It’s a short name, a pretty name, and also fairly easy to pronounce.
So why the hell is it so hard for you to say?
“No, no, no, (Name)cchi. It’s Ryou-ta,” Kise—also known as Ryouta—explains in a patient tone. “There’s nothing between the r and the y.”
When he gives you an encouraging nod, you take a deep breath and decide to try it again.“Ri-youta.”
“Damn it, Kise! Don’t laugh at me!” You pout and cross your arms over your chest. “It’s your fault I’m even doing this in the first place!”
It’s his turn to pout. “C'mon, (Name)cchi! Can you blame me?” He's got those puppy eyes on and guilt immediately floods your heart. “We've been dating for almost a year and you still call me by my last name!”
“...What's your point?” you ask with an eyebrow raised.
“That's weird!” He grabbed you by the shoulders and started shaking you. “And so not romantic!”
Any guilt you felt before vanishes when you push him off roughly making him land backward onto your bed. “Who cares? You are the only person I know who cares about this.”
“But I’m not just any person! I’m your boyfriend!” he whines from the spot he landed on.
“Ugh,” you groan and fall back into the softness of your pillows.
Kise sits up to look at you pleadingly and you return his gaze from the corner of your eye. “Please, can’t you just try? For me?”
“...” You turn away from him.
He sighs then sits up. “Yeah, I thought so…” he says quietly, almost a whisper. “I guess I’ll see you at school, (Name)cchi.”
You hear your bed creak then the shuffling of his feet. A few moments later the soft ‘thud’ of your door signals that he already left. You curl into yourself tightly, guilt and regret already gnawing at your heart.
It’s been two days since you and Kise had the fight. To anyone else, nothing would seem amiss between the two of you, but you know that’s not the case.
He hasn’t been walking home with you, for one. He lets you go ahead of him under the excuse ‘practice will end late’ when the both of you know it’s never been a problem before.
You would never admit it, but you’ve started to feel a bit lonely without Kise and his annoyingly loud chatter. You miss his funny little stories about what happened during practice and all the little shenanigans he got up to during the day.
You sigh as you fondly recall his stories about his former captain Kasamatsu, who would kick him every time he would do something stupid.
Soon you were laughing to yourself as you remember some of the more ridiculous stories. It’s a good distraction; waiting for Kise to finish practice has never been this nerve-wracking before.
He thinks you’ve already gone ahead, but you wanted to surprise him. Walking alone was starting to become depressing for you, and anyways this was the best time to get him alone.
The sudden rattle of the gym doors sliding open makes you flinch. Standing in the doorway is a stunned Kise, who looks like he’s probably wondering what you were still doing here.
You were low-key ready to bolt. This was such a mistake. He clearly doesn’t want me here. Your mind was running a mile a minute, fueled by unpleasant thoughts. I should just—
The small smile he sends you wipes your mind blank and you smile back.
You had a great start, but alas it wasn’t enough to make the awkwardness of the last three days vanish. Too soon your house was in view and with it your panic rises.
He escorts you to your doorstep; meanwhile, you’re thinking of what you should do to make him stay a little longer.
“Well, uh…” He raises a hand and waves goodbye, sending you small smile again. “See ya tomorrow, (Name)cchi.”
He’s leaving already and you haven’t even said a word to him. What’s more, the way he’s acting around you—quiet, awkward, like the two of you are just strangers—is enough to make you want to cry. You can’t let this go on for much longer. You wanted your annoying, happy, talkative Kise back, pride be damned.
Before you can think, you’re running after him. “Wait!” you shout, but he’s a bit too far away to hear.
He’s already at the turn to the next street, so you speed up even though your lungs felt like they were burning. Trying not to cry while running is hard. “Rio, wait!” You stop to catch your breath, just a few feet shy from where he was. “Turn around, goddammit!”
He finally stops, shock and confusion written all over his face. “Wha—what did you just call me?”
It’s irrelevant—maybe even inappropriate, considering the situation—but you think he looks absolutely beautiful, maybe even a little ethereal, standing there in the light of the dying sun.
For a moment, the two of you just stare at each other.
The moment ends when you realize you just blurted out your surprise.“I—umm, you see it was something I thought of—?”
He’s standing right in front of you now,leaning over a bit, and all the words die in your throat. “Say it again,” he mumbles, his warm breath fanning your ear.
Warmth travels throughout your body from how close he is to you and from what you’re about to say. “Ri-Rio...”
His low chuckle and his arms wrapping around you make you clench your eyes shut. This is so embarrassing!
“You’re adorable (Name),” he purrs, nuzzling his nose into your hair, peppering kisses on your temple.
You actually feel like you’re melting in his arms. You feel so blissed out, you totally forgot you were in public and in clear view for your neighbors to see.
It’s only when his kisses travel downward that you snap out of it. “Kise!” You break away from his hold while sputtering in embarrassment and disbelief. “We’re in public!”
“Sorry, I got carried away.” His tone is apologetic, but his grin is filled with mischief. “And I’m not Kise, I’m…?” he trails off, waiting for you to finish his sentence.
You glare at him but his grin only grows wider. “…Rio,” you sighed.
He pinches your cheeks as he tries to smother you with kisses again. “Kise—!” He changes tactics and tickles your sides instead.
“I’m not Kise!”
“Ri-Rio!” You hold in your giggles as you try to fight off his wriggling fingers. “Stop it already!”
He finally moves away to give you enough space, still laughing. You allow yourself to grin up at him.
“Are we…” Your smile turns shy and you start to fidget under his intense gaze. “Are we okay now…?”
“Eeeh?” he drawls, poking your cheek. “What’s this? Is my (Name)cchi not a tsundere anymore?”
You smack his hand away, your smile now a scowl. He smiles innocently, takes your hand and laces his fingers with yours. You both start walking back to your house. “To answer your question, yes, we’re okay now.” He rubs the back of his neck with his free hand, his eyes not quite meeting yours. “Sorry for icing you out. I know you didn’t mean it, but it still hurt.”
Your guilt immediately flares up upon hearing his words. You open your mouth to apologize, but he cuts you off. “Your surprise more than makes up for it though!” He chuckles, reaching over to try and pinch your cheek but you quickly smack his hand away again. “Such a cute idea.” He winks. “Almost as cute as you.”
In response, you hug his arm and hide your face there. You can’t handle all the compliments he’s giving you and the PDA earlier was too much. You’re pretty sure your brain is half-melted now.
You feel him nudge you and you reluctantly pull away from his arm. You’re greeted by your front door but you feel as though you’re not quite ready to part with your boyfriend. Turning to him, you hopefully ask, “Do you wanna come inside?”
His smile is blinding when he answers, “I was hoping you would ask that.”
You were trying to start your homework but a certain someone was making it extremely difficult to concentrate.
“Can you say it again?”
“Kise, this is the tenth time you’ve asked me!”
“Cause you keep calling me Kise!” He starts shaking your arm. “Pleeease, (Name)cchi!”
He lets go of your arm and lays back down on your bed, spread-eagle. “I really love the way you say it, (Name)cchi.”
“But I bet you’d sound better screaming it."
“You pervert!” you shriek, slapping his leg.
“You wanna try it—ow! No! Don’t throw that book! I’m sorry! Please don’t kill me! (NAME)CCHI!”