Summary: Ryo gets home and finds Shige dreaming. Ryo/Shige. WC: 1384.
Notes: This was started before Shige's birthday with the intention of it being completed on time. Then work happened in a major way. Nothing much happens, and it probably doesn't flow too well since there was a break between the parts started 2 months ago and things added today, but I'm glad it's done - at least it got me out of the headspace of w**k for a while :) happy super-belated birthday, shige ♥
The cab drives off, tail-lights fading in the distance, as Ryo blearily looks up to the sixth-storey apartment, with its full-length window lit up, one of a few squares of warm light glowing against the dark bulk of the building. Through the metal railings marking out the tiny balcony space, he thinks he can see the outlines of a shadowy lump, obscured by the semi-transparent drapes behind the pane of glass.
He stands there for a few moments more, head tilted back as if to absorb the faint beams of gold, feeling the unconscious knots holding his mind and body hostage gradually loosening their grip. A fresh burst of energy clears his head, and it’s with a greater spring in his step that he makes his way up the steps of the building into the main lobby.
Ryo barely registers the automated sounds of the female voice announcing the elevator’s arrival at the sixth floor, distractedly digging around the bottom of his bag for his keys. The lock turns easily and he pulls back the door to step into the genkan, scanning the interior of the apartment quickly as he toes off his shoes.
Unsurprisingly, Shige is sprawled out upon his stomach by the window, head pillowed upon his right forearm while his left lies across an open textbook. The gentle breeze streaming in gently past the curtains ruffles the pages, threatening to disrupt the individual piles of notes scattered about his slumbering form in an ordered chaos known only to him.
Gingerly stepping across the minefield of papers and highlighters, Ryo pauses along his way to the bedroom to poke Shige with his foot but Shige hardly stirs. When Ryo comes out again into the living room after showering, Shige is still out cold, the only difference being that he’s now curled upon his side.
Crouching next to Shige, Ryo begins to drag him up in earnest, finally managing to haul Shige up onto the couch where they both collapse unceremoniously onto the cushions. Shige almost immediately turns inwards to face the back of the seat, unconsciously rearranging his long limbs so he can nestle his head under Ryo's chin.
Ryo's thankful it's summer now so he won't freeze lying here with the window open in nothing but a bathrobe. He drifts off to sleep, only to jerk awake later when Shige is trying to extricate himself from Ryo's arms and his knee accidentally digs into Ryo's thigh.
Ryo watches fuzzily as Shige shuffles across to the kitchen area and comes back with a glass of water, setting it at one end of the low coffee table, then gathering all his notes and spreading them across the remaining surface. Yawning, Shige takes up residence on the floor in between the couch and the table, evidently intending to pull an all-nighter, despite Ryo's disapproving mutters.
Ryo’s turned onto his side, so he can run the fingers of his hand through Shige’s hair, savouring the way the waves softly curl. The hairstyle was definitely one of his favourite things about Shige’s ‘Seminar’ role.
'Hmm, that says a lot about what you think of my acting.’ And Ryo realises that he must have unconsciously spoken out loud.
Ryo opens his mouth to, well, not exactly deny what he’d said – Shige’s acting has improved, but it’s not likely to win awards anytime yet – but Shige’s features are relaxed and playful, so he just reaches out and pokes Shige in the cheek.
“You still think too much.”
Shige eyes the ceiling thoughtfully as he considers Ryo’s words. “Really? Why is that bad?”
“Someone taught me that sometimes all you need to do is follow your instincts. Don’t try to anticipate how your character might behave, but just… react,” he says absently, recalling with a tiny shiver how his view of acting had expanded in the space of three months.
“Fair enough,” Shige admits. “But shouldn’t that indicate you already have an innate understanding of the character’s personality and motivations?”
Ryo makes a little dissatisfied noise. “Hmph, maybe…” At this hour, or any other, really, debating the intricacies of acting techniques is the last thing he wants to engage in.
Shige chuckles knowingly. “Whatever really gets you out of the studio earliest, yeah? Careful, people are catching onto you.”
He automatically raises his arm to block Ryo’s retaliatory whack, but takes the hint and bends forward over his lecture notes, leaving Ryo to doze lazily on the couch. Ryo lets his arm dangle over the couch cushions, and once in a while his fingers graze the warmth of Shige's back. He likes the little shudder that runs down Shige's spine when his hand lingers a second too long trailing a path from Shige’s neck down past the waistband of his shorts. When it gets to be too much, Shige reaches behind to swat away the distraction, but Ryo catches Shige's hands and laces their fingers together.
“What were you dreaming about earlier? It must have been good since you were smiling.”
Shige leans back, stretching, conceding that he needs a break. He lets his head drop back, and Ryo obligingly shifts closer to the edge of the couch so that Shige can use his thigh as a pillow.
“I was just imagining the sorts of things I would be able to do once my time gets freed up after graduating, and it must have blended into the dream, because it was like I was fast-forwarding through the future.”
Ryo listens, sort of mesmerised as Shige recounts the possibilities, (“we got ourselves an Asian tour…”) though he scrunches his face at the thought of having to deal with foreigners (“then they sent you to Korea to film this movie in collaboration with actors from Korea and China…").
“…I had a photobook and a novel published, and then I got to do something really impressive, that not even Sakurai-kun had done before...”
“Well, what was that?”
“Sadly, I won’t ever know, since your snoring woke me up-- ouch!' Shige rubs his head where Ryo tsukkomi'd him and laughs.
“In the dream, there was also something else.” Shige turns sideways to rest his elbow upon the couch, and Ryo can't help but get drawn in by the yearning intensity in Shige's dark eyes.
“Yeah?” he whispers.
“I’ll be living in this house between the mountain and the ocean, in a little town far from here. There's a winding path through the woods nearby, and it leads out onto this clearing by the cliff overlooking the surf, where the view is always incredibly beautiful.”
“Is there…” And it occurs to Ryo that what he’s about to ask may not be so rhetorical after all. “Will there be someone else living with you?”
Shige bites his lip, and his long, long lashes shutter over his eyes as he looks down at their clasped hands. He's quiet when he looks up again, hesitant and slightly bashful, and it's the uncertainty, so reminiscent of a younger, less-confident Shige that tugs at Ryo's heart and makes him tighten his grasp over Shige's palm.
Shige doesn't say anything further, merely closes his books and reaches over to turn off the lamp, climbing back onto the couch to stretch out next to Ryo, fitting himself easily against the angles of Ryo's body. He holds Ryo a little harder than usual, and Ryo doesn't need any more words to sense the things Shige wants to convey.
In the dark, Ryo smiles, and places a hand on Shige's cheek, turning Shige's face towards his with the soft touch. He starts at the corner of Shige's mouth, alternately sucking and nibbling across Shige's lower lip, until Shige's mouth parts and Shige's tongue darts out to flicker playfully against his. The kiss gradually deepens from lazy to intense, and it's like the blackness surrounding them is melting away.
Ryo imagines he feels the rays of early summer sun warming their skin, the slight give of the sand underneath their bodies as he rolls on top of Shige. The background crash of the surf pounding unceasingly against the shore is reassuring in its rhythm.
He pauses for a moment, pulling back a little to draw breath and leans in again, his mouth shaping promises against Shige's lips.
He’s always wanted to grow old by the sea.
A/N: as always, comments are always appreciated :)