For all that Yuki can seem quiet and unassertive sometimes, he isn’t. He loudly bickers with Kyo, Hatsuharu, and Momiji, both in school and out of it; he makes fun of Kakeru along with Machi and the rest of the student council.
Hell, a lot of his own interactions with Yuki are loud and aggressive. For weeks after they met he had been—and might still be, Kakeru’s not completely sure but he really hopes it’s the former—annoyed by Kakeru and had absolutely no problem letting everyone in the near vicinity know. So no, Yuki isn’t quiet and unassertive. Not at all. Especially when someone tries to touch him.
But Kakeru soon realized that there’s something more to it.
That is to say, even though Yuki will do anything to prevent a girl from touching him, he doesn't seem to fight tooth and nail to prevent a guy touching him. That isn’t to say he likes it, but he doesn’t make any moves to stop it. And what tips him off to the fact that anything like sexuality is the reason he acts like that is because he’s seen the other Sohma’s act the exact same way. The fact that Tohru seems to be the only universal exception made it all the more interesting to Kakeru. He’s seen Yuki rest his head on her shoulder or press his body against her side, it still didn’t happen a lot.
It’s Kyo out of all the Sohma’s that acts the exact same as Yuki—he’ll also fight tooth and nail to prevent any girl other from touching him, but he doesn’t angrily fight any guys from doing it even though it’s obvious that he also doesn’t like it.
Furthermore, Tohru seems to be the exception for him too: just like Yuki, he would touch her shoulder or press his body against hers, but nothing else. Kakeru has also noticed how Kyo never pulls Tohru into his arms even though he’s constantly reaching out to do so, instead winding and bringing his arms back to his sides. The fact that every single one of them know that Tohru itches to do the same makes it all the more confusing. In other words, Kakeru knows there’s a lot more to the Sohma’s whole no-touching-the-opposite-sex thing than it seems. But no matter how difficult it is, Kakeru refuses to pry—if Yuki wants to tell him, he will; asking Yuki about it will make the other boy completely shut down.
So, in summary, Kakeru isn’t an idiot. Sure, he’s awful at some things and is occasionally a bit slow on the uptake, but he isn’t an idiot; he knows what touch starved looks like, and Yuki is the fucking blueprint.
So he sets out to fix it.
Of course Kakeru doesn’t overdo it at first; he gradually begins touching Yuki. It starts with a little fist bump to his shoulder or a clap on the back. It's only weeks later that it becomes lingering touches on Yuki’s shoulder or Kakeru's arm slung over both shoulders.
But no matter how often he touches him, he’ll never forget the way Yuki reacted when Kakeru did it for the first time—the little hitch in his breath and the slightest widening of his eyes. It only lasted about a second or two before Yuki schooled his face back to his normally stoic expression. But Kakeru saw it, and he loved it.
His addiction—and even though Kakeru doesn’t really like to call it that, he can’t deny it—becomes much harder to deal with after Yuki confides in him about his insecurities and his confusion over his feelings for Tohru. Once Kakeru noticed the tears in his eyes, it had taken every single ounce of self control that he possessed to keep himself from reaching out and taking Yuki into his arms.
There was a bit of a shift in their dynamic after that.
For example—and Kakeru feels the need to place emphasis on this—he did try to be a bit discreet and keep it private when he first started touching Yuki so as not to overwhelm, he really did. But the urge to touch Yuki—and, though he truly does want to do this for Yuki, Kakeru is still willing to admit to himself that a small part of him is doing this for his own selfish reasons—eventually becomes too strong; soon he started doing it in front of the student council and Yuki’s friends and family. And based off of their expressions the first time he did it, they were certainly surprised at the action. However, they never said anything and Yuki remained oblivious to their shock.
(And when he says “they never said anything,” he is resolutely not counting the time Kyo and Tohru pulled him aside after class and told him to be careful with Yuki. It was a bit awkward, especially considering he had no opportunity to even respond to anything they said. Tohru began in such a gentle and genuine tone only for Kyo to say “if you’re just fucking around with him and doing,” he’d paused then, obviously looking for the right words, “whatever the fuck it is that you’re doing for kicks, I’ll kill you” in the middle of Tohru’s sentence, to which the girl simply blinked in surprise at the interruption before clenching her jaw and giving a sharp not. Kakeru’s pretty sure that it was her attempt at being intimidating, but it didn’t work. At all.
As the pair walked away, Kyo stood back for a second and whispered “if you tell him I said any of that I’ll kill you” in a tone that Kakeru didn’t know how to interpret, but despite the fact that the taller boy threatened to kill him twice in as many minutes, and despite the fact that it definitely felt like a shovel talk, more than anything he was glad that Yuki has people in his life that care enough to go out of their way to make sure he’s alright.
Yuki deserves to have people care about him as much as Tohru and Kyo do.)
In summary, it’s this completely well-intentioned and not-not-at-all-selfish mission to help Yuki that’s to blame for his current situation.
Kakeru is so damn thankful that whatever’s currently happening between them is taking place while they’re the only two left in the building, because by “situation” he means Yuki with his back against the school lockers and Kakeru with his arms on either side of his head, caging him in.
For a minute he’s so shocked by his own actions that he hasn’t even considered what Yuki’s reaction is, so after a second he decides to bite the bullet and fully look at Yuki. The first thing Kakeru notices is the fact that his eyes are so dilated that they’re almost completely black. The second thing is how Yuki’s fast and shallow breaths and Kakeru’s juxtaposing deep and relaxed breaths are the only things they can hear.
“Kakeru,” Yuki whispers slowly, finally breaking the silence between them. “What are you doing?”
He’s not entirely sure if it’s the vulnerability in his voice or the adorably bemused expression on his face, but something in Kakeru breaks at that; once he realizes the smaller boy isn’t upset and just curious, the last of his self-control evaporates. So Kakeru takes a deep breath before leaning in, giving the Yuki plenty of time to stop him, but just as he thinks they’re lips are about to touch he hears a quiet slapping noise. He opens his eyes to the sight of a shocked looking Yuki with a hand over his mouth, and it isn’t until Kakeru puts more space between them that Yuki slowly lets his arm fall back to his side.
“Do you not want to?” Kakeru asks as he pulls back completely, wincing at his dejected tone. “It’s completely fine if you don’t. Besides, I shouldn’t have presumed.”
But before he has the opportunity to turn around, Yuki puts his hands on Kakeru’s shoulders and holds him in place.
He stops and completely faces Yuki again, raising an inquisitive eyebrow at him; once it’s clear that Kakeru isn’t going anywhere, Yuki flushes before pulling his hands away as if burned.
“It’s not that,” he mutters.
Kakeru takes a tiny step forward and quietly hums, urging Yuki on. “Then what is it?”
For some reason, it’s this question of all things that causes Yuki to glare at him. The glare is gone as quickly as it came, but Kakeru is still comforted by the familiarity of it. “I haven’t kissed anyone before, alright?” he grits out.
Based on his observations of Yuki and Kyo alone, he isn’t surprised in the slightest to hear that. In fact, he knew that. But for some reason the idea that the other boy has never been kissed before is still hard to completely comprehend. Either way, Kakeru simply smiles a little as he lifts his arms from his sides and cradles Yuki’s face in his hands.
Yuki’s reaction to the touch is even stronger than the first one: his breath hitches so sharply that Kakeru almost winces, and his entire body jerks back a bit. “That’s okay,” he says, “I don’t mind. Besides, it’s not like you’re the only person our age that’s never kissed anyone before.” Kakeru laughs, gently running his thumbs across Yuki’s cheeks as he waits for him to respond. However, the other boy gives no indication that he’s even heard Kakeru other than the little hitch in his breath and the slightest widening of his eyes.
“I understand, Yuki,” Kakeru says gently once he realizes that the other boy has nothing to say. “Everything’s fine, I promise. We never have to bring it up again and absolutely nothing has to change.”
Kakeru looks out the window, and he’s surprised to see that it’s almost completely dark outside. “We should definitely go, though. It’s getting late.” He pauses for a second before snidely adding, “I’m also scared to see how you’re fangirls will react if you don’t get your beauty sleep.”
It isn’t until Kakeru has removed his hands from his cheeks and almost completely turned away that Yuki seems to break out of whatever trance he was in. He grabs Kakeru’s arm and forcibly turns him so that they’re facing each other again, and he’s so caught off guard by the sudden movement that Kakeru doesn’t even have the opportunity to ask what’s wrong before he feels a pair of lips press against his.
Kakeru kisses Yuki back immediately, cupping his face in his hands and pushing him backwards a bit so that his back is against the lockers yet again. Yuki whimpers a little, and Kakeru can’t help but smirk against his lips once he realizes that the noise wasn’t from the impact of hitting the locker. He bites Yuki’s lip gently as Kakeru slides his thigh between his legs before rocking forward a little bit, and the noise he’s met with is so full of pure need that it almost takes Kakeru’s breath away.
After a second he pulls back a little, smiling when Yuki tries to follow his lips. “I love you so much, sweetheart,” Kakeru whispers against his lips, and they’re so close that he can feel the sharp little gasp that Yuki lets out at the admission before he backs away to look at Kakeru. His eyes are shining with unshed tears.
Yuki opens and closes his mouth a few times, and he only manages to rasp out, “I-“ before his face takes on a frustrated expression and snaps his mouth closed. He shuts his eyes and a few tears run down his cheeks.
It takes Kakeru a minute to realize that it isn’t that Yuki doesn’t feel the same, it’s just that he can’t physically bring himself to say the words. Kakeru reaches forward and pulls Yuki into his arms and places his hand on the nape of Yuki’s neck to guide his head to Kakeru’s chest. “I’m sorry,” Yuki whispers after a few minutes, pulling back to look at Kakeru.
“Nothing to be sorry for,” Kakeru says with a smile. “Besides, I’ll still be here when you’re ready.”
Though obviously a little skeptical and self-conscious about it, Yuki smiles back.
The silence is comfortable before Kakeru breaks with a sly, “I’m still going to tell everyone we’re together now. You do realize that, right? I can’t let anyone think you’re up for grabs or anything like that.”
“Shut up,” Yuki says, and there’s the Yuki he knows and loves.
Kakeru pulls Yuki back to his chest. “Oh, and me calling you sweetheart is totally a thing now too.”
“I hate you,” Yuki grumbles against Kakeru’s chest, and despite the harsh words there’s not even a trace of heat in his voice.
Kakeru can’t help but smile at the familiar words before tightening his grip on Yuki and turning his head a little to kiss his temple. “I know.”