Pegoryu Prompt: A Calming Kiss
@noctislife Looks like I got it done early. I hope it lives up to expectations.
It’s time. The plan to break down the ugly, gaudy barriers of Madarame’s cognition is happening. Ann is heading off to be a distraction while Morgana attempts to pick the lock to the real door. She’s waddling away from the hideout, trying to leave a fair distance between herself and the boys. Akira’s outward composure is cool and collected, befitting of a phantom thief, but his gaze moves nervously back and forth along the skyline. Ryuji continuously shifts his weight from one foot to the next, anxious to put Morgana’s plan into motion.
“Hey, Akira…” Ryuji leans in next to the brunette. “Ya even think this’ll work?”
“We have no better options right now.” Akira turns his gaze to Ryuji who is worrying at his lower lip with his teeth. That look is distracting and makes something inside Akira tighten up, but he bites it back and doesn’t let it show. “Just stick with the plan. We can do this.”
Ryuji’s face relaxes and the corners of his lips turn up into a grin. “Jesus, Dude, how can you be this cool all the time?” Akira breaks out into a genuine smile.
They look out toward Ann who is still struggling to move in her outrageous amount of layers. She turns back slightly and waves to them. She gives a sly smile and Akira smiles back as he waves her off. Ryuji looks between them and feels awkward.
“Somethin’ going on between you two? You’ve been acting kinda weird.” The blond’s eyebrows furrow and his mouth turns into a slight frown.
Akira’s poker face persists. He shakes his head and leans back against the railing, the hazy twilight sky plays around his features. Ryuji catches himself staring and turns back to looking out at the city. The light does wonders at hiding the slight flush in his cheeks.
“You’d tell me, right?” Ryuji gazes out of the corner of his vision. “I-I mean I wouldn’t blame you going for her since she’s pretty n’ shit.”
Akira turns to Ryuji, wanting to say something, but it dies in his mouth as he turns away to check Ann’s progress. She is no longer in his line of sight. He sighs and turns back to Ryuji.
“Let’s go…” Akira nods his head toward the other end of the walkway. Ryuji’s face drops a little more.
“Yeah…I guess so.” The blond huffs and takes his place alongside Akira’s stride, struggling a little to keep pace.
They make it outside of Madarame’s shabby shack and Akira begins putting the words into the Nav App. Madarame, Shack, Museum. He chances a glance at Ryuji, who refuses to meet his gaze. Akira breaks character for a moment, letting some of his frustrations translate to his features as the world shifts around them, warping the shabby atelier into the golden museum of Madarame’s cognition. As soon as the scenery settles, Akira falls back into being Joker of the Phantom Thieves. Ryuji takes up his role as Skull and forces a smug smile onto his features.
“Let’s fucking do this then. Lead the way, Joker!”
Joker leads the infiltration back into the Central Garden without incident. The peacock screens unfold before them one by one, leading up to the barrier of red lasers. Now there is nothing left to do but wait. The silence between the two is horrid.
Skull finally breaks the silence with a “The fuck is taking them so long?”
Joker shrugs and leans his hip into a nearby rail. He stares up at the sky that swirls and warps like a river of blue ink. His face remains in an impossible state of calm.
Skull can’t seem to stand still. He shifts more than usual and constantly breaks character to steal glances at Akira. It’s making him crazy. Why did he avoid the subject of Ann? Are they seeing each other? What was that look about? He wants to explode and ask every question at once. He can’t calm down and be Skull until he knows if his best friend is seeing Ann. But why does this matter so much? Why is he having such a hard time with the thought of his two friends together.
Ryuji keeps looking at Akira, each time he finds it harder to look away. His face is so calm. His eyes never betray any feelings to him. Those mysterious grey eyes that always lead to the smirking corners of his mouth and… why the hell is he thinking about his friend’s mouth. Though his lips do look particularly soft. And then it hits him all at once. His face goes bright red and Joker catches it. He walks over and gets too close for comfort. Their noses are mere inches away from touching.
“Are you getting sick? Your face is completely red.”
Now is Ryuji’s shot to confess. To close the distance and kiss him. To do fucking something other than sitting there and looking at Akira like a complete moron. But that’s all Ryuji can do when Joker removes one of his signature red gloves and brings it closer to his face. He wants Joker to touch him, but wusses out at the last minute and catches his wrist just before his hand could make contact with his cheek.
“The hell are you doing!” He can’t. He just can’t risk alienating his best friend with these feelings. After all that they’ve been through, he can’t risk the rejection. It’d destroy him and this fragile new happiness that he has built with him.
Now it’s Akira’s turn to break character. “Why are you acting so weird?” He pulls his hand out of Ryuji’s grasp. Did Ryuji just look hurt?
“Me? You’re the one acting all secretive!” The blond growls out. “We’re best friends! And you can’t even give me a straight answer about Ann!”
“Stop shouting…” Akira hisses out, “You’ll attract the shadows.”
“There you go, fucking avoiding me again!” Ryuji shakes his head, “Why the hell won’t you tell me about…”
Akira shoves Ryuji into the dark shadow cast by one of the potted trees. He presses up against the blond, using his long coat to blend them further into the dark. Ryuji’s breathing gets faster and he opens his mouth to speak. To his surprise, Akira presses his lips to his friend’s in a kiss. Ryuji’s brown eyes shoot open and glass over. His body goes rigid and shudders as the brunet pushes him flush against the ground. He can feel every inch of Akira against him. Ryuji stops letting himself think and relaxes into Akira’s kiss as a shadow stalks into the room. The hulking thing scans the area, searching for their whereabouts.
“I swore I heard shouting from here…” the reverb from the shadow echoes as it scratches under its security guard hat. It does another passing scan before it trudges out of the garden.
Akira pulls away and lifts himself onto his hands and knees, still hovering over the blond. He releases his breath and leans his forehead into Ryuji’s. Their masks meet with a soft cling. He’s breathing heavily and his cheeks flush a soft shade of pink in contrast to Ryuji’s bright shade of red.
“This wasn’t the way it was supposed to go…” Akira whispers.
Ryuji’s mouth moves , but he can’t form any words to save his life. Akira looks down into Ryuji’s eyes with an expression he’s never seen before.
“You have Ann and me all wrong…I asked her to take extra time with stalling Yusuke.” The brunette runs a hand through his thick messy hair. “I suck at things like this…”
“What?” Ryuji asks incredulously. His mind is swimming.
Akira maintains eye contact, blush deepening against his fair skin. “I wanted time to say things properly, but that all went to hell because I gave you the wrong idea…”
Ryuji presses his lips into a thin line.“You’re not screwing with me, right?” He reaches up and pulls Joker’s mask away. The expression did not shift.
“Why would I do that?” He sits back on his haunches and pulls Ryuji up to face him. He pulls the Skull mask off. “I’m putting a lot on the line for this. I risk the Mission, the Phantom Thieves, you…”
The blond studies his friend’s eyes then a wide grin stretches across his face. He bumps his head into Akira’s sternum and releases a shuddering breath. “What does this mean? I’m not that smart, so I need you to tell me…” Please say it. I’m too terrified to say it myself.
Akira’s lips turn up at the corners. “Fine. I’ll tell you something good. Something honest.” He leans into Ryuji’s ear and whispers, “I’ve always liked you.” He presses another kiss to Ryuji’s lips, but just as quickly, they part. He places the Skull mask back onto the blond and pulls them both back up. He takes his own mask back and returns to being Joker. Cool, collected, and just a little more suave than before.
Suddenly the red lasers flicker off and the entrance opens up. Skull snaps to attention.
“It’s off!” The blond seems surprised and relieved all at once. He grabs onto Joker’s hand and runs full speed toward the next area.