“ We're driving in your black car and it's blacked out and we're spinnin'"
Atsushi can't remember when exactly it started, his partners tired eyes and heavy limbs, but he knows the exact moment he began to wonder if Akutagawa was falling out of love with him.
"We're listening to 'Fast Car-'"
"Is everything okay?"
Akutagawa wouldn't look him in the eyes. "At the moment, yes." Akutagawa had never lied to him. Ever. And Atsushi could feel his heart sink into his stomach as the first of what would be many doubts popped into his head -
"And you're driving fast and you're singing"
'Does he not trust me anymore?'
" Don't wanna tell you what I'm feelin'"
"Does he not love me anymore?"
" Don't want this night to hit the ceilin' "
It was never anything big. Just tired smiles and quietly pulling his hand away from Atsushi's. And yes, Atsushi had no problem giving him space but god, why wouldn't Akutagawa answer his questions anymore? Or look him in the eyes?
" It's going on eighteen months now-"
"And it's fucked up-"
"If you've found someone else, please let me know."
"But I'm fallin'"
This, for what felt like the first time in weeks, finally caught his partners attention. Akutagawa whipped his head up from where he'd been typing something into his computer, eyes widening at Atsushi's words. "What," he breathed, barely even a whisper and Atsushi had to dig his hands into his pants to keep his fingers - and voice - from trembling.
"Or if I'm just not- not enough. I want you to be happy." The words snagged at the lump in his throat, threatening to wobble like a frightened child's, but he was scared, vulnerable as he forced himself to look up from his lap and make direct eye contact with Akutagawa, who was beginning to look more horrified by the second. "And if I need to let you go to be happy, then that's okay, because you mean so much to me and I don't wanna hold you back and I- I- I"
" I feel it everyday now but I'm stallin', but I'm stallin'"
Atsushi couldn't keep his eyes from burning, and he no longer had control over the quality of his voice, but he forced himself to smile, if only to try and quell the look of utter despair on Akutagawa's face. "Just, talk to me, okay?" Then, more of a choked sob than an actual word, "Please?"
" I'm here, but I'm in pieces and I don't know how to fix this, and I don't know how to fix this, no"
Akutagawa was up and across the room before Atsushi could even process the movement, entirely unprepared as his partner grabbed his shoulders in a vice-like grip. "Atsushi, no," he said, and Atsushi could barely make out the pain in his boyfriend's features for the long overdue tears flooding his vision. "No, no, no, Jinko-"
"If I'm just somebody that you're gonna leave"
At that, Atsushi broke. The dam ripped through him and he cried, ugly and brokenhearted as Akutagawa drew him close desperately, both clinging to one another as though their lives depended on it. Atsushi sobbed, wails of pain he'd bottled up and Akutagawa only tightened his hold, pulling Atsushi down to the floor with him as his knees gave out at the realization of what he'd been putting his boyfriend through.
"And you don't feel something when you look at me"
"Atsushi, no, no, you're one of the only good things that has ever happened to me, how could you even think that-" Akutagawa gasped and Atsushi only cried harder, his face buried into Akutagawa's shirt, the one he only ever wore when he was at home with either his lover or his sister.
"You're holding my heart, mmm, what'cha say?"
"Mori, he's- I'm-." By now they both ached from the crushing grip they had on one another, but somehow it only grew tighter with Akutagawa's hoarse admission. "Mori is threatening Nakahara and I. We're trying, but the moment our common enemy is defeated, Mori is going to throw himself at the ADA and he's trying to use Gin to threaten me and I-"
"Why didn't you tell me?" Came Atsushi's wrecked reply, pulling away just enough to grab Akutagawa's face, wiping at the tears Akutagawa couldn't remember shedding. "We're a team. You're supposed to come to me with things like this."
"Just let me down slowly, I'll be okay"
Now it was Akutagawa's turn to sob, leaning further into Atsushi's hands. "I won't let him use you against me too."
"If you're just some habit that I gotta break, I can clear my system in 90 days. You're holdin' my heart, mmm, what'cha say? Just let me down slowly . . ."