A/N: Here's another Ritsu fic. Sadly, it's not as happy…or as sweet… But please, don't let that stop you from reading it.
Disclaimer: I don't own Furubaand I'm not making money off this either
Main Characters: Ritsu, Ayame, Hatori (though I'm keeping the pairing a secret!)
Additional Notes: Beta-ed by Moroi Mikomi (she has my severe thanks!)
Love Never Wanted Me
Ayame looked over, surprised and utterly startled to see a familiar face, cowering in the corner of the club. His black jacket—faux leather—swirling around his feet, he made his way to the person.
"Rii-chan!" he cried, sweeping the other man up in a tight embrace before letting him go and taking a step back to survey the timid monkey.
Ritsu swallowed, so nervous he was shaking. "H-hello…A-Aya-niisan…"
The snake shook his head, smiling. "Rii-chan, what are you, of all people, doing here: a bar?"
Auburn hair fell across those fawn colored eyes as Ritsu swallowed again, head bowed. "I…I'm…t-trying to be more…a-assertive…Aya-n-niisan…"
"Well you've certainly picked a strange place to start that out Rii-chan."
The monkey was nearly shivering now, eyes glued to the ground. "I-I'm sorry…!"
Ayame sighed. "It's all right Rii-chan." He watched the monkey for a minute or two, before breaking out in a wide grin. "Rii-chan! I have an idea!"
Ritsu blinked, looking up at the snake with wide eyes. "What A-Aya-niisan?"
The snake laughed. "To the bar!"
Before he could protest, Ritsu found himself being dragged toward the club's bar, Ayame shoving him into a seat as he ordered two tequilas with a grin. The monkey just sat there, head swirling. "A-Aya-niisan?"
The snake turned to him again. "Yes, Rii-chan?"
"Wha-what…are you d-doing?"
A loud laugh from Ayame followed the question, an answer soon after. "Why, ordering us drinks, dear Rii-chan. How else can we start the night off right?"
Ritsu swallowed, unsure, but trusting the older man's judgment. "I-I guess…"
And so it went for nearly an hour, Ayame chatting with the monkey and buying drinks, though Ritsu never really finished his second shot—Ayame, however, downed at least four. Sometime after his third shot, Ayame went silent, just gazing out at the dancers and people talking; he sighed.
Ritsu cocked his head to the side. "Aya-niisan? What is it? Is something wrong? Did I make you bored? Oh my! I'm sorry! Please—"
"No." Ayame smiled, his eyes narrowed slightly. "No—hey, let's go somewhere," he said slowly. "Do you want to?"
The younger man glanced around. True, he wasn't fond of the bar or club… He smiled nervously, his fawn eyes full of innocent naivety. "O-okay Aya-niisan…"
It was only ten minutes later when he found himself in the driver's seat of his car, Ayame next to him in the passenger seat, directing him as he drove. He swallowed as he noticed the surroundings at a stoplight. "Aya-niisan? Where…where are we going?" It was a valid question—after all, they were very near a less reputable side of town.
Ayame only grinned. "You'll see." He laughed quietly to himself and Ritsu swallowed again.
Ritsu glanced nervously around the hotel room, wringing his hands as Ayame shut the door behind them, locking it with a flick of his wrist. The snake turned to him, eyes narrowed and hungry. Ritsu swallowed.
"Rii-chan, you want to be more confident, ne?"
The monkey shivered. "Y-yes."
"You want love, ne?" asked the snake, coming closer, close enough that Ritsu could reach out and touch his porcelain face. Ritsu would have sworn his voice would fail—so he only nodded in reply. Ayame licked his lips. "I can give you that…all of it…if you let me…"
The monkey shivered. "A-Aya…"
"Will you let me?" Ayame drew closer, brushing his knuckles down Ritsu's cheek. "Let me love you for tonight?"
Ayame smiled, taking it as a yes. Gently, he pulled the monkey to him, kissing him softly on the lips. Ritsu stiffened in surprise but didn't pull away. Ayame's hands were quick and proficient as they expertly felt the monkey up, sliding down his waist and pulling the other man's hips closer.
Ritsu yelped, breaking the kiss. "A-A-Aya-n-niisan!"
"Ssh," whispered Ayame, nuzzling the monkey's soft neck, nipping every so often. "I know what I'm doing…"
Fawn eyes were wide as the snake began to guide him back until he felt the pressure of the bed on the backs of his legs. "A-Aya…"
"Relax," murmured Ayame, pushing him back onto the bed. "You want to feel love, yes? Then relax and slip out of that kimono…"
The monkey was trembling. His fawn eyes flitted everywhere but Ayame's face as he clutched the front of his kimono, his comfort. "A-Aya…do…do I have to…?"
Ayame smiled gently, though a flicker of impatience passed through his golden eyes. "Yes, Rii-chan…this is very hard to do with clothes on…"
The monkey shivered but did as he was told. Soon he was bare beneath the snake and Ayame began to spread kisses along his jaw-line and chest, going further down—Ritsu whimpered. Ayame paused, glancing up. "Rii?" he said softly. "It'll be all right…I promise…"
The monkey swallowed, fingering Ayame's silky hair nervously. Ritsu crumbled. "A-all right…I trust you," he whispered; he closed his eyes as Ayame smiled tenderly, nonetheless there was an underlying hunger.
The cotton sheets were pulled up to his chin, the pillows neatly fixed, when Ritsu finally woke the next morning at eight. Fawn eyes blinked slowly open as he stretched carefully, his body still sore from the night before—Ritsu blushed crimson at the memory, a small, nervous smile on his lips. He glanced over to the other side of the bed.
It was empty.
Ayame was gone.
The monkey frowned, sitting up and glancing around the room. Maybe…maybe he only went to the bathroom…
But the bathroom was empty and unused. Fawn eyes widened and a panicky feeling started to curl its tendrils around Ritsu's throat, causing his breaths to come in gasps. He…he wouldn't leave…
But Ayame was gone—there wasn't a single sign of him in the room. Ritsu's body screamed in protest as he got to his feet, the monkey worriedly looking everywhere for the other man. The snake had left him.
Work! Ritsu sighed in relief. He must have had to go to work! That's it! Aya-niisan just didn't want to wake me so he just left…that's it!
He dressed quietly, his mind drifting back to the night before."You want love, ne? I can give you that…"
Those golden eyes had been so confident, so sure…"Rii? It'll be all right…I promise…"
He'd been…gentle, almost…tender in a way. Ritsu shivered, remembering the things Ayame had done last night…things he'd never thought would happen to him, things he thought no one would ever do for him. He'd been loved… At last, he had someone's love…
Ritsu smiled a little, going down the stairs to the first floor of the hotel. He glanced around, getting his bearings, before making his way to the front desk. The man—teen, actually—working the desk had midnight hair and a almost sarcastic grin.
"Hey, what can I do for you?" he asked.
Ritsu smiled nervously, wringing his hands. "Y-yes," he whispered. "I…I need to pay for the room…S-Sohma…"
"Oh? You've been taken care of already!" laughed the teen energetically. "Some guy named "Sohma Ayame"—it was so weird; he looked like a classmate of mine—paid for the room and your complementary breakfast!"
Ritsu blinked. "B-breakfast?"
The teen nodded. "Yea. He paid for everything. The breakfast is over there in the cafeteria area, or whatever it's called. Go have fun! It's a buffet!"
Ritsu blinked at the teen before smiling a little. "A-all right…"
The breakfast was delicious and Ritsu managed to make it through the entire meal without causing anyone trouble or spilling anything. Maybe…Ayame had been right…maybe the snake had given him more than love—perhaps, he'd given him confidence…
It was nearly three in the afternoon when Ritsu decided to see Ayame, and thank him profusely for giving him a chance, for loving him.
The store was empty, save for a small energetic woman with pigtails and glasses cleaning the shelves. Ritsu hesitantly crouched next to her, coughing softly into his hand to gain her attention and she turned, grinning. "Hello sir!" she said, smiling brightly. "My name's Kuremae Miine. How may I help you?"
The monkey swallowed. "Um… Is…is Aya-niisan here?"
"Oh, you must mean Tenchou!" The woman's eyes brightened. "Yes! He's in back. Shall I go get him for you?"
Ritsu shook his head quickly. "No, no," he muttered. "I'll just g-go talk to him… You must be busy…"
"Oh it's really no trouble, Onii-san, but it's all right if you just go back."
Ritsu blushed. "Th-thank you…"
Miine grinned again as Ritsu passed her as he headed for the back room. He reached the door without tripping and smiled nervously. He knocked.
"Come in!" came Ayame's voice.
The monkey swallowed and went in. His fawn eyes found Ayame with no problem—the snake was bent over some fabric, sewing small stitches. He was beautiful, his silver hair shinning softly in the light of the room, his brow was furrowed slightly as he concentrated, thin fingers stitching so delicately. Ritsu chewed his lip for a moment, summoning up the courage to speak. He took a breath. "A-Aya?"
The snake looked up, blinking, before breaking into a grin as he spotted the monkey. "Rii-chan!" In one swift movement, he'd put down the fabric he'd been sewing and glided over to the younger man, beaming. "My dear, how are you? Did you come for clothes? I have a magnificent kimono that—"
"N-no," stuttered the monkey, surprising the snake. "That…that sounds wonderful…b-but…why did you leave?" The smile disappeared from Ayame's face. "Last night…you said…"
"I know what I said." It was a statement, one that Ayame made, his face blank. "People say a lot of things like that when they go to motels for the reason we went."
Ritsu frowned. "Oh… Can...can we go out to eat? Maybe?"
Ayame shook his head, putting a hand to his forehead as he sighed. "Rii-chan, I don't know what you thought last night was, but it's not happening again. It didn't mean anything."
Fawn eyes shown with confusion as Ritsu looked at the snake. "But…but why? Was it something I did? Oh my! Forgive me Aya-sama! I apologize! I apologize to the world!"
Ayame frowned, clamping a hand on the monkey's mouth. "It wasn't that."
Ritsu's eyes were brimming with tears now as he sniffed. "Was…was I bad? Did I do something wrong?"
Another sigh. "No, no… Ritsu, it was a one-night stand—nothing else…"
"No. Ritsu, I have to go—Gure-san and I have a date tonight and I must get ready—it was nice to see you again." He smiled a little. "I hope we've cleared up this little misunderstanding…farewell, Rii-chan."
With that, the snake left, Ritsu's fawn eyes brimming with tears as he stood in the center of the floor. "Aya…niisan…"
Hatori sighed as he heard whimpering from the opposite side of the door, recognizing it as Ritsu. He crossed the room and opened the door, blinking as he spotted the monkey, transformed, huddling next to the door, large tears slipping down his face. Concern flashed across his face as he pulled the door open wider. "Ritsu?" The younger man buried his head deeper in his arms. Hatori frowned.
He knelt next to the monkey, gently patting his soft head. "Come now, Ritsu, come inside and tell me what's wrong."
The monkey swallowed and crawled inside, the dragon following after, careful not to step on his cousin's tail. It was a few minutes before Ritsu said anything, but that wasn't necessarily odd for the shy monkey. The dragon waited in silence until the younger man was ready to speak, but judging by the look on Ritsu's face, something was severely wrong. I wonder… People can be cruel to the nicest people…
"Tori-niisan…what…what is a…a 'one-night stand'?"
The older man blinked, his frown deepening. "A one-night stand? It's where two people make a mutual agreement to have rather guilt-free sex without any commitment or strings attached—why do you ask?"
"Why…why would someone…ever do that?" asked Ritsu, his voice thick with tears.
"Perhaps because they are lonely—sometimes they just want sex." Hatori shook his head and kneeled down on the floor, bringing his face closer to the monkey's. "Ritsu, why are you asking? Did something happen?"
Ritsu shivered before a 'poof' was heard and Hatori was looking at Ritsu's human body. His eyes narrowed as he spotted the bruises, though the monkey tried to hide them. Such marks… I thought it was odd that he would ask such a question—but to carry the marks of it as well? Something has happened… "Ritsu, what happened?"
The other man only shook his head in response. "N-nothing…"
"Stop it Ritsu," muttered Hatori, his gaze serious. Who would do such a thing to someone like him, of all people? What heartless… "Where did you get those bruises? Did someone hurt you?"
"No," whispered the monkey. "He didn't hurt me…not like that… He was so gentle…he promised t-to give me confidence…a-and love…"
"Who?" asked Hatori, the blood draining from his already pale face.
Tears slid down those pale cheeks as Ritsu buried his head in the dragon's chest. "Aya-niisan…"
The snake looked up, grinning broadly as he saw the dragon coming toward him. He laughed and got to his feet to greet his friend only to be slammed against the wall—hard. "T-Tori-san!"
"Why?" growled the other man as Shigure watched, his eyes wide, poised to help though torn between his two friends. "Why did you do that to him?"
"What are you talking about?" stuttered the snake, confused and a little afraid.
"Ritsu! You slept with him—why?"
Ayame went silent, his eyes wide. Shigure frowned, glancing between the two. "Aaya? What's going on?"
The snake shook his head. "I don't know why—he was there and he looked like he needed some love."
"Not your kind, Ayame!"
"Aaya?" Shigure was standing a few feet away now, his eyes still wide but now they held a hurt look, and one of disbelief and denial. "Aaya…what is he talking about? What happened?"
Golden eyes looked away, carefully averting themselves. "I'm sorry Gure-san… Ritsu was there…and I must have had one too many shots of tequila…"
Shigure swallowed. "You…you cheated on me…didn't you?"
Hatori had let Ayame go by this time and moved to the far side of the room, near the door. Ayame looked back at his lover, eyes wide and nearly pleading. "Please, Gure… I messed up—I wasn't thinking straight! Please understand… It won't happen again."
Chocolate eyes closed and the dog sighed. "Aaya… I have to think…but I believe you…"
Hatori's eyes narrowed. "Ayame." The snake turned back to the dragon; Hatori shook his head. "Even if it was an accident, don't come near Ritsu for a while. Just stay away for now…"
Ayame hung his head. "Yes Tori-san," he answered softly. "Of course… Just…just tell Rii-chan that I'm sorry…"
"I will." You messed up, all right, Ayame. You've messed up the one innocent person I know…the one person I've grown to care for…
Ritsu was curled on the couch when Hatori returned—where he'd been since he stumbled in five hours ago, though it seemed like days to the dragon. He looked up, his auburn hair framing his face. "Hatori-niisan? Where…where have you been…?"
The dragon sighed as he noticed the tear trails still visible on the monkey's pale face. He kneeled next to the younger man, brushing some of the auburn strands away. "To see Ayame," he said quietly. "He wants me to tell you that…that he's sorry." The monkey looked away, hugging his knees closer. "He sounded serious—I believe he meant it."
"A-at least," stuttered the monkey, "He means…s-something…he says…"
It seemed that Ritsu had lost what little courage he'd had before the one-night stand—and now, he had no endearing naivety left to shield him. Hatori sighed again, feeling so helpless. "Ritsu…please, what is it you want?"
"I…I want to," started the monkey, looking away as he swallowed, closing the fawn eyes that were once again filled with tears. "To be loved…that's all…I want…"
Hatori smiled slightly and gently grabbed the younger man's chin between his fingers, forcing Ritsu to look him in the eye. "Well, is that all?" he asked softly. Ritsu was about to protest, but his voice died in his throat when the dragon pressed his lips to the monkey's in a soft kiss before pulling away.
Fawn eyes were near saucer-sized. "H-H-Hatori-n-niisan?"
The dragon laughed shortly. "Yes, well, you're not the only one…who wants to be loved, Ritsu-kun… Perhaps we can help each other?"
The smaller man swallowed and buried his face in his knees. "But…but you don't…love me… Do you?"
"Who ever said," whispered the dragon, nuzzling Ritsu's neck, "That I didn't? I have for a long time…seeing you like this made me realize it all the more… I never want to see such a beautiful face stained with tears again."
Ritsu looked back up a little. "You're…you're not lying…?"
The monkey was silent for a moment before the barest hint of a tentative smile began to curl Ritsu's lips. "Yes," he said softly. "Perhaps we c-could help each other…"
Hatori laughed, relief in his emerald eyes. "I was hoping you'd say that… I promise, I will always be here for you…when ever you need to feel loved…"
Tears were sliding down the monkey's cheeks again, but this time, they were tears of happiness. Tears of acceptance. In seconds he was wrapped in strong arms that smelled of soap and camellia. He sighed, a new feeling—quite foreign—coming over him; for the first time, he found the arms that felt like home.
"Thank you, Hatori…"
A/N: Well…a severe thanks to Moroi Mikomi for beta-ing this for me! Really,the ending was atrocious before she helped...Oh, and a cookie to anyone who can find the other Furuba character that wasn't named (i.e. not Miine, Aaya, Gure, Tori, or Ritsu) and correctly guess their name. Please, review!