The first time Atsushi kisses a boy, he is barely eight, he knows nothing about romance and he probably does not even register the event as the oh-my-god-my-first-kiss-ever thing it should be.
« At-chan! » the silver-haired kid reached the highest floor of the three-floor wooden castle with a long jump, landing a few inches from where Atsushi was seating.
« Kin-chan! » the bluenette squeaked. « Y-you scared me! »
Atsushi’s eyes were already heavy with tears. His friend stepped back, bewildered. Then, he leaned down to his level, a confident smile on his lips. He patted Atsushi’s cheeks with his hands.
« No need to be scared, At-chan. I’m here to protect you! » he declared, his firm tone and pompous words creating a bizarre contrast with his age.
Just like that, he pressed a quick kiss on Atsushi’s lips. To his own surprise, Atsushi felt so much better after that.
Actually, to be completely honest with himself, he elaborates the concept only when Ryuu points it out, with a loud whistle of admiration, during the most innocent conversation about childhood and playground games.
« Are you saying that your first kiss was with a boy? And you were eight? That’s impressive. » Ryuu throws him a meaningful glance – meaning what, Atsushi has no idea and he is pretty sure he does not want to know.
And then, out of the blue, Yumoto manages to bring the conversation to a whole new level of awkwardness. That’s a kind of magic power.
« Woah! Kinugawa-senpai kissed a member of the council! »
Atsushi nervously adjusts his glasses and clears his throat. The boy next to him – who happens to be En, of course, because who else would be sitting next to him? – catches his breath, Atsushi can fucking feel it: En freezes on his seat with such a gracious discretion that his tension comes unnoticed by everyone except Atsushi.
« W-well. It wasn’t exactly a kiss. We were just playing, that’s it. It is actually very common among kids to play fairytales characters and I simply happened to play the princess while he was playing the knight. »
It occurs to him that Kinshirou was always playing the knight any time Atsushi was the princess, which meant most of the time. The bluenette found that the part suited his calm nature better and he could easily read a book for the whole time of the game, waiting for his knight to come and rescue him.
He wisely chooses not to share these informations with his so-called friends.
« I always played the princess, too! ‘Cause I was the prettiest, obviously. » Ryuu is practically glowing.
« Obviously. »Io echoes him, mockingly. « Or perhaps you were the slower and the other kids realized it would have been more profitable to have you playing the easy role. »
« Being a princess is not an easy role! » Ryuu pouts his lips. « It requires lots of charm and wits. You have to make all the knights fall in love with you to improve your chances to get rescued! »
The boy gives his best friend a proud-puppy smile. Io sighs, resingned, then nodds at him approvingly.
« You clearly thought that through, I can give you that. »
Ryuu looks like a child who has just been told school is over forever – or more likely a little ball of sunshine and pink cheeks. Atsushi and Wombat are the only ones to notice how embarassing these two can get – Yumoto could probably notice it as well, with a little bit of effort, but he is usually too busy being equally embarassing to aknowledge the fact.
« Why did you play the princess, senpai? » Yumoto enquires.
Atsushi thanks the Heavens that Yumoto came out with such an innocent question – you can never tell with that blonde little devil – so he begins to plan a long, elaborate answer that will bore his friends to death and make them all forget about that nonsense.
That is also when En stands up – unexpectedly and far too fast for his standards.
« Are you saying that Atsushi-chan is not pretty enough to play the princess? »
En is wearing his scariest passive-aggressive face – the one saying “I look so calm you can probably picture how fucking slowly and painfully I am going to kill you”. Atsushi almost chokes in his own saliva. Yumoto blinks. Ryuu pops his tongue and widens his eyes in interest. Io looks aways with half of a smirk already coming up to his lips.
« I don’t know. » Yumoto replies, honestly. « I think nobody is prettier than Womb-san. You guys are all the same to me. »
The young boy titles his head and studies Atsushi’s face for a moment longer.
« But I know for sure that Kinugawa-senpai is very, very, veeery embarassed right know. His face is soooo red. »
Another example of Yumoto’s exquisite sense of shame.
The club meeting ends with Atsushi desperately trying to melt down onto his own chair under the careful watch of his best friend.