The sun is beating down on them, and Shindou's nose is sunburned, and they are alone for a few minutes because Waya dropped his snocone in the sand and Isumi laughed and offered to buy him another and was dragged up to the boardwalk.
Shindou himself looks kind of like Waya's snocone, sand stuck to his chest and knees and shoulders, and Touya reaches over to brush some off but freezes halfway when Shindou tips his head back to drain the rest of his snocone out of the paper cup, throat bared and golden.
"What?" Shindou asks, crunching the last bits of ice. His lips are stained orange—who in the hell gets starfruit-flavored snocones?—and his eyes are green, greener than the ocean and Touya's swim trunks and the tiny car Isumi rented to drive them down here, with amusement because he knows exactly 'what.'
"Let's stay here forever," Touya says, and wraps his arms around his knees so he won't crawl into Shindou's lap and knock him onto his back and get sand in a lot of places that sand shouldn't ever be. He's still got sand in a lot of places it shouldn't ever be from yesterday, but Waya and Isumi will be back any minute, and there are small children building a sandcastle not five meters away.
There are lots of replies Touya might expect to such a frivolous statement, even from Shindou; like "Sure, we'll join the carnies and you can work the Ferris Wheel" or "We can live under the boardwalk and steal people's Cokes and fries like seagulls" or even, since they had a fight that morning so gigantic that Waya had to pound on the door between their adjoining rooms, "The sun has clearly crisped your tiny brain inside your over-haired skull and maybe you should just go home and do whatever the hell your parents tell you to."
He does not expect Shindou to tilt his head to the side and say, "That's impossible."
"It's not impossible," Touya replies, unsure why he is defending his off-hand and possibly heatstroke-induced statement, but unable to separate the concepts of Shindou Hikaru and Competition to the Death.
"For one thing," Shindou says, and Touya knows a Shindou wind-up when he hears one, "we'll only be here, or anywhere, for the next sixty years or so, after which our bodies might still be here for another couple decades before they decompose entirely."
"Well, that's grim." Touya wrinkles his nose.
"For another thing, here won't be here forever. In fact, here won't be here five minutes from now, and the here you were talking about is already gone anyway."
"What the hell are you talking about?" Touya laughs, because Shindou is nuts, but Touya can usually at least follow the thread of the insanity.
"Here, look." Shindou points out at the ocean. Touya gazes out cooperatively, shielding his eyes from the glare of the sun and following the line of Shindou's finger. "See?"
"Shindou, that's the ocean," Touya says, condescending. "It's been here for millions, if not billions, of years."
"Touya, you simpleton." Shindou shakes his head sadly and points further in, where the ocean is foaming white against the sand. "What's that?"
"A wave," Touya plays along, watches the next one break higher; the tide's coming in. "And another wave."
"No," Touya admits, having the sinking suspicion that's he's about to be had.
"It's never the same wave twice, and it's never the same sand twice, going in or coming out." Shindou wriggles his toes in the sand in demonstration. "We'll even take sand with us when we go, effectively destroying your 'here.' But on the other hand," Shindou's voice gets more thoughtful, his gaze drifting back out over the water, "when we take it home with us, we'll scatter it all over there, and some of the salt from the water'll be in our bodies, in our cells, so really we'll stay 'here' everywhere we are."
"Shindou Hikaru," Touya says, chest so full of want that he feels like his sunburned skin might split right off, "you are the king of the freaks."
Waya and Isumi return, and Waya declares it's too freaking hot for the beach. They go out drinking instead, buy buckets of steamed crabs from a shady boardwalk vendor, and then hoot at each other when their semi-drunken use of the little wooden hammers proves less than effective.
It's twilight when they collapse on the lumpy bed in their room, and Touya is sandy and sticky and burnt, but Shindou's mouth tastes like salt and seafood, and Touya wants to stay here forever. Particularly the here where Shindou's skin feels like it's burning under Touya's palms and he mumbles Touya's name while he gets them even stickier.
"I like it here," Shindou murmurs sleepily, sprawled across Touya's chest despite the heat. "Let's stay."
"That's impossible," Touya answers, running fingers through the smooth strands of hair on the back of Shindou's head.
"Why's that?" Shindou asks, cracking one eye open to see how far Touya will play along.
"Because," Touya takes a deep breath, "tomorrow I have to go home and tell my parents why I won't be marrying the very attractive and suitable girl they've found for me, or any girl, ever."
"Your father is going to kill me," Shindou says, awe-struck, then he's laughing, and Touya kisses him, and after that they get sand in a lot of places where sand should never, ever be.