As always, thanks to Oort on AO3 for helping outline this idea and for reading through a couple drafts of this. You're the best and deserve all the fics.
Eijun realizes that he's in love with Miyuki when he's being confessed to by someone else.
It sounds pretty bad to say it like that, and he does feel bad about not devoting his full attention to the team manager as she outlines what she likes about him, but he's in the middle of a personal shift in worldview.
Kamiya-chan had asked to talk to him after practice about something unrelated to baseball, and Eijun got along with her well enough, so he'd agreed. She'd set down her clipboard and tucked a strand of hair behind her ear before saying, "I'd like to take you on a date. Several dates, actually. I'd like to date you."
Eijun's revelation about his battery partner and housemate hits him like one of his teammates' swings, because his knee-jerk response is to say I'm sorry, but it wouldn't work out because you don't get along with Miyuki. He'd bitten that response back, of course, because he may still blurt things out like an idiot sometimes but he's not completely tactless.
Miyuki never grew out of his habit of getting under people's skin – which Eijun would have grumpily predicted, if anyone had asked him – but when Miyuki got to the pro leagues he managed to limit it to some degree so that only half the team finds him insufferable, instead of all of them. Kamiya happens to be one of those who dislike Miyuki, and the feeling is mutual. Most of their interactions are… frosty, to put it politely, and Eijun has been the reluctant audience to this behavior multiple times. Kamiya gets on well with most of the team, including Eijun, but she and Miyuki aren't interested on compromising about their opinions.
The reason that a relationship between Eijun and Kamiya would never work out is that Miyuki is an integral component in every part of Eijun's life. They play for the same pro team, as they have since Eijun graduated a year after Miyuki. Eijun and Miyuki also live together in a two-bedroom apartment, since the rent is cheaper that way and they don't have to room with strangers. In the little time that they're not practicing together with the team, they eat together and hang out together and bother Kuramochi together. Eijun would never be able to bring Kamiya over to make dinner or watch a movie, since whenever Eijun is free and in the apartment, the odds are good that Miyuki is there too. Kamiya and Eijun would never even be able to hold a long, meandering conversation, because Eijun has also been told that even when he's not with Miyuki, he talks about Miyuki a lot.
Miyuki means a lot to Eijun. By the time Miyuki reached the end of his time at Seidou, he and Eijun had moved from "teammates" to "friends". They had talked a lot over text during the year they were apart and occasionally showed up to each other's games. Eijun had slept over at Miyuki's first apartment a couple times to give him all the news on Seidou, and there was one memorable party after a tournament win that had ended with Miyuki passed out from exhaustion on top of Eijun's covers in Room 5.
The situation with Miyuki now, living together, is… comfortable. Since they play for the same baseball team, they have the same schedule, which means Eijun always walks to the train station with Miyuki and some days tries to talk him into stopping at a ramen stand after practice instead of scrounging together dinner at home. Eijun drags Miyuki to the aquarium and his shoujo book club on their off days and has someone to snuggle with on the couch during their movie nights on Saturdays. It's nice that he and Miyuki have become relaxed enough with each other to be tactile – if there's one thing Eijun misses about home, it's the casual hugs and hair ruffles and other physical expressions of affection. Miyuki feels like home and baseball, a combination that always triggers a soul-deep contentment in Eijun when they touch. Miyuki is amazing.
All of this goes through Eijun's head while Kamiya is speaking. Miyuki is pretty amazing, Eijun thinks again. Not that he didn't already know that, of course, but the sentiment feels different as he realizes that he's about to turn Kamiya down because Miyuki is the most important person in his life.
Holy shit, Miyuki is the person that Eijun wants to be with all the time. He doesn't want Miyuki to ever move out, and he doesn't want to end their little rituals together like trying a new restaurant on the first Wednesday of every month and play-fighting over the best spot on the couch even though they don't actually care and half-running through the rain because neither of them ever remembers to pack an umbrella. Eijun wants Miyuki to be happy, but he understands now that he'd get lonely very quickly if Miyuki suddenly decided to start spending all of his time with someone else, like a girlfriend.
Eijun has always loved with everything he has, and now it's clear that he most definitely loves Miyuki Kazuya.
Kazuya's revelation comes much earlier than Sawamura's, and is much quieter. They're curled up together on the couch with a movie on, something a couple years old with lots of monsters and giant robots. It's one of Sawamura's favorites, but tonight he's texting Kuramochi with Kazuya egging him on over his shoulder, trying to distract their former teammate from the new video game that he's been looking forward to for months. Sawamura's sure to get the brunt of Kuramochi's wrath the next time the three of them meet up, so Kazuya feels pretty safe making suggestions about what Sawamura should say next.
All in all, it's been a good Saturday so far: Kazuya is comfortably warm under the blankets, especially with Sawamura's body heat along one side of him; tonight's dinner had been filling and delicious despite Sawamura's failed attempts to cook a side dish; and they had baseball to look forward to tomorrow, though since their Sundays started later than usual, the two of them could sleep in. Kazuya thinks idly that they should do the same thing again next weekend.
Huh. It's not just next weekend, he realizes. Kazuya… Kazuya wants as many weekends as Sawamura will give him. Oh, wow. He's not just content, he's happy when Sawamura is around. It's been like this for a while, hasn't it? Kazuya knows that they make a good team both on and off the field, but it suddenly occurs to him that this is the most important partnership he's ever been in. He and Sawamura do almost everything together. Shit, they even do the couple-y stuff like brushing their teeth together all messy-haired and squinty-eyed in the morning and they go grocery shopping together ("we already have one box of cookies in the cart, Sawamura, we don't need another") and they get worried over small injuries and they cuddle. God, they cuddle. It's not something that Kazuya was used to before living with Sawamura, but if they ever stopped, he would miss all the casual touches.
They're practically married already, aren't they? That joke the team always makes about the catcher and pitcher being married, it's not a joke when they talk about Kazuya and Sawamura, is it?
Kazuya loves Sawamura, he realizes, and he has for a while now.
After Kamiya leaves, Eijun distantly acknowledges that his shared apartment with Miyuki is not where he needs to be right now, so he gets on a different train, thoughts still tumbling in confusion, and gets off at the stop near Kuramochi's place.
Kuramochi has obviously just stepped out of the shower when he answers the door. "What the hell are you doing here, Sawamura? Send a text or something first."
"I, um." Eijun blinks a couple times. He'd just sort of been on autopilot, but since he's already here, maybe Kuramochi could help. He's usually better about noticing things than Eijun. "Am I dating Miyuki?"
Kuramochi pauses for a beat to stare at Eijun. "Dude, are you for real? I just thought you two were doing a shit job of hiding it. You really didn't pick up on the fact that you're really, really gay for Miyuki?"
"I don't think so? I was thinking about how important he is to me and I just…" Eijun trails off, letting his initial question fill in the blank.
"This really is a surprise to you? Oh, wow. Guess I will be getting laid before Miyuki does, haha."
"Mochi-senpai! This is serious!"
"It's a serious bet. Toujou's got money on Miyuki, but I might actually win this."
Eijun's mind is too filled with Miyuki to be grossed out about Kuramochi's eventual sex life with Onii-san right now. "What should I do now that I know?"
He shrugs. "Same thing as always, probably. It's not like you need to woo Miyuki or some shit. You're already living together, plus you two have been annoyingly flirty for practically forever."
Eijun blushes. "Oh. I… see."
Eijun decides to walk back from Kuramochi's house instead of taking the train. When he opens the door and announces that he's home, Miyuki's at the kitchen counter tying his apron, ready to start dinner for the two of them. Now that Eijun's eyes are open, it screams "housewife" to him.
"Jesus, I was about to send out a search party. What took so long with Kamiya-san? Did you screw up your paperwork or something?"
"I just realized that I probably want to kiss your stupid face." The words are out of Sawamura's mouth before he can stop them.
Miyuki freezes. "You want to kiss me?"
"W-what I meant to say was – um, I was thinking – maybe we could – shit, I'm gonna kill Mochi-senpai, he said that we…." Eijun flounders, face red. He tries a few more times to speak, with no more success than the first attempt.
Well, Eijun's never been great with words anyway. Making a snap decision, he crosses the kitchen in a few quick steps and reels Miyuki in by his apron until their mouths meet in the middle. It's not terribly coordinated, as kisses go, but Eijun figures that neither of them have had much opportunity to practice, given their busy careers. Miyuki doesn't push him away, at least, which is a good sign.
They're starting to tentatively experiment with different angles when something occurs to Eijun and he breaks apart from Miyuki's mouth. "Hey, Miyuki, what does this mean for us? Are you my boyfriend? Should we announce it? What about the two bedro –"
"Back to kissing, please," Miyuki directs, pulling him back in, and Eijun certainly doesn't object.
After another handful of kisses, Eijun decides to try something that he's seen in movies: he breaks away from Miyuki's mouth to nip at his neck. "Oh, again," Miyuki breathes in his ear, and Eijun finds himself suddenly pressed up against the counter as a pair of hands settle on his hips, thumbs rubbing his skin pleasantly while Eijun kisses the bitten spot. "That's – good."
Time seems to slip by without meaning or consequence, and eventually Miyuki manages to say between kisses, "The couch – might – be more comfortable – if you want."
When the words register, Eijun pulls back. "I'll race you!" The challenge startles a laugh out of Miyuki, but Eijun's already halfway out of the room. Instead of running around their couch and end table, Eijun plants his hands on top of the couch and half-jumps, half-rolls over the back.
"Haha! It looks like this time I win the best spot, Miyuki Kazuya," he declares, but then Miyuki makes it around the couch and sprawls on top of him and Eijun's suddenly shouting "Wait a minute! No fair!"
Miyuki laughs and kisses Eijun's nose. "You're the one who wanted to race. What did you think was gonna happen?"
"W-well, I wasn't really thinking about that!"
"Oh, color me surprised."
"Hey! Miyuki Kazuya, how dare you –" he starts as Miyuki leans in to kiss him on the cheek this time "– buh?"
Miyuki sits back and chuckles. "Hey, I think I like this. I found the off switch."
Eijun flushes. "No way! I –"
"Off," Miyuki orders, sealing their lips together. For a moment Eijun wants to prove Miyuki wrong, but oh does this feel good.
Eventually they break apart and Miyuki shifts to squish himself between Eijun and the back of the couch. Eijun flips onto his side to give them more room. "That was nice," Eijun says softly, brushing one hand along Miyuki's arm. "So we're partners again, right? Dating partners this time?"
Truthfully, it probably won't be that much different from their current situation, except for the kissing part. Kuramochi was right: they've been close for a long time, and even though Eijun didn't recognize it until today, he's been in love with Miyuki for a while. The fact that Miyuki responded immediately to Eijun's kiss means that he probably knew about his own feelings beforehand.
They already spend their days together and come home to the same apartment every night. They already know how to make each other happy. They already fit so well together.
"Partners in everything," Miyuki agrees.
Hit me up on my tumblr (meridiangrimm) if you want to talk about gay baseball players.