Have I said before that Chris and I really, really, really went kinda crazy? Just a reminder.
Happens a few months after Part 1, so the Zero are nine-ish around here.
It had taken weeks before Youji got enough nerve to ask Natsuo's help with his reading. He only new the very basics of it, but after a couple of weeks, it was very probable that he could have continued his studies alone.
The fact was that he liked those moments during the nights, both sitting in the couch, being... well... friends. Or at least it was easier to believe they were friends then. He wasn't sure if the red-head liked him or just felt he had to help him. He didn’t want to ask.
Finally, the lesson of sorts finished. Youji smiled to the other boy, not sure when he had stopped stuttering around him. "I really appreciate this, Natsuo-kun... and everything you do for me. Thank you."
Even if Natsuo wasn't entirely sure he trusted the other boy, he was comfortable with him. Youji was nice and he tried really hard when it came to reading. He wasn't a bad person, Natsuo was convinced, and he was too kind to ever be intentionally cruel.
Closing the book with the finish of the lesson, he drew it towards him, lazily curling up against the arm of the chair even more. For an instant, his ears perked at Youji's words, but quickly fanned back, a tiny blush etching on his features.
Youji never seemed to act much like a sacrifice should. It was ultimately confusing, not getting the orders he was certain he should be receiving, but it made their friendship... nicer.
Smiling, a bit shyly, Natsuo replied, " It's no problem, Youji-kun. I don't ever mind helping you. We're friends, and... you are my sacrifice, after all."
Youji still wasn't comfortable around giving orders, specially since he thought Natsuo was his friend and he was pretty sure that giving orders to a friend wasn’t nice… even though now during battles he had too; quickly understanding why it had been said he was weak. He hugged his knees, resting his chin on them, eyes and ears downcast.
"Yes, I know." he said softly, almost sighing, even if he was very happy at the friends part. It was better than being lonely. So much better. He turned again towards Natsuo, speaking gently. "You're probably tired, I'm sorry."
Natsuo stirred slightly at Youji's words, ears twitching at the sigh, before falling guiltily. Nervously, because of his own mistake, he shifted out of his comfy spot and closer to Youji. "No, it's okay, I'm not tired. Are you?" Unruly red curls were pushed shyly behind his ears, unhappily aware of the pint tinge on his cheeks.
"Youji-kun... I like having you as my sacrifice." He admitted quietly, not entirely sure if it was a good thing. The teachers never did seem very happy with Youji... or him, for that matter.
"Not really...a little, maybe." he amended his words after a barely stifled yawn. At the words of his fighter his eyes widened, raising his head, not believing those words. "You... you do?" he blushed then, although there were hints of a smile on his lips. "I... also like you very much, Natsuo-kun... as my fighter and friend..."
The sight of the yawn pulled a slight smile on Natsuo's lips and he stirred a little closer to the edge. "It's alright. We should probably be getting to bed now anyway." Natsuo blushed, quite hard, at his sacrifice's own confession, ears flickering unsurely. "I like you as a friend too..." He added quietly. "I like reading with you too."
His blush matched the fighter's one, even though he was still smiling, his heart feeling strange... like... happy. Really happy. His ears were flat against his hair in embarrassment, tail idly flicking. "I... also like that..." he admitted softly, shyly.
After a moment, he turned towards Natsuo, looking at him, eyes full of shyness. "Could... could you close your eyes for a moment? Please?" when Natsuo closed his eyes, Youji got off the coach, took his bear, clutching it against his chest then, leaned to brush his lips softly against the other boy's cheek, blushing awfully while doing so before walking stiffly towards his bed.
"Y-you c-can... o-open t-them n-now..."
Without quarrel or question, like any good fighter, Natsuo followed the friendly request. Eyelids fluttered closed, ears perking in curiosity, half wondering if he'd said something wrong. At the very thought of doing something wrong, his ears fanned back flush against his hair. Any thoughts of anything coherent were squished the instance Natsuo felt lips brush against his cheek.
If his entire body hadn't frozen in shock, he would've jumped away in surprise. Somehow, even with his flaming cheeks, Natsuo managed to keep his eyes shut and resist the urge to question his sacrifice. It wasn't bad... the kiss. It was confusing, a lot, but... it wasn't bad at all. It sent some of the strangest feelings through him...
And when he was told, Natsuo opened his eyes. His ears were still pushed back, a blush on his cheeks, while his jade eyes eagerly went straight to Youji, questioning. A few times, he parted his lips, intending to ask what the kiss was for, what it meant, but in the end, he gave up. Quietly, Natsuo stood up, leaving the book on the sofa, and walking to where his sacrifice was. Blushing pathetically, ears and tail drooping in confusion, Natsuo moved closer to Youji, eyes glued to the floor. "Y-Youji-kun?"
Youji was sitting on his bed, tail curled around his waist and ears fanned back, his eyes also focused on the floor. When he heard Natsuo's questioning voice he winced, knowing he needed to explain. He licked his lips, not daring to look up.
"I... I'm s-sorry... i-it w-was very r-rude o-of me to... to do that..." after some awkward, tense moments, he was finally able to talk. "I... you... y-you a-are the... the first person that I'm... n-not afraid of... and you a-are always... nice with me... a-and I know it's because you're my fighter and..." he bit his lip, clutching his toy tighter. "I'm... not sure w-why I... d-did it... I just... I'm sorry... I w-won't do it a-again..." he finished, a tad pathetically.
A vicious blush reign over his cheeks, hearing Youji's words and stutters... it wrung his heart in a way, a sensation, he had never felt. For a moment, it felt like he'd just stopped running and his heart was still going.
"No, it's alright. I don't think it was rude." Natsuo's ears and tail were still drooped a bit guiltily, but even blushing, he worked up the never to raise his eyes to watch his sacrifice. "I...I'm not upset or anything, it wasn't a bad thing, and I'm not just friends with you because you're my sacrifice." A small frown tugging at his lips, he continued, "I wasn't lying when I said I liked you as a friend, and..."
Shyly, Natsuo sat beside Youji, averting his gaze timidly and continuing quietly, "It was just... the first time someone's done that... I've never... I... I would like for it to happen again, sometime, Youji."
It took him some time but he was finally able to look at the other boy, still a little hesitant, partially biting his lip. "It's also the first time that I... and I'd... also like that...Natsuo-k... Natsuo." he amended quietly, giving the red-head a small smile and, before he lost his nerve, he leaned again, kissing Natsuo's cheek softly, not getting away as quickly as before, looking at the other boy, cheeks flaming red, eyes shy and ears fanned back.