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wave after wave (i'm slowly drifting)

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Yuto’s taking a picture from his balcony when he sees him.

He had his phone ready to snap a picture of the deep sea blue against the lighter blue sky. No clouds in sight, just the stretch of sand on the beach and foaming waves.

That alone would’ve fit his Instagram aesthetic perfectly but then he sees him.

He wants to say he didn’t notice the person at first but that’d be untrue. His finger doesn’t tap the screen, not with this new development.

It’s just a boy, strolling along the side of the beach, surfboard in tow. His eyes are bright and his shoulders set.

Yuto refocuses the picture on him and sighs because now the background seems like a waste when there’s this fascinating silver-haired pale-skinned person with a lovely face but fierce eyes.

He jumps when his phone makes a sharp click.

The boy’s head whips around and stares at Yuto.

“Did you just take a picture? Who are you? Are you a fan?” The boy rapidly asks in Japanese and oh. That would explain the hair.

“No, I- I’m a blogger? I meant to take pictures of the beach but you kind of got in the way. Sorry,” Yuto explains back in Japanese.

“You speak Japanese?” The boy replies, walking closer to Yuto’s balcony. Yuto sees him push his hair out of his eyes and oh.

“Yamada Ryosuke,” Yuto blurts out and immediately regrets it. He knew of course that there were idols around the island here for a big Hawaiian show led by Arashi but he didn’t expect Yamada to be here.

“And you know who I am?” Yamada adds suspiciously. “You are?”

“Nakajima Yuto,” Yuto says. “I’ve seen you idols running around for the show. You make very colorful posts,” Yuto comments. “I’ve heard of you,” he continues.

I think you’re cute.

“Excuse me?” Yamada says, initial shock gone, now grinning.

“I said that out loud, didn’t I?” Yuto says, blushing.

Yamada chuckles. “Enjoying the view?”

Yuto takes in the beach and this boy and he decides to go for it.

“It’s all right. You should see the view from my room,” Yuto replies.

“Invite me up then,” Yamada shoots back, leaving his surfboard in the soft sand.



“Harder! Harder, please, fuck, Nakajim-ahhh!”

Yamada swears under his breathe when Yuto starts thrusting deeper into him.

His eyes are shut because the pleasure is shooting up and down his body and nothing is helping him calm down.

“I’m going- I’m,” Yamada stutters, hands grasping at the white sheets beneath him.

Yuto moans as Yamada clenches around him and Yamada’s comes from the sound.

“Fuck,” Yamada says, out of breathe, vision blurring.

Yuto comes a few thrusts after, but Yamada is worn like the shells pushed and pulled on by the tide.

They lay there for a moment, bodies slick with sweat and Yamada kicks off the sheets so they pool at the floor.

“Oh, you should see the view from my room,” Yamada says, imitating Yuto’s voice mockingly, finally breaking the silence.

Yuto grins at Yamada and the rushing sounds of the oceans and waves suddenly fill his ears. “Like you didn’t know that was a line.”

Suddenly, Yuto kisses Yamada softly and Yamada’s scared because there’s something there. He feels it.

Yuto hops off the bed, stretching lazily, and stares out at the empty beach.

“It is quite a view from this balcony,” Yuto says. “I wasn’t lying. Come take a look.”

“I’m filthy,” Yamada says, coolly. “And I don’t want to flash random swimmers.”

Yuto shrugs. “If you’ve got it flaunt it.”

Yamada rolls his eyes.

“I’m going to take a shower,” Yamada announces casually, slipping into the hotel bathroom. The mat is in the shape of a pineapple.

“Only in Hawaii,” Yamada mutters.

The shower water is too cold on his skin.



Yuto wakes up to messy sheets and a note stuck in his hair.

Yamada’s gone, as expected. Yamada had mentioned an early flight back to Japan, what with the show in Hawaii over and done.

Yuto sighs, quickly reading through the note Yamada left in his place.

It’s a simple thanks for yesterday and- huh. He didn’t leave an email address or even a number of some sort. Yuto hadn’t expected him to. Instead he finds a username.

Secret instagram account. Yamada’s messy writing reads. So I can like the photo you took of me when you thought I wasn’t looking.

“Oh,” Yuto gasps, opening up his camera roll. He blushes in the empty room, finding the picture of Yamada’s curved back half covered in sheets, face covered by the pillows. The wallpaper is gradient blue, made of sea glass, and it looks like Yamada is a mermaid-turned-human washed up on a blanket shore.

He posts the picture with the caption ‘wish I could be part of that world’ before falling back asleep.



Yamada looks out the airplane window and sees the whole choppy ocean blue beyond the airport runway.

He glances away from the endless ocean and wonders if Yuto is awake yet.

He takes a picture of the view from his window then takes one of himself, all sleepy-eyed.

Yuto will appreciate that. Yuto who apparently has a fashion blog and an aesthetically pretentious Instagram.

‘Am I pretty enough for your Instagram yet?’ Yamada types as a caption, because flirting is easier when he’s away from the sea of fans at home.

He sends it before takeoff and ignores the feeling that he’s left something behind.

It was one afternoon of fun, one night of pleasure.

Now, it’s early morning and one trip back home.

He falls asleep in minutes.



Yuto’s blog posts have a theme. This week it’s surfers in Hawaii, hair wet with salty water, tan skin, and sunshine.

So it would be horribly out of place to post pictures of pastel shirts, smooth white skin, and silver hair. He doesn’t of course, doesn’t post the selfies that Yamada sends him.

Instead, he sends him pictures of the pineapple mat from his hotel room and his empty bed and suggestive captions.

Dirty little secrets are his specialty even if Yamada’s elicited the purest thing he’s ever felt since he was sixteen and an idiot in love.

He’s twenty-one now and this is nothing like it.

This is like resurfacing for air after a long dive and seeing clouds and blue foreign skies and not wanting to go back home.



Yamada doesn’t mean for it to happen like this.

Yuto posts pictures of sandy shores and windswept hair all week.

He likes every single one.

Someone’s a big fan. Yuto messages later on, probably seeing all the notifications from Yamada.

Yamada chuckles to himself.

I like pretty things is his only excuse, because he wants to flirt, wants to turn back time and lick the taste of saltwater off Yuto’s lips again.

Me too Yuto replies.

It all goes downhill from there.



‘So, what’s your favorite photoshoot idea to date?’ Yuto captions, sending a picture of him resting his head on his desk.

He loves his job, loves being in front of the camera, but he also loves being behind it. He has a week before he has to fly to Edinburgh for the Burberry show. He has time to think of a new thing to blog about.

That time I had to stand near some bridge early in the morning. It the simplest thing I’ve ever done but I loved it. Felt very uni student to me.

Yuto laughs. ‘That’s not very exciting,’ he types back.

Well, I’m sorry it’s not good enough for you mister high fashion and fancy clothes.

Yuto glances over at his ideas, scribbled on his notepad. Home. Beds. Oceans. Beds.

‘Was thinking no clothes for my next shoot actually,’ Yuto shoots back.

Send me a behind-the-scenes video then,’ is Yamada’s reply.

Nothing you haven’t seen before,’ Yuto says, already thinking of where to place the camera so it catches how the morning light fills his bedroom in his flat.

Nothing I wouldn’t want to see again.’ is the last thing Yuto reads before he gets ready to re-brainstorm.



Yamada hums to himself as he goes through the routine again. The mirrors around him are like a glass cage, magnifying him.

Solo debut. He’s finally getting a solo debut. Years and years of practice and tears and he’s finally given a shot for the top. He goes through the movements like a ship’s hull breaks waves and the melody is his map.

He knows he has this down.

When he’s tired and slumped against the floor, he takes a selfie because this- this sweaty disheveled exhausted mess, this is the face of the next big thing.

He privately sends it to Yuto within seconds.



Yuto starts sending Yamada a whole spread of photos from around the world.

Yamada teases Yuto relentlessly because Yuto’s blog is full of posh clothing and aloof faces but what he sends Yamada are the dorkiest things.

He scrolls through the pictures or Yuto fanboying over Star Wars in LA and Yuto hoarding cupcakes and Yuto tearing up over a manga arc. He’s so fond of this rainbow boy behind the Burberry ad exterior.

Sometimes, Yuto will even send Yamada videos of him singing along to one of his songs.

It’s then that Yamada kind of wishes he could have Yuto in the spotlight with him. He wants Yuto on stage flirting and singing with him, wants pictures of them printed on glossy pages, wants him to be a part of his world.



“You know I’ve never been to New York,” Yamada says, face covered in shadows on Yuto’s phone screen. “I should visit you some time.”

Yuto nods at the screen then glances over his outfit one more time.

“Isn’t it almost midnight there? Means you’re safe and warm in your bed,” Yuto quips, waggling his eyes brows at Yamada.

Yamada laughs. “Concentrate, you idiot. You have a shoot to do.”

Yuto chuckles. “Yeah, all right. Good night, superstar.”

Yamada blows a kiss and ends the call.

Yuto fiddles with the buttons of his coat. It’s a shoot based on shades of brown and red.

He’d woken up to the first signs of autumn: red-brown leaves and branches astray in his backyard.

Before he knew it he had his camera set up and his beige coat, brown boots, and cup of coffee.

He likes themes and today’s theme is sweet and warm.

He thinks about Yamada’s hair, recently dyed back to light brown for his new drama.

Thinks about how much warmer it must be in Yamada’s bed back in Tokyo right now.

Thinks about how he and Yamada were meant to be a one-night stand but now there’s a flutter in his stomach that won’t go away.

His post gets thousands of likes and he gets a call from Lanvin for a shoot next week.

It’s still not as sweet as Yamada’s good night message which comes in hours later.



“Are you seeing someone?” His manager asks Yamada one afternoon.

Yamada blinks up at him, unsurprised. “Why’d you ask?”

He’s been expecting this for a while. The thing is he doesn’t know. He’s been flirting with Yuto online for a few months now. Sure, there are innuendos and Skype calls but it could be a casual thing.

“You know I don’t care who it is. I just need a heads up. Your single release was successful. You have the drama coming up. You’re a big thing now, Yamada. I need to know,” his manager sighs.

“Nakajima Yuto,” Yamada mumbles.

His manager nods. “Noted. Is it serious? Just sex?”

Yamada sighs, already used to his manager’s unfiltered questions.

“I don’t know,” Yamada admits, eyeing his phone. He sees a notification from Yuto and grins excitedly.

“Well, figure it out,” his manager states. “Though if he makes you blush like you did when you were twelve it must be something.”

Yamada refuses to meet his manager’s eyes, willing the flush away. He fiddles with his shoelaces as his manager leaves with a curt nod.

His phone pings again and he finally opens Yuto’s messages.

Loooooooooooooook. Yuto captions. He looks rested with a baseball cap on his head and the London Bridge in the background behind him. There’s another pic and Yamada giggles at Yuto's awful caption.

London Bridge is falling down. Be my fair lady

This time Yuto's eyes are closed and he’s making a kissy face and fuck, Yamada wants to kiss him in person. He also wouldn't mind those puckered lips on the head of his- well. Best not think about it while at work.

He sends Yuto a picture of him giving him the finger and if his shirt is pulled up to reveal a few abs, it's totally by accident.



The thing is Yamada hasn't had sex since Yuto in Hawaii and his fingers and toys aren't enough anymore. He wants nimble fingers brushing his spot and sharp scraping teeth on his neck. He wants long limbs tangled with his as he ruts against the sheets. He wants thin lips and bright eyes and he wants Yuto and no one else.

The images of Yuto in his head are like siren songs and drowning in him would be worth it all.



“When was the last time you had sex?” Yuto asks bluntly, lying starfished on his bed. The lights from the other buildings outside are like little stars and he’s too tired to close the curtains.

He hears Yamada scoff on the other end. “It’s 10AM here, Yuto. It’s too bright to be talking about things.”

Yuto smirks. “It’s 9PM where I am, Yama-chan. I’m very much in the mood to talk about it, if you know what I mean.”

“Please tell me you aren’t getting off to my voice right now,” Yamada jokes.

Yuto’s eyes flicker to the waistband of his pajamas. He wasn’t going to touch himself to Yamada’s voice. Usually, he waits until Yamada ends the call. Usually lets his mind wander to sweaty stretched out Yamada, to rippling muscles and the numerous hip rolls he must have practiced.

“Would you like that?” Yuto whispers instead, as he gives in and lazily strokes himself. “Do you like the thought of me touching myself to your voice?”

He feels himself filling up as Yamada’s whine filters through his phone speaker.

“Oh,” Yuto gasps. “I’ll take that as a yes then?”

He can imagine Yamada now, scrunched eyes, bathed in rumpled sheets and morning light, bleary-eyed and wanting.

“Yama-chan,” Yuto groans softly, sliding a hand beneath his pants and stroking himself more surely. “I wish it was you touching me. Want to taste you. Want you to make me come in your hair I- ah.”

Yuto feels drips of pleasure pooling in his stomach, listens hard to hear the little hitches in Yamada’s breathing.

“Say something, please,” Yuto begs, feeling a bit of pre-come spurting out. He thumbs the slit of his cock and moans Yamada’s name a little too loud.

“Tell me more,” Yamada replies, breaking his silence. “Tell me how much you want me,” he continues and it feels so much like a command. Yuto’s skin prickles with desire.

Yuto babbles about how he wants Yamada to ride him into his bed with the curtains open, says he wants to mark Yamada’s thighs, cries out thinking about Yamada’s wet mouth.

He hears Yamada’s soft replies, little whimpers, Yamada’s rough voice huffing out Yuto’s name.

Yuto tugs on himself hard and fast, chasing the feeling burning through him.

“Are you close?” Yamada asks moments later, probably hearing the sound Yuto’s of slippery skin and ragged pants.

“Yes,” Yuto replies, and for a split second, he wonders if this changes their relationship, if this is the edge of an unseen waterfall.

But then Yamada says “come for me” in a hushed whisper and he shoots all over his stomach, mind wiped clean, back arching, and eyesight blurring as he hears Yamada moaning his name across the line.


He thinks he hears the sound of distant waves ringing in his ears.



They don’t talk about it right after. They exchange tired good morning-goodnights and end the call.

Yuto lies there staring at the dark New York skyline and falls asleep.

He books his flight to Tokyo the next morning.



Yamada stays at home all day.

He has the script to the next episode of the drama he’s filming but his mind is clouded with Yuto and he doesn’t know what to do about it.

He wants Yuto with him, wants to sit him down and talk to him properly because this is suddenly something he wants to fight for. It’s stupid that all it took was one racy phone call to tip everything over the edge. They’ve been flirting and communicating for months and now he feels disoriented.

Yamada wastes the day lounging around and checking his phone for notifications.

The picture comes in just as he’s about to fall asleep at night.

It’s Yuto with a determined look in his eyes and a plane ticket.

Homeward bound.

There’s a thrum of hope under his skin.

He drifts off and dreams of shipwrecks and mermaids and light sea foam kisses.



When Yuto has jetlag, he counts thoughts, not sheep. His internal body clock says it’s still morning because it is morning in the west coast of the United States.

But he’s in Japan.

He’s here to look for a modeling job. Because he misses where he grew up, where he started.

Because it would coincide just in time for fashion week and Yuto could stay a few weeks soaking up his old hometown sun.

Because he isn’t longing for some idol, bathed in glitter and a potential heartbreak.


Sometimes, when Yuto has jetlag, he counts lies.



Yuto thinks this is what it feels like to plunge into unknown water.

Disorienting and scary with only one goal in mind- to reach the surface of the water, to breathe.

This is his dive and Yamada is his oxygen.

He’s not sure if he believes in a higher power but as he sends off a message asking for Yamada’s address, he sends up a prayer.

Let me be his.



It happens so fast as it always does with them.

Yamada takes one look at Yuto- tall, tired, real on his doorstep- before he launches himself at him, connecting their lips with urgency.

Yamada licks at Yuto’s mouth until the taller boy gives in.

He had a speech prepared, an honest tell-all speech about his feelings but instead he pulls Yuto closer and hopes the endless trail of kisses makes it clear.

“No one else,” Yamada whispers into Yuto’s open mouth. His breathing is heavy as Yamada pulls him into his room and kisses him again and again.

“No one else since you,” Yamada breathes and Yuto feels like a mermaid who’s just regained his voice.

“Date me,” Yuto says, fumbling with zipper of Yamada’s pants. “Be my boyfriend.”

Yamada shivers as Yuto’s hand cups him. “S-so romantic.”

“I flew over 6000 miles to fuck you. What’s more romantic than that?” Yuto replies.

“Shut up, boyfriend,” Yamada says, eyes dark with lust but also serious.

“All right, boyfriend,” Yuto replies finally before they stumble into Yamada’s room, grinning like fools.



“So how are we going to do this? I mean you’re flying off to Italy in a month and I have a drama to shoot and w- hey. Yuto, are you listening to me?” Yamada says, throwing a chip at his head.

Yuto scowls, looking up from his phone.

‘What was that for?” He whines, pouting cutely. “I was trying to find the right filter to highlight your ass.”

Yamada throws another chip at him. “You are not posting my nudes on your blog, your perv.”

“Fine,” Yuto says, typing something furiously onto his phone.

Yamada hears the ding on his phone a few seconds later.

Yuto looks at him fondly. “Awwwww. You have me on notifications.”

Yamada blushes as he checks Yuto’s new Instagram post.

It’s just a picture of the end of his bed, blankets rumpled and the ends of their feet peeking into the frame. Yamada leans over towards Yuto and whispers the words Yuto used for the caption before kissing him again.

‘There’s no place I’d rather be.’



They work it out slowly, slowly as in they make up for the months of sex they missed after every conversation of two.

Yamada brings up the fact that they have to keep it hidden. Yuto says he understands and tells Yamada he’s worth it in between kisses.

Yuto brings up the fact that he has to travel a lot. Yamada understands and shows Yuto he’s worth it by taking him apart with his tongue.




Yamada rolls his eyes at the sound of the high-pitched squeal. He turns to see Yuto dressed in plain black jeans and a shirt but with a handful of Yamada uchiwas.

“You’re the worst,” Yamada says.

“And you’re feathery,” Yuto quips, tugging at Yamada’s costume.

“Take a picture it lasts longer,” Yamada says, lips quirking up.

Yuto looks around, making sure everyone’s too busy to notice them backstage.

He kisses Yamada quickly and the older boy smiles up at him.

“Go get’em,” Yuto says, looking out at the spotlight and the crowd and his boy decked in feathers.

Yamada should feel nervous but Yuto’s looking at him like a diver who’s found a mermaid- full of awe and wonder and amazement.

“Enjoying the view?” Yamada asks, remembering the time they first met on the beach.

“It’s all right. You should see the view from my room,” Yuto responds, meaningfully.

“Invite me up then,” Yamada says, repeating the words from memory. “After the show of course,” he tacks on.

“I will, boyfriend,” Yuto says, taking a picture as Yamada leaves to perform.

He posts it while Yamada’s onstage, posts the colorful blur that is his boyfriend.

He thinks about the memories of the beach and the late night texts and the quiet whispers on long-distance phone calls and thinks about how they got here. He thinks they’ll be okay.

He types one word as the caption before pocketing his phone and listening to the opening notes of Yamada’s song.