Disclaimer: I do not own Gakuen Heaven, or any of its characters, SPRAY/Higuri Yuu do.
Bell Liberty, being a small school (at least in terms of total student body) was a place where word got around fast. Like any other small community, not all rumors ended up with confirmation or denial, but some burned strong for however long that intrigue lasted.
One of the curiosities which never quite died, was of the true nature of the relationship between dorm president (and archery club captain) Shinomiya Koji and the shy art club captain Iwai Takuto. The pair were often together, but so were other duos on campus, and it wasn’t as if they were ever particularly loud or declarative of anything in public.
Despite nothing undeniably obvious in the artist and the archer’s actions (at least, as far as those around them knew,) their occasional glances, their obvious closeness, Koji’s protectiveness, Takuto’s ability to seem entirely at ease around the archer, might make it easy enough to think they were just close friends. But sometimes those glances would lock, sometimes linger. Sometimes when handing Koji a pencil during class their hands would touch a few moments longer than necessary. Sometimes Koji would hold the door for him, and his hand would rest low on the artist’s back as he passed. No single action declared them a couple, but no one expected two teenage boys to treat each other with such attentive care (all. the. time.)
Other students would whisper about them once in awhile, raise an eyebrow (or smirk) at their subtle affection. They retained interest for a few moments at a time, and then people would go on about their business. Of course, there were students who saw more evidence than others, and happened to care more.
Takuto followed Koji to the treasury room, stood slightly behind him while he knocked and waited for the answer of “it’s open,” before heading inside.
The treasurer, Saionji Kaoru stood, leaning, just slightly over Shichijo Omi, unabashedly wiping the corner of his co-treasurer’s mouth with a napkin before looking up at his guests.
“You’re just in time, we brewed the tea and thought it may have been a bit early,” Kaoru said.
“But here you are,” Omi finished, an unreadable glint in his eyes as he looked back at Kaoru and the beautiful treasurer nodded in response.
Takuto and Koji both found their seats with a ritual like familiarity. It had been another long week, and they were both eager to destress with tea and friends, forming the largest group Takuto could easily relax in.
When finished with his tea, Takuto set his teacup with a focused carefulness back on the table and leaned against Koji. The archer looked over his shoulder and adjusted so that Takuto could relax into him and went back to his conversation.
“Are you alright, Iwai?” Kaoru asked, noting the way the boy had sunk into the couch and his eyes were lidded.
“Hmm? Oh, I’m sorry...I keep doing that don’t I?” Takuto answered, not quite sitting up. “And I’m not even busy like you or Koji are...”
“But you haven’t been sleeping well,” Koji said. This wasn’t a question.
“I’m not exactly the best student, I need to study to keep up,” he responded, meeting Koji’s gaze, still learning on him.
“Oh? These exams are quite a pain, aren’t they?” Omi said, which the other three met with simultaneous nods.
“It’s been hard on us too, you’re not alone,” Kaoru sympathized, resting a hand on Takuto’s knee, earning a quick notice, but not much else from Koji.
“You excell, Kaoru,” Omi reminded him.
At this, Kaoru turned, his hand migrating from Takuto’s leg to Omi’s. “But it’s you I have to take care of.”
Omi answered with his (to everyone but Kaoru) mostly unreadable smile, but this time there was a clear warmth as he covered Kaoru’s hand with his own.
They were all still for a moment, appreciating that their friendship let them see these sides of each other. Both Kaoru and Koji being quite proper and Takuto being rather shy were not traits that lent themselves well to sharing personal things.
Kaoru turned back to Koji, “do you need any help with your physics work?”
Koji smiled gratefully. “Oh don’t tempt me, I may have to ask if you do. Why isn’t it classified as a math class anyway?“
Takuto began to drift again as Kaoru asked Koji about specifics of some formula he was having trouble with. He hadn’t quite fallen asleep when he realized that Kaoru hovered above him, a hand on his shoulder. Without much consciousness to it, he thought about how it was nice that they could share very simple touches when all together.
“Takuto,” Kaoru said, not quite shaking him.
“Hmm, I’m awake,” he answered unconvincingly.
The sun had dimmed through the treasury windows, he realized. It wouldn’t set yet, but it must be time for dinner and Koji would ensure he ate. Come to think of it, he was still leaning on Koji, wasn’t he?
“Time to get up,” Koji said softly. He reached over and brushed a lock of hair from the artist’s face. “It’s almost dinnertime.”
With that, they rose, bid their friends goodbye, Koji guiding a waking Takuto out.
“Aren’t they sweet?” Omi quipped as soon as they were gone.
Kaoru turned around from where he’d stood, “they are,” he agreed calmly.
“Do you think they’re a bit less discreet around us?” Kaoru asked as an afterthought.
“Well, it’s easy to be together I think,” Omi said, looking up from where he still sat.
“They’re neither the showy type. Though I wonder if they’re getting just a bit bolder.”
“With us?” Kaoru asked.
“With everyone, but yes. You are rather gentle with Iwai.”
“And?” Kaoru’s brows raised as if expecting reproach. (Although from Omi, that was unlikely.)
“You’re also sweet,” Omi answered.
He raised his arms to embrace Kaoru as the other boy leaned in to kiss him.
“Hm, very sweet.”
In fact, the artist and the archer were growing more bold. Their personalities remained, but some of their subtlety dropped as their relationship grew. The night of the fire alarm in the dorm was further evidence for anyone who thought more proof was necessary.
At 2:07am the alarm rang through the dorm, waking students and drawing them from their rooms. Though the dorm president wasn’t the center of attention, but no doubt students who saw noticed he and Takuto leaving the artist’s room together. Still, the couples utterly boldest testimony, everyone around them would realize when they appeared on the bottom floor amongst everyone else. Koji was clad in only PJ pants (given his considerable muscles, this did not make him less authoritative.) He was hand in hand with his very tired unofficial roommate, who wore a long sleeved shirt that fell past his upper thighs. The top and pants were the same pattern, both halves of a single set.
Koji made his way through the crowd to where two freshmen had put out the fire in the dorm kitchen’s microwave. As if scaring themselves and the dorm with a midnight-snack- gone-wrong hadn’t frazzled the younger residents, there was the new issue of an annoyed dorm leader to deal with. Koji was not particularly wrathful though. He listened while the two freshmen explained that one had a nightmare and the other was trying to soothe him with a (failed) attempt at microwaved tea. The lingering students watched as dorm-authority mode melted into dorm-parent mode. Koji’s expression had softened greatly and he comforted the boys but reminded them to be more careful, because gods help them if they ever stuck plastic in the microwave again.
He dismissed them and stood, returning to where Takuto had stood off to the side awaiting him with a praise of “you did good.” He looked directly at Koji before adding: “you looked like you were gonna bite them at first, but you were gentle.”
“His friend had a nightmare,” Koji started to explain.
They looked at each other in an exchange of recognition. Whenever Koji would force himself awake to console Takuto after nightmares meant more than either could express in words. Takuto leaned his forehead against Koji’s.
“Thanks for never setting anything on fire.”
Koji laughed lightly and wrapped an arm around him.
“Let’s go back to sleep.”
Takuto only buried his face in the archer’s shoulder.
“Mm-hmm. Right here’s good.”
“Back to bed,” Koji clarified. He felt Takuto sigh a warm breath into his skin before separating just enough to move.
Keita looked over his shoulder at the couple then back at Kazuki. (Who smiled at Keita’s blush.) They left the sitting area, close behind Kaoru and Omi. Keita looked over his shoulder again.
“Um...are they?...” he started, rather innocently.
Kaoru smirked at him and answered as he passed, “your first three guesses don’t count.”