Disclaimer: Don't own anything except for my stories.
Summary: It was only for two days and one night, in an autumn in Hokkaido.
Comment: This one's for noctiferi. Enjoy your hakama-wearing Gazeboys. ^^
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A little to the left, shoulder a bit back, raise your arm a little more, perfect. With the wave of the photographer’s hand, Aoi did as he was instructed, though not exactly moving a lot, nor was he even looking at the camera. Sometimes it was just better to let the time pass in these photoshoots and let your mind wander a little, Aoi thought, bringing a small smile on his lips. The photographer frowned at that, but didn’t say anything to reprimand the guitarist.
“It’s a wrap,” Aoi heard him say, finally, as the rest of the people there started to fix the equipment up. The dried leaves scattered on the ground rustled as everybody moved and left, and eventually there was silence. The brunet stayed rooted to his position on the ground, however, simply having his knees folded near his chest and his palms against the asphalt, head still lost in a daydream. It wasn’t until a hand persistently tapped on his shoulder that Aoi stirred, expression somewhat sour as he lost his train of thought. His features softened though upon realizing that it was the younger guitarist that tried catching his attention.
“Oh I’m sorry, did you want to be left alone?” Uruha asked, worried that he might have irked the other man.
Aoi couldn’t help but be amused at the somewhat fearful yet concerned look on the blond’s face. At that he dusted his hands and circled them around his legs. “Not really… sorry I was spacing out,” he quietly answered with a smile, making Uruha smile at him as well.
“Well it’s been almost an hour,” Uruha said wit a small laugh as Aoi almost stood up, obviously surprised that it’s been that long already. But then the older merely laughed it off and remained in the same posture, staring at nowhere in particular.
Neither talked for a while. Silently, Aoi followed the direction where the soft breeze blew the autumn leaves, tuning his head every once in a while but not really moving any other part of his body. It was peaceful like this, he mused, and honestly he missed this kind of quietness. Back in Mie it was the sound of the waves that lulled him to daydreams and deep contemplations, but here in Hokkaido it was the color of the scenery. For a moment he looked down on the maple leaf that strayed in his lap then went back to staring at nowhere; warm red-orange against cold dark blue has never looked better in his eyes. No wonder the staff wanted to take photos of them in their hakama in this place. It was a breath of fresh air from their usual image and what they’ve become in the past years – the monochromatic themes and pretentious colors, just because that was what the public wanted. Aoi understood well that they had to glamorize themselves as much (it wasn’t only about the music anymore, he realized) as they had a reputation to uphold and a generation to lead, but also because they simply were ambitious. Of course at their current standing, it’s inevitable, isn’t it? Still, the simplicity and traditionalism in the clothes that they wore now, that very small fraction in their overall image as “Gazette,” Aoi found very relaxing.
On the other hand, Uruha just had his arms across his chest and his feet softly tapping irregular beats on the ground, wondering what interesting by the row of maple trees in front of them caught Aoi’s attention. He waited for the other to say something more, but Uruha was just far too impatient for that.
“Say Aoi,” he started, expecting Aoi to at least look up to him (but didn’t) and then sighed, “I was wondering if you wanted to walk around. Y’know, just before we leave.”
“Uh… huh?” the older guitarist answered dumbfoundedly, but at least he finally looked up. For some reason, Aoi thought that would be the best reply to give.
With a rather stupid smile on his face, Uruha raised his hand, revealing to the other man a digital camera. “I kinda wanted to take some pictures.”
Aoi raised a brow. “Couldn’t you take the pictures by yourself?” he asked, puzzled about the blond’s behavior. Not that he was already exasperated with Uruha’s presence (actually he likes it, and quite a lot too), but he wasn’t always like this. If anything, it was always Aoi who begged for the company of others.
“Well I didn’t want to look like some loner idiot in traditional clothing just taking random pictures around this place. I want somebody to look stupid with me.” Uruha grinned, and Aoi grinned back.
“You didn’t bring a change of clothes, did you? And nobody’s lending you anything, are they?”
Again, the blond guitarist smiled goofily. “No. And those three stooges wouldn’t humor me. ”
“Why don’t you just ask for some clothes from me then?”
“I know you didn’t bring anything too.”
True enough, and both men laughed; only their voices filled the otherwise quiet temple-side walkway. “Help me up, then,” Aoi said finally, and Uruha complied.
For the first time in a long while, Aoi noticed how soft the blond’s hands were.
“I never thought you were into photography.”
Uruha lifted his head for a second to look at the other man, then went back to tinkering on the camera. “Well I didn’t say I wanted to take pictures of myself,” he answered, silently reviewing the photos that he’d already taken. Aoi then peered over the younger’s shoulder, taking a look on what was flashing on the small monitor. With a smile, Uruha handed the camera to Aoi. And with a smile too, Aoi received it.
“I passed by here earlier and thought, hey, this is a nice place,” the blond started, playfully hopping in between the cracks of the bricked pavement, hands spread out for balance, as a child would. “I kinda wanted to take some of this beauty home with me, so I borrowed Sakai-kun’s camera then headed here to take pictures, but there were far too many people and I got embarrassed of going alone.”
“But there are no people around now,” Aoi mused, continuing to flip through Uruha’s shots.
The blond nodded. “Yup that’s what I was wondering too, all of them just vanished. Maybe they got scared because they felt you were coming?”
“Dork.” Aoi shook his head in feigned disappointment, but then coupled it with a small laugh. “Although I’m quite surprised, you didn’t strike me as somebody who’d be awkward around strangers.”
Uruha let out a soft chuckle. “I suppose you really don’t know me. Even after years of being a performer, I still haven’t got the swing of mingling with people I barely know.”
The older guitarist had already finished reviewing all the shots, but he just held the camera still, pretending to review some more with a smile. What really went on with his head was a mixture of gladness and guilt – gladness because once again he came to know something more about Uruha, guilt because despite the long years they’ve been band mates, he still couldn’t figure out the blond. Regardless of that, Aoi was happy that this sudden trip to Hokkaido, he was starting to see Uruha in a clearer light. He didn’t know whether this was good or not, though, because with each new thing that he learned, he felt more bewildered about how he really felt towards the other man.
“I suppose I don’t,” he said quietly, more to himself than to Uruha, stopping himself from dwelling too much about the matter. After a while Aoi noticed a stillness in the air build up; Uruha had fallen silent. Although these tranquil moments were something that didn’t bother Aoi anymore – it was calming really, at least for him – he couldn’t help but wonder why Uruha stopped talking. Upon looking up, Aoi found the expression on the blond’s face something he couldn’t read. Was there something that he said?
That very moment, the wind blew quite harshly, making Uruha lift his face up and hold down on his hair to prevent it from going all over his face. For a second Aoi was mesmerized at the sight – it was as if the wind wanted to circle Uruha with those maple leafs, painting one of the most beautiful scenes, just to leave Aoi breathless. Thankfully his hand moved on auto-pilot, and with the camera that he held he took a shot. The picture had a somewhat sideways angle, making it obvious that it was taken by an amateur. But that didn’t matter to Aoi; in his eyes it was perfect. Just when he said red-orange against dark blue could never look better, he was proved wrong.
Uruha bathing in those colors made it look way better.
Aoi tore his lovesick gaze (which Uruha didn’t seem to notice, thankfully) from the monitor when he noticed Uruha trying to take a look at it too. The blond softly but quickly took the camera away from Aoi’s hold. “Hey, why’d you go stealing a photo of me like that,” he said, brows furrowing at the middle but not mad at the other man at all. He made his way towards the nearby bench and there looked at the photo better.
The older guitarist followed and sat beside Uruha. “Like you, I was just taking a picture of something beautiful.” Aoi immediately regretted letting those words escape from his lips, but just before he opened his mouth to speak again, Uruha turned towards him with a small, appreciative smile drawn on those plush lips of his. As hard as the older guitarist willed himself not to, it seems his cheeks couldn’t stop to heat up. At that he turned away.
“Hey, don’t turn your back away from me like that!” Uruha said with a small laugh, tugging on the other’s shoulder. Despite his constant pulling Aoi still wouldn’t budge, and so he gave up momentarily, setting the camera down on his lap as he sighed. He then figured to give it one last shot and approached Aoi again, but then the latter turned back.
And what do you know, their lips met.
Aoi’s eyes widened at the soft contact, but made no actions to move. He was much too stunned, much too confused, and much too infatuated (that he just realized that very instant) to even react. On the other hand, Uruha’s eyes simply closed. Seeing that, Aoi closed his eyes as well and let himself be lost in the simple kiss, his hands absentmindedly reaching out to Uruha’s to intertwine with them.
Upon locking fingers with Aoi, Uruha moved back and opened his eyes. “That was heavenly,” he said with a smile.
Hearing Uruha speak in such a soft and normal tone put Aoi’s heart at ease. Somehow he felt that this was part of some divine plot to get them closer, much closer together. As his grip on the blond’s hand grew stronger – not enough to hurt, though – Aoi returned the smile. “Well I’ve always thought of you as an angel.”
Silently, the blond was cheering for himself because the subtle hints he constantly dropped on Aoi worked, and if anything, it also made him realize his true feelings towards him. “Really now? Well did you know that God originally made angels have only one wing?”
Aoi slightly raised a brow, for a moment baffled with what the other said. But when Uruha tightened his hold as well, Aoi was pretty sure he already got what he meant. “I guess you’d have to embrace me to get back up there, then.”
“Yeah, I guess I do.”
It was far from an embrace, the way that Uruha let his head drop on Aoi’s firm shoulder, but that didn’t matter. Somehow the way that these two angels were sitting on the lone bench, the maple trees behind them and its leaves being blown by a soft breeze, was perfect enough.
A/N: To those who are confused with the last part, well here's the explanation: I read somewhere that lovers were like one-winged angels, and the only way to get into heaven was to embrace. Such a sweet story, no? Well, I hope you liked it. ^^ More of my thoughts about this piece here.