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Every Damn Time

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His hands were shaking.

He couldn’t stop staring at the cellphone clutched in his hands so tight his knuckles were turning white and he was pretty sure he was on the verge of tears. He was scared. His mind was going a mile a minute and he couldn’t help continuously looking around himself for signs of his boyfriend.

The same boyfriend who, only an hour before, had called him and asked to meet up with him because they needed to talk. And he was scared. Every time he’d been told that in such a tone, he’d ended up watching someone he had loved walk away from him and into the arms of someone else. And he had always loved them, even if he was young. Just because he was young didn’t mean he didn’t understand what it felt like to have someone that whenever you looked at them, whenever you heard them, whenever you had a sliver of thought about them, you would never stop smiling because everything they did, everything that made them them made it impossible for you to not be happy whenever you were with them or talking to them on the phone or exchanging emails or text messages or anything. And that was exactly how he felt. Even more than a year after their first date where his heart had jumped into his mouth whenever his boyfriend smiled at him and complimented him or when he was sat down on the beach between his boyfriend’s legs and leaning back against his chest with the strong arms around him, he still felt like every date they went on was their first.

He stared out over the beach from the railing he was leaning against. They’d only just been here a few days ago, four of them. His best friend hadn’t been able to be there, but he’d made sure to take plenty of photos of everyone enjoying themselves, especially their leader enjoying the mixture of beer, sun and relaxation a little too much. His stomach tied itself in a knot as he remembered just how little time he’d spent with his boyfriend that day, not for lack of trying. It was as though the bassist just didn’t want to be there, and all he had done was give him a kiss, put a hat on him, told him to be careful in the sun and then ran off to play in the surf with the drummer.


The rapper jumped and his heart beat a little faster at that voice that did things to him. It was different, though. Something in the tone that matched how he had sounded when he had called earlier, and it slowed Takuya’s reaction. He looked back over his shoulder before slowly turning the rest of his body to face him. He wanted to run forward and hug him and kiss him the way they normally greeted each other, but he held himself back because the look he was getting was not exactly welcoming. He wasn’t sure what it was, but it definitely wasn’t normal.

He swallowed and the hand still behind his back curled around the bars of the railing he was still leaning against.

“Kei.” His voice shook a little when he breathed out the name and mentally kicked himself. He already knew what was coming, but that didn’t mean he was allowed to let it get to him before it had even happened. “What… did you what to talk about?”

The bassist shifted his weight onto one leg and hooked his thumbs into the pockets of his jeans. He looked around for a moment, at everything that wasn’t his boyfriend, before sighing, his tone soft and cautious. “Takuya… You know I love you, right?” He risked a glance at the rapper in time to catch the small nod. “I just… don’t think this is working. Not right now. There’s too much going on and we barely see each other outside of the band stuff anymore.”

“It’s alright, Kei,” Takuya’s grip on the railing behind him tightened as he forced himself to look the taller man in the eye. “You don’t have to make up some bullshit excuse. Just tell the truth. You found someone else, you don’t actually love me anymore or you think I’m too young to know what I want or to know what love is so you think you’re doing me a favour by making me hurt now rather than risk letting me hurt you later if I change my mind. Which one is it?”

Kei blinked down at him before his expression tightened somewhat and Takuya had to force himself not to sigh. He had sort of been hoping that the older man really was genuinely feeling bad about what he was about to do, but somehow, he knew it was too good to be true. Watching the expression and tone and emotion fall so easily was just proof.

“The last one,” the bassist admittedly flatly, folding his arms over his chest. “You’ve said it yourself. You don’t know what you want to do or where you want to be. You need to focus on yourself when you make those kinds of decisions, not let a relationship influence you, or you won’t be happy. And I want to see you happy, Takuya. I know you say you’ll be happy as long you’re with me, but you don’t know that and I don’t want to see you realize a few years down the line that you’ve made all the wrong decisions and that you aren’t happy.”

Takuya’s heart fluttered for a moment at the prospect that Kei really was doing this for his sake and happiness. But then he looked behind Kei and frowned. “You sure it’s not for the first one as well?” Kei blinked and looked back over his shoulder. The rapper sighed. “Just do it already, Kei.”

There was a moment’s silence, and Takuya wondered if Kei was going to change his mind and not break up with him. His hope didn’t last long.

“I’ll bring your stuff to the next meeting.”

Takuya didn’t even get a farewell. He watched as his (ex)boyfriend began to walk away. It took all of his willpower to stay composed as he watched another man loop his arm around Kei’s waist and kiss the side of the bassist’s head, and he wondered just how long Kei had been this close to his fellow Basara actor.

As soon as they were out of sight, the rapper felt a tear roll down his cheek. He quickly wiped it away and began his walk home. He didn’t want to take the train. He didn't want to face the crowds. He was looking forward to getting home because his parents were away for a few weeks and he could just lock himself inside forever.

Which was exactly what he did.

He didn’t venture out for days, claiming sick from everything. The rehearsals for his stage play, a meeting with the band, a long-planned day out with Shogo. He ignored all phonecalls, turned off his voicemail, and didn’t touch his laptop except to put up a blog entry about how he was unwell and wouldn’t be doing much until he felt better then spent the rest of the time breaking down.

By the end of the first week, he was legitimately sick. Bedridden, feeling like crap, unable to eat and slowly getting worse because he couldn’t do anything to help himself except lie in bed and sleep. Or at least try to.

Halfway through the second week, his phone died and he didn’t bother to recharge it this time. The day after, there was an insistent knocking on his door. It wasn’t the first time someone had come knocking, but it was the first time the knocking on the front door was accompanied by loud shouts. Pained shouts. And then they stopped.

And started again much closer. On the other side of Takuya’s window. The knocking continued for almost five minutes before the rapper finally gave up. He slowly got to his feet, wobbling a little as he did so, and walked towards the large window. He pulled the curtain open silently and the face he saw was far more shocked than he felt.

“Fuck, Takuya… Let me in.” The rapper could only just hear the voice through the glass, but he understood enough to open the window as wide as he could and step back, watching the older man climb in through it. Almost instantly, he felt arms around him, hugging him tightly.

He let himself be pulled towards the bed and down onto it and once they were laying down, he curled into the older man and buried his face in his shoulder. He didn’t cry. He’d already run out of tears. But he did shake and cling to the other man’s shirt and squeeze his eyes shut as though he were about to cry.

“We’ve been so worried, Taku…” The voice was muffled against his hair. “Kei told us you’d broken up because you both needed to focus on other things… Why didn’t you answer any of our calls?”

Takuya swallowed hard and shook his head. He couldn’t talk. Somewhere between his breakdowns and lack of water and food, his throat had gotten dry and sore and unusable. His friend noticed and pulled away to leave the room, returning a few minutes later with a glass of water in his hand. It helped a little, but Takuya still couldn’t find his voice.

The other man just sighed and pulled him into another tight hug, holding him as the rapper found the tears to cry again.