“Gray—” Natsu is saying, but he doesn’t care, just presses him up against the wall and kisses him so hard it leaves him breathless, kisses him like he’s been wanting to for years, again and again and again until all Natsu can do is hold him. “Hey, I— Gray.”
“What.” He breathes into the corner of Natsu’s mouth, kissing along his cheek and his jaw and sliding his face into the crook of his neck. “What is it, Natsu.”
“Can we talk about this?” Natsu gasps, hands gripping at Gray’s bare shoulders because it’s not like he has a shirt to grab. Gray grunts dismissively into Natsu’s neck, kissing the skin under his lips, and he shudders. “Please?”
“We’ve been talking about it for ten years,” he sighs, wrapping his arms around Natsu’s waist and simply holding him. “Isn’t it enough? Can’t we just— Can’t I just—”
Can’t I just hold you?
“We go to war tomorrow,” Natsu states, cupping Gray’s face and bringing him away from his skin, “we’re gonna be in a fucking war, Gray.”
“We’ve been in plenty wars, sunshine,” Gray whispers, pressing his lips onto Natsu’s for a soft moment, before resting his forehead against his. “We always won ‘em, too. Fuck the talking. Let’s save the talking for when we’ve won.”
Can’t I just have you?
Natsu tuts impatiently, curling his toned arms around Gray’s neck, and pulls him in closer. Shit, Gray loves it when Natsu does that— allows Gray to just crowd him, stand over him, gaze down at him— no one else is allowed this close. No one else but him.
“Gray, listen,” Natsu says softly, albeit having an annoyed tone to his voice, and Gray’s heart stutters in his chest. No— not now. He can’t do this now. Not when there’s so much on the line— not when his heart is so tightly strung as is. “I—”
Gray kisses him again, and this time it’s desperate. He can feel Natsu’s content hum against his lips, can feel the way he melts into him for just a second, before he’s pulling away again to stare him in the eyes.
“Not now,” Gray rasps, and Natsu’s eye twitches in irritation.
Can’t we just be here?
“Gray,” Natsu breathes, and suddenly he sounds just as desperate as Gray feels. “Come on.”
“Please,” Gray begs instead, closing his eyes and feeling the tears slip down his cheeks.
Just this once.
“I love you,” Natsu says, finally, eyes no doubt boring into the skeleton that is Gray as he speaks, and Gray— he breaks. Maybe it’s inaudible, invisible, untouchable like everything else he is, but he breaks. There’s something wounded and small inside of him and it’s hurting, it’s curling around Natsu and his words, and fuck, it’s painful. “I love you so much.”
Gray chokes on his words.
Natsu’s fingers are smoothing the hair out of his face, wiping the tears from his face, and when Gray opens his stormy eyes he’s met with a face of casual understanding— he’s met with Natsu, his Natsu, the only one in the world that Gray thinks will ever understand him; would ever even try.
“I need you,” is all he can manage, and shit— that’s all it is, isn’t it? Gray needs him, can’t live without him, his beacon of hope— his summer. “I need you.”
Natsu will live. He must, he has to.
Fuck fate, he had uttered, once upon a time where they had believed it had mattered, fuck your future.
“I need you, too,” Natsu tells him, brown eyes crinkling in that way they do that’s reserved just for Gray. “I need you, too. So come home to me, okay? Make sure you come home to me.”
“Always,” Gray exhales, and he means it, truly. All Natsu has to do is ask, all he has to do is want him, and god— he wants to be wanted so badly— he’d walk a thousand miles. “Always.”
Gray would walk the path of any future, so long as he’s beside Natsu.