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First Act

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Hajime huffed as he raised his head from deep in its pillow ‘prison’, hands raising to cradle his flushed red cheeks.

“Hey, Chiaki...” The girl in question barely even averted her eyes from the artificial light of the tv screen as she emitted a quiet ‘hm?’ Hajime cleared his throat awkwardly, at the indication that his friend was indeed listening.

“Can... I get your opinion on something? Some advice?” In the corner of his eye, he sees Chiaki tilt her head to the side. “Hm... advice? About what?”

“About... Fuyuhiko.” He muttered under his breath, however still apparently comprehensible to Chiaki. “Ah. So that’s why you seemed spacey.”

God, he could practically hear the faux pensive, teasing smile on her face right now. “Perhaps...” Hajime smiled gauchely as he shifted into an averse sitting position, raising his hand to mindlessly run through his hair. Was he really that obvious?

He stared wistfully forward, almost as though he was replaying an scene in his head, fond eyes glazed over with mirth.

“Does... does it mean anything if... he were to maybe say that he wanted to give me half of his life?” He immediately felt his already red face burn brighter after only thinking about it, he’d never thought that... anything like that would happen to him. He... was a bit overwhelmed, to put it lightly, but not in a bad way... It made him feel light, and warmth swell in his chest, he supposed...

The only issue now is that he just didn’t know whether Fuyuhiko felt the same way. He knew it was a big deal, but whether it meant the same thing to him... meant he liked him.

Chiaki had turned to face him, head tilted away from the screen as she still managed to skilfully dodge an attack from the aggravated pixilated images. Her face an odd mix of blank exasperation and sympathy, before it slipped into understanding.

“Mhm. Yeah.” She nodded nonchalantly, as though it were an obvious fact - and not completely new, eye opening information, that Hajime certainly wasn’t aware of. A smile quirked at the side of her lips.

“... Probably.”

Hajime blinked owlishly. Probably?

“Hm. He looks at you, and mentions you a lot... and I’m... not good at dating games... but even I’m pretty sure that he likes you, Hajime.” The warm feeling from before encompassed his chest, mirroring the warmth in his cheeks. Ah.

Chiaki slowly gets to her feet, before promptly sitting on the bed next to Hajime, pulling out her phone and squinting at its brightness, as though she hadn’t been staring at a brighter screen for substantial hours. Hajime watched as she suddenly perked up, eyes drawn towards a notification on the screen.

Suddenly, seemingly out of nowhere, a dull thud sounded throughout the small room, followed by the low hum of what sounded like music? Hajime blinked, looking perceptively around the room for the source of the noise, only to glance in the direction of the window, just in time to see a sizeable rock bounce off of the window. What the-?

Chiaki blinked as she also fixated her gaze at what was outside the window, brows quirking upwards slightly before she turned to face Hajime, a teasing glint in her eyes the didn’t match her otherwise neutral expression. “I think it’s for you.”

Hajime stood up and made his way to the window, unlocking its screen and peering out to see a rather amusing scene. As outside the window situated one of Chiaki’s classmates, Ibuki, holding a boom box over her head precariously as she flailed her arms around. Peko, who appeared to be holding several rocks in her arms with a bemused expression on her face as she stared at her girlfriend. And to the side stood Fuyuhiko, face seemingly buried in his hands as he adorned a pink flush up to his ears. The familiar tune of “hooked on a feeling” drowning out their audible voices as Fuyuhiko huffed and said something exasperatedly to Peko, before he happened to glance up and caught Hajime’s glance, deep gold eyes widening in a farcical manner as he registered that he could see him. Hajime could feel his cheeks heat up as he found himself unable to avert his eyes, settling for just staring dumbfounded at Fuyuhiko. What was he doing here?

Fuyuhiko, holding eye contact with Hajime, gestured behind him by tilting his head back, implicating that he wanted to talk to Hajime about something. Ah, that made sense. Given that he likely wouldn’t be able to hear much over the music that Ibuki showed no signs of turning down.

He quickly made his way downstairs, past Chiaki who waved at him contently and opened the front door, meeting Fuyuhiko’s immediate gaze. Fuyuhiko upon locking eyes with him, quickly averted his eyes as Hajime saw what he thought was a slight smile tugging at the corner of his lips. Face then visibly flushing red and an expression of irritation crossing his features as Ibuki somehow managed to raise her voice over the music to “”wish him good luck.”” Hajime’s face reddened, feeling a tad nervous in that moment. Good luck for what? Ibuki’s outburst had prompted Fuyuhiko to groan exasperatedly before taking a step inside the house before shutting the door behind him, leaning against it as he stared at Hajime - seemingly wanting to say something.

“Hey, Fuyuhiko. What’re you doing here? Is something up?” Hajime quirked an eyebrow at him as he smiled wearily, nonchalantly inquiring on the subject. Fuyuhiko tensed, muttering something under his breath before exhaling heavily, hands moving to awkwardly sit at his sides.

“Fuckin’... maybe, yeah.”

“I just wanted to ask you something... y’know what I said to you earlier right? ‘Bout you being my first friend?” Hajime nodded as he tilted his head from slight confusion, nonetheless prompting Fuyuhiko to continue.

He did so, a light pink dusting his otherwise freckle covered cheeks, he cleared his throat. “Well... I... fuck . I said I wanted to give you half my life y’know... and I don’t think that’s just, friend shit, it ain’t to me at least. I kind of, like you more than that? More than a friend- I wanna fucking date you and all that dumb shit, Hajime.”

Holy shit, Chiaki was right.

Hajime’s breath caught in his throat as his eyes widened in realisation. Fuyuhiko liked him too. Whereas Fuyuhiko seemed to bristle anxiously, unaware of Hajime’s internal reaction.

“Just... Just say something already, bastard-” He blurted out, just before being cut off by the cusp of warm hands grabbing his own and an immeasurably fond smile.

“I... like you as more than a friend too, Fuyuhiko.” Fuyuhiko’s eyes widened as though he was legitimately surprised by that response. “Wait, shit. Really?!” Eyes carrying in them, a juxtaposing sense of hope and doubt. “You’re not- fucking around are you?”

Hajime shook his head quickly, running his thumb over the back of Fuyuhiko’s hand, smiling jubilantly as Fuyuhiko flustered, face turning an almost comically bright shade of red, stumbling over his words. “I... I’d really like to go out with you, Fuyuhiko, and all that dumb shit too.” He echoed Fuyuhiko’s earlier statement.

Fuyuhiko beamed, in a way that Hajime thought was just, unfairly cute , as he let a relieved laugh escape his lips , allowing Hajime to do the same. Smiling warmly, Hajime gestured with his head to the door, where Ibuki’s music seemed to have switched to something decidedly more quiet. The cogs turning in his head as he made the connection between the confession and the now-more-obvious romance film clichés.

“Is this what the boom box and the rocks were for?” A playful smile adorning his lips as Fuyuhiko had to resist face palming from either irritation or embarrassment - probably both. He huffed. “Yep. I went to Peko about it and Ibuki conveniently overheard... That’s definitely the last goddamn time I take that kinda fucking embarrassing advice. I’m just glad Peko convinced her not to play that one song of hers...? 'I squeezed out the baby and don’t know who the father is', or some shit.” Well, he’s glad he didn’t entirely have hearing damage, then. Hajime chuckled brightly at that, nose scrunching up in his laughter as his eyes glinted fondly. “I’m mostly glad that my window didn’t actually get broken, heh... and, I think it’s kinda nice too...” Fuyuhiko rolled his eyes, pausing for a moment before standing on his toes and brushing his lips against Hajime’s cheek, the latter’s hand instinctively raising to it as he bit back a smile.

“I should... probably get out of your hair.” He hummed. “I’ll see you later, dumbass.” The normally brash tone afflicted with that last statement had all but faded away as it carried a distinct tone of absolute fondness that made Hajime smile after him as he quickly closed the door behind him. Making his way back upstairs, with a distracted smile on his face, he caught what he thought was a glimpse of Fuyuhiko with a similar expression through the glint of the window. Noticing his presence and his disposition, Chiaki blinked at him before smiling knowingly.

“Told you so.”