Fandom: It’s Me, It’s Me (2013)
Warning: Non-linear narrative. Spoilers for the movie.
Summary: “If I can’t be you, let me have you.”
Notes: also on AO3.
Nao says, “I don’t understand you at all!”
That’s how it ends: not with a bang, but a whimper.
Right after meeting Nao, right after they named Nao “Nao”—
Nao interrupts, “Actually, it’s Motoyama Naoki—“
“Nao, then.” Hitoshi’s impostor says.
“Then you must be Daiki, right?” Hitoshi says, addressing the impostor.
“No, I…” he starts to say, then stops. He looks at Hitoshi, and then glances at Nao, a realization dawning. “Fine. To make it convenient, I’ll be Daiki.”
He sounds resigned, Hitoshi thinks.
He remembers Daiki.
Not *his* Daiki, but the original Daiki, the first Daiki, the Daiki whose phone he stole. That Daiki seemed like such a pompous ass, he remembers thinking. That Daiki also seemed so full of himself, from the way he barely let his companion get a word in while they were talking. And a talker, definitely a talker.
But this Daiki, *his* Daiki is—
Different. Quieter. Barely raises his voice at all, with nearly no inflection in his tone. But there’s also confidence in the way he talks, something that makes people listen to him.
When Nao wants people’s attention, he just grabs at it, and you just can’t not pay attention to him. But Daiki—he has this way of quietly drawing people’s attention to him, of commanding the attention. Though Hitoshi can’t decide whether he does it intentionally, because. Because while Daiki seems at ease with it, there are times, Hitoshi notices, when he looks as though he doesn’t quite belong, like he’s—
Hitoshi blinks. Looks over to where Nao’s talking a mile a minute to Daiki, complete with hand waving, with Daiki just listening in indulgently. Hitoshi stares at them. Then Daiki glances at him, and he hastily turns away.
Nah, there’s no way, Hitoshi decides, no way that Daiki is—
But then there’s always that question, isn’t it, the one that rarely gets an answer, the one that asks,
How well do you know yourself?
Once they tell Nao that he can’t just bring any other version of “themselves” back to his place, and to tell the ones in his room to go away, Now, Nao, yes, including Mizonokuchi, no matter how much you like him—
Nao says, “I don’t understand you at all!”
That can’t be right, Hitoshi thinks, and stops. He looks at Daiki beside him, but Daiki is staring at Nao, lips slightly parted. He looks startled, Hitoshi thinks.
“Hey,” he reaches out, fingers touching Daiki’s suit.
Daiki blinks. Looks down, and notices Hitoshi’s fingers on the sleeve of his suit. “What?”
He looks at Daiki’s face, but there’s no trace of Daiki’s earlier expression. “Nothing.” He says, letting go of Daiki’s suit. “Nothing at all.”
Nao says, “I don’t understand you at all!”
It feels as though something—something important—shatters in that moment. Something that used to be close, but now out of his reach. Something that, if only he could remember what it was—
Nao is easy.
Nao is easy to please, easy to get excited, easy to forgive, easy to distract—and, most of all, Nao’s easy to like.
Hitoshi finds himself envying him.
“How do you make things last?”
He looks up. Finds Daiki’s eyes on him. “What?”
“Someone told me good things never last.” Daiki says. “So how do you make them last?”
Hitoshi tilts his head. Vaguely, he could hear Nao’s singing in the bathroom amidst the sound of the water. The room is in its usual barely organized chaos, semi-darkness state. From his place half-sprawling on Nao’s bed, Hitoshi could barely make out Daiki’s face in the other side of Nao’s tiny room.
“You don’t.” Hitoshi says, sitting up. “That’s how you know it’s real: because it will disappear.”
A quirk upwards on the corner of Daiki’s lips, there and gone. “Really. So if it disappears, it’s real, but if it lasts, then it’s merely illusion? Wouldn’t that mean you don’t get to enjoy it at all? Since you’d spend the whole time wondering when it will disappear.”
“I... I don’t know.” He frowns. “Why do you ask?”
Daiki steps forward, his face lighted by the lamp. “Because I,” he says, coming even closer until he’s standing by the bed right in front of Hitoshi, forcing Hitoshi to look up, “have been wondering whether we,” he gestures vaguely to the room, “are real or just an illusion.”
Hitoshi stares at him.
“Don’t you,” Daiki asks, “wonder about it too?”
No, Hitoshi wants to tell him. No, I don’t. Except it would be a lie, because he’s not so much doesn’t wonder about it as he refuses to even think about it.
Like a child, wanting to believe nothing exists beyond your peripheral, that the monster under the bed wouldn’t be able to hurt you if you do not even *believe* it exists.
“You really think too much,” Hitoshi says, hunching his shoulders and looking down at his feet—his bare feet, Daiki’s black-socks-clad feet, and the distance in between.
He could *feel* Daiki’s eyes narrow at him, but still he refuses to raise his head.
In the bathroom, Nao keeps on singing and nattering happily about, oblivious.
The thing is, if you have similar thoughts with other people, so similar it feels as though you are the same person sharing the same mind, then—how could you lie to them?
(how could you lie to yourself?)
“Sometimes, Daiki scares me.” Hitoshi admits, and instantly wishes he could take it back.
Nao frowns at him. “Eeeeeehhhh? But why?”
“Don’t you, I don’t know, feel it too?” Hitoshi says, suddenly feeling desperate. Desperate to what, he doesn’t know.
But Nao only tilts his head sideway, hands in his jeans’ back pockets, a pout firmly in place as he sways lightly on the sole of his feet, looking confused. “No.”
“Oh.” He leaves it at that.
Pathetic, Daiki’s eyes say, as he passes him by and goes to take care of Hitoshi’s attacker.
Hitoshi watches him; watches as Daiki takes the thug down with barely any force behind his punch, as he puts the thug into a headlock and effectively breaks the thug’s neck with a slight twist. Watches as Daiki glances at Nao, where Nao seems to be holding his own just fine. Watches as Daiki looks back at him and gestures to Nao with a slight tilt of his chin.
Wanna join in?
Hitoshi scrambles up and over as Nao takes his arm with a laugh, as the three of them give the last thug a swift kick, right at the exact time without even needing a prompt.
They look at each other, grinning, and Hitoshi thinks, Perfect.
They watch as the rest of Nao’s “friends” going on their way, with Mizonokuchi giving Nao an impressive petulant scowl as goodbye. Hitoshi tries not to feel too weirded out seeing so many people with his face in one place. If Nao and Daiki didn’t feel bothered about it, then he should try not to let it freak him out, he supposes.
Then Nao stomps off to his room and slams the door closed, with all the grace of a spoiled five-year-old he secretly is.
“He’s going to sulk and pout at you for hours, you realize.” Daiki observes.
“Yeah? We have no choice. He should know better than to invite them all back to his place. To our place.” Hitoshi says. Then frowns. “Wait, why *only* at me?”
A near smirk is playing at the corner of Daiki’s mouth. “You were the one who told him to let *his friends* go, weren’t you?”
“I…what? It was your idea!”
Daiki only looks at him impassively, though that damned near smirk is still present. So?
Hitoshi is really, really tempted to accept the challenge and just wait to see who could hold out the longest, but he suspects he would only regress back to a five-year-old’s level, and since Nao already won that title, he does the next best thing: he bends at the waist and drops his head on Daiki’s chest, much like he had done to Manager Tajima many days ago.
“…what are you doing?“
Daiki sounds merely bemused. Hitoshi could feel Daiki’s heartbeat, steady and constant, excepting a slight hitch at the beginning. Bastard. Unlike Manager Tajima, Daiki doesn’t appear to be surprised at his intrusion; no speedy heartbeat, no nothing.
Then he puts both hands on Daiki’s shoulders, giving a slight push, and lifts his head—taking care to do it slow, so as not to repeat Manager Tajima’s nose incident.
As he raises his eyes to Daiki’s, he notices that for once, Daiki appears wide-eyed. With that expression on his face, he looks much like Nao.
“You okay?” he asks, fingers moving to either side of Daiki’s neck, thumbs caressing the spots just under Daiki’s earlobes.
It’s okay, I’m here, I’m here.
Daiki blinks. His mouth moves, but no sound escapes. He blinks again. Then he looks to the side, a hand raised to pry Hitoshi’s fingers from his neck, taking a step back as he does so.
Hitoshi lets his hands fall limply to his side.
“Sure.” Daiki says. He still has a hand pressed to the side of his neck, much in the same spot as Hitoshi’s hand earlier. “We should check on Nao.” Turning around, he does just that: striding to Nao’s room in a brisk pace, his back tense. He leaves the door slightly ajar in his wake.
Hitoshi stares after him
What just happened?
Nao says, “I don’t understand you at all!”
But Daiki is quiet, quiet, quiet.
The first time Hitoshi went back to Nao’s place with bruises all over his body courtesy of Sayaka’s husband’s goons, Nao shrieks and tries to comfort him by hugging him, which is just Owww.
“Nao.” Daiki picks Nao up by the back of his t-shirt and deposits him—somewhere nearby, judging from the loudness of Nao’s indignant cries.
“You’re aware he’s not a cat you could pick and toss at will, right?”
Daiki smirks at him. “Lie down.”
Hitoshi sighs and does as he’s told.
“Here, hold up your shirt. We need to clean these up. Nao,” Daiki calls, “be useful and dab this salve on this area.” He indicates said area on Hitoshi’s abdomen with his finger.
Nao still looks rather indignant, but he concedes to Daiki’s orders easily enough.
“Oh right! Daiki-san, why don’t you teach Hitoshi-san some self-defense technique?” Nao says excitedly, his fingers accidentally pressing too hard on Hitoshi-san’s bruise, which is, once again, ow. “So next time, Hitoshi-san wouldn’t end up like this again!”
“No need.” Daiki says quietly. “We just have to make sure we’re there next time.”
It sounds like a promise.
Once, Nao drags him by the wrist all over town, showing him his favorite places.
“—and this place, yes,” Nao gestures to a hole in the wall little shop, “it may look so unwelcoming, but the people there are very, very friendly! It actually has the best ramen in the city! Also, also, alsoooo, the waiter is reaaaally cute! I think you’re going to like her, Hitoshi!” he completes it with an infectious grin and a peace sign.
Mostly, clutching his hip, trying to get his breath back, Hitoshi just wants to sit down somewhere and not move forever.
Damn university student. Do they have endless reserve energy or something? Nao doesn’t even appear out of breath after all those running. And talking. At the same time.
“Hi! To! Shi! Saaaaaaaaaaan!”
There comes the whine.
“Come ooooon, there’s this great ice cream house just a block over that has the most fantastic topping choices! You’ve got to see it!”
Hitoshi doesn’t care. He’s too busy trying to convince his lungs to work properly again, after all those unplanned running around.
Resting his hands on his knees, eyes on the ground, he informs himself it’s not a good idea to strangle someone just for being so excitable. “How can you be so goddamned energetic? How old are you anyway?” he complains, not really expecting an answer.
Nao tells him.
Hitoshi blinks. Raises his head and looks at Nao. “I’m sorry, what?”
“You heard me!”
A thought teases him, dancing just on the edge of his consciousness. He tries to reach for it—
Nao grabs his wrist again, and he forgets what he’s thinking at all.
“Tell me the truth.” Hitoshi demands, “do you even feel weird at all with all our—our duplicates that keep popping up lately?”
“I do.” Daiki says.
“Well you don’t look it at all!”
Daiki blinks, real slow. “Maybe,” Daiki says, “you just do not notice it.”
Hitoshi looks at Daiki then, a frown in place. Daiki looks impassively back at him. He remembers Nao saying, I don’t understand you—
“Will this be a problem?”
“I would hope not.” Daiki says.
It’s not an answer.
(“Are you really me?” he asks, agitated.
Daiki stares at him. Then he opens his mouth—
“I’m home!” Nao shouts from the doorway, skipping his way in.
When he returns his attention to Daiki, Daiki looks impassively back at him.
Feels like he’s just lost, somehow.)
He feels himself slowly going insane, as he keeps seeing his face on Manager Tajima’s face before it goes back to Manager Tajima’s own face. Then Manager Tajima says, “It’s all on you, really.”
“It’s either you keep seeing a piece of yourself in me, or I’m really just another you.”
“That… doesn’t make any sense.”
“Doesn’t it?” Manager Tajima says, his eyes accusing.
“You never tell me what you want.”
Daiki looks at him. “What are you talking about?”
“Like, Nao just wants to enjoy what life has to offer. I want—I want a little excitement in my life.” And he got it, even if it seems too much, at times. “But you. I can’t guess what it is you want.”
Daiki’s still looking at him. Waiting.
It’s at the edge of his tongue, on the verge of being said I can’t read your mind, but then an image of Nao comes unbidden, Nao saying, I don’t understand you at all.
He suddenly, suddenly, gets it.
“Exactly.” Daiki says.
Nao says, “I don’t understand you at all!”
Daiki says, “Would you prefer a shattering truth, or a lasting illusion?”
Hitoshi says nothing at all.
(you can’t have it all.)
“You’re going to see that woman again?”
Hitoshi pauses. Glances at his door, where Daiki is leaning against its frame. “I think so, yeah.”
“Even after getting beat up like that?”
He puts the camera back in its case, before shoving it into his bag. “You and Nao already helped me getting back to them the other night, remember? So really, what’s you point?”
Daiki slides the door closes behind him, expression tight. “I don’t like her.”
He blinks. Well. That was… honest.
He never really thinks about it before, but Daiki—he fits here. In his—Hitoshi’s—apartment. He looks at Daiki and his suit and at the stupid poster adorning his bedroom wall, his nondescript dresser, his bland desk, his dark-colored carpet. Daiki fits well, here. The one time Nao visited his apartment, he looked rather out of place. Like he didn’t belong, like he—clashed, whatever that meant.
It’s. Interesting. In ways he’s not ready to explore.
Daiki hesitates. “She’s. She feels wrong.”
“She’s not *us.*”
He turns to Daiki.
In that moment, Daiki looks much like he did that time in front of the station, when they agreed to name him ‘Daiki’: realizing he had made a misstep but not knowing how to right it, other than by giving in.
He looks lost.
Hitoshi is mostly confused by his sudden urge to go comfort him.
What the hell.
“Hey, come here.” In two steps he’s standing by Daiki, hands on either side of Daiki’s neck—not pressing, just touching, light and careful.
He feels Daiki tense at the contact, almost recoiling, though he doesn’t try to pull away. Just stands there, and lets Hitoshi touches him, hands fisted by his side. Once again, Hitoshi finds himself pressing his thumbs to the spots under Daiki’s earlobes, his fingers massaging Daiki’s nape lightly. Feels him swallow. Feels him giving a slight shudder, before his head drops on Hitoshi’s shoulder.
Hitoshi doesn’t even hesitate before he puts his arms around Daiki, one hand holding Daiki’s shoulder, while the other caressing his back.
For a while, there’s no movement, other than the steady rhythm of Hitoshi’s hand on Daiki’s back, going back and forth, back and forth.
“Seriously,” Hitoshi says, quietly, “what’s wrong?”
“Don’t go.” Daiki’s voice sounds muffled, as he presses his face harder on Hitoshi’s shoulder. “Don’t go see her.”
Glances down, but. He can’t see Daiki’s expression. Could feel him breathe, heart beating slow and sure. Feels the tremor racking his frame, from time to time. But he can’t see him, can’t see his face, and it suddenly feels important he sees him.
He tightens his hold.
“I’m not going anywhere.”
And then, quiet, quiet, quiet.
“Eeehh really? Daiki-san said that?”
“Pssst! You’re too loud!”
They wait, hunching over their respective trays, but after being sure none’s coming to scold them, they let out a relieved sigh. At the same time. Which immediately prompts a giggling session.
Once they take a hold of themselves, Nao says, “that’s rather unusual.”
“What, Daiki not liking Sayaka?”
“Well, no. That one’s a given. Him telling you that, that’s unusual. Daiki-san usually would just stare at people disdainfully, or ignore them entirely. Without ever saying outright he despises them. Or something.”
Hitoshi winces. “I’m sure it’s not that bad.” A pause. “Wait, what do you mean, him not liking Sayaka is ‘a given’?”
Nao gives him a strange look. “Haven’t you noticed? Daiki-san doesn’t like anybody. You and I seem to be the only people he doesn’t openly despise. Which is rather fucked up, if you think about it, since we’re technically, well, him.”
—because it feels as though in this entire world, the only person you could tolerate is yourself—
Ouch. Déjà vu.
Not that Hitoshi can blame him.
“Stop sounding so cheerful while saying such depressing thing.” Hitoshi says. “It makes you look rather deranged.”
“Ha! You’re just jealous of my charming way.”
“So I take it you have no problem with it?”
“With… oh! I like meeting new people! The more the merrier! Don’t you think so?”
“…I’ll just leave that to you, thanks.”
“By the way, you gonna eat those fries?”
A snort. “Go ahead, help yourself.”
Propping his chin on the back of his hand, Hitoshi watches as Nao happily munching on the rest of Hitoshi’s lunch. Must be nice, being so outgoing that meeting new people is something to look forward to instead of something to dread over.
Are you really me?
He should’ve asked that question to Nao, instead of Daiki. Can’t ever see himself being a people person like Nao. Too easy imagining himself in Daiki’s shoes.
Then again, there’s that feeling, when he looks at Nao, at the good in him, that makes him want to believe he’s also capable of it. Makes him want to be him. Makes him want to believe he’s him.
He finds himself patting Nao’s hair, affectionate. “I was wrong.” Hitoshi says. “You’re not a cat. More like a puppy, maybe.”
Nao only gives him an adorably confused look in reply.
Feeling interested in Nao, yet being drawn to Daiki. Compared to that, Sayaka—
(an outsider, an unknown entity)
—seems like a much less complicated choice.
“I’m glad I met you.” Hitoshi says.
He thrust his hand out, offering it to Daiki.
Daiki looks at his hand, before his eyes find Hitoshi’s, searching his face. He bites the inside of his lower lip, as though preventing himself from speaking. Then seems to come to a decision and shakes Hitoshi’s hand.
“Yeah. Me too. It’s mutual.”
Hitoshi looks down at their clasped hands. A thought is fighting to surface, a realization that’s a long time coming.
“You and I,” he says, meeting Daiki’s eyes, “we’re really different persons.”
He feels lighter, somehow. Like a heavy burden being lifted off his shoulders.
Daiki’s looking at him like he’s waiting for a punchline that never comes.
A blink, and Daiki’s looking impassively at usual.
He must be tired, Hitoshi thinks, for him to see things that weren’t there. He pulls away. Sends Daiki a wry smile before turning around and steps forward. Away from here.
Away from Daiki.
(feels as though he just made a big mistake.)
Finding Daiki’s name on Sejima’s caller list is.
He presses the phone to his ear.
No. Please don’t be.
“Sejima, what happened? Did you eliminate Hitoshi already?”
Hearing Daiki’s voice, confirming it’s true after all, it’s really Daiki on the other line, it feels.
Like his heart being squeezed from the inside.
“Daiki.” He tells the phone, softly. Hears the sharp intake of breath from the other line. “I’m still here.”
Come get me.
“I feel heavy.” Hitoshi announces at large. “Also, somebody needs to stop the room from spinning. It’s rude.”
He hears Nao giggling nearby. “I want to go on a spin too! Daiki-saaaaaaaan, take meeeee!”
A long-suffering sigh. “You’re both drunk. Nothing’s spinning whatsoever.”
“Or I could take you for a spin!” Nao shouts, turning sharply, and promptly falls over—if not for Daiki’s hand on his arm.
“Easy there.” Daiki says, sounding disapproving. “Go lie it off somewhere.”
“But Daiki-san’s sooooo comfortable!”
Hitoshi watches with interest as Nao proceeds to latch onto Daiki like a monkey, arms and legs and all. Daiki, not expecting the weight, flails slightly and overbalance, before falling over onto his back, bringing Nao with him on top of him.
“Nao!” A smack to Nao’s head.
“Ow! Daiki-saaaan~ it hurts!”
“Serves you right!”
Nao blinks blearily at him. “Hitoshi-saaaaan, what are you doing there all alone? Come here!” he reaches out a hand toward him.
He stares at Nao’s hand, feeling light and amused. “You know, I suddenly remember that I’m an adult and therefore must refrain from doing un-adult things, like holding hands.”
“There are only us here!” Nao declares. “No one else has to know!” he nods solemnly, a hand still stretched out towards him, waiting.
Daiki doesn’t wait. He just grabs Hitoshi’s wrist, ignoring Hitoshi’s surprised cry (“hey!”) and drags him over, until he’s pressed against Nao, with Nao’s hands going around him and bringing him closer, laughing all the while.
“With the three of us together like this, I feel like I could take the world!” Nao announces, as they lie tangled in each other.
“Because we complement each other?” Hitoshi wonders aloud.
“Precisely! If we’re together—“
“We don’t need anybody else.” Daiki says.
Nao nods vigorously. “Let’s stay together! Forever! So that nobody would be able to take us down! Swear on it!” he thrusts his pinky into the air.
Hitoshi raises an eyebrow at him. “I’m drunk, but not that drunk.”
“Swear on it!” Nao insists.
Daiki presses the pad of his right pinky to Nao’s.
Daiki shrugs. “What can I say?” Daiki says, looking right at Hitoshi. “I feel like I’m nothing without you.”
“You’re the sun to my gloomy days. You’re the moon in my nights. You’re my oasis, you’re the light of my—“
“ARGH fine! Stop it with the bullshits!” he hooks his pinky in between Daiki and Nao’s.
Nao merely giggles at them.
“Yay! We’ll be together forever!” Nao announces happily, shaking their pinkies together. Then his elbow gives up and he accidentally knocks his head into Daiki’s. Hard.
Once again, ouch.
(He just. Doesn’t want to wake up.)
Sayaka says, “You’re here aren’t you? You’re here, with me. Isn’t that enough proof that you exist?”
Then she kisses him.
He’s lost count of how many times he thinks about this, about Sayaka finally kissing him, about Sayaka herself. The easy elegance she carries herself, the no-nonsense attitude she bears like a weapon.
He wants her.
When he presses his lips back against hers, it tastes like.
“Where did you find him?” Hitoshi says, still staring at the door. He fully expects Sejima to come back any second, bringing with him his impressive afro hair and his shining, sharp knife, and glinting, manic eyes.
Daiki snorts. “Around.” Tilts his head to the side. “What's happened?”
He sounds. Concerned?
“Just now, Sayaka—“
Daiki’s expression shuts down.
“I thought. I felt you slipping away.” Daiki says, looking right at him. “So I thought, maybe. I didn’t know what to think. But if you were with her, well.”
“You thought I got deleted? Hey,” he takes Daiki’s arm, “hey. I’m still here. Look at me, I’m still here.”
He presses Daiki’s palm to his cheek. Daiki’s skin feels strangely cold.
“Are you really, though?” Daiki says quietly. “Even now, it feels like you’re halfway through the door.”
“You chose her.” The vehemence in Daiki’s voice startles him into taking a step back, releasing Daiki’s hand. “We’re in a crisis, and still you went and chose her.”
He blinks rapidly.
“Sorry,” Daiki says, looking away. “It’s just. Nao still hasn’t been by. If you’re also gone, I. I don’t know what to do.”
Hitoshi bites his lip. “I’m sure everything’s gonna be fine.”
Standing in front of Daiki’s house, just before he presses the doorbell, he hears Nao’s high-pitched voice calling him.
He closes his eyes for a second.
Pastes on the biggest smile he could muster.
And then pulls the trigger.
(hey, if the dreamer woke up, what happened to the dream?)
There are so many things he wants to say, so many things he wants to ask. But as he glances at Daiki—at Daiki’s labored breathing, at the redness slowly soaking Daiki’s shirt, at Daiki’s vain struggle to stay aware—he finds words had deserted him.
“I wish,” Daiki whispers, wrenching out each word painfully, “I wish Nao had never said it, never said that damned—never gave it words.”
(I don’t understand you at all!)
Because a thought is only a thought, until you give it power through words, spoken aloud. Once that happens—
Can’t go back. Can’t just go back pretending everything is anything more than a wishful thinking on somebody’s part.
What could he possibly say?
Names are powerful, you know. You are nothing until you have a name, a tool to mark you from other people, to differentiate you, to give you your own set of meanings. So when you have the same name—
(claim you’re the first. the original copy.)
Daiki should blame him, not Nao. That first time the three of them met—he was the one who assigned Daiki his name. He was the one who snatched the name ‘Hitoshi’ while he had the chance. He was the one—
—you are your own person now, you’re Daiki. I look up to you. You have your own values, your own responsibilities, your own family—your own name.
You exist, Hitoshi wants to tell him.
It’s not enough, it’s never going to be enough, but it’s something, and he needs to say it, give it power so that Daiki will have something to hold on to, so Daiki won’t have to—he only has to say it. So he opens his mouth—
But Daiki’s gone.
His body lies sprawled at Hitoshi’s feet—lifeless.
“Daiki.” He chokes.
(please come back.)
Nao says, “I don’t understand you at all!”
Oh Nao. If only you knew.
He says, “I’m me. I’m just me.”
He lost parts of himself, but found himself in the process.
the perfect ending.
It should’ve ended there, it really should.
But then he remembers Nao, he remembers Daiki, and he wishes—
Sitting at Nao’s table, the three of them eating their ramen in the same way, liking the same things, drinking the same beer.
“Even our thoughts are the same. This is really the best feeling, isn’t it?”
He looks at his two companions, smiling, and thinks, I’m happy.
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