pairing: Yaotome Hikaru/Inoo Kei
word count: 1,165
author's note: This is a companion to Little White Lies. I honestly don't know if it stands alone, but I would suggest reading the other first. ^^;
summary: This is what freedom is supposed to be like, Inoo thinks, and he loves every second of it, loves loving Hikaru.
It's mid-April and the weather is just beginning to thaw, to warm up into the mid-twenties and make it comfortable to go outside without a jacket. The cherry blossoms have come and gone, dumping pink around them in favour of a more springy green, and all of Tokyo is just beginning to get past their hay fever and seasonal allergies, or at least get used to it enough that they're no longer complaining about it at every opportunity. Inoo would usually complain; he likes to complain, to get as much attention and pity out of his friends as possible, but this year, he's far too occupied with other feelings for that. After all, he's finally done college, finally done school, and this spring, nothing can get him down-- instead of his normal complaints and whining, he throws himself in gleeful abandon at the others, arms spread and a grin on his face, hanging off of everyone and anyone in JUMP indiscriminately. Most of the others laugh it off, because it's a huge improvement over his snappishness during the period of time when he was writing his thesis or the sleepless haze with which he conducted his life during his final exams, and so they smile and hug him back, hanging off him equally or nudging him affectionately or asking him about his life, giving him the opportunity to sing over and over again, like he'll never get tired of announcing it, that he's free, he's finally free.
But Hikaru seems to see Inoo's sudden overly-friendly behaviour as something else altogether: an opportunity, of sorts, and perhaps out of spring fever, or perhaps out of desperation after so many years of Inoo's college obligations coming between them, he takes the chance every time Inoo comes flying at him with open arms to cop a feel here or there in the most indiscreet of fashions. To be honest, Inoo likes it, has always liked Hikaru's unabashed attraction and affections, ever since they were barely teenagers and Inoo was far too young to realize that it wasn't exactly kosher to like being held down and tickled by a particular friend, but even still, Inoo is human, and a classy one at that! And so he can't exactly help but shriek every time he feels Hikaru's fingers curling around the curve of his backside, can't help but squeal and writhe every time he feels Hikaru's nails brushing against the inside of his thigh. Hikaru only laughs of course, every time, even as he sends Inoo skittering down the hall away from him, a confused mixture of screams and giggles on his breath, laughs and pursues in a somehow perfect mixture of devilish persistence and demonstration that he cares, and when he finally catches up, tackling Inoo onto the sofa at the end of the hall by the vending machines or else cornering him in the stairwell just out of sight, depending on where JUMP happens to be filming or interviewing that day, Inoo can't help but laugh through his indignant whines, can't help, even as he squirms, but melt into Hikaru's touch. Because after ten years of knowing one another and five years of being groupmates and four years of college and so many bumps along their relationship in-between, somehow, in this unlikely happy ending, Inoo has found happiness.
But he's high class, of course, and so he can't just say that; instead, he squeals, "Hikaru, stoooop!" as he feels Hikaru's fingers slide under his shirt, brushing cool against his sides for a moment before Hikaru begins to tickle him mercilessly, just like he's always been want to do, ever since they were kids. Hikaru only cackles comically in response, as if he's suddenly become a comic-book villain and Inoo is his damsel in distress, but as always, it's barely a moment before a combination of Hikaru's onslaught and Inoo's ticklishness sends them into a horizontal position, and then Hikaru is leaning down to press a kiss to Inoo's lips as the movement of his fingers slows… or perhaps it's Inoo who leans up to press their lips together first; it hardly matters, anymore. This is what freedom is supposed to be like, Inoo thinks as his hands fall away from their defensive position and instead move to tangle in Hikaru's hair, this is everything he's worked for for so long now, and he loves every second of it, loves loving Hikaru.
But the bliss can only last so long, and as ever, it's only a few minutes before Hikaru is taking advantage of Inoo's lowered defenses and pinching Inoo in the side, causing him to twitch and shriek, reflexively curling into Hikaru despite the fact that this is all Hikaru's fault in the first place. Hikaru chuckles and withdraws; gathering himself onto his hands and knees to look down at Inoo beneath him, a playful smile tugging at his lips. "Should I make you scream again~?" he asks playfully, quirking an eyebrow at Inoo's pout, "I like it when you react honestly~"
"Honestly, you're awful," Inoo responds, sticking his tongue out a Hikaru even as he can't help but smile a little, himself. This is their routine, after all, this is normal, or better than normal, really. The fact that they can do this easily, without speaking, without laying down the rules beforehand every time means that they understand one another, that they've come a long, long way in the past ten years. It means that there are no more misunderstandings, or rather, that when there are, Inoo isn't too scared to talk about them, to complain about them to Hikaru; he doesn't feel like he needs to pretend in order to hold their relationship together. It's a liberating feeling, really, a sense of freedom that still makes him smile, even now.
But right now, he doesn't have much time to think about that sort of thing, now when Hikaru's fingers are tracing along the hem of his shirt, threatening another tickling assault, and Inoo lifts a hand pretending to swat him away in the most reverse-psychologically inviting way he can. Hikaru's fingers only linger a moment, though, skimming along the pale skin of Inoo's stomach before he braces himself again, catching Inoo's eyes in a look that Inoo knows means can I?
And certainly, there are days when Inoo is tired or busy or just not feeling it, days when he would rather wait until later or when he's worn out from earlier, but by and large, the answer is the same. Words are unnecessary by this point, though, and so he places both his palms against the sides of Hikaru's face, leaning up to meet him halfway in another kiss. They linger this way, surprisingly slow and simple after so much messing around, but eventually, Hikaru nips at Inoo's lip and asks permission again, and as Inoo parts his lips willingly, easily, happily, he hopes that Hikaru knows the answer is yes, of course, honestly, always.