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Shiro's been doing what he can to get Adam more adjusted to things. This is mostly to help him come along from his injuries, but it's not like it's FULLY without ulterior motive. It's not like Shiro wants Adam out of the apartment, no. If anything Shiro wants to get Adam to STAY in the apartment, and he gets the very clear feeling that Adam feels like a burden and wants to leave as soon as he feels secure enough to.
So, Shiro's been sneaking in little dates with Adam as a sort of two birds with one stone approach to helping Adam out with things. He's been doing a lot of little things like managing to work out ways to get Adam's old favorite things (or at least things close to them) and taking Adam to do things he remembers Adam liking to do.
Unfortunately, Shiro's getting the sinking feeling all his attempts might just be adding up to nothing, however. He can't shake the feeling that Adam just isn't getting the hint... Due to this he's currently stewing over the paper on the sofa.
Fortunately for Shiro, 'as soon as he feels secure enough to leave' also entails making sure Shiro's got stable employment and can make the most of his skills here. Unfortunately, since there doesn't seem to be any need for a standing army or spacecraft pilots -- or ANY kind of pilots, really -- it's been difficult for Shiro to find something to do. Though Adam's been patient with that, and hasn't minded being the 'sole breadwinner'... so to speak.
That said... it's not that Adam hasn't gotten the hint. He's been trying not to pick it up. Through all those things that Shiro's been doing for him, Adam's been remembering their relationship from when they were younger. Well, from when Shiro was younger. It hasn't really been that long, chronologically at least, for Adam. Though, Adam has been trying to return the favor a little, at least. He hasn't gone out of his way to do grand things, but he's made an effort to cook well for them and keep the apartment clean.
Yes, he does believe he's been a burden on Shiro, and he doesn't want to continue that trend. Which, ironically, is one of the reasons he does want to eventually move out -- he wants Shiro to be able to move on, and he's not sure Shiro can do that while essentially living with his ex. He hasn't missed the hint... he's just been leaving it alone, forcing himself to logic his way around it. It's not easy -- he's not a machine, after all. He does have feelings, and is just as susceptible to them as other people. But he's convinced himself it's for the best.
Even so, Adam has been in not that great of a mood of late. He's been able to keep it from leaking out and making him be rude to Shiro, but mainly that's because he's been doing that thing he always does when he's upset about something... obsessively cleaning things. That and because he tends to just go quiet when he's not feeling well, and it's hard to yell at someone when you don't say anything (which is usually why he does that).
At the moment Adam's silently but rather intensely cleaning the dining room table -- again, doing that thing where he obsessively cleans things. The expression on his face can only be described as 'aggressively casual' as he tries not to look too bothered by the fact that he's been turning this situation over and over in his head and been unable to find a way to fix the problem. Presenting him with an unfixable problem is a surefire way to bug the hell out of him, after all...
Shiro has tried putting in for a teaching job, but he hasn't heard back so far. As such it's still mostly him just doing small odd jobs here and there when he's not fretting over Adam just because he wants to. However, at current it seems the both of them are in a not so great mood. Adam hovering over the table while Shiro does his best impression of the irritable, disappointed father news paper read on the couch...it's like there should be some misbehaved kid in the room or something.
Shiro hesitantly lets his gaze drift toward Adam as he looks up from the paper for a moment. This only causes him to look a little less irritable in the place of seeming a bit befuddled. He tries not to act on it for the moment but....jeeze. Is Adam even considering what he's doing right now? ...though seeing his face earlier and how long he's been at that table, probably not.
Adam is unaware he's being stared at. But, eventually, he is going to get tired. And as much as he wants to keep cleaning things, he does need to rest. So he straightens from the table, sighs, and goes to sit down. He gives a quiet grunt as his back comes in contact with the back of the chair -- he needs to get his back to relax.
He stays quiet though, leaning his head back. Though he's of course aware of Shiro being there. It's just a combination of not wanting to bother him, with not knowing what to say, and also not wanting to chance and possibly snap at him. And the rather juvenile urge to not be caught looking at him.
Shiro sighs a little as he closes the paper and sets it on the coffee table. "...Finally get exhausted from trying to change the color of the table," he wonders. Despite his bad seeming mood with the paper, the question and the tone it's asked in seem to be well meaning and friendly enough. As much as the choice of words sounds kind of stabby, it honestly feels more like a friendly jab than something asked in irritation.
Adam looks up suddenly, as if he didn't expect Shiro to speak just then. He didn't, but it was more, he was thinking. "Huh?" A pause and the words register then. He looks up at the clock, realizing that yes, he had been at that for about a half-hour. And then he gives a sound that might be somewhere between a huff and a chuckle -- he recognizes the teasing tone. And he thusly responds, in that same teasing tone, "It's too dark, I was seeing if I could lighten it a shade or two."
Though after a moment he sighs. "Sorry about that," he offers quietly. "I get weird when I start overthinking." Which Shiro probably remembers, yeah...
Shiro nods in agreement. "Yeah, I've noticed that over the years," he says with a slight grin, "...Anything you want to talk about?" He turns so his knees are on the couch instead of his behind, with his only elbow on the back of the couch as he turns his attention fully on Adam now rather than just side eyeing him.
Talk about it? Surely not. It's one of those situations that are so easy to explain, but Shiro would be the last person he'd want to know about it. There's already way too much on Shiro's plate as it is, and Adam's not going to be the selfish asshole that puts more on it.
So Adam shakes his head. "No, but thank you," he replies quietly. "I'm just a bit..." He trails off, makes a vague circular gesture with his hand. "...Out of sorts, I guess. I'm having to accept the situation in stages, and this must just be the 'down' stage." There's more to it than that, but he'll leave it at that for now.
Shiro frowns a little and nods. "That makes sense," he replies, "...anything you want to do that might get your mind off of it?" He tilts his head slightly and holds his robotic hand off to the side as if invisibly holding some item up on the palm of it's hand.
Once more, Adam shakes his head. "Thank you, but... it's not something that I can really avoid for too long," he notes. Prophetic, that; he's going to have to face their situation sooner or later. Maybe sooner would be better, so they didn't have to deal with the awkwardness that parting would create. Not that it wasn't already awkward between them.
Adam draws a breath here, releasing it in a steadying breath. "...Besides, you've done a lot for me already to try to help me be better at ease in this place anyway. I appreciate it, I really do. It's shown me that being here isn't so bad." So he has noticed it. Just he doesn't seem to understand the purpose of it.
Shiro gives a small sigh, though it's hard to say if it's from relief or something else. "Well yeah...I don't want you to think you have to leave," Shiro states, "I'd rather you stuck around..." He just kind of lets that hang there, but doesn't really expect much of a response from it.
Tilting his head, Adam admits, "...It would make sense, wouldn't it? I mean... we're both the only real familiarity in this place that the other one has." Familiarity? A pause, and then Adam ventures, "...I don't want it to be all either of us have, though. Even if there's not much outside it, this is a pretty big city, and there's a lot to experience." Hopefully he'd understand that. And just in case he didn't? "I mean... I significanly hindered your early experience here; if you hadn't had to take care of me, you probably would have a stable life here by now."
Shiro smiles as Adam's saying the first part. "Yes, that's what I mean," he slips in during Adam's pause. Then the rest of it comes though. Even he's starting to have trouble hiding his frustration as Adam continues. "I'm not worried about that," he insists, "...What do I really need right now?"
Adam blinks a little, picking up a little of the frustration in Shiro's tone. But he does consider the question. "What you need?" he echoes. "I think you need to be able to move on and really embrace what might be a very long future here. But I also think it would be hard to do that with me around. You have to know that's what I've been working towards. But I'm not going to just leave you to twist in the wind, not even with these apartments providing for you."
"..." Shiro seems to find it difficult to think of how to respond to that, "You aren't making that hard at all...honestly. Why would you be making that hard? What's making it hard is my own way of things..."
"Well, I mean... it can't really be denied that there was some..." Adam trails off. When he begins to speak again, his voice is calm and level, the tone he uses when he's about to explain something he figures the other person's going to find unpleasant. Almost soothing, but with a slightly detached air that indicates he's trying to sort of... distance himself from what he's saying.
"...I'd feel arrogant calling it 'trauma'," Adam begins. "But there had to have been some... guilt when you came back to Earth and they told you I was dead. I don't want you to let that get to you. I don't want you to hamstring yourself here, in any attempt to make up for something. I've noticed you're doing a lot for me, especially lately, with the activities."
He pauses, shifting forward in his chair again, ignoring the twinge of his back, and turns to look at Shiro properly as well. "I just want you to know this -- what happened wasn't your fault, and you don't owe me anything."
Shiro crosses his arms and tilts his head some. "I can't say that's completely untrue," he admits, "But that's not why I was meaning to do it... I just want to make you happy again."
Adam offers a small smile here. But it's got a kind of... sad quality to it. He moves to lean on the table a little, folding his hands in front of him, looking at the surface as if he doesn't know what to say. And he doesn't speak for a while. It's that pose again, maybe a familiar one. Finally he speaks up again, quietly. "That's what I mean," he says quietly, still looking at the table. "You don't have to do that anymore. Keeping me entertained isn't your responsibility."
"And I didn't assume it was," Shiro states, "But I want to..." He gives a frown and furrows his brows some. "...is it wrong of me to want to?"
Adam shakes his head, but doesn't speak up immediately. (You shouldn't want to!') he wanted to say. (You should want to get on with your life!') But he didn't say that. He didn't really know what to say, actually. He closes his eyes then, to get his thoughts together, silent a moment. Finally he speaks up again. "You have to know how... inappropriate spending too much time on that should be. We're not together anymore, Takashi."
('Even if I want to be...')
...All right, he'd admit it, at least to himself. He did want to get back together. But that's precisely the reason he couldn't -- because that would be selfish. Shiro's had time to put Adam's 'death' in the past. He couldn't help that they'd both arrived here, and he couldn't help that he'd been so injured. And he didn't know what he would have done if Shiro hadn't been here. But he'd taken up too much of Shiro's attention as it was.
"...I guess we aren't," Shiro murmurs, "...Doesn't really make it inappropriate unless you don't want it." He turns back to sitting normally on the couch at this point, seeming to just leave it at that for now. He's not sure what else to say for now really. He's got to think on it more so he doesn't say something wrong entirely.
That's... about where Adam is now too, honestly. He already feels like he spoke out of turn. But it's true -- they're not together, so Shiro shouldn't really be treating him as if they are. He's always been pretty bad at this sort of thing. But... well, the weaning process has to begin sometime, right?
...Ugh, this whole thing just feels horrible.
Adam can ignore a lot of things. But the one thing he can't really stand is embarrassment. And he's incredibly embarrassed right now, and just generally feels like a massive, giant heel on top of it. So he shifts, to push the chair back from the table, and stands. He doesn't turn to look at Shiro. He just moves to the hook on the wall next to the door to grab his keys. "...I need to go get some air. I'll be back in a little while," he promises. His voice is flat and carefully controlled.
But he pauses before he opens the door. Why? He bows his head noticeably, and says quietly, "...I'm sorry, Takashi."
Shiro furrows his brows a bit, watching after him for a moment before suddenly rushing to hold the door closed. "....You think I don't know you that well," he asks, suddenly seeming uncharacteristically cold as he leans toward Adam. "You don't get to just walk out of the situation..."
Adam blinks as the door is pushed closed, and then looks in Shiro's direction. But that expression... something about it is off. Adam frowns slightly, taking a step back. Of course, there's nothing back there but the door, which is currently being held closed. Probably by Shiro's robot arm too, so the chance of him overpowering the grip is slim. "...Takashi?" He doesn't seem afraid, though. Just... confused.
Even if the way his eyes are narrowed like that does seem a little... angry. Shiro's never hurt him before though, and Adam can't think that he'd ever do it. So he asks, "...W-what do you mean?"
"You were going to just use this as an excuse to leave, right," Shiro ask before bringing a hand up to attempt to grab at Adam's shoulder. "Just leave and not come back?" He's leaning in even closer now, giving Adam a very uncharacteristic glare. "Just going to disappear on me? For 'my own good'?"
"What? No," Adam replies immediately.
It's not technically a lie. He was going to stay out most of the day until Shiro went to bed and then start the process. It would be easy to just go down to the lobby, arrange a different apartment for himself on another floor, and just wait until night to move. It's not like either one of them has a lot of stuff anyway; most of it would fit into a bag and he could have left silently.
But, he's not going to leave it at that. "...You have to admit, I've handled this very badly," he states. "I should be the last person you want to see right now."
"Damn...you're such a moron about wanting to be right," Shiro mutters, "Get your head out of your ass, or I'll force it out for you..."
Adam's frown deepens, becoming one of concern. This isn't right... nothing about this feels right. Shiro just isn't this hostile, even in this kind of situation. Maybe especially in this situation. Now he's more concerned than angry. Shiro mentioned some very characteristic PTSD behaviors -- irrational anger was often a symptom of a PTSD episode.
"...Takashi, what's gotten into you?" His voice isn't angry or demanding. It's quiet, concerned. "This isn't like you..."
Bonus? OH LOOK, A DISTRACTION! Keeps him from having to address the actual problem. Hopefully. He's avoiding it for now, but if Shiro doesn't 'wake up', he might not be able to.
"It's more about what hasn't gotten into me," Shiro mutters, "It's been a long damn time...and your little inability to be wrong is just stringing me along and teasing me..."
The joke, if there was one, flies right over Adam's head. Normally he'd have caught it, but he's a bit concerned now... and getting a little irritated, honestly. "What are you even talking about?" he inquires, the irritation beginning to show in his voice now. But still he doesn't raise his voice. He almost never does. "I'm not worried about being right in this. I'm worried about you. This place may not be home, but it's where we have to live, however long that is. And I don't want you being in your ex's pocket your whole time here."
Shiro facepalms with his free hand. "I'd say you've got to be fucking kidding me, but there's no fucking about it..." he mutters. "What says you have to be my ex, huh?"
...Yeah that was pretty blatant. Adam's startled out of his irritation by this, and his face goes a little red. "Wh-what?" he sputters. He seems at a loss for words for the moment, blinking and red-faced, not sure he heard any of that right.
"Oh come on...you aren't stupid," Shiro growls, "Should I stop spelling it out for you and just show you already?"
('Get a hold of yourself!') Adam insists mentally. ('This is not normal!') He shakes his head, as if clearing it, and then faces Shiro with more force in his presence. He frowns. "Am I going to have to hit you to get you to snap out of it?" he asks.
...Come to think of it, maybe that would get some of this tension out, if they just found a way to punch each other a bit. Adam hasn't been unaffected, honestly, but he's not the one suffering from PTSD. Shiro is. It might be able to calm him down some.
Notably, though, he didn't answer the question. He's not going to answer any questions with Shiro like this -- he's not speaking to Takashi, and he knows it.
"Oooh, I didn't think you were into that, but if that's what you want," Shiro says with a smirk, "We can do that...but do you really think you want to try that with me? Do you know how many people I've killed without being pissed off at them?"
That does frighten Adam a little -- Shiro told him he was made to kill in an arena, but he never went into specifics. But this is important. He can't back down now. Whatever darkness has come out here, it needs to be shown he's not going to cower. Besides, either he's right and Shiro won't actually hurt him...
...Or it suddenly won't be Adam's problem anymore.
"I didn't say I wanted to," Adam replies firmly. "But if I have to, I will."
"Ah...well that's not as fun..." Shiro says with a pout, "Damn, you're being good at moving your mouth, but it really isn't in the good way..." He sighs and shakes his head. "I guess I really do have to pull your head out of your ass for you..."
Adam blushes, and gives a quiet sound of embarrassment. But he stands firm still. "I'm not going to discuss this subject with you while you're like this," he says, tone brooking no argument. "You're emotional right now and this is a conversation that needs rational thought. We will have the conversation," he promises. "But not with you like this. When you calm down..."
Shiro gives another sigh before leaning in even closer. Without waiting for any sign of permission or anything else of the like, he presses his lips to Adam's. Granted, as much as it seems he has no intent on backing out of this, he's still barely doing anything to keep Adam where he is. His flesh hand is holding one of his shoulders, other wise he isn't constraining Adam at all.
"When you calm down," Adam is mid-sentence, "we'll dis--"
Then suddenly he can't continue, because Shiro is kissing him.
And Adam intantly freezes, tensing. That's the last thing he expected. Honestly he expected Shiro to take a swing at him, and have to tussle with him a bit to get him to calm down. But better have to fight with him than have him go out into the city like this. But this? He's not quite sure what to do.
...Actually yeah, he is sure what to do -- at least some part of him is pretty sure. In the few moments before the logical part of his brain kicks in he relaxes, closing his eyes and tilting his head a little. This is familiar, and he's missed it. And it's really nice, too.
And theeeeeen his brain catches up with things. He can almost hear an audible record-scratch in his head as his mental voice suddenly does a very good impression of a popular cartoon rabbit that's predisposed to mischief against hunters.
('...WHAT AM I DOING?')
The movement isn't abrupt, but Adam pulls away from Shiro, ducking around him -- notably, into the apartment, not out the door. He's blushing again, and looks both embarrassed and flustered! "...That was... very inappropriate," he begins. His voice is still ever so slightly throaty, airy, as he seems to be catching his breath.
Shiro smirks a little. "Well I don't see anyone else here and I don't hear you complaining, so who's it inappropriate for," he wonders, "...'sides it's not like I give two craps about being appropriate...you're talking to the wrong 'Gane about that...."
'The wrong 'Gane?' Adam frowns, not understanding. Shiro didn't have a brother or something, did he? An evil twin, something like that? Then he remembered the conversation in which Shiro told him about the time in the Galra's arenas. He said he'd had to become a different person, someone he didn't like.
Someone that was the opposite of everything Adam knew to be true of Shiro.
If this was those instincts waking up, then it wasn't Shiro. It was someone Adam didn't know. And Adam realized he might be in more danger than he first thought. Was this just Shiro without filters... or was his someone who liked killing?
He'd said his crew called him 'Shiro'. And Keith used to call him that too. But if this wasn't Shiro -- more importantly that he said he wasn't Shiro -- then Adam shouldn't call him that. Then what should he call this one? 'Shiro' was the Japanese word for 'white'. And if this was the opposite of Shiro...
"...Kuro," Adam utters simply, quietly. Of course he does put forth the effort to make the proper 'ro' sound, rather than just Westernize the 'r'.
Shiro pauses and blinks at that. "Kuro?" he asks, seeming totally lost as to why that word is being brought up. Notably he's not moved to hurt Adam other than that very forward kiss earlier and keeping him from leaving. He certainly seems very vocally threatening though.
"It's come back, hasn't it?" Adam realizes. "That person you had to be in the Galra's arena... you convinced yourself so completely that it was a different person... that that's what it became -- that's what he became... A different person. If you don't want to be 'Shiro', you can be 'Kuro'."
This is just as much for his own benefit as for Shiro's, now. If this person has another name to call himself, he might 'warn' Adam he's coming out next time. Or maybe Shiro will.
'Kuro' blinks some more. "Huh," he murmurs, "....I guess it's like that, yeah...I'm part of me, but I'm usually just buried in the back of my own mind until the emotions just bottle up too much..."
Adam nods. Good, the disassociation isn't a complete one -- even like this, Shiro still has knowledge of himself as... well, himself. Just this is a part of him that he's buried. "We have to work on getting these emotions properly integrated, so you won't have to do that." Pause. "Yes, 'we'," he continues, his voice gentling. "I told you I wasn't going to leave you to twist in the breeze, and I intend to keep that promise. If you need me, I'll be here."
'Kuro' sighs a little. Even though things seem to be calming, even his general posture and basic mannerisms feel out of character for Shiro. "...Fine just... let's talk about all this like adults instead of running the hell away from each other... before I give in to the urge to fill up some rather neglected holes..."
Adam knows what Shiro's talking about now, and blushes a little. He clears his throat, ducking his head a little and rather needlessly adjusting his glasses. "Yes. Let's talk." He walks back into the living room and sits down on the couch, waiting for Shiro to join him. Or would that be 'Kuro' when he's like this? He's not sure right now.
Shiro shakes his head a little and clears his throat. "....er...sorry..." he murmurs as he sits down next to Adam, "I guess we should start all this back from the top again... I hope that wasn't TOO bad..."
"Is it... passing now?" Adam inquires. He's not quite sure how to ask the question. He doesn't want to ask 'are you back to normal now', since that would imply that he's upset at Shiro for the slip. He isn't. Adam understands what happened -- a panic response went off in Shiro's head, and 'Kuro' answered.
Shiro nods in reply. "Yes, I'm getting my grip back again... sorry... I was hoping no one would have to see that. He seems a lot less volatile than usual though..."
Adam relaxes then, and nods. "That's good. Though, um..." He pauses, wondering if he should say this or not. He decides on, "...He seemed less interested in killing me and more interested in... er... a 'smaller' death." Yeah, he's still blushing.
Shiro blushes and clears his throat again. "Yeah...he can be like that sometimes," he states, seeming to have no real interest into going into why. "I'm glad he didn't do anything worse..."
The conversation of why can happen later. Right now? Adam sighs. "All right, so... what happened?" he inquires. "I get the general idea. Bottled up emotions, and they broke free. The genie came out of the bottle, essentially. But what were those emotions you were bottling up? And why did they break free now?"
"I was just getting frustrated," Shiro admits, "And I guess part of me panicked too. I don't want to---" He pauses and shakes his head. "Not... I can't even really say that because it'd require something that isn't the case in the first place. ...I didn't want to lose the illusion of having you again."
Adam takes a breath. "I have noticed it... the little things you've been doing," he replies. "I'm very appreciative of all those things. But... I'm no different than I was back then -- for you. Almost no time has passed for me. You've grown up. I haven't." His voice takes on a bit of a self-deprecating note as he continues, "...As you can see, I guess..."
Shiro frowns and nods. "For you what I did is a lot more recent..." he states, "And even though I meant well, it was still a thing of betrayal that I shouldn't have done to you... I was trying to protect you and not give in to some sort of imagined defeat at the same time...but I wasn't thinking enough about your feelings in the process."
Adam shakes his head. "No, I understand why you did it," he replies. "You weren't going to get another chance, one way or the other. I was selfish for expecting you to just... lay down and give up to stay with me." His hands, resting on his knees, suddenly seem like the most fascinating thing in the apartment. "...I just... didn't want to see you work yourself to death," he admits. His voice is quiet, his words slow, as he's trying to put them together in his head before speaking them. "And it was likely you would have died on that mission before you got back... I didn't think I could handle that. And I knew there wasn't any way I could go with you -- I would have, if I'd been able to..."
Shiro frowns and nods. "I didn't want to keep ruining things for you with all the stress I must have caused you," he states, "But... well I'm better now, and smarter now. It probably feels like I'm just clinging to you because you're familiar, but that isn't it."
"That's what I thought, yes," Adam admits. "And in a world like this, where everything's so crazy, familiarity might be the only thing that keeps you sane. But eventually you have to let go of the anchor. If that's all it was... I wanted to make sure I wasn't the anchor bringing you down."
Shiro shakes his head and chuckles slightly. "If anyone's doing that to me, it'd be myself..." he states, "You'd always been there to help me keep moving...figuratively and non."
Adam smiles, though he still doesn't look up. It's good to know that he helped Shiro, even a little. But he's not going to ask Shiro to go into how -- that seems self-aggrandizing. Instead he asks, "...So. What is this, then? What do you -- I mean... If it's not just clinging to familiarity -- and I'm not saying you were the only one doing that -- then, what is it?"
"For now roommates," Shiro states, "But we could restart as something more than that...if you'd have me."
Adam doesn't reply for a moment, he has a thoughtful look on his face. "We wouldn't really be able to just... pick up where we left off," he points out. "Too much time has passed for you." For Adam, it's only been a year at most. For Shiro, several years have passed.
And that makes Adam realize something that he thought he'd accepted already. Shiro is not the same person he was then. He'd known it intellectually... but after seeing 'Kuro', now it's just sinking in and he actually knows it now.
He remembers his train of thought then. "But even so... even if we can't just pick up where we left off, we also can't act like there's never been anything between us," he continues, finally looking up at Shiro. "There has been, and to ignore it would be foolish. I'm not sure how we would deal with that."
Notably, however... he hasn't said that he doesn't want to...
Shiro frowns thoughtfully. "Well obviously we can't ignore it..." he states, "I'm not sure there's exactly a way to approach it aside from keeping it in mind..."
Adam gives a small smile here. "Keep it in mind as a cautionary tale for us both not to be stupid?" he notes, sounding amused. A pause here, and he looks back at his hands. Yeah, he does that a lot. He does it when he's trying to rationalize something. "...I guess it's all right to admit it now... but I never really 'got over' you. That might not mean as much from me, since so little time passed for me between then and now, but..."
Shiro chuckles a little and then tilts his head at Adam's look of trying to rationalize something. "There's nothing wrong with that...I never got over you either, as much as some things Kuro might say might make it feel otherwise..."
"I get the feeling he wouldn't have been so... verbally abusive if he didn't care," Adam surmises. "Besides, that part of you wouldn't have come out if you weren't worried that I was going to leave. I'd say that means you care. People don't get angry about things they don't care about."
He pauses again, one of his hands curling into a fist where it rests on his knee. The hand lifts, seems to hesitate... and then Adam reaches over to place that hand over one of Shiro's. It's been a long time since he's done that just for the purpose of holding his hand. He doesn't say anything, just lets the touch be the thing that does the communicating. It's a hesitant touch, one that's clearly waiting for some kind of consent before becoming more involved.
Shiro smiles and...for lack of having another hand that's good for this sort of thing, he pats at Adam's hand with his robotic one. "That's true..." he replies, "He is probably terrible because he cares...he exists because it was too hard for me not to care..."
Adam doesn't seem to care about the robotic hand being the one to pat his hand. His smile widens a little. And he gets an idea. He turns his hand, and makes to try to link his fingers with those of the robotic hand. A gesture of acceptance, if any was needed -- he's not said anything negative about the arm in the time they've been here. But still, acceptance nonetheless. And trust, too; that hand is a lot stronger than a normal hand would be, and he doesn't seem to be worried that Shiro will hurt him.
Shiro smiles and gently squeezes at Adam's hand in turn. "Thank you..." he states, "You don't know how much I needed something like this when my arm was galran tech..."
Adam considers the robotic limb. "The one they gave you in the arena?" he asks. He knows this one isn't the same one; Shiro's told him this floaty one is made from mostly Altean technology. "The one that was being used to control the clone?" Yeah, he got to that part, too.
Shiro nods in reply. "I felt so much like I wasn't even human anymore with that arm in place..." he states, "Even though this arm's even less like a human one, it makes me feel less like a monster..."
"Given what it was used to do, I'm sure you couldn't help but see it as a bad thing," Adam replies quietly. "I'm glad you're free of it. This one... I'll admit I find the design a bit strange, but it's not upsetting to me at all. And if this was built for you, I can only imagine what's been done with prosthetics in general, with this kind of technology available."
Shiro nods in reply. "My crew has more than it's share of genius in it," he states, "This one was mainly something Allura was to be thanked for...."
The mention off Allura draws Adam's smile to fall a bit. "I'm sorry about what happened to her," he replies. "I imagine it was pretty difficult for you, given you were so close to her." He doesn't say this to mean 'close' in a romantic light, of course. She was a friend, and it's always hard to lose a friend.
Shiro nods and squeezes at Adam's hand again. "And I'm getting another gift from her sacrifice even now..." he murmurs thoughtfully, looking toward the window as if he expects he'll some how see her outside.
"How so?" Adam inquires, looking up at Shiro's face again. He'd been concentrating on looking at their linked fingers. Mainly because he was trying not to look like a teenager holding hands with a high school crush and had been fighting a really silly blush until just then.
"Well, now I'm here with you again, talking about this," Shiro replies with a little smile. That might make it even harder not to blush over this.
Sure enough Adam does indeed blush at this. Though he's still smiling. "I don't think she sent you here," he points out. "Or do you mean pulling your spirit from the Lion? I'm fairly certain she couldn't have left you in there anyway. You were needed -- the rest of the pilots needed you. Not just as a leader, but as a friend."
"I mean the fact that our reality still even existed thanks to her...so right now that means I'm alive to see you again..." Shiro points out.
"Technically everyone in your reality has her to thank for their continued existence," Adam replies. He doesn't call it his own reality, because, well... he stopped being a part of it when he died. "It's just unfair that she had to do that to save everyone..."
Shiro nods in reply. "It really is..." he agrees, "...maybe she's out there somewhere like you were, but with what she did, I'm not so sure that's possible."
"I can only hope she at least got to go somewhere good," Adam replies. "I don't know what their theology was, but whatever the Altean's version of heaven was, I hope she got to go there." He pauses and leans a bit so that he's leaning on Shiro a little, to try to cheer him up a little. He's never been very demonstrative of his affection, but the little things are there for those who choose to look.
Shiro smiles softly again. Being some what more affectionate than Adam, he kisses at the side of Adam's head here. "Thank you...I've really needed the little things like this..."
Adam blushes again, slightly. "I'm sorry. I didn't feel like it was really appropriate, given the... situation," he says quietly. And since he hasn't actually officially said he wants that situation to change, he notes, "I think it should be all right now though, since... since we're... I'm..." Why is he stumbling over it now?! He sighs, and clears his throat. "I would... like to try again," he finally gets the words together.
"Yeah, I'd love to try again," Shiro agrees, "...thank you for giving me another chance Adam. I'll definitely do better by you this time."
"That's a promise we both have to make," Adam points out. "We both screwed up, and we didn't have a chance to fix it back then. I don't know why I didn't realize it before now... We didn't have that chance the first time, and I was letting it pass us both by. And I didn't realize that you... well, that you needed the closeness." Pause. "...And, yes. I needed it too, I'm starting to realize that too." He chuckles.
More seriously, he tilts his head back a bit more, so he can see Shiro clearly from where he's leaning. "I promise, I'll do better this time," he offers quietly, with a small, subdued smile that is no less genuine for being subded.
"We'll have to work together on it, but that's the point, isn't it," Shiro replies with a little grin. He peers curiously toward Adam and offers another smile. "And that's alright...you can't help that I'm greedy for attention."
"Kind of ironic," Adam notes, sounding amused, "given the stereotypes surrounding our respective nationalities. You being the sort to... show affection in physical ways in public, and me being the kind to be more subdued about it." That wouldn't be the only stereotype the two of them were breaking, but that's the one that can be talked about here without being completely insensitive!
Shiro nods in agreement. "Not that I'd be too affectionate in public," he states, "...maybe in public places when no one's around though..."
Adam chuckles. "No, you never have before," he notes. Though that said... that other... well, not quite personality... Shiro just sort of loses his filter a little. Okay, he loses his filter a lot. He's not sure Shiro wouldn't be that inappropriate in public in that state.
Which... makes him think of something. "Actually, I do have one more question," he begins. "Are we... how quickly is this going? It isn't as though we haven't been to that point before, but... are we setting goals?" A breath. "More to the point... are we sharing a bed? I've noticed you have trouble sleeping... and that one time I tried to wake you up and you pulled me into the bed with you and fell asleep again..."
Shiro blushes on this note. "Well, I certainly wouldn't complain about having something to keep my mind at ease," he states. "We don't have to go fast about it though. Just because we were ready before doesn't mean we're ready now..."
"And sharing a bed doesn't necessarily mean... being intimate in it," Adam adds. That is also definitely an Adam thing to do -- go out of his way to find a 'polite' way of referring to certain non-polite things! "I'm concerned, since you don't seem to be sleeping well. If you're going to find a job, you'll definitely need to get proper sleep. And if my being there will help..."
Shiro nods in agreement. "Exactly," he states, "There's no need to rush any of this. We can just do what's comfortable at the time." That said, there is something about Shiro that feels restrained... Something that feels like he's pulling another of those scream on the inside sort of stunts.
('Well, at least some things about him haven't changed,') Adam notes mentally. He's about to leave it be, to just agree... and then. He pauses. What happened earlier happened because of Shiro bottling things up. So he thinks about how to ask.
He thinks so long, in fact, that it might seem that he was upset about something. But then finally, Adam inquires hesitantly, "...Is... I mean... what's wrong?" He'd been about to ask 'if' something was wrong... but he knows there is. So instead, he asks 'what'. Less options to wiggle out of things!
Shiro blinks a little at that. "Hmm," he wonders, "Nothing outside of the ordinary really..." He looks thoughtful for a moment. "Worrying maybe, as much as I wanted this, I might just be saddling you with a different set of burdens again..."
"Burdens are always easier when they're shared," Adam replies. "So don't worry about it. Whatever it is that's worrying you, I'll figure out a way to help you with it. You just need to tell me what I need to do, and I'll do the best I can. Besides, if I didn't want to help you, I wouldn't still be here. And I certainly wouldn't have agreed to get back together with you."
"Okay but ...you have to do it too," Shiro states, "I mean...how much of our old relationship was times of you pulling my impaired self out of the fire?"
Adam looks a bit sheepish. "Well... true. But I didn't do it because I had to," he points out. "I did it because I wanted to. I wanted to help you then, and I want to help you now. Besides, I'd say you paid it back, given how much you helped me while I was recovering. If you hadn't been there, I might have had to stay in a hospital. You didn't have to do that, but you did." He smiles. "Thank you."
"Thank you too," Shiro replies, "Should we do something small to celebrate?"
Adam nods. "It... feels like something that should be celebrated, yes," he decides. No lie there. A bit of an understatement though -- he feels the same floaty way he did when they officially started dating the first time! "What do you think would be an appropriate way to celebrate it?"
"Maybe we should get something out so you don't have to cook," Shiro states, "Other than that...let's see...some desert and just taking a rest?"
"I think I remember where there's a sushi place, if you felt like braving the outside," Adam replies. He's not offering just because Shiro's Japanese either, he likes the stuff too. "Getting pizza and a few sweets delivered here sounds good too though, if you preferred the idea of staying in."
"Hmm, sushi sounds great, but pizza sounds more personal," Shiro says thoughtfully, "Well, since it's technically our first night, I guess we should do the sushi this time."
Adam nods. "It looks like an informal place, more of a sushi bar than a fancy sit-down place," he notes. "So you won't have to dress up really fancy." If the two of them even have any fancy clothes aside from what Adam wears to work. Of course, that might or might not have favored into his suggestion.
"That's good yeah," Shiro states, "I've only got casual stuff with me...I should really fix that eventually."
Adam chuckles. "Give it time. We haven't been here too long, and most of what we've been concerned about up to this point has been making do," he notes. And also apparently avoiding how they felt about each other, not to forget that! But. Yes. "We get to hopefully play the long game now."
Shiro nods in agreement. "Hopefully the clothes didn't keep me from getting any of the jobs I interviewed for..." he murmurs, "But I'd think the people here would understand the situation the inhabitants are going through, so it should be fine."
"Probably not," Adam replies. And to make Shiro feel better, he notes, "Maybe they just didn't want such a threat to their present romantic relationships working there. They'd have to look at you every day and try to hold back asking you out." He's... not great at this sort of thing, but he's trying at least!
Shiro chuckles a little at Adam's way of thinking. "I guess that could be true," he states, "You do have a good enough sense of taste that others might have it too..."
Adam smiles. "Who knows?" He pauses, to offer a hand to Shiro. "Are you ready to go? Or do you want to do something before we go?" he inquires. He's presentable enough for a sushi bar, but if Shiro wants to fix his hair or whatever, he's okay with that.
Shiro smiles and takes the offered hand. "I'm ready to go, sure," he answers, "Let's have some sushi!"
And it's here that Adam pauses, considering these clasped hands with a thoughtful look. Did either of them ever think that they'd ever do that again? Adam because he thought that Shiro would die on the mission, and Shiro because Adam actually did die in his timeline. Even then Adam never thought they'd be together again, not after having broken up. But here they were. So much had happened to Shiro, he'd grown and matured since they broke up. ('I'm going to have to learn to grow up too,') Adam decides.
He seems to 'wake up' then, and the smile returns. "Good idea," he agrees. He's never been one for PDAs in public, but there's going to be some hand-holding on the way to the place!