Chapter 4- Lies of a special memory
They always said that the eloquent rhythm of one's loving heart, had enough strength and brutality to last through pain, anguish and affliction. The young, charming and yet stubborn child believed in such murmured words, but he was still so far away from the source of his heart's true strength.
"I want to go home. They said I'm going to die if I go through those doors and I don't want to. I demand to go back to my friend!"
The boy was struggling, bucking and thrashing his way out of his bed, but strong, firm hands riveted his foolish actions. "Stop it Kazuki. Don't be ridiculous."
"P-Please big brother, d-don't make me die. I want to go back. I really want to go back. Don't make me go in those doors."
He was so small, so weak and in a matter of seconds, his contend efforts relinquished into salty tears. "You know I would never let anyone hurt you Kazuki."
Arms wrapped warmly around him, but Kazuki didn't find the strength to return such an embrace. "Y-You're lying. You don't want me to go back because you don't like Wataru, you hate him and because you hate him, you hate me and you want me to die."
Shohei was at a lost of words for a moment. The statements that helplessly dribbled out of his younger brother's mouth pertained some truth to a certain degree. The older male refused to deny every word that revolved around Wataru's case, but as for his little brother; he knew for a fact that he would never hate him.
However, his long hesitation came with a price of hatred as Kazuki ruthlessly shoved Shohei away from him. Kazuki's eyes stained with hostility, the depth of his soul drenched with anguish and every part of him displayed his hatred amongst his stifling ivory features.
It only took a matter of seconds until he explode. "I hate you!!! I hate you for bringing me here! I hate you for despising Wataru and I hate you for being my brother! I rather die to see Wataru rather than be here with you! Go to hell!"
He turned his upper body sharply and slammed his face furiously into a pillow. His tears refused to subside and muffled words continue to utter through the sheets as he screamed….
"I wish you were dead!!" The saying seemed so familiar and yet, the stinging sensation amongst his cheek prevented the young man to remember where it came from. His eyes was forcefully averted to the side as the source of such hateful words stood fumingly in front of him. "How dare you even do such a thing! Yuichi Kazuki, you stay away from my brother and never talk to him again!"
She was shaking her hand ever so slightly to relieve the pain. When it came to her precious older brother, she knew her sudden action couldn't possible be restrained. Instead of yelling at him, she instinctively gave him two things he deserved: a slap to the face and a piece of her mind.
As fast as her hand crossed his cheek, she had turned on her heels to leave, but the ignorant fool grasped her wrist. The action came with a swift elbow to his obnoxious jaw, but to her disappointment, a hand prevented her to hit her target successfully. "You bastard let me go!"
"I need to know…"
Retracting her arm, she faced the dead slab of meat and attempted to glare right through his despicable soul. If only the saying 'if looks could kill' was a fact, then maybe she would get a chance to get rid of a problem that was long overdue.
"Karin please I need to know what happened."
"He doesn't remember the ring I gave him. That in itself lays out a big mess of something happening. What I did…" He paused for a moment, recalling the horrified look on Wataru's face. "I just wanted him to remember me."
Karin shook her head with disbelief. It wasn't as if she didn't believe the so called 'situation', it was just the bullshit that was coming out of his mouth that she refused to listen to. "There's nothing to remember. He's perfectly fine and for all that's worth, you didn't give him that ring, so give it back."
At this point, Karin ripped her arm out of his grasp and lent out a open hand as she waited for Wataru's property to be returned. Although, as she expected, Kazuki's eyes revealed utter disbelief.
"That's a lie. I gave him that ring before I left! You know I gave him that ring, but what ever is going on with Wataru, you're cowardly hiding it from me and him."
"Cowardly? Of all people, you're calling me a coward?!" With the level of frustration that was building up inside her, Karin couldn't help but laugh at the accusation. "You left your only friend to fend for himself when he needed you most. You were the one that left him and now, at this point, you don't have any right to know what's going with him. I want the ring back and I want you out of his life for good."
If she was told before hand that she would one day slap Yuichi Kazuki in the face and bellow endless words of resentment at his doorstep, she would never believe it. Karin was known as the nice and understanding girl towards others, but as of right now, her facial expression presented that of the opposite.
Her hand stiffened in front of him, her eyes were constrained with intensity with the hopes that she'd get what she came for. "I want the ring back."
Kazuki wasn't going to stand there and take the verbal abuse she was dishing out. He never took this kind of talk from no one other than Wataru, and with that, she had some nerve to demand for something that didn't belong to her. Kazuki leaned against the doorframe with the same solemnity that displayed amongst the other's eyes. Even if he wanted answers, he knew that Karin wasn't about to give it to him. So he simply gave up.
"Leave…" The sudden icy gaze took her aback for a moment. It was as if the hand that waited for the ring had suddenly grew limp and retreated back to her side.
"Excuse me…I'm not leaving until-"
"I can't entrust a personal item to someone that's caught up in a fabricated world of everlasting peace and tranquility. If 'Wataru' wants the ring back so badly, then advise him to get it himself." He took a step back into the house and before he was bombarded with her words of protest, he slammed the door right into her face.
"Where did Karin go?"
"I think she went to get your ring back." That's right. Wataru had the ring securely in his grasp, but that kiss…I must have dropped it. I'm so hopeless
Wataru let out a defeated sigh, dropping his head in shame. "If I wasn't so stupid she wouldn't have to go there to get it for me. It's because of him that-"
"Him?…" The sudden interjection took him off guard. Wataru looked up at the figure that leaned casually upon the window sill, his posture radiating a sense of calm and yet, Wataru failed to take it in.
With his arms crossed in front of his chest, fingers racked through auburn locks with a sincere gaze prying away from the window and toward the stricken teen. "What was the name of this person who stole the ring that I gave you."
"R-Ring you gave me?" Out of all the years that they've been together, Masanobu failed to mention where his ring came from. It had caused him to completely dodge his question. "You gave me that ring? Why didn't you tell me Asaka?"
Masanobu Asaka eventually knew this day would come and he patiently waited for the opportunity for it to present itself. The palm of his hands gently pressed amongst the wooden frame as he pushed himself off and coerced toward the baffled brunette. Cerulean eyes followed his every move and startlingly locked onto Masanobu's kneeling form.
Wataru stiffened at the edge of his bed, sitting there completely motionless.
"Wasn't I always there for you." It was more like a statement rather than a question. Wataru didn't know how to reply, his hand just suddenly stiffened upon his knee once Masanobu's fingers caressed the reddened middle finger where his ring once resided.
It was true, Asaka always took care of him, but his heart suddenly weighed down on him. It was as if every rhythmic beat divulged a sense of undeniable doubt. "I-I know you have but-"
Why must everyone back him into a corner? How was he supposed to answer? I just want everything back to normal. But in a way, he didn't remember what lifestyle was normal. The past life he supposedly had with Kazuki or a life without him.
He was warped into the very thoughts that continued to plague him. There was no logical reply Wataru could conjure up to make Masanobu understand. Instead, he was quiet as he searched for an answer, but Masanobu was the type of person who grew impatient of the repressed atmosphere.
"Tell me what's on your mind."
Wataru shook his head lightly. "I don't know what's going on. It's all a blur."
"You know, all you have to understand that I'm right here to help you."
"But Kazuki, he-"
"What about him?" Masanobu couldn't help but notice the rude trait Wataru adopted as he continued to dodge his gaze. His hands practically caressed his cheeks ever so lightly, the sudden grasp of his face widening Wataru's eyes by a fraction, but he compiled with Masanobu's every action. The sweet, sincere and alluring smile came into view and Masanobu held Wataru in place, until a slight grin appeared upon those once sullen lips.
I'm missing something. I know I'm missing something. "Asaka, you're not going to disappear, are you?" The change of subject was needed at this point. All this talk about Kazuki was just giving him flash backs of that deep and sensual kiss.
"I can't stay here, you know that. Karin's going to have a fit if she even catches me in your room."
A small chuckle escaped Wataru, his naked right hand taking a hold of the fingers that effortlessly nestled amongst his cheek.
He was 6 years old at the time when they met near a restaurant. Masanobu's nose was pressed upon the glass window of a 5 star restaurant. Apparently, Wataru was staring at him from the inside, trying to enjoy his pasta, but with that pout of his, the little blue eye child couldn't just leave him out there. So with a kind heart, he practically invited him into the restaurant and into his life. That very day, it seemed like Masanobu filled an empty place in his heart that he desperately searched for.
"Are you okay? Your spacing out again."
Wataru gently shifted his head out of the other's grasp and nodded. "I'm good, I was just wondering about your…um…restaurant thing."
"It's actually going pretty well so far. I'm getting a lot of financially help from a friend and you have to come and visit sometime."
It seemed like forever since he smiled. With all the drama that's been going on, he almost forgot how to place a sincere grin upon his face. "Yeah maybe later when I'm done with all the studying and such. Exams are really killing me about now."
Subconsciously, his grasp upon the warm hand he held onto had seemingly shifted as Masanobu took a hold of Wataru's delicate fingers and drew them towards his lips. The subtle kiss upon the light imprint of his missing ring finger caused his hand to slightly withdraw from such behavior, but surprising strength held onto him.
At the mention of his name, he pulled away and as he stayed upon one knee, Masanobu playfully wrapped his arms around Wataru's neck just to acquire the satisfaction to draw him near. "So you're going to make me wait. I think that's a little unfair don't you think?"
"C'mon Asaka I have to study and you're just being selfish." The air was light and the person he was with finally put him at ease. Wataru couldn't recall a time where he would ever miss moments like this, but right now he seemed to treasure the laughter that was being shared.
Just like that one special memory where they would tackle each other in the sand on a warm summer day, Masanobu slightly pushed off his toes to grapple Wataru's tiny waste and in a matter of seconds, he dove into the plush sheets upon his bed. Wataru fell back with Masanobu's broad frame upon him. It was those days where he could finally laugh without regret and Wataru couldn't help but to reflexively laced their fingers together.
"That day at the beach, I remember so clearly that you tricked me."
Slipping his knee between Wataru's legs, Masanobu pushed upon the hand that entwined with his own in order to get a better look at the blissful expression. Masanobu stared down intently at him, attempting to read the very memories, which lingered in his eyes. For some reason, he couldn't recall that moment.
"What did I do?"
There was a faint blush that smothered his cheeks, Wataru turning his head to the side with much discretion. " You don't remember? W-Well I was running a bit ahead of you and it kind of got you mad because, well…"
"You weren't near me?"
"Right, and so you told me that there were sharks in the sand and if I didn't walk beside you, they would eat me."
In truth, he couldn't summon up the memory that he was talking about, but he quickly concluded that it was just his train of thought. It was a simply misplacing that one special memory that meant a lot to Wataru. It made the young brunette really happy just thinking about it and Masanobu wasn't stupid enough to tell the truth. So he gingerly smiled and played a long.
However, there was one thing that he remembered that resembled the very position that they were currently in. "Then you started coming back to me and I tackled you right?"
Gradually, Masanobu closed the little space between them. Like the mid summer air, their breaths mingled warmly amongst each other's supple skin. The sweet faint essence of mango filtered the air with the simple turn of his head. The shampoo the other used always shot at his senses. As he took in the sweet smell, Wataru blankly gawked at the other with that same light grin upon the lips Masanobu desired most.
"Yeah you got it right, now get off of me, you're so close." It was hard to deal with the confusion that was Wataru. He was so oblivious to his actions that it was hard to hold back sometimes. It was cute and innocent, which were both very sensual in his perspective.
He couldn't help but to blurt out words that came from his heart. "Do you know how I feel right now?"
Wataru raised a brow. "What are you talking about? I think you're happy I guess."
If only the bed had some sort of 'quicksand' mechanism then maybe Wataru could've escape right about now. There was no way to avert the lips that were closing in on him and even if he wanted to say something, he couldn't. He didn't want to fight back, he didn't want to push him away, and he didn't want to replay the whole Kazuki scenario all over again. It's just a friendly kiss right? I can handle it cant I? Maybe I…
"what's going on in here? Asaka get off of him!"
Wataru wanted to make a mental note of a shrine he would worship, which was dedicated toward his loving sister. When Masanobu got off of him, he felt the biggest knot in his neck suddenly loosen up. "Karin! How did it go at Kazu-"
Karin raised an index finger and stormed into the room. She seemed like in a pretty bad mood by the way she took Masanobu by the arm and dragged him right out. Was she going to kill him? Wataru really hoped not because as the door slammed shut, it triggered Karin's voice to reverberate off of the walls.
"I knew you were stupid but not this stupid. I think you're a lost cause Wataru."
"Shut up, you're so obnoxious." If his week couldn't get any worse, his whole class seemed to be subjecting him as a complete and utter failure. Everyone knew the famous Yuichi Kazuki was tutoring him and now, not only did he let himself down, but he tarnished an 'A-material tutor's' reputation.
As if it wasn't enough, Wataru stood in the middle of the crowd that huddled in front of the board that announced his failure in his 7 most important subjects which all included, math, English, physics, classical Japanese, history and social studies. Sure, it was every single subject that he had, but still, why was it that Ryokyo High had to post it up for all eyes to pay witness to.
Kawamura placed a comforting hand upon his shoulder in attempt to ease the pain. "It's okay, its not like you won't have a second chance to improve."
"I know, it's just that now, we can't celebrate."
"Wh-What! But you promised! It was your treat to." It was pretty much a disappointment to let down his self, but to let down Kawamura by denying him his well deserved food; now that was calling for lightning to strike right at him.
"I know I promised but what is there for me to celebrate. I'm sorry" Wataru tried to explain.
Despite the apology, Kawamura crossed his arms tightly over his chest with an added 'hmph' escaping his lips. "I told my mom not prepare lunch for me and I'm starving Wataru. It's bad enough I have a broken heart and now I have to deal with an empty stomach. Now that's harsh. It's all because stupid Kazuki didn't prepare you for it. Damn that guy and his 'oh so perfect' image and his woman stealing, fake god-like attitude. He was so sure of himself that- Ow, What the hell Wataru. Why'd you…"
It seemed like the jab in the stomach finally made him aware of his current location as glares attempted to burn holes through his body. "Why'd you have to say all those things out loud, you idiot."
The pair slowly stepped back, trying to get out of the crowd without getting killed by crazed Kazuki fan-girls. Their repugnant scowls caused the two to retreat from the crowd and into the hallways where stares and whispers centered around them.
"What did you do Kawamura? Everyone's staring. " Wataru whispered, ultimately unable to withdraw his gaze from the numerous pairs of eyes that locked on to them.
"I don't think its me Wataru. You're the one that bomb the test."
As if on queue, Kazuki and Mr. Haseo were heading right toward him and it took him everything not to turn around and run. He was as nervous as ever and now his so called friend, shoved him a bit to snap him out of his fear.
"I'll see you after school Wataru." Kawamura retreated at the sudden arrival of the two solemn figures in front of him. Without a word being said, Wataru, Kazuki and Mr. Haseo entered an empty classroom. The air in itself was thick and the silence didn't add to sooth it out.
Kazuki and Wataru stood in front of the desk that Mr. Haseo sat behind. The one teacher that was concern about the tutor pairing had now gave them a disgruntle sigh. The nearly balding man hunched forward to rest his chin upon his propped laced fingers.
"So explain what happened." He started, directing his gaze toward Kazuki.
Just like his reputation perceived him to be, Kazuki lowly bowed down with the utmost sincerity. "It's my fault that Fujii had scored significantly low. Like you have been concerned about, I couldn't make the time to tutor him and centered my time loftily upon myself. I didn't realize the adverse effects of Fujii's grades and with that I apologize."
Wataru couldn't say a word. He just stood there completely dumbstruck at the place he put himself in. Not only was he failing, he was also shoving Kazuki down the creek with trouble.
As if to ask for more glares to come his way, Kazuki once again opened his mouth to speak. "But Mr. Haseo if you give me another chance I can guarantee that Fujii will be in the top 5 on the next exam."
The instructor raised a light aristocratic brow with mild interest, his eyes filled with doubt. "Why do you think such displays of failure would convince me to make the same mistake twice."
Why is he sticking his neck out for me? He simply could just give up. Hands curled into a tight fist beside him, his head tilted forward. He was unable to summon up the courage to look at their expression. Wataru was the bait that was pulling Kazuki down. There was nothing to catch at this point. What could he possibly gain from doing this?
The unzipping of a bag slightly drew Wataru's gaze toward Kazuki. He had pulled out a manila folder and placed it in front of Mr. Haseo. With the surprised look upon his face, it seemed that Mr. Haseo was well aware of the contents of the folder.
Clearing his throat, Kazuki nodded with a displeased smile. "If I fail to bring Fujii up toward the top 5, then I'll agree with the scholarship."
The decision must have hit Kazuki pretty hard due to the familiar head-drop Wataru was well known for. The depths of his eyes were shrouded with darkness as blonde forelocks shielded them from view. It was just a scholarship. How bad could free money be?
Wataru raised a closed fist toward his mouth and coughed, the two now focusing their attention upon him. "Excuse me, but I think my grades are on the line here. Isn't it my decision to pick the tutor I want?"
"That's right Mr. Fujii. Are you saying you don't want Kazuki to be your tutor?"
"I um, well you see. It's not like I don't want him as a tutor, it's just…well." He couldn't possible put his words together. Wataru really didn't know what he wanted at this point.
While he was trying to put together some sensible words, Kazuki had taken a step forward and placed a hand upon Wataru's shoulder. He had this intense look in his eyes that warded off any explanation that formed in his head. Kazuki's eyes were practically pleading with him.
"I'm sorry Wataru, but I promise I'll do my best to make sure you improve. Just trust me. Give me the privilege to be your tutor."
As if to make it worse, Mr Haseo stood up and took the manila folder off of his desk and placed it back in Kazuki's hands. "I'll advise you Mr. Fujii to take his offer. Even if mistakes were made, Kazuki is only human and with his promise, I'm confident that he'll surely deliver."
Someone should have just tossed him into a pressure cooker and turned the heat up high because right about now, there was nothing he could say to back down. Wataru didn't want the awkwardness that Kazuki surely presented. It was obvious that Kazuki was crazy for mistaking him for someone else and now he was able to string the teacher to do his bidding.
Wataru merely sighed, absolutely defeated as he nodded. "Alright, I'll agree. I want Kazuki to tutor me."
"Daddy, daddy…look!" A finger poked at the clear glass of the fish tank, her eyes widening as various tropical fishes swam by. The colors amazed her, their size and shape made her giggle, and once a familiar face distortedly appeared on the other side, the girl's grin widened.
"How's my cutest and most favorite little customer?" If it wasn't for the dog that was tied to her wrist, he would have carried her and twirled her in the air. But instead, he crouched down in front of the pig-tailed beauty and kissed her forehead.
"Uncle Masa!" She wrapped her tiny arms around his neck and squeezed ever so tightly. It only had been a week since they last met, but the girl was full of energy and seemed to be hyped up on sugar.
"Takako, come here for a moment." The demand unhooked her soft embrace and with her dog trailing behind her, she skipped toward the familiar affluently dressed figure that was calling her. Once Takako arrived by his side, he pulled out a chair for her to sit on and like a little princess, she sat down happily with her puppy on her lap.
"Daddy can I have ice cream please." Who could ever resist that little pout of hers'. Surely, her father couldn't abstain from the little frown as he abided to her request.
He lightly patted her head with a smile and gazed at the man that coerced toward them. "Oh I think Masanobu can treat you to a little ice cream. Isn't that right?"
He had nodded, Masanobu motioning a waiter and giving off the order with that suave grin upon his calm exterior. He later revealed a small manila folder and lent it out for the other to grab and from there on, business was about to commence. "It's a surprise to see you here Shohei. I'm guessing there's something wrong?"
Those intensive and electrifying eyes alone indicated the severity of his visit, but as always, he held a smile towards his little girl and knelt down beside her. "Takako, Masanobu and I are going to talk right by that window over there." He motioned toward the two-seated, white silk covered table across the room as the waiter arrived to set her hot fudge sundae in front of her. "I want you and Puru to wait here and enjoy the ice cream alright?"
Takako refused to wait for her father to leave, she was a child after all. The girl had stuffed a spoon full of chocolate ice cream in her mouth with a confirming nod. With that the two men strode toward the said table seconds later, their conspicuous good-looks failing to ward off the eyes that plastered upon them.
"You know why I'm here."
Masanobu leaned back in his seat. "Of course I do. It involves Wataru, right?"
"I got a surprise welcoming from him a week ago and here I thought my money was in good hands."
A small sigh escaped him. Masanobu was well aware of the disappointment and doubt that was brewing within the man. Sure his face dwelled with a sense of calm, but he fully understood what Shohei was really hiding under that mask. "It's not like he remembers anything. So what are you worried about?"
From the little bag that he had brought with him, Shohei had retrieved a small set of papers that he placed on the table. Apparently, they were a mix of photos and signed documents pertaining to Kazuki and Wataru. At first Masanobu couldn't piece the two together until Shohei reached into his pocket and placed two rings in front of him.
"The rings that Kazuki failed to hide properly. I'm just returning what belongs to you. You know I'm just trying to help you out. So remember, it's not a matter of being worried about his memories, it's Kazuki's determination that 'you' need to deal with." He emphasized the word sharply, and tossed an envelope at the dumbstruck restaurateur. " I think you'll find this helpful."
Masanobu stuffed the envelope in his coat pocket and stood. It wasn't as if he felt uneasy about the whole situation, it was a matter of time that he refused to waste. "I think we're done here. Unless you want me to treat you to lunch as well?"
A pleased smile formed amongst his lips as he stood and shook the other's hand to close the deal. Everything was fitting together perfectly and that's what Shohei desired most.
"I hope you have a nice vacation." Shohei's parting words brought a smile upon his face. He was grateful for the opportunity that was given to him, but as Takako waved goodbye, he felt a pang of guilt following suit.
Another sigh escaped him, his eyes focused upon the pictures that he started to gather from the table. "I guess I'll get to do what I want from now on." He shifted through the pictures until the sudden grin that reflected back at him halted his actions. His thumb grazed upon the face that always warmed his heart, but the picture seemed off. Without a second thought, he tore the picture in half. Masanobu placed the half that contained Wataru's smiling features and he crumbled the blond that stood in his way. "Sorry Kazuki, but I think I have to break your heart once again."
I just adore Asaka and the evil of Shohei... Well it's been so long since I updated this story. I have yet to read the 4th novel of OTRFK and I was so deprived that I had to write some fics to make up for it. Well I hope you guys like it. I'll be updating soon since ideas are fresh in my mind X3