Disclaimer: Junjo Romantica and its characters do not belong to me. I wrote this story just for fun and am not making any profit out of it.
Author's Note I: My first Junjo fic, I hope you'll like it. I'm not sure if I'm pleased with it, as it's rather rushed… kind of pointless, too. I wanted it to be more of an Egoist story, but... it became more of a Romantica one, I think.
Author's Note II: Sorry for spelling or grammar mistakes, English is not my native tongue.
Kusama Nowaki shared a living space with Kamijou Hiroki long enough to know all of his kinks, like how it took him forever to wake up, how cutely flustered he became when someone complemented him, or how he averted his gaze whenever he wanted to be held, and of course above all: how he always frowned.
Nowaki wasn't sure if Hiroki himself was aware of this problem. His brown eyebrows were always knitted together, as if he was born this way, with one eyebrow trying endlessly to touch the other. In fact, there were very few occasions when his boyfriend's eyebrows lifted: for example, when he was reading one of his favorite books. Nowaki could just sit there in front of him for hours and watch the tender smile which adorned his lover's face as he turned page after page, reading words he read so many times before. Or when Nowaki was kissing him long enough; in those times, if Hiroki was cooperative, of course, Nowaki could feel the always apparent frown being lifted. There were those countless of times too, just before he reached an orgasm, Hiroki would close his eyes and a look of pure pleasure would cross his face.
Then there were the times, much to Nowaki's dismay, when Hiroki returned from one of his meetings with Usami Akihiko. When Hiroki returned from one of those meetings, he would slowly open the door, looking down, as if embarrassed, a small smile tugging at his lips. Nowaki, having known Hiroki for years, immediately knew where he'd been. His heart always clenched a bit when he saw him like that, but nonetheless, Nowaki would greet him with a smile, something Hiroki rarely did for him.
"How was your meeting with Usami-san?" he would ask.
Hiroki would shrug. "T'was okay. You made dinner?"
"Yes, it's nearly ready. I cooked some rice and miso. Would you like anything more, Hiro-san?"
Hiroki would shrug again. "Nah, it's okay. I'm going to take a bath."
And Nowaki would nod, trying with all his might to ignore the guilt and slight amount of jealousy bubbling up inside of him when he saw how the smile never left his lover's face, or how his eyes danced happily, even though that meeting ended quite awhile ago.
Nowaki knew there was nothing going on between the two. Hiroki would never cheat on him, he will make sure to break up with him first before doing something so insolent. But there was this one time, back when they were still learning about each other, when Hiroki was half-drunk and blabbered out how Akihiko was his first love. Nowaki, although four years Hiroki's junior, knew a few things about life. One of them was that a first love is not easily forgotten. Having Usami-san come to him for advice made Hiroki glad, Nowaki knew, but he still wondered just why Hiroki reserved his smiles to when he returned from a meeting with Usami-san, but not for when he was on the way back from dinners with him.
Takahashi Misaki, although a university student, could not say he read much. Indeed, the only novels he read throughout his some twenty years of life were probably the ones school made him to, like Murasaki's Genji Monogatari, or some Russian classic. Even though his landlord (and boyfriend, apparently) was an award-winning novelist, Misaki was ashamed to admit, even to himself, that he never read a book of his from start to end. Sometimes he thought to himself that maybe if Usagi-san would have written mangas he would gladly read them, as the shelves in his room were loaded with various shonen series, but then he corrected himself and scowled when he realized that if it were mangas, it would have probably been yaois. And Takahashi Misaki, although the other half of what you'd call a gay-relationship, still refused to even glance at that stuff.
His obvious lack of knowledge about anything regarding literature is probably the thing that prevented Usagi-san from ever consulting with him about anything regarding his books. There was a time when he was sure Aikawa-san was the one proof-reading his drafts, as she always nagged him about deadlines and oddities, but lately he came to realize that there was another person in the equitation. Whenever Usagi-san finished a book, or a BL, for that matter, he would leave with the papers (or electronic device) to go somewhere. When Misaki asked, his landlord usually said he was going to have his work proof-read. Then, somewhere along the way, he began saying that he was going to meet a friend. Being an Economics student, Misaki knew to put two and two together, and now, whenever his landlord left with the needed material, Misaki felt a pang of jealousy, which he tried to immediately deny, pulling at his heart.
Why couldn't Usagi-san come to him for advice? He may not read much (or at all), but there still must be some input he could give.
Misaki was cutting radish when Usagi-san came back from one of those meetings. "Welcome back, Usagi-san", Misaki greeted, smiling at the grey-haired man. Akihiko only nodded in return. "How was your meeting with your friend?"
"It was good. He gave some very interesting insight. Will dinner be ready soon?"
Misaki nodded. "Yeah, in half an hour or so. Is there anything you want in particular?"
Akihiko shook his head. "No, it's quite alright. I'll be upstairs, call me when it's done."
When he returned to cutting, Misaki realized that his landlord's eyes had the look they had whenever he was patting him on the head, and then there was that familiar jealousy again.
Dinner was ready some time later, and Misaki sat happily at the table, watching Usagi-san holding a bear with one hand and a fork with the other, looking at the food as if he hadn't a care in the world.
"Umm… Usagi-san," the younger of the two started, averting his gaze. "Can I ask you something?"
"Sure," was the curt reply.
"This… friend of yours you meet sometime… who is he?"
Usagi-san looked up from the food for a fleeting moment, then lowered his head again. "A childhood friend. I've known him since elementary school."
Always old friends…
Misaki took a bite of the dinner he cooked, chewed it quickly and fired his next question before he swallowed it completely, feeling nervous. "What's his name?"
Usagi-san looked up at him again, this unreadable look in his eyes, causing a drop of sweat to form on Misaki's forehead. "Kamijou Hiroki," he answered.
Kamijou… he heard that name somewhere before.
"Why are you so interested in him?" Usagi-san asked him, causing his lover to jump slightly in his sit.
"I…err… no reason r-really. Has he read all of your books?"
Usagi-san nodded. "Even the unpublished ones," he answered.
Unpublished… Usagi-san had something like that? Misaki saw in his head mountains of notebooks filled with words no one but the author himself and Kamijou Hiroki will ever see, and a rare frown formed on his young face. "Unpublished?" he asked. "I'd like to see those sometimes."
"Never," Usagi-san told him, causing the frown to deepen.
"Aw, what's the big deal? After all you've done to me in… bed, I think I have the right to see something like that!" Misaki cried, a blush reddening his cheeks, making him feel hotter than he should be.
"I said never and I mean never," Usagi said, finishing his meal. "Besides, you haven't even read my published books. What good will it do to you to read the unpublished ones?"
Because we're together, Misaki wanted to say, but the words got stuck in his throat and he blushed when he realized what he was about to say. Then he bowed his head, surrendering, and kept on eating his meal quietly, trying to ignore a bored Usagi-san's foot which invaded into his private space.
Nowaki was browsing some medical sites on Hiroki's laptop when said boyfriend returned to their apartment from work. "I'm back", he declared, taking off his shoes and loosening his blue tie.
"Welcome back," Nowaki replied, smiling softly as his lover came into view. "I was just about to make myself a hot drink. Would you like anything, Hiro-san?"
"A coffee would be nice," Hiroki nodded, disappearing into their room, probably to change into something more comfortable.
Nowaki smiled to himself and went to the kitchen, preparing two cups and boiling the water. He would be leaving for his job at the hospital soon, and he hoped he would be able to share a nice conversation with his boyfriend before he'll have to leave.
But, of course, as he set the drinks on the table, Hiroki showed up in a sweatshirt and old jeans, taking his laptop from where it stood on the coffee table and put it down next to his cup of coffee.
"Are you writing a review?" Nowaki asked.
Hiroki glanced up for a fleeting second, then resumed his typing. "No, I'm making some hand-outs I'll distribute in class. Are you going to work soon?"
Nowaki nodded, even though Hiroki paid him no attention. "Yeah, I have the night shift. I should be back by morning. Then I'm going to work at the florist at noon." No reply from his counterpart. Nowaki's shoulders lowered in mock defeat. "Hiro-san," he tried calling his name. No reply. "Hiro-san?"
Hiroki didn't even look up this time. "Hm? What is it?"
"I was looking at some sites in English earlier," he said, taking a sip from his cup of tea. "Did you know gays can get married in America?"
"They can get married in Europe too, what it's got to do with us?" From his reply, Nowaki could tell he wasn't really listening. If he were, he would have blushed and told him to shut up.
"You think we would be able to ever get married?" Nowaki asked. "Will Japan allow it?"
"Ancient literature is filled with tales about Samurais and their gay lovers. Japan used to be open to that kind of stuff before the western influence. I think that if the government will allow gay marriage sometimes, no one will protest against it, but no one will like it either."
Nowaki nodded. "That's why it'll never happen. The government will want consensus."
"Would you marry me if you could?" Nowaki asked. Hiroki did not reply, but this time Nowaki did not repeat himself. It was a stupid question anyway.
Would you have rather having Usami-sensei?
On his way back from university Misaki entered a bookstore in order to buy an Economics book he needed for one of his classes. Sumi-sempai told him the store on campus sold it for a higher price, and although he was sure Usagi-san will not protest, Misaki preferred to buy the book with his own money.
As he entered he noticed the shelves packed with the new best-seller. A closer look told him the new best-seller's author was his landlord. 300,000 copies on the first week, it said. Misaki didn't know Usagi-san was working on a new book. He always assumed he worked into the night in order to put together some article, or another BL based on him, but the thought of a normal book did not cross his mind. Even as he stood there, staring, a few shoppers took a copy for themselves. Maybe he should get one too?
Yeah, he probably should. Then he'll read it, and then maybe Usagi-san would come to him for advice regarding his books. But then again, they probably had a copy, if not a few, of this book in their apartment. And besides, he could try reading older stuff. No point in buying this book then.
But 300,000 copies. That's an amazing number. It will probably get to million sometime, maybe more. He should congratulate his landlord somehow. He was sure, and he blushed at the thought, that no matter what he did he would somehow be violated, but still, he wanted to make Usagi-san see he wasn't that aloof.
A visit to the flower shop will do, he decided, realizing flowers were the best congratulating award. They weren't expensive, they were pretty, and besides, Usagi-san already had everything he wanted. Including a toy he could do whatever he wanted with, Misaki noted sadly to himself.
Nowaki felt awfully tired after his night shift at the hospital, and he could feel his eyes watering as he tended the plants in the shop. He wanted to quit, he really did, but there was something calming in working as a florist. It gave him time to think, something he wasn't able to do when in the hospital. When he becomes a doctor, that's when he'll quit. That's what he decided a couple of months ago, after a minor fight with Hiro-san.
He was watering the tulips when a customer came in. He was a young man, probably around the age of twenty, and he looked like a student, with his bag hanging from his shoulder. "Welcome," Nowaki said, smiling. "How may I help you?"
"I'd like a bouquet of… roses, I think. Roses were good last time."
"Right away," Nowaki replied. "Which color would you like?"
"The… white ones, I think. Yeah, red or peach, those are for girls," the customer said.
"Aren't these for your girlfriend?" Nowaki asked him as he took out the flowers out of the black bucket and cut the stems.
The customer blushed beet red and Nowaki chuckled to himself. "I… you could say that, maybe…"
"Are you confessing?" Nowaki tried again, but his customer shook his head violently.
"No, these… these are a present for… a dear friend… who published a book lately, and it's doing well." the brown-haired youngster said, leaning on the counter.
Nowaki was tempted to ask for the author's name, but he assumed he wouldn't recognize it. Literature was Hiroki's field, not his. "I'm sure this person will love the flowers," he said, wrapping the bouquet in transparent nylon.
"I bought some roses here a few months ago, I think they did the job" the customer said, looking at Nowaki's hands as they worked.
"Have you read it?" Nowaki asked, cutting a colorful string to tie around the stems.
The customer sighed heavily then. "No, no I haven't. This… this person, he's done so much for me that sometimes I think I should, but I just can't sit down and read a book, I wonder if I'm doing the wrong thing… ah, I'm sorry, I shouldn't be bothering you with this!"
Nowaki laughed. "It's quite alright. May I ask for your name?"
The young man smiled. "Misaki. Takahashi Misaki."
"Well then, Misaki-san, do you think this person minds the fact you don't read whatever they write?" Nowaki asked, calculating the payment. "That would be 1250 yen, please."
Misaki pulled out his wallet, checking the bills while frowning deeply, probably realizing he'll have to use credit. "No, not really," he said. "But… sometimes I wish he would ask for my opinion. I know it's not worth much, but we… we live together and… and in the end, it's probably hurting me more… ah! Here I go again, talking nonsense again!" he said, blushing, and handed Nowaki the card.
"Don't worry about it," Nowaki said, handling the cash register. "Have you tried talking to them about it?"
"Yeah," Misaki replied. "But it didn't help. I think this person's right, he can always go to his childhood friend and ask him… I hear he teaches literature somewhere, obviously he knows more than I do. You know, I thought of taking a literature course, just so I could understand better, but the students say the teacher in the introduction course is like the devil!" Misaki said, letting it all out, finding the black-haired man's smile calming, inviting.
Nowaki laughed as he gave his customer his credit card back. "Maybe you should read one of the books this person had written and say what you think of it. I think this is the right way to handle this situation. I'm sure it will make that person happy."
Misaki looked down at his feet, shifting his weight. "Maybe you're right, mister. I know… I know this person… cherishes me, I know that in that person's eyes I'm important. But sometimes there's this doubt, you know? Sometimes… sometimes it seems like that friend of his holds a special place in his heart, one that I'll never have." Nowaki's eyes widened momentarily. "Oh, I'm sorry, I should probably go," Misaki finished quickly, putting his wallet back in his bag and taking the bouquet in his right hand. "Thank you," he said, then turned around to leave.
"Y-you know," Nowaki said, causing his customer to stop in his tracks and turn around to look at him, a questioning look in his eyes. "Maybe… maybe this person… maybe this person didn't have many friends. I… I never had that many friends myself, you know? Certainly not ones I've known for a long time. Friends take a special place in peoples' hearts, but… but it's no reason to be jealous. If this person loves you, and you love them back, I'm sure they know. I'm sure this person cherishes you dearly, as you say, but… sometimes a person needs friends to go to. Even if you're lovers… even if you're lovers, sometimes friends know much more about each other than lovers do, especially if they've been friends for a long time." Nowaki blinked rapidly, realizing what he just said, then smiled softly at the boy. "I'm sorry, I don't even know what I'm saying and I'm probably holding you back. Please come again sometime, I was happy to be at your service."
Misaki smiled back at him and bowed lightly. "Thank you for your advice, I think you're right. I should stop being jealous… I have a friend too. This person I talked about is always jealous of this friend, but I know…I know I'm the first in this person's heart. It's selfish, being jealous, but sometimes I just can't help it…"
Nowaki's eyes widened a bit again. Now that he mentions it…
"Have a good day!" Misaki called as he turned around again and left.
Nowaki watched his retreating form and sighed heavily. Advice, huh? Maybe he should start following his own advice sometimes…
After all, his Hiro-san might meet with Usami-san every now and then, but he always returns to his arms. Usami-san may know how cute Hiro-san looks when reading a book, but he did not know how his frown disappeared just before he reached his orgasm, and he most certainly did not know how Hiro-san looked when you kissed him long enough. How he'll blush and hold you, breathe slowly, and give himself solely to you, forgetting any friends or unrequited loves he might have had.
Nowaki smiled to himself as another customer entered the shop. Friends may hold a special spot in the heart, but lovers… lovers held the entire soul.
Akihiko was home when Misaki returned, reading a book. "I'm home!" Misaki called from the entrance, and the sound of shoes hitting floor followed.
"Welcome back," Akihiko replied. "How was school?"
"It was okay," Miskai said, coming into view, his smile broadening as he saw Usagi-san frowning at the hand he hid behind his back. "I was at the bookstore and saw your new best-seller," he said. "I got you these," then he presented the flowers.
Akihiko smiled and took them, then patted him lightly on the head. "It's no big deal, you know," he said. "Most of my books are best-sellers."
"You're such a show-off, Usagi-san!" Misaki cried. Akihiko made no reply and put the flowers on the coffee table. "Shouldn't you put them in a vase?" Misaki asked.
"That can wait," Akihiko said. "Now I need to tend some other unattended flower," he said, cornering his flat-mate.
"Usagi-san!" Misaki tried to complain, but of course, it was of no use, and his landlord's lips were soon upon his.
After being violated yet again, Takahashi Misaki, disgruntled, sat on the couch and watched with a frown as Usagi-san lit himself a cigarette. "Usagi-san," he said, voice quiet. Said author looked at him, taking a whiff. "I… I'd like to read one of your books sometime."
Akihiko frowned. "Why?"
"Because I want to understand you better. I want you… I want you to come to me for help, too!"
Usagi-san chuckled. "You're doing enough," he said. "You're the best source of inspiration I ever had."
Misaki's eyes widened. "I am?" he asked.
Akihiko ruffled his hair affectionately. "Of course. Otherwise, how would my BLs be so successful?"
Misaki scowled. "What about Kamijou-san?" he asked.
Akihiko looked at him with questioning eyes. "Hiroki? What about him?"
"Isn't he better help?"
Akihiko sighed deeply and sat next to him. "Look here, Misaki. Hiroki read almost every book on the planet. I value his opinion about my writing above all else. But a book wouldn't be good whatsoever without a source of inspiration."
Misaki looked up at a smiling Usagi-san, hopeful. "You mean…?"
"Hiroki is a dear friend," Akihiko said. "But Misaki is the dearest."
Misaki blushed and looked down, happy, yet apprehensive as he felt an unwelcomed hand trying to get into his underwear again. His smile was embarrassed as a thought crossed his mind. Friends may hold a special spot in the heart, but lovers… lovers held the entire soul.