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Things That We Have Been

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Kaoru almost fell asleep when he heard Kojiro say something beside him. The words filtered in, but his muddled mind couldn't decipher it.

"What?" he asked.

Kojiro sounded amused as he repeated his words. "I said, I overheard the kids and Shadow today. They were making a huge bet about us."

Kaoru hummed at that, his curiosity piqued a little. "What about us?"

"Langa said that we are dating, Reki said we're exes who still care about each other," Kojiro answered, opening his fingers one by one. "Miya, that little minx, said that we're still pining. Shadow said we're fuck buddies."

A sudden movement from Kaoru jolted the bed they were on. Kojiro looked over to him and found Kaoru, who was laying with his stomach down on the mattress, now had pushed himself up on his arms, golden eyes sharp in the dark.

"Shadow said that in front of the kids?" he asked. Kojiro huffed out a laugh and pushed Kaoru so he was laying down again.

"Nah, he said 'friends with benefit', I was paraphrasing. Langa didn't seem to know what that meant -- granted, Shadow said the Japanese term for it. Reki and Miya seemed to know what that means, but they didn't react much," Kojiro said, trying to soothe Kaoru's ruffled feathers.

"Hm." Kaoru plopped back down to his pillow with his face first, making Kojiro laugh at his ridiculousness. "What are you going to do about it?" he asked.

"What makes you think I want to do something about it?" even in darkness and with his eyes pressed to his pillow, Kaoru knew Kojiro was grinning. He pulled his left arm from under his pillow to smack Kojiro's chest.

"Your tone is enough. You can't fool me," grumbled Kaoru.

Kojiro's grin turned into a full-blown smile as he put his hand over Kaoru's on his chest. "Alright, fair. I want to mess with them because technically all of their guests are right, at some point in our … well, you know what. What do you think?"

"Ask me again tomorrow after you cook me breakfast. Maybe my mind would find the idea more stupid then than it is now," mumbled Kaoru, already half-asleep again.

Kojiro laughed before pulling Kaoru closer to him and placed his chin on the top of Kaoru's head, who sighed in content. "Whatever you say, Kaoru. Whatever you say."


1. "They're still pining. Obviously."

Kojiro watched in fascinated concern when Kaoru wheeled to the bathroom to tie his hair.

"Can he do that by himself?" Reki asked, clearly worried. Just as he finished the last syllable, the sound of something fell from the bathroom could be heard.

Kojiro stood up. "I'll check on him," he said.

He found Kaoru with a hair tie between his mouth and one hand trying to gather all of his long hair together. Kojiro sighed at the sight.

"I knew you'd come," Kaoru stated simply, words slightly muffled by the fact that he still had the hair tie in his mouth. "Help me."

"Sometimes I wonder why people call you a genius," Kojiro replied without any heat as he took the hair tie out of Kaoru's mouth and nimbly styled the cascade of pink hair into a high ponytail, similar to one Kaoru always wore whenever he was at "S". "There, done. Where's my reward kiss?"

He saw Kaoru's eyes flickered to the bathroom door and noticed the same thing that he did. Someone was eavesdropping outside.

"What makes you think I would ever do that even in my death bed?" said Kaoru, with enough sarcasm and scorn to make other people run away from the vicinity of its sharpness. Kojiro just laughed.

"Come on," he replied. "Not even a friendly kiss?"

"No kiss. Period," Kaoru declared. Even with his serious tone, he couldn't hold back a smirk at their drama.

When they got back into the room where the others were, Miya's expression was a mix of smugness and suspicion. Kojiro found it endearing, how much Miya reminded him of young Kaoru.

Kojiro found out somehow that Miya's victory hadn't yet been declared, since it wasn't clear whether he and Kaoru were being overly-flirty friends or if they were actually dating.


2. "They dated, then broke up, but they still care about each other."

"Hey, Cherry!" Reki shouted, then deflated slightly when Kaoru glared at him. The boy's voice was loud enough to be heard from the opposite side of the skate park. "Sorry," he added quickly when they were close enough.

"That's alright," Kaoru sighed. At least their group was the only people in the park at the moment. "I don't mind the shouting, but refrain from calling me with that when I'm not at "S"."

Reki nodded vigorously, eyes wide. Well, wider than usual. "Got it! Can I ask you something?"

Kaoru raised a brow. "Sure. No guarantee I will answer, though."

"What's something that you did in the past that you regret ever done now?"

The raised brow went higher at the question. Kaoru's gaze strayed right as Kojiro skated closer to them. When he was within earshot, Kaoru's mouth quirked and he pointed at Kojiro.

"Him," he said and chuckled at the indignant squawk from Kojiro.

Reki's eyes went impossibly wide before he let out a thoughtful 'huh' that was followed by a victorious grin. "Thanks, Cher- I mean, Kaoru! Not the answer I was expecting but thanks!" he said before skating over to where Langa and Miya were.

"So, was that you playing along or do you really regret being with me?" asked Kojiro when he was close enough to Kaoru to place his elbow on the shorter man's shoulder. Kaoru didn't shrug the arm away.

"I'm still letting you smother me when we're sleeping even though your body always overheats, am I?" Kaoru responded.

Kojiro snorted. "Don't lie to me. You like it."

"Well, I won't be here if I don't."

"So with this you're admitting that my idea isn't absolutely stupid after all?" Kojiro asked, nodding at the three boys who looked like they were in a very serious discussion.

Kaoru sighed forlornly. "No, your idea is still stupid, but apparently I'm also stupid enough to buy it."


3. "Friends with benefits who are starting to have feelings. I rest my case."

"Which place tonight, mine or yours?"

Kaoru looked up from his tablet to give Kojiro an unimpressed look. But from his peripheral he saw the others' ears almost literally perked up to eavesdrop. So, instead of asking why the hell Kojiro would ask that when they were living together, Kaoru sighed.

"Mine. I'm not in the mood to see your messy apartment."

"You're just pissed because you lost your sock in my laundry that one time," Kojiro pointed out. This time, Kaoru actually glared at him because the mentioned incident did happen when they were still in their fuck buddies phase. "Can I stay until morning?"


Kojiro rolled his eyes and crossed his arms. "And then listen to you complaining that I didn't make food for you? As if. I'm staying."

"Then what's the point of asking for my permission?"

"I just want to see you in denial."

"What the fuck does that mean?"

"There are kids over there, Kaoru. Geez."

Kaoru smacked the back of Kojiro's head with his fan then, but when they got back to Sia la Luce, both quickly burst out laughing at themselves.

"God, that conversation reminds me of our dark time," Kojiro said between his laughter.

"How dare you bring up my favorite sock again. You know I never found it after that," Kaoru huffed while taking his glasses off to wipe the tears from his eyes.

"I already bought you a new pair!"


4. "What if Cherry and Joe are actually dating all this time?"

"You're having a beef tonight?" Kaoru asked, voice slightly muffled by his mask.

Kojiro nodded, eyes fixated on the big screen above them. "Yeah, with this some guy. He harassed two of my fangirls. They already almost mauled him to death, but I want to throw him off his board at least once."

"How very noble of you."

"Well, wouldn't you do the same thing if he harassed girls you know?" Kojiro asked, turning to face Kaoru who already stared at him this whole time.

"No," Kaoru answered. "I would just run him over with my bike."

Kojiro looked thoughtful. "That's actually a good idea. When I win, I'll ask him to lay down on the ground while I get my bike."

"'When' you win?" Kaoru teased, then let out a slight yelp when Kojiro retaliated by poking his finger to Kaoru's side.

"Rude, Cherr. Have some faith in me."

Kojiro looked around them. There were Reki, Langa, Miya and Shadow near, like always, but both his and Kaoru's fangirls and other random skaters weren't on sight. That's good. He knew Kaoru wasn't big on PDA, mostly because of his anxiety.

When his name was roared from the starting point, he smiled at Kaoru. "That's my cue. See you at the finish line?" he asked with a wink then receiving a light kick to his shin as Kaoru rolled his eyes.

Kojiro then ducked his head and kissed Kaoru through his mask. "Wish me luck," he said against Kaoru's mouth before he went to the starting line. He couldn't hold his laughter when he heard loud exclamations that came from the teenagers, followed with the revving of Kaoru's bike.


5. "Nah."

"So?" Kaoru asked, legs swinging lightly under the stool he was sitting on. "You 'overheard' them again?"

"Yep, I did," answered Kojiro. He slid a glass of wine on the table to Kaoru.

"At this point I don't even want to know how you do it with your gigantic presence, but do tell," Kaoru sighed, but a hint of a smile was right there on his face. Kojiro nudged his ankle with his own for that remark.

"Stop being rude to the love of your life, Kaoru," Kojiro said. "Unless you want me to not cook you breakfast."

Kaoru rolled his eyes. "You say that all the time and yet," he muttered in response. "Besides, we both know you'll get an aneurysm if we eat anything except your cooking for breakfast."

"I said it, and I'll say it again; we're both happier that way."

"Well, yes. Now what is it about those kids?"

Kojiro chuckled. "For what I heard, all of them have given up on figuring us out," he explained. "I think we're confusing them too much."

"But why none of them guessed that we're married, though? It seems like a logical conclusion after we mix up all of their guesses," Kaoru mused in amusement.

"To be fair, we're not really showing it. We bicker all the time, remember?" Kojiro folded his arms on the table and rested his face on them. "Besides, Reki himself said that they all share one brain cell together. I guess that's why."

Kaoru drank his wine before replying. "Since Miya called you 'dad', I think I know where they got it from."

"Hey, you take that back!"

Kaoru smiled. "Make me."

"Goodness' sake, you," Kojiro huffed before he pulled Kaoru in for a kiss.