than admit to being conscious. Yata glowered at him, feeling vaguely murderous. "Bastard..." he growled, voice low. "I know you're not sleeping..."

The haze over his brain had at least cleared enough for him to consider the situation, although he had a sense he probably wouldn't have jumped right to his next course of action if he'd been sober. "Fine! If you're going to be like that..." He gave Fushimi's shirt another tug, pulling him down to a convenient angle, and leaned in. "Challenge accepted, Saru!"

Then he closed the distance and planted another kiss directly on Fushimi's lips.

The rush of adrenaline that had led to him doing it in the first place provided a whole new dimension to the second kiss. When he made contact, Yata was hyper-aware of the pliant feel of lips against his; the way Fushimi sucked in a sharp breath through his nose; the rush of half-anxious excitement that made his skin prickle at the unfamiliar intimacy.

Like before, he barely had a second to experience it - then Fushimi shoved him violently away, glaring at him as he rubbed his mouth with the back of his hand. "Disgusting..."

"You were the one who did it first!" Yata wasn't sure if the heat on his face was from anger or embarrassment; his lips still felt tingly and his fingers were trembling. He glowered in return either way. "So there - how do you like it? Stu~upid."

Fushimi's eyes narrowed; his mouth thinned for a moment - and that was all the warning Yata got before he was shoved back against the arm of the couch and lips were covering his again, this time along with a hand planted square in the middle of his chest. "Mmph!"

He would've totally retaliated - he was already beginning to thrash around - but Fushimi's tongue slid roughly between his lips, and Yata gasped instinctively and then it was in his mouth, and the shock pretty much froze him solid.

It seemed like maybe Fushimi had been hit by a similar shock - maybe he hadn't expected Yata to actually open his mouth, or he'd just been kind of doing it out of spite and hadn't thought much about the results - because he didn't move right away. For a second or two, they sat there tense and still, both breathing erratically, staring blankly at each other's close-up faces, lips mashed together, and the hot, slick weight of Fushimi's tongue pressed up against the inside of Yata's mouth.

This had to be the weirdest kissing experience ever.

Yata was still kind of scrambling to recover his bearings and come up with some kind of reaction - anything, really; fuck, what the hell was wrong with him? - when Fushimi let out a sharp huff of a breath against his cheek and tilted his head a bit, shutting his eyes and sliding his tongue tentatively against Yata's.

It actually - somehow or another - felt kind of good.

The look on Fushimi's face - eyes closed, cheeks flushed - that was actually, maybe, a little bit erotic, too... Yata felt a tiny coil of heat forming at the pit of his stomach and for a moment let himself get carried away by it, eyes sliding shut and moving his own tongue hesitantly to create more of that slick friction.

Wait - wait - wait... what?

A sudden rush of confusion and panic had him pushing Fushimi roughly away from him, staring wide-eyed at the expression of hazy bewilderment that met his gaze. "Wh-Wh-What...?"

Fushimi just stared back at him for a moment, blinking slowly. His face still had that red tint to it, probably mostly from the alcohol, but given that Yata's felt like it was on fire, he wouldn't have doubted if some of it came from what they'd just done. Fucking kissing each other, with tongue... It was shocking, even if he couldn't seem to process all the reasons why. And... even if he kind of wanted to do it again. Yata found his eyes drawn to Fushimi's lips, which were swollen-looking. This is how someone looks when you just kissed them like that...

The sight of it fed that hot little thread of excitement in his belly. Yata swallowed, skin prickling, and tried to remember why he'd been so freaked out. His mind seemed thick and slow. The vivid recollection of Fushimi's tongue sliding against his kept intruding; it made him feel tense and strange.

"That face..." Fushimi's low mumble broke him out of those thoughts; when he focussed again, the gaze that met his was narrow and hot. "I like it." He was already slowly leaning back into Yata's personal space; when he spoke again, it was soft and fervent. "I want to see more."

More... Yata swallowed again, his eyelids already sliding down as Fushimi's face came closer. He could smell the alcohol on the breath that brushed over his cheeks, and it was kind of like being smothered, but he didn't really mind. There was a sort of nagging sense at the back of his head that he really should be thinking this through a lot better, but by that point it was pretty easy to close that part off and ignore it.

The next minute he was surging up to meet the kiss, and his hands were scrambling at Fushimi's waist, and whatever rational thought there was left pretty much flew off into space.

The rest of the evening blurred out into a hot, sloppy mess, but it felt too good for Yata to care.


"Hey. Sleeping guy." Something prodded at his shoulder. "Wake up."

Yata groaned a little, slowly stirring up from a sound sleep towards wakefulness. He felt kind of dizzy, and he had the vague impression that his face was pressed up onto something. "Whassit?"

"Yeah, party's over." The prodding got more insistent; something shook him. "Come on, get up."

Party...? Right, he'd been at a party - some club or something at the university. And he was sleeping on a couch - his face was jammed up against the arm, body stiff from the awkward position. The couch in the storage room. Where he'd gotten locked in. With -

He was crowded up against the arm of the couch, halfways slouched down with another body pressed over his while his tongue swiped clumsily over the inside of a mouth that wasn't his. It was hot and wet and promising, so good... Whoever the person was moaned, low and smooth, and he ran his hands up over that firm back -

Holy shit! Abruptly, Yata shot up - and immediately regretted the light in the room seemed to stab in through his skull on all sides. He covered his face with his hands, groaning again. "Wha... the fu..."

"Ooh, sorry about the hangover, guy." That voice did sound kind of sympathetic; when Yata finally managed to bring himself to squint up at the person who'd woke him, he found an unfamiliar male face offering a pitying expression. "Sucks, but I gotta kick you out - we've got club setup to do before semester starts."

There was a sour feeling in his stomach to go along with the headache now. Yata pressed the heel of his hand up against the bridge of his nose, letting out a shaky breath, and tried to clear his brain a bit. That weird Glasses Guy. Fushimi. He opened his eyes again, but there was no one else in the room. "Did..." His voice was froggy; he cleared his throat and tried it again. "Did you see another guy...?"

Hell, he still sounded like he was dying or something. I am never drinking wine again. Ever.

"Uh, nope." When he looked over at the club guy again, he got a shrug. "Just you."

This was kind of confusing. How the hell...? "The door was broken - we were stuck in here."

"Huh? It was?" Club Guy walked across the room to look at the door. "Oh, fuck, it is. Guess we'll have to fix it. Sorry 'bout that."

That didn't really answer anything. Yata frowned to himself, trying very hard not to think about the pain in his head and the menacing churning in his stomach. "When the hell did he get out?" he muttered, more to himself than anything. Most of the evening was starting to piece together now - fuck, he'd acted like an idiot. And then making out with a guy, who was practically a stranger...

His first fucking kiss, too. Goddamnit. Yata felt his face heat up, and twisted his mouth into a scowl, running his hand over his eyes again in hopes of hiding it. They'd fucking made out on the goddamn couch. Him and some random guy. What the hell had he been thinking? Sure, it had felt good, and he did honestly think Fushimi was maybe a little bit cool, if kind of irritating at times (and something about his face when he was all flushed like that still gave Yata a little prickle just remembering it), but seriously, what the fuck?

I got drunk and made out with a random guy at a party. It felt surreal to think about like that, but he had actually done it, and he had the memories to prove it. He was never going to hear the end of this if his friends found out.

"Well, maybe one of the others let him out earlier," Club Guy was saying, oblivious to Yata's inner struggle. "The door was open when I came in. But seriously, dude, you gotta leave."

"Yeah... right. My bad." It was kind of a struggle to push himself to his feet, but this situation was already stupid enough without him looking like a weak idiot in front of a stranger. "I'm going."

Yata's brain was still chewing over the whole incident even as he left the clubhouse and tried to remember which way it was to the dorms. The light from the outside world felt like it was punching holes in his head, but his thoughts just wouldn't shut up. I didn't... I mean, all we did was make out, right? He was pretty sure his clothing had stayed on. He didn't remember touching any of Fushimi's skin, either, and he thought he probably would've had some kind of vivid memory of that if he had.

In fact, the last thing he did remember was Fushimi's face dropping down to rest in the crook of his neck, body going slack and heavy against Yata's left side, and the world starting to feel warm and dark and swirly.

So we didn't. That was something, anyway. Yata scrubbed his face with his hand again as he walked in the general direction of where he hoped the dorms were, scowling to himself. I thought people forgot things when they got super drunk. Why the hell do I remember all of this shit? Honestly, he just wanted to erase the entire series of events from his mind forever.

Well, if he was lucky, he'd never run into that guy again. Computing something was what he was going to school for, right? Yata could barely handle mucking around with the settings on his phone, much less working on an actual computer. And there was no reason someone who did all that programming stuff would ever need to come into the trades building, or Mikoto-san's welding workshop.

He wasn't disappointed about that, either. Not even a little. If he never saw Fushimi Saruhiko again, then... then good.

The tiny thread of doubt that came with that thought was firmly shoved to the back of his mind and locked away.

 

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