Hello there, fellow stranger! :D Call me Katie, please~ ^^

Welcome, make yourself comfortable, and prepare for a feels trip!

Let me just get this out of the way before we begin...this story contains: Boys Love, Manga spoilers, self-harm, depression, attempted suicide, characters being ooc, and a dosage of feels.

This fic will have some happy moments, but if you're triggered by anything listed above, this may not be the best fic for you to read.

Chapter 1: A Revealed Secret

It was a humid summer day; the late July sky was the perfect shade of cerulean blue, and there wasn't a single puffy, white cloud in the sky to be seen for miles. The harsh rays from the sun beat down upon the Seido baseball team members as they had their afternoon practice.

Standing in the bullpen, Eijun wiped away the sweat that had been accumulating on his brow from practicing in the sun for so long. Ditching the blue compression shirt, he had thrown on his white, loose fitting, practice jersey without an undershirt, knowing it'd only make him sweat more if he did wear one.

It was a scorcher outside, the temperature nearly raking up to the triple digits, so coach Kataoka wasn't making them do too much practice; he didn't want any of them to have a heatstroke or get dehydrated. Though, of all of the exhausted, panting, sweaty players that made up the Seido baseball team, one player stood out among them all.

Miyuki was the only one who wore long sleeves to every practice, no matter how hot it was when they practiced outside under the hot sun, while everyone else wore either their Seido t-shirts or white, practice jerseys without the blue, long sleeved, compression shirt beneath it. When questioned about it, he simply would shrug it off with a goofy grin and resume his task.

Eijun stopped once more to wipe away the bead of sweat that had started to trickle down his face, making Chris wait on him once again. Both of them were starting to feel the burn of summer more and more as they practiced in the bullpen together, getting more than just a summer tan; Eijun had been told multiple times to wear sunscreen outside to protect his skin from getting an awful sunburn. As he finished wiping off his brow of the last beads of sweat, he'd cast his gaze over towards Miyuki to see how the other catcher was holding up in the heat. Eijun could only gape as he looked over at the other catcher, horrified at his choice of clothing; who in their right mind would wear long-sleeves in the middle of a summer heatwave?

"How can he wear that in this heat!? He's making me hot just looking at him!" Eijun exclaimed, making Chris smile slightly and shake his head in a "what am I gonna do with you" manner at the younger pitcher's outburst. Chris had to admit, though, he himself was a bit curious on why Miyuki chose to wear long sleeves to practice when it was extremely hot out and everyone else favored their lose fitting, short sleeved shirts.

"Miyuki?" Chris called out as he turned his head towards the second year catcher crouching down beside him. Miyuki, who had been busy catching for Kawakami when he heard Chris call for him, glanced over at the third year catcher, wondering what he wanted from him. "Hmmm? What is it, senpai?" He asked, throwing the ball back to Kawakami, who hadn't even noticed that it had been tossed back to him; Eijun's outburst had startled him slightly and he'd turned in the direction of the other pitcher, as if it were a reflex.

"Sawamura wants to know if you're feeling warm wearing that?" The flash of panic that arose on Miyuki's face wasn't hard to miss, though, he hastily composed himself as he answered Chris' question with a forced smile on his face. "No. I'm fine." Chris raised a brow at Miyuki's answer doubtfully, but decided not to pry in his personal life; it was really none of his business to question what the other catcher wore to practice. Maybe in the middle of the winter, when everything was white and the land was frozen, Eijun would call him up to say that he'd seen the bespectacled catcher wearing a t-shirt at practice.

Chris turned his attention back to where Eijun was, only to find that the pitcher had taken to lying on the cool ground, limbs sprawled out like a starfish, eyes closed, muttering about how hot it was to be practicing outside. Chris chuckled lightly at the sight of the pitcher sprawled out in the ground and decided that the pitcher had done enough practicing for one day.

As Chris walked over to help the pitcher on the ground up, he couldn't help but notice a few orange band-aids covering Miyuki's left wrist. "Sawamura?" Eijun cracked open an eye at the sound of his favorite senpai's deep voice calling out his name. "Hmm? What is it, Chris-senpai?" Chris turned back to where Miyuki was, frowning a bit as he wondered what had happened to him. Did something happen to the catcher when he was around? Surely, Miyuki wasn't that careless...was he? "Did Miyuki get hurt during practice or a game?" Eijun sat up and shrugged his shoulders, unable to answer Chris' question.

He never paid much attention to the cynical catcher when they weren't practicing together, and even if he did, he didn't ogle him like the catcher's fans did. Ever since the day he'd been learned the truth about Chris, he'd stopped chasing after Miyuki to be his catcher and had started to focus more on the older male, almost as if he were some sort of God-like figure. "I dunno. I'll have to ask Furuya about it." Eijun murmured as he graciously accepted the hand held out for him, allowing himself to be pulled up by Chris.

Wondering about Chris' shoulder, and noting that he'd seen him leave practice less often than he used to for rehabilitation, he asked,"Ah, Chris-senpai, how's your shoulder doing!?" The catcher seemed surprised by Eijun's question at first, but smiled down at him thoughtfully, ruffling his soft, brown hair with a large, gentle hand. "It's doing fine, Sawamura."

After he and Chris had departed ways; Eijun heading towards the dugout to cool off and Chris to go find and talk to Kataoka about something important, he'd smiled brightly as he waved his goodbye to the catcher, thanking him loudly for catching his pitches.

As soon as Eijun reached the dugout, he quickly collapsed down onto the bench besides Furuya, who had retreated to the cool shade of the dugout after only two hours of practice had gone by, unable to withstand the Tokyo heat."It's hot..." Furuya mumbled to Eijun, leaning back to let the back of his head against the cool wall of the dugout. Furuya and the Tokyo heat waves were never good combos; his body reacted to the heat by making him sweat more than he ever would back home in Hokkaido, and it always left him feeling rather sluggish as the sun continued to torment him as he worked on his stamina-roll.

Eijun groaned loudly as he pulled at the collar of his white jersey with the big sweat stains on it, trying to cool off while he sat in the shade of the dugout. "Boss is trying to kill us, Furuya!" Both pitchers were extremely sweaty from practicing underneath the blazing sun for hours, and they probably reeked like hell. He was tempted to take off his jersey, but was unsure if Kataoka was secretly watching them from afar, as if he were some sort of stalker.

'Ugh, screw what Boss thinks! I'm hot, smelly, and sweaty, so this jersey's coming off!' Eijun thought to himself as he pulled his jersey over his head, balling it up and setting it beside him on the bench. While it didn't offer much coolness, he was simply glad that he wasn't in a sweat drenched jersey anymore.

Haruichi came to the dugout a few minutes later and was slightly taken aback at the sight of Eijun being shirtless. Feeling his face heat up slightly, he asked,"Eijun-kun...why are you shirtless?" Furuya's ears perked up; he wasn't liking the fact that his boyfriend was looking at Eijun's body. While he knew Haruichi loved both him and Eijun equally, Haruichi was dating him, not Eijun.

"It's hot, Harucchi." Eijun's answered simply as he pointed to the balled up jersey next to him with a look of revolt on his face. Haruichi noticed Furuya glaring over at Eijun and chuckled lightly as he patted the top of his boyfriend's head. "Satoru-kun, don't be jealous. You know just as well as I do that you're the only one that I'm all eyes for." Haruichi reassured him, squeezing his tiny body into the empty spot between the two pitchers and watched as more of the upperclassmen, who were still practicing on the field, decided to discard of their shirts as well, almost as if Eijun had set off a chain reaction.

Suddenly remembering Chris' question, Eijun nudged the other pitcher with his elbow in the side, drawing over his attention. "Furuya, did Miyuki get hurt or anything during practice or a game?" Furuya raised a brow at the other's question, but he couldn't ever recall a time where he'd seen the catcher getting hurt before. If so, it wasn't while he was around him. They may practice together, but Furuya hardly ever saw him outside of practice. He usually just tag along with Eijun and Haruichi after practice ended. "No. Why?"

Eijun shrugged, unsure of why he was even asking about Miyuki in the first place; the damn catcher worked at his nerves constantly and eyed him weird at times and whenever they accidentally made eye contact, he'd found it to be rather peculiar that the other would glance away from him, almost as if he were a child who'd been caught with their hand in the cookie jar. "Chris-senpai asked me."

Haruichi, who had been listening in on their conversation silently, decided to join in with an observation that he'd made about Miyuki from the past few months he'd been at Seido. "If you think about it, Miyuki-senpai only wears long-sleeved shirts. Satoru-kun, has he always done this?" Furuya could indeed affirm that. Back when he had been placed in the first string and had been assigned to Miyuki, the catcher had worn nothing but long sleeved shirts, and would tend to avoid the topic of being hot or why he wore them if the pitcher inquired. It made Furuya sweat even more just by thinking about why someone would wear long-sleeved shirts in the summer.

"Miyuki-senpai is grouchy, too." Furuya murmured, making a face as he thought of how terrible their practice had gone that day. Eijun nodded his head in agreement, a scowl prominent on his face as he glared over in the direction of where the catcher in the bullpen was, catching Kawakami's pitches. "That useless catcher with the goggles had some damn nerve to get mad and yell at me."

Haruichi let out half a chortle as he turned his head over towards Eijun. "What did you do this time, Eijun-kun?" It wasn't that big of a deal to hear about Miyuki yelling at Eijun anymore; they always said, or did, something to annoy the other. They bickered with each other constantly; Miyuki teasing Eijun and Eijun yelling random insults that first came to his mind back at Miyuki.

Eijun scowled and huffed a bit, ticked off that Haruichi would assume he'd done something wrong to get on the catcher's nerves when it was on the contrary. "Absolutely nothing! He just got mad at me and was all,"Stop doing that, Sawamura." Stop doing what!? Stupid, shitty, four eyed catcher..."

Furuya added in as well with,"When I was pitching to Miyuki-senpai, he wasn't paying attention, so the ball went past him more than just one time. He got mad at me and said,"You can't play baseball by yourself, Furuya. How many times have we gone over this?" when I had done everything he'd asked me to do." H'ed mumbled, aggravated by the catchers words.

At first, it had been Furuya practicing with Miyuki, but due to the moody catcher getting aggravated at him over nothing and the sun beating down upon him, he'd decided to just call it a day. Eijun had seized this opportunity to ditch bunting practice so he could go practice with Miyuki; not even two minutes had passed them by, yet the catcher had decided to stop practice and lecture him about something completely stupid, making Eijun grow impatient, he'd just wanted to pitch to Miyuki's mitt, not get an earful from him.

In the end, Eijun had ended up getting on his hands on and knees in the dirt, begging Chris, who'd dropped in to observe Eijun and Miyuki's practice, to catch for him. After he'd complained about Miyuki's nasty attitude to Chris, the catcher merely sighed and shook his head in defeat, knowing it was useless to back out once Eijun brought out the puppy eyes, so he'd told him that he'd go get his mitt from his room and that he'd be there soon. Poor Kawakami had been the only one left to deal with Miyuki alone since every other catcher on the whole team seemed to be busy catching for another pitcher on the second or third string, or practicing their batting skills.

As a shirtless Kuramochi walked back to the dugout, an arm slung passionately around Ryousuke's shoulders, he noticed how most of the first years in the dugout were eyeing Miyuki, waiting to see if he, too, would take off his shirt.

Kuramochi grinned mischievously and leaned his head down a bit to look at Ryousuke. "Kyehaha, I'm totally gonna make a bet with the first years, Ryou-san!" Ryousuke peered up at the shortstop, a mischievous smirk growing on his face, obviously liking the direction where their conversation was headed. "Oh, what about, Youichi?"

Kuramochi pointed over towards the bullpen where Miyuki was busy catching for Kawakami. He had just come up with the best bet yet. If it all went well, he'd be one rich guy by the end of practice. "If Miyuki takes off his shirt, then I have to pay each of the first years five bucks each; if he doesn't, then they each owe me five bucks!" Ryousuke smirked as he looked over at the unsuspecting first years. "Good idea, Youichi. When you win, let me know."

Ryousuke would have stuck around to see the miserable looks on the first years faces as they lost five bucks to his boyfriend, but his clothes were completely sweat drenched. His shirt stuck to his tiny frame like an extra layer of skin, and he knew that he stunk, not as bad as Kuramochi did, but he still wanted to freshen up before the others.

With a smug look on his face, Kuramochi sauntered towards the dugout, eyeing the group of first years with great determination on his face. "Kyehaha, let's start up a betting pool, guys!" Everyone seemed interested - minus Haruichi and Furuya, who weren't into betting money - gathering around the shortstop who held an enormous shit-eating grin on his face. "If Miyuki takes off his shirt, I owe you all five bucks, but if he doesn't, then each one of you owes me five bucks!"

Everyone agreed without hesitation and eyed the catcher carefully.

In the end, Kuramochi was one lucky guy. He laughed wickedly as he counted out all of the money that he'd just won from all of the first years who'd lost the bet to him. He had been debating all month long whether he should buy a new game or go somewhere nice with Ryousuke for their seven month anniversary as a couple together. Now, he wouldn't have to chose; he had enough money to do whatever the hell he pleased.

Miyuki, who had just finished up catching for a now petrified Kawakami, looked over at a suspiciously rich Kuramochi, who was still counting out money with a shit-eating grin on his face, and the depressing looks of the first years, who were all broke, wondering what he'd missed out on.

"What happened guys?" Everyone looked over at Kuramochi for an explanation as to why things looked the way they did. The shortstop simply replied back with,"We had a betting pool." Miyuki looked offended as he took off his helmet, letting his long bangs fall freely across his face as he glared at Kuramochi harshly with a scowl on his face. "You had a betting pool without me!?"

Kuramochi smirked at him and nodded, pocketing the money in his pants. He made a mental note to himself that he'd always make bets with the first years; they had to hand over cash if they lost.

"What was the betting pool on?" Everyone paused in their actions and conversations and, once again, looked over at Kuramochi, who had now fallen silent, for an explanation. Miyuki may be his best friend, but he wasn't going to spill the beans on their bet and have the catcher get pissed off at him. That was what they had pitchers for.

"If boss would remove his shirt or not!"

Everyone was surprised that Eijun had spoken up from his position in the back of the dugout. Miyuki cast his eyes over towards the shirtless pitcher, having nearly forgotten all about the betting pool as his light brown eyes scanned every inch of the pitcher's tan, well-toned body.

Kuramochi had been wanting to test out a new wrestling move on the pitcher that night after dinner, but since Eijun had just saved his ass from Miyuki's suspicions, he would save it for later. For now, he was going to have to kick the catcher's ass, because he was staring far too hard at Eijun's body.

"I'm guessing it was Youichi who said that coach wouldn't remove his shirt and you all said he would?"

The first years merely cast their eyes downwards, embarrassed by their loss.

Eijun had just finished getting himself dressed in a red t-shirt and gray shorts in his dorm, feeling fresh from the bath he'd just took, when Takashima had come to retrieve him. "Sawamura-kun, come with me for a minute." The pitcher felt his entire face heat up in embarrassment as he thought of what he could be in trouble for. "Am I in trouble for removing my jersey!?" Takashima sighed as she tried to assure him that he wasn't in trouble. "No, you are a boy, after all, and the others also removed their shirts too, so that isn't it."

Eijun was even more paranoid now. There were so many things that he could be in trouble for and possibly get booted off of the first string. "Is it because I decided to lay down instead of pitching!? Or because I wiped sweat off of my face more than I pitched!?" Takashima sighed once more, feeling a headache start to form. She wasn't very good at handling situations like this. Kataoka simply had informed her to fetch Eijun from his room and say very little about what it was for. "No, no. Just...come with me and everything will be explained to you."

Eijun followed Takashima out of his dorm and towards the school building, fearing the worst possibility that he was going to be kicked off of the team or demoted back down to the second string. Upon entering Kataoka's office, Eijun felt the seriousness of the situation wash over him like a douse of cold water.

"Sawamura, sit down." Eijun sat down on one of the leather seats in the office and nervously looked around the room. "S-so...what's wrong, boss? Ehehehe..." He was getting demoted, he was sure of it. Being on the first string was amazing; battling it out with Furuya over who could run the furthest and who could pitch the longest; Haruichi getting flustered up whenever Eijun cheered him on loudly from the dugout; Kuramochi's boisterous laugh; the third years inspiring everyone to work harder, and Miyuki. While the catcher often stared at him strangely and called him weird nicknames, Eijun would have to admit that he'd really miss being able to form a battery with Miyuki during games if he really was being demoted back down to the second string.

Kataoka began his discussion without further ado or any other words from the paranoid pitcher that sat across from him. "Don't call me boss. You are here, Sawamura, because we need your help in getting Miyuki to stop."

"Stop doing what?" the words left Eijun's mouth before he could hold himself back. What was so important that only he had been called in here for? Shouldn't it have been Kuramochi, Miyuki's best friend, or Chris, the guy everyone looks up too?

Wordlessly, Kataoka opened the top drawer of his desk, reached down into it, and pulled out a manila file folder. He slide it across the desk towards Eijun, who eyed it very carefully before he opened it with shaky hands.

Eijun could only stare in shock at what was in it...there was just no way...it was just impossible. Inside of the folder were pictures of a shirtless Miyuki sitting on one an examination table, looking as if he was in a doctor's office, it all seemed like it were a normal photo of him getting a check-up, but something wasn't right...from his wrists, all the way up to the beginning of his shoulder blades, both of Miyuki's arms were covered in scars of all shapes and sizes, some looking more fresh than others, and his expression looked like that of a cornered animal.

"Cutting himself has become a bad habit of Miyuki's," Kataoka explained as he watched the pitcher's face break out in a cold sweat. Eijun was in shock; how could someone so perfect and so handsome do this type of bodily mutilation to his own skin? Was this the major reason he kept wearing long sleeves, no matter what the temperature was like, whenever he was going to be around other people? If so, then...why? Why would someone as perfect and well-known as Miyuki do this to himself? He had no reason; he was popular with all genders, well known around the school, had been on the first-string since he was a first year, and even landed himself an article in the sports magazine Eijun had once read.

"From what I had heard from his roommate last year, Miyuki sneaks off to do this every single night, while everyone else is asleep."

Why did it have to be Miyuki of all people!? Sure, the catcher was twisted and malicious in many different ways, but still...this just doesn't seem real. Miyuki may annoy him half to death at times and the teasing could often go too far, but he could still be rather considerate when the time called for it. When Eijun had slide to home base during practice, skinning up his knees and elbows up pretty badly in the process, Miyuki had been the one to clean off he wounds, patch him up, and made him laugh by telling him an inside joke.

"I need someone to look out for him." Informed Kataoka, gaze so sharp it could cut anything in half. "And that someone is...me?" Eijun pointed towards himself, still not fully grasping the situation at hand. "He needs to spend time around someone he's fairly familiar with and who he can get along easy with." Eijun frowned, unsure if he could even do anything to help out. "But what if I can't do it? You know me...what if I mess up, boss!?" Was it really alright to entrust him of all people with such an important task? Surely there were others far more qualified than him.

"If you fail Sawamura, Miyuki may just end up killing himself."

He really didn't want that to happen...

"What should I do, boss...?"

"Be with him when he needs you, keep sharp things away from him, and monitor him closely if he happens to have one in his hands. Stay by his side as much as you possibly can, Sawamura."

Eijun cocked his head to the side, unsure of how the whole satiation would work out since he was a first year and Miyuki was a second year. Their classes were on different floors and they lived in different dorms; Miyuki lived on the top floor, while he lived on the bottom. "Then what about classes and our sleeping arrangements?"

Something just didn't seem right here. He still had his classes to attend to and couldn't always be near Miyuki. There was a thing called "personal space", after all.

"Do I have to follow him around to every class? And if his roommates know about this, why not have them help him, instead of me!?"

Kataoka sighed. "Miyuki's classmates will keep a close eye on him. He will not be allowed to leave during any of his classes unsupervised. And as for roommates, Miyuki doesn't have any at the moment, since Azuma graduated last year."

Eijun had a feeling Kataoka would say something he'd never expect to hear from anyone in all of his sixteen years of life.

"You will be rooming with Miyuki, until we can be sure that he is not a threat himself."

Rooming with Miyuki...?

"Do not let him inflict another wound on his skin, do you understood, Sawamura?"

Eijun could only nod, unprepared for the long road ahead of him.

Eijun had been forced to move in with Miyuki, much to the catcher's pleasure, and he wasn't fully convinced the catcher wouldn't pull anything funny on him while he slept. So far, the catcher had been far too nice to him and he was starting to feel a little paranoid that there'd a surprise attack would be pulled on him while he slept that night.

"I'm really glad that you're going to be rooming with me for a while, Sawamura!" Eijun scowled, not wanting to talk about the situation. It was all the catcher's fault, anyways. "Shut up! You better not pull any type of funny business on me when I'm asleep or I'll report you for sexual harassment!"

Miyuki smirked as he wrapped his arms around the smaller's waist, leaning his head towards Eijun's ear, whispering,"Now, now. I won't do anything like that. Not until you come to terms with your true feelings for me, Sawamura."

Eijun's entire face turned red as he tried to pry the catcher's strong arms off of his waist. "Like hell I'd ever fall for you!" Miyuki unwrapped his arms from the pitcher's waist, only to cross them against his chest and pouted childishly. "Aww, you're so mean, Sawamura. You know I was only joking...or was I?"

Glared at Miyuki as he started to unpack his clothes from his bags, he hollered,"Shut up, Miyuki!" Miyuki smiled at him from his spot across the room, shaking his head. "Kazuya. I'd prefer you call me Kazuya, not Miyuki."

Since when were they ever on a first name basis?

"Since you're bound to end up calling me Kazuya later on, can I just call you Eijun, or do you prefer Ei-chan?"

Eijun could now understand just how much Kuramochi detested being near Kazuya; the catcher was annoying as hell.

"Eijun is fine..." He mumbled, causing Kazuya to grin in triumph as he sat down on his bed. Eijun had dreaded the silence in the room, knowing the catcher was thinking of something to strike up a conversation with him. "So...what made you decide to move into my room anyways?"

He was told specifically not to mention anything about the meeting to Kazuya, so he blurted out the only thing that came to his mind. "Kuramochi-senpai has a bad case of gas!" Eijun knew that he'd never get away with saying those words without it getting back to the shortstop. He knew that he'd be in for a hell of pain once Kuramochi heard about it from Kazuya.

Kazuya burst out into laughter, falling back onto his bed as he continued to laugh loudly. "Hahaha, that's hilarious! You sleep under him, right!? No wonder why you decided to move in with me~"

Kazuya admitted, he liked having Eijun keeping him company, since he didn't have any roommates anymore. It was fun to have someone to talk to and tease that didn't mind being near him. "So...what should we do, Eijun?" Kazuya pondered aloud, casting his eyes over towards the nervous pitcher.

"Why are you asking me?" Asked Eijun; he was just a temporary guest, so it should be up the catcher to decide what they would do, since it was his room, after all. Kazuya seemed taken aback by his answer, blinking in slight confusion. "I would have thought that you were going to ask me to play catch with you or something."

Eijun pouted a bit, as much as he wanted to do that, it was too dark out and it was still hot. "I would, but you'd die out there, Miyuki!" Kazuya chuckled, ruffling the pitcher's soft, fluffy hair receiving a swat from his hand. "It's Kazuya, not Miyuki. And how would I die out there?"

Eijun knew he had said too much. "Uh...well, it's really hot out and..." He couldn't continue in fear that he'd say something relating to Kazuya's problem. Though, the catcher simply laughed and patted his shoulder, finding it adorable how he was at a loss for words. "It's really nice to know that you care so much about me, Eijun." Eijun fumbled with words to retaliate, but finally gave up on trying to put them into sentences.

"How about we watch a movie?"

Kazuya pulled out a bit of money from his wallet and was about to leave the room to go buy drinks and snacks for them as they watched the movie, when Eijun nearly ran into his back, following him around like a little puppy. "Hmm? What's up?"

"Uh...well...I..." Eijun wasn't able to form a sentence as he tried to tell the catcher that he wanted to go along with him. Kazuya simply laughed as he opened the door leading outside, gesturing him to follow. "Relax, Eijun. You can come with me if you'd like."

Eijun was planning on it being a simple walk to the vending machines, though, Kazuya had other ideas. He'd slung an arm around the oblivious pitcher's shoulders as they were walking and Eijun had yet to realize it.

As they reached the vending machines, Kazuya had to unwrap his arm from around the pitchers shoulders so he could carry the food. Eijun, however, reached for it just after it fell from the machine at the same time, causing their hands to brush against each others. "I can get it." Eijun offered, hoping he could be of assistance to Kazuya, even if it was just doing small things. "Nah, it's fine. I can handle it." As much as he wanted to let the pitcher do stuff for him, he didn't want to seem far too lazy or overly demanding. Eijun was his roommate for the time being, and he wanted the pitcher to relax and feel comfortable being around him.

After getting the stuff they needed, the two trudged back to Kazuya's room and proceeded to watch a movie that Kazuya had picked out himself. To Eijun's dismay, the movie had turned out to be horror, and he wasn't so good with anything relating to the horror genre.

Kazuya had gotten bored during the middle half of the movie and wasn't even aware of the fact that his fingers had started to dig their way through the bandages that loitered the skin on his wrists to relieve an annoying itch.

He wasn't even aware that he was doing anything at all until Eijun whimpered in fear beside him as he watched the movie, taking to covering his eyes with his hands, hoping that if he kept them closed long enough, the movie would be over. Kazuya scooted a bit closer towards Eijun and wrapped the arm he'd been scratching at around the pitcher's shoulders and brought him closer towards his body. In a way, it benefited them both; Kazuya wouldn't be tempted to scratch at his wrists and Eijun would have someone to cling too if things got too scary for his liking.

Eijun looked absolutely terrified after it was over; his body trembled in fear and his eyes watered up with tears. The movie hadn't scared him...it had terrified him. Small whimpers came from him as he thought of the demon in the movie coming out of the TV just to get him.

"Hey, hey, don't worry! It's only a movie." Kazuya made a mental note to himself to make sure to always watch horror movies with Eijun as long as they were rooming together. Kazuya pulled the pitcher close to him, hugging him as tightly as he could to let him know that he was there and wouldn't let anything hurt him.

"I know you're scared, but it's alright now, Eijun. If you feel scared, just know that I'm right here with you. Nothing will hurt you if I'm here, I promise." Eijun turned his gaze up to meet Kazuya's and found it hard to look away from the catcher's light brown eyes.

"It's late and we're both tired, so let's get to bed. I doubt that we'll even have practice; it's gonna be another scorcher tomorrow."

Eijun slowly found himself calming down and broke eye contact with the catcher.

How was it that just by being near Kazuya managed to calm him down so quickly?

Taking the bed across from Kazuya's, he was out like a log as soon as his face hit the soft pillow. Kazuya had promised him that there was nothing to fear as long as he was there, and somehow, his words helped ease his nerves a little bit.

Eijun had nearly forgotten what Kataoka had told him, but when he heard the door creak open, he slowly cracked an eye open and noticed that Kazuya had gotten up from bed. "Miyuki...?" he called out groggily, causing the catcher to jump and turn towards him. "Uh...go back to sleep, Eijun~ I'm just going to the bathroom. I'll be right back."

Eijun would've gone back to sleep if the words of Kataoka hadn't started to echo throughout his head.

"Miyuki sneaks off to do this every single night, while everyone else is asleep."

"I'll go with you." He yawned, slowly getting up out of the bed, and fumbling around in the dark to find his shoes. Eijun knew that he wasn't supposed to leave the catcher alone and if that meant invading Kazuya's privacy, then so be it.

Kazuya's smile seemed to waver a bit as he watched Eijun grab his shoes. "You don't have too, really..." The pitcher scowled and grabbed the catcher's wrists in his hands roughly, possibly pressing down on fresh wounds, making Kazuya wince in the process.

"What will you do if I don't go with you?"

That hit the nail on the head. Kazuya sighed in defeat, knowing that things would get loud if they continued, and would awaken the others. "Alright, alright. You can come with me, but I want you to wait outside, okay?"

As much has Eijun hated the fact that he'd be leaving Kazuya alone, he knew that he would have to give the catcher a bit of privacy to at least use the restroom alone.

"I'll be out in a minute." Eijun frowned, feeling that he should go against Kazuya and follow him inside for safe precautions, but his feet stayed rooted to the ground. "You better be. If not, I'll drag you out of there myself." Kazuya chuckled and mumbled a,"Be right back" before entering the restroom.

Eijun slumped down on the cold, tiled floor outside the restroom, wondering if he had made the right choice or not. While it was a warm summer night, the air conditioner on full blast made Eijun shiver and rub his arms that already had goosebumps forming from the exposure to the cold floor and air conditioner.

The restroom door swung open a few minutes alter and out came Kazuya. The first thing the catcher noticed was that Eijun was shivering and rubbing his arms. "Are you cold?" Eijun nodded slowly as he stood up from the ground, averting his gaze to avoid looking directly at Kazuya. "J-Just a bit...aren't you cold?"

Kazuya shook his head. "I'm actually hot, believe it or not."

After getting back to Kazuya's dorm, Eijun found a bit of courage to ask the catcher something that had been bugging him all day. "If you're hot, then why don't you just take off your shirt or wear a T-shirt?"

Kazuya paused, unsure of how to answer the pitcher's question without revealing his secret. It wasn't that he didn't trust Eijun, he just didn't want to have anyone fussing over him. "I'm fine -" Eijun glared at him, interrupting his response with,"I'm not going to judge you; I don't care about how your body looks, really."

He forced a smile upon his face as he stared deep into Eijun's golden eyes. "You may not care about it now, but you will soon~" Eijun's face turned beet red as he fumbled to find words to say. "H-Huh? What the hell is that supposed to mean!?"

Kazuya flashed him a cheeky grin, before turning off the light and heading over to his bed. Eijun mumbled about the catcher being twisted under his breath and proceeded in trying to fall back asleep once more as he climbed back into the bed. Even with his back faced against the catcher, he could still see the shadow of Kazuya taking off his shirt in the darkness of the room.

"Hey, Eijun..." Kazuya called out to him softly. "What do you want now?" Kazuya lowered his voice down to a whisper, almost quiet enough that Eijun almost didn't here him. "Don't turn around...you won't like what you see."

Why the hell was Kazuya even telling him this?

Eijun couldn't fall asleep; after he was sure that the catcher was sound asleep, Eijun turned over on to his other side to get a picture of what Kazuya didn't want him to see.

He felt his heart nearly stop beating once he saw how the catcher's arms and wrists looked...many parts of them were covered in bandages; some more recent than others. There were also a bunch of scars on his wrists too that ranged from small to long; diagonal to horizontal. Eijun felt his stomach churn just thinking about what Kazuya used to create those awful marks.

The biggest question that he had was why? Why did he have to hurt himself in this manner? As far as he knew, Kazuya had a twisted personality and was always looking for ways to annoy others, but he was still considerate towards others when they weren't doing too well.

'What's really going on with you, Miyuki?'

The catcher didn't seem like his usual self...he seemed to be more broken inside than anyone realized. Eijun had always admired how strong the catcher had seemed from the moment when they had first met one another up until that afternoon...before he learned the truth. The truth hurt...instead of seeing the strong, fearless catcher everyone else saw, Eijun saw Kazuya as more fragile on the outside, almost as if his body could easily be broken apart, just like how he was on the inside.

It was up to him to save Kazuya from himself, but he couldn't do it alone...there was only so much he could do by himself.

'This shouldn't be a secret just between you and me, Miyuki. The whole team should know; we're like one big family after all. You don't need to go through this alone, we're all here for you after all...'

Today marked only the beginning of a slow, yet painful, recovery process for Miyuki Kazuya.

And that concludes chapter 1!

` Let me give you a bit of a rundown on how I came up with this fic: During the beginning of my high school year, I became severely depressed, ended on bad terms with a boy I had once been interested in, lost all the people I considered to be my "best friends" as the depression ate away at my interests in having an actual social life. Things got very rough and I felt empty starting off my Junior year with only two friends, and I had considered "disappearing" from the world and then, one day, I met the most amazing girl who made me feel like I actually mattered, so this fic is dedicated to her amazing self. 3

` I wrote this story during the summer, recounting past experiences from people who'll look at me and say,"You're so happy, there's no way you could be depressed." and that was how I came up with the idea to use Miyuki; Eijun is too open, almost like a book, while Miyuki, on the other hand, isn't. I needed to portray a character who wouldn't be assumed to be hurting or hiding anything dark.

` Noting the changing of Miyuki to Kazuya: I just felt like Kazuya would be better to use than Miyuki as the story progresses. :P

` Remember to R&R! :3