fundamental

It’s late when Rin hears the soft tapping on his door. Nittori is fast asleep. Rin throws back his covers and quietly tiptoes across the room. He opens the door and sees Haru standing there, and he is not surprised.

“Did I wake you?” Haru asks in a soft voice that is not a whisper.

“I was on my phone,” Rin tells him. “How did you get here?”

“Bike.” Haru isn’t looking at him, just staring at the floor. Rin wants to shake him by the shoulders. Rin wants to do a lot of things, but he doesn’t. Haru walks into the room, to Rin’s bed, and then he stops.

“Did you want to sleep here?”

Haru glances at Nittori. “Is it okay?”

Rin shrugs. “Who cares?” he says. His throat feels dry. He wonders where his water bottle is. Haru climbs into Rin’s bed, and Rin follows him, and he wonders if he fell asleep hours ago, phone on his chest, drool on his pillow, the necklace he forgot to take off tugging at his throat and making it hard to breathe. Haru is turned away from him. Their backs press together. Rin doesn’t know what to do.

“Why did you come?” Rin asks.

Haru shrugs, and Rin can feel it against his back. “I needed to see you,” he says, not wanted but needed, and Rin wants to ask what that means, but he doesn’t.

“Do you remember when we all fell asleep at the beach?” Rin asks instead. “We didn’t wake up until the tide came in. I thought my mother would kill me.”

“Your mother’s nice,” Haru said. “She brought me cake, once.”

“She told me. She asked me what kind you like, as if I could remember.”

“She brought me Mont Blanc,” Haru said. “My favorite is Mont Blanc.”

Rin can feel Haru breathing against him. “Why did you need to see me?”

“Because I love you,” Haru says, and his voice is flat and quiet as usual, but Rin can feel his breathing speed up. “I love you so I found you.”

Rin wants to answer, but he doesn’t. He and Haru lay breathing side-by-side for a time, and then Rin hears Nittori stirring, and a sleepy, bleary voice asks him, “Senpai, why are you crying?”

Rin realizes he is wracked with sobs. Haru takes his hand, and he cries harder, and he does not answer.

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