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Back to you

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I was nothing,

Before you held me.

Through you, I slowly realised,

That I’m a pretty decent guy.

 

But I didn’t know this,

That all the break up songs

Would be such painful words.

 

Jesse had always had a rather cynical outlook on life, always seeing people who’s lives revolved around someone else’s as weak and too reliant. The world he’d managed to carve for himself from everyone else’s scraps left no room to be entirely reliant on anyone and regardless of his friendships, Jesse had always been self-reliant. His bruised knuckles and aching bones in the winter were just some of the reminders of the life he’d lead to get here, alongside his tendency to size everyone up when in a crowded place, fingers twitching and pulse racing. There was no ‘fight or flight’ for Jesse, it was always fight. Naturally it was where he’d met Cobra, realising his mistake all too late when lithe arms wrap around his neck and he’s seeing stars in more ways than one, finally meeting an equal. Though Jesse would later revise that statement. There was nothing really equal about them, in his opinion, though Cobra would always berate him for saying such a thing.

“You’re worth the world to me.”

Cobra would say, his eyes intense and his gaze burning holes into Jesse’s head. Jesse wonders how to iterate his point that Cobra is his world. Everyone had someone they orbited around, someone outside of their respective friendships and families. Ice had Ryu, Bernie had Pearl, Pho had Brown, Nakamon had Mocai and so on. Jesse loved them all equally and was happy for them, more than aware that they loved him too. Yet that didn’t stop the ache in his chest and the familiar creep of loneliness crawling over him late at night when he’d be lay alone and he’d wonder how this was different from prison, still alone and confined. The first night Cobra had lay with him, something clicked, as though his stars were aligned for once and the moonlight shining through the curtains didn’t make him bitter anymore it made him serene and calm. It was hard to be so angry all the time, hard to carry the burden of suspicious eyes and clenched fists when someone so empathetic and loving whispered sweet nothings into your ear and told you that you were theirs and only theirs.

The real change was to be seen when he was around Sannoh now, finding himself invested in more and more people’s lives as time went on. Now it wasn’t only Mighty Warriors and Prison Gang, it was also Sannoh and even the other Sword groups. After all, Cobra felt the need to shoulder a lot of responsibility regarding them so Jesse felt it was only fair to share the balance. One night when Chiharu comes to him for advice when Cobra is away with the Sword leaders, Jesse tells him as honestly as he can what he wants to hear and as soon as he arrives back at his apartment, maybe he cries a little. Maybe Chiharu reminds him of a family he could’ve had, that he may have had, had he not grown up estranged from his parents in Little Asia. Maybe finally being responsible for someone who had seen some of the worst of him yet now trusted him made him unbelievably emotional.

Maybe he was improving bit by bit, after all.

You were the dream I dreamed,

The breath I breathed,

The world I saw, listened, felt and believed in has disappeared.

What can I do to get back to you?

 

It was always hard for Jesse to spend time away from Cobra but this was harder, it wasn’t just a day long absence or even a weekend, he’d been gone for a month. A month sleeping without Cobra’s arms around him. A month without waking up with no cold patches because Cobra would always readjust the blanket over him when he woke up first, no coffee on the bedside table as soon as he opened his eyes. It made him realise in a way, how fully he’d surrendered himself to co-dependency. Jesse is surprised himself at his lack of resentment or anger at Cobra for having been left alone for so long, Cobra having already been rather irritated himself at having to go. Yet, Sword needed everything putting in order and it was hardly a two-day affair. Ice, Rocky, Murayama, Takeshi, Hyuga and even the Amamiya’s and Kohaku were all trying to hash out the finer details. It had been almost a year and a half since Kuryu group was practically dissolved and only recently had the signs been showing around Sword and the surrounding region. As much as Jesse would’ve loved to have an excuse to stay with Cobra by saying he could attend to help, he already knows that Prison Gang is by this point, a part of Mighty Warriors. He’d only be being selfish.

It’s not as if he’s entirely alone. The first few nights are like nostalgia with Prison Gang all sleeping over at his tiny apartment. Though they’d stayed in the same apartment to begin with, they’d all eventually decided it was sustainable to get their own places within walking distance of each other. Most lived in pairs anyway and surprisingly, Jesse is now unbothered by this. When they all look around they can see it too, the pictures on the wall and the little details that show Jesse is happy with his partner of almost a year, both having moved relatively fast because everything else in their lives had indicated it was better to grasp onto something that made you happy right away than run the risk of losing it.

When Pho asks him if he’s happy, he can see the concern in his eyes, yet for once when Jesse smirks, he’s genuine when he replies, ‘yes’. Maybe distance does make the heart grow fonder.

 

I’ll go back before it’s too late,

So will you open up a little for me?

Nights without you are too long,

I hate promises that aren’t really promises,

Wake me up with your warm lips, just like always.

 

I’ll toss and turn,

In between longing and misery,

Because I don’t belong anywhere.

 

It had been a task in of itself, Cobra thinks, to get Jesse to peel back his several layers. He’d always been unagreeable at the best of times and though it was endearing Cobra just couldn’t help his very nature that was wanting to fix and mend everything broken. Not that there was anything wrong with the way that Jesse is or was, but perhaps spoke more as to the way others had treated him. It wasn’t only Jesse that had to deal with having his walls broken down though, Cobra had enough baggage himself and Jesse wasn’t shy about bringing it up, saying they were two sides of the same coin in terms of dealing with their experiences.

“You chose to help others the way you wanted help when you were younger. I chose to find others like me and fight for a future worth living with them.”

The others had taken some persuasion to understand their relationship. Cobra had been seeing Jesse for over a month before he’d told them, wanting to at least have something of his own for a little while longer before having to share it with everyone else. Surprisingly, Chiharu had been the voice of reason, telling them all that Cobra had sacrificed a lot for them all and has the right to be happy regardless of who it was with. Whilst Cobra knows Chiharu was hardly fond of Jesse to begin with, he was the first to properly talk with Jesse when he’s first brought round to Itokan, though both engage in barbed insults here and there Jesse is much softer with him than he would be with anyone else. Yamato is gruff with him at first but when he sees Jesse one morning helping his own mother down the street with grocery bags, he finds it hard to be quite as venomous after that. Cobra was glad that Jesse had started to talk to them all more, he hoped that it was making the time that they were away easier on him. It also had the benefit of letting Cobra see a completely different side to him as well.

He already knows an argument is going to be had when he gets back, especially once Jesse realises he took a few of his shirts with him. Cobra could lie and say he’d done it accidentally but as soon as Ice lays eyes on him, he gives him the cockiest grin in the world and Cobra knows it would be fruitless to deny that he’s wearing Jesse’s shirts for any reason other than the fact he misses Jesse. It was odd for Cobra to acknowledge that whilst he missed his friends it had nothing on the ache of waking up without feeling constricted in his chest area due to Jesse’s full weight on top of him, or the way when he’d come out of the shower Jesse wouldn’t be there to teasingly wrap a towel around his waist and then towel dry his hair for him. Perhaps, Cobra thinks, this is what he needed to acknowledge just how far he and Jesse have come as a couple. There was a time when Jesse would make Cobra what he considered a cup of coffee and Cobra considered a cup of tar. It’d taken Cobra a couple of weeks to pluck up the courage to tell Jesse it was disgusting and in typical Jesse fashion, he’d called him an idiot and said he deserved it for not speaking up sooner.

Maybe everyone was right when they called him a diehard romantic.

 

You were the dream I dreamed,

The breath I breathed,

The world I saw, listened, felt and believed in has disappeared.

What can I do to get back to you?

 

It’s the last day before Cobra can finally go home and it’s like all of the leaders know it, with Hyuga opting to avoid Cobra entirely because he’s ‘too winy when he’s pining’, or Rocky who says ‘maybe next time we should bring our partners’, until Smokey tells them there would be absolutely no point because there wouldn’t be enough room and they’d all be too distracted. Murayama just says that they're all a group of 'whiny bitches'. Ice seems to revel in the notion that Cobra is pining after his best friend, especially when he purposely plays his CD’s in the house they’re staying at on full blast knowing that Cobra would instantly recognise the tracks as Jesse’s favourites. He’d always hum whenever it was quiet around their apartment, or when he was in the shower and he’d sing. Everyone says Jesse has a terrible voice but Cobra is weak just thinking about his twinkling eyes and dramatic singing, even his impromptu dancing in public in which he’d insist Cobra should take his hand and dance down the street with him. It annoyed Cobra how people would instantly revert in conversation to saying that Jesse must be a better person with Cobra when all Cobra knows is that Jesse is a free spirit, someone who allows him to actually let loose and not be weighed down with worry and empathy so severe it’s like he’s been living his entire life by proxy and feeling all his emotions vicariously.

The phone calls had been infrequent at best, Jesse being busy at both the Funk Jungle and Itokan now and Cobra having to spend most of the day with the other Sword leaders discussing contingencies and plans around their new worlds and ventures. Whenever they did manage to find the time though, just hearing Jesse’s voice made Cobra’s day better, even if he can just tell Jesse is dying to see him. It’s not as if Jesse is the only one, Cobra finds himself caught between pining for Jesse’s arms around him and breath against his chest or Jesse’s hand down his pants and kisses on his collarbone. It’s not as if Jesse wasn’t fully aware of both, alternating between teasing Cobra and then asking Cobra to carry on talking until he fell asleep to the sound of his voice.

Maybe the day swings by quickly because Cobra stares at the picture of them both he keeps in his wallet.

All the memories get far away,

Contrary to what I want,

I hope you’re still standing there.

 

I just miss you,

Your embrace that I lived in,

The world I saw, listened felt and believed in has disappeared.

What can I do to get back to you?

To get back to you,

Back to you.

 

Cobra barely has time to get off his bike before Jesse jumps on him, legs around his waist and arms around his neck. Cobra laughs gently, already having instantly wrapped his arms around Jesse’s waist before hooking his arms under Jesse’s thighs, carrying him inside. Jesse for once is quiet, breathing in deeply near Cobra’s neck for a moment before littering it with kisses and making small whining noises. When Cobra sits down on the couch Jesse stays wrapped around him, curling his fingers into Cobra’s hair and kissing him slowly and gently as if he’s savouring the moment. He bites Cobra’s lip, not hard but playfully, before nuzzling his head against Cobra’s neck and laughing unashamedly when Cobra starts tickling up his back and neck, swatting his hand away with crinkled eyes and a beautiful smile.

“Is that my shirt?” He asks, eyes widening and mouth parted in a small ‘o’. Cobra wants the ground to swallow him whole, wondering how he forgot to change out of it when he left to come back this morning.

“Maybe.” Cobra replies, shifting uncomfortably until Jesse kisses him so forcefully the air is knocked from his lungs, not that he cared. He’d probably give up his last breath to kiss Jesse like this, anyway.

“You’re not leaving me for that long again.” He says, pulling his face away from Cobra’s and staring with a pitiful expression. It takes all of Cobra’s self-control not to squeeze him to death just to hug him as tightly as he wants to.

“I won’t.” Cobra says, and he means it.