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Sweet Dreams Are Made of You

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He was late.

Gedo had kept talking to him back in the locker room. Telling him how great he had been in their earlier match. Reminding him that there was nothing wrong with being more aggressive. But as good and as reaffirming as every compliment was, something about it today felt a little off to Jay. Like each of those compliments would need to be repaid for in full somewhere down the line. But maybe it was just that his focus hadn't really been on their conversation. Usually, he paid far more attention to things that Gedo was saying. Listening to a veteran for advice was almost always a good thing - he had certainly learned a lot that way - and it was nice that Gedo took the time to tell him what he could improve and point out the things that he was doing well. Especially since encouragement didn't really seem to be something that Okada bothered with.

But tonight?

Tonight, Jay had just wanted to leave - the urge getting worse and worse the longer Gedo kept talking. He was supposed to be somewhere. Maybe. Hopefully. Unbelievably.

Naito.

Naito had been waiting for him after his match. That part by itself was difficult to comprehend. Jay had been back from his excursion for a few months and they hadn't interacted at all. Which was fine. It was. There was nothing about him for Naito to remember. They hadn't been anything while he was still a Young Lion - he had just been another target of Naito's games and tricks. It didn't matter how hard his heart would beat whenever they were close to one another. It didn't matter how badly he had yearned and wanted.

It didn't matter how - even on the other side of the world - he could still see Naito's smile in his dreams.

The only thing that truly mattered was becoming the greatest wrestler he could be. Everyone would see him then. No one would be able to ignore him. And look what he had already done - already accomplished. He was the IWGP United States Champion - a title that he had beaten Kenny Fucking Omega to hold. And if Okada couldn't be bothered, then maybe he would remake CHAOS into something with a little more teeth - like Gedo suggested.

But all of that - every ambition and every possibility - paled in comparison to the gentle caress he could still feel on his cheek.

Nothing when weighed against the warmth of that soft, almost shy smile.

Jay had known that he was nothing to Naito. Quickly forgotten and never remembered. Knew it as surely as grass was green and the sky was blue. Had known until only a couple of hours ago when he turned a corner only to find Naito loitering in a hallway that he shouldn't have been in. And waiting for him. Even now, it didn't seem quite right. But it had actually happened. Naito had looked him with honest fucking affection and it was still overwhelming.

That was supposed to be impossible.

How many times had he argued with his own heart?

How many times had he tried to tell it that those dreams were useless and pathetic?

But tonight?

Naito was waiting for him.

He was right there - hovering near the north exit just like he said he would be. There was something odd about how he was standing, though. The way he was almost continually shifting his weight back and forth. If Jay didn't know better, he would say that Naito was nervous but that didn't make any sense. Was this really that important to him?

Should he call out his name - try and get Naito's attention?

Even the sight of Naito looking not quite calm in a t-shirt and jeans made his heart start doing these weird little flips beneath his ribs. It was so fucking unfair for him to still be so attractive after all of this time apart. And it wasn't like he had ever really let himself look at Naito that often as a Young Lion. Jay had always felt too exposed whenever he was around - like the whole world could see directly into his foolish heart. Like Naito could see each part of that boundless longing and wanted nothing to do with it.

Switchblade Jay White would never feel so fragile and soft just standing in a hallway. He would have no hesitation. No doubt. But Jamie? Even as Naito turned and met his gaze with a warmth that he could feel in his bones, he still didn't believe.

So Jay lifted his chin the way he would when he entered the ring - let that uncomfortable coldness rise up - and started walking toward Naito. But something quickly shifted in that expression and Naito moved toward him with a swiftness that was so different from his usual slow pace. Before he understood what was going on, there were hands grabbing at him and pulling him into a room that he hadn't known was there.

"Are you embarrassed to be seen with someone…"

The words came out with their intended sneer but before he could finish the sentence, Naito had closed the door behind them and pulled him into an embrace.

Naito was holding him.

His own arms were frozen at his sides but Naito had wrapped his around him, encircling him so gingerly and so carefully that Jay swore he could feel tears forming in his eyes. It didn't make any sense. Naito was holding him close but it was as if he was scared of holding him too tightly. Like he didn't want to overwhelm him. And that simple sensation - this feeling that Naito might actually care about him even a little - was more than he knew how to deal with.

"You don't have to do that, Jay." Naito's voice was soft and pleading. "Not with me."

Everything froze and his heart stopped beating as the meaning of those quiet words sunk in.

Somehow, Naito saw right through the Switchblade and if he could do that…

That meant he had always seen him.

"Oh God."

There should have been something embarrassing about the way his voice cracked and how the only thing his body would let him do was bury his face in the crook of Naito's neck but there wasn't enough room left in his heart for him to feel ashamed right now. It was too full of wonder and shock to comprehend any other emotion. Naito had pulled him a little closer - holding him a little tighter - even as one of his hands had drifted up until it was resting along the top of Jay's head.

"I wasn't trying to… I didn't mean to…"

Why did Naito sound both worried and nervous? His voice had faltered and all Jay wanted to do was reassure him. But how did he do that? Would Naito even want such things from him? But there was the smallest measure of bravery to be found in being held like this so Jay took a deliberate breath and brought his own arms up so he could finally hold Naito in return.

Jay wasn't sure what sort of reaction he was expecting but the gentle sigh that tickled his ears took him by surprise anyway. And something inside of him exhaled. This wasn't just him - he wasn't the only one who felt that warmth or that wonder - and he just wanted to stay right where he was. Naito wanted to be in this moment with him.

"I thought you would forget me."

Maybe the lightness Jay felt could be used as an excuse for saying that out loud.

Naito was trying to adjust their positions but Jay didn't want to lift his head. It was just fine where it was. It was safe. But moving - looking up and opening his eyes - was anything but that. In this tiny space, these feelings - the ones he kept wishing that he could destroy - were shared between them. And looking at Naito could so very easily change that.

But everything about how Naito was touching him - from the fingers caressing his cheek to the hand softly tugging his side - was gently encouraging and Jay couldn't deny that how much he wanted to see.

But what he saw wasn't the warmth he was expecting but something more akin to heartbreak as if hearing that Jay thought he would forget him was painful. Like the very idea hurt.

"No." There was sadness in the way Naito shook his head. "No, Jay. Even if it had been 100 years… I would always remember you."

The words 'I don't believe you' were right there - on the tip of his tongue because they felt like the truth. But so did that hurt on Naito's face and the tenderness of his caress. If that was real, then it was a reality that he had had no idea existed. It was like this was an entirely different Naito than Jay had ever met before.

Or maybe…

Maybe this was Naito letting Jay see this part of himself. Maybe he wasn't the only one who had hid away desire and affection. Wanting and longing. It should be impossible but so was the way Naito was searching his eyes - waiting for an answer or a sign or something.

Anything.

Jay slowly brought one of his hands up - already missing having his arms wrapped around Naito - and tried to match that gentle caress with one of his own. He had wrestled him a handful of times before so this wasn't the first time he had touched Naito's skin but this was so different that it couldn't possibly compare. Did Naito feel this too? The same tingling electricity racing through his fingertips? The same soothing joy trying to find purchase in his heart?

Softness had taken over Naito's expression and Jay was almost certain that he could look at nothing else for hours and still be completely content. Such a small thing had made him happy. He could make Naito happy. With a tender smile, Naito leaned his face ever-so-slightly into his palm and placed a lingering kiss there. And Jay wasn't sure if he was going to spontaneously combust. It felt like it - this fire racing through him. That was a kiss. Those were Naito's lips against his skin.

"Cosa dulce…" That phrase again. Jay didn't know what it meant but there was affection in Naito's voice when he said it. "... is it selfish of me to want more?"

"M… more?"

A thousand ideas ran through his head - each a little bit more than the last. Jay had no clue what Naito was talking about. Even just this between them was so, so much. And Naito wanted more? With him? Together?

Naito chuckled but it wasn't a mocking sort of laugh. It sounded amused and like it was meant to be shared between just the two of them. Jay wasn't sure what to do with that except look forward to hearing it again.

"More time with you like this." And there was that shy nervousness again. "Only Jay and Tetsuya."

There was weight to that - Jay knew that. No factions or masks. No Ungovernable One or Young Lion. Only them - offered up with something as monumental and impossible as Naito's own given name. There was no way Jay could use it. He couldn't even comprehend trying to make his mouth form the syllables. But he could offer something in return.

"Jamie."

The name felt rough on his tongue, even though it was his own. He hadn't used it since entering the dojo. Hadn't said it once since becoming the Switchblade. Had tried to forget that he had ever been Jamie at all. It had all felt necessary but Naito saw him. And that changed everything. Leaning forward and closing his eyes, Jay rested his forehead against Naito's and tried to draw just a little bit more from the extra contact.

"My name is Jamie."

He didn't know how to explain to Naito that his first name wasn't something he shared so he let his words hang between them. The silence wasn't oppressive or overwhelming. It was just the two of them and the only way he could describe it was good. Right.

Another kiss to his palm was followed by Naito shifting just enough to place one of those lingering kisses against his forehead. And Jay's eyes opened without his permission. Only to bask in the sunbeam that was the entirety of Naito's face.

Naito saw him.

"Jamie…" A pleasant shiver went down his spine at that. "It's late, isn't it?" Jay nodded at Naito's almost adorable confusion. "Is it too late for dinner?"

It was. He rarely ate right after a show but if Naito was asking what he thought he was, then he could snack on something. Anything to encourage the hopefulness in the curve of the smile beneath his palm.

"It's not that late."

"That's good." Naito looked nervous again and Jay wasn't sure if he would ever get used to seeing that - or so many other emotions on that handsome face. "Will you have dinner with me? Away from here?" Jay opened his mouth to say 'yes' but Naito continued. "Is that too much? I… I don't want to get this wrong."

With a single half-whispered sentence, so many of Jay's doubts disappeared. And it was only the ones that remained that kept him from pulling Naito into their first kiss. This really was that important to him. He was that important to Naito.

"I dreamed of you every night I was gone. I still dream of you even though I shouldn't."

"You should. Just like I dream of you."

This time, it was Naito that brought their foreheads together and they stood there in their loose embrace. Hands still resting against cheeks and fingers splayed wide along one another's sides. Jay wasn't sure how long they didn't move but eventually he could hear the faint rumble of Naito's stomach.

No wonder he was asking about dinner.

"Hungry?"

"A bit. How do you feel about Subway?"

 

-fin-