When the new kid drops off the face of the Earth, Yuu isn’t sure what to do.
Well, no. He is sure of what to do, for as long as it takes to throw himself over the railing and peer down at the ground, for how long it takes to barrel down four flights of stair to get to the bottom, to find that there’s no splat on the pavement, no body hanging off a second story ledge.
Then Yuu freaks.
Later, his brother tells him they had to force him to breath into a paper bag, he was hyperventilating so hard. He doesn’t really remember. The only thing he does remember is bursting into the classroom right before the bell rang, lungs working harder than after a fight, as rows of students stared up at him in shock. Then he may have shouted some things and/ or collapsed on the ground, he’s not sure.
(He hopes it was shouting. Collapsing on the ground is not very intimidating.)
They found the new kid that very same day, lying on the ground like a rag doll, and everyone was afraid he was actually dead. He wasn’t- Yuu found out the next morning over his cereal. He tries not to feel relieved when he hears the news, for reasons he is not quite sure of. His brother claps him on the shoulder, and Yuu finishes his breakfast without talking about it so he can make it to school on time.
In school, he feels like people are watching him. He knows it’s ridiculous- who pays attention to the delinquent burnout, apart from new kids that don’t know better? But he can still feel their eyes on the back of his neck, and their whispers when he passes by in the hallway. He mostly glares at them, and everyone seems to stay away.
It’s probably just about the new kid.
He- Ren- comes back the next week. Yuu doesn’t see him til lunch, just hears about a head of blond hair in the main office, just listens to a strong voice through the classroom walls. When he buys his lunch, he can feel more eyes on him than usual, but he glares them into submission and heads to the roof.
Already there, sitting past the railing with his lunch spread out next to him, is Ren. Yuu doesn’t say anything. Ren doesn’t either.
Instead, Yuu jumps over the railing and opens his bread, and neither of them try to make conversation for the rest of lunch.
When it ends Yuu stands, places his hands on the railing, but doesn’t jump over. Instead, out of the corner of his eye, he watches Ren pack up his lunch with precision and efficiency. He looks stronger, Yuu decides. He’s not sure how disappearing off the face of the planet for half a day would give a kid so much… intensity, but it did. Ren, he thinks, would not be someone he’d want to fight.
And that’s saying something, because Yuu has fought a lot of people.
Then Ren looks up with a smile, still saying nothing, and hops the rail before Yuu has the chance to. After regaining his balance, he turns, for what seems like the express purpose of looking at Yuu, and smiles, and Yuu’s heart twists funnily in his chest.
They eat lunch like that for the rest of the week, totally silent on a rooftop, and it’s- nice, Yuu thinks. The view is nice, and the breeze is nice, and Ren’s smile is- nice. He doesn’t want to think about it.
He packs a lunch on Friday, puts up with waking up earlier and his brother’s teasing, and when Yuu’s the first one on the rooftop Ren doesn’t just smile, he laughs. It makes Yuu’s heart feel close to bursting in his chest, for reasons he still isn’t sure of, and then Ren talks about the seagulls flying around and the school lunches, and that makes Yuu’s heart almost overflow with… with something.
And after, when the lunch bell eventually rings, Ren is so shocked by the noise that he freezes, like he has the whole week. Yuu takes the chance to beat him over the railing, just blindly throws himself over and hopes he lands on his feet. He does, and he turns back to Ren, and Ren isn’t smiling but he’s looking at Yuu with an indecipherable look on his face that makes Yuu want to kiss him, for some reason, and Yuu totally understands what Ren makes him feel now.
Yuu spends the weekend with a blanket on his person at all times, except for when his brother forces him to go out to the supermarket- then he has to switch to a hoodie. He also spends his entire weekend moping, and thinking about Ren’s face, and debating on whether or not buying an entire bucket of ice cream is an physically and economically sound idea for a young, lovelorn delinquent.
The ice cream, he decides, is a good thing to have on hand. Ren’s face is unarguably pretty, and the fact that he’s moping needs to stop.
The thing is, Yuu doesn’t know how to stop. He doesn’t- he doesn’t even get why he feels like he does, only that it’s all Ren’s fault, and that it makes Yuu want to punch something. Only he doesn’t want to punch something, he wants to hold hands with Ren, and that makes him want to punch something even harder.
When he sighs eight times in a row during Sunday dinner, his brother sets down his spoon and takes a long, hard look at Yuu, who bristles in response. “... You okay?” his brother asks eventually, studying him intently over the table.
Yuu’s nostrils flare unconsciously, and his glare probably just looks like teenage angst to his brother. “Yes,” he mutters, hard. He doesn’t look up from his plate, though, and his brother sighs.
“Alright,” he replies, and gets up to put his dishes away.
Later that night, as Yuu lies on the couch, staring at the ceiling, (thinking about Ren’s face), his brother sits down next to his head and turns on the T.V. Yuu would be annoyed, but he put on a reality show, and Yuu knows he only did it because Yuu likes watching people get stabbed in the back. They watch two episodes together in silence, and then Yuu’s brother messes up his hair and tells him to go to bed.
Yuu does. Sleep doesn’t help much.
The next morning, Ren is standing outside the school gates with a pretty blonde girl, and Yuu has to stop and calm himself before walking past him. It doesn’t work much, and Yuu’s pulse is still going fast when he strolls past, but he doesn’t have a heart attack when Ren says, “Hey,” all casual.
Yuu slows, takes a surreptitious look around to makes sure he was the one being addressed, then replies, “Hey,” when no one else stops and starts up conversation with the new kid.
The blonde girl smirks at him, though that may have just been her version of a friendly smile, and slips into the the crowd. Ren watches her go, then turns back to Yuu. “I don’t have your number,” Ren says, like people would often ask for Yuu’s number.
Yuu blinks. “Uh, yeah. Sure. Got a slip of paper?” he somehow asks, like he often gives his number to people.
Ren digs through his backpack for one, pale hair sliding in front of his eyes, and Yuu wants to brush it out of the way, tuck it behind his ears. Then he shoves that thought out of his mind and glares at some passing kid til he can think about looking at Ren’s face without blushing, but Ren didn’t seem to notice.
“Here!” he says, triumphant in his find, then realizes, “Actually, you could just. Put your number in my phone.”
Yuu curses himself internally. Of course you can put numbers in a phone, he thinks, of course you wouldn’t need a piece of paper. What is this, the 1960’s?
He shakes it off to push some tiny buttons on Ren’s phone, glaring at it till he remembers all the numbers, and by the time he’s finished the warning bell has rung,
“Well,” Ren says. “See you at lunch? Or I’ll text you sometime.” Then he takes off running for the school, surprisingly fast and nimble, and makes it inside before the last bunch of students.
Yuu thinks vaguely that his heart wouldn’t survive eating lunch with Ren again, let alone get through a phone conversation, but he pushes that aside and hopes his heart can make it through the sprint to class.