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218th Night

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Rei sat across from Kaoru. The blond's half-lidded eyes only marked one of various signs of his exhaustion, darkness creeping in beneath them. He didn't even bother to comb his hair before coming over, something that Rei found happened more often than before. Tight, balled up fists rested uncomfortably on top of Kaoru's knees. His eyes glanced hesitantly around the room before they focused on a not very interesting rip in the furniture they were on.

The sofa. It was old, worn, secondhand. Rei bought it for it's charm, at least that's what he told others. Kaoru knew it was only for a lame conversation starter, yet never told him. The living piece was most likely breaking underneath them but they both didn't say a thing. It was a hidden conversation underneath teasing and joking around half-heartedly. There were questions Rei and Kaoru avoided, and the two just knew. They were both fucked up messes, yet they only saw someone better in front of them. Rei slowly moved his body closer, yet at the sight of the blond flinching he slinked back to his spot. The silence was heavy and looming over them. He could only focus on the uneven breaths that Kaoru took every few seconds. Shallow and quick. Rei gritted his teeth, almost regretting the moment he took notice, yet he pushed that thought back and forced himself to think back on the series of events that led up to a shaken unit memberー no, his partner, to his doorstep.

It was an early morning call, a little past midnight. He could only hear parts of Kaoru's speech, the rest being muffled out or inaudible. Rei sat motionless in the middle of his living room, a hand clenching the sofa underneath him and the other struggling to hold up the phone. He wasn't good with emotional problems. No, that was an understatement. He avoided events that required emotional responses. Rei despised them with his entire being. Every part of him told him to hang up the phone, to walk into his room and to let his phone die, yet there was something different with Kaoru. He managed to muster up a breath and without second thought, he invited him over. Whether it was out of pity or genuine concern, or perhaps it was for a selfish reason, Rei's impulsive thinking and decision making has once again took an important path much too fast. There was silence on the other line before he heard a soft noise which he assumed was Kaoru agreeing to it. The phone clicked and Rei felt his chest drop. Why the fuck did he do that. He was perfectly capable comforting another being on the phone but face to face was a whole other level that Rei had barely any experience in. Aside from comforting his brother at times, though it went horribly more often than not, there was nothing that could help him now aside from distant memories of sad films he would watch on his tv set. Sweet talking his way out of these situations was what he was used to doing, yet in his gut, Rei felt a pang of guilt. Kaoru was one of the few that he felt truly comfortable around physically. He never complained when he turned off his phone for days and skipped weeks off school, nor did he complain about his lack of attendance to unit outings, possibly because Kaoru got to spend more time around Adonis and Koga. It was convenient of Rei to not be around often, and it shows in their unit. Funny how similar the two were even without speaking it.
There would be days where he questioned his actual usefulness in his own unit, and they still continue to manifest themselves in his increasing nightmares. He put so much effort into this unit that he couldn't let it see it go to waste, yet there was always that one nagging feeling that kept him distant. Tonight he felt even more so, with a broken down classmate having put so much trust in him.
The vampire felt his guilt grow quietly inside of him.

'Life sucks,' Rei thought to himself, watching as Kaoru tried desperately to begin a thought with words and not more pathetic crying. He awkwardly ran his hand through his matted hair, trying to act natural. So much for being the responsible one. What a joke.
"If you would like, you could always stay over," Rei began with a lowered voice, pursing his lips for a pause. He observed how shaken Kaoru was and instinctively started to put out his hand to pet his head. The blond didn't pull away. "Ritsu went out as well as...Back to the subject at hand, you could take my bed, if a possible coffin does not intimidate you. I hardly sleep anyways."
An almost inaudible signature laugh broke the silence, yet it sounded more sad than in the other times he had heard it. "Does it look like I sleep, Rei?"
"Well, is that not pretty rebellious of you. Did foolishly turned you into one of us by mistake?"
Kaoru instinctively brought a hand up to the side of his neck and shrugged, which only caused Rei to hum happily. It took a moment for him to realize that they were going off track.

He didn't mind at all.