"All right, so let me get this right," Hiroshi says, looking at me across the divide between the kitchen and living room of his apartment. "It's the eve of Christmas eve, three days before your anniversary, and two days before Christmas... and yet," he picks up an egg, and with his blue eyes still on me, cracks them and drops the yolk into the bowl before him, "you don't have a present. At all." He pauses, letting it sink in, and then cracks a second egg and empties it into the bowl and then putting the shells to the side with the first. "Is that right?"
I just want to crawl under a rock. However, there's nothing that could help me in Hiroshi's dining room. Well, I suppose I could always hide under the bar... "Shigeru," he says, with no little annoyance in his voice.
I cringe. "What?"
"You know I'm taking your silence as a great big fat yes," Hiroshi says, and then picks up a wooden spoon to start mixing the batter within the bowl.
I cringe again. "I have no idea what you mean."
Hiroshi quirks an eyebrow at me and then shakes his head and then sighs. "Let's start again. Hi Shigeru, what are you doing here the day before the day before Christmas, not knowing what to get for two of the most important gifts of the year, thinking that someone who's just your boyfriend's friend will want to help -- since you're not actually friends yourself," he finishes sourly.
I scowl at him. "Honing your sarcasm, I see."
Hiroshi's lips twitch into a grin and he shrugs, still mixing the batter. "
"So you don't just do baked goods, I see," I retort, not able to hold it back anymore. I'm trying to be nice and yet he's being a little jerk about the entire event.
Hiroshi scoffs. "I'm sure it's not manly to make cupcakes, then, hmm? At least my nickname isn't cupcake."
I glare at him and his blue eyes narrow at me. This isn't what I need at all.
Sighing, I lean back on the stool, swinging my legs slowly. "Look, I need your help, Hiroshi. I know that it was unexpected and you're busy," being fruitier than I am, I think while looking at the bowl full of batter, "but I really need your help. I obviously can't ask Satoshi, that would defeat the purpose, and Kasumi would kill me for being so insincere as to not know what to get my boyfriend for Christmas and as if that wasn't bad enough..." I sigh. "I don't even know what to get him for our first anniversary, either."
Hiroshi stares at me, his eyes hard like ice. "Well?"
"Well?" I retort. "I need your help. Aren't you supposed to be the nice guy who always is willing to lend a hand!"
Hiroshi scowls and tilts the bowl slightly, the wood scraping on the bowl. "Maybe I think you're an insincere jerk, too, Shigeru. I mean, you've only known Satoshi, I don't know, all your life -- he shouldn't be that hard to shop for!"
I eye the blonde warily and then sigh. "That's what I thought, too. But I've been looking constantly and I can't find anything that he would like... I'm doomed, Hiroshi, I'm doomed!" I lean over and pound my fists on the bar top.
I must have played my part well, because I hear Hiroshi set the spoon down and then walk around the bar. Expecting a gentle pat on the shoulder, I'm surprised instead when he thwacks the back of my head. I almost topple off the chair, and turn back to him, glaring. I'm also clinging to the chair and trying not to fall, but that's beside the point.
"What was that for?" I demand, but coming off well in the delivery weakly. What is he on... and if it's that good, maybe I need to be hooked up with it as well.
Hiroshi crosses his arms over his chest. "For being an insensitive jackass who takes Satoshi for granted!"
I blink, and the chair wobbles, nearly sending me backwards onto the tile. When I'm in control of the situation, I return to gawking at Hiroshi. He's still wearing a scowl on his face, "Don't you have anything to say about it?" he snaps.
I flinch at the venom in his voice. "What do you mean? I don't take Satoshi for granted..."
Hiroshi stares at me with that same look of anger in his eyes. Maybe I should have risked Kasumi... if her insanity and need for anger management classes has rubbed off onto Hiroshi, then maybe his level headed fluffy cute sweetness has rubbed off onto her.
"Yes," Hiroshi begins softly, "you do." The flare in his eyes doesn't dim a bit. "If you really loved him then..." I end up tuning him out after that, just watching the speed at which words come out of his mouth, even if I'm not really paying attention to them. Wow... shouldn't he be needing air right about now?
I was right about that. He pauses and gulps back a deep breath of air and then he's on the attack again. I cringe at some of the words that do manage to punch through my shield (it's called I just don't care), and yet then he stops.
Hiroshi's eyebrow twitches. "What did I just say, Shigeru?" he asks slowly.
I blink. "What, can't you remember your own hot-headed rant?"
His eyebrow twitches again, and I imagine that vein looks ready to burst. "You jerk! You're not even paying attention to me and yet you say you don't take him for granted! You take everyone for granted -- they're only worth what they can do for you and not caring about giving in return. Or just... or just caring at all!" he stomps a foot and his fists hang balled at his side.
"If you really loved him and didn't take him for granted, then you wouldn't be here right now, Shigeru." He doesn't give me a chance to reply. "You would have a gift for him on Christmas and your anniversary. You wouldn't be here at practically the last minute..."
Hiroshi lowers his head, hair falling to obscure his vision. I slide off of the stool, and he doesn't look up. Really, what was the point of this all? "Thanks for nothing," I say, striding past him.
I can practically hear his head whip up in surprise, and then I imagine he spins round to stare at my retreating figure. "What the -- you're supposed to realise that you've been a jerk now and admit that you take Satoshi for advantage and -- stop, Shigeru, I'm talking to you!"
I do stop, but just to look back at him with a scowl on my lips. "Well, I don't want to talk to you. Get back to making your cupcakes, I'm sure your Mistress will be home soon."
Hiroshi's eyes are wide with embarrassment and then anger blossoms again. I chuckle and turn around, and start towards the door. "Stop it!" Hiroshi shouts. A pause. "I'm warning you, Shigeru!"
I scoff and put my hand on the front-door knob. "Whatever, Hiroshi. Whatever."
It's then that I get hit in the back of the head with something -- something that's hard enough and heavy enough to send me sliding to my knees. "Shit," I groan, and then slump over onto Hiroshi's entry-hall floor. I didn't expect that...
The alarm clock is going off -- at least, that's what it sounds like. I groan and try and sit up, but my head is pounding and it doesn't like the aspect of being moved. I groan more, groping for a pillow to pull over my head...
Now isn't that strange. There's nothing around, only something that feels strangely like... a hardwood floor? I crack my eyes open, and the intrusion of light makes me wince. "Damn," I gasp, and flop backwards. That wasn't a smart idea, either. A jolt of pain stabs through me, and I wince, closing my eyes against the light. Hey, at least I can't hear the alarm clock anymore. Or at least whatever it really was...
The minutes tick by and the silence is getting on my nerves. I pen my eyes again, and stare upwards. The ceiling is white and boring to look at, so I let the minutes roll by and then attempt sitting up again. It works this time, and I hold a hand to my forehead as I look at my surroundings.
And then I blink.
"Hiroshi's front hall? What am I doing here, sitting on the ground..."
I try and remember what happened and all I can remember is a lot of anger -- and I don't even think it was me who was doing the yelling. Man, I feel like it's a bad hang-over... Now, what am I doing here again? "Stupid Hiroshi," I mutter, putting a hand out for support on the wall-papered wall, and pulling myself to my feet. Wobbling slightly, I keep my arm out for support. When I think I can manage standing on my own, I pull my hand away... and promptly almost fall flat onto my face.
All right, so that wasn't a good idea. I let my breathing return to a normal pace and then pull my arm away from my support again. All right, that's better. Now, to see what I'm doing here... with a throbbing headache. I put a hand to the back of my head -- there seems to be an egg shaped lump... How perfect. "Hiroshi?" I call out. "Are you in there?"
There's no answer.
"Hiroshi?" I call his name again. I look back, his shoes are there... Kasumi's are still out.
Hmm, I wonder when he painted the walls white. I thought they were blue... How strange. I shake my head, which causes it to throb even more. Wincing, I walk through the living room. Maybe I'm still dreaming... it all looks so different.
Of course, if I were dreaming when it wouldn't hurt so much. That, and I'd actually be asleep.
I hear humming coming the open bedroom door, and I stride over to it with a desire to sort this entire scenario out. "Hiroshi," I snap, pushing the door open.
I automatically remember why normally one knocks before barging into someone else's room. Hiroshi walks right past me, like he didn't hear me at all, clad only in boxers and... I shake my head. "Ugh," I groan. "What's going on... it's like... ugh... how long was I out?"
The bad humming continues to come from his bathroom, and curious and wanting to figure out what's going on, I walk inside... when did he get a twin bed? I thought... ugh this is like a bad movie. I close my eyes and then slowly open them again... This time to get an eyeful of Hiroshi again, though this time the blonde actually has pants on.
Satoshi would kick my ass if he knew what was going on...
"Um, Hiroshi?" he doesn't seem to hear me, so I say his name again. And again. And once more for added emphasis... either he's deaf or he's just ignoring me to piss me off. Knowing Hiroshi, then I assume it's the latter. Especially with all he was going on about before...
Wait, what does that mean? Ugh...
I turn around and head towards the kitchen, to get myself a glass of water. Wasn't he baking? Wasn't... ugh... it's all in bits and pieces. I remember yelling... and Hiroshi was mad... and then I was waking up on his floor my the door. What's going on...
I go to get a glass and there's a knock at the door. Hiroshi doesn't seem to hear that either, so maybe it's not just me he's ignoring. Maybe Kasumi's tantrums finally took their toll on his ears... I go to the front door and unlock it and then open it wide.
A perky blonde haired young woman stands there, with mellow brown eyes that are revealed when she pulls her sunglasses down. Dressed over-dramatically in a magenta business suit, she squeals when she sees me. "Like, I didn't think I'd get here on time! You would not believe the traffic --"
"Uh, huh? Who are you?" I blink. She sort of reminds me of one of Kasumi's sisters... Sakura, I think. I suppose this is why going to League functions in beneficial... you can put names to the faces that haunt your delusions.
"Oh, like, that's not important. I'm just glad I got here! We'll miss everything!"
Great... not only does she look like her, but she sounds like her too. "Everything?" I ask weakly as she grabs my wrist and pulls me out into the hallway. "Wait, I... who are.. where going... uh?"
She stops and looks back at me, rolling her eyes. "Like take a chill pill, dude. We're gonna go for a little ride. You're going to see something very important that like could change your life and we need to hurry or we'll miss and --"
"I'm not going anywhere until you tell me what's going on!" I snap, pulling my hand away from her. She pushes her shades down again, and sighs. "Look, I don't want to be here either, but it's my divine job so get your fairy buttocks out of Hiroshi's apartment or we're not going to be on time!"
I feel insulted but there's more important things to figure out. Like, what the hell is going on. "No, not until you tell me what's going on."
She huffs. "Damn, I like totally hate it when you guys are this stubborn. And I'm trying to do you a favour! Whatever! As if," she sighs. "What would you say if I told you you're a complete and total jackass to someone who loves you more than you can believe and this is a oh so divine kick in the ass to show you what you could end up losing -- or, more likely, what it would be like without Satoshi in your life."
I blink. I honestly don't know what to say.
She takes my silence as a "yes" and grabs my hand. I'm still digesting what she's said, and finding the most likely way to tell her she's insane, when Hiroshi's hallway fades out of existence... Maybe I should doubt my own sanity right about now.
She lets go of my hand as we come into being again, this time outside Satoshi's house back in Masara. I blink and rub my eyes, not believing what's going on. "Okay, Sakura, what drugs am I on and what the hell is going on?"
A grin quirks on her lips. "I guess that name will work. Really, Shigeru, don't you listen?"
I scowl at her. "I did. I think we're both insane."
"I'm not insane. I'm just trying to save your love-life."
I try and make my scowl even stronger. She rolls her eyes and starts walking up to the front door. I don't know what else to do but follow after her, muttering all the way. "This is stupid, this is stupid, this is... Shit!" Why did she just... go right through the front door? I stare at where Sakura once stood, and then her head pops back out... right through the wood.
"Are you just going to stand there? Come on in! Hiroshi will be arriving any moment. And well... then it'll get interesting." She grins, and then beckons to me. I nod stupidly and walk to the door.
"How do I..."
"Just walk right through, okay?" she perks, and then vanishes back through. All right, this is stupid. This will not work. Why am I holding my arm out...?
Sighing, I shove it through -- and to my amazement it actually goes through. I then shrug and go all the way in -- and find myself in Satoshi's front room. I look at Sakura who's wearing an annoyed look on her face. "Took you long enough -- come on, let's go!"
She grabs my hand again and I get yanked along with her. Heels click on the tile of the front and then the sound is padded as we walk onto the carpet instead. "Um..."
She hums a bit. "Finally I'll be able to get my promotion..." the Sakura-look-alike pauses and then turns around, letting go of my wrist as she flings her arm out dramatically. "Be warned... this is what your life would be like... without Satoshi."
Her foot kicks back and the heel connects with the door behind her -- sending it sliding open, and letting us see into the kitchen. With a grin, she slides an arm out and keeps the door open.
"Well. Are you afraid?"
I scowl at her and walk on, "Of course I'm not afraid..." dying on my lips as I see what's within. I stop, the door swishing closed as she comes to stand right beside me.
"I'll take the silence as a yes," she murmurs, as Kasumi smiles and slides her arms around Satoshi's neck. In an embrace, I realise... A surge of jealousy rises, "What is my boy --"
"Oh," and the Sakura-look-alike giggles and waggles a finger at me amused. "Who said that he was your boyfriend? Not here, Mr... not here."
I blink, and then turn to watch the display. Satoshi leans into the kiss, and the entire moment is still. Kasumi breaks away as the phone rings, sliding away from Satoshi to hit receive. All I can do is stare at him, as she speaks...
He sits down at the kitchen table, and I realise then that they can't see us. "What's going on?" I demand, and then Kasumi sits beside Satoshi. "Hiroshi says he's on his way. He should be here in a half-hour..."
Satoshi smiles and it's beautiful. "Good, cause I'm getting tired of waiting."
"I'm sure there's things we can do to distract ourselves..." Kasumi says slyly and Satoshi immediately perks up.
Oh no! I can't watch this--I just can't! Please tell me this is just some sick twisted joke... my palms are sweaty and if Kasumi attempts to touch him, I...I...I'll...
"How about a game of scrabble?"
I blink, that's what I do. A grin cracks onto my lips, and Kasumi blinks; I feel myself visibly relax at Satoshi statement. You just have to love him for his obliviousness sometimes... I scowl at the Sakura-clone. "What is this all about?"
She scowls back at me, and I feel my good mood deflate. She crosses her arms over her bright pink chest. "Don't you feel anything about this?" she asks, tilting her head to the side and the venomous look bright on her pink lips.
I go to retort and yet grin instead as I reply, "Well, if that had been me, then Satoshi would have gotten the implications of what I meant..."
I expect the bitterness to only grow, so why is she grinning at me as well. It's a literal smirk... "Oh," she begins in a drawl, "like the time he thought you wanted to play twister?" she finishes with a giggle.
My lip twitches into a grimace and I glare at her. "You know too much for your own good. When I find out how..."
She sighs and brushes her long hair back over her shoulders. "I suppose this isn't working. Well, we'll just move on further into the evening." She lifts up her hand and snaps her fingers -- and suddenly we're not in the kitchen anymore.
I scowl at her, and then look around the new and strangely familiar scenario. The buildings, the setting... I know I've been here before. "Where are we?" I demand.
Sakura looks up at me, and then at the double doors across the grey courtyard. The lights are bright, but the night air is chill and the blackness is consuming. "Outside the theatre. They'll be out soon." She replies.
"What did they see?" I ask, wishing I was wearing something heavier. It's cold out... and it's starting to get to me. But really, this explains why it looks so familiar... the walk-in theatre in Masara. I've been going here for years. Never gets old... heh heh. "Why are they here? Why is Satoshi --"
"Really, really, it's nothing important. Just a movie between friends. Two of them just happen to be dating. There's nothing really wrong with that, now is it?"
I'm sure I'm getting on her nerves, but she's getting on mine as well so that's a sacrifice I'm willing to make. "I don't see how this effects me, though."
"Well, shouldn't Satoshi be with you?" Sakura asks slowly. Back to this again.
"Of course he should," I huff. "He's probably just leading her on cause they're friends. Anyway," and I sigh. "You're just a delusion and delusions don't matter."
"Right, right," she sighs. "But what if he was doing the same with you?" Sakura retorts with a grin.
I glare at her and then sigh. "Look, Satoshi loves me. I don't care what you show me in this little delusion, I know it's just that. Satoshi loves me..." but she cuts me off with: "So why isn't he with you right now? Why is he with Kasumi? If what you say is true, he could be with Hiroshi for the same reasons..."
I huff and grimace, straightening my collar. "Well, Hiroshi's straight, so that wouldn't work out."
The light in her eyes is wicked. But maybe that's just the reflection from above. "Yeah, and so were you until you fell for Satoshi. Now tell me, Shigeru, why do you deserve his love?"
I go to retort, but something catches my attention and cuts me off. I look up, hearing the sound of his laughter as the three of them walk out of the movie theatre. Other people follow behind them, talking together. But my eyes are on Satoshi...
Kasumi shoves him and he laughs and shoves her back. Hiroshi chuckles and rolls his eyes at their antics, and Satoshi scowls at him but I can tell that his heart's not in it. Maybe she's right... why aren't I here? "Satoshi..." I murmur.
He turns towards me, pausing. For a moment, I'm sure he can see me... he's looking right at me... "Shigeru." But... from what Sakura's implied... he shouldn't be able to see me. None of them should. And yet...
Kasumi stops, and looks back, scowling as she gazes in my direction. Hiroshi stops as well, and there's a strange standstill going on. "Satoshi, I..." I whisper, at the same time as "Satoshi," is spoken, overtaking my works. I blink. That wasn't my voice... I mean it was but it wasn't. I'm not the one who just said his name...
It's strange, because when I turn round, I find myself face to face with myself. I gasp, and then close my eyes tightly... when I open them again, he's gone. I'm gone... I turn around again, to see myself approaching Satoshi. "Satoshi, we need to walk..."
Satoshi steps away slightly, and Kasumi, ever the violent one, steps between myself and Satoshi. "You're not wanted here, Shigeru." She snaps.
My double looks at her, silent, a cold statement on his face. "I said I needed to talk to Satoshi, Kasumi. Not you... are you hard of hearing? You're not needed in this at all. So why don't you and the little blonde just wonder off and..."
Kasumi doesn't seem to get the meaning of those words because I can see the anger in her eyes, even where I stand frozen with shock, as her temper flares. "If he wanted to talk to you, then he'd be with you, wouldn't he?" she asks, and my form seems to think about this. "He'd answer your calls. He'd want to talk to you. But he hasn't and he doesn't... when are you going to get that through your thick skull?"
He doesn't say anything, and then Satoshi turns away and walks past Hiroshi, who follows after him. Kasumi stands her ground, and then the other me, in his long jacket, turns and walks away again... "That can't be me, I'm not even putting up a fight!" I declare, and Sakura merely shrugs.
"Maybe you took the defeat too hard..." she says, and I close my eyes as the other me walks right through me. I shiver and open my eyes again... and we're at my house this time. I shoot venom at her with a look.
"I don't see what the point of this is. It doesn't mean anything at all..." Sakura merely stares at me, gazing into my eyes. I flinch away from her gaze, and then look at my house. "What happened? Why is Satoshi with Kasumi and not with me? What happened to me?"
"Why don't you go see for yourself?" Sakura asks me, and I narrow my gaze at her. She raises one pink-clad arm towards the door, and I walk up towards it. It's locked--I turn back to her. The look on her face assumes that I'm missing the blatantly missing the obvious. I go to demand what she's on -- and then realise what I'm missing. "Oh yeah," I murmur, turning round. I stride forwards, into the front hall...
I honestly don't see what the point of this is. But there is one thing that I do notice, as I walk into the living room... Losing Satoshi tore my life apart. Shouldn't I have more backbone than this? I glare at my counterpart, sitting on the couch, jacket thrown out beside him and sliding down onto the floor. He puts his head in his hands, and his voice -- my voice -- sounds so pathetic as he speaks. "I shouldn't have let him go... I shouldn't have let him go..."
I roll my eyes and cross my arms over my chest at the pathetic display. "Now isn't this a contrived pile of..."
Sakura pops in next to me, and she grabs my ear and twists. I shout out in pain, and she wrenches my head to the side. "You just don't get it -- he doesn't need you to be happy, you jack ass, and yet you -- just. don't. get. it!!!" she lets go of my ear and steps back, and I rub my ear turning my head to see the anger rising in her eyes.
"I'll show you..." she whispers, and then everything flashes out -- when it comes back into focus, Satoshi is in the arms of my sister! I lurch forward at the complete wrongness of the situation, but before I have a chance to comment, it flashes out again and I'm sent spinning once again.
It's not like that's the only thing that comes into being when it all stops spinning me round and round. Satoshi and various people...some I know, some I don't. I can hear his words, his happiness... a half a million (all right, so not that much) different scenes and he's always happy -- even when he's not with me...
It stops again, and I open my eyes slowly. I should have seen this coming -- Satoshi and Hiroshi, whispering things to each other, giggling, arm in arm. And it' hurts so much... because Satoshi doesn't need me. He loves me... I know he loves me... so why doesn't he need me? "Why...?" my voice croaks.
"This is what happens when you stop appreciating a person," Sakura says succinctly. I grimace at her, and then look at the blonde and my black-headed trainer... "He... Satoshi... I... what does Hiroshi have that I don't have?" I whisper.
"A lot more than you could ever dream," Sakura replies, and her voice is getting gentler and gentler. "Oh, and for old times sake -- like, don't forget that respect has to be a part of your relationship or you're going to lose it all. I totally hope this has helped you come to a decision..."
I blink, and she fades out -- and so does everything else. I just want it to stop spinning. I don't want to lose Satoshi...
"Shigeru? Shigeru -- I'm so sorry, are you going to wake up now?" a fuzzy voice asks, and I blink and try and focus on what's looming above me. I can make out the vague shape of a form leaning down over me -- something soft is pillowed underneath my head. And the voice keeps calling me...
"Leave me alone," I mumble... my head is aching. Again? I'm quite aware that I'd already woken up... so why am I waking again?
The voice shouts out happily -- "You're awake!" and then proceeds to babble on about how it had been so worried. I sit up, and nearly run into the forehead of the other. They go to lean back out of my reach, and I grab their arm. "What --"
"Satoshi?" I blink, again and again, my vision clearing each time. "Wait... you're not Satoshi..."
"No," Hiroshi replies sheepishly. "But he's on his way... I'm really sorry, I threw a book... erm, are you okay?"
I nod slowly. "My head just hurts... why did you throw it at me? Damn," I scowl and put my head in my hands. "Could I get something for the migraine you so graciously bestowed upon me?" I snap.
I can imagine the look on Hiroshi's face as he stands up quickly. "God, and I thought maybe I had knocked some sense into that spiky head of yours!"
That was it -- I reach out and grab his hand before he can leave, and he stumbles and falls down onto my lap. He glares at me and goes to say something, and I put my hand up over his mouth effectively cutting off his words. "Look, I know what you were trying to say. Maybe..." Erm, this is harder to do than I had thought. "Look, I... erm... I... Satoshi... I... erm... love..."
I sigh. "I love him, Hiroshi. I really do. He could be out there with any other person... I'm lucky to have his love. So..." my head continues to beat like a fast-paced drum. "I know I need to stop taking advantage of him... taking him for granted... I need to respect him... or I could lose him." I scoff. "And there's no way I'm letting you run off with my Satoshi."
Hiroshi blinks and says something against my hand -- I flinch and pull my hand away. "Thanks. Erm, maybe I did knock some sense into you..."
"You could put it that way...
Of course, it's that moment that the front door gets thrown open and Satoshi runs in. It can't look good right now, with Hiroshi practically sitting on me. "Satoshi!" I yelp, pushing out against Hiroshi and sending him crashing to the floor. He groans and pops back up, scowling at me. "If I hadn't already abused you enough for today, then I'd hit you again..."
Satoshi blinks and walks closer. "Did I miss something?"
Hiroshi and I scowl at one another. You know, that's who Sakura really reminded me of... a weird blend of Hiroshi and his girlfriend in Kasumi's oldest sister's body. Ugh. That's one delusion I never need to share with the world... "Nothing, just had a little accident. Hiroshi was just going to get me something for the pain.
He huffs, and leaves the two of us. Satoshi sits on the edge of the couch, and touches my cheek. "That was something..." he says softly.
Sighing, I grasp his hand before I lose my nerve. Satoshi blinks, and tilts his head to the side. His skin is so warm, and he goes to speak -- I cut him off, kissing him gently in said. "Have I told you that I loved you today?" Satoshi blinks again. "Well..." he begins.
"I do. I love you so much, Satoshi... I..."
He blinks again, and a small smile forms on his lips. "Shigeru, what's going on in that head of yours?"
I don't move my hand from his cheek. "I realised I could lose you, Satoshi. That's what I realised... now don't tell me it'll never happen, because I know that it could. And I do love you -- maybe I'm just not good at expressing it, and..."
"Shigeru?" I blink, snagging onto his attention. "Kiss me, Shigeru. I love you, and..." he smiles even wider. "I know you love me." So I kiss him, before Hiroshi returns from the kitchen. I know that Satoshi's love is too good to be true... and I don't ever want to live a life without it.