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Infinity’s End

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When Toma opened the door, Yamapi looked so heartbroken, he wanted to give him a hug. A very manly hug, of course. It seemed sadistic to ask him what happened, not when Yamapi was looking like that, heart in pieces in his eyes, so he didn't. Instead he let him in, and sat him on the couch, and got him some juice because it was all he had at the moment.

Besides. Toma knew what the matter was already. It was always the same thing.

Jin.

*

When Yamapi started lagging, Toma let him sleep in his bed.

The worst part was that Toma couldn't just call Jin an ass and write it off at that. Jin wasn't an ass. He was all the things a good friend, a best friend, should be.

It was just that Yamapi didn't want Jin to just be a friend.

*

Jin called around 3 a.m.

"Hey, Toma. I just got home. Pi's not back yet. Is he still with you? He said he was going out with you earlier." Jin's voice was tinny from the phone, but Toma could still hear the concern. Not worry or anything like that. Just a little bit of 'I should check up on my roommate because he's not back yet.'

"Yeah," Toma sighed into the phone, turning towards the darkened bedroom door. "Yeah, he's still with me. He's sleeping it off."

No need to say exactly what 'it' was.

*

Yamapi never cried about it, not in front of Toma. For all he knew, Yamapi never cried about it at all.

But he came around more often.

*

The third night in a row Yamapi showed up with a movie on Toma's doorstep, he finally asked. It had been a while, and suddenly, it was back to being bad again. "New girlfriend?" Toma hazarded, as he let Yamapi in.

Yamapi shook his head. "Old."

Toma took the movie over to the DVD player while Yamapi sat on the couch. "You haven't told him, have you." Toma pushed play on the remote.

A unison prayer started up as Toma flicked through the menu. "No reason to. This isn't one of those fairytale stories where you just have to confess for the other person to fall madly in love with you. And Jin," Yamapi's shrug was less unsure than resigned, "It would just make Jin feel guilty for not loving me back, not like that." A pause. As the brothers made their way out of the church, "He thinks I leave to give them alone time. He thinks I'm being considerate."

*

"Old girlfriend, huh?" Toma asked, mid-movie. He'd given it some time.

Yamapi stared straight ahead at the screen. Watched the two brothers tussle, then fall through the ceiling tangled in rope, watched them open fire in a hail of luck and chaos. "Jin thinks she might be it. Not yet, they're not ready yet. But he thinks it's her." He just stared, stared, stared like his life depending on watching the movie. Because he didn't have to think about it, how it hurt, in a rain of blood and bullets.

Toma leaned over and kissed Yamapi softly--just a gentle press of lips to lips--and then he pulled back.

Now Yamapi was staring at him more confusion than disbelief in his gaze. "Toma, what are you doing?"

"You looked like you needed it."

"But Toma, you don't, you're not-- Toma, you--"

"I know," Toma responded before Yamapi could figure out how to phrase it--but you don't like guys.

"I know. But you looked like you needed it."

*

"I can be your rebound." Toma said, all casual sincerity as he flicked off the DVD player and turned to Yamapi.

Yamapi just looked back at him in dumbfounded shock. "Toma, what are you talki--"

"I can be your rebound." Afterall, you don't have to worry about my broken heart. "I. You can use me. To forget. To move on. Whatever you need."

Yamapi reached a hand halfway to Toma's face, then stopped, not touching. Toma watched a weird, painful mix of emotions swirl across Yamapi's face. It hurt, seeing Yamapi look so broken.

So Toma opened his arms and pulled him in.

*

Toma kissed Yamapi slowly, slowly, slowly. Let him think about it. Let him forget about it. Just a gentle press of lips, and one of Toma's hands curled in Yamapi's shirt, telling Yamapi he was there. Let Yamapi allow everything else to blur into the background. A slow, melting kiss to dissolve his heartbreak.

Yamapi kissed him back, eyes closed tight, following him as he leaned back against the couch. One hand held on to Toma's shoulder tight, tightly, fingers pressed hard into the cloth, into the skin, into the muscle and bone. The other tangled into the hair at the back of Toma's head. Pulling him closer, pressing against his lips harder, forcing everything out.

Toma put a hand on Yamapi's back, drawing him up onto his lap. Pulling him closer to remind him that someone cared. That maybe it wasn't the right person, or the right way, but someone cared.

"Dammit!" Yamapi pulled off suddenly, and punched the back of the couch as hard as he could. Eyes still squeezed closed, he pressed his face into Toma's shoulder, body not-quite almost shaking. The hand at the back of Toma's head fell limp, curling around his neck; the touch surprisingly gentle as Yamapi punched the back of the couch over and over until he didn't have any fight left. "Damn, damn, damn," a hopeless, whispered litany from his lips.

One last blow and Yamapi pulled himself upright. He looked Toma in the eye for a moment, and Toma couldn't tell you what it was, but it felt like shivering, like crawling out of an old skin. And then Yamapi took a breath and closed his eyes, and Toma watched him while he didn't cry.

Long, long minutes later, Yamapi opened his eyes. "You can't."

Toma put a hand on Yamapi's arm, urged him back far enough for him to stand. "Come on. Let's go to bed." A little lonely shiver ran along Yamapi's skin, like something was coming loose, but he followed Toma to bed.

*

Toma woke up feeling rumpled, rumpled clothes from the night before, tangled up in rumpled sheets. Rumpled mix of worry and weariness. Yamapi wasn't in bed. He was sitting on the floor, getting his socks on.

Toma sat up. "Where are you going?" he asked.

"Home," Yamapi said, glancing up at Toma, then back down as he started the other sock.

"Home?" Toma repeated. Are you going to be ok? But he didn't ask that one.

Yamapi looked back up. Pulled his sock up. Didn't look back down. Toma could see something in his eyes this morning. "Yeah. Home." Yamapi stood up, walked to the door way. "Toma? I said last night that you couldn't." He turned around and looked at Toma again. "I was wrong. You already did." It looked like healing.

Toma waited until he heard the front door shut before he smiled. It was a weak smile, tired and worn-out, but it was real. "You're welcome," he told the tangled sheets where Yamapi had slept.