title: to the freedom
pairing: Jinguji Yuta/Nakamura Reia
warnings: depictions of somewhat unhealthy relationship tendencies
word count: 2,495
author's note: I'm hoping these two grow up a little bit together as time goes on. By the way, Jinguji having a "smell fetish" is a real thing, I didn't make that up. He's also talked about it on Shounen Club. This was written for shiritori over at writetomyheart!
summary: Reia's beautiful this way, clearly having the time of his life, but sometimes, when he flies off the ramp, it almost seems like he's going to fly away.
"Ever wonder what it would be like to run away together?" Reia asks one day, completely at random, his voice breezy as he gazes up at the dressing room ceiling.
Jinguji raises an eyebrow. "No," he responds frankly but maybe a little too quickly. In his hurry to be dismissive of anything he deems "weird" or "stupid," he sometimes comes off sounding suspicious, which is the worst thing of all. After all, even if he isn't the slightest bit guilty of whatever the other person's talking about, if others think he is, that ruins everything. What would he be if not for his cool guy image, after all, he thinks, looking in the mirror and adjusting his hair. "That's really weird, why would I ever think something like that??"
"Mm~" Reia hums noncommittally, and goes back to the game he's playing on his phone, legs swinging freely from how he sits sideways in the easy chair, nestled between the arms like he was naturally made to fit there. Jinguji tries to ignore him, but somehow, the repetitive motion of his legs is captivating, graceful, almost, like a dance, or something. It catches in the corner of his eye and draws his attention away from anything else he tries to concentrate on. Reia drives him crazy this way, every day, every time, always.
Reia flirts with other boys on a daily basis. It's just how he is, how he's always been, waving cutely or winking or batting his eyelashes at this classmate or that senpai, and something about it drives Jinguji mad. He hates the way Reia looks at other boys, hates the upward quirk of his lips every time someone else gives him a compliment or flirts right back, hates the way Reia draws everyone's attention, always. He doesn't understand why no one is sympathetic to his frustrations, all his friends shrugging when he snaps about it to them and replying, "Isn't that just Reia?" Maybe it is just Reia, but Jinguji hates it anyway, hates feeling like he has to share Reia with everyone. Of course, he's dating Reia for the same reasons everyone else is drawn to him, because he's beautiful and confident and talented, but it's different, he tells himself. He wants the world to know that Reia is his.
And so, more often than not, he begins to stake his claim. When Reia bounces into rehearsal, waving and winking and making cute faces at everyone else in the room, Jinguji skulks over to his side, wrapping his arms around Reia and pulling him close, or sliding a possessive arm around his waist, or pulling him into a kiss, shooting dirty, warning glares at anyone else within a five foot radius. Reia gives him an odd look every once in a while, but says nothing and allows Jinguji to manhandle him.
Jinguji isn't sure why, when it ought to be reassuring, but somehow, Reia's silence bothers him most of all.
Jinguji has a smell fetish. He's always been more attuned to smell, he thinks, than his friends and classmates, but it's only recently that he's really begun to understand it. He surreptitiously smells senpai, friends, and kouhai alike and tries to gauge their emotional states by the scents, and he buys perfume like it's going out of style. He always smells chic, and he likes to think that maybe, even people with superior senses of smell notice and are impressed.
Reia doesn't use any sort of scent besides deodorant. He smells like soap and clean laundry and something else that Jinguji can't put his finger on, something that makes his heart flutter a little when he leans in close and takes a deep breath. It's like an adrenaline rush in a smell, and Jinguji both loves and hates that it seems to be entirely natural. It could only be natural, because Jinguji can't think of any perfume that could possibly make his chest tight that way.
Reia tastes even more strongly than he smells, and sometimes, if he's caught off guard, Jinguji feels as if he's free-falling when their lips meet. He tastes like things that scents are named after but never completely encompass, never can quite recreate, things like sunshine and rain showers and the sky, and, Jinguji thinks, it's a little piece of Reia's beauty that only he can appreciate. Maybe Reia doesn't even know, really, just how wonderful he is.
But even if he doesn't, Jinguji isn't going to tell him. Selfish or not, he wants to keep his secret treasure all to himself.
"Ever wonder what it would be like to run away together?" Reia prompts again one day, out of the blue, his melodic voice carrying on the autumn wind like music. He and Jinguji are walking alone together, having gotten coffee after rehearsal. Jinguji would never call it a date out loud, but he hopes that that's how Reia thinks of it, anyway.
Jinguji stuffs his hands in his pockets and shrugs. "No," he responds frankly but maybe a little too quickly. Something about Reia's tone, so light and free and easy that it might be carried away like the falling leaves, makes his chest squeeze tight, makes him nervous, like he wants to hold Reia down and never let him go. He doesn't know what Reia means by "run away," but he doesn't like hearing them come out of Reia's mouth one way or another.
"Mm~" Reia hums noncommittally, laughter on his voice as he shrugs too, and something about that airy tone is too much for Jinguji. Before he knows what he's doing, his arms are tight around Reia's shoulders, pulling Reia close to his chest.
"Jinguji?" Reia asks, surprised, because Jinguji definitely isn't one for romantic gestures, isn't one for mushy things or cutesy things or anything like that. He's far too cool to be seen doing cliche things on dates, he's always thought, but somehow, in the fear of Reia slipping away from him, all that falls away.
"Stay with me forever," he finds himself saying, his voice sounding foreign and not like his own as he tightens his arms around Reia even more, cradling Reia against his shoulder, like the main pair at the end of a romance drama.
"…Okay," Reia says quietly, and while Jinguji thinks that ought to be a relief, somehow, it just makes his chest feel tighter.
Reia practically seems like he's flying when he practices skateboard tricks. They've been having him do them in shows more and more now, plays and concerts alike, and while at first, he'd claimed rusty and out of practice since childhood, his confidence is clearly back in full force. He laughs as he propels himself into the air, laughs as he jets along the ramps and around the rehearsal studio, lighting up the air around him like the sun.
Jinguji likes to watch Reia practice (as do a lot of juniors, really, though the number has dwindled slightly ever since it went around the junior rumour circuit and back that Reia and Jinguji are "the real deal" now), likes to sit on the sidelines and watch him race through air like a shooting star. He's beautiful this way, clearly having the time of his life, but sometimes, when he flies off the ramp, it almost seems like he's going to fly away. It makes Jinguji's heart leap into his throat, and he doesn't know what to do, even though Reia always comes down again.
Especially at times like those, though Jinguji would never tell anyone, he secretly hopes that Reia will fall. After all, when he can fly for himself, he doesn't need Jinguji, doesn't need anyone, but if he's injured… well, then Jinguji can take care of him, can do something. He likes to picture himself like a anime hero, saving the ingenue and gallantly whisking him away to safety.
When Reia really does fall, Jinguji falls, too, falls apart. He panics, unable to breathe at the sound Reia's wrist makes when it hits the floor, and in the end, all he's able to do is shout for someone to get help. Still, a little tiny part of him can't help but lurch in guilty pleasure as the doctor fits Reia with a heavy brace for his sprain and tells him to take it easy.
He can't fly away from Jinguji with that weighing him down.
Jinguji's always been a relatively healthy person, but recently, it seems like Reia gets sick a lot. Even after his wrist recovers and the brace comes off, he's in and out of the doctor's office with coughs and runny noses off and on, and it keeps his feet firmly on the ground. Even when he's not rehearsing, he drags his feet a little, greeting friends and nodding to senpai but seemingly without the energy to do much more.
It puzzles Jinguji, because while he knows he's basically the ideal of youthful health, Reia's always been right up there with him, and so now, to see him looking so pale and drained every day seems off and wrong. Even when he's not sniffing or sneezing or napping in a corner, he seems drained, and while he does manage a smile most of the time, his legs don't swing when he sits, his voice doesn't carry on the wind. It feels as if little by little, day by day, he's sinking into the floor.
But even so, Jinguji doesn't realize something's wrong until much later. Reia doesn't taste like much of anything anymore (and somehow, Jinguji never seems to catch what Reia can't quite seem to get rid of, despite how much they kiss), but Jinguji doesn't really notice, maybe because he's used to it, or maybe because, anymore, when they kiss, all he can think is mine, mine, mine…
But when Reia's scent begins to fade away altogether, gradual and unobtrusive a change as it is, Jinguji feels as if he's been slapped in the face. It's a rude awakening, but maybe it's better to see clearly for the first time.
"Ever wonder what it would be like to run away together?" Jinguji asks one day as he and Reia walk to the train station after rehearsal together. Reia always offers to go out with Jinguji at times like these, and up until recently, Jinguji had been mindlessly accepting-- after all, Reia is his boyfriend, he's supposed to go out with Jinguji after rehearsal. But now, he realizes that's not the problem, and despite how it makes his hands tremble a little where they're hidden in his pockets, he knows what he has to do.
Reia blinks at him in surprise, and for the first time in a long time, Jinguji sees a little bit of the old spark in his eyes. "You'll come with me?" he asks, his lips curling up naturally into a smile, and despite the uncertainty of it all, Jinguji swells with hope.
"I'll go with you," he replies, and it comes out easier than he'd expected. I'll follow you anywhere, he thinks, and somehow, despite all the fear and the worry, it feels right, and he means it.
Reia grins all the way to the train station, a little bit of a skip in his step, and Jinguji can't help but think that even just with that, he's more breathtaking than the sunset.
They run away together.
Or rather, they skip school and run away for the day, at least, to an amusement park. It's stupid and simple, but it has Reia in high spirits, and somehow, that alone is enough to put Jinguji into high spirits, too. Still, Reia's only just recovered from his most recent cluster of coughing fits, and Jinguji can't help but be a little nervous-- or maybe that's not it at all, and maybe after everything, he's still a little afraid that here, away from everything that held them together, Reia will be picked up by the wind and fly away. But either way, it doesn't matter. He holds Reia's hand the whole time, just to be safe.
They ride all the rides together, sometimes chatting about this and that superficially, but more often in silence. For once, Jinguji doesn't complain about anything and lets Reia lead the way. It's scary, but something about it feels good, too, and it seems like with every decision, with every excited pointing of his finger at a new ride, Reia seems just a little stronger, a little lighter.
However, when Reia chooses the largest roller coaster in the park, pulling Jinguji into the line, all of Jinguji's worries and insecurities come back, because he might be the strongest and bravest person he knows, but that doesn't mean he's invincible. And what if, when his guard is down, Reia slips away? He's anxious through the whole wait in line, anxious as they stand at the gate, anxious as they climb into the car, but Reia's smile, brighter than the sun above them, keeps him going, even as he pulls down his safety harness one-handed.
"It's okay to let go of my hand, you know," Reia says with a playful grin, peering at Jinguji around the harness. "I'm not going anywhere. I'm not going to leave you." It seems stupid, seeing as Reia is physically held in place in his seat by all the roller coaster safety precautions, and it's Jinguji's first instinct to say as much, but he bites the words down before they can snap their way off his tongue. Instead, he just looks at Reia, beautiful Reia, talented Reia, fearless Reia, perfect Reia, and in that moment, he isn't sure whether he's more scared of the roller coaster or the possibility that Reia might run away from him, might disappear from his life.
The nauseating feeling must show on his face, because Reia's smile softens, and he reaches out with the hand that Jinguji isn't clutching with white-knuckled intensity and caresses Jinguji's face gently as the roller coaster begins to roll along the tracks, clattering its way up the first incline. "I'm right here," he assures, fingertips warm against Jinguji's cheek, "I'll always be here."
Jinguji can feel himself nodding somehow, in some part of his brain, but mostly, he's breathless, and everything is Reia, everything is the prospect of finally pushing back his own neurosis and falling back on trust alone. He barely even feels nervous as finally, they reach the peak of the tracks, their car stopping for dramatic impact before the drop.
"Let go," Reia says, eyes on Jinguji and nowhere else, and despite everything, despite his heart beating in his chest and the fear trembling in his fingertips, Jinguji nods.
Jinguji lets Reia's hand slip away just as the roller coaster begins its descent, and with Reia radiating confidence and support and joy by his side, for the first time ever, he flies.