Last Word

By Athena | www

The text message came just before noon when Shishido was coming out of the shower.

Shishido. My place. 1 pm.

No explanations or niceties, just simple expectation. Who the hell did he think he was? Atobe was always this way. If he thought Shishido had nothing better to do on this Saturday afternoon than to be at his beck and call, then he was dead wrong. Especially after last night's fiasco.

But it wasn't even a fiasco so much as a wake-up call. At least now he had a clearer sense of what to expect out of this...whatever it was. More like what not to expect.

"Che!"

Shishido snapped his phone shut and tossed it aside in disgust. He glared at it for a moment, thinking that he should just delete the offending message and never call him again. It's not like as though they had anything left to talk about.

The problem was, they never talked. He used to think this was the best part about their relationship, because he was always the kind of guy who did things that felt right at the time. No need to sit there talk it over like it was some kind of contrived melodrama. Atobe was the last person in the world he could imagine having such a conversation with, in any case. No, having "the talk" with him was simply not an option.

Just like showing up at his place this afternoon was absolutely out of the question.


--- * ---



So what was he doing here? It was exactly 1:05 pm, and he was standing at the corner of that all-too-familiar block, staring up at the high rise towering over him. He had come so close he could almost feel the other's presence inching up on him, even smell a whiff of his subtle au de cologne.

He whipped around and began stalking off. Then had second thoughts and came back up the street, storming into the lobby with determination. As he jabbed his finger into the elevator button, he told himself that he was going to see him once more so that this time, he'll be able to have the last word.


--- * ---



Using the spare key Atobe had given him a few weeks ago, Shishido let himself in, kicking off his shoes in the foyer before making his way to the kitchen. He was suddenly feeling a bit warm and was in desperate need for a drink.

No sign of Atobe anywhere.

Messages me to come over, and he's not even here. Figures.

He pulled the refrigerator door open and leaned in to examine the contents. It was stocked with typical bachelor pad fare, which didn't come to much surprise. Atobe did not cook. Not even eggs.

"You're late."

The smug sounding voice from behind him startled Shishido, who jumped in spite of himself. He turned and glared at the speaker over his shoulder. Atobe was leaning against the door frame to the kitchen with his arms crossed over his chest, looking infuriatingly calm.

"Shut the hell up," Shishido muttered before turning back to the refrigerator and grabbing a can of soda. He was just a little embarrassed by being caught off guard. "You should be thankful I'm even here at all, on such short notice."

"Maybe you could sound less grouchy when you're helping yourself to my fridge."

"Whatever. I'm sure Atobe-sama can spare a can or two of coke."

Atobe didn't answer, turning instead towards the living room.

"Pfft." Shishido followed after him, popping the can open as he went and taking a swig.

He was already beginning to feel uncomfortable. Why was he here again? To have the last word? He had left Atobe's party the night before without saying anything. At the time, he was feeling much too emotional to care about having words. And even this morning, he had thought that he should just cut him off, clean and simple. Because maybe that way, he wouldn't end up saying something he might regret later.

"So uh...yeah. What are you up to today, Atobe?" he asked as casually as possible as he took a seat on the couch.

Atobe walked past the couch and sat on the chair across from it. He didn't answer right away, but looked at him as he propped his elbow on the arm rest and leaned his chin against his knuckles.

"...Where did you go last night?" he asked at length.

"Eh? Oh..." He looked away, realizing that of course this was why he was called here today.

"I asked you a question."

"You could've asked me over the phone."

"No."

"No?" Shishido could feel himself getting angrier despite efforts to contain himself. He answered the question in a huff, "I had someplace to go, alright? What's the big deal?"

Atobe narrowed his eyes at him, trying to read his expressions. He didn't appreciate getting elusive answers. And for some reason, this particular answer was of utmost importance to him. "You disappeared from my party without saying anything to me. And that's the best excuse you've got?"

"Excuse? Why should I have to explain anything?" Shishido slammed down the coke on the coffee table and stood up. "Why is everything always about you? Your party. Your questions. I'll show up if I want, answer if I want!"

"Did I say it was about me?" Atobe raised his face to look at him, not standing up quite yet. He snorted, his lips curling into a dry grin. It never seemed to take much before things spiraled into some kind of disagreement. "I just asked you a simple question, and you're getting all upset. Why don't you calm down?"

"Don't tell me to calm down," he hissed. Shishido hated being told to calm down, and especially despised being told so by Atobe.

"Fine." Atobe stood up too, facing the other with his searching blue gaze. As impetuous as Shishido could be, Atobe was certain that he wouldn't have left his party without a reason. Seeing his heated reaction just now only confirmed that there was more to his behavior than he was willing to say.

They silently stood there glowering at each other, neither willing to speak first.

"I..."

"Aaahn?"

"...I met your fiancée."

"My--?"

Shishido laughed bitterly as the odd sensations from last night came flooding back, like something pounding through his veins uncontrollably.

"Yeah. That's what she said."

The two of them never talked about "relationship" things. They were both quite content to keep things unspoken, like an understanding that it's just what it was, no explanations or labels necessary. Friends? Mutual respect? Casual sex? Whatever he thought it was, the truth had reared its ugly head most unexpectedly at the party last night, and no, Shishido was not prepared.

"It's not what you think," Atobe replied, frowning as he turned his face away. If it was one thing he hated most, it was explaining himself.

"No, I think it's exactly what I think," Shishido snapped, trying to meet the other's eyes and getting more irate when he couldn't meet them. "But you know, I'm just glad we got it all cleared up. We're college buddies who hang out and have beers on weekends and sometimes fuck around. Isn't that right?"

Atobe's head spun around, his proud features trying to mask the emotions underneath.

"Hmph. If you're going to believe the word of a stranger over mine, then maybe that is all that we are," he answered haughtily, tossing his silken locks from his face.

"Your word? I haven't heard you explain anything, what the hell am I supposed to think?" Shishido yelled back, forgetting for a moment that he was supposed to act like it didn't matter to him.

"You're jealous," Atobe said simply. The words were like a catalyst, bringing with it all the gush of emotion Shishido had felt when he was first introduced to the girl claiming title as Atobe's fiancée. It was all coming back, the trembling and breathless hitching in his chest. How dare he say it so matter-of-factly. How dare he put a name to it.

"Fuck you!"

He was at his throat, grabbing that immaculate collar into his fist and jerking his face close.

Atobe's hand shot out, clasping at the boy's wrist tightly. His temper quickly getting the better of him, as it always did when he argued with Shishido.

"No, fuck you, Shishido. You the one who got jealous all on his own and stormed out of my party without asking me. Why the hell should I 'explain myself' now, when it's so damn obvious you're not gonna listen?" His fingers tightened their grip on the wrist.


"Well I'm fucking listening now!" Forget the fact that it's not supposed to matter. He wanted to hear an explanation, anything to take away this almost unbearable pain. Why should he feel so much pain?

Atobe nearly snarled through his teeth as he answered, "She's the daughter of a family friend, and our parents arranged it when we were kids." He glanced away, biting his lip. "It's nothing set in stone."

There was a time when such things didn't matter in the least. Marriage was something done out of convenience and obligation, nothing more. He couldn't remember when he had begun to think otherwise.

Shishido's fingers relaxed a little on the collar.

Turning back and smirking, Atobe said tauntingly, "I didn't realize you cared so much." He wasn't going to be forced to explain himself without some kind of retaliation.

The color rose in Shishido's cheeks as he pushed Atobe away. "Shut up! Why do you have to always add something extra? Just explain it and leave it, for god's sake!" He turned away so the other wouldn't see the flush in his face. "And as a matter of fact, I don't care."

"Liar."

"I don't." He started to walk off, but he paused, gripping his hands into fists at his side.

"You're such a liar."

"And you're a fucking jerk!" Shishido whipped around, but Atobe was already there, in his face, breath falling on his neck. He just wanted to get out of there, take himself far away so his emotions wouldn't betray him again. He panicked. "Why the hell are you bothering, Atobe? Just leave me the hell alone!"

He tried to push him away, but Atobe had reached out and grabbed him by the shirt.

"Because I love you, you idiot."

He always gets the last word, but not today. I was gonna get the last word this time.

Shit.


Shishido could feel the lurching in his chest, his heartbeat pulsing in his fingertips as he reached into Atobe's hair and pulled him close.

And as their lips met in a heated kiss, he growled under his breath--

"Bastard. You're such a fucking bastard..."


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