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The Little Match Boy

Title: The Little Match Boy
Author: agiponpon
Pairing: Ryo/Tegoshi
Genre: Fluff / Angst
Rating: PG-13
Chapter: 1/1
Words: 1906
Disclaimer: I only own the story... 
Summary: On his way home from work, Ryo passes by a boy every day. Wearing too little and just standing there and doing nothing, the boy makes Ryo curious. 

A/N: I wanted to write something before Christmas and because it's very snowy the fic turned out to be very wintery. The idea came to me randomly and I wrote this on one sit. It's pretty different to what I usually write but I sort of like it anyway. Somehow a Finnish song called Vanha sydän (Old Heart) has been a great inspiration to me recently.
Hope to write something again soon! 


Winter had come early that year. It was still November but small frost flowers covered everything glassy and rime had colored trees white and grey. The boy was standing in front of a small cafe, in between the tall buildings and indifferent streets, his breath forming small, transparent clouds around him. He shivered, smiled at no one in particular, then shivered again like a fool.
At first, Ryo thought he was one of those girls selling their bodies for old men, trading their love for a handbag or a pair of new shoes. His hair was white like theirs, clothes tight and too revealing for standing outside in the chilly weather. His earrings were sparkly and his shirt pink, but his eyes were wide and brown and they were the detail that drew Ryo to him. 
Their eyes met for the first time and he smiled that foolish smile of his, as bright and pure as fresh snow.
"Are you feeling lonely, sir?" he asked. "Are you looking for someone to keep you company?"
"No, thank you", Ryo said like he did every day for those girls. "Not tonight."
And so he was left standing there, still giving away his beautiful smile for free.  
***
It was a clear night, but stars weren't visible above the never-sleeping lights of the city. In winter, the time of day didn't seem to make a difference. Only the streets seemed to be sleepier, with only a few people wandering aimlessly around them. 
The boy was there again, his hands tucked in the pockets of his jacket too small for him. He wasn't smiling as there were no strangers to smile at, but he wasn't miserable either. This time he was alone, too, because the group of girls that was usually around him had either been bought or left. 
"Good evening, sir", he said when Ryo passed him by. "It's a cold night, isn't it?"
As there was no one else around, Ryo couldn't pretend not to have heard him and turned around to look at the boy. He was beautiful and thin, barely out of school, and he felt sorry for him. 
"Cold for you, maybe", he answered. "You should go home, kid."
The boy just laughed, a sound as clear and bright as Christmas bells. 
"Would you spare me a change, sir?" he asked. 
"What for?"
"A cup of tea", the boy said. "It's a cold night."
Ryo gave him a coin. It was received with earnest gratitude.  
"You are very kind."
***
The snow had never fallen so early before. Light flakes were still floating down like feathers when Ryo walked down the street again. 
The boy was there, in front of the cafe, like always. Ryo had already gotten used to seeing him standing there like a beautiful sculpture, already part of the scenery.  There was snow in his hair and on the furry collar of his coat. Just like before, the boy wasn't wearing enough clothes keep him warm, to cover his bare neck and his delicate fingers.
"The kind mister from before", he greeted Ryo. "Thank you for the tea. It was delicious."
Ryo stopped just to see his smile again.  
"You look cold again", he said. "Do you want another cup of tea?"
He was already drawing out his wallet, but the boy shook his head.
"Thank you, but I'm fine", he turned him down. 
His cheeks were pink and white from cold and his red nose was running. He looked pathetic and ridiculous, but Ryo couldn't bring himself to find him disgusting.  
"Wipe your nose", Ryo said and handed him a pack of tissues. The boy held the package like had never seen one before, looking surprised and confused.
"Thank you", the boy said and did as he was told. Apparently, it wasn't his first time cleaning his runny nose, so Ryo assumed he had just been taken aback by the sudden act of kindness.
He was an invisible boy. Always there for no one to look at, brightening the depressing city with his presense and never getting thanked, Ryo pondered. What a silly thougt.
He didn't ask his permission to give him more money.
"Buy yourself a proper scarf and mittens", he said and shoved the money at the boy, this time a bill and not a coin. "Otherwise you will catch a cold."
"I really couldn't", the perplexed boy said and tried to return the money.
But he failed, as Ryo was already walking away, deaf and deep in thought.
***
It was later than usual. Due to that it was colder, too, but Ryo couldn't tell. He had dropped by a bar on his way home and he was drunk, standing outside the closed cafe and smoking a cigarette alone. At that time of night there was no one around and a deep silence surrounded the streets as if a heavy blanket of snow had muffled all sounds. 
Only the boy was still there, standing just a few feet away from Ryo and listening to music with his earphones on to fill the silence with a melody. Ryo looked at him and he looked at Ryo and smiled. 
He was still not wearing a scarf around his neck or mittens on his hands, Ryo noticed.
"Why are you always here?" Ryo asked. "Don't you have a home to go to?"
The boy smiled and took a step closer to stand beside him. Such a small gesture changed so much. Now there weren't two separate people standing alone but a pair standing together. The street wasn't lonely anymore, just empty. 
"I do", he said. "I'm just doing my job so I would have a home in the future, too."
"Are you selling something?" Ryo asked.
Are you selling yourself? he wanted to ask. 
"Yes", the boy said slyly. "I sell matches."
"Matches?" Ryo repeated.
"To help lonely people to light up their hearts and feel some warmth in this cold city", the boy said.
"I see", Ryo said.
So that's how it is, he thought. 
"Would you like one, sir?" the boy asked. 
"I'm sorry", was Ryo's reply. "I'm married."
***
Just like it is impossible to avoid your home street on a Sunday walk, it was impossible to avert those warm, wide eyes of the boy in front of the cefe. 
"Kind mister!"
His voice reached Ryo's ears over the noise of the crowd, the never ending, meaningless jabber of other people. 
"Sir, I have something for you!"
He had caught Ryo's attention minutes before but only now he came to him, too curious to resist.
It was in a brown paper bag the boy had been carrying with him. 
"I bought a Christmas present for you", the boy explained as he had taken notice on Ryo's baffled look when he had been handed a soft, poorly wrapped, small present with a pink bow on top. 
"A present?" Ryo repeated, not sure what he was supposed to do with the thing.
"Yes", the boy said. "You've been so kind to me. I wanted to give you some kindness too and this is all I could do.
Ryo took the present and wondered, if he really had deserved it. 
***
"I'm glad you're wearing the scarf I gave you."
This time it was the boy who had reached him, spotted him in the crowd the second he had passed by the cafe. He had grabbed his arm to stop him and to pull him apart from the endless stream of people. His eyelashes and the tips of his hair were white from frost and he was more beautiful than ever as he smiled at Ryo, beamed at him, only for him.
"I gave you the money you could buy one for yourself", Ryo said.  "Not to buy me a present."
"But you didn't have a scarf either", the boy said both innocently and mischievously. "And I can see you actually needed one."
Ryo didn't say anything. He pulled out a cigarette, even though his lighter was out of gas, and held it between his lips, unlit.
"Could I have some of those matches of yours?" he asked. "I need a light."
The boy laughed again, his voice vivid and pure, yet so powerful it made Ryo's heart flutter.
"I'm sorry, I guess I'm all out of them", he said.
They didn't need words when the boy wrapped his cold fingers around Ryo's warm hand and led them to a hotel.
***
"Aren't you too young for something like this?" Ryo asked, exhausted and sweaty, holding the ever smiling boy on his arms. Naked and tainted, the boy looked more frail than ever, but still Ryo felt like he was the one being held, cared for and embraced. 
"I'm 25", the boy said simply, fingers running in circles on Ryo's hot skin and breath tickling his chest.
"You don't have to lie to me", Ryo snorted. "I've already slept with you so you can be honest."
To Ryo's surprise, the boy giggled and buried his face on the crook of his neck, lips brushing his skin as he mouthed the words.
"But it's the truth", he said. "I have no reason to lie over something like this."
Ryo pulled out a cigarette from the pack on the nightstand and the boy helped him to lit it with matches he had stolen from the reservation desk. Somehow, he had still managed to give Ryo what he had asked for and so much more.
"What's your name?" Ryo asked, blowing out grey smoke, so different to those white clouds of air around the boy when he stood in front of the cafe in cold.
"Tegoshi Yuya", the boy answered simply, and before Ryo could ask, "It is my real name."
"Tegoshi-kun, huh", Ryo muttered sucking on his cigarette. 
"Yes", the boy said. "But like this, just Yuya is okay."
For some reason, he started trailing small kisses on Ryo's jaw and neck and it made him shiver. He put out his cigarette and wrapped his arm around the small body, pulling the boy closer.
"You said you were married", the boy remembered in between the kisses before he disappeared under the covers.
"Yes", Ryo said and closed his eyes as the boy's kisses reached the curve of his hip bone. "She has an affair too, so I don't care."
Ryo wasn't sure if he had heard a low chuckle beneath the blanket or not.
***
Something was missing from the scenery. Somehow, the boy in front of the cafe had become something Ryo had taken for granted to always be there, snow on his hair and frost on his eyelashes, tiny body covered with poor clothes and skin reddened from the low temperature. When he wasn't there the city seemed to miss its glow, its warmth and reason. The lack of his presense made everything grey and disappointing and Ryo unwilling to everything.
Something was missing from Ryo's heart.
*** 
"Where were you?"
The boy only giggled, not giving him a proper answer. 
"Were you worried?" he asked instead.
"I wanted to see you", Ryo said. He was smoking again. The grey smoke of tobacco got mixed with the white clouds of their breath. 
"I'm glad", the boy said and smiled again, smiled like always. 
"My wife run away with another guy", he told.
"The one she had an affair with?"
"Yeah."
"In that case", the boy said turning to face Ryo, looking both serious and playful, excited and understanding. "We should run away too."
His fingers were playing with the scarf he had given Ryo for Christmas, tracing the stripes and fondling the fabric.
"Run away?" Ryo asked. "Where?"
"Anywhere!" the boy said and entwined their fingers. "Come on!"
***
The spring came early that year. Many frozen things melted.

Comments

( 13 comments — Leave a comment )
nezu_ri
Dec. 18th, 2012 02:53 pm (UTC)
The spring came early that year. Many frozen things melted.
awwwww~~ XD
agiponpon
Dec. 18th, 2012 02:54 pm (UTC)
Hehe~!
Thanks for your comment! ♥
nezu_ri
Dec. 18th, 2012 02:55 pm (UTC)
oh,, i forgot to tell that i like the story :)
agiponpon
Dec. 18th, 2012 02:57 pm (UTC)
Thanks! I'm glad you like it!
kumohime102
Dec. 18th, 2012 06:19 pm (UTC)
Aww, really cute story, I really liked it.
agiponpon
Dec. 18th, 2012 07:41 pm (UTC)
Thank you for reading and commenting too! ♥
chocodreamer
Dec. 20th, 2012 06:02 am (UTC)
uwaaa~ i love this! idk why but something about winter/snow always gives me that romantic feeling~
at first i thought there'd be so much angst because i was thinking of 'The Little Match Girl' and that story really makes me sad lol
i'm glad Tego's gonna be out of the streets in the end, assuming Ryo takes him in now (Ryo, you better! hehe). the image of frail Tego out in the cold makes me wanna hug him~~
it was really nice to read fluff for a change *__*
thank you for writing this! i consider it my late birthday present ♥

Edited at 2012-12-20 06:04 am (UTC)
daysofquiet
Dec. 20th, 2012 06:11 am (UTC)
^that's my other account, btw ^^
agiponpon
Dec. 20th, 2012 11:58 am (UTC)
Heeheehee~! I'm glad you liked it!
I had the idea for this while I was jogging outside. On halfway through I just came up with the name and added the line where Tegoshi jokes (?) about selling matches. I giggled out loud because I knew someone was going to expect a character death, but I can't deal with sad endings, so consider this a better gay version of the old story with a happy ending or something. :D
I'm glad you liked it! Thanks for reading and happy late birthday! ♥
daysofquiet
Dec. 20th, 2012 05:53 pm (UTC)
i'm the one foolish enough to believe Tego was really selling matches, hahaha.
more like dreading it than expecting it, actually. i don't like character death too. all the more when it involves Ryo or Tego or RyoTego, it greatly depresses me T_T so i was really relieved to find that yours didn't go the same way as that story or i might still be crying until now ^^;
hope to read more 'happy ending' fics from you~! and thanks! ♥♥♥


Edited at 2012-12-20 05:56 pm (UTC)
agiponpon
Dec. 21st, 2012 03:34 pm (UTC)
Hehe! Don't worry, I don't like sad endings even when they are more realistic than happy ones and to me, character death has always been some kid of "easy way out" to awaken sad feelings in readers. Ryotego's too dear to me to kill someone off!
You are very welcome~
izakiwinny
Dec. 23rd, 2012 05:08 am (UTC)
So glad to read a new ryotego story before Christmas eve and i would consider it as a christmas present♥

In the first half of this fic, no, until they got into hotel, I thought tegoshi is an angel or a fairy that only ryo could see him or tego is really not selling himself it's just a misunderstand, because how could no one notice/get interest in such a cute boy! I see the kind person are well rewarded but i have to say ryo is a lucky guy!lol

Besides,the part of scarf is touching ♥ thank you for writing this~
agiponpon
Dec. 23rd, 2012 12:26 pm (UTC)
You are very welcome and thank you for your comment! ♥
That's a cute thought! I wish I would have come up with something like that! But maybe in harsh reality, even beautiful people become invisible when others don't want to deal with their existence... So in a way, he really was an angel only for Ryo to see? :D
Thanks for reading and merry Christmas! ♥
( 13 comments — Leave a comment )

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