I hope our future is measured in eternities - Chapter 3 - eremikas (2024)

Chapter Text

“To summarize, you and Nagi are getting married?” Kunigami’s startled voice instantly impresses on Reo how sudden the situation must seem to a third party. Granted, if Reo is being honest, it hasn’t fully sunk in for him, either, and he’s definitely no outsider.

“Not exactly.”

“But Nagi proposed to you. And you accepted.”

“Technically…”

Kunigami heaves a drawn-out sigh, and Reo can almost taste his friend’s exasperation through his cellphone’s screen. Not that Reo can blame Kunigami; every sane individual would probably have the same reaction to such shocking news. “Reo, are you listening to yourself?”

Reo directs his gaze towards his apartment’s door, feeling beyond exposed under Kunigami’s scrutiny. “It’s just, uh, complicated. Weren’t you paying attention when I described how it happened?”

“I was, but I’m confused. Why can’t you guys confess to each other normally?”

“We didn’t confess in the first place,” Reo protests, desperate to counter Kunigami’s valid arguments. He has to defend himself somehow, lest he’s forced to admit he bears responsibility for this whole fiasco. “And I don’t want to hear that from someone who asked out Chigiri in front of the entirety of Blue Lock.”

“Will you stop digging that up? We’re talking about you and Nagi.”

“You set yourself up.”

“Hyoma is rubbing off on you.”

“Chigiri is cool, so that shouldn’t be an issue.”

“That he is…” Kunigami trails off, his eyes those of a schoolboy fantasizing about his crush, and images of him flirting with Chigiri in Reo’s face during Blue Lock’s second selection flash through the latter’s mind unbidden.

“Okay, okay,” Reo says, clapping his hands, as if to wake Kunigami up from a trance. “Let’s get back on track before you start drooling.”

Kunigami folds his arms across his chest and nods, in a futile attempt to appear composed, but the twitch in his eye betrays his embarrassment. “Reo, I called you to make sure your injury wasn’t serious, not to provide love advice.”

“Come on, Kunigami! We’re friends, aren’t we?” Reo implores, shamelessly preying on Kunigami’s sensitive nature. He’s a firm believer that the end occasionally justifies the means, sue him!

“You’re terrible,” Kunigami complains, shaking his head in resignation. “You know I’m weak against that word.”

“All I know is that you’re a kind and warm person.”

“Please, never say that in front of Nagi.”

“Huh? Why not?”

“Cause I don’t want to die young.”

Reo can’t help but roll his eyes at that. What is Kunigami on about? Nagi is usually as harmless as a domesticated rabbit; anger is a very rare emotion for him and, consequently, he wouldn’t be consumed by it without a powerful trigger. Reo complimenting a friend wouldn’t affect Nagi’s aloof attitude in the slightest.

“I’m not following, but whatever. What do you think I should do about this mess?”

“Be real with me, Reo,” Kunigami urges, leveling Reo with a stare that essentially screams his concerns out loud. “You’ve already decided on your course of action, haven’t you?”

“Well, yes,” Reo replies without hesitation, confirming Kunigami’s haunch. “But that doesn’t mean I don’t want input from people I trust.”

“You’re sly.”

“And you aren’t sharing your opinion. That’s not a positive sign.”

“Fine, I’ll be honest.” Kunigami’s tone morphs into something more deliberate, and Reo steels himself for a gentle, hero-style scolding. “Both of you could end up hurt, so I’m against you rushing into an ambiguous relationship.”

“Yeah…” Reo halfheartedly concurs. The rational section of his brain is certainly on Kunigami’s side.

“But you’ll play along with it regardless, won’t you?” Kunigami probes, despite having successfully predicted Reo’s response minutes prior.

“Am I lame for giving in?” Reo ponders his credulity, his voice laced with self-deprecation. “I just can’t refuse Nagi’s earnest requests. Plus, part of me hopes that he’ll eventually view me in a romantic light. I’m constantly pushing down my feelings, but Nagi does something like that out of the blue… He’s unfair.”

Kunigami’s features soften, accompanied by his, previously tense, shoulders slumping. His posture is quite relaxed when he opens his mouth to address Reo’s unease. “I can’t speak for Nagi since I’m not a mind reader, but I genuinely think he cares about you, Reo.”

“Haha, he better.”

“And I wouldn’t rule out the possibility of him returning your feelings.”

“Damn.” Reo twists his lips into a smirk, in order to dispel his own sour mood, while simultaneously alleviating Kunigami’s burden. If he doesn’t joke about this, he’s afraid he might tear up. “I wasn’t aware you were skilled in telling anecdotes.”

“Reo…”

“Anyway! You don’t approve of my engagement with Nagi. Noted. I appreciate you not sugar-coating it for my sake.”

“You’re phrasing it strangely on purpose.”

“Maybe,” Reo teases, before adopting a solemn expression, more suitable for conveying his gratitude. “Still, thank you, Kunigami.”

“Don’t mention it. Good luck with your situationship.”

Reo’s jaw drops on the floor. “You—You definitively learned that term from Chigiri!”

“Maybe,” Kunigami goads, echoing Reo’s earlier jab, proving that he’s perfectly capable of a mean strake.

“Idiotic couple,” Reo mocks, feigning disgust. “I’m hanging up.”

“Later, Reo. I’ll check on you again in a few days.”

“You don’t have to, but thanks. For everything.”

──────────────────

After the team is finished with morning practice, Seishiro basically jogs to the locker room, hoping in and out of the shower in unprecedented speed. He then changes into a baggy pair of pants and a hoodie, keen on heading home as quickly as possible.

“Hey, genius.”

Amid his hurried frenzy, Seishiro is persistently tormented by a dilemma related to his partner and the new bond formed between them.

Should I be more proactive from now on? Seishiro debates, for the umpteenth time. He might have resolved himself to make Reo fall for him, but the fact remains that he has zero romantic experience.

It’s undeniable that he’s completely out of his element. How is he supposed to seduce somebody with incredibly high standards, someone who could acquire literally anything with a flick of a finger?

“Nagi?”

In the end, if he doesn’t manage to charm Reo, Reo will find somebody else to cling onto. In due course, Reo will be enamored of a person who isn’t Seishiro.

A scenario in which he’s no longer Reo’s number one… in which he’s no longer Reo’s treasure… Such a scenario must never come to pass.

“Earth to Nagi?”

Should he study on love tactics? If so, would it be wise to search for answers on the Internet? Or, would it be preferable to seek guidance from people who are involved in romantic relationships themselves?

This is a drag… There are too many hurdles to deal with.

“You have some nerve to ignore me!” Chigiri’s aggravated shout snaps Seishiro out of his internal struggle.

“Ah, the princess is here. Hi.”

“I’ve been here, you jerk. What’s wrong with you? Worried about Reo’s ankle?”

“Nah, Reo is amazing. He’ll recover soon.”

“You weren’t daydreaming about Reo?” Chigiri asks, raising a tentative brow, as if unable to imagine Seishiro not obsessing over their teammate.

Frankly, if it was up to Seishiro, he’d currently be napping on his bed, using Reo’s lap as a pillow. He’s not inclined to feed Chigiri’s meddling tendencies, but the potential to fish out several functional tips may be worth exploring.

“I was.”

“Wow, I’m shocked. Why can’t you surprise me for once?”

“Reo and I are getting married.”

Chigiri snorts through his nose, nearly spitting out the water he had begun drinking while waiting for Seishiro to elaborate. Seishiro watches in petty silence, as the red-haired endeavors to curb his cough and regulate his breathing.

How is that for a surprise?

“What?!”

“Why are you yelling?” Seishiro grumbles, shielding his ears to demonstrate his irritation. “Take a chill pill.”

Chigiri stands on his toes and grabs Seishiro by the shoulders, a single demand exiting his mouth. “Explain.”

“There’s not much to say,” the striker professes sheepishly, despite his words ringing true. Unnecessary details would solely serve to derail him from his goal. “I proposed and Reo agreed to marry me.”

“No way it went down like that! You and Reo weren’t even dating, were you?!”

“That doesn’t matter. Boyfriends, husbands, partners… I don’t care what our title is.”

Chigiri narrows his eyes as he inches away from Seishiro, skeptical about the latter’s logic. “Reo does, though. So, if you don’t tell me how you skipped a thousand steps of a relationship in less than twenty four hours, I’ll have to interrogate Reo instead.”

“Reo is injured,” Seishiro quips, his tone as dry as a desert. He sticks out his tongue, imitating his partner’s signature display of sass. “Have some restraint, missy.”

“I’ve had enough of your elusive garbage. I’m visiting your place today.”

“Meh, that’d be a pain. Is your hobby interrupting our alone time?”

Chigiri inhales and exhales slowly, centering himself. When he pipes up again, he sounds a bit amused. “I see how it is. You’re being your typical delusional self. Reo has no clue about your presumed marriage.”

“You wish. Reo is on board. I convinced him.”

“It’s suspicious he needed convincing.”

“Shut up,” Seishiro barks, a vague emotion, not much different from anxiety, boiling up inside of him.

“Could you work with me, dude?” Chigiri prompts, cleverly abandoning provocation for a more benevolent approach.

At this point, Seishiro is forced to evaluate his options. He’s desperate; he was aiming to extract beneficial information without revealing the specifics, but that doesn’t seem plausible anymore.

“If I tell you, will you quit pestering me?”

Initially, Chigiri simply hums his assent, but when Seishiro shoots him a blank look, he decides to go the extra mile. “I swear I won’t pry into your affairs.”

Satisfied with Chigiri’s change of tune, Seishiro prepares himself for a detour. He hopes that reducing his Reo time and weathering the storm of vain gossip will aid him in his predicament.

“This is a hassle, so I’ll only spell it out once. I’ll also video-call Zantetsu to save energy.”

“I’m indebted to you, oh, amazing soccer genius. But why the special treatment for Zantetsu? I had to grill you for you to open up.”

“Don’t be jealous. You’re cool, but Zantetsu will be our best man if Reo and I hold a wedding.”

“...Barou was right. Reo is a saint for putting up with your ass.”

Now that’s a statement Seishiro is unfitted to debunk. Thus, he pretends it didn’t reach him as he dials Zantetsu’s number.

Fortunately, Zantetsu picks up pretty fast, sparing Seishiro additional trouble. “Guten morgen,” he greets through the miraculous device connecting him with the other athletes. “What’s up, Nagi? It’s rare of you to contact me. And is that Chigiri I spy with my little nose?”

“Can’t you speak Japanese? And we aren’t even in Germany, stupid Zantetsu.”

Not to mention, the idiom is ‘I spy with my little eye’, Seishiro mentally corrects, but doesn’t bother with voicing any further criticism. Zantetsu’s familiar slip-ups aren’t actually annoying.

Chigiri bends his neck towards Seishiro’s phone, waving Zantetsu hello in a casual manner. “Yo, glasses.”

“Hey, miss. Could this be a secret meeting about Reo? I did check on him, but was there more to his injury? Did he lie to me? Don’t tell me his condition is worse than—”

“No, no, no! Reo will be at one hundred percent in less than a month. Nagi just wanted to talk to us.” Chigiri intercepts Zantetsu’s delirium, flapping his hands erratically. He proceeds to nudge Seishiro with his elbow, clearly riled. “Man, are you gonna take charge or what?”

Seishiro’s eyes roll with tired impatience. This is turning into a commotion, after all. He ought to lead the conversation before his focus drifts away. Well, even if this pair of idiots don’t retain everything he’s about to disclose, Seishiro isn’t planning on repeating himself.

“Can you guys do me a favor and zip it?”

──────────────────

“I’m home,” Seishiro announces as soon as his feet cross the threshold of his apartment. His eyes immediately dive into scanning the space, in search of Reo’s figure, spotting their target in less than a second.

Reo is sitting at the dining table, reading a thick gray book. Reo’s study materials often cover difficult topics, so, although Seishiro is generally curious about Reo’s hobbies, he’s deduced that there’s no merit in him exhibiting interest in some of them.

Moreover, what’s great about spending time with Reo is that both he and Seishiro are able to enjoy each other’s company even when they busy themselves with separate things.

“Welcome home, Nagi!” Reo beams in response to Seishiro’s entrance, his jolly voice soothing Seishiro’s soul in an instant. How wonderful it’d be if their lives continued like this forever… “How was practice?”

Seishiro darts over to the kitchen, plopping himself down next to Reo. “The usual.”

“You weren’t lonely without me?” Reo jests, a coy smile toying around the corners of his lips. On rare occasions, such as this one, Seishiro fails to comprehend Reo’s sense of humor.

“Mhm, I did miss you,” Seishiro admits, no hint of deception in his reply. “But the thought of my wife waiting for me was motivating.”

A gasp escapes Reo as he pulls his book tight against him. “Your what?”

Oops. Seishiro hadn’t meant to broach that subject; it’s just that the circ*mstances had reminded him of a rumor spread among the Hakuho students during his and Reo’s school years, resulting in his blunder.

Could anyone fault him for his error? Seishiro didn’t have a habit of delving into the whispers of his peers, but the school prince being labeled as his super elite caring wife had naturally made a huge impact on him.

“It’s not important,” Seishiro says as he moves his chair closer to Reo’s own. There are more pressing matters to attend to. “Reo, can I have a reward for my hard work?”

Reo chuckles merrily as he sets his book down on the table’s surface. Having freed his hands, he pinches Seishiro’s cheeks. “Depends on if you’ll beg or not.”

“You’re being cruel again,” Seishiro mewls, but his instincts compel him to revel in Reo’s brass.This is distracting; Reo is, undoubtedly, Seishiro’s biggest weakness. “Please, Reo. I need a reward.”

“I guess I could indulge you,” Reo concedes, voluntarily blowing the whistle on his cunning game. “What would my treasure fancy?”

Before Seishiro can rein in his impulses, they have already sold him out. “I want Reo to kiss me,” he coos, brushing a stray lock of hair stuck to Reo’s temple. If his touch lingers, Seishiro doesn’t deem it odd.

Reo grimaces at the bold request; his disgruntled expression stabs Seishiro through the heart, blood spurting from the wound. “In hindsight, you don’t deserve a reward.”

“Why?” Aren’t these kinds of intimate gestures common between lovers? Reo was the one who planted the notion in Seishiro, hence his duty to commit to the task.

“Cause you’re shameless and insensitive. Does the word delicacy not exist in your dictionary?”

“Reo is always sweating the small stuff,” Seishiro whines, his shoulders drooping in disappointment. “I want you to kiss me, so I’m asking for a kiss. If you hate the idea, you can reject me without excuses.”

At Seishiro’s moping, Reo grows quiet, stealing fleeting glances around the flat. He then wets his lips and swallows, evidently conflicted.

Finally, he fixes Seishiro with a sharp look of determination and, without delay, brings his face to Seishiro’s, planting a kiss on the striker’s cheek. Reo’s expression after his sinful deed borders —from Seishiro’s perspective— on sensual. “There, you happy? That’ll have to suffice.”

Not registering Reo’s shy murmur, Seishiro leans towards his receding partner as if drawn into Reo’s gravity, losing his balance and almost falling off his seat in the process. Once he steadies himself, he clutches at his caving chest, utterly disoriented.

Seishiro had been confident that kissing Reo would help him sort out his feelings, but he was gravely mistaken. He’s even more confused now, and this foreign sensation, which causes his skin to prickle with heat, is rather scary. What the hell is happening to him?

“Nagi?! Was that…not okay?”

“No, that’s—Um, yeah, it was okay...”

Reo releases a quivering breath, sagging against his chair. “I’m glad... A-anyway, I told Kunigami about us. Sorry I didn’t discuss it with you first.”

“I don’t mind,” Seishiro assures as he rubs the back of his flushed neck. He’s grateful to Reo for switching gears, but unfulfilled desire won’t cease flickering within him. What does he have to do for it to simmer down? Does he actually want it to simmer down? Is Reo feeling this, too? “I told Zantetsu and Chigiri.”

“Really? When did you get the chance?”

“I had to sacrifice five precious minutes after practice. It was exhausting...”

Reo gives Seishiro a playful shove, as if chastising him for his grousing. “And how did they take it?”

Seishiro slouches over the dining table as he recalls the reactions his and Reo’s engagement news elicited. Neither Chigiri nor Zantetsu had anything constructive to contribute; advice-hunting was a total flop.

“Zantetsu was excited for us and congratulated me. Chigiri threatened to kick me in the balls, though. Maybe he’s mad we beat him and Kunigami to it?”

“I bet he’s mad, alright.”

“Huh?”

“Nothing,” Reo says with a swing of his hand. Meanwhile, Seishiro’s gaze travels, soaking in every aspect of the disconcerted heir. Reo has always been so beautiful, inside and out, it’s exhilarating to think that he’s Seishiro’s. At least for now. “Perhaps we should keep this between us and those three.”

“If that’s what Reo prefers,” Seishiro complies, itching to tamp down Reo’s agitation. From his perspective, however, going public wouldn’t be the catastrophe Reo makes it out to be. Thus, Seishiro imposes a supplementary condition for his silence. “But if someone asks, I won’t lie.”

“They won’t ask, Nagi. And you won’t blab about it either. Period.”

Hmph. You don’t have to be so adamant about us hiding, Reo.

“…Roger.”

I hope our future is measured in eternities - Chapter 3 - eremikas (2024)

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