Title: True colors
Summary: Takaki's world is made out of black and white, aside from the colors he can see radiating from people's bodies, revealing their current mood and state of mind to him. He loves looking at those colors, but what happens when he finds someone who's colors are hidden from him?
To Takaki, the world had been black and white for as long as he could remember.
At pre-school they taught you how the grass was green and the sky was blue. They told little Yuya he had pink rosy cheeks and the blood running through his veins was red. But he couldn’t see it. As much as he squinted his eyes, all he saw was a blur of a lot of gray, mixed together.
However, whereas he couldn’t see the colors of the world around him, he did see the colors of the people living it. Fairytale-like figures, dancing around people their bodies, swirling and prancing over their skin. Barely touching them and yet being able to change with the slightest change of their mood. Even as a little kid, Yuya had been fascinated by these colors, quietly observing them when he thought no one was looking.
Numerous times, he had tried to see his own colors, standing in the mirror, pulling faces that were supposed to reflect his mood, but no matter how hard he tried the boy in the mirror stayed an image of black and white. After a while, he figured it was probably because he already knew how he was feeling, and the hunt to his own colors was stopped.
As he grew older, the colors grew with him. Over the years he had learned out how to identify a color and it’s fitting emotion in less than a glance. It made it easier for him to talk to people, because when you know how the person is feeling you can adapt to that, but it had also made it slightly less interesting to look at them all day. Yet, he knew, that he wouldn’t want to miss them, they were what brightened up his dull world of black and white, and gave him a slight image of what the world was supposed to look like. Even though they were probably the most abnormal thing about Takaki Yuya, they somewhat made him feel like anyone else.
And then he came.
Yabu Kouta was a 20-year old art student at Takaki’s university. He had dark hair, a skinny frame and he was only a slightly bit taller than the younger male himself. Aside from a smile that was so radiant it looked like he glowed whenever he showed it, there was nothing special about him. Yet he was the first thing that Takaki noticed that particular Monday morning, on his way to his classes.
Within the sea of colors, flowing, swirling and twirling through each other, there was one dark spot. One person that could not be read. It scared the brown-haired male. Did this meant he was slowly losing his favorite ability? When he looked again to find that particular person, he was gone. Leaving a very worried Takaki Yuya behind.
The first time they actually met was because of Hikaru, an energetic young guy that almost always had this mischievous purple color dancing around his body. Takaki and he had decided to meet in a café, not far from campus, but when he entered and expected to meet Hikaru, all he saw was the gray spot. Gray Spot waved at him, and gestured him to come closer, which the 20-year old hesitatingly did.
“Hi,” Kouta said, showing off his usual smile, “Hikaru said he couldn’t make it, but he told me to go here anyway and let you know.”
“And he couldn’t have let me know himself because…” annoyed, Takaki’s voice trailed off, looking around as if he was looking for something that could let him disappear in the ground. This however didn’t affect the other male, who just continued smiling and gestured towards the seat in front of him. “Sit down, I took the liberty to order you a caramel cappuccino, I hope you like it.”
Some part of Takaki wanted to say he could take that cappuccino to a place where the sun didn’t shine, but he didn’t want to be rude nor mean to the other male that obviously was doing his best. Besides, aside from not having any colors, the young man hadn’t done anything wrong to him. And maybe even not having the colors wasn’t something he did himself.
Chipper, Kouta introduced himself, as they were waiting for their coffee. He talked about his hobbies, mainly soccer and art, and about his life before he had moved to Tokyo for his studies. He tried to make the younger one talk, but Takaki didn’t feel like speaking. Not being able to see someone’s colors hadn’t only taken away what he liked best in his vision, it also made him awkward because for the first time in his life he had to guess what the other was thinking, feeling or wanting from him.
At their departure, Yabu firmly shook his hand and told him had been a pleasure to meet him. Takaki had mumbled something similar and they had separated their ways.
Obviously, when you try to avoid someone, you find yourself crushing into that person a lot more than you would have liked to. Yabu seemed to be everywhere and even though he tried to put that idea aside for his own peace of mind, it seemed like he really tried to make Takaki like him. It was flattering and annoying both at the same time, and Takaki had a hard time not admitting that Gray Spot (as he still called him, somewhere in the back of his mind) was indeed a very like-able person.
Whether he wanted it or not, Yabu was a very funny and charming person. He had a heart for his friends and a soft spot for arts. He knew how to tell a boring story of him going to the conbini as if it was the most interesting he had ever done. His touch was warm, his smile genuine. If only it wasn’t for that heap of gray surrounding him. Takaki couldn’t keep his mind off it. As much as he felt himself drawn to the open and carefree personality of the other he couldn’t stop himself from but feeling irked by the fact that despite being so open, Yabu was a closed book for him.
It scared him.
On a Friday afternoon, Takaki was taking a stroll through the campus’ garden. Even though he wasn’t able to see the colors of the infinite amount of flowers that grew in the garden, he was able to let his fingertips gently trail over their soft petals and smell their sweet scent.
The atmosphere had been completely peaceful until he had felt a soft tap on his right shoulder. He looked up, right into the beaming smile of Yabu.
“What?” he asked, slightly annoyed by the fact his peaceful moment was disturbed by the older male.
“Nothing~” the lanky male singsonged as he took place beside the younger, staring at the flowers, a soft smile ghosting on his lips. With the sun illuminating through the trees, falling on his dark hair, for a moment there Yabu looked like an image from a magazine. “Don’t you think they’re pretty, the flowers I mean?” he softly asked as he looked at a rose that hadn’t fully opened up yet.
Takaki stared. And snapped.
“Do you think it’s funny?”
Yabu turned his head, the smile disappearing when he saw the furious expression of the other. “Wha—What is?”
“I can’t see it. Don’t you know I can’t see it? Of course you don’t. Because you’re nothing but a gray spot. In this colorful mass, no one will ever notice you. Because you’re not even there to begin with.” With those words Takaki stood up and barged away, leaving a dumbfounded Yabu behind. And he couldn’t blame him, because truth be told… He had no idea why he has said that.
In the days after, Takaki had somewhat expected to bump into the older male. He had decided it was only fair if he would make his apology by, so the both of them could just move on from there. But the older male was nowhere to be found and the 20-year old admitted to himself that he was indeed a slightly bit worried about him. When he asked Hikaru about Yabu’s whereabouts the younger boy shrugged. “I don’t know? The art room maybe?”
“I don’t have the authority to get there,” Takaki sighed, running a hand through his hair, “I’m not from the art department.”
Hikaru playfully grinned upon hearing this, “But I am! Come on Yuyan, I’ll walk you there.”
The older male had never been in the art room before. There was a scent of paint, just washed brushes and wet line. There were paint supplies everywhere, and parked against the wall, neatly lined up, were easels, waiting to be used. It was calm and a little bit messy, but Takaki liked the atmosphere as it was.
“Huh,” he heard Hikaru say, as he walked to one of the easels where a gorgeous painting of a flower garden was stored. “You didn’t accept it?”
“Accept what?” Takaki asked, as he walked over to Hikaru, staring at the painting in the meanwhile.
“This painting,” the younger male said, “Kou made it for you. But—wait? He never gave it to you, did he?”
All Takaki could do was shake his head. Confused he ran a hand through his hair, turning around and facing the mirror. A boy without any colors looked at him, puzzled, confused. He blinked at the boy and the boy blinked back. And that was when it hit him…
“Hikaru, what colors did Yabu use?”
Hikaru looked at him as if he just had said pigs could fly, “none. It’s all black and white. I asked him why, because to me, what is a garden without colors right? He just laughed and said you would understand.”
“Hikaru. I need the number of his room and dorm.”
“Just give it to me please.”
A little bit flabbergasted Hikaru gave his older friend the numbers and looked how he took off in full speed. He looked at the painting and shrugged. Gently he placed it back to the easel, figuring either Yabu or Takaki would come to pick it up later.
In the mean time, Takaki dashed towards the older male’s room. How could he have missed the signs? It had been there all along. Upon arriving he slammed his fist against the door, until a very surprised Yabu opened the door for him.
“Yuy—Takaki? What are you doing here?”
Takaki opened his mouth to talk, but all that escaped from his lips was a muffled sob. Yabu had been nice to him all this time, trying to make him see what wasn’t all that hard, if only the younger man had been willing to look past all the colors swirling in his world.
“Hey, hey… Don’t cry,” Yabu spoke softly, reaching out to the younger. However, instead of taking the older male’s hand, the brown haired boy pulled him into a hug as he softly sobbed into his shoulder. “You can’t see them either, colors. I mean, you can see them, but not like everyone else does. That’s why you were nice to me all this time. While I—I, I have been so horrible to you. I liked you, but I refused to like you because I couldn’t read you.”
Yabu smiled, his long arms encircling around Takaki’s body, pulling him closer and kissing his hair. “Don’t cry Yuyan, don’t cry…”
Takaki sniffled, nodding and burying his nose into the crook of the other man’s neck, inhaling his scent that reminded him a lot of what he had smelled in the art room.
The other merely smiled, burying his nose in Takaki’s soft hair and mumbling softly, “it’s okay you couldn’t read me Yuyan. Because want to know something?”
There was a muffled sound from the younger boy, Yabu simply took as a yes.
“Because I could read you all the time.”