pairing: Matsukura Kaito/Matsuda Genta
word count: 2,605
author's note: Written for luna_truths as a part of je_holiday!
summary: Genta is his best friend in the whole world, and more than anything else, Kaito wants to stay close to him, to support him, to protect him. His love is strong but secondary.
"If you could spend Christmas with anyone in the whole world," Genta asks all of a sudden, his eyes shimmering with excitement or else perhaps pure Christmas spirit (or maybe Kaito is just being stupid; Genta has the tendency to do that to him, for some reason), "who would it be?"
"Hm?" Kaito responds, looking up from his maple-toffee latte and blinking in surprise. Genta is grinning at him in that way he has, somehow both boyishly playful and childishly innocent at the same time, and it makes Kaito's heart skip a beat in a way he can only pray doesn't show on his face. He supposes it must not, because Genta has never noticed it in all the years he's been causing it to happen, but it still makes him worry a little, and so he averts his gaze back to his drink, taking a sip as a space-filler as he shrugs. "Well, what about you?" he counters, perhaps buying time, or perhaps hoping, likely as it is, that Genta is actually just looking for an excuse to talk about Yamada Ryosuke for the hundredth time today.
But, "I asked you first~" Genta replies impishly, his characteristic lisp somehow making it even cuter still as he shoves Kaito lightly, playfully in response. Despite the fact that he's the sweetest, kindest person that Kaito knows, the devilish way his lips curl up at the corners in a grin somehow suits him-- but then again, Kaito thinks, anything and everything suits Genta, from the jeans and hoodie that he wore on their first Christmas friend-date two year ago to the button-up silk shirt, cashmere cardigan, and felt fedora that cling flatteringly to his form now. He's grown up so much in the time that he and Kaito have been friends, but yet, at the same time, stayed so constant that it's hard to remember that they've only been friends for a few years now, not all their lives-- or maybe that's just Kaito waxing romantic. He's never really thought of himself as "that sort" of person; he's no Matsujun or YamaPi or even Kento-kun, but when it comes to Genta, somehow, something inside his head turns ridiculous. Love makes you stupid, people say, and while Kaito's always had a suspicion that that might be true, judging by his friends and senpai, nothing's made it more clear than the way he's been thinking about Genta, more and more with each day.
But now definitely is not the time to be writing mental poetry about Genta's beauty, or anything idiotic like that, because Genta is looking at him expectantly, and Kaito shrugs again, anything to buy just a few seconds of time. But he's got nothing-- his mind is blank, and before he can really stop himself, the truth is tumbling out of his lips: "Well, I mean… you, I guess."
That's weird and he knows it's weird; Genta was probably expecting him to say Nino, or something, or at the very least, someone cool and sexy and ideal like Jinguji or Aran, but once the words are out of his mouth, he can't take them back and so, forcing a laugh, he adds, "I mean, why else would I be here? What, are our friend-dates not enough for you~?" It's meant to sound teasing, but the ringing in his ears and the beating of his heart and the flurry of feelings overtaking him make it hard to tell whether or not his tone has fallen flat, because all he can think is please don't have realized what I really meant, please don't have realized how I really feel. There's nothing inherently revealing in what he's said, of course, but at the same time, after a year (or maybe more; it's hard to tell when his feelings towards Genta started changing, started growing so much stronger) of close calls and accidental slips, who can blame him for being nervous? Genta is his best friend in the whole world, and more than anything else, Kaito wants to stay close to him, to support him, to protect him. His love is strong but secondary; not only does he selfishly want to keep things from getting weird between them, he'd never want to put that sort of pressure on Genta, sweet Genta, who'd obviously want to do whatever he could to make his best friend happy. It couldn't end well, not when Kaito is not only not Genta's type but not even on his romantic radar, and so he bites his tongue-- or at least, he tries his best, but inevitably, he falters, and though it's never ended badly yet, there's a first time for everything.
But while it feels as if the world stands still for a moment, after a beat of silence, Genta laughs, his grin melting into a softer, subtler smile as he gazes at back at Kaito warmly. It makes Kaito feel as if his heart is in his throat, because Genta is beautiful, so breathtakingly beautiful, and he can't help but stare until, luckily, Genta looks back to his own cranberry white mocha, cradling it in both hands and taking a drink before fixing his gaze out the window, out of the Starbucks where they sit and at the vast display of illuminations across the sidewalk from them, all along the Shinjuku Station South Exit. Kaito wonders what he's thinking about-- the lights, the coffee, perhaps something else entirely-- before finally, Genta grins out into the distance. "I'm happy," he says simply, and it makes Kaito's stomach flip in such a way that there's nothing he can do but helplessly struggle with his feelings for what feels like an hour but is likely closer to a few seconds at most.
But he can't leave things like this, awkward and full of feelings he doesn't know how to handle, not when this is supposed to be a fun night out between best friends, and so, "What, you don't want to trade me in for Yamada-kun~?" he manages teasingly, and when it comes out sounding completely normal, he internally heaves a sigh of relief.
Genta, sweet thing that he is, always looks a little horrified when Kaito says something like this before he realizes that Kaito is joking and breaks into a relieved grin. "No way!" he insists, shoving Kaito a little again and laughing playfully. "In an ideal world I'd have already gone on a romantic date with Yamada-kun on Christmas eve, so tonight would still be all yours~"
Kaito laughs, too, but stupid as it is, he can't help it when his heart skips another beat.
They arrive at Genta's family's apartment in a flurry of giggles and jokes about nothing, which isn't as picturesque as a flurry of snow, but much warmer, anyway, and, Kaito thinks, as they tumble onto the sofa together after shedding their shoes and coats and gloves, he wouldn't trade this for the world. Not that there's ever that much temptation, but it's at times like these that Kaito feels more assured than ever in the need to keep his feelings to himself, because being together with Genta like this, as best friends, as the person Genta trusts and cares about the most in a platonic way, is much more important to him than any silly fluttering in his chest. It's not just a crush, he knows, not something that will fade away easily and naturally with time, but perhaps, he thinks, feeling warm and content as he feels Genta lean into his side a little on the sofa, it's actually easier because it's the exact opposite. Because crushes are selfishly about attraction, about wanting to be with that person, about wanting to continue feeling giddy and bubbly around that person as much as possible, but the love he feels for Genta is just the opposite, about wanting to make sure Genta is happy, to see him smile. It's not different from the feeling of being friends, not "more romantic" or "more lovey-dovey," it's just stronger, more intense, somehow.
And so, feeling pleasantly satisfied with that analysis of the situation, he sinks further into the couch and leans back into Genta, as well, as the conversation drifts to work, their senpai, their friends. They've already given one another their gifts at Jinguji's big Christmas party yesterday-- the 24th was the last day of school for the term for all of them-- and they joke about various people's reactions to their assorted gifts, about silly things people said and how Genki was the only one who laughed at Miyachika's bad jokes while Aran looked so dismayed with every punchline, and how Amu tripped and spilled salad all over Jinguji, who pitched a fit worse than anything Kaito has ever seen from Genta's 6-year-old sister, and how of course, it was Reia who calmed him down and made everything better in the end, and even now, a day later, they can't help but laugh, laugh and laugh until their sides ache and they can barely laugh anymore. It feels good to have such good friends, to make such good memories… and to Kaito, it's even better that he can share them with Genta.
The thought brings him back to Genta's question from earlier, as the conversation fades out into comfortable silence, and Kaito can't help but smile a little thinking about it. Sure, it was nerve-wracking at the time, but honestly it felt good to be able to speak the truth; it always feels good to be able to express even a small portion of his love honestly to Genta. Genta is such a perfect, wonderful, unassuming creature that Kaito has a sneaking suspicion that really, he has no idea just how much light he brings into Kaito's life (into the lives of all their friends, really, in varying ways, to varying degrees), so he's happy to say it frankly, in whatever small ways he can, whenever he has the chance.
Still, it feels a little embarrassing to be sitting here thinking warm and fuzzy thoughts about Genta, especially when Genta is sitting right next to him, and he's considering teasingly asking Genta if he's really sure he wasn't just looking for a chance to say he wanted to spend Christmas on a romantic date with Yamada-kun when suddenly, "It's you, too," Genta says abruptly, and it feels like Kaito's heart stops beating in his chest. Whether he's somehow learned to read Kaito's mind in the last five minutes or has insanely coincidental timing talking about something else entirely, it makes Kaito's stomach flip, and "…hm…?" he asks, unable to think, not to mention verbalize anything else.
Genta blushes, moving away from Kaito a little to pull into a sitting position, his knees hugged to his chest, and shrugs. "I mean. If I could spend Christmas with anyone in the whole world. I'd still rather be with you," he repeats shyly, playing with the hems of his jeans and not meeting Kaito's eyes.
His body language is confusing and suspicious, but Kaito doesn't want to read too much into things when he knows his own feelings have a tendency to colour the way he sees the world, and so he forces a laugh, trying to pretend like he's more confident than he is. "I'm glad you wouldn't trade our friend-dates for Yamada-kun," he teases, but when he looks at Genta, he isn't laughing, or even smiling, but rather looking at Kaito with a completely unreadable expression, biting his lip and looking so conflicted that it feels like Kaito's heart breaks a little just seeing him that way.
But before he can find the words to ask what's wrong, Genta suddenly bursts, "I want to go on a date with you, not Yamada-kun…!" and suddenly, Kaito's heart isn't breaking, but rather swelling out of his chest.
What happens next feels like kind of a blur, and whether he or Genta made the first move, Kaito honestly can't say, but somehow, a few moments later, they're entangled in one another on the sofa, arms wrapped tight around one another in a way that feels as if they're both been waiting to be together this way for a long time. They fit together well-- they're shinme, of course-- and Kaito grins as he nuzzles a little against Genta's cheek, still flushed pink in the rush of his confession.
"Say it again," Kaito bids playfully for the third or fourth time in the past few minutes (he can't remember in the rush of excitement and physical closeness just how many times he's asked now), and Genta groans, whining, "I'm embarrassed!" before acquiescing. "I wanna go on a Christmas date with you," he admits again quietly, the words getting less fumbled and more straightforward each time, and Kaito kisses him on the cheek with a wide grin.
"You don't know how long I've been thinking that," he admits, his grin not faltering in the slightest now that he's giddy with glee, and somehow, things that he'd been planning to never, ever say just moments earlier are coming out so easily now.
"Why didn't you, then?" Genta asks, sounding almost disappointed in a way that makes Kaito feel a little guilty, "I've never been confessed to, you know…"
"Sorry," Kaito replies sheepishly, running a hand through Genta's hair in a way he hopes is comforting, "I… didn't want to pressure you. Or make things weird."
Genta pouts again at that, and rests his head on Kaito's shoulder. "Nothing will ever be weird if it's with you," he insists quietly, "because no matter what happens you'll always be my best friend… even if we're… something else, too."
And if the way he blushes so earnestly, his hand finding Kaito's and curling their fingers together fumblingly but somehow in a way that feels just right, is any indication, Kaito thinks, perhaps he should have given Genta a little more credit all along.
"Merry Christmas," Genta says with a sleepy smile when they wake up the next morning, comfortably warm and totally tangled in one another in Genta's bed.
"It's not Christmas anymore," Kaito replies playfully with a yawn, scooting over a little halfheartedly to accommodate the way Genta is sort-of elbowing him in the ribs without really moving away. True to Genta's word, they've spent the night together in Genta's bed without anything being weird in the slightest, and as groggy as he still feels Kaito can't bite back a grin, because, actually, it's just the opposite-- this feels like the most natural thing in the world.
"It's a white Christmas," Genta insists, nodding towards the window, and when Kaito cranes his neck to look, sure enough, there are snow flurries clinging to the glass and swirling around the sky outside. It's picturesque, but, Kaito thinks, there's something much more beautiful in here, and so he turns back to Genta with a grin.
"Looks cold~" he chimes, giving Genta a teasing peck on the cheek before drawing back to gaze at him, mussed from sleep but perfect to Kaito all the same. "Good thing we don't have to get out of bed anytime soon~"
"Ehhh~" Genta groans in response, clearly more into the idea of getting snowed on than Kaito, but he doesn't complain when Kaito adjusts to pull him into his arms and press another kiss firmly on his cheek. "Well, I guess that's okay, too," he finally admits with a sheepish smile, and Kaito can't help but grin back, because while it might be snowing outside, for the first time in a long time, everything inside of Kaito's heart feels clear.