Chapter 1: An Afternoon with The Golden Trio
The familiar cry made Tanjiro pause even with his hand already shoved into the vending machine that had just dispensed his can of cold brew coffee. He blinked at the blubbering blonde head of his friend stumbling toward him as he rose from his crouched position, quickly taking a sip of caffeine in preparation for the dramatic monologue he was about to endure.
"Professor Kuwajima gave you another bad mark, Zen?" He remarked having heard this narrative all semester long.
Zenitsu was now repeatedly drumming his head into the side of the vending machine while Tanjiro tried to pry him away before he ended up with a bump that would only make him wail more. Sniffling, Zen turns and nods while Tanjiro procures a tissue from his backpack for him to wipe the snot dripping from his nose before someone saw. "He even went as far as to project all of our grades in front of everyone. It was unbearable, Tanjiro. I could die right now from embarrassment." Zenitsu explained with soap opera flair.
Tanjiro leads them around the corridor towards the main courtyard where a half-naked Inosuke is lying on a bench in the sun which is definitely not allowed on school grounds. He sighs and calls to Zenitsu over his shoulder, "Maybe if you didn't spend so much time trying to 'tutor' my sister you wouldn't be falling behind." Being the dad of the group is no easy feat.
Zenitsu is muttering gibberish behind him about something to do with being offended by said accusation but is quickly cut off by his own shrill scream as Inosuke throws a surprise kick to his throat when they reach the bench.
"Aha! I'm the quickest man alive. Quicker than lightning. You puny mortals are no match for m-" Inosuke rambles before having a shirt thrown over his face by Tanjiro whose eyes are glued to his cell phone. Both Zenitsu and Inosuke crane their necks to get a look at what has their friend's laser focus. Zenitsu leans into Tanjiro's shoulder, "They still haven't responded about the dance internship?"
Tanjiro has constantly refreshed his inbox with furrowed brows the past three days since he submitted his application to the best dance company in the city. His determination to be the best has led him to countless hours of practice at the expense of his health and oftentimes his fleeting youth. "I'm just being impatient, I know. But it means a lot to me, so I can't help but worry about it."
Inosuke chimes in, still refusing to put a shirt on, "Say the word and I'll break their noses until they take you, Tambourino." Zenitsu softly smiles and squeezes Tanjiro's shoulder as his own form of support as well.
Tanjiro can't help but chuckle softly and smile warmly at his best friends. "Thanks, guys. As long as you're rooting for me I'll be sure to make you proud."
Note: These three are sophomores. Tanjiro's major is dance, Zenitsu's major is computer science, and Inosuke's major is wrestling. More to come!
Chapter 2: A Love Triangle Prelude... Over Lunch
A rather stoic marine biology junior sandwiched between the mature impressionist painter and the aggressive wannabe detective vying for his affection.
Giyuu was sat alone at one of the tables in the campus cafeteria. One hand was shoveling spoonfuls of rice into his already full cheeks while the other balanced a book dedicated to his latest obsession: Baiji dolphins. He was always the perfect picture of serenity. But his serenity never lasted when he was in open interruption territory such as this.
A tray is set down next to his and the scent of peaches alerts him that Sabito is the figure sliding into the seat beside him. Without moving his gaze from the page he was absorbed by, he smiles faintly.
"Whales, huh?" Sabito acknowledges after squinting at the cover angled well enough for him to get a sense of what Giyuu's into these days. He takes a swig from his water bottle already planning out a painting in his head that would be sure to make Giyuu's deep blue eyes shine like they did every time he made a new one just for him.
Giyuu hums in response before reaching the end of the chapter and folding the top corner to mark where he left off. "I'll never understand why you don't use a bookmark. I could even make you one if you'd like?" Sabito suggests while picking through the carrots in front of him. Somehow, every time Giyuu spent time with Sabito, his ears reddened at the sight of his lopsided grin and his constant doting.
"You have a showcase coming up. It's no use troubling yourself. Plus, I read a dozen books at a time." Giyuu's words are a bit muffled by the fact that he's talking with his mouth full.
Sabito exhales a laugh through his nostrils and looks fondly at Giyuu. "Chew first and make excuses later. It's no trouble at all. I like doing things for you." He says before mussing Giyuu's hair. This causes Giyuu to almost choke on his food.
Another tray smacks down on the opposite side of Giyuu and shakes the table as he drops down onto the bench seat. "Hey princess. Sabito." Sanemi brightly greets Giyuu but barely even grumbles a hello to Sabito. Giyuu finally swallows the last of what's on his plate and immediately begins to unzip and rummage through his bag the moment Sanemi is present. He pulls out a small green lidded container and places it on Sanemi's lap.
He returns to his book while both Sabito and Sanemi look at him, puzzled. Sanemi pries open the lid and examines the contents within. "What the hell is- oh?" His eyes twinkle as he pulls out a piece of ohagi from the container.
Sabito's face crumples with jealousy. Giyuu's never made food for him.
"You said you like them." Giyuu simply states as he turns a page over. Sanemi's cheeks form a tinge of pink while taking a bite. "Y-yeah. Thanks."
Sabito leans in so his face is blocking Giyuu's line of sight and also rests centimeters from a danger zone. Giyuu's eyes widen and he drops the book onto the table. Sabito pouts, "Where are my ohagi?"
Sanemi flings the book at Sabito's head and yells out, "Make your own, lazy ass!" Leaving Giyuu frozen in bashfulness as the battle of jealousy rages on.
Chapter 3: The Not-So-Lonely Hearts Club
The Class of 2019 student body president is a smooth talker, but let's see him flamboyantly crawl his way out of this one.
Ear-numbing hypnotic techno beats and flashing lights are like home sweet home for a man who eats, sleeps and breathes the mantra "life is a party". And that's why Uzui was found at the VIP tables of the club Demon's Lair on a nightly basis. If he wasn't ordering drinks for every patron in sight, he was either dancing on top of the bar swinging his shirt like a lasso or making moves on someone's girlfriend to which they'd get one look at his tall, muscular stature and secede knowing she's his girl now.
There are several rumors of him having an iron liver due to his nonexistent drink limitations and zero history of alcohol poisoning.
As the student body president, he's constantly handling issues left and right on top of all his studies with an unwavering million-dollar smile. It's no wonder everyone loves him.
But a problem arises when Uzui spreads his own love too thin.
He chugs the remaining quarter of what looks like the third bottle of vodka he's ordered tonight and Rengoku heartily pats his back. "There's no one who makes me feel like more of a lightweight than you, Tengen. I'm still waiting on the day you show up to International Economics with a real hangover." Rengoku laughs and it almost roars over the pounding music.
Uzui grins and flexes his ridiculously toned arms as he rests his hands behind his head. "Work hard play hard, my man." He says before catching a glimpse of a familiar hot brunette rounding the corner of the bar with a rather menacing expression.
"Oh shit, is die hard on that list too? Because it looks like playtime is over for you. I'll see myself out!" Rengoku says sheepishly as the brunette reaches their table and he makes a beeline for Kanae and Himejima on the dancefloor.
"Hi gorgeous, have a seat. I'll get you a drink." Uzui attempts to glaze over the rage that is boiling within the girl glaring down at him but it's no use.
Hinatsuru is not the type to fall for lame excuses or wasting time so she gets right to it. "How about we skip your little games and you get to the part where you explain to me how dumb you think I am, Uzui."
Just as Uzui begins to open his mouth to speak a blonde girl is rushing toward him and smacks him clean across the face. Another dark-haired girl comes running after her to try and hold her back as she attempts to claw his eyes out. "You meatheaded asshole, I'll rip you limb from limb!" Makio shrieks as Suma uses all her strength to keep her at a distance.
The three girls finally take notice of each other and become flustered realizing the scene they've made while everyone else is gawking at them.
Uzui suddenly lets out a big laugh while cradling his left cheek. "I'm sorry, my girls. I guess I should've been more transparent. I can't help that I like all three of you beauties. Hinatsuru's like a first lady already, Makio's the only girl who could kick my ass, and Suma deserves someone who'll protect her from this terrible world." His straightforwardness makes the girls so flushed they can only look at their feet.
Hinatsuru clears her throat, "Well I don't suppose you think it's right to date us all."
"Yeah, you perv!" Makio barks. Suma adjusts her grip on Makio's forearms.
Uzui blinks and hums for a moment. "Why don't all four us go on a date tomorrow afternoon and you can make up your minds afterward? Can't knock it 'til you try it." He suggests in a display of 100% presidential charm.
Each of the girls has thoroughly enjoyed the time they've spent with Uzui and after looking each other up and down they can't find much reason to say no. Especially considering they knew very well in advance what a flamboyant character this man was.
Makio speaks for everyone, "Fine, but you're buying us all food and desserts..."
Uzui jumps to his feet and almost sends the table crashing to the floor as he envelopes the trio in a bear hug that lifts them off the ground. "I love my girls." He mumbles into Hinatsuru's hair and they all smile in secret at his comforting embrace. Until Makio knees him in the groin.
Note: Uzui (Political Science / Entrepreneurship) and Hinatsuru (Hospitality / Tourism) are seniors & Makio (Public Relations) and Suma (Jewelry Design) are juniors.
Chapter 4: Flute and Flirt
Nezuko pays a visit to the fashion design studio after being invited to rehearse for her upcoming recital in the company of her two campus moms.
With a pin between her lips, Mitsuri knitted her brows together in pure concentration while adjusting the volume of the puffed sleeve attached to the fuschia organza blouse resting on the mannequin in front of her. She huffs in frustration. "Is it too much?" She asks, turning her attention to Shinobu who was perched on the design table behind her with arms crossed. Shinobu tilts her head and narrows her eyes at the mannequin, likely running through a long-winded hypothesis test that would be wasted on her right-brained friend if explained aloud. "I'm surprised you didn't ask if it wasn't enough. Pull the shoulder width out another centimeter or two." She advises.
Mitsuri purses her lips and follows Shinobu's instructions. She steps back and lets out an excited gasp before hurriedly pinning the sleeve in place. Squealing with delight, she reaches back for Shinobu's hand and kisses it several times. "What would I do without your surgeon's eye? I'm lost without you. Marry me!" She pleads, looking at Shinobu with stars in her eyes. Shinobu giggles and caresses Mitsuri's cheek. "Iguro would have you locked in a ward before he'd let you marry me." She replies without letting the sadness in her voice show on her face. Mitsuri grumbles, "He's not the boss of me. Even my boyfriend knows you'll always be my first love." She doesn't catch Shinobu's expression darken because the studio door slides open.
"Nezuko! Come in, come in!" Mitsuri jumps up to catch Nezuko's tiny self in a whirlwind embrace. Shinobu regains her composure and gets up to greet Nezuko by petting her hair.
They guide her to sit atop one of the tables and her legs dangle, unable to reach the floor as she moves to unlock her flute case. "I'm so nervous to be first chair. It's my favorite composition too." She mutters as she polishes her instrument. Mitsuri and Shinobu exchange looks of motherly concern. "They wouldn't give you first chair if they didn't believe you deserved it," Shinobu assures her. "And we'll be in the audience sending out all the love we can to make sure you play like a champ, cupcake. So you sit there and practice all you want and we'll enjoy the pre-show for free." Mitsuri adds. Shinobu pinches Nezuko's cheek and she smiles until it reaches her eyes.
Mitsuri skips over to her mannequin, Shinobu pulls out a chair and a textbook on surgical anatomy of the heart, and Nezuko starts to play Joe Hisaishi's 'One Summer's Day' on her flute.
Two hours pass by and the room is blanketed in tranquility while the girls are diligently working through their respective assignments. The door creaks as someone peeks in, breaking them all from their trance. Aoi shyly dips her toe further into the studio and quietly calls out, "Shinobu? I have a document from Professor Tamayo for you." Shinobu looks at her curiously and beckons her to her table. Aoi stares directly at her boots while inching toward Shinobu's place a few seats down from Nezuko. "T-that butterfly clip is lovely on you," Aoi comments turning her feet in bashfully while stretching her arm out to hand the letter to her senior. Shinobu gently pats her prized hair accessory and thanks Aoi who is already flying out of the door.
"My, my... Someone's got a crush on Shinobu. Seems I've finally found competition." Mitsuri remarks with a sly grin as her gaze shifts from the exit to Shinobu's unamused face. Nezuko is stifling her own laughter in the corner.
"Not funny. She's just trying to run an errand." Shinobu scoffs. Mitsuri rolls her eyes, "Typical Virgo, always too cool and serious to even recognize a big, fat lesbian crush when it's staring them in their pretty face."
"Look who's talking..." Shinobu retorts under her breath. Thankfully she's mastered the art of saying things just out of Mitsuri's earshot so she never has to own up to what her heart's itching to tell.
Nezuko silently observes her two older friends and weaves their unspoken love through the breath that carries her heavenly melody.
Chapter 5: The Romeo and Juliet of Film 101
Two sophomores with opposing demeanors, majors, and favorite directors get in their 6th debate of the semester. Everyone is over it.
"...Overrated? Overrated?! He is the greatest filmmaker of our time. There is no more iconic figure in cinema whom everyone looks up to and you dare call him... overrated." Genya grinds his nails into the edge of his desk in place of slewing insulting names at the boy sitting across from him in the circular group the professor instructs them to form during every class discussion.
Tokito rolls his eyes, "His gimmick is patching together whatever techniques he steals from Eastern directors with shock value. Without those big-ticket actors he relies on, no one would so much as bat an eye at the garbage he produces."
This narrative has been a pattern over the last 6 weeks of class and everyone, including the professor who's taking her usual thirty-minute bathroom break, has essentially thrown in the towel on trying to invade their endless arguments.
Murata has taken to playing battleship on his phone and Yushiro plucks at the pages of his cement block-sized medical textbooks, occasionally doodling Professor Tamayo's name in a sea of hearts.
Vocabulary such as "tasteless" and "uncultured" hits Yushiro's ears as the two yapping dogs inch their desks closer toward the center of the circle until Genya rises from his seat to invade Tokito's personal space, by pressing his index finger into the smaller boy's desk as if he was punctuating his every word with it.
"Just admit you're some pretentious pretty-boy film cad who relishes in going against the grain and hating on what everyone else likes." Genya prods while leaning in until his face hovered right above Tokito's nose in an attempt at intimidation he likely adopted from his older brother.
Tokito looks up sleepily through his lashes and smirks up at the dark eyes burning a hole in his forehead. "I'm pretty, huh?" He teasingly says.
Genya's ears redden before he starts yelling profanities and that's when Yushiro's had quite enough noise for one period.
"For fuck's sake if you two don't just shut up and kiss already could you at least take it out into the hall we are all sick of your incessant blabbering. You're not even film majors! So can it before I stitch your mouths together myself." Yushiro warns with an aura so threatening the entire room stills, ten sets of eyes blinking at him. The clock chimes, breaking the tension and sending everyone packing and zooming out of the classroom.
Genya and Tokito gather their belongings and walk out together, embarrassed beyond compare. Their eyes dart in every direction but at each other. Genya scratches the back of his neck and finally finds the right words to open his mouth, "Maybe we could settle this with uh- I don't know... There's this showing at the movies tomorrow but you probably don't wanna go with m-" He's cut off by a chaste kiss on his left cheek delivered by a pretty boy with long raven hair that dipped into waves of teal.
Tokito stalked off ahead to shield the blush rapidly overtaking his complexion. Calling out "It's a date!" to the stunned and not-so-scary boy left behind.
Chapter 6: Young Love With a Side of Rice
Chemistry is easy for a fragrance and cosmetics sophomore. Just not the romantic kind. It's a good thing she's got friends in culinary to help sweeten the deal.
Thank you to everyone who's been giving kudos and enjoying this series thus far!
Tanjiro's audition for his internship with Poison Dance Academy was two days away and Kanao felt it in her bones that he had been locking himself away in the basement studio of West Hall for the last week with zero regard for nutrition or rest. They were on the same plane of understanding of putting your all into your ambitions and having failure at the top shelf of their greatest fears. She was all too familiar with the emotions swirling in his mind, but she wanted to provide him some reprieve from the madness of chasing perfection.
He was the one who would call her to chat until their voices became mindful whispers and eventually nothing but the sweet sound of their breathing in sync because they'd both fallen asleep sometime after the crickets outside Kanao's window ceased their chirping. He was the one who would knock on the door of her shared dorm with a USB full of (illegally downloaded and often poor quality) romantic comedies that would shake her out of bouts of depression when her inferiority complex would come back to haunt her. He was the one who would rub her back affectionately when she had anxiety attacks and gently guided her to bed, softly singing lullabies until her heart steadied once more.
And now it was her turn to do something in return.
She had already begun concocting a gift for his birthday in the fragrance lab but that was still a month away. Chesnuts, cloves, and vanilla were the key notes she thought best to represent him. The warmth of a crackling fireplace; flames made to dance and glow in her heart forever.
For now, she had settled on preparing him a lunch box as her greatest worry as of late was that he had already skipped one too many meals. She was a hopeless wreck in a kitchen though, so to save herself from the embarrassment of bringing him a lackluster PB&J, she sought the aid of her roommates who miraculously majored in the culinary arts.
Kiyo, Nao, and Sumi were more than happy to be of service and hovered around Kanao as they busily bounced around the kitchen, readjusting her hands when she nearly sliced into her knuckles chopping onions, addressing her inability to ignite a gas stove, and giggling at her amazed expression when showing her how to prepare coffee with a French press.
Two hours later, Kanao had successfully prepared a hot lunch for Tanjiro consisting of a spicy glazed chicken stir fry with snow peas and bell peppers, neatly structured white rice, a compartment of apple slices cut to mimic bunny ears, and a thermos of freshly-poured coffee. Her young friends beamed with pride and shooed her off so it would all arrive at peak temperature.
When Kanao climbed down the basement stairwell she could sense her pulse quickening in her chest, inhaling sharply as she approached Studio G7 from which bass drifted even through soundproof paneling lining the walls between them. Opening the door a smidge, she was greeted by the image of the boy she loved swirling across the floor and into the air like an aurora cascading through a vibrant winter skyline. The moment he pressed play on his phone and music traveled into the speaker system it was connected to and projected out into the mirror-covered room, his body became an instrument embedded in whatever melody he chose. Earth was no longer his home, replaced by vibrations and soundwaves he could prance in until kingdom come. Ignoring the outside world meant he didn't notice Kanao enter until he coincidentally spun in her direction and was met with misty violet eyes and tear-stained cheeks.
His trance was immediately broken, nearly tripping over himself rushing to hit the pause button. "Kanao, what's wrong?" He grabs her by the shoulders and searches her face for answers. "Why are you crying?" The sleeves of his checkered hoodie envelop his balled fists and gingerly pat away at her damp lashes.
She sniffles, "I'm sorry. It was just so beautiful. Your dance." He blinks in surprise and his face melts into an adoring smile. Cradling the side of her face, he presses featherlight kisses on each of her eyelids.
"That's no reason to cry, silly. Thank you, I mean it." He says, caressing her chin with the pad of his thumb.
The fuzziness these gestures have brought to her consciousness almost make her forget why she was there in the first place. "Oh! I'm the one meant to be worrying about you. That's why I came." She fumbles with the tote bag on her shoulder and pulls out her pink lacquered lunch box and rose-patterned thermos, holding them out to Tanjiro.
His eyes twinkle, "What's all this? For me?" She nods vigorously and he pries open the box, audibly gasping. "You made all this?" He prompts, twisting the cap of the thermos, releasing the rich and sweet aroma of the coffee within.
"You've been working yourself to the bone for your audition and you always take care of me so... I wanted to do the same for you." She picks at a loose thread in her sweater as shyness washes over her. "It might not taste very good I'm not much of a cook as you already know-" Just as she lifts her head to check if he's taken a bite of anything he catches her open mouth in a kiss that carries the taste of the coffee he sipped while she wasn't looking and the beads of sweat that were beating down from his hours of practicing.
When he lets go, he dreamily meets her shell-shocked gaze. "I love it all. You included."
Chapter 7: Boys Club
The seniors decide to kick it (literally) with their favorite rowdy boy.
Sweat-soaked shirts and heads of matted, damp hair glide about the patch of grass situated at the edge of Wisteria's Main Hall as the afternoon sky shifts to a deep tangerine hue. Kyojuro's sleeves threaten his possession of the ball as they continue to slip from their impermanent folds at the crooks of his elbows. With Himejima's place at the goal in his sights, Uzui's hot on his tail, icy platinum locks flowing freely in the late summer breeze. Exhaustion has been biting at the back of his heels as they've spent hours bobbing and weaving across their makeshift field, Inosuke mesmerized by the two elders' many tricks they've learned from years of playing and going to professional games together.
Readying himself to make his final kick, Inosuke swan dives in from what seems like thin air and tackles the ball just as Kyojuro's foot is set to punt him straight in the face. Wobbling mid-air, he crashes to the ground on his tailbone in an effort to save his junior from a season on the wrestling team's bench. "A completely unprecedented method of blocking your opponent. I accept you, Hashibara." Uzui praises his teammate, putting a hand out to retrieve him from his position as a human net.
"This is what happens when you release a Tasmanian devil during a soccer match." Himejima huffs as he rejoins his comrades at the sidelines, aka a picnic table shaded by an overgrown maple tree. Uzui splashes the remaining water in his bottle over his head and bare chest, sticking his tongue out to retrieve any last droplets to quench whatever hydration he lost while howling like a wolf earlier after scoring with his headband over his eyes. Always a show-off. Kyojuro squirms in his seat knowing the pain in his rear is settling in and going to be a hindrance during lengthy class lectures throughout the week. Inosuke hangs upside down, toes gripping the edge of the bench while he feverishly loads his mouth with sour gummy candies.
"Ah Tengen, have you resolved your lady troubles?" Kyojuro pries, catching Uzui mid-selfie. Dare he not share a memento from every hour of his life with his adoring 100K Kinstagram followers. Most of which were him engaging in extreme sports, excessive drinking, and shameless mirror snaps leaving little for the imagination.
He taps away at his phone a bit before returning his attention to his dearest companion. "Splendidly. I've never felt more like a king. Three queens to share my lavish throne." He grins like a sunbathing tabby cat as Inosuke proceeds to choke and Himejima's jaw sinks below sea level.
"Y-you have three girlfriends? At the same time? This is unholy..." Himejima stammers.
A hearty laugh escapes both Uzui and Kyojuro when Inosuke rises like a vampire from a coffin with wide eyes. "Big bro, you're like a god." He remarks with two thumbs in the air.
"Our young blood here could learn a thing or two from you. I don't believe he's spoken to a girl in his life. Maybe a grunt here and there but..." Kyojuro ruffles Inosuke's tangled mop of raven hair like the father figure he never had. The younger member of the table huffs, "Who cares. Can't even wrestle girls so what's the point. The only girl that matters to me is my mama."
Himejima sniffles. The others turn to look at him, confused at his sudden demeanor switch. "Hashibara you pure boar of a boy. We'll protect you from this cruel world." He finally chokes out. Inosuke is posed like a meerkat, blinking rapidly. Uzui and Kyojuro once again burst into roaring laughs, patting Himejima's back, wordlessly agreeing with this pact between brothers.
Chapter 8: Muse
The lovesick painter looks to his sister for advice on how to confess his true feelings to the marine biology junior holding his heart captive.
(See the end of the chapter for notes.)
"So this is the gay panic they're always talking about online." Makomo looks up from blow-drying Nezuko's hair to see Sabito pacing the room like a swimmer doing laps around a pool. He groans and rakes his fingers through his hair, viciously rubbing at his scalp in frustration. Nezuko has tuned out of his tantrum, fully concentrating on the sheet music in her lap.
He taps his foot impatiently, biting at his lip, wracking his brain for the answers he needs because there's nothing he's worse at than asking others for help. Combing an anti-frizz serum through Nezuko's ombré tresses, Makomo rolls her eyes at her brother's stubbornness. She knows he's hiked all the way to the beauty school's salon because he's at his wit's end but is too much a proud idiot to admit he's been stupidly in love with his best friend for a decade now.
"Paint him." She suggests, dusting loose hairs that have stuck to Nezuko's nose and forehead post-trim.
Sabito freezes and looks up at his sister like she's a six-eyed demon straight out of hell. She glances in his direction and scoffs at the horrified expression he's got on. "It's now or never, Sabi. You either make him your muse or scarface is gonna swoop in and carry him out bridal style and leave you behind like boo-boo the fool."
He's painted for Giyuu a million times and would happily take brush to canvas for him a million times more, but there's a tumultuous feeling in the pit of his stomach when he mulls over the pressure of trying to capture what he sees in the ocean-eyed boy he's so deeply infatuated with along with the idea that he'd be sitting across from him, staring up at those eyes for hours on end. Wait. An excuse to just stare at him... for hours.
Arms stretch across the tiled floor to curl around his sister's small frame, squeezing her side to side. "My beautiful, intelligent, talented, little sister. Ohohoho you sweet tiny genius, you." He kisses the crown of her head and she winces. "Took you long enough to realize that. But I have a shoot to get to in 15 minutes so hop to it and find your boyfriend." She shoos him off and he blows her another kiss before bounding out the door like a lovestruck bunny.
Nezuko quietly giggles while Makomo unlatches the cape from her neck. "And I thought my brother was hardheaded."
🍑 1:42pm hey do you have class between 3-7 today?
🐳 1:45pm No, why?
🍑 1:46pm come to P104 @ 3
🐳 1:48pm Ok, but why?
🍑 1:49pm because
🐳 1:50pm Because...
🍑 1:51pm omg just come pls
🐳 1:54pm Fine.
It was almost 3pm and Giyuu had tossed and turned on his bed the entirety of the past hour fixing his gaze on the ceiling for minutes at a time and then right back to his text messages. Sabito made him uncharacteristically nervous even without being face to face. This exchange, in particular, was causing his brain to swell and pulse in his skull, searching endlessly for any reason for the last-minute invitation to the art studio Sabito practically lived in these days.
They've been inseparable since middle school, sure. They hung out nearly every day, yes. But it didn't make the strumming in Giyuu's chest slow with the passage of time, it only quickened to an alarming pace each time the peach-haired boy accidentally brushed his hand while reaching into a shared popcorn bowl during one of their weekend movie marathons or protectively curled his fingers around his waist when they'd take a crowded bus ride to hit the arcade they frequented on the other side of town.
A heart too clever for a mind too steeped in logic.
Maybe it was that one afternoon that he finally connected the dots regarding the hummingbird trapped in the cavity within his ribcage. Nothing out of the ordinary happened, they visited their favorite yakitori spot and did some window shopping. Sabito trailed behind him as he strolled through a sequestered bookstore, thumbing the spines of a few selections on stingrays and coral reef diseases. They departed, Sabito having purchased a book filled with works of Degas. It happened then, on their way back to the bus stop. Cascading from the trees lining the pavement was an army of cherry blossom petals, swirling around the tuft of peach hair in front of him painting something of a fever dream. Sabito could sense Giyuu's footsteps falter and turned. Lavender eyes twinkled like a midsummer night's dream at him and the jagged scar by his lips stretched to form his forever-lopsided grin. "Come on, slowpoke."
He knew it then.
But losing him was a sadder fate than lying to himself.
Sabito's neck nearly snaps when he hears the door to the studio slide open. Giyuu sheepishly enters, offering a small wave. Sabito coaxes him further into the space, palms sweating.
"So, what's this all about?" Giyuu inquires.
Sabito shifts his eyes and moves to drag a stool out and gestures for Giyuu to have a seat. He complies, albeit making his way to it at the speed of a sloth. "You're my muse today." Sabito states with all the falsified confidence and machismo he can manage. Simultaneously dying inside, of course.
Giyuu's imploding. His face is clouded with a burning flush and his eyes could roll out of their sockets at any given moment. Sabito trips over the leg of his easel trying to hide behind it before his own blushing cheeks are exposed. Giyuu pipes up, "Me? Wh-why me?" but it comes across as a squeak.
"You'll understand when I'm finished. Just give me a bit of your profile, keep your chin up, and hold still for a bit." Sabito instructs.
Giyuu repositions himself. "Is this alright?"
"No, no to the left."
"Chin down an inch."
Giyuu is acting like a marionette with loose strings. Sabito can't even stifle the snort that arises in the back of his throat.
"Here let me help you." He strides over to Giyuu and leans down, hands on either side of his face, physically guiding it where he wants it.
In mere nanoseconds, it hits them both that this is the setting for siren blaring danger.
But the synapse linking Sabito's brainwaves to his fingertips has gone dormant since making contact with the silken touch of Giyuu's skin.
"S-s-sab-i.." Giyuu barely whispers.
Sabito's lavender orbs soften, finding himself drowning in the depths of the blues staring back at him.
"Giyuu, I'm going to do something impossibly brash right now and I'll just have to pray to whatever gods are out there that you'll forgive me."
What Giyuu wanted to say was that there isn't a force of nature in this world that could ever surmount the love he feels for him. Not in this life.
However, these words never leave for two lips as soft as the cherry blossom petals from that day most precious to him fit themselves between his own, as if they belonged there all along.
I listened to Waa Wei's Hidden, Not Forgotten album while writing this. Their story will continue, I promise. ♡