“Stay with me. I won't ask forever, just for now, Eiji.”
That simple word pierced through Ash's heart.
Eiji wanted to stay by his side, forever.
Sitting on the window sill, watching the sun come up, Ash's mind settled on their conversation last night. He hadn't meant to spill his inner demons out to Eiji that night, but at the moment he was so desperately vulnerable, and Eiji's very presence was so warm, good, and beautiful. He trusted Eiji with everything, and the words flowed out of him, pouring like a waterfall. Everything he felt, everything he was, right onto Eiji's lap. And that boy. That amazing, sweet, warm boy told him forever . Promised him he would be by his side forever . Those words opened the floodgates to Ash's guarded heart, letting Eiji in. He was a light. An absolute blinding, beautiful light in Ash's darkness. Like God himself had sent a breathtaking angel to save his tainted soul from hell.
As the rising sun painted the dull browns and greys of the surrounding buildings with piercing display of yellows, Ash turned to instead focus his attention on the aforementioned angel.
He was asleep still, positioned on his stomach with one arm bent under his head, and the other resting beside him. His hair was an absolute mess, dark ebony hair sticking out at some ends. His lips were parted, letting out quiet snores. Honestly, Ash found Eiji breathtaking at that moment. Well, Ash always found Eiji breathtaking, (although he would probably never admit that to the Japanese boy) but at this instant, with that peaceful look on his face, his long eyelashes, his soft lips, Eiji was stunning. It made Ash's heart flutter.
When the hell did I get so fucking sappy? He thought to himself as he slowly got up from his lounging spot and quietly approached the sleeping boy, kneeling beside him.
“Mmm,” Eiji suddenly hummed, and Ash stilled his breathing. “ Ash.”
Ash's heart almost leapt out of his chest, and a gentle warmth settled in him, one that only came when he was around a certain Japanese boy.
He said my name, Ash thought fondly to himself.
“Well that explains it,” Ash whispered with a small smile, “ you're more of a flirt then I thought.” He reached down to run his hand through Eiji's locks, caressing it softly.
He leaned down then, and brushed his nose against Eiji's cheek. “I mean, look at you,” he murmured.
Eiji hummed again, and Ash couldn't help but place a small chaste kiss on the boys cheek. His head felt light, absolutely captivated just by the presence of him.
Their relationship wasn't incredibly physical, the kisses they shared after that evening in Cape Cod (an event Ash thought a lot about) were small and seldom, and after the... event , at Dino's mansion, the rushing and pain of Ash's mind and actions distanced himself from any physical warmth.
But now, since last night, where Ash decided then that he wanted nothing more than have Eiji by his side, to protect that boy from any harm. Ash craved this physical affection. Something that he never even thought he could do. Crave touch, a wanting that the younger boy couldn't seem to quench, and it honestly scared Ash because he never wanted something this intensely before. More so it was something physical. Every so called ‘romantic’ (as those disgusting pigs he had the unfortunate to please thought) encounter he had ever experienced was anything but desired. It was taken by force. Again and again, with no remorse. Even when Ash himself initiated these mostly sexual scenarios, it was nothing but numbness, an act to get what he needed. So Ash felt nothing. Craved nothing. Wanted nothing but for those tainted hands to not touch him, but with Eiji, sweet Eiji who wanted nothing from him, it wasn't the same.
He craved touch from Eiji. Not in a sexual sense, nothing more than warm hugs, soft kisses and especially undivided attention from the boy. These were the acts that set Ash's heart on fire. Although at the same time, it ignited a fear in Ash's mind. This longing for only Eiji's gentle touch, the couple times they shared sweet kisses, what did that mean for them?
Ash knew he had feelings for the older boy, but it was messy and hard to unravel, but Ash at least had an idea of what love feels like. He loved his brother, who raised him and took care of him. And he knew he loved Shorter, a loyal, deep friendship that had indeed made the two of them practically family. So Ash had thought he felt the same with Eiji, but clearly his actions with the boy and the thoughts that ran through his head said otherwise.
This was a different type of love. A love Ash had never experienced.
He was scared. He was scared of this type of love, but he knew as he kissed those soft lips and stared at those brown doe eyes, he had to be feeling that type of love. Right?
Ash sighed then, and buried his head in the crook of Eiji's neck.
“What are you doing to me?” He whispered.
He froze when he felt Eiji stir, and pulled back slightly to study the boys furrowed eyebrows and small frown playing on his lips, which Ash found himself wanting to kiss said lips.
Eiji's eyes fluttered open, squinting as he processed that Ash was right in front of him.
“Hm? Ashu?” His voice groggy and Ash couldn't help but chuckle at the mispronunciation of his name. He found it utterly adorable, Eiji had a habit of doing it when he woke up, still tired and bleary eyed.
“Morning, sleeping beauty.” Ash gave him a lopsided grin, “you sure snore a lot for a princess, though.”
“Hey! I do not!” Eiji, suddenly wide awake, slapped the blondes arm playfully, and Ash snickered.
“Don't worry, darling, I find it cute.” He cooed. It was utterly delightful to see Eiji blush, (which is honestly a big reason of why Ash enjoyed teasing the older boy) he became even more breathtaking, if that was even possible.
Despite the jab, Eiji giggled, and moved away from Ash, patting on the bed as he created enough space between them.
Ash was almost embarrassed at how quickly he climbed into the bed, and shifted closer to Eiji, tucking one of his arms underneath his head. He raised an eyebrow and a smirk formed on his lips as Eiji's arms snaked up around his neck, smiling up at him, and behind Ash's calm demeanor his heart was pounding, and his cheeks were flushed.
“Damn, when did you get so bold.” Ash teased, his voice light. He felt giddy.
“Hmm, you looked lonely just on the floor, I am just being nice.” Eiji replied, and Ash's heart fluttered.
Ash, in return, placed a hand on Eiji's hip, and began to mindlessly stroke the skin there with his thumb.
“Shameless flirt,” Ash muttered, his voice low as he leaned in to place his forehead against Eiji's
The older boy just laughed, an angelic sound to Ash's ears.
“Well, I do learn from the best,” Eiji nudged his nose playfully against Ash's, “did I not?”
At that Ash couldn't take it, and he closed the space between them, capturing Eiji's lips in a gentle kiss. Eiji, although surprised, quickly responded. Moving his lips in time with Ash's, letting out a heavy sigh as Ash ran his tongue on the boys bottom lip, opening his mouth so the blonde could run his tongue along his, Eiji moaned lightly and Ash's heart swelled, deciding he wanted to hear that sound again. So he angled his head, kissing deeper, letting passion sink in, letting his hand on Eiji's hip wander to the back of his knee, pulling it up and hitching it on Ash's own hip. Eiji moaned again, and Ash felt lightheaded, whether from lack of air or that sweet moan, he couldn't tell. He just knew this felt good. So good. He never wanted to kiss someone so bad, never wanted to hold them like this. Yet this amazing boy was slowly showing him that despite the gross kisses Ash begrudgingly shared before, that this simple act could be so good. So loving. It made Ash's heart soar and he felt happy. This boy made him so happy.
Eiji pulled away first, the need for air became too much. After catching his breath, Ash chased Eiji's lips again, kissing gently before pulling back to pepper the boys flushed cheeks with soft pecks.
Eiji laughed breathlessly, “ Ah , and I am the shameless flirt?”
Ash planted his lips on the older boy's jaw, before pulling back with a grin.
“Totally,” he confirmed, his voice much huskier than usual. He leaned in to claim another kiss from Eiji, tugging on his bottom lip playfully with his teeth (he really enjoyed doing that, he decided).
“I mean,” Ash continued, as he stole another kiss from the breathless boy, “I can't stop kissing you for some reason, so you must be doing something right.”
Eiji started laughing, blushing as he slapped Ash's chest, and the laughter bubbled out of the blonde as well. A warmth easily spreading across his chest.
They laid there for a moment in comfortable silence, smiling at each other, before Eiji spoke up.
"Are you...okay?" He moved his arm down to cradle the blonde's cheek, and Ash instinctively leaned into his touch.
"Yesterday, I mean. Do you feel at least a little better? Talking about it?" Eiji asked, his eyebrows furrowed as care and concern settled in his eyes.
Ash was genuinely surprised. He didn't think Eiji would even bring up what happened last night. Much less still care that much about it. He's broken down in front of others before, sure, but they always let it go right after. Perhaps it was because he was angry when he cried, and pushed them away not long after. Yet, Eiji was an extraordinary exception. Ash cried in his arms last night with nothing but sadness and remorse, and Ash was shocked with himself at the realization that he was comfortable enough to do that again, if he needed too.
If he needed too. Did he really need too? Ash never once considered therapy, disliked even the idea of it for someone like him, and of course Eiji was no therapist. However, the warmth and love of this boy made Ash so comfortable that he felt he could hold onto Eiji forever and tell him everything
"Ash," Eiji's gentle voice pulled him out of his musings, his voice laced with worry, "are you okay?"
"Yeah- yeah, I'm fine." Ash cleared his throat in an attempt to get rid of the lump that was beginning to form.
"I-I think I feel a little bit better," Ash answered Eiji's previous question slowly. "I've never really...talked to anyone about it, but with you...with you it was easier...so thanks."
Eiji gave him a small smile, "I do not know if I really did anything-"
"You do a lot more than you think, Eiji." Ash cut him off, his voice husky as he moved his head to place a kiss on the palm of the boy's hand.
Eiji blushed, his smile grew. "I am just happy you are feeling a bit better. Whatever it is, I want to be there for you. No matter what."
Ash felt tears prick his eyes, and pulled Eiji into a crushing embrace, burying his head in the crook of the older boy's neck.
" Shit, Eiji." Ash whispered against his neck, "what did I do to deserve you?"
He heard Eiji chuckle, as he rubbed Ash's back soothingly.
"You deserve happiness and peace. No matter how you get it, that is what you deserve," he replied, and Ash began to cry.
Never in a million years did Ash think he could experience happiness like this, and this Japanese boy who came crashing into Ash's messy life made him happy.
Eiji brought happiness, peace, comfort and love wherever he went, and Ash was lucky enough to be smothered by it.
Even if it was just for a moment or forever.