Disclaimer: see chapter one or three. Whichever one. You'll find it.
Notes: Thanks to everyone who reviewed!! I really appreciate it and I'm so so sorry for this being so late. I don't want to give excuses but the reason for this is a combination of laziness, writer's block, and aspects of a demanding education. What can I say. I'm sorry again, please accept this as an uh, offering of peace?
Anyway, onto the finale! I have a really bad feeling that this chapter sucks (for some reason my writing skills have dwindled to what seems to be nothing) but I still hope you enjoy the closure!
Kai remained restless from the second Takao had left until the next morning. Despite his routine, he decided to take the morning off and check on his company in the afternoon. Being CEO had its advantages; besides, he had a few employees that he completely trusted and after a couple of phone calls everything was settled.
What was taking over his mind was far from settled, however.
He had slept little because he did not feel the need, and the rest of the time he did various activities while thinking. His thoughts resided on one subject, or rather one person: Takao.
As he had attempted to read over a latest article concerning the economic situation he could not focus because he mulled over his last meeting with the bluenette. After giving that up, he attempted to get some papers he needed to go through out of the way; however, that did not work too well either. An attempt at relaxing to some classical music ended fruitlessly as well. He was far too preoccupied with what had happened, what he had heard and seen and mostly what he had noticed. After flipping through the useless night television and musing on the situation some more, he had gone to bed.
Kai only slept for a few hours. Soon it was dawn and he was up, deciding to go for an early jog. The sun rose as he exercised but he barely noticed because his mind was still too full, trying to weight out his options. The reason of why he figured nothing out even after so many hours of thinking, he resorted, was that he was not concentrating on it and not going over it clearly. He was thinking about bits of it a time, which made everything jumbled. And thus, after calling his most prominent manager and being reassured about the company, he sat down determinedly with a mug of coffee. For a second his eyes travelled to the morning paper, which had been handed to him by the newspaper man on his return from his jog. Looking away purposefully, he stared out the patio doors into the bright backyard and decided that he was going to sort this all out.
He started with the basics.
Takao had called him last night unexpectedly. Then he had come over, looking worse for wear with something unsaid in his expression. As Takao talked about himself and Hilary, as he berated himself and sought reassurance, Kai attempted to stay neutral but supportive no matter how he inwardly felt. And yet, he could not help noticing how Takao's gaze was different, bursting with something to say. He could not forget the stuttered "I-I can't…" and the "I don't want them to know."
Them? Since when did a person refer to another, singular, person in the plural? He could only guess that Takao did not want to lie and yet did not want to reveal something. And there was only one logical conclusion. Him. Of course Takao had referred to the person as her later on, but had that been after Kai had pressed the subject. This could be because he was put on the spot. Could it be? Could there be a possibility that Takao held feelings for a man, something which Kai thought would be impossible?
But that was not only it. Takao had said he didn't want them to know. Kai did not press this but inwardly he knew that Takao trusted him, knew that Takao would never think that Kai would simply reveal his secret to that specific person, which could also be a stranger to Kai. And yet Takao did not want them to know…
And then, quite spontaneously, he had grabbed Kai's hand. Touch was not something unfamiliar for the bluenette; after all, he liked closeness and thus hugging and patting and clasping. It could also have been that Takao needed some comfort after his break up. But the notion then seemed somehow different, as though the other was touching him with a whole different meaning.
Kai inhaled sharply and drank some coffee. He did not want to raise his hopes falsely, but he could not help the lingering feeling. And afterward, when Takao quickly let go of his hand, he had felt so disappointed…
He had tried, in those last few moments at the door, to be open. He had tried to give the bluenette some kind of a sign of his own feelings, but he did not think that Takao saw it. If there was a chance that Takao could, miraculously, have feelings for him, then why did he not recognize Kai's hint? Perhaps he was too pained from his break up to see anything subtle.
Which brought Kai right back to what started all of this. He could clearly tell that the other man had been feeling down and guilty the night before. And yet as Takao talked about the 'other' someone Kai became more and more doubtful that Takao's sadness was truly about Hilary. Could it be that Takao felt that he and his girlfriend broke up over someone who would never reciprocate his feelings?
Draining his cup and with a decision in mind, Kai got up and went to his study.
First he tried to check on Takao, whose cell phone, no matter how many times he called it, did not pick up. Trying to call the bluenette's house proved useless as well, making Kai worry slightly. He moved on to his second plan.
After Hilary's mobile number proved also impenetrable, Kai tried her house.
There were three rings before a woman said, "Hello?"
"Good morning," Kai greeted politely, "May I speak to Hilary?"
"Oh… who is this?" she sounded hesitant.
"This is Kai, Mrs. Tachibana. Please tell her that I need to speak with her."
"Oh, hello Kai. I'm sorry, I don't think she can speak to you right n—" Mrs. Tachibana was cut off by a voice in the background. He heard them squabble back and forth for a moment and then Hilary's voice came on the line.
"Kai," her voice had somehow lost some of its previous tenderness.
"If you don't mind me calling for a few moments…" he began, just to be considerate. After all the girl had gone through a break up the night before and could not possibly be feeling very chipper and sociable.
"No," Hilary sighed, "Go on." Her voice still held that distance to it, and Kai noticed that, after all, she sounded perhaps ill. Or tearful, he mused inwardly.
Leaning back on his study desk, he considered his next words for a moment before speaking again. And even then he was uncertain: "About you and Takao…"
"Don't pretend that you don't know." Did she sound amused or angry?
"I won't. I'm sorry."
He waited for a bit before she sniffled and said, "I don't want to talk about it."
Kai fingered some files on the table top, now feeling that this whole conversation was going wrong. He had had something in mind, but it was much harder to execute.
"Takao… didn't look too well yesterday. I called him earlier but he's not picking up…"
"I don't know about him and he hadn't tried to contact me," she said, "Are you asking me where he is? After all, you should know!"
Kai raised an eyebrow, "And why is that?"
"Oh, I don't know," she said, sounding even less friendly, "Why should you know?"
"Would you like to tell me?" Kai countered.
"Kai, I can't believe—you of all people to call like this when it's all—" to his discomfort, he heard her sniffle a few more times and realized she was crying, "After last night I'm thinking there might be something but I guess Takao's the same as ever. Still a coward."
Kai was confused. He knew break ups could prove nasty but for Hilary to call Takao a coward, which, everything considered, was simply irrelevant…
"Kai, you're so dense!" Hilary now snapped through her tears, "Go out and see where he is! Goodbye!"
And before he managed to say anything else, she hung up on him. And yet, her words rang clear in his head. He felt slightly pained but it was overwhelmed by the emotions that ran through him then. Guilt, fear, excitement, confusion, longing… Kai sat down and contemplated his desk accessories. And then, slowly, he breathed in and smiled.
Kai Hiwatari was elated because he had just received his confirmation.
With the bright sun effectively blocked by a pair of expensive sunglasses, Kai spend the next hour driving aimlessly around. He was trying to decide whether he was willing to risk Takao and their friendship should all his suspicious be wrong, and in the end knew that he could not wait any longer. It had been so long, and just the glimmer of hope he had received today… he no longer had any patience.
And thus started his trip of attempting to find the evasive blunette, whom he still could not reach by telephone. He did not have to look for long, however: Takao turned out to be at the first stop he made, which was the bluenette's house.
Kai parked, walked up to the front door and rang the doorbell. He waited patiently and hopefully for any sign of inhabitation, and was not disappointed. He soon heard shuffling and then Takao saying, "Eh, gramps, I can't believe you forgot your keys again…!" Kai smirked as the door was thrown open to reveal the bluenette dangling a set of house keys.
"Gramps—oh, Kai." Takao stopped on the threshold and his expression changed. He looked ruffled and was still in his pyjamas, which were a set of plain navy silk, despite looking completely awake. Upon seeing Kai observing him he tried to give off a smile but he still looked glum.
"Hey, Kai. Didn't expect you here…thought it was gramps back for his keys…"
"I tried calling, but you wouldn't pick up," Kai told him as the bluenette ushered him inside and closed the door.
Takao shrugged as he padded back to kitchen, Kai at his heels. "Yeah, didn't feel like talking to anyone…" upon seeing Kai's expression (who wondered whether the blunette would prefer to be alone) he added with a devious grin, "You don't count."
He laughed and spun away as Kai swung at his head, before going to the fridge. Looking through the contents of the fridge, he seemed to have an inward struggle before finally pulling out the OJ carton.
"I don't feel like having breakfast," he informed the other, who raised a disbelieving eyebrow, "Hey, don't look at me like that! If you want anything you can go ahead…"
Kai shook his head, "I already ate. You might also notice that it's around 10:30 and too late for breakfast."
Takao rolled his eyes and poured two glasses of orange juice, handing one to Kai who looked at it, shrugged, and sipped some. As he watched the bluenette drinking from his own cup with a faraway look in his eye, Kai was reminded of the real reason he was here. Takao did look better than the night before—he always looked too good in Kai's opinion—and more cheerful but Kai could tell that his friend was still mulling over his break up. Which was only natural but which also made Kai extremely doubt himself.
How appropriate, he thought ironically, we are alone.
Pulling out a chair, Takao ushered Kai to sit down before plopping into another one himself. Despite his best efforts, Takao looked morose.
"How are you feeling?" Kai asked after some time of silence.
After shifting uncomfortably Takao shrugged and set his cup aside. "Still crappy but better, I guess," he said, "These things take time." He shrugged again as though not knowing what else to do.
Kai nodded and continued to sip some orange juice. He wondered if he should mention speaking to Hilary, who did not seem to be faring well either.
"I was up most of the night thinking about it," Takao now started, still looking uncomfortable and reminding Kai of his own sleeplessness due to this issue. "I kept thinking, you know, if I talk to Hilary and maybe try to reconcile or something…"
Kai looked up, his heart sinking, but the bluenette was quick to continue.
"But I don't think I can. I don't think it will work out. I realize, now, that there's only one person out there I can be with and well…" he trailed off again, looking ashamed.
Setting his glass down with a plunk, Kai tried to muster up some courage to say something. But the more he looked at Takao, who simply looked unhappy, the more his courage seemed to seep away.
"Takao," he began, finally, softly. The other looked up at his tone, and their eyes met.
Kai maintained the eye contact, trying to convey his feelings silently or to at least see what he had seen so clearly on the bluenette the night before. He was not denied: something deep and fearful lurked in those depths, but could it be…
"Kai, I…" Takao said, seeming unable to contain himself, "I…" Kai leaned forward almost unnoticeably, wanting desperately for everything to come clear. And then, Takao jumped up, almost knocking over his chair in the process.
"I need to shower," he said quickly before exiting and leaving Kai sitting there feeling, once again, disappointed.
As Takao took his time in the bathroom, Kai decided that he will be the one to take the first move. Of course he cared about Takao and would be devastated if his confession broke off all of their ties, but he realized that he could not stand the uncertainty. Why was Takao so nervous? What was it exactly that he wanted to say but did not appear to be able to? Perhaps, if Takao did not share his feelings, then he would at least accept them. Perhaps he would be open minded and their friendship would continue on.
Who am I kidding, Kai thought with a sigh, but maybe risking it and knowing is better than this… this nothingness.
Despite Hilary's words and his own observations, Kai could not understand how, in his study, he had felt so certain that Takao did feel something for him. Here, in the bluenette's domain, with him being only behind the closed door of the bathroom, Kai's doubts were more ugly than ever but his mind was set.
Takao looked uneasy to find Kai seated on his bed once he entered his bedroom. He looked sexy: he was covered only by a white towel around the waist and his long dark hair hung down his back. The bluenette fidgeted to ensure that the towel was firmly in place as Kai got up and walked towards him. Kai found this odd: Takao was not the kind to be shy or reserved. Quite contrarily, he was often teasing and bold, and liked to laugh loudly at the uncomfortable faces of his victims.
They stood face to face, eye to eye. Takao's arms fell away from the towel as though in defeat.
"Hilary told me I'm dense," Kai murmured, trying not to let his eyes wander below the bluenette's moist lips.
A look of realization flitted across the bluentte's face, who seemed to shrink away not physically but in spirit.
"Kai," he began, voice sounding rather choked, and Kai did not need to hear anything else. He leaned in until he could see every fleck in the other's irises before their lips touched. A bolt of electric shock seemed to surge through him and he closed his eyes. Takao seemed to have felt it too because he trembled and his arms automatically wrapped themselves around Kai's waist.
Kai kissed him softly, his arms slowly rising to encircle his naked, slightly damp torso. He tried not to moan at how amazing if felt for those lips to kiss him back; instead he concentrated on conveying all of his feelings and waiting and longing through their touch. Their tongues connected and licked lightly and then Kai let Takao's invite his into the hot cavern of the bluenette, exploring…
After a few heated moments of kissing and touching, Kai pulled back, eyes immediately seeking the truth he craved for. They were both panting and Takao's eyes were clouded with something that could have been lust and which made Kai shudder.
He seemed not to have any reservations. "Kai… I can't believe… she told you? I—"
"She didn't," Kai leaned in again and nipped at his lips, trying not to attack the vast stretch of enticing skin before him, "I just, last night… I had a feeling—"
He was also cut off as Takao's fingers made their way between their mouths and silenced him.
Takao moved his lips to Kai's ear and whispered, "Tell me later. There's something I want to do before someone interrupts…"
Kai groaned, his arms pulling the other's body solidly against his. Takao gasped and the towel fell away to the floor. Kai smirked as they kissed again and Takao's hands made frantic attempts at undressing him…
Later, they lay tangled and Kai could barely contain his elation. After so long, he could not believe that Takao did return his feelings. He had despaired over this for so long and then suddenly… just like that…
There had been no verbal confessions because not much was said. But if Takao's eyes and his touches weren't obvious then Kai didn't know what is.
"Mm, Kai," Takao's voice rumbled deeply against his neck. Kai inhaled and closed his eyes. "After all these years, and I was trying to let it go. I guess I didn't because even though I made myself believe it was impossible, I was really too afraid to..."
He sounded content; Kai ran his fingers through the still slightly damp locks of the bluenette, not caring one bit that they were so. After a moment he decided to reply.
"Years," he said softly, "So much time lost."
To his surprise, Takao's lips curled into a smile against his skin.
"Well then, maybe we should work extra hard to make up for all the lost time…" he said, and, leaning up, kissed Kai indulgently again.
So? Did you guys expect that? I guess Kai's not as dense as Hilary seems to think he is… just realistic. Anyhow, I hope you enjoyed it and please review. Much appreciated!