Beside You

「六」 Good Morning, Yahiro おはよう、八尋

Dawn crept between the gaps of the thick curtains and the parquet flooring of the hotel room, leaving a pale glow on the nearby cashmere rug. The Victorian-stylized walls were draped in columns of finely crafted teak, and an elaborated crystal chandelier hung a few metres ahead of two symmetrical queen-sized beds. Tugged under the thick and fluffy comforters and satin sheets was Yamamoto Megumi. Succumbing to slumber at two in the wee hours has rendered the songbird resting her face sideways into the feather pillows; her legs sprawled across in a messy state.

Just a few hours ago, Megumi was looking up to the decorated ceiling of the room, staring aimlessly at the graceful swirls that laced across. She glanced to her right side and smiled – her special someone was sleeping away, like an innocent child. Megumi watched and took every single frame in like a camera – it was fascinating enough for her to observe trivial things like sleeping habits. The occasional opening of the mouth, the relaxed breathing sounds and the faint fluttering of the long eyelashes were sights she never would have been brought to such attention until today. Megumi stretched her fingers to reach those eyebrows, which twitched upon her touch. She giggled away as she moved to the forehead and trickled her fingers down the sharp side profile. Her index finger paused momentarily at the tip of the nose and did a light tap dance. She continued all the way down the chin before realization hit her that she was playing with the face of the heir to the Saiga Financial Group, one of the top 20 corporations in the world.

As the songbird hit playback on her memories of today, she broke into a radiant and blessed smile – today had been so ultimately epic. Saiga Yahiro made a 12-hour trip to London in the midst of all his frenzied meetings to catch the debut live performance of Yamamoto Megumi. He brought her flowers, and gave her a privately romantic kiss on the ride back to the restaurant. Yahiro was the perfect gentleman that night – he knew Megumi wouldn't want to use too much of her voice after such a powerful performance, so he had the necessary stationeries on standby. He had also anticipated that Megumi might want her friends in S.A. to watch her performance, so he had the video recording acquired from the cameramen sent over. Saiga Yahiro was irresistibly charming, and Megumi could not keep those words inside her any longer – they were about to explode any time soon.

"I like you, Yahiro. Thank you so much for today," Megumi whispers softly at the end of the dinner. She knows Yahiro doesn't really reciprocate in words – he hasn't, for once, expressed how he feels towards her. Yahiro flustered a little, and teased, "Well of… of course, I am your manager right now. " His lips twitched after that line, as if he was feeling a little regrettable for not being honest again.

While Megumi may not mind the lack of confessions and cottoned fluffs that she thought she would be getting in a relationship, Yahiro seems to be getting complacent and overly conceited recently. He's getting a lot more comfortable with Megumi; he's also opening up. It may seem like a good thing to the peculiar relationship the two of them are having, but it also means Yahiro is bolder now with his pranks and teasing banters. Megumi is still feeling that bit of uncertainty in her relationship, and she wonders consistently where the two of them are standing right now.

The moonlight from the windows poured into the room, as the clouds started to drift away by the winds. Megumi leapt off the bed and walked towards the side of the huge window. She drew the thick curtains as she noticed Yahiro turning away from the distracting moonlight. As she gazed to the distant scenery of London's quieter night view, Megumi began to whisper out the lyrics to one of the classics.

"And I think to myself..."

Just as she was about to complete the line, she realised Yahiro was hugging her from the back. The sudden intimate proximity took Megumi by surprise, and her heart raced as Yahiro breathed out the remaining words to the evergreen classic.

"What a wonderful world."

Megumi could hear Yahiro smirking as he leaned in closer, and ran both of his hands down Megumi's arms, interlocking at the fingers. He reached in closer to Megumi, his lips barely hovering between the limited spaces available. Megumi tries her best to salvage the dwindling amounts of her composure, and asks Yahiro.

"A … a kiss?"

"Why, you wanted more?" Yahiro teased. Megumi turned around and shot him a bewildered glare. In response, she frowned playfully and pouted her lips.

Yahiro's eyes looked up and he paused.
"Don't do that, Megumi."

"Why?" Megumi was hoping that Yahiro would at least give her a compliment.

"It only makes me want to bully you even more." Yahiro opened his mouth and glomped Megumi's lips, before he gave her a gentle kiss. This time, Megumi didn't fight back. She ran her fingers through Yahiro's soft hair, which tingled in happiness at every single strand.

Yahiro moved his lips somewhere else this time, leaving Megumi a little puzzled. He cupped Megumi's profile and ran his lower lip down her nose; in a similar fashion what Megumi did earlier with her fingers. He could sense that Megumi's astonished eyes were looking straight into his, and he gave his signature sinister grin, with zero ill intentions.

"You thought I was asleep?"

"Ya…!" Megumi was about to hit Yahiro on the shoulders in a deliberate retaliation, but he grabbed those fingers first. He stuck out his tongue playfully.

"And you were having so much fun with my face,"

"Since when…?"

"Since when I realised that you were doing… this?" Yahiro nipped gently at the tip of Megumi's nose. The songbird was flushing really hard in embarrassment.

"Oh Megumi, how could I sleep when you are not?"

Megumi was reminded why she was unable to sleep. Her mind had unknowingly drifted away to the past. There was someone in her head, and every little single matter that revolved around that person came together. She was like a detective, reviewing her curious case files of a person named Saiga Yahiro.

"I couldn't," Megumi's weary eyes looked to Yahiro for help. He didn't say a word, but he took her hand and brought her back to the bed. He lay on the adjacent bed and gazed into her eyes.

"We'll play a game then," He smiles, in a very typical fashion Megumi had grown comfortably with. She is now becoming fond of his games, a means to solve some of the simpler issues between the two of them.

"The first person to falls asleep wins?" Megumi asks meekly.

"How could my games be that simple? The both of us will hold hands, and we will pretend to sleep. The one that eventually lets go will lose the game," Yahiro responded. He could hear Megumi breathing out one word upon hearing the rules of the game, but he decides to interrupt that sentence so that she doesn't have to strain her voice further.

"What does the loser have to do? I'll decide when morning arrives,"

Megumi narrows her eyes and shot him a decisive look. She wants to take on the challenge. Yahiro gave her a sinister grin as he shook his head.

"Megumi, I won't lose. You already know how skilled I am at pretending to be asleep," He teased one more time, and reached out his hand in a taunting manner. Megumi held those hands, and counted to three with Yahiro. He made sure Megumi closed her eyes for about three minutes before he did likewise.

Our elite upbringing may sometimes turn us into image-conscious robots.
The adults would remind us, "Stay modest, tactful, prim and proper. Remember all the etiquettes. People are watching your every move. Maintain eye contact, anticipate future moves and react accordingly. Most importantly, smile."

Sometimes I feel, we pretend and hide so much at those social functions that we tend to forget ourselves.

Luckily for me, I had Jun and Ryuu who constantly remind me that I can be whoever I want to be with them. In Hakusenkan, I always have the S.A. to depend on, and vice-versa.

Yahiro wasn't that fortunate.
He grew up thinking he's supposed to be the villain so that the rest of the world could be a lot happier. He worries that people would be unhappy, yet he is often misunderstood for his actions. He tends to put up a front and he expresses himself in an opposite manner. He's afraid of being himself, and he runs away from it so skillfully he ends up pretending all over. He nearly succeeded in becoming a badass villain that the S.A. loathed.

To be honest, I was afraid of him a little at first – the one he loved most went to another person. The S.A. and I all concluded that if he ever comes to know that Akira and Tadashi were dating, he might exact revenge.

That's why I decided to pretend to like him. I told myself, I could do it because I wanted to take down this villain; I want the world to be a better place. All I simply have to do was to pretend. I remember trembling so hard when I marched up at the Saiga residence, but I knew I was the only one left in S.A. to pull everyone out of misery.

For a while, when he shoved me that whiteboard, I saw a flicker of what lurked beneath the steely facade. Yahiro is a gentle person with a heart. He wasn't too bothered about me not talking sometimes; he was patient enough to wait for me to finish writing. He reads my facial expressions, and he responds cheekily to them. He worries about me when I get agitated and I start speaking, and he starts to fluster with his words clumsily.

That is Saiga Yahiro?

I learnt a few things about Saiga Yahiro. He is merely a person who is fighting hard to be his real self. He's frightened of being rejected for doing good, for everyone had accepted him as the bad guy. Yahiro tries to retrieve this lost chunk of his real self; but it kept slipping past his fingers. He never gives up, and he keeps trying. In every word he says, and in every text message he send me, I could see how hard he tries. The best thing of it all, he doesn't even know he's doing all of these.

I struggled with the different sides of Yahiro I saw. It made him fascinating, so I continued with the pretend game. I wanted to meet up with him more; I wanted to talk to him. The more I pretended to like him, the more I got to know him. I even grew used to him teasing me, that I feel tickled by them. Sometimes things get a little overboard, and I begin to suspect that maybe I was not pretending after all; that maybe our feelings were mutual.

Yahiro let me into his complex yet reclusive world. It was a private place with barely any light, but it was a very fuzzy place to be. He had unknowingly inspired me to try even harder. The harder I tried, the harder I fell in love. We eventually stopped pretending one day. I became transparent and bold, while Yahiro was surprisingly playful and straightforward. I even realized that we were so alike in many ways, despite our bag of differences.

I'd always thought that I would never find someone to love me back as much as I would love him. I am a hopeless romantic; I am frequently lost in my delusional world of romance novels and literature. I want someone who could profess how much he loves me; I want him to show me the extent of his warmth and I want to be able to feel it. I want too many things in the man I love, which is why I am convinced that I would remain single for a long time.

This is also why I am silently thankful that I made the decision to face Saiga Yahiro that day, a man completely different from the dreams I made about my possible Mr. Right. He has a terrible lack of honeyed words, but his words still set your cheeks on fire. He doesn't exhibit public displays of affections, but he burns your skin with every single touch when there s no one around. He teases relentlessly, but he shares every vexing matter with you.

We are in this world we created together.
I am positive we can live in it for a long time.
I hope Yahiro would one day; tell me how he feels in words.

I love you, Yahiro. I believe you already know that by now.

Megumi's right hand was incubating comfortably under the pillows, her outstretched left arm peeked out of the edge of her bed – her slender wrist resting peacefully on the palms of Saiga Yahiro, whose fingers were wrapping hers gently. He was sleeping with his left arm over his head on the adjacent bed.

The sudden vibrations from Yahiro's phone rattled across the dressing table. Megumi opened her eyes lazily and squinted at the sound source. Her eyes shifted back to the bed across her – Yahiro was still sleeping. No, he's just pretending to be asleep.

"Good morning, boyfriend." Megumi giggled and tickled Yahiro's palm. It was still for a moment, and it sprung to life, tickling back. A smile flashed on Yahiro's face, but Megumi's words struck him.

"Good… morning, girl… girlfriend." Yahiro stuttered in a sudden bout of affection unleashed at him the first thing in the morning. It was definitely more harrowing and mind-boggling than receiving news on a global financial crisis, but it was nevertheless tingly and fuzzy to the heart.

A muffled yawn followed briefly after the clumsy morning greeting. Yahiro's ruffled and unkempt hair was a thrilling sight for Megumi. It made him look more alluring than before with those half-awake smoky eyes. Yahiro rubbed his eyes and smiled wearily as he rested his cheek on the mattress.

"I don't want to go back to work," Yahiro winced.

So this is how it feels to wake up beside your boyfriend.
We are both completely defenseless.
It's amazing and surreal.

"I can stay beside you, while you work," Megumi comforted him and gave his hand a playful shake. She hasn't let go of that hand yet.

"So lose this game for me, will you?" Megumi begged sincerely.

Yahiro pecked Megumi's fingers and let go. As he went to fetch his phone, which had three previously missed calls, Megumi saw what he was wearing – a simple white shirt and a pair of dark blue knit pants. Returning with the phone in his right hand, Yahiro climbed into Megumi's bed and slipped under the sheets. Megumi was a little taken aback, but she allowed it to happen anyway. It was her first time experiencing so much skinship in one single day – it's more exhilarating then a freefall bungee jump.

"I win!" The songbird tried to press down her messy hair with her palm, which looked like as if it went through a chemical explosion. It wasn't really helping.

"Yes, you did. What do you want the loser to do?" Yahiro chuckled at how Megumi actually looks like a frizzy lion when she wakes up.

"I want him to work,"

"What? Megumi, I already protested that I don't want to. I don't want to work today," Yahiro leaned his head and nudged against Megumi's shoulder lightly.

Megumi typed niftily on Yahiro's smartphone.

"Look, I am going to stay in bed with him as he works.
We'll wash up, and then we'll head for an epic lunch together.
How about that?"

She flashed the screen at Yahiro, who took a couple of seconds to consider the proposal.

"This is going to sound completely wrong, Megumi." Yahiro massages the acupoint between the eyebrows as he sighs aloud.

Megumi tilts her head.

"This will be my first time, doing business on a bed, with you."

Megumi bursts out laughing. Yahiro couldn't hold it any longer and broke into a soft chuckle. Megumi was almost in tears as she embraced her waist and continued to laugh. Yahiro got infected by her laughter and laughed out as well. It has definitely been a long time since he has heard himself laugh uncontrollably in this manner. She had initially wanted to write something, but decides she'll settle for a slow kiss instead. He placed his arm over Megumi and pulled her closer as he pushed the redial button on his smartphone.

"What is it?" Yahiro switched back to his authoritative mode as he spoke to his directors back in Tokyo, his hands reaching out for the notepad by the side table. He smirked a little and started scribbling the following question to Megumi.

" You said, "We'll wash up together". Does that mean we will be showering together later? Wow, I'd love that."

Yahiro couldn't stop giggling at Megumi's reaction to that question – she froze on the spot with her mouth dropped open. He had to do it so quietly because his directors are reporting solemnly over on the phone. It was excruciating to hold the laughter inside him, but it was all worth that little ounce of pain.


I finally got this chapter up! :)
Had a lot of inspiration this week, so yeah this chapter took six separate nights to finish writing.
I hope you love it! It was meant as a late White's Day gift, though haha. One month after Megumi's birthday!

This chapter is separated into three sections, I believe you can tell from the line breaks.
There are three time frames in this chapter - the night before, Megumi's reflections and the morning that they both woke up to.

I am still here, and I am still writing about Yahiro and Megumi.
Although I have to apologise that I couldn't post as frequently as the other writers. T_Tv
I am, however, ever thankful for your sweet reviews. :D

Look forward to the next Yahiro chapter!