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“I don’t wanna be here anymore.”


... the words only lasted a few seconds before the air swallowed them whole, yet the tremendous weight they carried lasted much longer. 

Josuke couldn’t quite register them in his head. What did that even mean? He repeated the sentence over and over in an internal dialogue, but each loop only left him more concerned, a horrible sinking feeling rooting itself in his chest. It didn’t make sense. 

Okuyasu stared into the distance, unbothered by what had passed through his lips moments before. His eyes almost glazed over, a neutral, melancholy expression to accompany them. No sadness, no apprehension, a lack of anything really. He was numb.

“... w... what do you mean? You... you don’t want to be here anymore? You want to leave Morioh?” Josuke blurted out, looking his best friend up and down, searching for any sign of his intention, but he was still and inexpressive. He’d never seen him display this sort of behaviour before, and it was... disconcerting. Something was wrong.

Okuyasu shrugged. 

“... just that. I don’t wanna be here anymore.”

It was like a single crack appearing in a mirror. At first it was slow, fracturing the tiniest amounts, hardly even a noticeable piece of damage... then the break spread, stretching out in all directions, and all of a sudden, it shattered. 

Shards of thin, slithers of glass fell all around, revealing what was below. 


Okuyasu cried all the time. 

Whether it was over delicious food at Tonio’s, or Koichi getting a girlfriend before either of them, it was always somewhat lighthearted and silly. Crying over spilling his calpis water, crying over his favourite flavour of ice cream selling out, crying over... things that didn’t matter in the long run. Crying over things that could be laughed at later.

Never like this.

“I uh... I jus’ felt like I had t’tell someone... I didn’ know who else to talk to...”


The tears slowly welled up in his eyes, moisture that he tried to blink away or soak up with a sleeve at first, but eventually gave up. 

Josuke could see how much he was struggling to stay quiet. The jerky movements of his chest as he breathed, and the clear insistence to make no eye contact. 

 

Don't you go leaving me
You still got a life to go
Sunken eyed, hollow
Teary eyes, pretty bones

 

This... didn’t make sense. Okuyasu was one of the most constantly positive and upbeat people he had ever met. He was always smiling, always laughing at something or other, full of energy and silly little remarks. What happened to make him feel like this?

Why did he feel like this?


“... h-hey man... I... I don’t know what’s bothering you so much, but, I’m here for you yakno? If... if there’s anything you want me to do... if there’s anything I can do, I’ll do it.” Josuke stammered, laying a gentle hand on Okuyasu’s tensed shoulder.

Incredibly tensed in fact, it was as if his whole body was stiffened up, stuck like that. Shoulders up, head down, hands trapped in fists. 

“... I... don’ think there’s much y-y’can do Josuke... I think I’m stuck like this.”

“...Dude, please, you can’t just drop that on me and then not say anything else, I’m shitting myself with worry here.”

Okuyasu couldn’t help but snicker at that, wiping away the moisture around his eyes with the back of his sleeve.

“W-Woah, shitting yourself?”

“Jesus fucking Christ Oku, I’m not trying to be funny here. I... I don’t get it. You’re like, the happiest guy I know. You’re always smiling more than anyone else and... you... you’re telling me you’re suicidal?”

He visibly cringed at the final word, gritting his teeth inside his mouth and narrowing his brows.

“... I jus’ d-don’t wanna worry anyone man... it’s way easier to just slap a s-smile on ‘n’ call it a day than be sad all the time.” He answered, looking down at the floor to avoid all possible eye contact.

“So you are then.”

“Are what?”

“Suicidal.”

Josuke had no clue of what to do. Was he a danger to himself right now? How was he going to say goodbye to him later and watch him walk away back to his house, all alone with nobody to look out for him? 

Part of him considered marching the guy straight down to Morioh’s hospital and demand that he get put on an overnight ward for a couple days, but, he reconsidered. 

Okuyasu wouldn’t have come to him with this unless he really, genuinely trusted him. Breaking that trust would most likely do very little good.


“So? Are you?”

“... I... I mean, yea’ I guess so-“

“- Please tell me you haven’t tried anything.”

The telltale silence afterwards said more than words could ever hope to, as Okuyasu squeezed his fists as tightly as he could, and guilt radiated off him in waves, knowing full well that the truthful answer wasn’t what Josuke wanted to hear.

“... holy shit, I... oh my god, Okuyasu, you have my house’s phone number why didn’t you call me? W... what did you do, what did you try and do to yourself?”

His heart was thundering in his chest. There was a feeling brewing that he couldn’t place a name on, it was painful and warm, uncomfortably warm. Searing hot deep in his core, making him grow increasingly anxious.

“... it... it’s nothin’ man... I didn’t call you ‘cause it was late... I didn’t want your mum to get mad at you...”

“That doesn’t matter! I don’t care how mad my mum’d get at me, making sure you’re ok is way more important!”

Josuke caught himself. He was raising his voice, and this was hardly the time for that. Okuyasu had clearly asked that they go on a walk to Morioh’s oceanside cliffs that evening for privacy, not for him to be able to speak at whatever volume he pleased.

“... I’m sorry man... just... please tell me, what have you done.”

Okuyasu looked sheepish and hesitant, but took a couple of deep breaths and began to talk again.


“... it... uhm... ah, I don’t really kno’ how to say it... it... it’s complicated. I dunno what words to use. I hate thinking about it, my head always starts hurtin’.”

Josuke stepped in front of him, both hands now on a shoulder each.

“... Oku, please man, just this once, please can you talk to me about it... you can even do yes no answers if that helps.”

He still wasn’t making eye contact.

“... we can go and find somewhere nice to sit and you can take your time. I won’t get mad no matter what words you use, promise.”

“... don’t’cha need to be home soon?”

“Whatever, like I said, you’re more important than all that.”


They found a decent grassy patch about two metres from the very edge of the cliff. Close enough to see the ocean, but still far away enough from the edge to be safe from crumbling rocks and possible landslides.

Okuyasu sank down to the ground, taking in a lungful of salty air.

Josuke knew that he was staring a lot. He practically hadn’t taken his eyes off him the whole time. Part of him said to pull away, look at something else, but he was scared.

A whole new dynamic had been added to their friendship. Okuyasu clearly didn’t value his life, and while it may have been ridiculous, Josuke was afraid that he could dart away in the absence of his surveillance. Never to be seen again.

An irrational fear, but a fear nonetheless.


He opened his lips to start talking, though to his surprise, Okuyasu beat him to it.

“... I’ve... I’ve tried things a couple times. None’ve worked... obviously, hah... I... p-pills. I tried those. Took a whole bottle of something, no idea what it was, leftover stuff from the bathroom cupboard... you know... from when my bro was around. I was sick for a few hours afterwards, really horrid, couldn’t stop puking even when I had nothin’ left to puke up b’cuz I felt so shitty.”

“... was that when you took a day of from school a couple months ago?”

“Oh... yeah. I wanted to come in, but I couldn’t stop shaking ‘n’ stuff.”

“... you should’ve called me. I would’ve come over and used Crazy D to make you feel better.”

“... I though’ you might’ve... mmh... never mind.”

“... Okuyasu-“

“No, Josuke, that was stupid. I’m not gonna say it b’cuz it was stupid and it’ll hurt y’feelings.”

A particularly vigorous set of waves far beneath them crashed against the rocks with incredible force, spraying foam and tiny droplets of water upwards, coming down like light rain for a couple of seconds.

“... Okuyasu, I promise you, you could tell me that I’m the most horrible person you’ve ever met and you hate me and I wouldn’t get mad. Genuinely. You can say anything. You’ve clearly been bottling up your problems for a while.”

He finally turned and looked Josuke in the eye, grabbing onto the grass as if to steady himself.

“... anythin’?”

“Yeah, I mean it, anything means anyth-“

“Your hair is weird.”

There was nothing but the sound of the wind and the sea for a good five seconds, and also the sound of Josuke taking meticulous control of his breathing to prevent himself from smacking his best friend around the head.

Okuyasu broke out into the first smile since they left school.

“Oh fuck, you really meant anythin’, I thought you were gonna fuckin’ kill me for a second there. Your hair is fine man, cool actually. Really cool. Have I ever told you your hair’s cool?”

Josuke smiled through gritted teeth.

“Haha, yeah, thanks.”

“No no I mean it! You always look so cool, especially when you’ve jus’ done it, it looks all professional ‘n’ that but it’s just you in your bathroom with a comb ‘n’ some hairspray, hair magic, I have no clue how you do it.”

As much as Josuke didn’t want to admit it, the following hair compliment cancelled out the previous hair insult, maybe even cancelled out and went a little further. 

“So, now that you definitely know I meant, anything, what were you going to say to me?”

Okuyasu’s smile was gone in an instant.

“... oh... well... I was just worried that you’d... like... think I was stupid or somthin’. That’s what Keicho would’ve done. Called me stupid then kicked my ass.”

“When have I ever kicked your ass?”

“Firs’ time we met.”

“That wasn’t me dummy, your own stand and the flowerpots did all the work.”

Okuyasu rubbed his forehead as if it was still hurting.

“Don’t remind me, that really bloody hurt y’know?”

“I healed you afterwards, so it doesn’t count. I’d never try and hurt you because you were having a hard time man, that’s a real fucked up thing to do. I’m your friend. Friends don’t do that.”

“... it... it’s just hard J-Josuke. My bro was everything to me for like... eleven- no, twelve years. He wasn’t perfect but he was all I had. Things he did are still all stuck up in my head like fuckin’ glue, they won’t go away even though I hate ‘em. I still flinch when people move too quick aroun’ me ‘n’ stuff. It’s embarrassin’.”

“... did he hit you?”

“... mmh hmm. Thought you knew that.”

“I never asked, I figured that Keicho was kinda a sore subject. I didn’t wanna make you feel uncomfortable.”

Okuyasu shrugged. 

“Jeez Josuke were havin’ a proper heart to heart aren’t we?”

“Don’t make it weird dude.”

“I’m not, I... I dunno... t... thank you. It, kinda does feel nice to talk about it with someone.”

It was probably way past Josuke’s curfew for tonight. On weekends, Tomoko was a little more lenient and let him stay out and stay up later, whether that was because he was with Okuyasu and Koichi or because he was playing video games till ridiculous times in the morning it didn’t matter, but weekdays had a strict 7pm rule. The state of the setting sun suggested that it was at least half an hour after that.

His mum was going to be so angry with him, but he kept that out of his mind. That didn’t matter right now. Okuyasu mattered right now.

“... your, scars. I never asked you about them.”

Okuyasu crossed his legs and looked down at his lap, nodding.

“That was him too. Yeah. Bad company.”

“I’m sorry. I’d heal them with Crazy D, but it seems that I can’t fix things like wounds that have already healed.”

“It’s ok. You don’t have’ta feel bad.”

Okuyasu raised a hand to feel the prominent lines stained onto his face. There was a stark difference between normal skin and scar tissue, tighter, weirdly shiny in a strange way. 

Josuke wished he could fix it for him. The amount of people who got scared on the street when he passed was insane. Parents would grab their children and make them look away, some would instantly cross the street and others would point-blank stare until he was out of eyesight.

It wasn’t everyone of course. Many people were polite, yet despite that, the ones who treated him like some sort of dangerous criminal for something he couldn’t help always filled Josuke with frustration.

All it would take was five minutes with Okuyasu and anybody would see that he was practically a living embodiment of a massive teddy bear if you were on his good side, but instead they assumed that the after effects of his abuse were a reason to think he was a monster.

Keicho had already told him that enough, going on and on about how his ability was terrifying, and he was dangerous.

 

I could never run from it
You know how it feels to be
Tired from the weight of it
Wake up and you don't feel home

 

Josuke pulled himself a bit closer, then started picking at the grass in front of him. It was littered with tiny white daisies, perfect for making daisy chains. 

“That was a tangent. I hope you don’t mind me steering back to what we were talking about before.” He sighed, making tiny slits vertically down the stems of the flowers with his nails. 

“... Mmh. Yeah.”

“... is there anything else you’ve done? Other than the pills.”

Okuyasu’s previous tenseness came back with a vengeance. 

“... yeah. But I don’t wanna show you.”

“... show?”

He realised he’d said too much, and looked close to tears again. Josuke knew this was tough on him, really tough.

“... Oku... I’m here for you. I’m not here because I hate you or I think anything bad, I’m here because I wanna help you.”

“I know... it’s just...”

“Just what?”

Tears built up and spilt over the top. Okuyasu tried to dry them away, though ended up sitting there, sobbing, covering his face. The whole deal, shaking and hiccuping and everything getting damp and wet. Wet and cold.


“... I fuckin’ h-hate myself Josuke, I really do, I’m the w-worst fuckin’ person. I don’ deserve to be happy. I dunno why you stick around, I’m so fuckin’ sick in the head. I’m sorry. I’m s-so fuckin’ sorry Josuke!”

“Hey hey hey, calm down, breathe, why would I think anything like that about you? You ain’t got anything to apologise for-“

Still crying, Okuyasu shakily unbuttoned the front of his shirt, sliding it off, leaving him in nothing but the purple vest underneath. It was pretty cold outside, and Josuke would usually tell him to put his damn shirt back on, but was distracted by something else.


His arms. 

His bare arms.


“... O... Okuy...” he trailed off, completely lost for words. 

Both of his forearms were covered in... well... cuts. Deep cuts, shallow cuts, all over, everywhere. Red and raw and inflamed. Self inflicted. Painful. 

If that wasn’t bad enough, on his left, there was a considerably more disturbing sight. A massive gash that stretched from the start of his wrist almost the whole way down to his elbow. 

It had scabbed up, but must have been causing him so much unimaginable pain every time he moved his arm. He obviously hadn’t hit an artery, insanely lucky. If he had, he would have bled out whenever it had happened. 

Well, lucky may not have been the right word. Josuke could only assume that death had been Okuyasu’s goal at that moment. 


Before he could argue, Crazy Diamond was healing every single piece of damage on his forearms and Josuke had pulled him into a tight hug. He didn’t know what to say.

Truth be told, he felt like crying himself. 

It took him a second, but Okuyasu hugged him back as well, wrapping his newly repaired arms around Josuke’s back, squeezing tight.

“... when was that.” 

“... I’ve b-been doin’ it for months. I used to hit my wall t’ hurt my knuckles ‘n’ pass it off as getting’ into fights... but I... I dunno... it just... started.”

“... the big one Okuyasu.”

“... oh.”

He buried his head in Josuke’s shoulder. 


“... last night.”

 

Say you need to rest but go
Snort a line a little bit
Then you think you own the world
But you can't control your fit

 

“... you need help dude. You really need some help. Professional help.”

“I’m f-fucked up. I know.”

“No, that’s not what I mean. You know that’s not what I mean.”

Josuke pulled away, and picked up his now finished daisy chain, carefully placing it on Okuyasu’s head.

“You’ve been through shit. More shit than most people have been through. In their whole lives, and you’re only sixteen. It’s no wonder you’re struggling like this. You aren’t weak for it, or fucked up for it. It’s not your fault.”

“B-but-“

“You’re j-just sixteen, Oku. You have your whole life ahead of you man. You can’t quit yet. N-Not yet.”

Okuyasu sniffed loudly, wiping his eyes, pulling his shirt back on while shivering. 

“... w-w-why are you crying?”

Josuke sniffed harder, willing his eyes to stop clouding up to no avail.


“Because my best bud in the w-whole entire world can’t see how fucking great he is.”

“I-I’m not-

“Yes you fucking are! You’re amazing, Okuyasu. You’re bloody fucking brilliant and I can’t understand why you don’t see that. There’s nobody I’d rather spend time with than you, there’s no one who makes me laugh as hard or has the best crazy ideas. Christ man, I love everything about you.”

They stared at each other, wondering what to say, then almost on queue, Josuke couldn’t hold it in anymore, and let out a small pained sob.

“Idiot. You’ve got me going as well now.”

“I am ‘n’ idiot. I’m s-stupid, Josuke. Really stupid.”

“I know you are, and I love that too.”

“... and I’m dense as all hell. I can’t read signals even if they’re r-r-righ’ in fronta me.”

“Do you know what ‘everything’ means?”

“... but-“

“Okuyasu.”

 

I don't know how to tell you
I don't know how to tell you
You tell me

 

“... I... I love you man. I just want you to love yourself as well.”

The statement shocked Okuyasu so much that he choked back the tears for a second.


“... h-holy shit- what... Josuke-“

“Don’t make it weird! You can love your friends, dumbass!”


He grabbed him and hugged him again, partially to continue comforting him, but mostly to hide the massive flush spreading across his face.

Bad choice of words. That’s what he told himself anyway.

 

Don't you go leaving me
You still got a life to go
Sunken eyed, hollow
Teary eyes, pretty bones

 

“Y’really... mean everything?”

Josuke rolled his eyes and playfully tapped Okuyasu on the shoulder.

“Yeah, I do. And no amount of you tryina prove me wrong will do anything.”

“Even though I’m bad at everythin’, ‘n’ scary lookin’, and I’ve got a weird monster dad and I’m so awkward it hurts sometimes?”

“First of all, you are not bad at everything, you can cook dude, and not just that, you can cook well. I can’t even boil water without burning the bottom of the pan.”

Okuyasu snorted with laughter and almost choked on his own tongue.

“W-What the fuck Josuke? How do you even do that?”

“Beats me man, I’m banned from touching mum’s pans, one of them is ruined and even though I scrubbed the bottom for two hours straight it’s still pitch black. Anyway, it’s not just cooking, you can play the guitar right?”

“... wha... how’d you know that?”

“I’ve heard you outta the upstairs windows when I’ve come over to pick you up to go to school. Heard you singing too, it’s funny, you sound like you always do when you’re talking, and then when you’re singing it’s like you have an entirely different set of vocal chords.”

He groaned and mimed throwing a punch at him, acting like a kid who just got caught doing something they should’ve have.

“Asshole.”

“It’s not my fault someone left his windows open while singing Purple Rain! Why were you learning Prince songs anyway? You aren’t even into Prince.”

Okuyasu blushed bright red and clasped the sides of his face as if that would hide it.

“I-I wasn’t.”

“You definitely were. I heard Purple Rain on two different occasions. And Raspberry Beret. And 1999.”

Josuke rubbed his eyes with the back of his hand and watched as Okuyasu rushed around his brain to try and figure out a convincing reason.

Evidently, he came out with nothing and came clean instead.

“... w-why’d’you think I was learnin’ Prince songs. He’s your fave isn’t he.”

It hit Josuke like a brick.

“... f... for me?”

“Mmmmmmmmmh. Shut up. I’m changin’ the subject.”

“No you can’t just change it after dropping that on me?! Okuyasuuuuu you’re a sweetheart sometimes you know that right? A sweetheart and a dork.”

“Yeah, you tell me every other day.”

“An massive dork. A dork with a normal face and and a funny habit of saying the weirdest things.”

“Y’missed out my weird dad.”

“That’s not your fault though is it.”

“... I... guess...”

The sun was setting quickly. They were going to be in darkness soon, with nothing but the faint light of the starts and the moon to guide them back across the expanse of grass and into the town. 


“... I’m sorry for callin’ your mum hot Josuke.”

He burst out laughing, nearly ruining his hair by doubling over and shoving it into the grass. 

“Oku, please, where on earth did that come from?” He giggled, relishing in the utterly embarrassed expression on his friend’s face.

“Ya’know, the firs’ day we walked t’ school together, I just turned up at y’house ‘n’ said your mum was hot like a fuckin’ weirdo.”

“Does it makes you feel better if I told you that she adored you and wouldn’t shut up about you that evening?”

“Huh? Why’d she do that?”

“... Oku, bro, before you ‘n’ Koichi, I didn’t really have any friends.”

The awkward quiet was back, and Okuyasu blinked at him a few times, disbelief apparent.

“... I don’t believe you.”

“No, seriously. I had a couple friends when I was little, but, you and Koichi were the first people I like... actually connected with. Especially you. So that’s another thing, you’re an amazing friend.”

“... you were the first person t’ be properly nice to me since my mum died. I didn’ know what t’do after Keicho was gone... so I just, panicked and hoped that y’wouldn’t hate me.”

“I could never hate you.”

“... what if Koichi’d died. What if I’d stalled you enough for him to bleed out.”

“Then I would have beaten your brother within an inch of his life.”

“... mmh... I guess y’would’ve.”

 

I could never run from it
You know how it feels to be
Tired from the weight of it
Wake up and you don't feel home

 

The atmosphere, while still somber and sad, had cheered up considerably compared to earlier, but the images inside Josuke’s head had not.

The vivid sights of Okuyasu’s arms butchered at his own discretion sent shivers of dread down his spine.


“... Oku?”

“Yeah?”

“... why’d you do that to yourself last night.”

“... oh... Josuke, I-“

“I’ve made you talk a lot, I know you don’t like it, I’m sorry, but, that’s my last question. I won’t press at you for anything else.”

“... n-no it’s not a problem... uhm... just... J-Josuke, listen... I’m not sad all the time, I’m, actually pretty happy a lot of the time, especially when I’m with you, or Koichi, or Mikitaka, or anyone, even if Rohan is a right twat, he’s funny. I’m happy sometimes, ‘n’ then suddenly I’ll get sad for no reason, other times there are reasons... ‘n’ it could last an hour or it could last a week. Might be kinda... mild, or real bad. It’s frustratin’ b’cuz one second you’re fine then suddenly you feel like complete shit. Am... am I makin’ sense?”

He looked up at him, finding Josuke just as concerned as ever. Concerned and pained. Okuyasu noticed that he was biting his bottom lip, and when he followed his eyeline, stopped immediately. 

“... why’re you scared?”

“What?”

“You were bitin’ your lip. You only do that when you’re scared, or nervous or somethin’.”

Josuke tried to think of a quick reply, but nothing came into mind. Complex emotions couldn’t be explained with simple answers.

The last thing he wanted was to make Okuyasu feel bad.

“... I’m not, I just had a bit of dead skin.”

He gave him a look.

“... you go through a stick of lip balm like every other week, you’re lying.”

“It’s nothing.”

“I know I’m stupid, but I’m not blind.”

Josuke bit his lip again, and swallowed the excess moisture in his mouth.

“... I’m afraid it’ll happen again. You’ll be at home all alone and feeling terrible and try something and I won’t be there to fix you up, because you won’t call me.”

 

Say you need to rest but go
Snort a line a little bit
Then you think you own the world
But you can't control your fit

 

“... what if I did?”

“You didn’t last time, so I doubt you would the next.”

“... you didn’t know about all this stuff though... I... I just didn’t wanna... be a burden... you know...”

“I’m not your brother dude, I’m not ever gonna think anything like that about you.”

Without really thinking, Josuke reached out and grasped Okuyasu’s hand, running his thumb over his knuckles in a sweeping motion.

“... promise me, next time you feel like that, before you even do anything, call me, or come and knock on my bedroom window if you’re afraid of waking up my mum. Let me try and help you through it. Promise me.” he mumbled, squeezing his hand, feeling him squeeze back.

“... ok, I promise.”

“Really? You aren’t just saying that?”

“I’ll make a pinky promise.”

Okuyasu offered up his other hand, pinky outstretched, and gave his friend a little smile.

“... you can’t break a pinky promise.” he reassured, and looked out to sea after Josuke offered up his own and they shook on it. The sun had set, it was properly getting dark now. Everything was a deep shade of purple, as the last rays of the sun disappeared beneath the horizon. It was mesmerising, Morioh was such a beautiful place, and in the everyday rush of life, it was rarely appreciated.

“Good, you’d better be keeping that one. I’m worried to death about you man.”

“I know... I’m sorry.”

“You don’t need to be sorry, I’m glad you told me... I just want you to take better care of yourself.”

Josuke turned to face the sea and the sky as well.

“Would you consider, seeing a doctor about all this?” he asked.

He shook his head.

“... they’d just tell me to man up ‘n’ deal with it. There’s no point.”

It hurt that it was probably true. Josuke was at a loss, could he really do nothing to help other than offer a shoulder to cry on?

He made a mental note to ask Jotaro if the speedwagon foundation had any resources available that could help the situation next time he saw him. They probably didn’t, but it was worth a try at least. 

Fuck. If only Crazy Diamond could fix things other than physical wounds. 


“... life’s scary, isn’t it.” 

“... yeah, it is. There’s so much going on. It makes my head hurt.”

“Well, why don’t we just sit here for a while to chill out? We don’t need to talk about anything, I’m happy doing that.”

“But... Josuke, you should... really be getting home. Your mum is gonna kill you.”

“... eh, it’s up to you. Ten more minutes won’t make a difference, she’s gonna chew me out either way.”

“Mmh.”

Okuyasu tightened his fingers around Josuke’s palm.

“... well, then... we could wait a bit longer... or somethin’...”

 

I don't know how to tell you

 

“... sounds good. Tell me when you wanna go home.”

“... thank you, I... I dunno how to tell you... but this... nobody’s ever done this for me before... I... I guess, it’s nice to feel cared about.”

“I wouldn’t know what to do if you weren’t here anymore. Of course I care about you.”

Okuyasu nervously hummed, pouting his lips, then looked away from the view, catching Josuke’s attention and looking him in the eyes.

“... I... I l-love everythin’ about you as well, ya’know!” he blurted out, immediately looking back to the horizon, his ears turning red.

Josuke didn’t know what to say. 


“... hey... move over a bit.”

He complied, and sat down next to him, their hands slipping away from each other as he repositioned.

However, in a moment of courage, Okuyasu grabbed it again, entwining his fingers with Josuke’s and holding tight, as if he’d lose him if he let go. 

For a second he thought that he’d overstepped a boundary, finally crossed a line in the friendship that shouldn’t have been crossed, but the feeling of all his nerves dissipating as Josuke squeezed back just as hard was wonderful.

The last scatters of light were snuffed out, and to the ignorance of each other, both boys wished that it wouldn’t end. It may have been cold, and dark, and damp in the grass, but their hands - and hearts - were warm.


Josuke rested his head on Okuyasu’s shoulder. 

 


“Don’t you go leaving me.”

 


“... I won’t. I promise.”

 

Aren't ya gonna leave me?

Don't you go leaving me
You still got a life to go
Sunken eyed, hollow
Teary eyes, pretty bones

I could never run from it
You know how it feels to be
Tired from the weight of it
Wake up and you don't feel home

 

Maybe if Josuke was around, being here wouldn’t be so bad after all.