I...should be studying for my pathology exam. Yeah, I should find those past exam papers and do them before Thursday. I should...also start on those fic requests, shouldn't I? XD
Regardless! Going to put the angst out there before Christmas is actually here, I'll have something more cheerful for the holidays. XD
Out of Reach
By – Hime no Ichigo
Pairings: Masaomi x Mikado x Masaomi
Story Type: One-shot
Summary: Their relationship is a fleeting thing on an unsteady foundation.
Disclaimer: Durarara! is the intellectual property of Narita Ryougo.
Spoilers: None, slightly AU. This fic is divided into three sections, taking place chronologically but at different times of their lives.
Notes: Written for the Kida/Mikado/Kida request meme, the prompt being: "Math tells us three of the saddest love stories: Of parallel lines, who were never meant to meet. Of tangent lines, who were together once then parted forever. And of asymptotes, who could only get closer and closer, but could never be together." Thank you to sensaznal for giving this prompt! ;w;
When Ryuugamine Mikado was three years old, he clung to his mother's skirt on the first day of school, refusing to let go and venture into a new, unknown place. Saitama was a small place that didn't get a lot of new incomers except for native-borns, but Mikado was naturally shy and that meant he was afraid to meet strangers, no matter how friendly them seemed at first glance.
That was why his mother started to distance herself from him, to let him get used to the fact that she wouldn't be there forever to shelter him from evil. He had to take the initiative, the first step, in order to survive in the world, because his mother knew that one day, Saitama couldn't keep Mikado; even they couldn't keep their son in Saitama. She believed he was destined for great things, and she thought it her duty and responsibility to send her son off to the Rikkyou University to accomplish this feat.
But Mikado didn't understand at the time. All he knew was that his parents were slowly fading away, and they didn't help him get back on his feet whenever he tripped. It made him sad and he didn't know what to do—crying was one of his options, but it never helped his situation, so he stopped being emotional altogether. And it suited him just fine; it wasn't like he was close with anyone in class to call them friends—what difference did this make?
Sometimes, when he looked out the window when the other children played, he wanted to become part of the group...if he was just a little more courageous. His eyes naturally followed a boisterous boy – fun, outgoing, loud, and all smiles – everything he wasn't, and he vaguely wondered if his parents would be happier with this boy than him.
It wasn't really a game anymore, not after his parents sternly warned him of severe consequences if he continued to misbehave. He tried to laugh it off, but his parents would have none of that; how could a child of rich upbringing hang out with the poor kids? They had respected his wishes at first to let him have a taste of what commoners were like – mainly because they didn't want to deal with his constant temper tantrums once he found out he was being sent to some private school for boys.
But Kida Masaomi didn't like the way his parents think, didn't like how he should feel superior just because he was a little better off than some of the less fortunate ones. There was absolutely nothing wrong with playing with the kids in Saitama – in fact, he fell in love with the small town, where everyone was close and he felt loved, something that was missing at home. He adored being around children his age, and he was doubly pleased that they didn't consider him as an outcast. If anything, Masaomi was the type to seek reassurance from others even when he seemed quite at home. It was ridiculous that he should have facades at as young as three, but for all Masaomi cared, it worked out just fine for his life.
Sometimes, when he was outside with the kids on the playground, he would feel eyes on him. There he was, the petit raven-haired boy with dulled blue eyes, behind the glass and safe from the sun. Masaomi wondered if it was because the boy's parents turned him into this, but before he could approach the other, his parents had whisked him away to another city, somewhere that was all of a sudden too big, too noisy, and too confusing.
Masaomi grew to like Ikebukuro, and like back then in Saitama, he now fell into the role of a cityboy, savvy in the up-and-coming businesses down to the dirty alleyways. His new friends introduced him to things he'd never seen before, and he was absolutely fascinated with hair dye. His parents later left him alone in the city in favour of expanding their company in Hokkaido, and Masaomi half thought that it was because he dyed his hair blond, which in his parents' eyes meant he'd gone beyond repair as a punk.
He couldn't forget the little boy who stared at him thirteen years ago. Something about the gaze drew him back to his kindergarten days, made him wonder if the boy's loneliness had been cured, if he was doing well, and where was he now?
In April, when the sakura flowers were in full bloom, Masaomi finally caught sight of the one he was thinking of all these years. Lanky with short, black hair, Masaomi glimpsed a trace of blue before the boy followed everyone else into the auditorium. It was a pleasant surprise on the day of Raira Academy's opening ceremony, and Masaomi thought the school year would go by nicely.
He found out the boy's name was Ryuugamine Mikado, and since he wasn't one to be meek and formal, he skipped straight to his first name. Unfortunately, they would be in different classes. But no matter, Masaomi wouldn't be set back just because of this—
Mikado looked up from his lunch under the sakura tree. "I'm sorry, do I know you?"
It was only when he was sixteen that his parents let him get his wish – if they were going to keep distancing themselves from him, he was better off in a different place with a fresh start. He didn't realize that his parents were secretly very pleased with his decision – ah, Mikado has finally grown into a boy we can be proud of – and his mother took her last chance to plug Rikkyou University. In the end, he let her influence him one last time; he moved to Ikebukuro and enrolled in Raira Academy.
On occasions he would wonder what happened to that energetic boy in kindergarten thirteen years ago; after all, he had disappeared quite suddenly. After he left, there wasn't really anything else interesting to look at outside anymore. Strange, that was.
There was a blond who approached him in the first week of school. Mikado didn't recognize him, although the boy did give off a familiar feeling.
"How's it going, Mikado?"
He had never been more confused before, and he had never seen an expression as crestfallen as the one on the boy's face now. It made him feel bad, but before he could make amends (but since when had he ever bothered?), the blond smiled a little, mumbled an apology and an excuse, and went back to inside.
Mikado only caught glimpses of him for the next three years, which was a feat in itself because Raira Academy wasn't big, and he didn't know if he should feel happy or not that they had never shared a single class together.
Now in his late twenties, Mikado found himself employed as part of an IT team in a big corporation. He had buried himself in his studies for the past several years, majoring in computer sciences in Rikkyou University just like his mother predicted. Company parties weren't his thing, and his co-workers worried about his social life.
It was shocking to find Masaomi working in the same business building, although he was in a different department that dealt with foreign affairs—mainly, translation. He would bump into the ex-blond occasionally, during coffee break or when they left work at around the same time. It felt less awkward now, for whatever reason; Mikado had been aware of Masaomi's existence for at least a good decade, and although they weren't too familiar or close or anything, it was still a nice feeling to know someone in the company.
Curiosity ran high when he spotted Masaomi in the Red Light District on the way back to his apartment one night. Had Masaomi always been like this? Why didn't he take the time back in high school to get to know him better? For all the world knew, they could be—
Mikado shook his head. He'd had his share of lovers, though they never lasted long. Something didn't feel right. And right now, he had no immediate desire to commit to a relationship – or ever – especially not after what happened two weeks ago. He unconsciously rubbed his left wrist.
The next day at work, he forgot about what he saw, and work kept him busy throughout the next few weeks.
Masaomi got rid of his punk image after he decided to join the working mass. His following job interview was indeed much more favourable now that he had his natural, brown hair back.
It was pure coincidence that he got into the same company as Mikado – whom he bumped into on his second day of work when he was still getting a tour of the thirty-storey building. He wouldn't say he was ecstatic when he first found out – that day in April still hung heavily on his mind, but he looked forward to work everyday more than ever. Maybe he would even get the chance to finally get to know the boy—no, that wasn't right, Mikado was a man now—after knowing his face for more than twenty years.
But he didn't know Mikado at all, and he definitely didn't expect to see Mikado walking with another guy in a rather intimate way in the Red Light District. Masaomi knew it wasn't his business to butt into private matters of others, but he didn't like how the man leered at Mikado, and Mikado seemed oblivious to it. Before he could catch up, they'd already turned a corner and disappeared.
For the next two weeks, Masaomi kept a close watch on the other on whatever occasion that they happened to bump into each other. Mikado didn't look any different physically – maybe a bit tired, but he was still doing his job. Maybe I'm reading too much into this, was his conclusion, yet he couldn't help but still worry. So he paid a visit to a bar in the Red Light District himself, in an attempt to bring some mind to peace, and to understand Mikado a little better.
"Manager, I'm not sure if I'm good enough for this."
"Nonsense, you're the brightest of our team, and to kickstart things in America, we need the best of the best."
They didn't know if it was a twist of fate or whatever (Masaomi never believed in these things), but they were in the same hotel room for the next few months, getting things settled for the sister branch, training new employees, and leafing through all the paperwork associated with the new company. It wasn't a particularly difficult job, but the first few days with jetlag had been tough on their bodies, dozing off in meetings because their biological clocks hadn't adjusted to the fourteen hour time difference yet.
During this time, Mikado found himself being dragged out of the hotel frequently by Masaomi, the latter claiming that they should live their time in America since it wasn't like they were going to live here forever, and they needed to buy at least some souvenirs for their departments back home. Mikado didn't dislike it, and he was actually growing comfortable with going out with other people that weren't just interested in his body, but in him. Or maybe it was just with Masaomi, he didn't know.
Masaomi was trying his hardest everyday to make it seem like they'd been friends since the first time they laid eyes on each other, and now that he'd come so far, he wasn't going to stop. Mikado was a nice companion – a bit too much on the quiet side, but it wasn't an awkward silence that he sometimes experienced with his female workers.
At the end of the four weeks period, the American team bade them farewell and good luck. They went back to their respective departments, but there was a subtle difference: they made an effort to meet up after work, and on Friday nights they might even go out for a round of drinks. And eventually, they did feel like they'd known each other for a long time.
Yet they never crossed that line, not daring to bring in their private lives when they could live with their friendship. For now, a listening ear was more than enough, and they could live with their own curiosities for a little longer.
- Owari -
Authoress' Notes: This wasn't very love-oriented at all, my apologies. orz