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"y-yu."

"hm?"

"i," yosuke hesitates, "think i might be gay."

souji's admittedly stunned into silence. he and his partner were just lounging around the outskirts of the school's campus, talking about nothing in particular. it seemed almost as if the confession had manifested out of thin air.

"well, maybe bi?" he corrects himself in a small, terribly unyosuke-like voice.

"where's this all coming from?" yu asks, because he really doesn't know what yosuke's misadventures in junes has to do with this.

"i just needed to tell someone. it's..." he trails off. his eyes aren't focusing on anything in particular, and yu can tell it has yosuke troubled.

yu waits patiently until yosuke can recollect himself. this is important to his partner. he needs someone who's willing to listen and who'll give a second thought to his troubles.

"i think it became really obvious to me when you– well. around a couple months ago. and then everything with kanji and," yosuke lets out an exhausted sigh, "it's–it hurts to be everything i thought i shouldn't be. first i'm stupid, then i just became a straight up disaster and now?" he lets out a wry laugh, and yu can feel more than just a hint of self deprecation behind it. "not so straight disaster! hilarious, right?" he turns to yu like he actually expects to be laughed at.

"yosuke."

"hah, oh god. dad's gonna kill me." yosuke's hands are shaking and he moves them up to cover his face. "ha ha. good going, yosuke!"

yu tries to move in front of yosuke and gently hold his arms, if only to stop him from the imminent freak out that's probably going to happen. "hey. you're ok. no one's gonna kill you. you're safe."

he balls his fists to tightly that his fingers become white. his voice is broken; he manages to say, "s-safe? you're... probably right! heh, wow. it's all– all gonna be fine!"

the shaking gets worse with every word, and for once yu doesn't know what to do for yosuke.

"people hate me and ri-ridicule... well, whatever! it's okay! it's always been that way, even with the people who should love me unconditionally. even with the one girl i thought i c-could feel safe around. even with my friends." every sentence is riddled with hiccups. he shudders every single breath. he's shaking, erratic. moving his hands down to grab his shirt like it's hard to breathe.

yu can't take watching his partner suffer right in front him anymore. he does what feels the most natural and hugs him. yosuke just stands there at first, petrified yet unable to stop his trembling. yu almost thinks to pull away, but, slowly, yosuke moves his arms to meet yu's back. then he starts to cry.

being so close to yosuke, the sobs wracking through him almost feel like yu's own. yosuke's hands curl even tighter into yu's back with the itensity of it all. he moves his head so that his forehead is resting on yu's shoulder. yu just lets him. he gets the feeling that this might be the first time yosuke has let himself cry in a long time.

when it's over, yosuke becomes completely silent except for some very deep breaths. his hands hang very lightly from yu's back; yu's hold on yosuke is still steady, something he bets yosuke needs now.

"all cried out?" yu asks softly. his hands move ever so slightly to rub yosuke's back comfortingly.

"yeah... think anyone heard?" yosuke speaks quietly and lethargically. all the crying really took the energy out of him.

"don't worry about that. no more worrying for now." yosuke can't really argue with that – he's too tired to really care now anyways.

when they eventually stop hugging, it's apparently been a while because the blue sky became a deep, warm sunset at some point. yosuke looks at him for a fleeting moment like yu's something precious, like he wants to say something. it makes yu's face feel warmer than the sky, but right now yosuke needs more support than whatever yu wants.

it's a partner thing, yu thinks, because, after all, what yu really wants more than anything is to see yosuke okay.