Disclaimer: I do not own Junjou Romantica, I'm writing this story just for fun and am not making any profit out of it.
Author's Note I: I think I'm taking a bit of a risk with this story. Hopefully you'll like it…
Sorry for spelling or grammar mistakes, English is not my native tongue.
Chapter One: Meeting
Misaki sighed heavily as he trudged down the busy street, dragging his feet tiredly on the sidewalk. People went past him, hurrying to their respective destinations, and he wasn't sure if he knew where he was going. All he knew was that he had the worst day ever known to the human race. He remembered thinking, when he was on the train with some friends, how all the people complaining on bad days could not amount to whatever happened to him. His bad day actually started the day before, he decided as he went past a ramen shop, the smells making him nauseous somewhat. Yesterday he went to a study group in preparation for the exam he had that morning. On the way back, however, he was caught in a heavy rain, without an umbrella, and was soaked to the bone as he got home.
That, of course, rewarded him with a high fever the following morning. That is how he went to the exam, feverish and disoriented, which in turn will probably make his final score lower than it should have been. Just as he was about to return home and have a good rest, his friends dragged him for a few drinks on the other side of the city in celebration of the end of midterms. He tried to refuse, he really did, but Misaki was never good with voicing his opinions. He managed to get away halfway through the party, his drunken friends not really noticing his disappearance, and thus was now looking for the way back to the train station.
He wished Usagi-san was there. He could have called him maybe, and the author would have come to pick him up. But the older man was currently touring Japan in a promotion campaign for his newest book. He tried to drag Misaki along too, of course, but the younger man refused vehemently, saying he had exams to study for and his work to go to. Usagi-san would be gone for about a month. That makes it… three and half weeks more.
Misaki sighed again. His head hurt and it became harder and harder to breathe as he kept on walking. He thought that the train station was about three blocks more, but as he kept on walking he began to doubt it. No, no way he'd find the train station… a day that started bad must end bad, as well. With that in mind he was about to cross the street, but he miscalculated his weight, height and the distance between the sidewalk and the road below, and as he put his left foot down it twisted painfully. He yelped in pain and sat down slowly, the pain numbing him for a second, causing his already unfocused green eyes to see stars. He breathed heavily, the memory of falling off the Usamis' window flashing through his mind momentarily, and he realized that due to that incident his foot must be a bit more sensitive. He held the painful spot, gritting his teeth. The people around him kept on coming and going, not paying him any heed.
Miskai tried to rise to his feet, but could barely straighten himself up before his nerve system cried out, and he had to sit down on the sidewalk again. He figured he'd have to stay like that for a few hours more, maybe find a bench and sit on it until he'd be able to catch a cab, when suddenly a pair of strong arms snaked under his armpits and pulled him up. For a second there Misaki thought it was Usagi-san, but immediately he remembered he was alone, and his heart clenched in his chest painfully at that realization. "Are you alright?" a pleasant voice asked.
"Y-yeah," Misaki managed to stutter and tried to wriggle himself free of the man's grip, but the arms tightened around him and pulled him to the safety of the bench in front of the Kinokuniya he passed earlier. Misaki breathed in relief as he sat down and closed his eyes, trying to focus on something else besides the pain.
"Did you twist your foot?" The man asked him.
Misaki barely nodded, his eyes still closed, and soon after the stranger's hands circled his painful ankle. He tried to withdraw his leg, but again the grip tightened and he cried out.
"Can you move it?" the man asked.
"Just barely," Misaki replied. "I tried to stand up earlier but couldn't…" Misaki opened his eyes and looked down at the kneeling man. All he could see was black hair. When he looked back up, his landlord's new book greeted his sight from the display window of the bookstore, and he bit his lip in frustration, feeling the loneliest he'd ever felt in a long time.
"It's not broken then, I'm glad," the man said and looked up at him, smiling tenderly. Misaki gasped in surprise when he looked back down; the man had blue eyes, kind of like Usagi-san's, only a bit darker. "Though it could be twisted pretty bad… what do you say?"
"I really don't know," Misaki said quietly. "Look, sir, thank you for helping me, but I think I can manage from here. I'll just rest here for a second and then I'll get home."
"Where do you live?" The man asked him, standing up and dusting his knees.
Misaki shifted uncomfortably in his sit, wondering if perhaps he was dealing with a stalker. "Just… Sumida…" he said, knowing that saying the exact neighborhood may not be the safest thing. Usagi-san always told him to be careful, and as more and more people came to claim him, Misaki figured that maybe he should.
The man's eyes widened somewhat. "Sumida? That's on the other side of the city! How will you get there?"
"A taxi or… I don't know," Misaki said, then slowly rose to his feet. He balanced himself on his right leg when a wave of dizziness washed over him and he fell back down tiredly with his eyes closed, his hand searching frantically for something to hold unto as he felt himself falling. His searching hands came in contact with the edge of the bench and he gripped it tightly, scared to let go in fear he might fall down. A short moment later Misaki opened his eyes again, only to see the stranger looking at him worriedly.
"I apologize," the man said, and before Misaki could utter another word an unfamiliar hand touched his forehead gently. "You're burning up!" the man said, his eyes wide. For a brief moment Misaki wondered in the man's hands were really that warm, or was it his fever that caused them to be so.
"Y-yeah…" Misaki replied, somewhat weakly. "Look, all I need is a nice nap, then I'm sure I'll get better…" he stood up again, balanced himself once more on his right foot, and ignoring his dizziness he managed to take a few limping steps towards the road before he could not go on and fell. Two strong arms caught him before he hit the ground, and when Misaki looked up he saw the man practically glaring at him.
"As a doctor, I cannot allow you to go all the way to Sumida by yourself, you're in no condition to walk even a short few steps! Is there anyone waiting for you at home?" Through his haze Misaki admitted that no, he was by himself for the next three weeks, and immediately after scolded himself for telling the truth. Now that man was sure not to let him go. "Look," the man said, helping him up and again smiling kindly down at him. That was the first time Misaki noticed how tall the man was. In fact, the only time he saw someone this tall was… his eyes widened a bit in realization. That was the man who helped him on the train all those months ago.
"You're…" Misaki started, but as the man merely blinked stupidly at him Misaki realized he probably didn't remember.
"I live just around the corner. I'll help you walk. I promise I'm no one suspicious. You'll regain your strength and then I'll even pay for the taxi fee." Despite the kind smile, the hypnotizing eyes that resembled Usagi-san's, and the fact that the man was no longer a total stranger, Misaki thought that following him to his house may not be the best idea. He was about to voice his protest again when another wave of dizziness, the worst one yet, washed over him. He breathed heavily and held the man's shirt in a death grip, feeling like he was falling. He wanted to cry out for help and opened his eyes in fear, but before he could utter any sound the world around him merged into a single, black color. The last thing Misaki was aware of before he lost his conscious was that the man who held him cried out for him in alarm, but Misaki was no longer able to reply.
When Misaki opened his eyes he wasn't sure where he was. He blinked slowly, his surroundings coming in and out of focus, and when he finally regained his senses he sat up quickly in the bed he was lying on, a stunt which awarded him with an intense headache. He held his temples and groaned, breathing slowly. When the horrible poundings in his head stopped he was finally able to look around. He was in what looked like a western room; a western bed, a desk in the corner, and a blue curtain on the window which allowed the last rays of sunlight into the room. The clock on the wall told him it was nearing evening. His heart beat rapidly in his chest and he wasn't quite sure where he was and why, when the events of earlier that day slowly returned to him. He calmed down somewhat, realizing that the man probably took him to his house.
Misaki kept on sitting like that for a little while longer until the sun set completely and left him in the gradually darkening room. Misaki was lost in his somewhat pessimistic thoughts when the door opened. He jumped slightly, but this time he did not calm down even when he saw the man from earlier smiling kindly at him.
"You're awake," the man said, approaching him. "I'm glad."
"Where am I?" Misaki asked, trying to make his voice sound demanding, but all he managed was a pathetic squeak.
"My apartment. I took you here after you fainted on the street," the man explained, putting his hand on Misaki's forehead, much to the latter's dismay. "Ah, your fever went down a bit, but not enough, I'm afraid… I forced some medicine into you," Misaki paled, "I hope you don't mind."
"H-how?" The younger man asked, but the man merely smiled mysteriously in reply. "Why didn't you take me to the hospital?"
The man chuckled. "I'm a pediatrician. Or at least, a student. There's no need to rush to the hospital over every little thing. I know what I'm doing, you just need to rest well a few days and then I'm sure you'll get better. I advise you not to move that much, as well, your leg is hurt pretty bad…" Misaki blinked, and the man's eyes widened somewhat. "Oh, I apologize. I looked at your injury while you were out, I wanted to make sure it was nothing serious…"
"Can you take me home?" Misaki asked, almost pleading.
The man looked down sadly at him. "I'm afraid that as a doctor I cannot do so. First, I have no car, and second, back on the street you said you're home alone. You're far from healthy and you need to be watched over." The phone rung from the other room, and the man excused himself hurriedly and went to pick it up.
Misaki felt weird. On the one hand he wanted to trust the man, who seemed trustful enough, but on the other… nothing good came out whenever he went with someone to their house, and he was afraid that this time it would be the same. He looked around once more, and was relieved to see his cell-phone next to him. He opened it quickly, intending to call someone, anyone, that would be able to help him get home when to his great dismay he found out that he had no battery left. He sighed heavily. A bad day indeed…
The man returned, carrying a bowl filled with water and a handkerchief. "Please lie down," he asked. "I'll put this on your forehead, it'll help your fever."
"I don't like this," Misaki said quietly. "Why do you want me here so bad?"
"I told you," the man said. "You're in no condition to be left by yourself." Then the man saw his cell-phone. "Oh, is that yours?" he asked. "Would you like to call someone and let them know you're here?"
"I have no battery left," Misaki said bitterly. "And I don't remember any number by heart…"
The man's eyes softened. "I'm sorry, my cell is of another brand, the charger won't fit…"
Misaki chuckled. "No, that's alright… it's… all of this is my fault, really," he felt so pathetic and vulnerable when he said those words that it almost brought tears to his eyes, but he held them back, vowing not to show any weakness.
"That's okay," the man said. "We all have days like that. Just don't let that worry you too much and rest as you should. I'm going to make some dinner for you, alright?" Misaki half nodded, half shook his head, and the man smiled in return and left to the kitchen.
To the clatter of pots and pans Misaki tried to get out of bed, intending to sneak out somehow, when all he could do was walk two steps forward before he fell. He cried out, his left leg protesting at any movement.
The man, of course, rushed back in, a worried look in his eyes. "Please, get back to bed!" he requested, or demanded, pulling Misaki up and leading his backwards. "I told you you're in no condition to move, why can't you believe me?"
The tears Misaki held back before slid down his cheeks now and he shivered against the man's touch. As he was tucked back in bed the man looked down sadly at him again. "I'm sorry it has to be like this… would it help if I told you my name?" he asked. Misaki made no reply, trying and failing to stop the tears he did not know why were falling and the shivers, which only worsened by the second. "I'm Nowaki," the man said, his long fingers brushing Misaki's hair in a soothing manner for a short moment, calming him down. "Kusama Nowaki."
Misaki's last thought before he closed his eyes and fell into a dreamless and painful sleep was that "Nowaki" was the strangest name he ever heard.
To Be Continued…
Author's Note II: Woohoo! More Nowaki/Misaki interaction~
I'm not sure where I'm going with this yet, and hopefully updates won't take too long. I'd appreciate your opinion, so please leave a review before you leave!
Kinokuniya - kind of like the Japanese "Borders".