[xxx-Holic] Maybe

It would be so easy to say no again. Maybe not in so many words, because a question has never been expressly asked. But saying no has always been the easy part. Sometimes, Watanuki doesn’t even have to think about it. Shaking his head, subtly pulling away, putting that noticeable distance, it’s become second nature to him.

His thoughts are on automatic self-defense, his heart carefully caged. He’s lost too much to try again, even when he knows he shouldn’t be afraid. He subconsciously think it’s safer to say no. Ignoring Doumeki… pretending he doesn’t see the affection… walking away from the reaching hand… all of that is the easy part.

It’s much, much harder to say yes. To realize that agreeing is what he’s wanted all along, but has been too afraid to do so.

For once, there are words in his throat, on his tongue. It would be so easy to say no. So much safer to give verbal denial to all of his body language refusals before. Watanuki has the feeling that this spoken no means there will be no more chances. It’ll be the final refusal, the final chance, the final offer.

He has the feeling that it will be the last time he’ll see that look in Doumeki’s eyes. That affection and longing will, from here on out, be carefully shuttered away.

Watanuki suspects that if he avoids that hand, shakes his head, and says the words, it’ll be the end. He won’t have to worry about the offer again. They can settle into a new rhythm, where Watanuki doesn’t have to pretend he doesn’t know what Doumeki wants from him.

It’s two syllables. His lips form the word and a scowl. His shoulders are already set with pretend irritation. It’d be so easy to just say it.

Except… Watanuki’s tired of taking the easy way out. He doesn’t want to lose Doumeki, and that single, powerful word will do it. Oh, Doumeki will still be here, still come around, but things won’t be the same. They’ll be painful, and in the end, Doumeki will gradually disappear from Watanuki’s life because Watanuki had been too much the coward to try and keep him.

Watanuki doesn’t want Doumeki to leave. He’s tired of playing the coward. He’s tired of implying no while all the time meaning by the gods, yes.

Closing his eyes, Watanuki exhales slowly, and opens them again. Sees a brand new world. His voice is calm, he feels oddly collected. “Stay for dinner,” he says, instead of telling Doumeki to get his own damn meal. But what he really means is stay tonight.

Judging by the look in Doumeki’s eyes, the slight curl to his lips that is the suggestion of a smile, he heard the underlying request. And he approves.

 

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