life takes unexpected turns
you grow up around flowers and dirt. your father tracks it in on his boots, and he always smells sweet like the plants that he brings to life with his own hands. the smell covers every memory of your childhood. the suwa family are nice people, your father and mother have worked for them for years. they are nice enough to not even care about their only son playing with a lowly commoner like you, not that you understood words like that before. all you knew was that reiji had all the toys and a huge room while you were sharing one a room with your brother in the small cabin at the back of his families property.
"let's go play outside, but you have to promise not to step on any of the flowers", you tell reiji with a smile.
the purple haired boy is younger than you by a year, and older than asuma by a year. you just need him to know that trampling on the flowers is off limits. but you want him to come outside, he rarely does. if ever a boy needed to see the sun reiji suwa did. you're playing tag and feeling the wind in your hair and against your back is the best feeling, the sound of laughter peeling from the mouths of your little brother and reiji is like music to your ears. you are taller than them both and your legs are longer and faster you catch them easily and make them it and have to remember to slow down every once in a while so they can tag you back to be fair. the thud you heard made your heart beat slow and the world spin as you turned around to see who had fallen.
asuma is bent over reiji, he tripped over a rock, there are rocks circling every tree and flowers inside every circle, and he's on top of them, but at that moment you forget completely about your one rule and rush to his side.
"are you okay mr. reiji, are you hurt...", you ask and you feel your heart sinking more at the sound of his sobbing.
you are way more concerned with him being alright rather than you getting in trouble for him not being okay. you had no idea what would happen to you for getting him hurt but you would take the blame for it, bringing him out was your idea.
'i crushed the flowers, y-you told me not to. i-i'm sorry", he says in between shaky breaths. it hits you that he's more upset about the flowers than he is about falling. you can't help but smile, your head tilted off to one side in wonder.
"it's okay. as long as you aren't hurt it's fine. the flowers can be replaced, you can't", you tell him reassuringly and in another second he's stopped crying as you hold out your hand to help him to his feet. it was in that moment that you vowed to make sure he never cried again, your heart couldn't take it. but his smile, his smile made your life.
after that it was always the three of you and if asuma wasn't there it was always the two of you. it was next to no time before it began feeling as though it had always been the three of you, your whole lives. it was like reiji suwa was a piece of your sou and you hadn't even known it. everything you did pretty much was to please him and in the end if he was happy you were happy.
you often wondered if asuma ever felt as though he were being pushed out, even though you never really excluded him in anything. sometimes you felt guilty as if you had wronged him or something even though you had done nothing of the sort. questions sometimes plagued you, would he resent you and reiji's relationship later? but it was the exact opposite. if anything asuma believed you were infallible, saw you as superhuman, someone to look up to and admire, and you never really got why. where reiji was concerned, you're sure asuma knew before you did, that you were in love with the boy with the purple hair.
the two of them, you would do anything for them, no questions asked. but when they got out of hand or looked to be in danger you would reign them back in or keep them safe. you were all curious kids and back then because of the year you had on them you could answer every question they had, and they would be awed at how smart you were. being looked up to never went to your head, rarely anything ever did. not when the three of you began playing sports, not when people started giving you 'different' looks, or sending you secret love notes. your head was never in the clouds, it was grounded, for what you thought would be then and always, right next to reiji's feet.
in primary school, stride was all the three you could talk about.
"how cool do they look leaping over and through everything", you said in awe to reiji and your brother one day after watching a video of an older team participating in the sport.
they nodded eagerly and reiji was the first to say that it was something he wanted to do, and just like that you and asuma fell in line. in middle school the three of you joined the stride club and started training and practicing. the imminent danger of getting hurt was a very real thing, but you always, always watched out for your brother and reiji, while never forgetting to you look out for yourself, no that was reiji, you constantly had to stay on him about eating and resting properly.
of all of you, you figured you would be the last to get hurt, you were careful, and you had been good. but fate is funny like that. it's not reiji's fault, even though some people try to blame him, you won't let them. you are injured severely enough to place you in a wheelchair. for a while you retreat into yourself, which is saying something because you were usually quiet and shy enough as it was. but this was different. you didn't blame reiji, but you didn't want him to see you look so frail, feeble, and broken.
'shizuma, it's time for my singing lesson. would you like to come with me today', he would come knock on your door and ask.
you would brighten at the thought of it, you had always loved going to his lessons with him and singing with him, loving being lulled by the sound of his voice. but you'd darken once more remembering all the work he would have to put into rolling you around, and it would make your acceptance still on your tongue. instead you took to reading and drawing for a while. you would draw everything in your room and then everything you could see outside your window. you got really good at it within a couple of months time. you had a lot of times on your hands between physical therapy and no school, in no time you were drawing portraits.
slender fingers were in the middle of drawing his face when asuma barged into your room. you looked up at his angry face and you blanched, what could you have possibly done to upset him? he starts yelling at you about how sad reiji is because you won't see him or hang out with him anymore and how you're being a bad friend. when tears start running from your eyes asuma is stunned and silent.
you have no choice but to go to him, and you do it on your own, wheeling yourself to him and looking at him finally makes your heart hurt and your silently crying again.
"i didn't want to be a burden", you say through your tears, looking down at your legs which betrayed you.
'you could never be a burden shizuma"reiji tells you, and reassures you over and over, comforting you, and making you smile. it's in that moment that you think that maybe he feels for you too, as you sit there staring at him, mouth agape, tears filling your eyes, and heart swelling. on that day you return to going to lessons with him, and remember the vow you made yourself not to make him sad. you should have known he would be hurt, but for the first time ever you had been selfish. you wouldn't do that again.
it wasn't long after that the reiji and asuma quit ever other sport that they played just to focus on stride, reiji said he loved it the most, but you knew it was because it was the only sport you could truly be a part of while in your chair. you became the relationer for their team after that, and stayed on as such even when my therapy was over and you had regained full use of your legs once more. you could have gone back to running, but you never would have been as good as you would have been if the accident had never occurred, and besides you were really good at relationing. you knew your team, understood them in a silent way, in the way they breathe, in the way they slow down or speed up, in the way they jump and move, you understood them all, and you became the glue that held them all together.
'let's start a group, front runner to our stride meets, and call ourselves galaxy-standard'. it's reiji's suggestion and no one on the team is ever able to deny him anything. you have watched as over the years he has become more and more attractive and you know you aren't the only one who has noticed, as he gets all this attention, not that you get any less, and once the team starts the band you both receive even more so, but you still only ever have eyes for him. you are more than just his best friend, and to you he is everything.
that is why it is so important for you to get him the EOS gold in his last year. you never expected honan to beat you out, though you can't even be mad at them, they fought fair, put up a great fight and in the end they won, it was an amazing race and reiji didn't seem upset, so how could you be? along with honan you guys were happy, and you wished them the best for their next race hoping that if you guys couldn't win they would do so for both of your teams.
then you arrived here, and at first you didn't even know where here was. you remember calling out your brother and reiji's name like they would appear out of thin air and take you back to what was familiar. but they didn't and you don't recognize anything around you. you have no idea where to go or what to do. you don't know who you are with out reiji. but it seems fate believes it is high time you found out.