It's hard to believe that just this morning, Syo thought Ai's face was the biggest problem in his life and now, just a few hours later, was the greatest blessing. But in this poor blonde idol's life, with every blessing comes a curse. And it was almost like poetic justice that the blessing caused the curse; honestly, Syo just couldn't catch a break. The small teen had been hoping to be able to slowly ebb his new-found relationship with Ai into his friends over a period of time, so everyone could become comfortable; he had not been expecting this.
Syo and Ai had walked in to the main room of the Master Course estate to find all their friends, perfect, the blonde thought he could slowly start weaving the relationship now, however, it seemed everyone had already heard of it, judging from Ittoki, Natsuki, and Reiji excitedly explaining it to everyone with Tokiya silently affirming what was being said.
"And they were just all over each other, Syo was even on Ai's lap and... Oh, hey Syo, Ai, we were just talking about you." Ittoki said, the couple had walked in mid-conversation, not knowing what had already been addressed. "We can see that." Ai replied, physical demeanor the same as usual, but Syo immediately paled.
To the blonde, the room he was in changed, he could no longer hear what was actually being said, his heart thumping far too loud in his ears. The room became dark and the people around him distorted, morphing into beings much larger than Syo and looking down on him in disgust and judgement. And Syo felt insignificant in their presence, as if he was a lesser being, all of the negativity welled up in the boy and all he wanted was to collapse in on himself and fade away from existence.
"Syo-chan, are you okay?" Natsuki asked, seeing his roommate looking as if he was ill and would pass out at any moment. Unable to bear being with the distortions any longer, So bolted from the room and out of the Master Course estate, going as fast and far as his legs would take him. He needed to escape, and he needed to now; fleeing from the scene, the only thing the blonde left behind was moisture on the floor, from the tears that had unknowingly started to descend.
No one quite understood why Syo suddenly stormed out of the room and the distant sound of the front door swinging open was definite evidence that the boy left the house entirely. Ai, wasting no time, dashed after his boyfriend, ignoring the shouts from behind him telling him to come back. The remaining people in the room were left in a confused daze before seeing snapped out of it by Nanami suddenly speaking, "I just wanted to congratulate them..." she said softly, voice barely above a whisper, "Don't sweat it, Nanami, I'm sure he'll be back inside any moment." Ittoki said, clapping a hand on her shoulder. "I think you're missing the point." Ranmaru remarked, "Missing what?" Cecil asked, "Two men in a romantic relationship isn't exactly the most... Common thing you see." Masato replied, "Especially in Japan." Ren added.
"Kurusu probably freaked out because he thought we wouldn't be accepting." Tokiya explained, "But is there anyone here that wouldn't accept them?" Reiji asked and no one responded negatively to it. "That's still not quite the issue, Kurusu doesn't know that everyone is accepting. Since he and Mikaze weren't the ones to tell us, and the two suddenly walked in to hear everyone already knowing made him panic. He probably wanted it to go slow, let everyone become comfortable before telling us." Camus articulated.
Natsuki stared at the front door that had been left open, "Then why don't we go after them and apologize?" he questioned, "No, Shinomiya-san, we should leave them alone, they'll come to us when they're ready." Masato said. The others silently agreed and all sat down and awaited for the couple to return, "I hope Syo-kun is okay." Nanami mumbled, "He will be, Ochibi-chan's strong, he'll be okay." Ren answered, reassuring Nanami, "I hope." he added in thought.
Syo's heart was pumping overtime as he ran across the courtyard and towards the gazebo, trying to block out the haunting mental images of what he saw, or moreso imagined, in the room. A small voice in his head was telling him he was overreacting, which was most likely the case, however, there was a louder voice telling him he was that his reaction was rational. That the others thought he was disgusting and hated him, never wanting to see him again, and that was enough to send him into a tearful frenzy and get the hell out of there.
"Syo!" voice called to him from behind, not stopping or slowing his pace, Syo turned back the barest minimum possible for him to see who it was. Thankfully for the blonde, it was Ai, right when he was about to stop, the petite boy's foot got caught in an uneven patch of the ground and tripped; the boy could feel the sickening twist in his ankle as his body dropped to the grassy earth. "Syo!" Ai cried in panic, running to his small boyfriend at a speed that could only be possible by him as it could not be mustered by a human. The taller idol helped the smaller into a sitting position, "Syo, are you okay? Let me see it, did you get hurt anywhere else?" Ai questioned, grabbing the injured ankle as gently as he could, squeezing the skin lightly to check if the fragile bones underneath hadn't been damaged.
A light sniffle from Syo caused Ai to avert his attention from the ankle to his lover's face. Syo's face was flushed and tear-stained with some dirt caking his visage. In his thoughts, Syo could only think that he looked as filthy as the others perceived him, and all the negativity accomplished was worsening his tears. "Syo? What's wrong?" Ai asked tenderly, taking hold of his boyfriend into his arms, pulling him onto his lap, Syo immediately took refuge in Ai's chest.
The taller rubbed the boy's back in comfort, lightly hushing into the boy's ear in hopes of calming him down, through his incoherent sobs, Syo muttered something that was barely audible enough for Ai's bionic ears to pick up on. "What?" the younger asked, "...I'm dirty..." Syo repeated, "Well, you fell in dirt..." Ai said, but was cut off by Syo, "They think I'm dirty, that I'm dirty... Gross... Disgusting..." the older weeped, "Who does?", "The others..." Ai quirked a brow, "What do you mean, did they say anything like that? Or anything hurtful?"
In honesty, Syo doesn't actually know what was said, if anything was said at all, his mind just shut down at that moment. "The only that was said that could be slightly questioned was some said 'they couldn't believe it.' But they said it while smiling, Syo, they're happy for us." Ai explained. Syo looked up to his sempai, "Really?" he asked, he just wanted to be reaffirmed, "Yes." And that was all he needed, if Ai said it was so, it must be, he wouldn't lie to him.
"Syo, I wouldn't let them say anything hurtful to you, I'll protect you from anything, even our friends." Ai proclaimed, placing a kiss to Syo's lips, "You swear?" Syo asked, hugging Ai's neck tightly, "I swear." Ai replied, and Syo placed his lips over Ai's, opening his mouth to allow the taller access. The other's tongue quickly entered the boy's mouth and Syo felt clean and whole, a final tear slipped down his cheek, clearing his face of the dirt while unknowingly to them, their friends stood in the front doorway watching them with smiles on their faces.