Length: Oneshot, 4,073 words
Genre: AU, angst, vaguely fluffy sappy bits at the end
Rating: R for sexual situations and language
Warnings: 2nd person angstiness.
Comments: I don't even know. i totally should not have written this, i have, like, 5 fics i'm actually supposed to write already. but yesterday morning this just came out, so i let it go where it wanted. it wanted to somewhere weird.
Your fingers shake as they grip the scissors, cutting off your hair. Your precious hair; it used to be your livelihood, what made you you. But at some point, and you’re not sure when, it started to feel fake. They way it would move when you shook your head, fall in front of your eyes. It was like a wig and it began to represent everything that was wrong with you, wrong with the world. You hated your hair, hated it. One day you pick up a pair of scissors and, fingers shaking, chop it all off. You don’t even use a mirror. So, later, when you catch a glimpse of yourself, reflected back in the black glass of your open window, you look like sin. But you look real. And for this moment, that’s enough. A small smile plays about your lips as you put the scissors away, tie the hair up in a small tail, put it in an envelope and hide it in your bottom drawer. You hated your fake hair when it was on your head. But now, you kind of miss it; feel like a part of you is gone. So you keep it, hidden away in a drawer. Because you mustn’t forget, must never forget what that hair felt like atop your head, in your hands. Because forgetting is part of forgiving. And you don’t think you should forgive yourself for the idiot you’ve been, for ruining everything.
You wonder when it got like this, when you started to hate yourself. As a little kid, you didn’t. You weren’t aware enough to hate, to love. You were less aware than normal children, maybe; didn’t understand the world. Sheltered, that’s what you were. You think maybe you started to hate yourself when that shelter disappeared, when you became aware. Sometimes, a lot of times, you miss the days of your youth, crave for the ignorance you didn’t know was there. Because now you’re aware of the world around you, understand it; know what a rotten place it is. Because the world sucks. And for being part of it, you suck too.
Lately, you have to trick yourself to fall asleep. You hate to sleep. It’s not like you were ever one of those people who loved to go to bed after a long day in the first place. You saw sleep as a waste of time or, alternatively, a way to pass the time. But now, the empty, lonesome hours you used to avoid are preferable to those spent in a restless, nightmare-filled slumber that you wake up from feeling more tired than when you laid your head down eight hours previous. You’re haunted in your sleep, more so than in your waking hours, because you can’t control your subconscious, can barely force yourself to wake from each nightmare. But it’s okay when you don’t; you can only sleep for two hours at a time anyway.
Rest is something you have to work at.
So you’ve started to force yourself to stay awake until your eyelids refuse to stay up anymore, until you’re so tired it’ll only take forty-five minutes to force your brain to shut off long enough to slip into a shallow slumber. But it’s hard, and your body doesn’t like it. You have migraines now, more than ever before, and you can’t fully blame them on your mental state anymore. Your perpetually-bloodshot eyes don’t like to focus, bright lights hurt them. Loud noises make your ears ring. Too many hours open in the dark, in the silence. The people around you have grown used to your yawns, your sluggish movements, the moment or two it takes you to react when your name is called. They don’t care enough to worry, and they won’t mention it until it starts to disrupt their perfect little worlds. Only when it affects them will they worry about your deteriorating mental state.
But they look at you, when they see your new hair. And you kind of enjoy it, the horror on their faces as they take in the mess on your head. When you look like this, they can’t ignore you and that’s what you want. You want to be noticed, even if it’s for all the wrong reasons. You’ve been invisible too long. It’s time to be seen.
You used to have romantic ideas about the person who could see you through all your invisibility. How they were the one. But you’ve come to realize that person doesn’t exist. And that you’re stupid for ever thinking they did. No one will bother to get to know you if they can’t see you.
Not that knowing you will make them like you. The past proves that probably it’s the opposite.
But if someone cares enough to inquire about your hair, that might be a good sign.
But no one does. At least not the first day. They avoid you a little more; stop asking you for help or to answer questions. So you get frustrated, wonder what it’ll take for you to stop being invisible. Caring about your appearance certainly didn’t make people see you. You thought that, if you looked good, if your hair was just the right length, just the right color, hit your jaw just right, if it was just messy enough to make you look just wild enough, people would notice and care and think that you were something special because you had cool hair and cool clothes and looked just good enough, just handsome enough.
No one ever did, but you didn’t used to care. It used to not matter than you were invisible.
It used to be okay because you used to have someone who’d notice you regardless, someone who didn’t care how you looked or acted or how weird and crazy and lame and neurotic you were. You used to have a friend. But for some reason you went and told him you loved him, and not in the way friends love each other. He stopped noticing you then, stopped looking at you, stopped acknowledging your existence. You began to wonder if you even did exist, because he was the only one who used to talk to you and let you know you were real. You began to think existing didn’t matter if he didn’t care about you. What’s the point of living if you no one knows you exist? Or worse, if the one person who does doesn’t want you to? And you know you’re being stupid and melodramatic but you don’t care because people croon about lost love all the time, and this is so much more than that. This is lost love, but also lost friendship too, and lost existence. So you let yourself wallow and you let yourself angst, but only because it’s easy. Because being pathetic is less difficult than doing something about it, more painless than trying and failing to make things better.
You’re lonely and you miss his smile. You miss how he made you feel, how he made you take pride in your wild hair because he liked it, said it was cool when you put it weird little dreadlocks, or messy ponytails. You miss his companionship, miss laughing, miss thinking you were worth something. You miss the flutter in your stomach when he grinned, when he looked at you. You miss not being alone.
You go to a live house because in the past music has always made you feel good. Music hurts your heart in a way you used to think lovers’ hearts hurt when they thought about each other. But that was before you loved and found out that real heart pain was so much worse. The pain in your chest when you listen to music is almost enjoyable. But then again, you always were something of a masochist.
The music is loud, the air is smoky, and you feel a little bit better. You make your way towards the stage, rock back and forth, nodding your head in time to the music. You remember how you’d come to concerts with him, how your hair would move in you face as you moved to the music. You remember his laugh beside you, the pressure of his body on your back if it was particularly crowded. He liked music, that was something you had in common. You realize how stupid you are for coming here; you should have known you’d only be reminded of him. But the cover charge was 2500 yen, and you didn’t want to waste over an hour’s worth of wages.
So you stay, and try to forget him. You’re in the middle of failing when you realize someone’s dancing next to you, looking at you. You look at him and he’s pretty; pretty enough to make you forget about your hair and how lonely you are, if only for a second. He yells something over the music but you can’t hear him so, What?, You yell back, voice cracking. You haven’t spoken outside of work in so long. He dances closer and leans toward your ear. Hi, he says, all deep sultry voice and you wonder how one word can sound so sexual. You say hi back and he smiles, leans in again. My name is Yasu. At least you think that’s what he said because by now, your bodies are pressed close and his hands are on you and his hips are moving against yours in a way that you don’t think should be legal and your brain isn’t functioning too well anymore.
And then his hand is on your wrist and he’s leading you somewhere and there’s a back room and your clothes are gone and there’s skin, so much skin, soft and pale, and his lips are pressed against your neck, your collarbone, your chest and then there’s pleasure, pleasure you haven’t felt in so long, and maybe never this good. His eyes close as you move above him, he bites his lip and you’re almost there. As you come, you screw your eyes shut, call his name but the boy beneath you doesn’t seem to care, not even noticing as he screams himself into release. It was hot and fast on a dirty floor at the back room of a club, but it’s the best you’ve ever had and you don’t know if that’s just because it’s been so long and you’ve been so down, or what. As he rights himself, redresses, he smiles at you, still dazed and naked on the floor. I like your hair, he says and disappears out the door.
You go again the next week, not really expecting to see him again. There’s a band playing that night that you want to see. Or at least that’s what you tell yourself. When the band hits its third song and you feel him against your back and he says Hi again in the same way as before, you smile a little before turning around. This time there’s more dancing, and he says things into your ear as you move back and forth. He plays the guitar, he says, and sings a little; he loves music, loves composing. And you’re entranced by his voice and by his eyes and by his hips. He tells you about his work, how he’s a secretary, how boring it is. You whisper back about your job how menial the work of a telemarketer is. But then there are no words; hands and bodies and music and hips replace them.
This time there’s no backroom; no sex. There’s only a tiny stall in a dingy bathroom, giggles and touches and hands exploring each other’s bodies. The man laughs a little, leans in to your ear, We’re like high school boys right now, don’t you think? He says breathlessly, his jeans around his ankles. Skipping class to touch each other in the bathroom. He giggles and you laugh, low and guttural and you don’t remember the last time you laughed, but he seems to like it so you do it again. Your laughter mixes with his and the act of laughing while touching, getting touched makes you pant and you come at the same time as him, sticky and wet all over each other’s hand and he giggles as he reaches for the one-ply toilet paper. Your knees have gotten weak and judging from the way he’s leaning against you, his have too. You bury your face in his hair and he smells like flowers and sweat and that’s so cliché, you think, but you don’t really care as you whisper My name is Shibutani Subaru so softly you’re not quite sure he heard you.
During the next week, you stop noticing the pain in your chest when he ignores you at work, looks the other way as you pass by. It still hurts, you’re sure, but you’ve just buried it so deep you can’t really feel it anymore. You smile a little bit, smiled when you told your supervisor how many sales you made that day, more than him. The man looks at you like you’re crazy and maybe you are; it’s only Tuesday, but you can already feel yourself getting excited for Saturday.
At some point, Thursday morning, you think, when he brings in his girlfriend to see where he works and meet his coworkers, when he skips your cubicle with a small shake of his head, you realize that it was stupid of you to look forward to the weekend. You doubt the boy, Yasu you think he said his name was, will even show up. And if he does, he’ll probably be bored of you. No one has ever stuck around long, not your parents, not him, and never any lovers. This boy won’t be any different and that’s probably for the better, because relationships that begin on the dirty floor of the back room at some dingy live house don’t ever work, don’t ever last.
And even knowing all that, your heart is beating fast when you get into the club. Your eyes scan the gyrating mass of bodies futilely, and as you walk to the place you stood last week and the week before, you try not to pay attention to the voice in your head that sounds scarily similar to his that’s saying Yasu didn’t come, that he doesn’t care about you.
It takes just one song this time, before he’s beside you, whispering Hi like only he can. You say hi back and he smiles. You’ve never realized someone could look so beautiful while smiling, especially not when that smile is directed at you. So you smile back and, even though you’ve practiced all week at work, the muscles in your face are stretching and it feels odd and must look worse. But Yasu doesn’t seem to notice, just slips his hand in yours and dances against you, trying to get you to dance back. You rock back and forth a little, even though you’re not suited to dancing and he moves his mouth against your ear and tries to carry out a conversation.
He talks a little bit about music, a little bit about books, a little about movies. He tells you how much he likes to draw, how much he likes fashion and it’s then that you notice the bright colors and patterns of his outfit, compliment him on them. He hooks a finger in the loop of your old worn jeans, thumb slipping silently under the soft cloth of your tee-shirt and he smiles at you again. Don’t you like fashion, Shibutani-san? And you shake your head. No, you say, I don’t really see the point in trying to look good. He stops dancing, eyes fixed on yours. In that case, you’re lucky, he says, You look good without trying. You’ve stopped dancing too and you meet his gaze with more confidence then you think you’ve ever shown before. I don’t really think you have to try very hard either, do you Yasu?
You lean forward and press your lips against his, kiss him, and even though you’ve already fucked, it’s a little awkward, soft lips fumbling against each other in such a juvenile fashion. Your tongue slides across his white teeth and he opens his mouth for you. You don’t taste the alcohol you expected, you just taste Yasu and your hands are around him, hugging his hips and his hands are in your hair, tangled in the mess on your head and he whimpers a little into your mouth, bites your lips but not hard and you’re not sure how because you don’t remember ever breaking contact, but you’re suddenly outside the live house, and he’s holding your hand. Let’s go somewhere, he says. And even if his voice wasn’t so sensual, didn’t hold so much promise, you’d still follow him, because his hand on yours is warm and you haven’t thought of him since Yasu appeared at your side.
That night, soft skin is accompanied by soft sheets and soft lips and you never knew before how the added benefit of a bed, of kissing, could make sex so much better.
You sleep in the next day and when you wake up together in the circular bed of the love hotel, it’s already lunch time. So you take him to a little underground café you’ve always liked and you treat him and talk while you eat, like you didn’t meet on the floor of a dirty live house. Shibuyan, he says because sometime during the previous night Shibutani-san turned into Shibuyan and somehow it stuck, Try this, it’s delicious. And he’s pointing his chopsticks towards your mouth and you feel weird as he feeds you, but in a good sort of way and you’ve kind of almost forgotten about your broken heart.
After the meal, when you part, he puts your number in his phone and his in yours and kisses you on the cheek. You grab his wrist and pull him back, kissing him on the mouth and for some reason you don’t care that you’re on the street and that people are watching, you don’t care that you’re finally getting noticed because Yasu’s lips are against yours and you think he may just see you. He doesn’t seem the type to kiss, to fuck, people he can’t see.
Throughout the week, you receive mails from him on your phone and you have to put it on silent for the first time; you’ve never gotten mail before. He tells you everything that happens during his day and uses lots of emojis. If it was anyone else, you’d be annoyed, but you can see the silly little facial expressions on his face and you hope the messages are sent out of a genuine desire to share his day with you. So you reply, without emojis, and try to share your day too. But nothing happens in your office, and you’ve gotten tired of saying Another customer turned me down. So you start to just comment on his day, as him questions. At one point, you even accidentally type a penguin, but you leave it in, because you think it’ll make him happy.
He mails you a lot the next day too, and the next, and the next. Like you tell him Wednesday afternoon, his texts make the week a little bit more bearable.
On Friday, you agree to meet at the club, but you don’t stay long. He wants to go shopping, so you let him drag you to Shibuya, let him pick out clothes for you to try on, and when you see something you like but are too shy to ask the sales attendant if it comes in your size, he does it for you and you actually kind of enjoy yourself. It would seem like a normal date, except that when you’re done, you go to another cheap love hotel. You start calling his name when you come, saying Yasu as he says Shibuyan.
Your heart stops hurting at some point and you barely even remember why you were so heartbroken in the first place.
This pattern continues, and over the weeks it becomes something comfortable. The mess on your head, your disaster of a haircut, grows into something nice and cool and looks almost intentional. People around you start talking to you and you talk back, a little, but not much, because people still kind of scare you.
One Thursday night he invites you over to his house after work, says he wants to cook dinner for you. So you go to the address he sent to your phone and find yourself standing outside a refurbished apartment building. You press the button next to his name and his voice crackles over the intercom, Shibuyan? You make a noise of consent and he buzzes you up.
His apartment is marked by peeling gold numbers, 818. He opens the door before you can even knock and grins at you, ushering you inside. There are slippers set out for you, red ones that are obviously not just for guests but he ignores your questioning look and leads you to the kitchen. His apartment is nice, so much nicer than yours, and neat but in a chaotic sort of way. There are bright colors and knickknacks everywhere, art hanging from the walls. He says he painted them himself and you say things about how amazing they are, really meaning it. There’s a guitar and a keyboard covered in sheets of music and he smiles at you. Sorry for the mess, he says, I just got home. And you take in his clothes, a light blue dress shirt and pinstriped vest and trousers and he looks good and you can’t wait to finish eating so you can take his nice work clothes off of him.
You fall asleep in his bed, forgetting you have work tomorrow and you go in the next day with your hair messy and clothes rumpled and your boss looks you up and down and grins wide, Late night? He says and claps you on the back. Somehow in the past months, you’ve become the top seller. You still hate your job, are still turned down 80% of the time, but your name on the leader board makes it a little better. You smile at him sheepishly and walk to your cubicle. You pass him on your way there, and your heart doesn’t hurt at all, not even when his eyes lock on yours and the grin on his face fades. Good morning, Sempai. You say and walk past him.
When Yasu awkwardly asks you to move in with him three weeks later, you answer him with a kiss that predictably leads to more. As you pack, you come across an envelope full of hair and throw it in the combustible trash bin; you don’t need it anymore. You move your boxes in the next weekend; you never had much stuff to begin with. It’s only four boxes, and he gets a friend to help you move them. His friends are cool, you’ve discovered, and they like you too. It feels weird to be liked, but Yasu says you’ll get used to it.
The first night you live with him, you lay together tangled in the sheets. You stroke his hair gently and hum at him while he holds your hand, breathing puffs of warm air against your bare chest.
You know, you whisper when you’re not sure if he’s asleep or not, I’ve never done anything like that before, like I did the first night. I’ve never slept with someone I just met.
I know. Me either. He whispers back and you’re a little startled because he was so good at it, so good at seducing you. You just looked so sad, Shibuyan. Like you thought no one in the world could see you. You choke up a little at that, your chest tight like it is when you listen to a really good song. I could, you know. Yasu says, I could see you. He threads his fingers through your hair and kisses you softly on the lips.
You smile to yourself, to him, and you start to say I think I love you but you fall asleep before the words can even leave your mouth.
Thanks for reading! (with an exclamation mark, because i'm enthusiastic like that.)