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Seven Minutes

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"Are you nervous?"

Arms brush, feet touching, Hide’s breath against his ear, heat between their pressed bodies.

Kaneki backs up, feels the closet behind him, and wants to say the truth that indeed, he’s really nervous because this isn’t what he signed up for at all.

But Hide steps forward, invades his space again, and faintly, just faintly, his heart stutters. Just so very faintly that it might’ve never happened, and just so that he could pretend that -

"No. I’m not nervous. H-Hide."

In the back, center, and forefront of his brain, he thinks and thinks and worries over how strange this whole thing is; worries that Hide’s being really weird, worries that he feels like his heart’s trying to commit seppuku right about now, worries that boys like them should not, not ever, never be playing seven minutes in heaven with each other, because wouldn’t that just be…really gay?

"Hey, Kaneki."

Hide doesn’t seem like he cares or worries like the way he cares and worries, and Kaneki feels silly in comparison. He’s not gay, obviously - neither of them is. And they’re best friends, to top it off. So stop worrying about it, he tells himself, as his eyes lock on Hide and wander down to his lips.

There is light streaming in from under the door crack, enough for them to see each other’s silhouette and the trace of their features.

"Let’s play a game."

Nothing out of usual; Hide constantly finds new things and ways to entertain himself. Nothing out of usual at all, so why doesn’t he feel calm like he should?

"Sure. But, it’s a little…tight in here," he says.

"It’s fine. We don’t need space for this game," Hide replies, a familiar grin stretching over his lips, and Kaneki recognizes that smile just as he recognizes the way his stomach flip flop drops in response.

"Oh. Okay."

"All you have to do is say ‘yes’ or ‘no.’ All right, Kaneki?"

He wonders why anything would ever be all right with the way that Hide’s body is leaning, pressed, against his, almost pinning him to the wall.

But because it’s just Hide, and he’s just Kaneki, and they’re just friends who’ve known each other since forever, and this is just another game they’re playing, there’s really nothing that could go wrong.

Suddenly, he feels pressure on his shoulder. Hide’s hand.

"Are you nervous yet?"

He thinks no, because his shoulder’s not nervous. No, not at all.

But his ear is getting anxious the more Hide mouths against it, hot breath tingling his nerves rendering his knees weak.

"No," he murmurs, his eyes on Hide’s curled smile.

A pause, and then, “Okay.” Hide moves his hand from his shoulder to his clavicle and rests on his neck, right on his pulse.

Dub. Dub. Dub.

He feels Hide’s eyes on him - no, not on him, on his mouth, but yes, looking at him. Intensely.

"How about now?"

Hushed whisper, slow, a waver in his voice, and Kaneki stares, transfixed, at the movements of Hide’s lips.

Lub-Dub. Dub dub dub dub.

His heart skips a beat, maybe three. Perhaps three and a half. Most likely four.

Lub-dub lub-dub.

Trying to jump out.

"No," he inhales.

Good, Hide mouths.

Dub dub dub lub-dub his heart goes.

Then Hide leans in and now they’re half a millimeter apart and Hide’s lips are almost brushing his and the tip of his nose is definitely brushing against his and this is bad, bad, bad and -

"Are you nervous yet, Kaneki?"

With that knowing grin on his mouth and the warmth of his vanilla scented breath in this dark confine with just the two of them, and he’s screaming yes I’m nervous you know I’m nervous Hide what are you doing but what comes out of his throat instead is -

"No."

He looks up at Hide, sure that he can feel his veins pumping so embarrassingly loud, but also sure that he hears a thump thump bb-thump that’s not his own.

"No. I’m not, Hide." Shaky, so obviously nervous, but he’s lying through his teeth in spite of it all.

Good, Hide moves his lips silently.

So close that they could have brushed.

"Because I’m nervous, Kaneki."