the world is so small. there is only miharu and yoite.

the world ends at miharu's fingertips.

when they touch, invariably, yoite sees better than he can feel.

miharu's rounded nails, a little dry at the tips. they are big and flat, somehow reassuring. they lay themselves in an indulgent line on his legs, restful. sometimes they tap out an easy rhythm, all lazy in the soft sun. and they dance lightly, teasing along the lines of his limbs.

everything else is only peripheral, temporal, vowels loose and long on his tongue,

and this is why the world ends at miharu's fingertips.

there is no because, as with many things in this world. good things only happen to good people. yoite knows neither him nor miharu are good people, but he would've liked it if miharu could've been a good person. once, maybe, on nights when the moon is blue. miharu could have been good.

sometimes miharu's fingertips dance their lithe way up his thighs. relaxed, he asks, you want this, yoite? and mostly yoite only has to lean his head back and arch into it. it's easy as breathing, between them, between breaths.

they aren't loud by nature, soft silence falling over them when they are together. and when they reach out, it's almost a little worshipful, verging on reverence.

miharu treats his body like a familiar temple, leaving haphazard kiss offerings messily on the altar.

yoite imagines he can feel it, those soft lips pressing on his paper-like skin, writing things like i love you, i want you. irresponsible words like stay with me. he'd give miharu all the o-mamoris in the world, but his amulets only hail death.

nevertheless, miharu is a devotee, and his fingers trace well-worn lines on yoite's body, and when yoite closes his eyes, he can almost feel it.

the little death comes slow, between miharu's fingers and mouth. but it comes like a wave washing up on the shore, blue water meeting white sand. soft and quiet, as yoite's bony ribcage expands and contracts, trying to hold in the pleasure.

this temple needs no o-mamoris other than miharu.

he sits outside in winter, watching his breath crystallise in the air, and thinks about how amazing it is that even his failing body can produce such proof of vitality.

koi fish swim in a circle in the little pond they have.

yoite sits beside the pond and watches them. he's wrapped up, turtleneck framing his jaw, miharu's coat tucked around him. it's early spring, the wind turning warm in bursts, but his hands are cold and inside all those layers of clothes, he wants to shiver.

when miharu puts his fingers in between yoite's, carefully sliding each finger in place, yoite feels full. less hungry. all filled up with something he can't name.

he casts lazy eyes towards miharu's fingers again and again, those solidly beautiful fingers that flush pink at the tips. the joints stand out, white nubs of bone on slim hands. miharu's nails get longer as time passes, half-moon crescents growing larger.

his own fingers are corpse-white, the skin of the pads wrinkled as if he'd been underwater for years. he doesn't like to look at them, but he likes the contrast that miharu's fingers create against his own. like an avant-garde work of juxtaposition. holding him close.

hours pass as miharu's warmth soaks into yoite, but yoite has better measures of time than clocks.

he counts time by miharu's blinks, slow, every lash vividly in detail.

autumn comes with miharu's hands leading scarves around his throat. they chase his collarbones, playfully spread themselves out on his sternum. gentle. warm, reminding him of good things like fragrant honey-citrus tea, steam rising up to tickle at his nose.

they watch the leaves fall, curled up into each other, miharu's chin resting on his head.

yoite drifts off in bits and pieces, half-aware. morning comes and goes again, but yoite stays beside miharu, silent, quiet with the hush of autumn. all contemplative and pliant like a newborn kitten. letting miharu's placid hand on his neck guide him.

miharu makes it better.

miharu always makes it better.

when miharu is around, yoite hurts a little less.

there are days when yoite tries to fit himself into small spaces, folding himself over and over to fit. it feels like sobering up from a hangover when two walls squeeze his knees together, when his elbows touch each other and his arms line up perfectly parallel. skinny as he is, his chest is still caged in by his own lanky limbs and the cold walls, struggling for air.

if he's small, his thoughts are smaller, his pain smaller than even that. if he's small, it's almost as if he doesn't exist. it makes him feel empty, serene, floating on a set of motionless limbs, buoyed by the dusty air. he can almost fold himself into the walls.

there's almost nothing here. no yoite.

but miharu makes it better.

miharu gives him the warmth that he hadn't known he'd wanted, pulling him up with steady hands, brushing whitewash off his clothes. sits him in an armchair and gives him tea, folds his hands around a mug instead of into nonexistence. thawing is like coming up for air after a decade underwater, yoite wants to speak but can't find the words. miharu makes him drink the tea instead.

miharu's fingers, again, loop around yoite's wrists. yoite twists his own long fingers into the sleeve of miharu's sweater. holding on. trying to live for a little while more.

sunlight streams in through the window like honey, golden, sweet, sticky, time stretching and elongating.

yoite sees better than he feels, so he watches miharu breathe, dust motes swirling, deep long exhales.

miharu's hands are so much more substantial than his, now, so much more reliable than the birdlike delicacy they'd had when yoite had first met him.

so yoite feels like he can leave the world in those hands.