The saddest part is that it wasn’t big, it was small. It was very small and he knew as soon as it said it that it was wrong, and he started apologizing for it over and over and over.
Because Pika’s not stupid, and he knows Leorio’s straight, and he knows how to control himself and his feelings, because he’s had to do it for years and years now. And it was so stupid, just the smallest little moment, where his heart did something without requesting permission, and he said it over coffee, or while sharing a newspaper, or doing laundry. He said, “I’m in love with you.”
And Leorio went still and Kurapika’s stomach fell to the earth and he immediately said, “No, I’m sorry. No, no, no. I’m sorry. I’m sorry.” And Leorio didn’t have to say anything, and he wouldn’t say anything, because Pika is his best friend. But suddenly it hurts for both of them; they can’t look at each other, they can’t touch. They can’t share a sink in the mornings, they can’t sit quietly in a car together anymore, because Kurapika said that.
Leorio thinks Kurapika’s beautiful, because he absolutely is, but he can’t see what they have like that, and he tries and it makes him upset and frustrated and Pika knows it, too, so they fall apart repeatedly again and again. They try repeatedly to come back together to be friends, to work together like they’ve done for years, but it’s not the same and it doesn’t feel right. And maybe they fight again, one more time, but this time Leorio ends the screaming with a kiss, because maybe it would fix everything?
It doesn’t. And he agonizes as he pulls back and Kurapika won’t let it go, and he chases his mouth until they’re out of breath and against a wall. And this time, when Kurapika climbs into a car to leave, he’s not coming back. He knows that Leorio doesn’t want him to –
And he’s right, Leorio doesn’t. Leorio doesn’t want Pika to come back this time because the guilt will fade, but every time Kurapika is there, the ache will stay raw and new.
Kurapika knows it, too, so he leaves Leorio and deletes him from his phone and they don’t talk anymore, not ever again.