The pier was the exact same as it was in high school.
Boring, covered in shells, and one of Taku's favorite place's to watch the sunset from.
As the oranges and pinks of the sun filled the air, Taku thought back to his days as a teenager. It was a lot different, and yet, so similar. Taku had gone off to college, and over the years a lot of things changed. He met people he would have never met in Kochi, people full of so much life and vibrancy that he didn't even think existed. It was such a contrast to the people he had met the first time he went to Tokyo. When he went with Rikako.
She was an odd person. Halfway through the school year she had just appeared. And Taku had the unfortunate luck to cross paths with her. A lot. Taku had always told himself that it was because she was new, different. Because he had liked her. Taku had only just found out that that was the complete opposite answer. He had hated her. He always had. He had only ever talked to her because of Yutaka.
The male in question was currently walking right behind him, his footsteps mixing with Taku's. The last time Taku had talked to Yutaka was back in high school, when Yutaka had punched him out behind the school. Those last few months of school were tense, the two of them barely interacting as they cracked down on getting out of Kochi. Taku was gone the second the last bell of the day rang, out the door and into his cousin's pickup truck, only looking back to lean out the window and wave at some of the few friends he had left. Taku had seen Yutaka then, walking out of the school building. Their eyes had met, and for a split second Taku had thought he had seen a blink of remorse in Yutaka's eyes.
But then Taku had fallen back into his seat, cranking up the radio as his cousin laughed beside him.
And then he was off to college, to meet some of the best people there were.
And away from some of the worst.
But here he was, coming to a stop on the edge of the pier as his old high school friend stopped a few feet away from him, messing with some of the shells with the tip of his shoe. The silence that filled the air was comfortable, like it used to be before Rikako came along. It was the kind of silence that didn't need to be filled, unless someone wanted to speak. Comfortable, like a blanket.
"I was angry at the time because I knew you were holding back on my account.” Yutaka finally said, staring down at the water, eyes shadowed by the setting sun. Taku let out a soft hum, barely audible, as he waited for his old friend to continue, crouching down at the edge of the pier so he could watch the fish swim by.
"I hadn’t noticed until that moment,” He continues, nudging some of the shells into the water with his shoe. They sink to the bottom.
“That you really liked Rikako.”
Taku blinked for a moment, knowing that it had been coming but still shocked none the less. He struggled to hold back a grin, but failed, letting the soft smile turn into bubbles of laughter. Yutaka turned to stare at him, one eyebrow raised. Taku let the laughter die down before speaking up for the first time since they started the walk.
"You've got it wrong, y'know."
Yutaka let out a confused noise, stepping a bit closer to Taku.
"You had me in the first half. But i was never interested in Rikako." Taku said, appearing nonchalant. He had come to terms with himself during college, when he meet a girl who would end up changing his world. she had introduced him to her girlfriend, and soon an entire world of opportunities and options opened up to Taku, things he hadn't known were allowed. "If you told me that before i had left for Tokyo, then i would have believed you. Agreed, even."
Yutaka made another confused sound, not understanding what his friend was saying. "What do you mean, Taku. You were.. obsessed with her. Why did you hang out with her if you didn't like her?"
"it's because you liked her, Matsuna."
Taku took a deep breath in, still refusing to look at the male standing next to him. The words seemed to be caught in his throat as he imagined what to say next. What would Yutaka say. How would he react. He hoped Yutaka didn't push him into the bay, this was a nice shirt.
"And i thought if i got closer to something you liked, you would like me too." Taku could only hope that Yutaka was connecting the dots on his own. He hoped he wouldn't have to explain it all to him. "And.."
"It's because i always did think of you differently then my other friends."
"Matsuna, it was because i was in love with you."
And then it's quite. The ocean waves soften a bit as the words settle between the two men, a few seagulls circling overhead. Taku had done it, had said what he had wanted to all those years ago. A weight had been lifted from his shoulders. Now he could only hope that Yutaka reacted the way he wanted him to. A small voice in his head yelled at him that he wouldn't, that Yutaka would freak out and punch him like he had back in high school. God, Taku hoped Yutaka wouldn't punch him again.
"oh." Yutaka finally said, although it came out more like an exhale then an actual word. Taku let out a chuckle, nodding his head as he repeated it back to his friend.
"i'm sorry, Taku. I should've figured it out sooner-"
"it's okay, Matsuna, really. Even I didn't know."
Yutaka finally dropped into a sitting position next to Taku, who had gone from a crouching position to letting his feet dangle down the side of the pier. No words were exchanged between them, the comfortable silence creeping back in like the turning of tides. Taku braced himself for the rejection he knew was coming. It was alright. He had come to terms with it a long time ago.
But then Yutaka reached over and intertwined his hand into Taku's, and something clicked into place inside of Taku.
"Morisaki... i think-"
"I think i loved you too."
"And i think i still do."