He smiles to himself a little as they wander back along the main street. It’s just a small one, bittersweet, but it’s sweet enough. There’s a weight off of Yamada’s chest, a light-headedness that he knows is not entirely to do with the drink. Its not entirely to do with the way Yuto shortens his stride to keep pace with him either but that’s a big part of it. It’s not the first time they’ve walked side by side since before it all, not by a long shot, but it’s the first time it feels as comfortable as it did back then.
Yuto chuckles softly and it makes Yamada’s smile widen, it’s not like he hasn’t heard Yuto laugh in the last five years, but it sound different now. “I can’t believe it took us this long to do this...” Yuto says.
Yamada nods, though he’s not as surprised as Yuto seems to be. It’s Chinen’s 20th birthday, it’s the first time they’ve really gone out drinking together, really drinking, because there was actually an excuse to this time. Yamada knows it’s the alcohol that teased this long overdue conversation out of them.
Despite his tipsy haze, he’d been worried, worried enough to hesitate before he’d said it. ‘I used to hate you.’, but Yuto’s surprised expression had only last a moment before he’d nodded and conceded, ‘I used to hate you too’
It feels better now, now that it’s out in the open, it feels like the wall they’d built between them has finally come crumbling down. It’s better but it’s not perfect because there are still unsettled feelings all around them, scattered like crumbled bricks. There are still so many things left unsaid.
Yamada hesitates again but he’s still drunk enough for the words to find their way out. “Even though I hated you, I still loved you too...or maybe I only hated you because I loved you...I don’t know.” When he turns to look at Yuto, he expects to find that surprise again, it’s not like they didn’t both know that’s what it was back then, but they were young, too young to be brave enough to say it aloud.
Instead of surprise he finds a smile on Yuto’s face, it’s just a small one, bittersweet, but it’s sweet enough.