He can’t get that damn song out of his head.
He’s tried all his usual tricks- playing an old CD as loud as he can, slamming his fingers nonsensically on the piano, and even running, of all damn things. None of them work. Leo bites at the skin around his thumb nail, tries to tap his brain for any tip he might be missing, and mourns for his peace of mind.
All he can hear is a slow set of notes on the piano, a low bass, and the words “Amen, Amen.” All he can see is a boy with hair like starlight in a dark set of clothes, dancing like he has the most perfect mastery of his body, like the music is coming through his limbs rather than the speakers. The boy performs so sharply- from quick and precise movements to graceful long strokes of his hand, and Leo can’t help but be enchanted by them.
This boy reinvented the song with just his body, and as soon as he thinks that Leo realizes that it’s not the song that’s in his head but the boy and his dance. He can’t get those legs and the spins he has no names for out of his mind. Even behind his lids it’s as though the steps are branded into the darkness.
That’s why Leo finds himself outside that very practice room door again Wednesday afternoon. It’s empty so far, but Leo has some time to spare before he should head to the piano room he has booked, so he’s not too worried.
He is impatient, however, so within a moment he’s tapping his foot and humming that damn song. He ends up on the floor with his sheet music and a marker and he starts to scribble furiously. He’s composing the song’s sequel, Leo thinks to himself.
“Good God, let me give you my life,” he mutters, marking some notes, and soon he has a few pages roughly mapped out. But there’s a shoe tapping on the corner of one of the pages and it’s completely the wrong rhythm, and how fucking dare they-
He looks up to an unimpressed boy- that very one from the other day. The snarl half formed in Leo’s throat dies and fades into something that more so resembles a whine.
“What are you doing? You’re taking up the entire hallway,” the boy huffs, arms folded over his chest.
“Eh?” Leo blinks at that, looking to note that, yeah, he has papers all across the tiled floor. Oops.
“How annoying. Not to mention that you’re the guy who stared at me while I was practicing last week. Have you ever heard of manners?” He twists his foot a little, and the paper crinkles slightly. “Are you a stalker or something?”
“You’re a beautiful dancer,” Leo blurts out, “It’s inspiring! Ah, I never knew that dancing could make that kind of a story!” He suddenly has an idea, and he lurches up, grabs the boy’s arm. “Teach me to dance!”
“Huh?” It’s the boy’s turn to look confused.
“I’m a composer,” Leo explains, or so he thinks. “And a genius one!”
“Sure,” The boy narrows his eyes. “And?”
“Your dancing made me write all this!” Leo flops back onto the floor and spreads his arms among his papers. “I was inspired! Maybe if you teach me, I’ll be more inspired! Teach me your secrets!”
“Do you even have any dance training?”
Leo sits up and presses his thumb to his chin thoughtfully. “Mm, I think I was kicked out of a kid’s ballet class when I was three?”
“Jesus Christ, that was you?” The boy’s eyes widen, but he stops and clears his throat. “Regardless, we’d have to start from the beginning… that’s a pain...”
“Please!” Leo reaches to grab his arm again, eyes focusing intently. “I’m a quick learner, I promise!”
The boy sighs. “Fine. But after my own practice time.”
“Seven?” Leo says hopefully, and the boy nods hesitantly. Leo hops up, scattering papers in his wake. “Yay!~ I love you! Oh wait- I’m Tsukinaga Leo, who’re you?”
“Sena Izumi… now leave me alone.” He walks into the practice room, leaving Leo and his papers in his wake.
“Sena, I love you!” Leo calls after him.
The music comes easily to Leo that afternoon. He writes about the boy- Sena, and his movements, and the story Sena could tell if he danced to Leo’s song. Leo has to admit he likes the idea of Sena dancing to one of his songs a little too much and spends a good while imagining the lithe moves that could accompany his notes.
He gets so lost in thought that he’s a little late to Sena’s practice room. He pushes his backpack that’s crammed full of papers into the corner and starts to stretch a little before Sena decides to make a comment.
“Do you need to change?” Sena eyes the jeans, t-shirt, and hoodie Leo is wearing, not to mention his beat up sneakers, none of which are appropriate for dancing.
“Nope!” Leo bends to touch his toes. Surprisingly bendy, Sena notes.
“You’re going to have a hard time dancing in that,” Sena says, pressing his tongue to the roof of his mouth in an attempt to refrain from being rude.
“Ah, I’ll bring better stuff next time!”
“Well yeah! I doubt Sena can teach me in one day, even if he’s a genius like me, wahahaha!~”
Sena rolls his eyes but can’t find it in himself to truly be mad at this weird boy. “Whatever. Are you done yet?”
“One more!~” Leo grunts, stretching his leg up behind him. His ankle can go above his shoulder and Sena doesn’t know whether to categorize that as ‘terrifying’ or ‘arousing’ so he chooses to mark it as both. “Okay, ready, Sena!”
Sena sighs so hard his shoulders slouch forward before snapping back into their straight posture. “Okay, let’s get this over with.”
It doesn’t go quite as horribly as it could, all things considered. Leo has no dance experience, but he moves with more grace than would seem possible for his squirrely nature, and he’s a quick learner. Sena’s able to teach him the basics pretty thoroughly, despite Leo’s constant questions and “but Sena, what if you tried this”’s.
An hour and a half later, they call it quits, if only because Sena’s muscles can only take so much dancing in one day. Leo still could probably continue, with how much energy he’s putting into pestering Sena as he packs up his things.
“Hey, but when can you teach me more?”
“More?” Sena turns, bag over his shoulder.
“Yeah! I said I couldn’t learn everything in one day- although you did a much better job than I thought, Sena, good job!”
“Idiot, I don’t really feel flattered by that,” Sena rolls his eyes. “You learned the basics, what else do you want to know?”
“Everything else,” Sena repeats. “Alright, see you here Friday.”
How annoying, Sena thinks. Well, I can fix this. I’ll just give him more and more difficult moves- but not so difficult that he’ll hurt himself. Eventually he’ll wear himself out, there’s no way he could learn these. He’ll give up.
Except when he’s truly determined Leo Tsukinaga doesn’t easily give up. Every time Sena shows him a move, thinking smugly, this’ll be then one that gets him, he’s proven wrong. Leo works and works at each move until he’s perfected it- as much as he can, anyway.
Sena eventually finds though that he doesn’t mind Leo’s successes. In fact, he almost finds himself cheering Leo on. One time he has to bite his lip to stop himself from smiling and congratulating Leo on landing a move he’d been particularly stuck on. It’s kind of adorable when his face lights up at victory. Not that Sena would admit it, of course.
“I love you, Sena!” He calls after every lesson.
Friday of the third week, Leo gets to the practice room a little later than usual. Sena finds himself antsy and nervous- what if Leo decided to quit their lessons? He supposes it’d be less annoying, but it’d also be pretty boring too.
He doesn’t have to worry long, though. Leo bursts through the wooden door so hard Sena is surprised it doesn’t splinter. He holds his hand to reveal a plastic CD case.
“Sorry, sorry!” Leo seems almost out of breath, his chest heaving. “Most of the burning machines were in use!”
“What’s this?” Sena plucks the case from his fingers.
“It’s for you!” Leo beams. He’s been working on this composition since after the second lesson and he’d probably say this is his greatest work yet. He says ‘yet’ because with Sena around to stoke his inspiration he’s sure the songs will get better and better. Assuming Sena stays around after this, that is.
“Okay, and?” Sena crosses his arms.
“Listen to it!” Leo wrings his hands a little and his fingers nervously pull at his hoodie sleeves. “It’s what I thought of when watching you dance. You inspired me, Sena!”
Leo watches as a blush colors Sena’s cheeks and he pointedly avoids Leo’s gaze as he walks to the CD player in the corner, the room silent as he pops the CD in. He swears time stops before the first piano chord, low and a few beats long, colors the room.
There’s no vocals, but Leo hopes his song conveys everything he wants to say. He thought of Sena’s haughty stance, his little blushes, and the way he struggles with the ‘s’’s in words. He composed thinking of the way Sena’s hair looks when the starlight hits it as they part outside the music building. He marked this stanza on a day when Izumi wore a dark blue v-neck. Every moment of this song has Sena breathed into it.
Leo doesn’t even realize he’s holding his own breath until the end of the song. Neither of them say anything as the room enters silence once again. After a moment though, Sena crouches down and presses ‘play’ again.
This time when the song starts, Sena starts too. He starts moving to the music, and even though he’s only heard the song once, Leo can’t imagine any moves that would be more perfect than the ones Sena is performing right now. It looks like he’s been practicing this exact dance to this very song his entire life, like he was made for it. There’s a crescendo and a sharp kick and jump, and Leo feels his eyes prickle with tears. This is Sena’s response.
At the end, they’re both out of breath even though Sena was the only one dancing. Leo marches up to him, grips the front of Sena’s t-shirt in his hands, and kisses him before Sena can even say anything. Sena pauses, but doesn’t seem surprised so much as relieved before kissing Leo back, sighing into it.
They part, foreheads resting against each other, their breathing the only sounds in the room. After a moment, though, Leo can’t help it. He laughs, his usual “wahahaha!” and Sena pulls his face away, resting his hands on Leo’s hips.
“What’s so funny?” Sena asks, one part grumpy, two parts bashful.
“Don’t you see, Sena?” Leo grins at him. “We’re both geniuses!”
“How the hell do you figure that?”
“We just had a conversation without words!” One of Leo’s hands comes up to touch Sena’s cheek. “And it was the best conversation I’ve ever had.”
Sena’s face immediately reddens at that. “Idiot,” he mutters, before leaning in to kiss Leo again.
“Geniuses!” Leo counters, and meets for the kiss.
And with Leo’s lips on his, Sena finds it hard for him to disagree with Leo about anything.