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Something Soft

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The first thing Kamakari says when Yonehara answers his phone is, "What the hell am I supposed to do with this?"

Yonehara laughs, in that awful and endearing way that he has. "You got my present."

"Is that what this is?" Kamakari asks, looking at the photobook sitting on his coffee table. The photobook complete with an autograph in gold sharpie. The metallic ink kept catching the light, drawing Kamakari's attention just as he thought he could finally look away. "Here I thought you were trying to offload stock that no one was buying."

"You're hilarious," Yonehara tells him. "Did you see the previews I posted?"

"On your twitter?" Kamakari knows that Yonehara can't see his raised eyebrow, but is just as certain that Yonehara will hear it in his voice. "It's not as interesting since you lost your posting privileges."

"Oh, you noticed."

It was difficult not to. Yonehara was, undeniably, a glorious mess but it never came completely out of nowhere. He had patterns. Spirals. It was easy to see when one of his spirals was leading to something big, or so Kamakari thought. His staff team always seemed to struggle with it and it was both pleasant and confusing, to think that Yonehara wasn't as easy to read to everyone else.

He still didn't know exactly what happened to cause Yonehara to lose control of his own twitter the way he did, and he had the feeling that he wouldn't get an answer even if he asked.

"Do you miss me?" Yonehara's question shocks Kamakari out of his thoughts. He must realise how it sounds, because he then adds, "On twitter?"

"Why would I?" Kamakari asks, a little too forcefully. "If I wanted to see you be a mess, I could just visit."

Yonehara laughs, but it sounds strained. The worst part is that he doesn't seem to think Kamakari will notice and it's an infuriating thought. Kamakari suddenly feels frustrated and exhausted, and it's a particular emotional cocktail that's unique to Yonehara.

"Anyway," Kamakari mutters into his phone. "I'll talk to you later."

He tries to remember the last time he saw Yonehara as he hangs up. He can't, and that just irritates him even more.

 

 


 

 

 

Kamakari doesn't actually open the book for several hours. He slides it onto a bookshelf and goes about the rest of his day, pretending that he isn't curious. He pretends he doesn't care, until he can pretend no more.

He opens the photobook. Flicks through it until he comes to an abrupt stop. He snaps the book shut and shoves it back onto the bookshelf, as if he can pretend that it doesn't exist at all.

 

 


 

 

 

It's a combination of bad life choices and poor self control that sees Kamakari at Yonehara's place, some weeks after their phone call. Mostly poor self control. He hasn't mentioned looking at the photobook and Yonehara hasn't asked. Kamakari doesn't want to talk about it. He doesn't want to think of how long he's spent looking through it, how many times he's put it back on the shelf with the promise that he'll never look at it again, only to pick it up all over again.

He avoids the page where Yonehara isn't wearing anything, but he finds himself lingering on the pages where Yonehara's smile is brightest. The ones where he looks so soft and warm that the photos carry a tactile memory. All Kamakari has to do is shut his eyes and he can remember the late afternoons that slowly turned into later nights, neither of them noticing because they were too wrapped up in each other. He remembers how soft and warm Yonehara was then.

"Hey," Yonehara breaks the silence, holding his phone up with a photo that Kamakari has already seen. One from the photobook launch event. Kamakari pretends that he's looking at it for the first time. "What do you think?"

"Way too much," Kamakari replies, double tapping on the photo to zoom into Yonehara's outfit. "Look at that. Awful."

Yonehara nudges him with a shoulder, a smile creeping across his face. "You're making it sound like a good thing."

Kamakari nudges him right back. "You're flattering yourself."

"Absolutely. I wanted to look my best for when I walked down that—"

"Aisle?" Kamakari suggests, looking up at Yonehara with a raised eyebrow when he doesn't finish his own sentence. "That's what it looked like, right?"

"Wow." Yonehara exhales loudly, reaching for his bottle of beer. "I don't know why, but talking about weddings always makes me want to drink."

Kamakari picks up Yonehara's bottle first, holding it out of reach. He gives Yonehara an expectant look, but he's not entirely sure what he's expecting. It's definitely not the way Yonehara folds, like his will has crumbled away into dust.

"Kenken." It's a question, a plea, a protest, all in one.

Kamakari looks away, but presses the bottle back into Yonehara's hands. He doesn't ask any questions in return because he knows he doesn't need to. He rests their shoulders together once again and his time, when Yonehara turns to look at him, it's Kamakari who's one step ahead. He presses a kiss to Yonehara's forehead, the slightest brush of lips on skin. Yonehara freezes up, watching Kamakari carefully.

"Your photobook," Kamakari says at last. "It wasn't half bad."

"You looked at it," Yonehara realises with a smile, which then grows wider. "All of it?"

Kamakari snorts, wishing he had the words to say that Yonehara's body doesn't fluster him half as much as the depth of his own feelings. He can handle artistic nudes, and probably with better grace than he ever handled the less artistic ones. He wishes he could say the same of the soft, sad nostalgia that settles over him as he thinks of what they were and what they had, and what they'll never quite manage to have again.

He doesn't say any of it though, lifting his beer bottle to tap it against Yonehara's before lifting it to his mouth. "All of it."