The manor is strangely silent, as if a heavy and yet delicate spell had been casted. It’s perfect for music, both of them agree.
Tagami knows he is not good enough for Saeki. Saeki has been studying and practicing for a while now. Months, maybe years, it’s hard to tell. He is methodical about his piano lessons, not missing a single one since Saitou started teaching him. Getting better steadily, as if his fingers had been made to play the instrument.
Saeki really loves music.
Tagami kind of does, too.
Tagami doesn’t like taking lessons. Having to listen to endless rants has never been his forte. He very much prefers learning and doing things at his own pace, his mood setting his tempo. He watches tutorials and reads about it when he can, but that’s all about it. He could never compare himself to Saeki, so unfairly pristine and perfect, as if he could never do anything wrong.
He can’t even get angry about it, however. Saeki is a nice person, and he is just himself. Scratching his guitar’s chords with a vacant expression, the dryness of his lips feel suddenly unbearable, his muscles tensed as he plays. He is not even bothering with using a pick, and his fingers feel sore.
Saeki likes Beethoven, he realises. It could be Mozart, as harmonic as Saeki himself, pure like the wings of an angel, cheery like a spring breeze. Beethoven is deep, and knowing; immersive, and powerful. Like longing, yearning for something. Or maybe, Tagami is just thinking too much about it. Maybe.
“Are you okay?” Saeki asks, his blue eyes having a hard time to leave the musical score, his fingers carefully pressing the keys, but still feeling natural, and undeniably skilled.
“‘m okay.” Tagami answers, half-heartedly. Nothing unusual about it.
Saeki nods, thoughtful, and keeps playing. Tagami sighs, trying to concentrate, but it’s useless. He sounds meek and dubitative. Electric guitars are not supposed to sound like that. They’re loud and powerful, they make a statement, and that’s how he likes it.
That’s how it should be.
“Have you and Hirahara argued, Tagami?”
He feels a wave of pain coming from his chest, and… his fingertips? Saeki gasps, and quickly gets up, mumbling something about his hand. Tagami’s orange eyes wander to his own hand. He is bleedling.
“What a mess…” he says, more to himself than to anyone else. The guitar is stained. Blood is dripping to the floor, and Saeki frantically looks for something inside of his cape. Holy shit, what the hell is he hiding inside of it? He sees the glimpse of many, many guns hidden in there, meticulously placed. Tagami is starting to feel dizzy, and he knows it’s not because of the blood loss, his injury is not even that bad, to begin with. Saeki is just too extra.
Finally, Saeki takes a handkerchief out of his cape, pressing it against Tagami’s fingers to stop the bleeding.
“We should stop by the laboratory. I’m sure Matsumoto can help.”
“Saeki, it’s nothing. Really.”
Saeki looks at him sternly, and Tagami freezes. His friend is like a mother hen, in a way. Not in the same way Rokkaku is, of course, but still kind of the responsible one. Always making sure everyone is okay. It makes him feel something weird in his stomach. Guilt, he thinks, while rolling his eyes. Again, that goddamn feeling.
Matsumoto, of course, is professional about Tagami’s injuries. He calms Saeki down, making sure he understands it’s nothing to worry about. They fight against yokais on a daily basis, a simple cut is not going to be that terrible. Lots of capillary damaged, and his skin feels itchy, but that’s all. Matsumoto may be a nervous wreck, but he surely knows his stuff about medicine, enough to be, ironically, the one making others feel at ease. As soon as the examination is over, he returns to his stuttering self, and both of them thank him for his time and effort.
Saeki, of course, is not going to let the issue slide.
“Tagami, it would be better for all of us, and specially for Hirahara and yourself, if you were honest with your feelings and… took care of yourself. Really.”
“I am worried, Tagami. And Hirahara is, too, way more than I am.” Saeki pauses, trying to weigh his words. “He… cares about you. A lot.”
Tagami knows that. And it makes him mad, sometimes. When he feels too down in the dumps to be able to reciprocate the best he can.
“And I know it’s mutual. You wouldn’t be around him that much if it wasn’t”
Tagami’s face is burning with embarrassment.
“He also holds my hand in public.”
Saeki laughs, as they sit together outside of the laboratory room.
Tagami smiles a little, and they both stay in a comfortable silence for a couple of minutes. They can hear someone training outside, Tanizaki and Kirishima, most likely. Saeki sighs, maybe wondering if he should train, too. Tagami frowns, and purses his lips.
“It’s just too difficult to be honest, you know.”
Saeki looks at him, his eyebrows slightly raised, curious about his moment of sincerity. Tagami doesn’t speak a lot, doesn’t do a lot in general. It’s not usual to see him being open about his feelings.
“I am… scared. Dunno.”
Saeki smiles, and nods, his blue eyes shining with acknowledgement.
“You are always together. Always have. Your souls are intertwined, that much I know…” Saeki starts, no glimpse of doubt in his voice. “You can’t let petty disagreements hurt your bond like that. Both of you deserve better than that.”
Tagami sighs, ashamed of his behavior. Hirahara may be the childish one, but he isn’t any better most of the time.
“I should apologize.”
“Yes, you should.”
No matter how sensible and gentle Saeki is, he does know how to make him bad.
“Can we leave our little concert for another time, then?”
Saeki’s smile tenses.
“Tagami, I can’t allow you to play in such circumstances, and with those injuries. I’m sure you understand.”
Saeki gets up, the pressure gone. Tagami does the same, slowly, his joints cracking a little. His body is a little shit.
“Well then, I’m going to train with those two. Take care, Tagami.”
“And please, do your best.”
And he is gone. Tagami grunts, tired, and closes his eyes. Maybe if he thinks about music, the trip to Hirahara’s room will be more bearable. He does hate walking, after all. And moving, in general. Probably breathing, too. Fuck, he needs a nap.
He is in front of the door before he can think about it too much. The manor is big, but luckily, not too much, to his relief, because he knows, as a matter of fact, that Hirahara would probably get lost, Kinoshita would have yet another fatal accident while roaming the corridors, or Tagami himself wouldn’t find the strength to get up from his futon every single morning. Not that he does, but it absolutely helps.
He knocks, out of pure courtesy, even if he knows Hirahara has never cared about useless matters like that. He can hear a thump, and a not so quiet groan. Hirahara opens the door, a little hunched over, so they are basically eye to eye. Him being taller pisses Tagami off.
And before he can say a thing, Hirahara closes the door.
“What the fuck.” Tagami hisses, his orange eyes glowing with anger. He really does want to kick the goddamn door, but is able to restrain himself before he makes things worse. Saeki’s face seems to be the voice of his conscience, reminding him of common sense, and gentleness. Saeki is the most human-like of them all, after all.
“Hirahara, open the door.”
“Don’t wanna. Go away!”
Tagami hisses again, his fists shaking, jaw clenched, ready to fight. Except he doesn’t. He sighs, defeated, unable to ignore the feeling inside of his gut anymore.
“I-I’m sorry, Hirahara. I… I shouldn’t have hurt you.”
After hearing Hirahara gasp, there is a moment of silence. He swallows, and waits, more nervous than he would ever admit to be. Screw Hirahara and all the emotions he makes him feel.
“Say it. Out loud. Or I won’t believe you”
Tagami’s whole body tenses. Breathe in. Breathe out.
“Naruto is not a dumbass for wanting his, oh, so dear friend back.” he starts, his cheeks red. He craves death. “And Sasuke could have had a better character development that doesn’t dwell on genocide and misogyny. Happy now?”
Hirahara chuckles, and Tagami feels utterly embarrassed. He looks both ways, making sure nobody has heard him or his ridiculous confession. Goddamnit Hirahara. Why is he such a nerd, making him get invested in his ridiculous shounen manga? It’s unfair.
Speaking of Hirahara, he is looking at him, his yellow eyes beaming, and his lips shaking in a vigorous smile. When did he even open the door? Tagami can’t wonder about it for too long, because he is dragged inside of the bedroom quicker than he can protest.
Cornered against the door, he has to face Hirahara, who unsurprisingly does not give a flying fuck about his messy room. There are half read mangas scattered everywhere. The futon is a crumpled ball, and the windows are strangely closed. Tagami averts his eyes. He really did upset Hirahara. He wonders if he has made him cry, and something inside of him stings painfully. Even if it’s about something as trivial as a manga, he guess it’s important for Hirahara, so it’s equally painful.
“Did you mean it?”
“Huh?” Does he mean the Sasuke thing? He hopes not, because, if he does...
“You… don’t usually apologize, Tagami.” Phew.
He doesn’t. Apologizing is hard, and Tagami isn’t good at admitting his feelings. It feels vulnerable. He doesn’t like feeling vulnerable. He doesn’t really mind, though, if that will make Hirahara feel better. He would do anything to make him feel better.
“I’m happy you did.”
Tagami is, too. Hirahara looks like he is going to burst from joy, and that makes his chest swell. He is probably swinging a little, because Hirahara’s smile gets bigger, and he gets a little closer. It’s nice, and warm. Tagami really wants to kiss him.
“Tagami…” Hirahara whispers, as if he were saying a big and delicate secret. “I want to kiss you…”
He lets out a tiny whine, and nods softly. The idiot is always anticipating what he wants or needs. He grabs Hirahara’s shirt, and pulls him closer. Chapped lips, warm breath, taste like candy. Tagami feels Hirahara’s nose nuzzling his, and a not so quiet laugh against his lips. It’s messy, and breathy, but Tagami would not have it any other way.
“Tagami… I love you, Tagami…”
Fuck. Shit. Tagami’s hands caress Hirahara’s orange hair, like trying to find something to hold to. And suddenly, he feels a sting. His expression seems to alert Hirahara, who looks so adorably worried that Tagami wants to kiss him again.
“Did I hurt you?”
“No, it’s just… my hand. I made myself bleed a little a while ago.”
And Hirahara grins. Of course he does, the goddamn weirdo.
“I love blood!” he says, nonchalantly. Of course he does. But his concern wins over his instinct, because he carefully grabs Tagami’s hand, caressing the palm with his thumb.
“It’s nothing serious. Matsumoto checked, and cleaned it.”
Hirahara lets out a “hmm”, and looks at him in the eye, licking his own lips with an expression of pure hunger, after the worry is dissipated.
“Then, I really, really wanna taste you, you know…”
Tagami freezes, heat crawling up his neck, to his face. He knows he means just his injuries, but the thought of Hirahara’s mouth literally anywhere on his body makes him shiver. For many, many reasons.
“I trust you.” he mutters, barely audible.
“I know!” Hirahara answers, softly kissing the back of his hand. “I’m glad you do.”
“If it hurts, I’ll kill you.”
Hirahara laughs, out loud, like the idiot he is. He hugs Tagami, gently, and then pecks him on the cheek. Sweet.
“Alright, then. I’ll kiss it all better. Get comfy for me, okay?”
Hirahara’s smile trembles a little, and he blushes visibly before speaking again.
“Gonna taste you. Thoroughly… i-if that’s okay.”
Tagami’s legs are shaking, and he can’t find his voice for a couple of seconds. When he does, it sounds pathetic, and he hates himself for it.
“G-go for it, then. But.”
Tagami inhales, gathering enough strength to speak again.
“You have to admit that Tenten deserved fucking better. Out loud.”
And Hirahara laughs. Hard. He kisses Tagami’s lips, passionately, as if he had missed them, since the last time he kissed them. That was like a couple of minutes ago.
“I love you so, so much, Tagami.” Hirahara says, after smooching his face three or four times. Tagami rubs his own cheek, still tingling and warm. And a little wet. Cute.
“I love you too, dumbass.” he admits, finally, letting himself be pampered, and dragging Hirahara to the mess of his futon. They have to get comfortable, after all.
He knows Saeki and Matsumoto aren’t going to be happy about this turn of events. But honestly, he thinks, while Hirahara’s lips and tongue play with his fingers, that’s definitely worth it.