“Famous for fried chicken on a stick,” Yamada said.
Keito shook his head in disbelief. “That’s not a thing,” he said skeptically. “That can’t be a real item on the menu there.”
Yamada’s eyes got bigger as he tried to convince Keito of the truth. “It totally is and it’s delicious.”
Yuto tried not to look too obvious as he watched them from the other side of the studio. They looked so happy, he could positively feel the emotion radiating off of them from where he was standing. The two of them were picture perfect best friends. Attached at the hip. Inseparable.
It wasn’t that Yuto disliked their friendship. No, he thought it was actually nice that they had such a strong bond with each other. Someone to lean on during rough times and laugh with during good ones. The real problem was that Yuto had realized something about himself recently: he had a massive crush on Keito. But he couldn’t get Keito alone long enough to even tell him.
So he’d resigned himself to watching from a distance, still observing all those cute little things that had made him like Keito in the first place. The quiet look of concentration whenever someone was telling him a story. The way his hair had started growing out long enough that he needed to brush strands away from his face during dance practice. The way he’d mutter English words under his breath whenever he was frustrated.
Now that filming for Itadaki was done for the day, he watched as the two of them—still engrossed in that dumb conversation about fried chicken—walked towards the exit. His opportunity was slipping away yet again.
“Take a picture. It’ll last longer,” Chinen said as he elbowed Yuto sharply in the ribs.
“Oh, hi,” Yuto said with a wince. How did Chinen manage to even get his elbow up that high?
“Are you working on modeling poses?” Chinen asked innocently as if he hadn’t just given Yuto internal bleeding with his ridiculously sharp elbow.
Yuto narrowed his eyes at the strange question. “Uh… no.”
“Then why are you just standing there doing nothing when you should be sprinting down the hallway on your way to confess to Keito?”
“How do you know about that?”
“Just go,” Chinen said, pushing Yuto towards the door and ignoring the other question. “Literally kidnap Keito if you have to. Just anything so I don’t have to watch you keep pining like a lost puppy.”
Yuto was slightly offended by that description, but he had to admit it was probably accurate. He had been quietly watching Keito from a distance, worrying about affecting a friendship. But he knew he would probably feel better if he tried at least.
But as he passed through the doorway, he stopped. Keito and Yamada were already gone and the only thing left behind was the empty hallway.