As the tram rattled by and the throng tightened around you, each person getting ready to push past and step on the vehicle first if it killed them, you stuffed your MP3-player in your pocket. With a crowd this big, you’d have to use both hands to cling onto something (and hopefully not someone) to keep yourself upright. As luck would have it, you managed to squeeze in with the various people, students with bulging bags and different kinds of bags under their eyes, office workers who were visibly swearing under their breath at the younger teenagers who clung together in groups and giggled in the most ridiculous of high-pitched voices.
You hoped you weren’t the one the curses were directed at in any case, but one or two muttered ‘bugger’s and ‘fuck’s probably were aimed at you; you’d just stepped on someone’s foot. Tucking your rather large bag between your elbow and the door, to which you were quite inconveniently pressed by one low-slung handbag the end of which was tucked up against your groin and by one teenager who decided to, instead of holding the bar meant for keeping balance like any person with common sense would do, press her backside and back to it. Unfortunately this meant you had no place to hold on to and due to the fact that the girl was constantly moving, it meant you couldn’t slip a hand in place around the bar.
This left you clinging to the door and the side, feet about three foot apart to keep your balance each time the tram creaked to a halt suddenly (sadly, it did this about every four minutes, screeching with the sudden momentum of its departing). You’d already noticed the guy standing beside you due to his rather tall stature. He luckily had a whole bar to hold on to himself, though this was more due to the fact that his glare was rather intimidating. He seemed to tell anyone who even thought of holding on to his bar, to back the fuck off.
Noting that this wasn’t exactly the nicest attitudes to have in an overcrowded tram, you felt the muscles in your legs tense up as you neared another stop. The stop was quite abrupt this time however, sending you first crashing into the side of the door, before you went the opposite direction and fell headfirst on the man. The glaring man.
“I’m so sorry-“ you stammered, with your earbuds falling from your ears and having to cling to him whilst regaining your balance. Keeping your eyes down and feeling your face burning in humiliation, you quickly recovered your corner and refused to look at him. It took you a second to realise that he was saying something to you, because the deliciously deep voice didn’t seem like something anyone not an actor could produce. “I’m – I’m fine,” you replied, peeking up at him. Surprisingly, he wasn’t glaring anymore, but looking down on you (good god he was very tall now you were suddenly paying attention to him). If your people-reading skills were anything to go on, he even looked rather concerned. By now the tram had started moving again, trundling around the corner. This time you were able to cling to your side of wall and not fall into his chest again.
“Are you sure? That was quite the tumble.” His deep voice did things to your body you weren’t ready to admit to and in fear of what your voice would sound like, you simply nodded. Tucking your headphones around your neck and turning your music off, you tried your best to stay on your toes whilst you tried to gage if your voice would sound normal. Once you were certain that you wouldn’t squeak, you then repeated your earlier statement. “I’m really sorry for that.” To your surprise, but utmost delight, he chuckled and shook his head. “It’s this damn tram’s fault. Not yours.”
Encouraged by the small twitch playing around his lips, you gripped your piece of wall a little tighter and tried to string along the conversation. “God, I hate the jerky way they stop and start.” You said, injecting rightful and honest annoyance into your carefully chosen words. The man nodded in a mock-grave manner. “Tell me about it,” he muttered, watching the street outside roll past. For the next several minutes, you managed to keep him talking. In fact, you were fairly sure you’d have been able to talk longer, if he hadn’t had to get off.
He made his way to the opening doors easily and raised his hand in goodbye before stepping off. If only he had to get off with you, you thought, craning your neck to watch him strolling down the street. Christ, it had to be illegal, being that dashing.
“Well, well.” You glanced up at the familiar sound of the deep voice. Even though you’d only spoken to him for less than ten minutes, you were already in one of your favourite fantasy worlds (by now, you’d moved in with him and he was planning on proposing to you, in your mind). A visible blush started around your throat, going all the way up to your ears. Really, it shouldn’t have come as such a surprise, meeting him again. No doubt he had a job or something to do and getting the tram there was a daily routine for him.
The platform was filling up and you stood close to the edge, so you could be on first (having missed being on the previous one). “Goodmorning.” Brilliant, you hadn’t stuttered and you’d only taken a little longer than usual to respond. The man smiled at you and your heart fluttered. “You get this tram every day then?” He asked, his eyes on the tracks now.
“Y-yeah. You?” You replied, chancing a look at him just as he glanced at you. The two of you looked away, one with a very visible blush and the other with a not so visible one. “Yeah.” He said, almost copying you. The tram rolled up now, sparing the rather awkward silence that had ensued.
Both stepping up and into it, you went back to the two spaces you’d occupied the day before, him by his bar and you by the wall. Today, it seemed, the girls who’d trapped you were late or not coming, for now you had the whole bar to yourself. “Try not to fall on me.” The man joked, his biceps bulging as he pulled on the bar. “C’mon, surely you can catch me now.”
Were you really flirting with this guy? Really? You’d only spoken for about thirteen minutes now and you’d already progressed to flirting? And OBVIOUS flirting at that? He went a little red, but nodded resolutely. “I’ll catch you. If you fall, that is.”
“Well, now you’re making me want to fall.”
That line should have been enough to make you cringe in the past, but it seemed this guy didn’t mind the corniness of it. “Don’t hurt yourself now.” Glancing up, you found yourself being pressed tighter against the closed doors as a new load of people pushed in. The man was forced to leave his bar by a particularly fearless and obnoxious group of prepubescent boys and he grumbled under his breath. He ventured closer to you and only now did you see how wide his shoulders were, what warmth he radiated, even clad in the thick, grey hoodie.
“Sorry ‘bout this.” He muttered, reaching over you to catch one of the movable handles. Only tall people could reach them and even when holding on to them they didn’t do much for keeping your balance. “Try not to fall on me.” You said, repeating his words and grinning cheekily. “C’mon now, surely you can at least TRY to catch me.” He grinned back, causing your stomach to flip a little. He was so close, hanging back a little on the handle, but despite the half an inch of space between you, you could feel all the heat from his skin and the smell of him – now THAT should be illegal, along with his gentle chuckle. “But don’t worry, I won’t hold it against you if you can’t. You’re only small, after all.”
Glaring at him a little, your eyes snapped wide when the tram rounded a corner sharply, sending you straight into his chest. “Careful now.” He said and you could feel the cautious pressure on the small of your back, keeping you from falling to the floor. Last time you hadn’t been able to fully appreciate the lines of his chest, the subtle hardness beneath the clothes that did a poor job of hiding the muscles of his arms and shoulders. “You alright?” He asked in an undertone, when you didn’t respond immediately. Pushing back from him so you were leaning against the wall again, you grinned. “I’m fine.”
He smiled and whilst the tram was now stopped, he offered a hand. “I don’t know your name, but I’d like to find out. I’m Sousuke, Sousuke Yamazaki.” Taking the hand and squeezing softly, you smiled. “Pleased to meet you. I’m (f/n) (l/n).”
He smiled wider.