It was a cool brisk night, the moon lit the fields with its radiance and the wind rustled the tree leaves in its waking path. The night's calmness flooded the surroundings with the exception of a sharp sound, that of which replicated a baseball charging towards its destination, a leather glove.
At the centre of the diamond stood a teen, baseball in left, mitt on right. Sawamura, the first year pitcher of Seidou's baseball team, lifted his leg while winding up then followed through with the whipping of his left arm. The ball sharply flew across to the catcher's mitt with a loud thump that resonated through the night skies.
*TWACK* the echo rang through the cool air as panting was heard from an over exhausted pitcher.
Subconsciously, Sawamura turned his head towards the left field, looking at the far corner of it. The home run he gave up a couple days ago still taunted him, he could not get it out of his mind. Miyuki, the catcher, kept telling him that the pitch was thrown perfectly, but deep down inside, Sawamura knew he should have, no, he could have done better. Not only that, but his inability to pitch seemed to be putting him further away from Miyuki, widening the gap between them, or at least that is what he saw. The thought of the growing distance scared him, not just in the baseball aspect, but also to a much greater level. Squeezing his glove and pushing it up against his chest where his heart was, he turned back towards Miyuki but avoided eye contact. He did not want to Miyuki to see his disappointed look, or even worst, he was afraid of Miyuki's look of disapproval. Fear of those critical analysing eyes that could be glaring upon him from across the diamond.
Miyuki caught the ball and gave a smirk at the sound it made.
'Not bad, seems his motivation after that home run helped him improve.' He mused to himself before looking up readying to throw the ball back to Sawamura. To his dismay, he saw the pitcher looking far back into the left field, the same direction the homer was hit towards. Not long after, the pitcher seemed to be clutching his glove against his heart and looking downwards in a grimace. It pained Miyuki to see his battery counterpart in that state.
"Sawamura, let's call it a night. We're going back to the dorms." Miyuki shouted as he got up from his squatting position and ran up to the pitcher.
To Miyuki's surprise, Sawamura just nodded as they both headed towards the locker room to pack up for the night. He expected Sawamura to plead for a few more pitches, but seeing Sawamura's sluggish movements was enough to tell Miyuki that the pitcher was depressed and exhausted.
Sawamura lifelessly placed his glove into his locker, ignoring everything around him, only concentrating in his own musings. Too much was in his mind at the moment and that siphoned away his usual happy self.
Miyuki watched in despair as Sawamura seemed to chastise himself from that home run. He was worried and it hurt him to see the pitcher like that.
'He has to get over it by himself...' Miyuki told himself again, struggling the urge he had to embrace and console the pitcher's worries away. He had been telling himself this over the past two days; however, with another glimpse at his friend's saddened face, it was more than enough to tip him to his breaking point.
'Who am I kidding...I can't let this continue...' Miyuki stepped behind Sawamura and wrapped his arms around Sawamura's waist from behind. He leaned his head forward so that his chin rested on the other's left shoulder.
"Sawamura, forget about it, you gave a good throw, I couldn't have asked for anything more on that pitch. It was my bad call, I shouldn't have told you to throw to that spot." Miyuki attempted to console the pitcher.
Sawamura was caught off guard as the catcher's abrupt advance caused his heart to beat faster. Sawamura stayed stoic and did not show any immediate reactions though as he took the gesture as Miyuki trying to comfort or tease him.
"Yeah...but that means that's all I got..." the pitcher meekly said in response to the catcher's comforting words.
"It's ok Sawamura, you're only in first year, you have a lot of time to improve and I'll be here with you along the way." Miyuki could feel a tear drop down onto his arms. He heart was breaking from seeing the agony Sawamura was going through. He clutched the pitcher tighter.
'I'll be here with you along the way...' those words lingered in Sawamura's mind. 'Only in baseball though...' was the retort his mind came up with. He did not just want to be with Miyuki in baseball, but deep within he knew there can be nothing more than just baseball. His ineptitude to produce on the diamond did not help either, Miyuki was a star catcher, but he was just another pitcher on the block. A whimper fell out of Sawamura's lips as the thoughts crossed his mind.
Miyuki could not take it anymore, the whimpers, the gloomy atmosphere, the dejected look the pitcher had, it all crushed his heart. It was as if walls were closing in on his heart, squeezing the life out of it. Suddenly without notice, he sporadically turned Sawamura around and clasped his lips against the other teen's. There they stood, lips entwined with time seemingly having stopped. Miyuki could feel the warmth of the other's lips and was relieved to have summoned the courage to make such a bold move without first gauging whether the other teen felt the same way. But, as time ticked and the stillness from the other teen became apparent, he realised that his move may have been too bold.
Sawamura, having met a foreign feeling, became stunned as he was left speechless. There he was poised, lips pressing against and eyes staring directly at that the person he desired so much.
'Is this for real...?' Sawamura found himself questioning with eyes full of shock.
'Oh crap...he's not moving, I'm not getting any feedback...is he going to hate me?' Miyuki pulled away for a breath with realisation that what he had done may have gone too far as he quickly scrounged his mind for an excuse for his actions.
'Dammit, I shouldn't have done that...' he chastised himself as fear grew within his mind.
'He doesn't even like me, he may not ever want to see me again...' the instant that thought crossed his mind, he felt as if his heart was getting ripped out. He could not bear to lose Sawamura, at least in his concealed one sided feelings, Sawamura would still be there by his side, but now that he planted a kiss, he was not sure how the pitcher would react to him anymore.
The two stayed apart for what seem eternity. The chirping of crickets and rustling of leaves by the wind was heard evidently until the silence was finally broken by the catcher. The catcher adverted his eyes from the pitcher's face and started his apology.
"Sawamura...I'm sorr..." he was stuttering to speak but he was unable to finish. The next thing to register in Miyuki's head were soft lips clashing against his again. This time, he also felt arms wrapped around his neck as he was pulled closer to Sawamura's body. The warmth from the other's lips melted all of Miyuki's fears and worries away. He too wrapped his arms around the smaller framed teen as he pulled the other closer against his own body. He could feel the other's body heat against his and it was something he would never want to let go of.
After a minute, the two broke off their deep kiss, both teens blushing profusely. Sawamura looked down towards Miyuki's chest to avoid eye contact. Miyuki on the other hand stared directly at the other, trying to make eye contact.
"Sawamura...that home run wasn't the only thing bothering you was it?" Miyuki asked as he realised that there was more than what the eyes could see.
Sawamura shook his head, while diverting eye contact.
"Tell me what's wrong, please." Miyuki said in a caring tone.
"I'm afraid...I'm afraid of losing you..." Sawamura said without thinking.
"What do you mean? I'll always be here as your catcher."
"No...I'm afraid you'll get further from me, that I won't be able to catch up, that I would lose you for good...I...I..." Sawamura did not know how to put it, but as he spoke, his arms, which were still loosely wrapped around the catcher's neck, squeezed Miyuki harder and harder.
"Sawamura, you don't need to worry, go at your own pace, I'll be there with you...I promise..." Miyuki understood what the other teen wanted to say.
"But...but..." Sawamura was getting frustrated that he could not convey his feelings and that Miyuki kept misunderstanding, or at least he thought.
"I love you Eijun...I would never leave you..." Miyuki whispered into the pitcher's ears in a soothing voice.
Sawamura was left speechless, both the confession and use of his name sparked joy deep within. It was as if all the troubles he had were instantly lifted away. Tears of happiness crept into his eyes as his brain registered those four words, each encompassing its own special meaning.
"I...love you too...Ka...zuya... " Sawamura was reluctant to say it as if he were afraid that this was all a dream, but his worries vanished as he felt a finger tilt his head upwards to meet the soft eyes of the person he loved.
Miyuki was overjoyed to hear his name being called. He slowly leaned in for another kiss and Sawamura gladly accepted it. The two stayed there embracing with their lips interlocked for what seemed eternity until they realised the time.
"We should hurry back to the dorms before we get in trouble." Miyuki said while trying to catch his breath. The two got up and started walking together back to their individual rooms. They decided not to hold hands in case they were caught by some prying eyes, although on occasion they would swing their hands outwards so that there were moments where their hands made contact.
As they approached the dorms, Miyuki stopped, turned and looked into Sawamura's eyes. "Don't worry Sawamura, I'll try to get the coach to let you play more practice games so you can improve." Miyuki gave a reassuring big grin, which captivated the complete trust of the pitcher.
"Really?!" Sawamura's eyes sparkled as if he were a kid receiving a present.
"Yup!" Miyuki cheerfully said as he leaned in so that he could whisper into the pitcher's ears. "...That way, I'll also get to see you topless in the dugout when you put that ice pack on after pitching." Miyuki's finger caressed Sawamura's cheeks and slowly made its way down gliding across Sawamura's collar bone and finding its way across Sawamura's chest.
The pitcher felt a chill run down his back as the foreign feeling ran havoc across him. His breath became staggered as he closed his eyes. It was as if he was anticipating that the catcher would do something. Suddenly, Sawamura felt a peck on his cheeks followed by all physical contact vanishing. Reopening his eyes, he saw the catcher smiling with the widest taunting smirk before the teen turned around and jogged off towards his room.
Sawamura stood there breathless as he took a gulp. His heart racing at a hundred miles as his mind registered what Miyuki had just said and done. Past memories flooded his mind of Miyuki glancing and staring at him whenever he had the ice pack on. The slight smirk the catcher had during every one of those moments sent a slight chill down Sawamura's back.
"Pervert!" Sawamura yelled as his head turned into a deep tomato colour.
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